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Requiring Students to Provide College Attendance Proof Not Violation of Privacy

May 25, 2011 | Posted In Recent News |

In Van Brunt vs. Van Brunt, a court has held that requiring college students to provide proof of college attendance, credits and grades as a condition for child support and college contribution does not violate an individual's right to privacy.

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a college student has some rights to privacy in matters related to college records.  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects the privacy of college students above the age of 18 in matters related to their college records.   In general, colleges cannot release information about the student's college records to third parties without specifically obtaining the student’s authorization to do so.  However, in cases where a court order requires the release of college information, the college does not need specific written permission from the student to release the information.

For example, when the college student’s education expenses are being paid as either child support or college contribution (or both, which can also occur), then the parent who is paying the child support and/or contributing to the college expenses can attempt to obtain the information directly from their child. However, if the child does not provide such information and will not authorize the school to release same, the parent may obtain a Court Order authorizing the release of the college records containing the relevant information over the child’s objection.  This is important because the parent may need information to verify and confirm the child's ongoing education status.  The parent may also need information from the college to decide whether the child should continue to receive college contribution expenses and/or child support. 

It has been held that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act does not contain any clause that protects a child from having to provide his supporting parent verifying documents related to their attendance and performance in the college.

The New Jersey family lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons in matters related to divorce, child support, child custody, parenting time and visitation across New Jersey.

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