While parents of recent college graduates in West Palm Beach and throughout Palm Beach County are ecstatic about their children’s educational achievements, families of graduates understand the high expenses of obtaining a college degree. From text books to tuition and all of the living expenses in between, higher education is not cheap.
Experienced Florida family law attorneys recognize that divorced parents may stipulate in their divorce settlements regarding their payment of the higher education costs for their children. They may do so to avoid burdening their children with student debt or in exchange for some other concession during the negotiations of the divorce. But what happens when one parent reneges on their contractual promise to pay for their children’s education?
In Connecticut, Dana Soderburg sued her father to recover the tuition costs he promised to pay in his 2004 divorce from her mother. Concerned that he may break his promise in the future, Dana required her father to sign a written contract explicitly stating that he agreed to cover tuition and other costs related to her education given that she diligently applied for scholarships and other loans. Unfortunately, her father stopped paying tuition during her senior year and she was forced to take out massive loans.
In order to recover what she considered was rightfully hers, Dana filed a lawsuit for breach of contract. The judge awarded her $47,000 to cover the principal loan, additional interest fees, and attorney costs. Residents from Jupiter to Boca Raton have begun speculating on the precedence that this case may set for other students in similar situations across the country.