My Ex who Lives Out of State isn’t Paying for Private School Tuition, Health Insurance and other Child Support Costs, What Should I do?

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“Hello. I live in New York State and my ex in New Jersey. My ex constantly violates court orders by not paying what he is court ordered to do and he never faces any consequences for them. It seems that he is above the law. This past December he never showed up for court and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Come to find out, because he lives in Jersey, the warrant wasn’t any good. Knowing that he lived out of town, a judge still signed off on the warrant. This justice system has become a joke…He is behind in tuition payments, orthodontia payments, legal payments and credit card payments. At the time of our divorce, he was ordered to pay. I constantly have to go back to court for things he is responsible for. It is an expense on my part, not to mention a waste of my time. With him being out of state, he can call from the comfort of his home.

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We are going back to court on Friday because he now is refusing to pay Catholic School tuition for our daughter who is in the fourth grade. It was the school of choice for my son who graduated two years ago and now attending public high school. He has been paying all along, but now refuses. How can he do that??

Another issue is health care. I have been paying the cost for the past ten years. I carried the coverage for the family when we were married because it was cheap. I have since changed jobs and with the rising costs of health care, I now pay over $5,000 a year, I feel that it is time for him to chip in. Co-pays, prescriptions, etc. is a financial burden on my part. He also earns about $10,000 more than I do. Please help. Thank you.”

With respect to private school, in California this would be a discretionary add-on item. That means the court doesn’t need to order this expense. In fact, usually the parties would need to agree to the expense of private education for it to be ordered. The fact that you have agreed to share this expense with regards to your son is evidence that it should go for your daughter, but this is by no means dispositive.

With respect to health care costs, the co-pays, prescriptions and such would be mandatory add-on items. These expenses would need to be split regardless of other factors. The premium for the health insurance is a factor the court should consider in setting base support, but usually the parties will not be ordered to simply split this expense. It is typical that both parties carry health insurance for the children if it is available at low or no cost through their employer.

Non-payment of support obligations is enforceable through an action for contempt. The penalty for being found guilty for contempt can be a fine, jail time or both.

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Author: House Attorney

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