Daughter Sues Dad When He Stops Paying Tuition

GOP 2016 Convention

When Dana Soderberg’s parents’ split, her dad agreed to help pay for college. But, he didn’t, so she took him to court and won.

Howard and Deborah Soderberg, of Stratford, divorced in 2004 and part of their agreement was for Howard to pay for his children’s education, according to the Connecticut Law Tribune.

A year later, Dana did something that many children might not do. She handed dad a contract to sign saying he would pay her college tuition until she was 25, as well as school expenses and her car insurance.

They agreed that Dana would make an effort to obtain student loans and dad would pay them. Howard’s sister, Patricia, co-signed the contract, the Tribune reports.

Dana did go on to college, attending Southern Connecticut State University, where she studied art and things were going fine until Dana was about to start senior year, the Tribune reports.

With another year to go, Dana took out a $20,000 loan. But, once she graduated, she sued dad for breach of contract.

When the case went to court, Howard Soderberg represented himself and said Dana breached the agreement by “not making reasonable efforts to apply for student loans, by failing to attend classes full time, and by not providing him with receipts for tuition and other school-related expenses,” the Tribune reports.

Dana’s attorney, Renee C. Berman, said Dana needed expensive art supplies for her classes, dad was often late in making tuition payments and that forced Dana to drop out of certain classes, Berman told the Tribune.

Judge Trial Referee William L. Hadden Jr. sided with Dana and issued a written opinion on June 3.

The ruling is for $47,000, including the loan, interest, attorney fees and missed car insurance payments, Berman said.

Berman told the Tribune that Howard still maintains “somewhat” of a relationship with his other children and has paid for their education.

Contact Us