My divorce decree states that my ex-wife and I are supposed to agree on all school-related decisions, but she and her new husband have completely kept me out of the loop on my child’s college selection process.
I do not want to be left out of the process of finding the right college for my child. They are potentially committing me to financial burdens that are unrealistic such as private schools or out-of-state schools.
What can I do to ensure my legal rights to be involved in this process are protected?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Indiana divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Since your decree states that you must be consulted in the school selection process, in the event that your ex-wife or her husband are deliberately taking actions to prohibit your involvement, you may seek to file a contempt action.
The first step you may wish to take in ensuring that you have documented your efforts to be involved is to keep track of your conversations with your child and your efforts to be involved.
Then, make sure to document any instances where your ex-wife or her husband have taken actions to prohibit your involvement.
Ultimately, however, the school selection will be left to your child and the court will allow your child to determine where he/she wants to go to school. If you were not permitted to be involved in the decision or a school is selected to which you have vocalized your disapproval, that may be considered in determining your responsibility to contribute to the post-secondary educational expenses.
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In the event that your child selects a private school or an out-of-state school without financial assistance and your decree does not address post-secondary educational expenses, you may file a Petition to Establish College Expenses.
At the hearing, you may request that your responsibility be limited to an in-state public school. It will be up to the court’s discretion to determine whether to grant this request. The court will then order the division of the college expenses with a portion being applied to your child, if you so request, and a portion to your ex-wife.
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.