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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36985
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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, well, I just inherited 200,000. I pay 1200 in chil;d

Customer Question

Customer: ***** *****
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: well, I just inherited 200,000. I pay 1200 in chil;d support for one child. My daughter goes to college next year and I am wondering if that counts as income. In my divorce papers it says I have to pay 80 percent but that was 20 years ago when I made over 200000. Now I make 70,000
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
by the way, I am in the state of New York
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Has your ex filed anything in court to modify the child support amount?

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Have you done so based on your reduction in income?

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Is your ex aware of your inheritance?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1) she had not filed 2) no 3) she is aware of the inheritance
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but college is coming up. I wanted to put the money into my mortgage
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then this could be a situation where the two factors end up offsetting each other... You would be entitled to a reduction in your support obligation based on your "changed circumstances" but an inheritance would then tip the scale the other way because any change in your financial situation to the better could justify an increase. So since this was a one time inheritance, and you apparently have been paying support based on your old income of $200K a year, a judge would likely just leave it where it is or even lower it a bit if your ex filed a motion to modify and you then asked to have it reduced..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she will probably go after me for college in June, not the modification. will the judge consider the inheritance to pay for college.? Most of my 401k was deplete in the last 3 years. it needs to be restored. Also, can I use asset protection tools, like a self settled trust in south Dakota. Will that protect me from the divorce predator?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry, but I can’t engage in a private one on one phone call as that could imply an attorney-client relationship which I am prohibited from entering into under my independent contractor agreement with JustAnswer.

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I very much doubt it that a judge would make you pay for college if it isn't already in the order. The judge can order it, but normally does so in the initial order for support. Considering your reduced income, if the judge hasn't already ordered it, then it is unlikely he would do so now.

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As for putting the money somewhere, that wouldn't protect it from the judge's orders as he would just potentially bump up the amount for support based on you having that asset at one time. He doesn't care that you put it in a trust, or gifted it to someone, or paid down a mortgage with it. That is assuming that he made an upward revision, which I think is unlikely.

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Your best argument is that you have been paying a support amount based on a $200K income for XX years, but haven't earned $200K in YY years so you have actually been overpaying since your income has dropped substantially over the years..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thats okay...the college is in the original order 18 years ago. but I never had it modified. it said I had to pay 80 percent. that's when college was 15000 a year. Now she is applying to colleges 34000 a year. I did have a modification 3 years ago. but the college clause was never touched or modified.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then you would want to respond to any modification request by asking for a reduction in your college obligation based on a "change in circumstances" due to the lower income. The inheritance is a one time receipt, but the support obligation has basically increased as a percentage of your income due to your earnings being lower. So an equitable offset would be that you get college reduced to 50% or so, rather than having to pay the lion's share...

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thanks

Barrister