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Cases of Interest: Child Support
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ALASKA: Douglas v. State, 20 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1482 (Alaska Aug. 5, 1994).
The mother had been assessed $50 per month in child support for her seven children, the minimum amount imposable under the Alaska Child Support Guidelines. Subsequently, she was incarcerated in California for a crime unrelated to nonsupport.
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CALIFORNIA: In re Marriage of Destein, No. A090293 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2001).
The husband objected to the trial court imputing a rate of return on his separate property real estate which was nonincome producing.
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CALIFORNIA: In re Marriage of Carlton, No. B142866 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2001).
In this case, the husband sought to reduce spousal and child support in connection with a request for custody of one of the children.
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CALIFORNIA: In re Damico, ___ Cal. 4th ___, 29 Cal. Rptr. 2d 787, 872 P.2d 126 (1994)
Two different California appellate districts have reached conflicting conclusions in applying the Damico rule to an action by the state to collect child support arrearages paid on behalf of a custodial spouse's children.
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FLORIDA: Yockey v. Yockey, No. 4D00-3332 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. May 16, 2001).
In this case, the father had petitioned to modify the amount of unallocated child support after his oldest child reached the age of majority.
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IDAHO: Pace v. Pace, No. 26114 (Idaho Ct. App. May 10, 2001).
The husband appealed an order granting the wife's petition to modify child support.
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IDAHO: Noble v. Fisher, 21 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1290 (Idaho 1995).
A parent's earnings from a second job are includable in his or her income for purposes of computing their respective child support obligations under the state guidelines.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Letsinger, No. 94-D-1297 (IL. App. Ct. May 7, 2001).
In this case, the husband filed a bankruptcy petition and was discharged of the marital debts allocated to him in the judgment of dissolution.
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ILLINOIS: In re Minnear, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 679 N.E.2d 856 (1997).
The Appellate Courts of Illinois are now in conflict over whether depreciation constitutes an "expenditure for the repayment of debt" and is thus deductible from gross income for the purpose of determining net income for child support.
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ILLINOIS: In re Davis, 1997 WL 189475 (Ill. App. Ct. Apr. 18, 1997).
All child support guidelines provide that in the case of a self-employed parent income shall be determined by subtracting "ordinary and necessary expenses" from gross receipts.
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INDIANA: Miller v. Miller, 763 N.E.2d 1009 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002).
The parties were married for seven years when the husband filed a dissolution petition in April 2000. No children were born of the marriage, although the husband had adopted the wife's son from a prior relationship. At the time of their marriage, the wife was the owner of a home purchased with a down payment of $10,000, which was a loan from her mother.
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INDIANA: Carmichael v. Siegel, No. 29A02-0011-CV-740 (Ind. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2001).
In this case, the court addressed a potpourri of child support guidelines issues. The mother contended that the trial court improperly figured her child support obligation because: (1) it improperly found her to be underemployed; (2) it improperly imputed income to her based upon the expected annual returns of her IRAs;
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IOWA: In re Huisman, 21 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1278 (Iowa Ct. App. 1995).
A parent's fringe benefits from a job, such as unrestricted use of an employee-provided vehicle, may be sufficient reason to deviate from the state's mandated support guidelines. The court noted that a parent's salary package can be substantially enhanced by non-salary items.
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LOUISIANA: Preis v. Preis, 631 So. 2d 1349 (La. Ct. App. 1994).
The parties separated in October 1990 and were granted a divorce in December 1991. The court set the husband's child support obligation for three adolescent daughters at $6,449 per month. Subsequent to the divorce, the court ordered the husband to pay the wife $689 per month in alimony.
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LOUISIANA: Fusilier v. John son, 626 So. 2d 65 (La. Ct. App. 1993).
The parties were divorced in June 1985. The wife was awarded custody of the parties' two children, and the husband was ordered to pay child support. The husband's support obligation was reduced due to a disabling disease.
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MARYLAND: Moore v. Tseronis, 21 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1578 (Md. Ct. App. Sept. 6, 1995).
Three years after a father's divorce, he and his new wife moved from Baltimore, Maryland, to another part of Maryland. The economy in the father's new area of residence was much weaker.
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MARYLAND: Corry v. O'Neill, 105 Md. App. 112, 658 A.2d 1155 (1995).
In Maryland, the wife requested that the court order the husband to make payments for the child's college education. The wife attempted to prove that the husband had the ability to pay for the child's education by presenting two major facts.
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MINNESOTA: In re Marriage of Branch, No. C1-01-166 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2001).
Under the plain language of Minn. Stat. 518.551(5)(b)(viii) (2000), any amounts currently being paid for child support, whether they are current payments or payments for arrearages, may be deducted from the obligor's income prior to calculation of the support obligation for a subsequent child.
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MINNESOTA: Franzen v. Borders, 20 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1554 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 30, 1994).
The father, a child support obligor, was incarcerated for assaulting his children's mother while on probation for an unrelated conviction. The trial court found him to be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, and thus ruled that income should be imputed to him in assessing his child support obligation while imprisoned.
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MISSOURI: Lewis v. Department of Social Services, No. WD58089 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 4, 2001).
David Lewis appeals the judgment of the circuit court affirming the decision of the Division of Child Support Enforcement which increased his child support obligation from $25 per week to $506 per month, retroactive to January 14, 1996.
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MISSOURI: Stanton v. Abbey, 20 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1244 (Mo. Ct. App. 1994).
The parties were divorced in May 1990. The wife was awarded primary legal and physical custody of the parties' four children. The husband was ordered to pay $2,250 per month in child support. In January 1992, the wife remarried. She received the husband's consent to move the children to California.
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NEW JERSEY: Foust v. Glaser, No. A-4450-99T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. May 8, 2001).
The mother appealed an order denying reconsideration of an order directing her to contribute toward the college tuition expenses of her daughter.
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NEW JERSEY: Golian v. Golian, No. A-4211-99T5 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Oct. 11, 2001).
In a break with other states, the court held that when a person has been determined disabled by the Social Security Administration, there is a presumption that such a person is in fact disabled and unable to earn income.
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NEW YORK: Sawyer v. Sawyer, ___ A.D.2d __, 702 N.Y.S.2d 688 (2000).
The husband was not entitled to a "credit" for the amount he allegedly expended to educate the wife's children from a prior marriage.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Hendricks v. Sanks, No. COA00-91 (N.C. Ct. App. May 15, 2001).
This case presented two child support issues. The first issue is whether child support is required from the noncustodial parent where the child is over eighteen years old and regularly attends high school but, because of suffering from Downs syndrome, is not making progress toward a traditional diploma.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Askew v. Askew, ___ N.C. App. ___, 458 S.E.2d 217 (1995).
The husband and wife were married in 1977 and separated in 1984. During the divorce proceeding, the wife was awarded custody of the parties' child and the husband was required to pay $900 per month in child support.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Guilford County By and Through Child Support Enforcement Agency v. Easter, ___ N.C. ___, 473 S.E.2d 6 (1996).
In the case of Guilford County By and Through Child Support Enforcement Agency v. Easter, ___ N.C. ___, 473 S.E.2d 6 (1996), the Supreme Court of North Carolina held that in determining the proper award of child support, the court may consider support provided by grandparents. In Easter, the parties separated following a six-year marriage that produced two children.
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OHIO: Murray v. Murray, No. CA98-08-097 (Ohio Ct. App. Feb. 8, 1999)
The issue raised in the Ohio Court of Appeals was whether unexercised stock options should be included in "gross income" for purposes of determining child support and, if so, how to value the stock options.
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Crocker, No. SC S46166 (Or. Sup. Ct. Apr. 26, 2001).
Father appealed an order for support for children between 18 and 21 years of age attending school, contending the statute authorizing the order is unconstitutional.
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PENNSYLVANIA: Green v. Green, 2001 Pa. Super. 256 (Aug. 31, 2001).
The father appealed the trial court's award of $5,072 per week in child support. The trial court found that the father's earning capacity was $509,465 per month, including income from a trust.
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PENNSYLVANIA: Miller v. Miller, 2001 Pa. Super. 274 (Sept. 13, 2001).
In this case, the court decided whether the proceeds from the sale of a marital asset awarded in the divorce constitutes "income" for purposes of child support.
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PENNSYLVANIA: Bullock v. Bullock, ___ Pa. Super. ___, 639 A.2d 826 (1994).
In a 1959 desertion and nonsupport action, the husband was ordered to pay the wife $35 per month in spousal and child support. No support payments were ever made. The wife did not know of her husband's whereabouts until 1991.
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PENNSYLVANIA: Bolton v. Bolton, 21 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1307 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1995).
Pennsylvania provides, by statute, that a court may order parents to help pay for their adult children's college education. 23 Pa. C.S. § 4327 (overruling Blue v. Blue, 532 Pa. 521, 616 A.2d 628 (1992)). The calculation of support under this statute, however, cannot be pursuant to the state's child support guidelines.
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PENNSYLVANIA: Curtis v. Kline, 20 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1232 (Pa. Jan. 11, 1995).
In a stunning decision completely at odds with every other state's decision on the issue, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared that its college support statute was unconstitutional.
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TENNESSEE: Hartley v. Robinson, No. M2000-01625-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 9, 2001).
The husband was employed as a commercial truck driver. Thereafter, the husband was diagnosed with a seizure disorder that required medication to treat.
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TENNESSEE: Sellers v. Sellers, No. W2000-01475-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 15, 2001).
When the parties married, the wife had a child out of wedlock. The husband agreed to change the child's name to his own and hold out to the world that the child was his.
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VIRGINIA: Reece v. Reece, 22 Va. App. 368, 470 S.E.2d 148 (1996).
All child support guidelines provide that a person's "income" is determined not strictly by wages and earnings but by "earning capacity," i.e., what a person could earn using all best efforts to maximize income.
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