UPDATE: My ex-husband signed a contract with our son saying he would only pay for his education if he gets Cs or better. That contradicts our divorce agreement
'We included in our settlement an agreement to each pay $10,000 per year for our son's college education'
My ex husband and I divorced 18 years ago and we have one child together. At the time of our divorce, we included in our settlement an agreement to each pay $10,000 per year for our son's college education. Our son is in college and is 20 years old now.
About a year ago, I found out that my ex-husband had my son sign an agreement that places conditions on whether or not his college will be paid for. My son must obtain a C grade or better in each class or my ex husband said that he will not pay.
He continues to threaten this over my son's head and, frankly, I am tired of it. Does this agreement between my son and him supersede our legally binding divorce agreement from 18 years ago? He is claiming our son was an adult when he signed it, but I am claiming that an agreement that did not include me will not hold up. Who is correct?
The Moneyist: 'I feel like she has joined some abusive cult': My wife makes $25,000 and only gets 1.5% annual pay raises. What can I do? (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/i-feel-like-she-has-joined-some-abusive-cult-my-wife-is-paid-25000-and-only-gets-15-annual-pay-raises-what-can-i-do-2021-02-02?mod=home-page)
Let's be clear. C grades are scraping through. In fact, the government rules require students to maintain a C grade-point average at minimum (https://studentloanhero.com/featured/financial-aid-eligibility/) to qualify for federal student aid.
But in a game of paper, rock, scissors, your divorce agreement wraps this "gentlemen's agreement" between your ex-husband and your son. I call it a "gentlemen's agreement" because your son feels compelled to work hard and stand by his word, and keep his grades above a certain level, but for your ex-husband it seems coercive, puts undue pressure on your son, and is less than gentlemanly.
We could speculate that this is a way for your ex-husband to regain some perceived power over a divorce agreement that may have rankled him at the time. But taking it out on your son does not seem like good parenting to me, particularly as he is obliged to pay either way. Tell your son that this contract is not legally binding, and explain that your ex-husband is obligated to pay as per your divorce.
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You don't have to add any other commentary about his father, of course. Your son can make his own judgment call on that. You can symbolically burn the agreement, or simply tell your ex-husband that the jig is up, and that you believe it creates a transactional and unhealthy relationship between father and son, in addition to it being a moral and legal offense to your divorce agreement.
Is your ex-husband incentivizing his son to work hard at school? Perhaps, but it would be more a matter of principle if it was not based on a lie. There are other ways to incentivize your son. If your ex-husband would really like to teach your son about the importance of respecting agreements, he could lead by example and honor the terms of his own divorce agreement.
The Moneyist:My ex-husband put his wife on his life-insurance before he died, going against our divorce. Now she's battling me in court (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/my-ex-husband-put-his-new-wife-on-his-life-insurance-policy-before-he-died-going-against-our-divorce-decree-now-shes-battling-me-in-court-2021-02-02?mod=home-page)
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 23, 2021 13:27 ET (18:27 GMT)
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