What Are My Rights If I Am Forced To Pay For College Tuition?

advice on divorceQuestion:

My divorce decree states I am responsible for paying college tuition for four years of college for each of my children.

I feel it is a violation of fathers rights to be forced to pay for college tuition.

What are my rights? Can this provision to pay for college tuition be reversed?


This answer only includes general divorce help for men since I am only licensed to practice in Oklahoma and am thus unable to provide legal advice on divorce.

Where I practice, courts do not have the power to order post-secondary (college) expenses to be paid by the parties. It would appear that the parties are able to agree to such orders however. In fact, I have drafted agreed decrees with just such terms. The idea is that if the parties agree to it, the court shouldn’t get in the way. With that said, there is little indication that the courts have the power to actually enforce such an order.

So, if your original divorce went to trial and the court, of its own volition, ordered you to pay for college, you could be in a pretty good position to challenge the order itself and perhaps have it stricken.

Alternatively, if you settled your divorce and entered into an agreed marriage settlement, you may have an argument that the court has no power to enforce the terms requiring you to pay.

Divorce Resources:

State Property Division Laws

Either way, my state’s law would be in your favor. Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. I would strongly recommend you seek the advice and counsel of a divorce lawyer for men as you move forward.

To set up an appointment with a Cordell and Cordell mens divorce attorney, including Oklahoma City Divorce Lawyer Christian D. Barnard, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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2 comments on “What Are My Rights If I Am Forced To Pay For College Tuition?

    My Parents Did Not Pay And I Graduated From UW With A B.A.
    To me is sounds like this mother has alienated the children from their father and just wants more money which is child abuse and if that is the case and I was on the jury, I would send her to jail.

    If you do have access to your children, teach them to work for what they want by working their way through college. It does not help to have parents pay for college when the kids should be able to go to school and work like I did. I graduated early, have a BA in Pol Sci and a minor in Music! I worked all the way through and when I asked for support from my father and mother who were still married, they did not give it to me. The made me figure it out on my own and I did. I am a better man because of it and I can get through hard times where many of my peers could not.

    If you do pay for their college, they should be living at home with you and not spending extra money, they should be in-state (your state!), you should be witness to their educational work, and be able to know exactly what is going on in class. Get what you pay for.

    My guess is that the mother just wants the money for other things so she does not need to take as much from her new boyfriend and they can use it on anything besides a quality education.

    Don’t pay it, do the right thing for your children, and teach them to make it on their own. That is part of what a real education is about right?

    Grow Up
    So, what’s the big deal? You don’t want to support your child to go to college. Then maybe you should not have had a child. If you signed the agreement then it’s your reseponsibility. Grow up and be a real man!

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