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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31789
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I have another question. My wife says our son has been accepted

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I have another question. My wife says our son has been accepted to Columbia University in NY and is going for his masters. Since she makes up lies all the time, it would not surprise me if this is just a scare tactic. However, in order to be prepared for court one week from Friday, I want to know if there is case law for me to require his enrollment proof, ongoing proof of grades and medical and/or other benefits offered to him in this college. I am forced to pay for his medical insurance, and reimburse him for dental for the next 3 years (between 23 and 26), unless I win my emancipation hearing based on the fact that he is self supportive. But I heard that sometimes universities offer benefits that may be less than what I am paying ($176/mo.). If he had access to this information, he and his mother would surely hide it from me, so I could pay the more expensive amount.

Kirk Adams :

Hi - thanks for looking me up again!

Kirk Adams :

You absolutely are entitled to proof that your son is actually enrolled in school, and you should also be entitled to know that he's passing and in good standing with the school.

Customer:

Sorry, I clicked on PA by mistake. I live in PA, but the divorce was in NJ.

Kirk Adams :

Also, IF there is cheaper insurance through his school, you could ask the court to approve that instead of the coverage you're currently paying for. The judge may still require you to pay it, but if it's cheaper, that would help you out.

Customer:

Is there case law that you of requiring him to do so?

Kirk Adams :

Bear with me a moment and let me see if I can find a case that says the paying parent is entitled to make sure the child is actually attending school.

Kirk Adams :

I know it is common for a court to require the child/non-paying parent to prove that the child is attending school, so there should be something out there.

Kirk Adams :

Here you go.......

Kirk Adams :

Van Brunt v. Van Brunt, 419 N.J. Super. 327 (2010): An order requiring a student to produce proof of college attendance, course
credits and grades as a condition for ongoing child support and college contribution does not violate the student's rights to privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C.S. § 1232(g) and 34 C.F.R § 99.31. Both the student and the custodial parent each have a responsibility and obligation to make certain that the non-custodial parent is provided with ongoing proof of the student's college enrollment, course credits and grades.

Kirk Adams :

Alexander v. Alexander, 2011 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1562 (2011): "Requiring a student to produce proof of college attendance, course
credits and grades as a condition for ongoing child support and college contribution does not violate the student's rights to privacy" and that "the student and the custodial parent each have a responsibility and obligation to make certain that the non-custodial parent is provided with ongoing proof of the student's college enrollment, course credits and grades"

Customer:

Thanks. I guess there is nothing specific to medical insurance, and/or whether the college offers it at a cheaper rate?

Kirk Adams :

Kershaw v. Kershaw, 2010 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 457 (2010) is another case that says proof of enrollment is required.

Kirk Adams :

There is NO case law I find that specifically mentions medical insurance coverage or the right to obtain coverage through the school as opposed to some private plan.

Customer:

Ok, thanks again for your help !

Kirk Adams :

However, equity should require the court to allow you to pay the school for medical coverage IF it is cheaper and provides basically the same coverage as you have now.

Kirk Adams :

No problem. Let me know if you need anything else.

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