Must I Pay For College If My Kids Don’t Acknowledge Me?

Omaha Nebraska Divorce LawyerQuestion:

My divorce order provides for a college education subsidy for my children. However, there is a state law that if a child has repudiated their parent, then the judge can rule that the parent does not have to pay for postsecondary education.

My children no longer acknowledge me; they don’t return phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, etc., and I haven’t seen them in years.

Am I still liable to pay that postsecondary education if they do not acknowledge me? If not, how can I have a judge reverse the decision?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Nebraska and Iowa divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Where I practice, there is a repudiation section stating: “A postsecondary education subsidy shall not be awarded if the child has repudiated the parent by publicly disowning the parent, refusing to acknowledge the parent, or by acting in a similar manner.”

With that being said, any party can file for a modification based on a material change, at least in the jurisdiction I practice in. In doing so, the party wishing to file would have to claim a material change has occurred since the entry of the last Order and it was something not contemplated during the original action or any subsequent action.

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Who Pays For College?

In the event your incomes have changed, your children are not attending college, your children are self sufficient, they have repudiated you, etc., you may qualify to have your prior decree modified.

In ordering the postsecondary education subsidy, according to my state’s divorce laws, “the court shall consider the age of the child, the ability of the child relative to postsecondary education, the child’s financial resources, whether the child is self-sustaining, and the financial condition of each parent.”

The court can also change the prior order to eliminate the postsecondary education subsidy through the filing of a modification since the children have repudiated you.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Omaha, Nebraska Divorce Lawyer Jamie Kinkaid, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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4 comments on “Must I Pay For College If My Kids Don’t Acknowledge Me?

    It’s not common for kids to cut off a parent, unless they are abusive. Maybe you’ll want to look at yourself first, and do what is right by your children.

    In my case…
    In my case, the ex wanted to leave the state with our child immediately after the divorce but couldn’t without my consent. Knowing this was her plan, I had my attorney insert the word “Virginia” into the settlement, so that it reads “agrees to share in the cost of a Virginia college”. I did this specifically to serve as a safeguard to my parental rights. She signed the modifications and it is a part of the divorcee decree.

    A year after divorce, even after bi-weekly counseling sessions and attempts at visitations (she would refuse to leave, make an incident, etc) I realized that it wasn’t helping my child and drew up a modification where she could move, child and I would have scheduled visits and weekly phone contact.

    After 6 months or so the calls stopped, the arrangements to see the child stopped, and in short I haven’t had been able to have more than text contact with the child for five years. Not pleasant contact, but dismissive and demanding.

    In the meantime, I have sent money, gifts and have stepped forward to pay for such things as replacing a broken smart phone or uncovered medical expenses. I have done everything I could think of to try and arrange a meeting or even a conversation all this time, and have nothing to show other and a begrudging ‘thanks’ once in a while.

    So now, the child is entering senior year. They are intimating (via text)that they believe I am responsible for half their college expenses. Here are my feelings.

    On the face of it, I think I have a legal defense if brought into court: the child is going to college in a state other than the one specified. Would a judge agree? I don’t know.

    I think I have a good argument for repudiation also.

    To close, it is not that I don’t want to help with expenses. However, after 10 years of CS, it would be refreshing to actually have a choice as to how much support I give. And, it might even cause a change in attitude when the child realizes that dad’s not ‘on the hook’ for it.

    yes,frompersonal experiance
    yes you do.
    wither you acknowledge your child or not the fact remain the same to any judge or court. you have a child there for you have the obligation to pay child support to your child.

    i know this from personal experience.
    my 40 year old father ditched my family to get with a 15 year old girl (my ex best friend in high school.)

    he does not acknowledge us as family any more.
    he tried to change/modify the child support, but the judge got pissed, and told him the same thing im teeing you.

    you have a kid now, its your responsibility to pay now.

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