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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Hello, I have a question that on the surface sounds like

Resolved Question:

Hello,

I have a question that on the surface sounds like family law, but I think that it may be more of a privacy law question.

My scenario is that my ex husband and I are court-ordered to pay our kids private school tuition (he pays 2/3 and I pay1/3). We pay the school separately. Just to be nosey and harassing, he is asking the school to provide him with the his balance due and the account information in general (for both of us). I have a payment arrangement with the school & they have kept the details from my ex but are telling me now that they feel pressured to provide him with the information that I haven't paid, yet, etc. Isn't this a breach of privacy/confidentiallity. Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

The right to privacy is a very limited right and only applies to certain information. In California, while there is extended privacy protection protecting you from businesses releasing your information to third parties which want to use it for marketing purposes, and also protecting you from a disclosure of your protected information (such as your social security number).

The fact that you have paid tuition and what you are paying for that tuition is not considered private in nature under any law. Thus, this would only be a breach of confidentiality if the school had agreed previously to keep this information confidential.

Did the school make any such agreement in writing, or is it otherwise stated by the school in any policy document given to parents?
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3930
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't believe the school las any such policy in their handbook, however, the principal did agree in an email to me to keep my part of the tuition confidential. Based on my request alone, and their initial agreement to it, do I have any rights to keeping my ex's prying eyes out of my school tuition business?
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
You might have a potential argument that the principle's email is an enforceable contract because it was made in exchange for your promise to make a payment.

The threat that you would sue for this is probably enough to keep them from disclosing. There is no reason for them to tell your ex-husband anything other than that the remainder on the tuition due is ________ (the amount he owes) out of the total tuition. He has a right to know the balance due and how much the tuition is in total, so that he can make sure you are keeping up your end of the agreement. However, he has no right to know about any payment arrangement you have entered into.

You should write a certified letter that demands that the school keep the information confidential as the principle promised in the email (print that out and send it to them as an attachment to your letter), and state that if they do not, you will be forced to sue for breach of contract as the confidentiality agreement was given in consideration of your tuition payments.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3930
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, are you still online? I need clarification on this and have one final question. Additionally, I plan to rate you as Excellent as many times as possible throughout our thread once it is complete. I thank you for your assistance thus far.
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm still online. What's your final question?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My questions is two-fold the first is for you to please clarify this for me. You said: "There is no reason for them to tell your ex-husband anything other than that the remainder on the tuition due is ________ (the amount he owes) out of the total tuition.
***Yet your next statement implies that he has a right to know my part of the tuition balance due...you stated "He has a right to know the balance due and how much the tuition is in total, so that he can make sure you are keeping up your end of the agreement.'However, he has no right to know about any payment arrangement you have entered into."

As my balance is 100% unpaid due to the payment arrangement I have made with the school please clarify as the above statement seems to contradict. I am reading it as my ex has a right to know the balance due so he may know I'm keeping up my end of the agreement. Kindly advise.
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. I can see where the confusion lies.

Your ex has been ordered by the court to pay 2/3 of the tuition. He has a right to make sure that this is what he is paying. Thus, he may now what the total tuition is and how much 2/3 of the tuition is that he owes. You owe the rest and are going to be paying under your payment agreement. So, let's say the total tuition is $20,000.00 for this year. All the school needs to tell him is that total tuition is $20,0000 and he owes $13,333.33. He is not entitled to any other information than that. Further, it is hard to see how the school would need to tell him anymore than that as they have agreed to look to you for the remainder of the payment.
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3930
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX The school has been wonderful in working with me so I want to share this information in a non-threatening way. I have no reason to believe they will act against me so, lastly, can you please suggest a legally appropriate response that they can give my ex-husband. I feel that they may not be sure what to say to him and while they wish to protect their agreement with me I'm sure there is also concen about protecting themselves against any potential action from my ex.
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Yes.

They can say "The total tuition is __________. We understand that you are to pay 2/3 of that, which is __________. The rest of the tuition has been taken care of by the children's mother." And if he asks for more information, all they need to say is "that is all the information we have on this.
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3930
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The ex will push. Can they say this is all the information we have on this per our confidentiality and payment agreement with the children's mother? A little something else to settle him down?
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
If they are willing to say that they have a confidential payment agreement with you, then that would be the best solution.
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3930
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They already told him that they had made a payment arrangement with me, so adding confidential shouldn't be a big deal. Blessings to you, Sir. YOu have been most helpful. Goodnight.
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Same to you! You are very welcome and I'm glad to be of help.

-ZDN
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3930
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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