COA affirms father in contempt for not paying education expenses

June 24, 2015

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding of a trial court that a daughter did not repudiate her father following a fall out over a car, so her father was required to continue paying her post-secondary educational expenses.

In Stanley Kahn v. Beverly (Kahn) Baker 29A02-1409-DR-663, Stanley Kahn appealed the ruling that his daughter Madeline Kahn did not repudiate him, that he was in contempt for failing to pay her college and medical expenses, and the award of attorney fees to his ex-wife, Beverly Baker.

Madeline Kahn and her father had a serious dispute over whether she could take her car back to college in Georgia. Stanley Kahn took the car away. She did not speak to her father over the phone or see him in person for nearly a year, but she continued to send him text messages and emails.

Madeline Kahn’s graduation date had to be pushed back in order for her to complete certain courses. Following the fall out, Stanley Kahn stopped paying for education and medical expenses beginning with the summer 2012 session.

The judges affirmed the trial court’s finding that the level of discord that existed between the father and daughter did not rise to the level of repudiation so as to obviate Stanley Kahn’s obligation to pay the expenses specified in the agreed order following his divorce from Beverly.

The appeals court also noted had father paid for his daughter’s 2012 summer session, she would have been able to graduate on time as originally planned.

The lower court erred in finding that Beverly Kahn should be responsible for her daughter’s room and board expenses for the 2012 summer and fall sessions and the 2013 spring session on purely equitable grounds. The agreed entry clearly states father is responsible for housing and there is no distinction in the agreed entry between on- or off-campus housing, as father contended.


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