Q: If parental order was not followed prior to child attending College, am I financially responsible?
Our current order states that the three of us (mother, father and child) will work unilaterally regarding College. So far I've been kept in the dark and our child won't answer any of my questions regarding college. Our currently order only states that if the three of us cannot agree regarding higher education that we mediate. If the child and other parent enroll the child in college without my knowledge and the other parent later petitions that I pay half, am I financially responsible even though the parental order wasn't followed and I was excluded? Do I have grounds for contempt and if so what does that really show the court?
A: Ask your ex-spouse about college. Your child wasn't a party to the legal proceeding in which the order was entered, whereas your ex was. Your child can't be held in contempt for not obeying an order in a legal proceeding to which the child was not a party. Your ex is bound by the order since he or she was a party to the proceeding, and can be held in contempt for refusing to obey the order. This may affect the court's allocation of college expenses.
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