Tuesday, December 15, 2015

CHILD SUPPORT - ARE COLLEGE EXPENSES ALWAYS AWARDED?



Dougherty v. Dougherty, 2015 NY Slip Op 6705 - (September 2, 2015 App. Div. 2nd Dept. ):

""Unlike the obligation to provide support for a child's basic needs, support for a child's college education is not mandatory'" (Matter of Lynn v Kroenung, 97 AD3d 822, 823, quoting Cimons v Cimons, 53 AD3d 125, 127). "Instead, absent a voluntary agreement, whether a parent is obligated to contribute to a child's college education is dependent upon the exercise of the court's discretion in accordance with Domestic Relations Law § 240(1-b)(c)(7)' [Cimons v Cimons, 53 AD3d at 127], and an award will be made only as justice requires'" (Matter of Lynn v Kroenung, 97 AD3d at 823, quoting Domestic Relations Law § 240[1-b][c][7] [some internal quotation marks omitted]; see Matter of Levison v Trinkle, 70 AD3d 827, 830; Cimons v Cimons, 53 AD3d at 129). "[A] court must give due regard to the circumstances of the case and the respective parties, as well as both the best interests of the child and the requirements of justice" (Powers v Wilson, 56 AD3d 642, 643)."

But in this case, the court held: "Under the circumstances of this case, the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in apportioning 72% of the subject children's educational expenses to the defendant, and 28% to the plaintiff."

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