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A: Many parents who pay child support for a minor child (or children) don’t realize that they generally must ALSO save towards college.
I had a potential client walk into my office & say the Support Magistrate was about to assess him with a share of his son’s college tuition – in addition to paying basic support. He said the tuition was $20,000 per year, and thus his share was $10,000. He said he didn’t have $10,000 to give, in addition to paying the basic support. Having fully reviewed the facts with him, my basic conclusion was: he’s screwed! He didn’t save all along & could have reasonably anticipated his son would go to college. He otherwise had the financial means all along to put aside a small amount of money – which over the years would have built up enough to pay. He didn’t do so, and thus is now being hit with the large bill.
As such, the lesson is to start a 529 plan today while the child is relatively young. You get a tax deduction for the amount you save – and thus won’t have a large bill you can’t afford to pay when they turn 18 and go off to college. NY Child Support law generally requires a parent to pay their share of college in addition to basic support so long as (a) the parent has the financial means to do so (or had such means & just foolishly failed to save), (b) attendance at college could be reasonably anticipated.