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Utah divorce settlements can be enforced even years later

The decisions that Utah couples make when they end their marriages are ones they will have to live with for years to come. The terms of a divorce settlement are binding on both parties. If one party fails to comply with the terms of that agreement, the other party may return to court to request further orders from the court.

For instance, a couple divorced in another state back in 2009. As part of their divorce settlement, they agreed to each pay half of their daughter's law school tuition so long as she maintained a grade point average of "C" or better. Shortly before the couple divorced, their daughter received her bachelor's degree.

In 2012, the parties' daughter was accepted to Cornell Law School. When her father refused to pay his half of the tuition ($112,000), her mother took him to court. He claimed that since he was estranged from his daughter, he should not have to pay. Further, he offered to pay her tuition to a law school in the family's home state of New Jersey, which would be cheaper. The judge disregarded his arguments and ordered him to pay.

Utah couples may want to carefully consider the possible future ramifications of the decisions they make during the divorce process. Once a settlement is negotiated and executed, each party is responsible for fulfilling his or her obligations under that agreement. It can be difficult to consider all of the contingencies involved in each decision, but eliminating as many potential issues as possible could prevent problems in the future.

Source: nj.com, NJ court orders divorced father to pay half of daughter's pricey law school expenses, Jeff Goldman, March 5, 2014

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