My husbands daughter is having behavior problems and her mother wants to send her to a program that we cannot afford to pay. Can his ex wife make him pay?
First question is: what does the Divorce Decree have to say about the matter? It probably doesn't address wilderness programs directly (never seen one that does), but it will address legal custody and who gets to make big decisions regarding your husband's daughter. If the ex has sole legal custody and primary physical, then she could argue she gets to make the decision regarding such a program because (1) she gets to make most major decisions, and (2) she has to deal with the daughter's behaviors most of the time. Now, if you husband has a fundamental problem with the program (he honestly thinks it's unnecessary, etc.), then he could talk to her about other possibilities to help with the behaviors. If it's a matter of cost and you simply cannot afford it, that is a pretty good defense to being forced to pay more than he can afford. If it's a matter of simply not wanting to pay, and the ex can show this program is necessary to deal effectively with the behaviors, then your husband may well end up being forced to pay. If discussion on this subject has completely broken down, you may think about asking for mediation (there is probably a clause in the Decree about needing to mediate contested issues like this). That might help the situation.
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First of all, go to the Decree of Divorce to see what has to be paid, and what does not. The Decree will control.
If you have any questions, your husband should contact an attorney for assistance, and to review the Decree.
Remember, an ex-spouse can “want” all they want, the Decree controls, and if there is no mention, then the ex-spouse needs to be told to quit harassing.
This answer is not legal advice, and does not create an attorney - client relationship. This answer is for educational purposes only.
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