My daughter is going to college. My exwife asked to help with college and is willing to stop receieving child support. where do we start in New York
If your daughter is under the age of 21 and is going to school, you will not be able to "stop" paying child support. However, you and your ex-wife can agree that your child support payment will be made in the form of college expense contribution instead of payments of support to her. (in other words, payment to your daughter directly, to her school, or payment for other expenses on her behalf, instead of payment to your ex-wife). You and your ex-wife should consult with an attorney to prepare a proper agreement with regard to modification of child support. The sooner this is done, the sooner the support obligation will stop (or be modified, more correctly).
LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Rosen practices matrimonial and family law in Great Neck, NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. You are strongly advised to confer with an attorney in your own state to acquire more information suited to your particular circumstances.
You would start by filing a petition in Family Court or motion in Supreme Court for termination or modification of the court order. You will need a certified copy of your judgment of divorce. Both you and your ex-wife would have to appear in court and request the termination of the prior child support order based upon your agreement to pay towards the cost of college. If you also signed a stipulation of settlement, you would need to have a new agreement prepared to amend the prior agreement as well as file a petition or motion to terminate the child support.
I believe that you need a lawyer to prepare the court documents. If you do not enter into an amended agreement and court order, your ex-wife could sue you for the child support at a later time since the statute of limitations for child support is 20 years.
Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitution for legal advice. Answering a question does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, you should consult or retain legal counsel.
It sounds like you and your ex have reached an agreement that you will make certain contributions to your daughter's college expenses in lieu of certain child support obligations. If that is the case, you will need to file a petition with the court that issued the most recent support order, and you will need to satisfy the court that your plan is in the child's best interests, which should not be difficult to do if both parents are in agreement. Please keep in mind that depending upon the age of your child and the financial circumstances of the parents, the court may have the authority to order a contribution to college expenses in addition to payment of basic child support. Nevertheless, if your agreement is fair to all concerned, the court will go along with it. If you are not sure how to proceed, it would be a good idea to consult with a local attorney so you can obtain specific advice after consideration of your individual circumstances, and so you can receive guidance about how to achieve your purpose quickly and efficiently. Good luck!
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