New York, NY asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for New York

Q: I divorced years ago, 13 years ago, and have been paying child support monthly since then.

This payment is based on the divorce decree. The child is now 18. The child has never been to the united states because of the mother's choosing. I provided opportunities for the child to study here in the USA after high school, but the mother decided that wouldnt work. I assume its so she can keep collecting child support money. The mother has had 2 more children (not mine) and took me to court twice for more money but the family court upheld the divorce decree and dismissed the cases. Nonetheless, I have been sending support, and paying school fees and buying books etc. The child and mother live in Jamaica (Caribbean). I have made numerous efforts to make a relationship with the child, but he is poisoned against me. That's ok, but now they seeking more child support and payment of tuition, and while I am willing to continue the support, I got him into university here for tuition that is much lower than what they are charging in Jamaica. Do I have a case to pay only monthly support?

1 Lawyer Answer
Robert B. Pollack
Robert B. Pollack
  • Jericho, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Your child is 18; have you asked your child where he or she would rather attend college, meaning, Jamaica or in the US? Looking back on the history you describe concerning her adversely impacting your relationship with your child, there could have been opportunities to reduce or eliminate child support back then. All of this would have been fact and circumstance dependent but now that there is a child who in NY, where the court would have no jurisdiction over as to custody and parenting time, still can make an order concerning and upward modification for basic child support and order you to pay your pro rata share of college. Of course, your argument that you could enroll your child in a less expensive college here may have some weight and in the worst case scenario, may operate as a cap as to your share of potential tuition and expenses in Jamaica. One way or the other, the Court will most likely fashion an order requiring the parents to contribute to the college education of their child. I would suggest that you retain an experienced family law attorney to represent you in this.

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