1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Liable for tuition payments?

Discussion in 'Child Support' started by BillMC3020, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. BillMC3020

    BillMC3020 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Sorry for the long drawn out write up but wanted to provide some background.

    She's been divorced from her ex-husband for nearly 14-16 years. They decided that he would have custody of her who's now 17.5 years old. On the divorce decree that was granted I believe in 2006, she was to pay an agreed amount per month, and she was supposed to have visitation rights with her daughter twice per month.


    Since the divorce, there was some communication between them but eventually faded over time. When she tried reaching out to him (ex-husband/daughter) he apparently moved from NY to FL without her knowledge.


    She couldn’t pay the monthly payment for several years and when she finally got in touch with him, he’d told her that he'd moved with their daughter. She went to Child Support unit but they told her she did not have a case on file. He also told her that she needed to pay whatever child supports arrears was owed to him. My wife paid and is currently up to date with payments that they’d agreed on (extra when she’s able to provide).


    Her daughter continues to visit periodically when she’s in town but is continuing her studies in college. She had asked last year for some monies for tuition/trip which she provided.


    Her daughter will turn 18 in Dec 2021.


    _______________________________________
    Just a few questions:


    He’s demanding that she pay $2500 for tuition when she at this point cannot pay? Does she legally have to pay?


    Was it illegal for him to have left NY to FL without notifying her? Or court? Was this move legal?


    He’s now threatening legal action against her to pay tuition fees she doesn’t have. Does he have legal grounds?




    Thanks for any information.
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113

    What state is the court orders out of?
     
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    2,819
    Trophy Points:
    113

    That's a great question. Please have her log on with her own account to ask it, as she likely has information about the matter that you may not be privy to.


    Those are great questions. Please have her log on with her own account to ask it, as she likely has information about the matter that you may not be privy to.


    That's a great question. Please have her log on with her own account to ask it, as she likely has information about the matter that you may not be privy to.


    I will give you a freebie, however. In NY, support, generally, extends to 21, not 18.

    You are quite welcome!
     
    Red Kayak and justblue like this.
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    35,014
    Likes Received:
    6,057
    Trophy Points:
    113

    If the state is New York, some people might not like the answer.

    Like it or hate it, here is the skinny.

    Under New York State law, both parents must financially support their child until the child turns 21 years old. Child support also includes providing health insurance coverage until the child turns 21 years old.

    If the child is under 21 and married, self-supporting, or in the military then the child is emancipated and the parents don't have to support the child.

    Child Support Orders
    If you don't have a child support order, you can file a support petition in Family Court. Or, you can go to your local Child Support Enforcement Unit to help you start the Family Court case.

    If you have a child support order and want to change or enforce it, you can use the free and easy Support Modification and Enforcement/Violation DIY Form program. This program can ask the Family Court to modify the order. It can also ask the Family Court to enforce the order if the other parent is not following it.

    In general, the custodial parent can get child support from the other parent, the non-custodial parent.

    The custodial parent is the parent who has physical custody of the child. This means that the child lives with this parent most of the time.

    If the two parents were never married to each other, there must be an Acknowledgment of Paternity or Order of Filiation to establish paternity.

    The custodial parent can get child support even if that parent can support the child on their own.

    Even if the two parents are living together with the child, one parent can get a child support order if the other parent refuses to help pay for the child's bills.

    Child Support Forms | NYCOURTS.GOV
     
    leslie82, Red Kayak and BillMC3020 like this.
  5. BillMC3020

    BillMC3020 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    NY
     
  6. BillMC3020

    BillMC3020 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1

    Curious, was it illegal for him to have left the State without informing the other parent? or does this depend on the State/jurisdiction?
     
  7. BillMC3020

    BillMC3020 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1

    Thanks for answering/asking. :)
    Yes I'd imagine it was 21 as the case began in NY.

    Just being a little proactive to help her out.
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    2,819
    Trophy Points:
    113

    It's likely moot. Your wife seems to have acquiesced to it and moved on at this point.
     
    Red Kayak likes this.
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,656
    Likes Received:
    1,722
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You're the mother's husband. Correct?

    I assume this is child support. Correct?


    How did this happen "without her knowledge"? Was she exercising her court-ordered visitation and then, one day, the kid just didn't show up for visitation? Or was she not exercising her visitation rights? Something else? How long ago did the move occur?


    You'd have to tell us what the divorce decree says about this.


    Again, you'd have to tell us what the divorce decree says about this. It is common for divorce decrees to contain a provision requiring notice (and either court approval or written consent by the other parent) regarding a move in excess of X miles.

    This appears to be a duplicate question.
     
    Red Kayak and BillMC3020 like this.
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    35,014
    Likes Received:
    6,057
    Trophy Points:
    113

    If a state exercises jurisdiction over a child support/visitation issue, the custodial parent can't RELOCATE from State of Bliss to State of Confusion unilaterally.

    I suggest you advise your spouse to discuss the situation with a local domestic relations/family law attorney.

    She might be able to leverage things to her advantage, or at least take some heat off of herself financially.

    However, the defense of laches might be available to one or both parties.
     
    BillMC3020 likes this.
  11. BillMC3020

    BillMC3020 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
     
  12. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Likes Received:
    1,374
    Trophy Points:
    113

    The answer to all three questions depends a great deal on exactly what the court orders say. He certainly can pursue her for any support that is owed under the support order, and she's not going to get out of that simply due to the move that she didn't know about. That move is certainly not illegal, by the way. It might have violated the court order in some way, but that is not the same thing as being a crime, i.e. illegal.
     
    Red Kayak, BillMC3020 and justblue like this.
  13. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Bill, Please have your wife join, under her own user name, so she can answer the necessary questions. You simply don't have enough facts to provide the necessary information.
     
    Red Kayak likes this.
  14. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    2,819
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Mom's caught up on support already.
     
    BillMC3020 likes this.
  15. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    2,819
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Bill - please have your wife sign up. As a bonus, she'll have 5 posts of her very own today :)
     
    Red Kayak and justblue like this.
  16. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Likes Received:
    1,374
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Apparently Dad doesn't agree as he's threatening to go to court over the claimed tuition payments owed. If the court order does include tuition payments, that would be part of support owed.
     
  17. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    2,819
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Fair enough.
     
  18. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,656
    Likes Received:
    1,722
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Please don't embed your responses within the quotes. It makes it easy to overlook that you've added anything.

    What it does say is more important than what it does say.

    If it does not say she has an obligation to pay anything in connection with college, then she doesn't have that obligation. As far as the move to Florida, it's been a decade, your wife didn't care enough to do anything about it at the time, and the child is nearly a legal adult, so it's moot at this point.

    I don't agree that the obligation to pay college expenses would be the same as child support, but it's not really worth debating the issue without knowing what the decree says.

    To the OP: there's not much more anyone here can tell you. If your wife takes these threats seriously, she'll want to consult with an attorney in the state where the decree was entered.
     
  19. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Likes Received:
    1,374
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Perhaps your view will change after reading the definition of child support in New York's Domestic Relations Law section 240(1-b)(b)(2). That provision states:

    (2) "Child support" shall mean a sum to be paid pursuant to court order or decree by either or both parents or pursuant to a valid agreement between the parties for care, maintenance and education of any unemancipated child under the age of twenty-one years.

    (Bolding added.) Since education expenses are specifically included in the definition of child support and college tuition expenses are, I think, clearly education expenses, I'm comfortable with my earlier statement that tuition expenses would indeed be part of child support. But I'd be interested in any argument you have to the contrary.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
    Red Kayak likes this.
  20. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,656
    Likes Received:
    1,722
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I'm curious what "unemancipated child under the age of twenty-one years" means. Normally, "unemancipated" would mean a legal adult and, AFAIK, that means anyone aged 18 or older. If that's the case, "unemancipated child under the age of twenty-one years" would be redundant.
     

Share This Page