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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.

Father Retires to Reduce Child Support Expenses

child-150x1501Justice Janowitz, sitting in the Supreme Court of Nassau County, recently dealt with a case involving a father who voluntarily retired, for the sole purpose of reducing his financial obligations for child support. In this case, the wife sued her husband based on cruel and inhuman treatment for a divorce. A stipulation was entered into dealing with custody, support, maintenance and equitable distribution of property.

Retirement Reduces Father’s Income

The father was a former police officer. He voluntarily retired, which had the impact of reducing his income from $210,000 a year to $60,000 a year. Query: Did I make a mistake in going to law school?

Justice Janowitz’s decision pointed out that the father’s voluntary retirement took place one week after he granted the divorce. Justice Janowitz found that the father’s reasons for retiring were not credible. The father had argued that his retirement was based on maximizing his pension benefits. Judge Janowitz pointed out, in his decision, that this was unsubstantiated by the evidence submitted to the court. The Judge stated in his decision that the reason for the father’s retirement was solely related to reducing his child support obligations. Judge Janowitz imputed to the father his pre-retirement income and awarded the mother $34,680 annually in child support.

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 litigate paternity, child support, child custody, child visitation, spousal 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.

Fathers’ Rights Issues, Child Support and Visitation

If you are obligated to make child support payments and your spouse refuses to give you visitation, can you stop making these child support payments? The answer to this question is no. A spouse who has child support financial obligations must make these payments whether or not he or she has access to the child for visitation. It takes a court order to reduce or eliminate child support payments. A court will not reduce or eliminate your child support if your visitation is interfered with.

Child Support and Disability

Can you reduce child support payments if you become disabled through no fault of your own and are unable to work? The answer to this question is yes. However, there is an issue as to at what point your child support payments are reduced. Imagine this scenario, you are in a car accident and hospitalized for a period of a month. Thereafter, you’re in the rehabilitation facility for another two months. When you get your strength up, you bring a proceeding three months after the accident to reduce your child support. In a logical, fair-minded world, the court would grant your child support reduction as of the date you were injured three months ago. This may not be the case if you bring a child support modification proceeding in the state of New York. There are cases that hold that child support arrears may not be reduced retroactively, even when the defaulting party can show good cause for his or her failure to make an application for the relief from a judgment or an order of child support prior to the accrual of the arrears.

Downward Modifications of Child Support

Let’s take another scenario. You’re making $75,000 a year at your job. You lose your job. You diligently look for another job and you find a job for $50,000 a year. On January 1, 2011, you bring a proceeding in the family court in New York State for downward modification of child support payments. In June of 2010, you are successful and your child support payments are reduced. In this case, the child support is reduced retroactive to the January 1, 2011 date when you brought your proceeding.

Query – If there’s been an overpayment to child support services, will they refund your money? In a fair and perfect world, of course they would refund your overpayment. Unfortunately, we live in New York State. That doesn’t happen in New York. Over payments of child support are not refunded!

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Protecting Fathers’ Rights

We protect fathers’ rights. We litigate issues in divorces. We deal with both the criminal and the family court problems involved with orders of protection. We help our clients obtain child custody. When child custody is not requested, we obtain visitation for our clients. We litigate child abuse and child neglect issues. We provide a defense in child abuse cases. When there are questions of paternity, we litigate paternity issues. We educate our clients concerning no-fault divorces and attorney fees in divorces. We represent fathers in high net worth and high income divorce situations. We deal with relocation problems, parental alienation, parental alienation syndrome and we negotiate separation agreements when applicable. Call us. Fathers deserve equal treatment!

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore

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