A New Jersey dad has been ordered to follow through on his divorce terms and pay half of his daughter’s law school expenses, a Middlesex County two-judge appeals panel decided in early March.
The judges upheld a lower court’s decision to hold the dad, Rutgers University history professor James C. Livingstone, accountable for paying for half of the young woman’s graduate school expenses. She’s attending Cornell Law School, which costs $225,000 to earn a degree. He will need to provide more than $112,000 of the cost.
When the young women in question’s parents divorced in 2009, they both agreed to spit the cost of their daughter’s education if she attended law school and if she maintained a C average or above. However, the father and the daughter are now estranged, and have been since after the divorce.
The young woman graduated from Rutgers months prior to the official ending of her parents’ 26-year marriage. The father said that the agreement was based on her starting law school within a few years of her graduation from college, which didn’t happen. Instead, she took some time off and got a job, working full-time. Additionally, the father had argued that the agreement involved her choosing Rutgers, but she chose Cornell.
The judges noted that the agreement didn’t in fact stipulate that the father could conditionally support her, based on the school that was chosen. The father’s argument that he didn’t have to pay if the daughter was not talking to him was also negated. The father plans another appeal.
If you are facing a divorce and are negotiating terms that are discussing future expenses, such as college tuition support, clearly, an attorney who is experienced and who can proactively tackle such issues can be of great service.
Additionally, keep in mind that even if your children are adults, divorce can wreak havoc on their emotional lives. Get yourself the support you need so you are well prepared to be resilient through the potential storm and to weather your adult children’s upset without losing your relationship.
Contact the Experienced Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates
At the Somerville, New Jersey, family law firm of Lyons & Associates, we use our legal experience to make the custody, support, and divorce process as pain-free as possible. We bring a high level of personal attention to every case we handle. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our office at 908-575-9777.