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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Hi - when we tried mediation, all we got out of it (and NONE

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Hi - when we tried mediation, all we got out of it (and NONE of this is on paper or official, mind you) was that he would agree to pay $400 a month in child support in the winter (when he had less gigs) and $600 in the summer -- and his half of the health insurance premiums for myself, himself and our 19 year old daughter, (because of course, this is in HIS interest) as well as her cell phone costs (I pay for her travel expenses for moving in and out of school and travelling for holidays in exchange for the cell costs). What if (when I file suit, because mediation has been getting nowhere really slowly, because of the property issue which the mediator never got us past) he can't afford beyond child support and insurance? You know, the "extra" stuff, educational, medical dental out of pocket, activities, expected family contribution to college tuition, etc. Can he be made to take a "hit" in the marital assets department?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,

New York is an equitable distribution state. That means that the assets are divided in a manner that's fair, which is not necessarily equal. The judge starts with a presumption that it's 50/50, but he can change that. If your income and assets, plus child support, aren't enough to help cover your daughter's expenses, that might be a reason to ask the judge to award you a greater portion of the marital assets. There's some discretion involved (although there are no guarantees). The judge will also consider whether paying for your daughter's college education is something that the two of you had discussed and agreed to do prior to the divorce.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would a judge take into consideration that her father chooses to work only 11.5 hours a week during the school year and as a part-time sax player during wedding season (Apr - Nov) when school is not in session? In other words, can it not be argued that he could contribute more if he worked more?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Yes. The judge can also impute income to him, which means looking at how much a person with his training and experience COULD make, using reasonably efforts, and order him to pay 17% of that amount. The idea is to help ensure that people don't benefit (and avoid their responsibilities) by remaining voluntarily underemployed.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19525
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you! You have been a great help to me to be able to check my emotional responses (for JUSTICE!) against what is appropriate according the the law...thanks for your balanced replies...not always what I want to hear, but what I need to know.

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