U.S. Supreme Court implied that "a
(once) married father who is separated
or divorced from a mother and is no
longer living with his child"
could not constitutionally be treated
differently from a currently married
father living with his child.
Quilloin v. Walcott, 98 S.Ct. 549;
434 U.S. 246, 255-56, (1978)
post- 18 age support:
Joe's request here a few cases I have
for a rainy day.
have not found the case the lawyer
was talking about regarding equal
protection of married v divorced parents.
of plaintiff's assets. The judgment
attached $ 60,000 of funds the plaintiff
is currently holding in a bank account.
General Laws c. 208, [***16]
§ 36, provides that, "when
alimony or support is adjudged for
the spouse or children, the Court
may require sufficient security for
its payment according to the judgment"
(emphasis added). The plaintiff argues
that the primary purpose of the attachment
was to secure the college expenses
of his son n10 and that, because these
expenses are a future contingency,
they have not yet been subject to
a judgment, as required by G. L. c.
208, § 36. The plaintiff concludes
[*190] that the judge correspondingly
exceeded his authority under G. L.
c. 208, § 36. We disagree. PHILIP
N. ROSENBERG vs. CINDY M. MERIDA.
SJC-07682 SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
OF MASSACHUSETTS 428 Mass.
182; 697 N.E.2d 987;
court's order, assigning to husband
the responsibility of paying college
costs for children who, at time of
trial, were 13 years old and ten years
old, was premature. Ketterle
v. Ketterle 61 Mass.App.Ct.
a general rule, support orders regarding
the future payment of post-high school
educational costs are premature and
should not be made." Passemato
v. Passemato, 427 Mass. 52, 54 (1998).
See L.W.K. v. E.R.C., 432 Mass. 438,
452, 453 (2000)
I have a story on Mansur ( interesting
the guy had to be dead before he could
The Morale is file your lawsuit, then
run outside the court and fall
on your sword?
Estate freed from
cost of failing son's tuition
ruling cites child's obligation
Burge, Globe Correspondent, 4/20/2001
In a groundbreaking
decision, a probate judge has ruled
that the estate of a divorced
father can stop paying college tuition
because his son's failing
and lackluster performance prevented
him from graduating in four
last month by Essex Probate Judge
John C. Stevens suggests that
have their own obligations when it
comes to getting child support.
the father was required to pay tuition,
the son also had a responsibility
to try to succeed in school, he found.
this opens a Pandora's box for a parent
to now say a child's not living
up to his or her end of the bargain,''
said family practice lawyer
who supports the decision but who
was not involved in the case.
what's most interesting is you have
a court looking at a child's
when dealing with support. Typically,
you're looking at the financial
obligations of a parent.''
he asks, could a noncustodial parent
claim that a child who doesn't
show up for scheduled visitations
is violating a contract and should
not receive child support?
case, legal analysts agree that the
ruling will inspire divorce
to use more specific language when
drafting agreements that include
college tuition. The decision also
highlights the different obligations
of parents who are still married and
those who are divorced.
intact family, no one can go to court
and have an order that your
pay for college,'' said Harriet Schechter,
the lawyer for the estate
father, George Vinal
Sr., who has since died. ''In a divorced
can have that.''
Vinal, the ex-wife, the court's
decision stung deeply. She
to her former husband, she said, to
get him to agree to pay for
their son's college tuition to Boston
is destroying my son,'' she said.
''My husband was worth millions of
My son was left nothing.''
her home to keep her son at BU after
her former husband, who owned
a sand-and-gravel company, stopped
paying tuition in May 1999, she
and is $50,000 in debt for legal fees
stemming from a court fight.
died in December 1999 and his estate
continued the case against
divorced in 1982, when their only
child was 5. George Vinal
to pay $400 a week in child support
and for his son's college
He also agreed to make his son the
beneficiary of a $325,000 life
policy, but later changed it to a
friend and Vinal's
second wife, an
action that is being contested in
Vinal Jr., enrolled in BU in
1995. For three of his first
he made the dean's list. But starting
in 1997, his grades began
to drop. By spring 1999, when his
class graduated, he had failed five
received incompletes in others, and
had not yet fulfilled the
and math requirements necessary for
graduation, according to the
allegedly didn't tell his father about
his academic problems. Vinal
subpoenaed his son's school records
and saw the low grades.
quite shocked to find out his grades
had fallen off as much as
said her son's grades dropped because
he was distraught about seeing
his father less, and because he switched
to a more demanding double
in political science and philosophy.
Vinal Sr., diagnosed with cancer,
asked that his child-support
obligations be reduced. Since his
son wasn't doing well in school,
he argued, his son wasn't holding
up his part of the bargain and
payments should end.
argued that the divorce agreement
stipulated that the father
pay for college through December 1999.
The agreement didn't mention,
that the son needed to maintain a
certain grade-point average.
lawyer, Linda O'Connell, argued that
the son was young
when his parents made their divorce
agreement. Not only was he not
the lawyer said, but he didn't know
about the details.
ruled that the estate of the father
was not responsible for tuition
payments past May 1999, when the son
should have graduated. The son,
said, may have stayed in school to
remain a beneficiary of his
life insurance policy.
the son chose to pursue a double major,
allowed his course work to
far behind, and failed several required
courses is the son's responsibility,''
Stevens wrote. ''The father need not
bear the economic burden
of his son's deficient academic performance.''
I of course got screwed on this one.
I was AN EXCEPTION!! Thanks to Judge
Bill From VA