My Ex is Disputing the Interpretation of an Order and Won’t Sign Off. How Can I Find Out What the Judge Ruled?

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Question: I am divorced and my children are getting ready to go to college. My decree states that my ex will pay 1/2 of college and expenses at any institution. I took my ex back to court in May and thought I had everything settled. The judge ruled that my ex indeed was obligated to pay 1/2 of college tuition and books along with any remedial services needed. We left court and a week later I still did not have the legal documents that reflected the judge’s ruling on this. I contacted my attorney who stated that the opposing party did not agree to what was said in the documents and stated that was NOT what the judge said. Meanwhile, 3 months later, I STILL do not have any legal documents that state “what” the judge ruled in May and my children start college in a week. After much prodding, my attorney did send a letter to the judge stating that a telephone conference was needed to reiterate what was said, but that has been a few weeks ago and I have heard nothing back. My attorney has not been in contact with me, seems to avoid me, and I am the one who has to keep calling to check on the status of this. He has told me before that he “doesn’t know what to do”. I don’t understand why the opposition has no desire to get the paperwork on this either. Just seems strange to me. I feel very unimportant to my attorney to say the least and do not know what my options are. I think if someone is paid for services, they need to live up to those services. If they don’t have answers, they need to find out the answers. What options do I have?

Answer: You should go to the Clerk of Court, and ask to get a transcript of the hearing, to find out exactly what the judge did say. It is not surprising that the other side is dragging their feet – it is *very* unusual for a court to order payment of anything once a child has turned 18, and in some states such an order might not even stand up to appeal (it would depend largely on what your original order said, and in what state you reside).

But the first step is getting that transcript.