Child, Spousal & Post-Secondary Support

Goldberg Jones Child Support, Goldberg Jones Radio, Spousal Support Leave a Comment

Rick recently stopped by KZOK to share insight and advice for callers having divorce and family law issues. This most recent installment of Life Coach had Rick covering lots of questions about support—everything from post-secondary support to alimony (also known as spousal support).

The first caller needed Rick’s guidance on how his daughter’s relocation might affect his support payments. The caller asked, “I have a daughter who I will be paying support for another year and a half. She has moved out of her mother’s house. Will I need to continue making payments to her mother’s house or can I make the payment to my daughter’s new household? What is the process?”

Rick advised that caller that he should not stop making support payments and that he should contact the support enforcement officer.  He should let the support enforcement officer know there has been a change of residence and ask their advice. While not an attorney, they are knowledgeable about support enforcement and it can be helpful to have them on his side. If they say to ‘just keep paying and they will figure it out on their end’, filing a support modification may be the next step.

Another option, if there is still a decent relationship with the ex, would be to work directly with the child’s mother to have her pass along the support payments. The effectiveness of this approach will depend on how trustworthy the other party is.

The first caller’s support question opened the door for Danny to seek Rick’s advice on custody and support payments. Danny’s question: ”My son Dante is coming up for the entire month. Can I keep the support payment for that month?” Rick’s answer: “No.” Rick elaborated by letting Danny know that unless it was negotiated in the original court order, it is unlikely that there is a provision for abatement during periods of residential time.

Spousal Support

The next caller shifted the focus from child support to spousal support— specifically her husband’s ex-wife’s support. The caller’s husband was previously married. He divorced after 13 years and his now ex-wife gets half of his retirement and pretty much everything else including a $1,000 a month support payment. The caller wanted to know “It has been more that 8 years, is it possible to modify the arrangement?”

Rick inquired if there was a trial. There wasn’t. Unfortunately for the caller the answer to her question is no. Because the caller’s husband agreed to the deal a modification is unlikely.

Post-Secondary Support

Continuing on the topic of support, the third caller inquired about post-secondary support. The caller’s husband was served papers to help pay for post secondary education and continued support payments for his daughter after she turned 18.

The papers were served incorrectly—they were found on the front porch. In a recent court appearance the judge informed the ex-wife that she will need to re-serve the papers or amend the paperwork for serving.  The caller wanted to know how long does the ex-wife have to reserve the paperwork before the window of opportunity is closed and she can no longer seek post-secondary support?

Post-secondary support is a common topic in June. Graduation and kids going off to college has many parents thinking about child support after the age of 18. Rick pointed out that this caller’s situation highlights a technicality. To raise the issue of post secondary support the action needs to be brought before the child turns 18 or finishes high school.

In the caller’s situation the child is already 18, so the issue becomes the date of finishing high school. One way that a judge or commissioner can interpret this is by using the date of graduation as the date of finishing high school.  In practice, it is common for courts to expand the date of completing high school to include the entire month where the obligation of support still exists—in this situation that would be the entire month of June. If the ex-wife doesn’t serve the papers properly by the end of June there will be a solid argument that she didn’t effectuate service within the proper time.

You can hear all of Rick’s advice in the clip below. Or give us a call for answers to your specific questions. Whether it is child support, spousal support, or post-secondary support, it can be overwhelming and confusing. If you need answers about support, divorce, custody, or any other family law question, please give us a call (206) 448-1010. We are happy to answer your questions over the phone at no charge and no obligation.

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