Should I pay the questionable college bill?


My ex-wife and I are responsible for one-half of our daughter’s college tuition and books, which I am willing to pay. My ex-wife gave me a bill in which she blacked out the amount due and scholarship information. She then wrote in amounts in these columns and requested I pay it.

Common sense tells me the bill is less than what they claim, but neither will provide me with an explanation or an unaltered bill. She is threatening me with being in contempt of court if I don’t pay.

Should I pay it, or hold my ground until I receive an itemized bill? There is a late fee if it’s not paid within 30 days which I am sure she’s going to request I pay.


You need to consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction as support and enforcement laws vary from state to state.  Cordell & Cordell has many attorneys licensed and located in Missouri who would be happy to help.

Can you get a bill directly from the school? Your common sense inclination seems warranted.  Your wife may be trying to scam you or may have an agreement with your daughter where your daughter is obtaining a loan to cover your ex-wife’s portion of the bills.

If you want to avoid any late fees, you could pay the bill, save your receipt and then obtain an Order from the Court requiring her to furnish copies of unaltered bill and reimbursement if she deceived you to pay more than your share.



Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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