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Third District Court of Appeals Holds That A Settlement Agreement Splitting the Costs Of A Private School In A Specific Year Does Not Require The Child To Attend Private School In Subsequent Years

July 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

 

 

In the case of Dawn Herman v. Brad Herman, the Third District Court of Appeals held that despite it having been specified in a Marital Settlement Agreement that a child would attend private school for the 2015-2016 school year, with the parents to split the expense, where the parents were required to create an account and fund it with $150,000 for use towards the child’s education with any unused funds to be paid to the child at 25 years of age, the Marital Settlement Agreement did not require the child to attend private school after the specified school year as it did not specifically state it.  The Third District Court of appeals stated that the issue of whether the child would attend a private school after the 2015-2016 school year had not been resolved by the Marital Settlement Agreement.  (The parties did however acknowledge a scrivener’s error as to the years so that was adjusted by the Court.)

This is a stark reminder that a Marital Settlement Agreement needs to be drafted carefully and express exactly what is intended to avoid these kinds of issues coming up later in relation to any issues, especially  parenting issues and private schooling.  The parties to an agreement need to read them carefully and not presume that they are covered if what they want is not specifically stated in the agreement.  

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