Departing from a widely used rule of thumb in divorce cases—the “SUNY cap”—a judge has determined that two ex-spouses should share the costs of sending their son to an expensive private college, noting that their son prefers a private university to a state campus and that his choice seems to be a better fit for his needs.

“The SUNY system…is widely regarded as one of the best large-scale systems of higher education that has ever been created, be it public or private,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew F. Cooper wrote in Pamela T. v. Marc B., 311980/2005. “But there is one thing the SUNY system should not be. Contrary to what proponents of a wide and liberal application of the SUNY cap might urge, the SUNY system should not be the assumed destination of the children of divorce.”