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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 shall, 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?

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Attorney answers 4


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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Thank you for responding. I understand that he gets to deduct 10,000 if he pays 10,000. My question is, since it is coming from "child support", shouldn't it be credited to the 10,000 I owe, therefore leaving him responsible for the remaining 10,000 under the clause that hold us "both" responsible for 50% of college expenses. If not, where do I go to "deduct" the 10,000 I pay, since it has been taken from his separate obligation to pay child support, as well as his "added" responsibility to pay 50% of college expenses. I really am confused about

Lawrence Allen Weinreich

Lawrence Allen Weinreich


The answer to your question is no. He has to pay 20,000 in child support and 10,000 for college. His total obligation for both is 20,000 no matter how it is paid.


Bring the entire agreement to an attorney to review.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


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.


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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