Can I sue my non-custodial parent for college expenses?

Asked over 3 years ago - Bronx, NY

My non-custodial parent is refusing to pay for college expenses. My parents were never married so they were not able to make a divorce agreement that would include college expenses. Is there a way I can sue him to pay for college expenses even if I go to a college out of state?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Theodore Lyons Araujo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . When deciding if you should sue someone there are two essential requirements. First, did the person who you think violated your rights have a duty to refrain from the activity that you think would form the basis of a suit or did they have a legal duty to do something and they did not do it. It is very difficult to determine the answer to that question based on the facts you list because it will depend on State law and possibly administrative law in your State and under Federal Law.

    The second essential is where there compensable damages? Damages for which a Court can award you monetary awards or injunctive relief (order the other person to do something or stop doing something). If you have both of these elements you may sue.

    However, lawsuits take a high degree of expertise and cost money. Many clients have come to me through the years and stated that the money did not matter to them, just the principal of the issue! When I tell them how much I and other lawyers charge by the hour it becomes obvious to them that the value of the lawsuit damages is very important.

    You can seek out your lawyer referral service to seek counsel. There are agencies of the State and Federal Government you may want to contact. Talk to a lawyer before you decide to sue someone for expert legal advice!

    REQUEST: Please give this answer a "thumbs up"(below) if you find it valuable.

    Good Luck!

    Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author only and the fact that he has worked as an Assistant District Attorney; State Supreme Court Clerk; Special Assistant United States Attorney (Hawaii); Assistant Cornell University Counsel or Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps should not be relied upon to assume that these statements reflect the policy of these organizations.

  2. Pashan Movasseghi

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . In New York, non-custodial parents have an obligation to pay certain educational expenses. If you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, feel free to contact me. My contact information is on my AVVO profile and on my website.
    Good Luck.

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Attorney Advertising.

  3. Ronald S. Pichlik

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . In general child support obligations end when the child reaches the age of 18. Additionally, unless the orders of support specifically provide for the payment of college expenses the court will not order it.

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