If my ex-husband has defaulted on conditions in a divorce decree dated over twenty years ago, what recourse do I have?

In the decree, he was to have paid for our children’s college education, which includes room and board. My daughter chose to live with me one year while attending college, and my ex still has not reimbursed me for her room and board.

Asked on August 10, 2015 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You would need to file a petition to enforce the decree.  In the petition, you'll need to identify what part of the final decree you are seeking to enforce and what remedy you are seeking.  Your ex- will then need to be served with petition.  Before you file, however, I would suggest having an attorney look over the decree for the enforceability of it at this juncture.  If the term "room and board" can be interpreted only as on campus room and board, then you may have an intertation issue.  Your second issue will be statute of limitations.  If it's been over twenty years ago-- your time for seeking enforcement may have expired... so consult with an attorney before you jump into a lawsuit with a built in defense.

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You would need to file a petition to enforce the decree.  In the petition, you'll need to identify what part of the final decree you are seeking to enforce and what remedy you are seeking.  Your ex- will then need to be served with petition.  Before you file, however, I would suggest having an attorney look over the decree for the enforceability of it at this juncture.  If the term "room and board" can be interpreted only as on campus room and board, then you may have an intertation issue.  Your second issue will be statute of limitations.  If it's been over twenty years ago-- your time for seeking enforcement may have expired... so consult with an attorney before you jump into a lawsuit with a built in defense.


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