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Child Support and College Expenses

child-150x150The Child Support Standards Act provides a formula for child support payments. A non-residential custodial parent pays child support of 17% of gross wages, less FICA and less New York City taxes (where applicable), when there is one child receiving support. The figure goes up to 25% for two children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children and 35% for five children.

What happens to the child support when the he or she attends college?

The main expenses in college involve tuition and room and board if the child is not living at home. Recent cases hold that a parent paying child support should receive a dollar for dollar credit for all monies paid by the parent for room and board while the child is attending an out of town college.

Issues with regard to payments of tuition are more complicated. Some courts have held that parents should pay tuition up to the cost of a state university of New York college education based on the earnings of each parent. An example of this would be if one parent made $70,000 a year and the other parent made $30,000 a year. The parent making the $70,000 a year would pay 70% of the tuition costs and the parent making $30,000 would pay 30% of the tuition costs. This only works if the parents have the financial ability to make these payments.

College funding gets more complicated when there is more than one child receiving child support. Since most divorce cases are settled, the issues of college expenses, whether they be room and board, transportation or tuition, should be clearly delinated in the stipulation of settlement or settlement agreement entered into between the parties. These agreements are quite technical in nature and should only be drafted by qualified attorneys with extensive experience in handling matrimonial and family law matters.

If you are involved in a divorce or negotiating a separation agreement, it is important to consider the interaction between college expenses and child support at the time the agreement is being negotiated.

Fathers’ Rights Attorneys

If you’re a father with matrimonial and family law problems, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you. For 34 years, we have aggressively litigated all types of issues on behalf of the fathers we have represented. We have an expertise in dealing with child abuse and child neglect situations. We litigatepaternitychild supportchild custodychild visitationspousal maintenance (alimony), and we bring proceedings for the downward modification of child support on behalf of our clients.

We advise our clients with regard to all types of issues in divorce proceedings. We assist our clients in obtaining divorces on the basis of irreconcilable differences under the new New York No Fault Divorce Statute. We litigate equitable distribution of property in divorce proceedings. When the mother relocates, we bring relocation litigation to bring the child back to New York or change custody to the father. Should the mother turn the child against the father, we litigate issues involving parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome. In addition, we assist grandparents with grandparents’ rights cases. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

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