The Father, the Children — and the Girlfriend

Hope you’ve moved on from being stuffed from Thanksgiving.

This is the first of periodic updates on family law that I’ll be sending out to my clients and posting on our website:

Some people think that the child support a father (or mother) pay remains the same once a divorce decree is issued. Think again.

There are plenty of examples of judicial adjustments to child support, but there’s a recent Appellate Division ruling (Geller v. Geller), you need to know about. In that case, Magistrate Elizabeth Bloom cut a father’s child support obligation in half.

Why? Because, according to Bloom, two of the father’s four children were emancipated. That’s a term that means that the kids are on their own — no longer bound to their parents for financial support (or, in the case of child actors, they don’t have to get their parents’ approval to spend money they’ve earned as actors).

But wait, there’s more to this decision. While the father will pay less money in child support because of the emancipation of two of his children, this victory was tempered by another Bloom ruling in the case: The father was getting financial support, from (wait for it) his girlfriend. That’s right because his girlfriend is helping him pay his bills and other expenses, he’s going to have to pony up more money in child support, according to the formula prescribed by the law.

That’s not judges making law. In New York, there’s a law that specifically details child support obligations. It’s called the Child Support Standards Act. And it’s one of the laws that our law offices are extremely knowledgeable about.

It’s why you want to contact us on ALL family law matters.

Finally, I hope you enjoyed the first News and Views. If you have any questions you’d like my thoughts on, just send me an e-mail at sharova@sharovalaw.com. And, of course, we’re here by e-mail, phone, or text 24×7 for any family law concerns you might have.

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