Is non-custodial parent paying child support and college expenses responsible for criminal defense of child? 1 Answers as of September 23, 2015

I am the non-custodial parent. I am up to date on child support and college payments. My child was caught on campus with marijuana. He was 18 years old when this happened. My ex got him a lawyer to have the matter dismissed and sealed. I was not informed nor consulted about this, just given a bill. My ex insists that since it occurred on college campus and my child would have been kicked out of school there was no other choice. My ex says the attorney’s fees are part of the mandated college payments since it occurred on campus and my child would not have been able to return to school. In the same manner, I have also been given parking tickets that occurred at college and am being told again that since it occurred on the college campus, I am responsible under the divorce agreement for any "related" college payments.

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David A. Browde, P.C.
David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
Unless your settlement agreement is extremely unusual there is no way you're legally responsible. It is NOT a college related expense under any possible interpretation of the phrase. That having been said - not paying will undoubtedly result in the CP saying to the child, "Your father/mother wouldn't even pay to keep you out of jail." This may have a more significant effect than splitting the fee.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/23/2015
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