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Please explain how the room/board credit works when both parents are responsible for half of college expenses, including r/b.

Mineola, NY |

I am the custodial parent. My divorce agreement provides in two separate provisions, that 1. The Mother and the Father shall each pay one-half of the college expenses...college expenses shall include...room, board tuition, ... 2. In the event the child attends college and lives separate from the Mother, the Father shall receive a one dollar credit against his child support obligation for each one dollar he pays for the room and board expenses, while they reside at college. If total room/board costs are 20,000 and we are each responsible for 10,000, and he owes 45,000 in child support, does he get to deduct 10,000 or 20,000 from child support? And if he deducts 10,000, who is responsible for the other 10,000. Since he deducts 10,000 from my support, doesn't that pay my half?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. The room and board expense are deducted from the child support he has to pay. If he pays 10,000 out of 20,000 for room and board, he gets to deduct 10,000 from child support.

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  2. Bring the entire agreement to an attorney to review.

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  3. According to the agreement, he gets a dollar for dollar credit against his room and board obligation only, not yours. Therefore, if room and board is $20,000 and his obligation is $10,000, then he gets a $10,000 deduction from his child support obligation.


  4. The cases give a dollar for dollar credit against child support for the amount the noncustodial parent pays towards room and board(not tuition or other expenses of going to college), after all financial aid. So that if he pays $10,000 towards room and board, the child support gets reduced by that amount, so that $45,000 becomes $35,000. I feel that this is not 100% appropriate, but it would take significant fees to fight it, including a hearing to do plus objections and an appeal. If this is based upon an agreement, the courts are required to comply with the terms of the agreement unless you can demonstrate that there is an unreasonable and unanticipated change in circumstances; or that it is unconscionable; or that you would have insufficient income and assets to provide for the children's needs.

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