In my divorce decree it only says my ex-husband and I will share expenses for our child’s college education. Now he doesn’t want to pay half. Is this worth disputing?

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In my divorce decree it only says my ex-husband and I will share expenses for our child’s college education. Now he doesn’t want to pay half. Is this worth disputing?

My thoughts are that since we didn’t stipulate percentages, I am pretty much out of luck.

Asked on October 18, 2016 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is worth disputing. When there is not a more-precise definition in the document itself, courts (in the event of a dispute) will look to the common understanding or usage of a term. When two people agree to "share" an expense or cost, the common understanding is that they are splitting it 50-50, like when two people share the cost of dinner and split the bill down the middle. There is a good chance that a court will, in the absence of anything to the contrary, require your ex-husband to foot half the bill.


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