Question: My Wife and I are in the process of working out a separation agreement. All seems to be going well except for the wording on higher education. Her lawyer drafted the provision for higher education as follows: Both parties agree to contribute reasonably toward the child’s higher education based upon the respective financial circumstances of the parties at such time as she commences her higher education. The parties’ obligation hereunder shall cease at such time as the minor child becomes emancipated as outlined in paragraph 14. I am concerned about who decided “reasonable.” My lawyer said a judge would decide. Does this language sound fair, and is it normal in a separation agreement? I wanted it to be worded more specific as to how much each would have to contribute to better prepare and budget for when the time comes. Thank you.
You are absolutely correct.
It is much more advisable to deal with the issue now while you are both in the talking and negotiation mood and determine precisely how much your obligations will be. Some people link the obligation to the cost of tuition at a local state-run university ( such as CUNY or SUNY ) at the time when the child will be attending college. There are also several other options.
Many other issues must be dealt with, and these are too important to leave to self-help. I strongly suggest that you have an attorney experienced in matrimonial matters represent you. If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-160 0 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions