Father Must Pay $112,500 of Daughter’s Cornell Law Bill
“The only party who wins in a divorce is the lawyer.” You’ve probably heard that axiom. Considering this week’s events, a new party should be added: Law schools.
With loan default rates creeping up to 12% according to TaxProf Blog, it’s nice to know schools are getting paid. In two cases, law school tuition is becoming a negotiable item in divorce settlements.
Let’s start with the case of James C. Livingston, a history professor at Rutgers University. A two-judge appellate panel ordered him to fork over half of his daughter’s tuition at Cornell: $112,500!
So is this another case of a deadbeat dad? Not really—more like a misunderstanding. In the 2009 settlement, Livingston agreed to split the cost of his daughter’s law school with his ex-wife. Regrettably, he and his daughter had a falling out. What’s more, Livingston believed his daughter would enroll at Rutgers Law immediately after graduation. Instead, she decided to work for a few years before enrolling at Cornell Law, where tuition is twice as much.
Alas, the judges nixed Livingston’s argument that the agreement was void, as his daughter was estranged and had chosen Cornell. Apparently, a professor can’t rewrite history (let alone divorce settlements). So the father is on the hook for tuition that amounts to nearly a year’s salary (before taxes), and another member of Gen-Y gets a free ride into adulthood.
If you think $112,500 is a lot of cash, just wait until NBA star Raymond Felton ponies up for his divorce (if he isn’t incarcerated first). The Knick guard, who was recently charged with possession of an illegal firearm (after allegedly threatening his wife with it), is scheduled to earn roughly $7,744,000 in the next two seasons, according to Rotoworld. That’s probably why he had his bride sign a prenup.
In the divorce documents, she alleges infidelity, so all bets are off. Along with alimony, she is seeking for Felton to pay for her final two years of law school at Fordham.
Two men in the New York metro area have now learned that hell hath no fury like a future lawyer scorned. Maybe they should form a club. In the meantime, Cornell and Fordham are looking forward to receiving their checks.
Source: New Jersey.com, TMZ
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