Skip to main content

I have a question about college expenses in a divorce decree? Kids attend private schools. How do I calculate what is owed?

Syracuse, NY |

States " College expenses shall be defined as all reasonable and necessary costs associated w/ a 2 or 4 year college education. program not to exceed the costs of a State University of New York college education including but not limited to tuition, room, board and books. Do I take the cost I paid to the private school up to what it costs to attend a SUNY school or do I deduct expenses from the SUNY costs of attending a college?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


Your obligation is for your share of the costs that would be incurred at a SUNY school. You would pay the private school costs up to the 'SUNY cap'. If you would pay $15,000.00 if you child went to a SUNY school, you would pay $15,000 toward the cost of the private school, even if your true share of costs would be more.

Rory Alarcon, Esq., is a New York attorney practicing the areas of Family Law, Matrimonial Law, Foreclosure Defense, Consumer Defense and other areas of general practice primarily in Suffolk & Nassau County. His office, Alarcon Law Firm, practices only in New York State and offers the best attorney rates in the Long Island area. His office may be reached at (631) 867-2348.


Review the agreement with your divorce lawyer. The amount that would be used at the state school would be the limit of what could be used at a private school. The difference would be your responsibility.

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


You leave out any terms concerning share of contribution by the respective parents. From that which you do state, you use the lower of the SUNY tuition, room, board and books or the actual costs for the private college attended. Then you apply the allocated percentage you are obligated to pay as a parent. If there is a shortfall of the actual to the cap, neither parent is on the hook, and the student will have to obtain financing elsewhere if neither parent can or will voluntarily pay the difference.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.