If my ex is keeping refunds on payments I have made for college expenses, is this legal?

I am paying child support and 100% of college expenses on my 2 kids. Everything is paid to date. The divorce stipulation says I am responsible for community college expenses up to $18,000 year on both kids. Both are attending colleges that exceed this amount normally but with the grants are much less. Both kids were supposed to dorm, but at the last minute backed out. This resulted in refunds exceeding 8,000 each. The refunds were sent to the students account and the ex is in charge of it all. She will not give me the money back. Is this legal?

Asked on October 21, 2011 under Family Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the final dissolution decree states that you are responsible for certain college expenses of your children, you paid these college expenses and a refund on these expenses has arisen from these expenses, then you are entitled to these expenses, not your former spouse.

The final dissolution decree between you and your former spouse controls the obligations owed to you by her and you to her in the absence of conflicting state law.

I suggest that if you had a family law attorney representing you in your dissolution that you contact him or her about the situation and have a demand letter written to your former spouse for the return of the amount of money refunded.

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