Modifying Educational Support Order

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Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby Justnoise » Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:50 pm

Divorced Dad of two young men, 18 and soon to be 21. Dec 2016 will be four years divorced in CT. I will try to keep it short.

My decree states:
The parties agree to share equally, the expenses for post-secondary education for the minor children, which expenses include, but shall not be limited to, car insurance, computer, cell phone, health insurance when a college plan is inadequate, education -related travel, food, clothing and expenses when home for college breaks.

Neither child speaks to me and I have in writing that they want absolutely nothing to do with me ever.

They both attend 55K/year schools which I was never included on any conversations. I was just told where they were looking. Fortunately they have scholarships so the balance is not as much. I was told I would be paying what I am paying and never asked. One of the children has not even taken out a loan and is demanding i pay his rent for off campus housing.

I would have no problem helping out. I pay for the car insurance, cell bill , health insurance , food when they are home, HOWEVER, I don't feel they are entitled to any of it due to their incredibly harsh words and attitude. Zero respect.

I plan to file a motion for modification due to repudiation but not sure if that is even a thing in CT? And if not that, then I would like more clarification on the expenses as they are very vague in the above decree. IMO.

I have told them no I am no longer paying for anything and I am now being threatened being brought to court for contempt. I know the child can no enforce the order but the ex is screaming and plans to do so.

Thoughts? Am I being a jerk for wanting to get out of this? I have spoken to close family and friends and they can't believe I have to pay out all this money they way they speak to me.

P.S. I only make about 50K/year

Thanks for listening. :D
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Re: Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby BartSimpson » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:16 pm

meh. Don't fear the threat of contempt. The Court will see it your way much more than the way of these entitled snowflakes.

Are you provided with the grades of these young men?
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Re: Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby Justnoise » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:50 pm

Bart-right? Why send the threatening letter, why not just do it? I think I am going to file the motion to modify and see what happens. They can only say no.

And alas...no never have been given grades. I see that is something that could be in our favor. Trying to get their log-ins so I can see the payment history. I was almost out triple because she was going to pocket the tuition refund.
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Re: Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby BartSimpson » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:04 pm

Let's be honest - why should you do anything? Wouldn't it make more of a statement not to do anything? Filing a modification is just an entanglement you don't need.

Call their bluff - make them file for whatever. Simply repeat a request for transcripts and proof of coursework completion. Without having provided you grades and some justification of expenses, the Judge is going to wag his finger at you and then send everyone to mediation. You face little, if any, consequence for not paying.

Even with a motion for contempt (which is not easy to prove willfully and intentionally disregarding the Court's order when the question of grades and proof of completion remains), can be resolved by purging the amount in question. You could hand the mother a check as you walk into the contempt hearing and the matter is moot. Right up until the last second . . . get my drift?

There is a thread in the Reference Forum called The Daddy Scholarship. It details a concept this community believes in. Do you need a link?
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Re: Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby Havalu7 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:12 am

Welcome OP!

I like the phrase that "doing nothing is actually an action".

I also think the phrase "No. is a complete sentence." would apply to your case.

There are other posters here who like myself are dealing with ungrateful snowflakes that we never here from or thank us for our above and beyond support. The group went through a thread or two a few months or so back dealing with this so do some searching and you will see that WE are not alone.
"No." is a complete sentence.

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Re: Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby Justnoise » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:02 pm

Thank you both for your input. Bart is correct. Filing a motion to modify would be a huge can of worms. Contempt charges I am sure are to be filed if I tell her that I am not longer going to pay. I am going to not file a motion for now but not really sure how me not paying won't be considered contempt. So exhausting. I am going to check out the Daddy Scholarship post and contact an atty for a consultation perhaps.

Good luck to you all!
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Re: Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby NEdad » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:19 pm

Looking at the Education section of my divorce paperwork, it says the parties agree that as their children approach the appropriate age for continued education, that they will discuss same and jointly select an institution of higher learning and agree that if in fact they cannot agree as to contribution, they will submit said matter to the Family Court of appropriate jurisdiction.

In my case, my ex hasn't discussed college plans for my oldest with me. They searched for a school, picked one then went there for a tour. From what I hear, that the one she will be going to. I wasn't included in the planning, selection or visit so my money won't be included. I can't afford to pay for college anyway so that would have been part of the discussion if she would have talked to me about it.
Last edited by NEdad on Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby BartSimpson » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:43 pm

Contempt isn't what most laymen think - it is an offense against the Judge, the willful and intentional disregard for the Judge's orders. Failing to follow the Marriage Settlement Agreement itself is not contempt, which is what most laymen don't get.

It goes to the elements of willfully and intentionally ignoring the Judge. The possiblity that you do not understand your obligation under the MSA must first be explored, and then you need to be told specifically and directly to oblige the Judge.

Note that I have repeatedly told you to ask for the young men's grades - refusal to provide those is sufficent in most States to preclude having to pay. That's important to the Judge because otherwise you are defenseless against fraud - the mother and adult-child could easily conspire to defraud you by demanding monies for college when the student isn't attending or failing to make progress.

When the mother makes demands for payment, reply that you must first have transcripts of the adult-child's recent semester/quarter.

The worst that will happen is the Judge gives you stink-eye, tells you to pay the outstanding amount, and to comply in the future. It is perhaps more likely that the Judge sends you to mediation with the mother to resolve the matter into the future. Don't fear a contempt motion, it's not a threat.

If I were advising the mother, it would be to file a Motion to Compel, far more effective in the immediate - it's the equivalent to your Motion to Modify. Should the mother file a Motion to Compel on the advice of her counsel, then counter with the modification.
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Re: Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby Ivan Danko » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:55 am

Stop being afraid of your wife and kids.
Call the bluff and see how it goes.
All the above advice is on target.
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Re: Modifying Educational Support Order

Unread postby Justnoise » Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:35 pm

Note that I have repeatedly told you to ask for the young men's grades - refusal to provide those is sufficent in most States to preclude having to pay. That's important to the Judge because otherwise you are defenseless against fraud - the mother and adult-child could easily conspire to defraud you by demanding monies for college when the student isn't attending or failing to make progress.


You are in fact correct. In CT if they do not provide grades the contract is void. Son 2 is just in his first semester. Son 1 is a Junior and I have asked and was told ask your son. I know for certain they are attending so that is not an issue of defrauding. She did, however try to have me pay more than my share and she received a refund for overpayment of tuition. I think I am repeating myself.

Excellent that you explained the contempt. That makes me feel much better.

NEDad-I was not included in anything and that is one of the stipulations. If we did discuss then I would defintely have told them I could not afford it. If they went to UCONN then most likely there would have been no balance unlike the 55-60k /year schools they chose. I found out by seeing my son in the paper signing his letter of intent.

I just finished paying 2800 for the first semester (I know that might not seem like much but to me it is). Second semester will be coming up for Son 2. I think i do need to mention to them that I will no longer be paying. I think you are spot on. If she could have filed contempt she would have by now. Her atty sends letters but says please contact the ex directly. I think she is sick of her as well.

Ivan-like you said all very sound advice. I can rest now :)
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