New York Appellate Court reverses Private School support payment.

In the decision titled Michael J.D. v Carolina E.P., the Appellate Division, First Department, reviewed a 2012 child support award that originally ordered the father to pay 100 percent of his child's tuition at a prestigious and very expensive private school in New York City.

The Appellate Division stated that while a parent can be ordered to pay his or her child's educational expenses, the court must first examine the circumstances of the case, the circumstances of the parties involved, the child's best interests and the "requirement of justice."

In this case, the appellate court noted that no reasons were offered back in 2012 for why the father should pay for private school, other than informal discussions between the father and mother about the child's future. These conversations took place when the child was only a few months old, meaning he was not close enough in age for a discussion regarding his schooling. The parents were not married or even living together when child was born. Taken together, the court determined there was no "justifiable basis" to make the father pay private school tuition.

Every child support case is different. In fact, just because the court said the father is not required to pay school tuition in this instance does not mean it won't order it in another case - it all depends on the circumstances. Before you agree with your child's mother or father regarding something as important as school, contact an attorney at Law Offices of Mindin & Mindin, P.C. at 888-501-3292.


Can I invalidate a prenup?

This question came up recently: "I signed a prenup before we got married giving up my rights to my husband's assets, however I gave the past 15 years to raising my sons and taking care of our home and do not have any money to my name. What can I do now? Can I invalidate this old prenup?" -Y.L.

Drafting a prenuptial agreement is great, However, it will not always be accepted by the court, depending on the agreement itself (its validity) and the circumstances surrounding it.

Amongst other things, changed circumstances can invalidate a Prenuptial agreement. 

The enforceability of a prenup can come down to “crossed t’s and dotted i’s.” Even the smallest of errors could render a prenup less than airtight.

The enforceability of a prenup can come down to “crossed t’s and dotted i’s.” Even the smallest of errors could render a prenup less than airtight.

There is a three prong test for determining enforceability of a prenup: (1) there was full financial disclosure; (2) that the party sought to be bound knew and understood the terms and conditions; and (3) that the agreement be fair and not unconscionable, i.e. that it not leave a spouse a public charge or close to it, or with a lifestyle far below what was enjoyed before or during the marriage. 

Upon establishing a change of circumstances, a spouse may apply to the court for a modification of the agreement.

In summary, there is no type of prenup that always stays air tight and iron clad. If there is a substantial “change of circumstances” then most courts will reevaluate a prenup under the standard of determining if the agreement is reasonable. The most common change of circumstances is a health condition, a loss of a job, or a failed business. The family courts try to fair, and if a spouse’s fortune has deteriorated since the execution of the prenup, then most judges will reevaluate the agreement and assess whether justice can still be achieved if it is enforced.

You can always call us at Law Offices of Mindin & Mindin, P.C. to take a look at your prenup and for legal advice on how to proceed with your matter. You can reach us at 888-501-3292 or by clicking here.