Under the parties’ divorce settlement agreement, the parents were not obligated to share their daughter’s sorority costs whether those costs were viewed as a college expenses or as extracurricular expenses. So held Nassau County Family Court Support Magistrate Sondra M. Toscano in her July 7th decision in Matter of C.A.B. v. D.S.B.

There, the parties’ 2021 Stipulation of Settlement provided in relevant part:

The parties agree and acknowledge that they shall contribute to the costs and expenses associated with each child’s college or post high school vocational education, with the Husband paying sixty five percent (65%) of such cost and the Wife paying thirty-five (35%) of such cost. . . . [t]he educational expenses referred to as the “Cost of College Education” shall consist of tuition, room and board, required supplies by the school, required fees of the college or university, and reasonable transportation expenses for the child for (4) round trips per year.

Magistrate Toscano recognized that the parties’ agreement unambiguously listed the specific college expenses that were to be shared. Sorority costs were not one of them.

However, the Magistrate did not stop there. Instead she considered the effect of language that did not so limit the items included in “college expenses.”Continue Reading Including “Including” in Agreements