I am in the military and agreed to pay half of my children’s college costs in my marital settlement agreement.
I would like to use my GI Bill for my child’s first two years of college and let my ex-wife pay the second two years. My ex-wife says that would not be fair, that we should split the cost of the last two years since I am not paying “out of my pocket” the cost associated with his college.
How does the law treat this situation?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Maryland divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Ultimately, the language and provisions of the Marital Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) will govern how the parties will contribute towards the costs of the children’s college expenses.
If the parties are unable to agree to an interpretation of the MSA’s language, the parties may need to have the court decide what the parties are required to do according to the terms of the MSA. In doing so, the court will look to the plain meaning of the language to determine what the parties intended when agreeing to the MSA.
If the language of the MSA stated that the parties would each pay half of the children’s college costs without any additional elaboration, then there is no guarantee as to how the law would treat the aforementioned situation.
An argument could be made that the father’s transfer of his GI Bill benefits to his child should be treated as his contribution towards half of the child’s college costs.
If the MSA does not specifically state how the children’s college expenses are to be paid, then your transfer of benefits unto your child could be arguably treated as a contribution towards the child’s college costs even if the payments were not made “out of pocket.”
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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.
Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Maryland Divorce Lawyer Jeff J. Kim, please contact Cordell & Cordell.