If you weren’t consulted about the college your child chooses, do you have to pay?

If you verbally agreed with a child that if the went to a school with dorming they would be responsbile for the dorming cost, are you responsible for their loan? Can a parent be put in jail for not paying a childs student loans? The loans are in the child’s name.

Asked on September 21, 2012 under Family Law, New York


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are not responsible financially for your children who are over 18 and no longer reside with you.  This is even more true if you do not claim him or her as a dependant. You need to understand that a verbal agreement over a certain amount is not enforceable unless in writing. What you need to do is ensure your child has not planned on including you as a co-signer. If not a co-signer, you have no tie to this loan. Make sure you explain that you were not consulted on the school and had you been, you would not have agreed to anything because there was no meeting of the minds on where your child would go and what you would agree to with respect to that choice.

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