Jusino Law Blog – Divorce Agreements Containing Child Support Language

Jusino Law Blog - Divorce Agreements Containing Child Support Language

Divorce agreements that contain child support language setting forth the parties’ rights and obligations must recite that the parties are aware of the Child Support Standards Act Guidelines and acknowledge the basic child support obligation provided for therein which would presumably result in the correct amount.

            Where the Stipulation deviates from the basic child support obligation, it must specify what the presumptive amount would have been and the reason for the deviation. For instance, if the party paying child support is going to pay a lesser amount than called for by the Child Support Standards Act, the Stipulation must state that they are deviating and that the child’s needs are being met notwithstanding the downward deviation.

            For example, when I do an agreement where the payor spouse is paying less child support as per the agreement of the parties, I put language in the Stipulation that says although the payor is paying less child support as per the Child Support Standards Act Guidelines, the payor will pay for necessaries of the child such as buying clothing for the child which would normally be covered under child support. In any case, it is important that both parties understand the standard guidelines and that both parties understand and agree to any deviations thereof. Keep in mind that child support is for food, clothing, shelter, and other such necessaries. Child support does not cover things like uncovered and unreimbursed medical costs, health insurance premiums, child care, extracurricular expenses, or educational expenses. Those things I just mentioned are covered separately and usually split between the parties on a pro-rata basis, which means in proportion to their incomes.

            Where the child support agreement is set forth orally on the record where there is not a written Stipulation, it still must comply with the requirements of the Domestic Relations Law §240 (1-b) (H) to be valid and enforceable, even if it lacks a statement of the precise presumptive amount of child support. If there is deviation from the correct amount of child support, it must be made knowingly by both parties.

            It is important to note that where there may be tax consequences with respect to spousal maintenance, there are no such consequences with respect to child support. In other words, the person receiving the child support does not pay taxes on those monies and the person paying child support does not get any type of write off for making those payments.

            It is always advisable to get legal advice from an attorney of your own choosing when dealing with a divorce or Family Court matter. Your attorney’s primary concern is to advise you as to what is in your best interest now and in the future. What a friend may tell you from his or her experience, or what happens in a television show, are not necessarily in your best interests. An experienced attorney with a strong legal background in matrimonial and family law, such as myself, is better able to help you.

            If you need legal representation concerning a divorce or Family Court matter, I invite you to contact my office to set up a free consultation by calling 631-588-3155. I have been handling divorce and Family Court matters for nearly 30 years here on Long Island and wrote a book about divorce and family law titled Divorce: A Practical Guide, which is available at Amazon.com.

About the Author

Phillip J. Jusino

Phillip J. Jusino is a 1986 graduate of the Fordham University College of Business Administration and a 1989 graduate of the Fordham University School of Law. Mr. Jusino served as a Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney from 1989 to 1991 in the District Court Bureau and Domestic Violence Unit, and later served as a Law Guardian representing the interests of children. He was also an Adjunct Professor at Dowling College in the early 1990s.

Mr. Jusino has been in private practice for almost 30 years and heads the law firm of Phillip J. Jusino and Associates, P.C. located in Smithtown, New York. Mr. Jusino has extensive trial experience and appears regularly in Supreme Court, County Court, Family Court, and District Court representing his clients’ interests in the areas of Divorce, Family Law, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Adoptions, CPS matters, as well as Wills & Estates.

Mr. Jusino is the author of 'Divorce: A Practical Guide - A Common Sense Approach from an Experienced Matrimonial Attorney' which was published in 2014 and is available for purchase at Amazon.com, JusinoLaw.com, and other book outlets.

Mr. Jusino has won numerous awards and accolades from various legal societies and publications as a top attorney in his field.

Mr. Jusino hosts a television show called 'Finding Common Ground' which airs on Altice every Saturday at 10am on Channel 115 and every Thursday at 1am on Channel 20. You can watch the live version of 'Finding Common Ground' every Friday at 8pm on Facebook Live and YouTube. Past shows can be viewed on the YouTube channel for WLINY Internet Radio. In addition to Mr. Jusino’s shows, his video blogs (Jusino Law Vlog), concerning frequently asked legal questions, can be viewed directly at JusinoLaw.com under ‘Posts’ or at the Jusino Law YouTube channel.