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Divorce and College Tuition Expenses for Children (Part 2)


State University of New York (SUNY)

At this point in the discussion (refer to yesterday’s post for “Part 1” of this article), the attorney for one of the parties usually suggests the parents’ exposure for payment of college expenses should be limited to a “SUNY CAP”. The SUNY CAP is defined as either the cost of sending the children to one of the

SUNY schools or the cost of sending the children to the most expensive SUNY school.

The purpose for utilizing a SUNY CAP in divorce proceedings is to limit the potential expenses of a college education while allowing the children to attend a college in the SUNY system, which is considered one of the best state wide college education systems in the country.Using today’s costs, an education at a SUNY school costs approximately $18,000.00 a year, whereas an education at a private college, such as Syracuse University, would cost approximately $55,000.00 per year. As you can see, there is a large gap between the private university costs and the SUNY college tuition expenses. It should be noted this does not take into consideration scholarships, financial aid or loans that might be available to students attending a private university. These may bring the cost down considerably.

The SUNY CAP In Case Law

The SUNY CAP is used so often by divorce lawyers in settlement agreements that a questions arises as to whether this is a standard to be applied in divorces in New York. This question was answered by Supreme Court Justice Mathew F. Cooper, who sits in Manhattan Supreme Court, in the case of Pamela T. vs. Mark B. In this case, Judge Cooper stated “but there is one thing the SUNY system should not be. Contrary to what proponents of a wide and liberal application of the SUNY CAP might argue, the SUNY system should not be the assumed destination for a child of divorce.”

In the case before Judge Cooper, a child fought to go to Syracuse University. The parents were both lawyers who had been divorced in 2008. Both of the parents earn in excess of $100,000 a year. Judge Cooper’s decision stated the parents had
The court’s prior decision in the 2008 Judgment of Divorce did not deal with the issue of college expenses for the two children of the marriage. Judge Cooper ordered the father, Mark B., to pay 40% of the son’s college education at Syracuse, which was approximately $21,000 per year.The moral of this story is that the details of college education expenses for children should be laid out in a separation agreement or stipulation of settlement. This will eliminate future questions regarding college education responsibilities.

resources in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although the mother was willing to pay for half of the cost of sending one of her sons to Syracuse University, the father was not. He only wished to pay half of the expense to send his son to the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Fathers who come to our law office often claim that they are treated like second class citizens in the Family Court regarding child custody, visitation, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony), orders of protection and issues involving child abuse and child neglect. They also relate to us that in divorce proceedings in the Supreme Court they are not treated fairly. Our law office represents fathers with regard to all types of proceedings in the Family Court and the Supreme Court. We aggressively protect fathers’ rights. We deal with difficult issues, such as downward modifications of child support, relocation problems, parental alienation cases and issues involving parental alienation syndrome. For more than 33 years, we have been recognized as one of the premier fathers’ rights law firms in the Metropolitan New York area. If you have matrimonial or family problems, we can help you. Call for a consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Girl Unable to get Order of Protection Against Boyfriend’s Wife!

This is a case involving two women who have children from the same man. The Queens Family Court has held that this does not place them in an “intimate relationship”; therefore, they have not met the standard for an order of protection regarding non-family members under the jurisdiction of the Family Court in the State of New York.

In 2008, the Family Court Act in New York expanded the jurisdiction of the Family Court, allowing the court to issue orders of protection to extended family members outside the immediate family.

In a case before Judge DePhillips, a father had three children. One by his wife, Mary R., and two by his girlfriend, Jane P. The father, at the present time, lives with his girlfriend and their two children. His wife lives at a separate location with his other child.

The father and wife are not divorced. The father has never divorced his wife, they just live separately. They’ve also been litigating issues involving custody of their five year old for a considerable period of time. In August of 2010, the wife obtained an order of protection from the Family Court against her husband. On the very same day that the wife received an order of protection against her husband, the girlfriend received an order or protection against the wife. This was based on the girlfriend’s allegation that the wife had pushed one of her children and threatened to kill her if she didn’t leave her husband alone.

Judge DePhillips was faced with the issue as to whether the Family Court had jurisdiction to render an order of protection between the girlfriend and wife. Judge DePhillips dismissed the girlfriend’s request for an order of protection. She found that the two mothers relationship was only incidental to the ongoing litigation between the father and the mother for custody of their five year daughter and, therefore, the Family Court did not have jurisdiction to grant this order of protection. Judge DePhillips stated that, since there was not a stepmother relationship between the girlfriend and the mother, there wasn’t a sufficient connection between them to create an extended family to bring the application for the order of protection within the confines of the Family Court Act. The order of protection application by the girlfriend was therefore dismissed.

Long Island Divorce Lawyer

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has been representing both men and women in divorce proceedings for more than thirty three years. We litigate all types of matrimonial and family court related proceedings including, but not limited to, orders of protection; child custody; child abuse; child neglect; divorce; divorce grounds; annulment; division of property; fathers’ rights; mothers’ rights; and high net worth divorces. In amicable situations, we participate in mediation, drafting pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements and separation agreements. We also represent individuals in same sex relationships. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

Pet Torturer Sentenced

handcuff-150x150Sharon McDonough may permanently lose custody of her children! Sharon McDonough has been found guilty in Suffolk County, New York, of torturing and killing pets. She raised her children in what has been referred to as horrid conditions. Judge C. Randall Hinrich’s sentenced Ms. McDonough to two years in jail. He stated that her crimes were absolutely horrific. Her behavior has been referred to as sinister and evil.

Children Sleeping in Filth

The investigation concerning Ms. McDonough’s household found that her daughter slept in what can be only described as filthy conditions. Her children were forced to watch her torturing and abusing animals. Ms. McDonough choked a maltese dog to death. She did this in front of her ten year old daughter in June of 2006.

Son Turns in His Mother

Sharon McDonough had a son named Douglas. When he moved out of the home, he turned her into Rescue Inc., an animal rescue organization. He advised the animal rescue organization that he was concerned for the safety and well being of his sisters. Sharon McDonough is an embarrassment. Hopefully, she will receive counseling in prison to deal with her violent, abusive, sadistic behavior.

Family Law Attorneys

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has been representing individuals in family related matters for more than thirty years. We represent our clients concerning separation agreements, annulments, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, child abuse and child neglect cases, as well as child custody matters. We litigate orders or protection in the family court. We represent clients in all aspects of divorce proceedings including, but not limited to, divorce grounds, equitable distribution and high net worth issues. Call us at 1-800-3446431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802 if you need a matrimonial or family law attorney in the Metropolitan New York area.

The Cruise From Hell

cruise-150x150In November of 2010, 4,500 passengers embarked on a cruise on the Carnival Splendor. The cruise ended-up being a horrible experience for everyone involved. At or around dawn, many passengers awoke to a shaking of the entire ship. When they went out to the hallway, it was filled with smoke. Crew members told passengers to go to the life boats. The passengers, who were in their night clothes, left their rooms and headed towards the lifeboats. Although it wasn’t necessary for the passengers to abandon the Carnival Splendor, they were stranded for three days under difficult circumstances.

A fire caused the ship to lose power. This caused all the food on the ship to spoil. The ship was in the dark. At the time this happened, the ship was too far from land for cell phones to work. The ship was without air conditioning, hot water or hot food. All of the toilets backed up and the ship developed a stench from human waste. Navy helicopters had to supply food to the ship through an air lift. The cabins were without air conditioning. They were stuffy and hot.

The cruise ship was brought into San Diego harbor by tug boats. The Carnival Cruise Ship Line is giving all passengers a refund. In addition to the cost of the cruise, they are also refunding air fares and providing all passengers with a free cruise.

I have never taken a cruise. My major reason for not going on a cruise is that there are no tennis courts on cruise ships. I also like to stay in one place. My wife and I have recently discussed going on a cruise. I don’t look forward to being in a place that I can’t leave, especially if there are problems. I have no intention of going on a cruise in the near future.

Our Law Firm Can Help You

Our law firm has a history of protecting fathers’ rights. We represent fathers in divorce proceedings. We assist fathers regarding orders of protection. We also litigate child custody, visitation, child support and spousal maintenance issues.

Should you be involved in matrimonial or family court problems, call us. We are available 24/7 to assist you. Our office has more than eighty years of combined legal experience representing individuals in matrimonial and family court situations. We take an aggressive stance in representing our clients. Feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516- 561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Houses in Divorce can Only be Sold at the End of the Case

housesINdivorce-150x150In a recent case heard in Manhattan Supreme Court, Justice Milton A. Tingling ordered the sale of a Queens home by a receiver at a price set by the Court.  The home was ordered sold during the course of the marriage.The Appellate Division (an appeals court) ruled that Justice Tingling should not have sold the home during the pendency of the proceeding while the valuation on the appraisal report had not been turned over to the parties.

Dr. Steven Thomas Moran had brought a proceeding for the appointment of a receiver to sell the marital home at the start of the divorce proceeding.  He contended that his wife, Justine Claire Moran, had prevented the sale of the home by asking for $850,000.00 as the listing price of the home.  Dr. Moran claimed that this was more than $200,000.00 above the house’s market value.  Justice Tingling ordered that a receiver be appointed because Mrs. Moran had listed the home at a level “grossly in excess of any appraised value”.

Two weeks before this appeal was argued, on September 15, 2010, both sides were able to work out a settlement.  Unfortunately, Justice Timberling, did not approve the settlement until two weeks after the case was argued before the Appellate Division.

Decision of the Appellate Division

The Appellate Division stated that the law is well settled that prior to the entry of the Judgment of Divorce, a court may not order the sale of marital property.  This is specifically true for assets held in tenancy by the entirety (equal shares by the spouses).

Long Island Divorce Lawyers

Our law office has an extensive practice representing individuals in divorce proceedings.  We actively litigate custody proceedings, family court proceedings,as well issues involving the division of property and annulments.  We protect fathers’ rights and mothers’ rights in divorce proceedings.  Should you have an issue involving a matrimonial or family legal matter, feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

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