Here in New Jersey, divorced parents may be legally compelled to contribute towards their child’s college tuition and certain related expenses. However, the attorneys at our family law and divorce law firm embrace that the non-custodial parent has a right to receive documentation verifying that their child is in fact continuously enrolled in college on a full time basis as well as the grades and any other pertinent information. If the custodial parent (or child) refuses to disclose this information, our lawyers shall file a motion in the Superior Court of New Jersey to compel the production of any and all documents that would disclose these essential facts. Below we dissect a recent case from a New Jersey Family Court that verifies these rights. Following is a legal analysis of a recent case that was just handed down by a New Jersey Family Court regarding this red-hot issue.
In Van Brunt v. Van Brunt, the Honorable Judge Jones of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part of Ocean County was tasked with deciding whether a parent obligated to pay child support or contribute towards college costs, has a right to ongoing verification of the child’s collegiate status, and whether the responsibility to provide the non-custodial parent with ongoing proof of college attendance, credits, and grades lie s with the student, the custodial parent, or both. After a thoughtful deliberation, Judge Jones held that a court order that requires a college student to submit proof of attendance, credits, and grades as a requirement for ongoing child support and college expenses does not in fact violate the privacy rights of that student under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and both the student and the custodial parent have a duty to make sure that the supporting parent receives proof of the student’s college attendance, credits, and grades.