Divorced Father Ordered to Pay for Law School

The Appellate Division has affirmed the trial court decision that a divorced father must pay for one half of his daughter’s law school tuition in the amount of $112,500.

When the parties divorced, they each agreed to pay for 50% of the daughter’s post-secondary education.

One of the father’s arguments was that the court did not have a hearing to determine his ability to pay based on the factors set forth in Newburgh v. Arrigo. However, the court found that in Newburgh, there was no predetermined agreement regarding college. Here, the parties specifically agreed to split the cost. Because it was specifically agreed to, the hearing was not necessary.

Another argument the father made was that there was implied requirement that he have a relationship with his daughter because they are were now estranged. The Appellate Division determined that this was not implied and that if the parties meant for this to be a requirement for him to pay for law school, then it should have been explicitly stated in the agreement.

A news report on the case can be found at NJ.com. The actual decision from the Appellate Division can be found here.