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I had a potential client walk into my office & say the Support Magistrate was about to assess him with a share of his son's college tuition - in addition to paying basic support. He said the tuition was $20,000 per year, and thus his share was $10,000. He said he didn't have $10,000 to give, in addition to paying the basic support. Having fully reviewed the facts with him, my basic conclusion was: he's screwed! He didn't save all along & could have reasonably anticipated his son would go to college. He otherwise had the financial means all along to put aside a small amount of money - which over the years would have built up enough to pay. He didn't do so, and thus is now being hit with the large bill.

Lesson: Start a 529 plan

As such, the lesson is to start a 529 plan today while the child is relatively young. You get a tax deduction for the amount you save - and thus won't have a large bill you can't afford to pay when they turn 18 and go off to college. NY Child Support law generally requires a parent to pay their share of college in addition to basic support so long as (a) the parent has the financial means to do so (or had such means & just foolishly failed to save), (b) attendance at college could be reasonably anticipated.