What to do if my ex isn’t going to pay for my son’s college tuition as promised?

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What to do if my ex isn’t going to pay for my son’s college tuition as promised?

I was divorced 3 years ago. My ex and I agreed that he would send me the child support checks once a week as opposed to garnishing his wages and that he would pay “what he is able” toward our son’s college tuition. Now my support checks come a few days late and he states he is “is unable to pay anything for college”. Why my lawyer let me agree to this I don’t know; I guess I didn’t think he would dis his kids. I’m financially strapped and can’t afford to pay for a lawyer. How can I pursue this further? Can he be forced to pay for college? I don’t have the money either but have taken out loans against my pension for my son’s college.

Asked on October 17, 2012 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your child is over 18 and you don't have anything in writing indicating he agreed to pay for college tuition or help with payments, then state law may prevail and you will have to test it out in court. If state law or precedent case law doesn't leave room for a judge to require payment for college post-18, you may be out of luck. You don't need a lawyer to file a contempt motion in court based on the existing order.


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