Dad on the Hook For Half Daughter's Cornell Law Tuition

, The National Law Journal


A father who'd agreed to shoulder half the cost of his daughter's legal education—before she got into Cornell Law School, which costs $225,000 to attend—found no relief from a New Jersey court late last month.

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    Au contraire. Daddy‘s lawyer committed legal malpractice. His lawyer, through his fiduciary responsibility of having superior knowledge of the law, failed to include all 12 required elements of Newburgh v. Arrigo (college expenses) in the settlement agreement. The lawyer‘s failure to do that should be penalized and pay for the error by paying "daddy" the cost of college "daddy" is now being forced to pay.

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    The state is merely enforcing the written agreement of the parties. It is not forcing anyone to do anything he or she did not freely agree to do. The clause might have been, in retrospect, more artfully drafted , but daddy signed on without the artful drafting and must live with his election to do so.

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    All the more reason why NJ law needs to be changed where divorced parents cannot be forced by the state to pay for their children‘s college, especially post-graduate expenses, especially when there are cheaper alternatives, and where the ADULT child hasn‘t gotten or hasn‘t sought financial aid, loans, grants, scholarships, etc.

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