Archive for August, 2018

It may seem quite parochial and unsensitive to talk about family laws and one’s problems with them when there are much more dramatic human problems making the news, such as children put in toddlers facilities when their parents are awaiting deportation somewhere else in the US. On this topic, Sonia Nazario wrote in the New York Times an excellent piece entitled “The End of Asylum” where she describes the unraveling of the US asylum system in the hands of the Trump administrationhttp://iht.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/iphone/homepage.aspx#_articlea4e1405a-0545-4abc-ab3a-95e931ee0680

Trump could care less about human rights and the example he sets in the world has given legitimacy to the policies conducted by the despots of this world, the Putins, Netanyahus, DuTertres.. All over the world, the questioning of basic democratic values and principles is so pervasive that Zeid Al-Hussein, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has called upon the UN to forcefully condemn human right violations ://www.timesofisrael.com/un-rights-chief-leaves-post-with-no-regrets-rejects-anti-israel-bias-claim/.

All right. Let us not have the noise the man produces on a daily basis cover issues that are important to us nevertheless.

One issue that mattered to me these last couple of months was to stop paying child support by July 1 2018 after my youngest daugher had turned 21. I did not trust one bit New York State Child Support Collection to stop garnishing my wage after this date. I was wrong. To my surprise, the garnishment of my wage ended on July 1st.

Had I known that, I could have saved myself the fee I paid a lawyer to represent me in family court..and one more year of child support payments until the end of June 2019. On May of this year, I filed a court order to terminate child support. On June 19, in Manhattan family court, my lawyer informed me that there was a major bug in my divorce agreement: unless the girls were emancipated, child support obligations were said to run until the girls were 22! I was so eager to get over my divorce that I signed this, and many other dumb clauses.

According to my lawyer, this is a standard business- of -usual clause that attorneys typically add to divorce agreements in New York State. One has to love lawyers. In New York State, which demands that non-custodial parents (fathers) pay child support until children are twenty-one, lawyers add to the aggravation by requiring one more year of child support from them. Reason: children are in college until they are twenty-two and cannot earn an income, therefore they need financial support. It does not cross these brillant legal minds that paying for a child education and all that comes with it is to be agreed between a parent and a child, and not to be conceived as an obligation to parents no matter what.

In any case, while in court, my lawyer had to inform ex, which had forgotten all about it, of the child-support-until- 22 clause. I tried to plead with her that since the girls did not want to see me, they would not mind either freeing me of child support bondage altogether, or adjust it to 17 percent of my gross income (support for one child) instead of 25 percent. Ex’ reply: Nope. I am paying alone for the girls’ college tuition, you are responsible for child support until our youngest one is 22. Just a minor detail: ex adamantly refused to even tell me the girls’ plans for college, arguing that she would encroach on their privacy, for she knew that involving me meant I would discuss these plans with them. And for ex, the idea of any contact between me and the girls is intolerable.

The morale of all this: carefully check out your divorce agreement to limit bullying.

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Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

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