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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10484
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I current pay $16k support. My son is enrolled in college

Customer Question

I current pay $16k for child support. My son is enrolled in college can some of the support be applied to his college cost. Please note we are divorced and the divorce settlement says I must pay 64% of add on cost(which include college).It seems that I must continue to pay Child Support and 64% add on for college. That would be about Double my support is right now. We live in NY.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Was the support order entered in NY (that is relevant for child support issues- the date the parties currently reside in and which state issued the original support order)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Our Divorce settlement was in NY. Which included child support and Other add on expenses
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Pursuant to Domestic Relations Law 240 (1-b)(c)(7), the court can order a parent to pay both child support and college tuition, up until the child reaches age 21. As to whether one will receive a reduction for child support varies by judge; some judges look at it as the custodial parent still has the same expenses- ie maintaining the residence, clothing the child, plus incidentals of supporting a student. Others will look to see how often the child comes home-for example, if the child is gone most of the time and so many bills are being handled by the support order (ie room and board) the court does have discretion to lower support accordingly.

But generally, the party receiving the support can do with it as they wish and is under no obligation to use a portion of it for college, nor will the paying parent generally receive credit for voluntary contributions to college expenses. Which is odd, since NY is one of a handful of states that can order college expenses to be paid because they deem it to be in the child's best interest (for those that wish to attend college) yet they won't go so far as to credit a parent that is voluntarily paying for that expense.

There is case law that permits modification based on college expenses (due to room and board):

Guiry v. Guiry, 159 AD2d 556, 552 NYS2d 421;

Matter of Healy v. Healy, 190 AD2d 965.

So if the other parent will not agree to a stipulation to reduce child support, one would need to petition the court.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.