Q: I currently have a child support order not based on guidelines. Can support be stopped for college students?
Support is being paid for 3 children, ages 20, 18 and 16. Two in college and one in high school. Ex wants to discontinue support. Can he do so?
A: Thank you for your question. I am sorry to having a problem with the ex with regards to college and child support. As long as the child is in college, a child is not emancipated and, as such, the non-custodial parent (X) has to pay child support. However, he may be entitled to a reduction of child support based on a number of factors inclusive of his contribution towards college costs and whether or not the children are aware college or are commuting to college. In order to more fully address these factors, in order to make sure that your rights are protected and you receive everything you are entitled to, I strongly suggest you schedule an appointment with a Family Law attorney to discuss your matter further.
A: As to the child in high school, the answer is No, he cannot stop paying child support for his benefit. As to the older 2 children, its a little more complicated and the starting point is whether those 2 children are attending college and living at home or away at school. If both older children are living at home while attending college, the next series of questions to ask are:
is how much is your ex contributing to each child's college costs, what is his current total income setting, what is your total income setting, how much ( if anything) was set aside in 529 / custodial accounts for them and how much are you & the children contributing to their college costs.
Once this information is known, then a determination can be made as to whether to continue the current child support amount, whether a reduction in the amount of child support is appropriate or whether an increase in child support is appropriate.
If the older 2 children live away at college, then based on your respective contributions to their college costs, he may be entitled to a reexamination of the amount he pays directly to you for their support needs.
The best way to address this setting is to get an education. Contact our office at 973-379-9292 to schedule a consultation with one of the partners in the firm or schedule a consultation with another family law specialist.
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