Saturday, July 19, 2014

Is there a rule / law you can point to stating that a support magistrate has discretion on what constitutes a change in ........

Q:  .....circumstances for revisiting child support? I'm asking to reduce child support to the $141K cap for Westchester, rather than basing it on my full adjusted gross income. My ex drained our home equity account during the divorce and siphoned off upwards of $1K/mo in cash for years. I'm struggling to support our 22 year old daughter through her last year of college -- she needs a 5th year to graduate due to PTSD from his abuse. I'm paying my ex about 3K/mo for child support, medical, etc. for our 15 year old -- when it should really be 1K since her monthly expenses are 2K. He's taking her on vacations to London, China, etc. and I can't even afford a weekend at the beach. I've turned in private eye findings showing that he has a lot more money than on his financial affidavit.

A:  David's Answer:  Was the original support based on a divorce agreement, or mere order/judgment? If based on an agreement, what (if anything) did it say about the standard for modification? And how long ago was it done? The answers to these questions make a difference in the reply given to you. Otherwise, statutorily the Magistrate has discretion on whether the $141,000 cap applies or now - factors considered are captured in the seminal case of Cassano v. Cassano (& its progeny). You're best advised to schedule a consult with a White Plains Family Law attorney for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

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