If you weren’t consulted about the college your child chooses, do you have to pay?

UPDATED: Sep 21, 2012

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If you weren’t consulted about the college your child chooses, do you have to pay?

If you verbally agreed with a child that if the went to a school with dorming they would be responsbile for the dorming cost, are you responsible for their loan? Can a parent be put in jail for not paying a childs student loans? The loans are in the child’s name.

Asked on September 21, 2012 under Family Law, New York


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are not responsible financially for your children who are over 18 and no longer reside with you.  This is even more true if you do not claim him or her as a dependant. You need to understand that a verbal agreement over a certain amount is not enforceable unless in writing. What you need to do is ensure your child has not planned on including you as a co-signer. If not a co-signer, you have no tie to this loan. Make sure you explain that you were not consulted on the school and had you been, you would not have agreed to anything because there was no meeting of the minds on where your child would go and what you would agree to with respect to that choice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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