Child Support

When Parents Agree To Share Child’s College Expenses In Property Settlement Agreement Daughter Should Not Be Left With Uncertainty Regarding What Will Actually Be Paid, By Whom And When

In the child’s college expenses, family law case of DiPasquale v. Sampson, 202-4704, App. Div., New Jersey, the defendant former wife appealed the Family Part order resolving post-judgment orders concerning the parties’ 19-year-old daughter. Finding that where the parties’ Property Settlement Agreement provided that they would share college expenses, the motion judge’s decision to defer determination of payment for those expenses until they are due leaves defendant and her daughter with uncertainty regarding what will actually be reimbursed, by whom and when, and that the determination and allocation of educational expenses are distinct from the timing of payment, the panel remanded for further consideration by the judge. Because the daughter was living with her mother and not on campus, the panel found no error with respect to the judge’s determination that incidental expenses, including school supplies, computers, and other items included as part of child support, are not properly characterized as educational expenses and that expenses related to transportation are not reimbursable educational expenses because they are included in the child support calculation. The panel also remanded the issue of child support, finding that on remand, the motion judge will need to address the overall issue of whether there was a change in circumstances and, if there was, whether and to what extent plaintiff’s child support obligation should be modified and there should be a clear articulation, based on facts in the record and the applicable law, of the reasons for the decision.

Reference: Case & Analysis, New Jersey Law Journal, 218 N.J.L.J. 390, October 27, 2014

Filed Under: Child Support, College Education Expenses, Family Law

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