Page(s : Minimum 2 type written pages and Maximum 3 type written pages. No single spacing allowed. Font of 12 only.
You must incorporate IRAC as part of your essay. Your analysis must show consideration for each parents’ qualities for deserving or not of custody and visitation.
Maria, a lawyer for 20 years, and Joseph, a lawyer for 22 years, got married in 1999. They have 2 daughters, Sharon, who is 19 years old, and Daisy, who is 14 years old. They all live in a New Rochelle, NY in a 5 bedroom house. Because of their busy schedules, they have a cleaning company come in to clean the house every two weeks. Sharon is a student at Ithaca College in upstate NY and Daisy is in the 9thgrade at New Rochelle High School, a public school. Sharon’s college tuition is $60,000 per year and Daisy is in piano, soccer and a math league which costs about $12,000 per year.
Maria has worked for a lawfirm for the past 10 years and is making $165,000 per year. Joseph has his own lawfirm, he is self-employed, so his salary varies from year to year. Joseph earned $155,000 in 2016, $150,000 in 2017, 175,000 in 2018, $145,000 in 2019 and stands to make $80,000 in 2020 because of Covid19. These earnings for both are after taxes what they take home.
On June 15, 2020 Maria files for divorce after finding out that Joseph is having an affair with a co-worker. After a trial, the divorce is finalized with an order by the judge that Maria, Sharon, and Daisy shall remain in the marital home in New Rochelle until 6 months after Daisy finishes high school and then it shall be sold with Maria having sole custody and visitation to Joseph; that Maria and Joseph pay the expenses of the house (total of about $7,000 monthly), college expenses (total of about $5,000 monthly), and extracurricular expenses for Daisy (total of about $1,000 monthly) 50/50, that is, each pays half. The judge orders Joseph to pay $2,937.50 per month in child support to Maria for both Sharon and Daisy. The judge also granted Maria’s request for maintenance in the sum of $1,000.00 per month to be paid by Joseph for 4 years, when Daisy will be off to college.
In September, 2020 Maria loses her job because of Covid19, is unemployed and receives $1600 in unemployment benefits per month. Maria applies to the court for a modification of child support and maintenance.
You are Maria’s attorney, what arguments do you make to the judge on her behalf using the basis for which a modification of child support and maintenance may be granted.
You are Joseph’s attorney, what arguments do you make to the judge on his behalf using the basis for which a modification of child support and maintenance should not be granted.
You are the judge, giving your rationale, state if you grant or deny Maria’s request for modification (a)for child support, and (b) for maintenance.
NOTE:For this essay, you do not have to provide a dollar amount which you would grant/deny. The salaries are there for you to understand the earning potential and payment capacity of each party.
Child Support and Maintenance
Maria, who divorced Joseph and has sole custody of their two daughters, has lost a job which calls for modifications in the agreed child support and maintenance. Following the loss of her job, Maria staying in the marital home is difficult for her and to take care of Sharon and Daisy. Maria was allowed to live in the marital home, considering that Daisy, in 6 months, will finish high school. Due to the disruption of education, Daisy would not have completed her high school course. It was designed that after finishing her school, Maria would get sole custody, and joseph would have visitation.
The court ordered that Maria and Joseph pay the house’s expenses, the college Sharon expenses, and the extracurricular expenses for Daisy. These expenses were to be shared equally between them. In terms of child support, Joseph was still to pay Maria for Sharon and Daisy. The judge granted Maria’s request for maintenance to be paid by Joseph for the years that Daisy will be in college. Following the effect of Covid19, Maria loses her job and becomes unemployed and therefore makes an application to the court for a modification of child support and maintenance. That is the issue.
In terms of rules and law, child support is considered the sum that a noncustodial parent must pay to the custodian. The sum should be the parental contribution to the necessary living expenses for the child. After a court order, the parent to pay child support must pay directly to the custodian and not directly to the child. The obligation to pay for child support is required from the noncustodial parent when the child is below eighteen years. The court has the mandate to determine the amount to be paid for the noncustodial parent’s periodic installments.
The amount to be paid takes into consideration the unique circumstances for each case. Essential considerations for each circumstance include child’s cases, the child’s educational and health needs, and the standard of living that the child typically enjoys with the family. Calculation consideration involves finding details on the custodial and noncustodial parent’s net monthly income. According to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, there is a requirement that the parents should contribute an amount reasonable for the child’s support without considering marital misconduct.
When Maria lost her job, she becomes unemployed. While the expenses were shared among the two parents, modifications should be made to the child support and maintenance agreement. The first argument would require the court to recalculate both parents’ contributions based on their monthly income. For Maria, her only source of income is the unemployment benefits she receives each month. Other adjustments that have to be made include Joseph’s amount for child support and the maintenance sum to be paid.
On the other hand, as joseph’s attorney, there is no need to modify child support and maintenance. As ordered by the court earlier, the two parents should equally contribute every month towards the expense that involves the two children. The court should consider offering Joseph the legal sole custody for the two children, considering that Maria cannot offer the children their usual living standards.
As the judge, my rationale would be to grant Maria’s request for modification for child support and maintenance following the argument that she lost her job. Her only income would be unemployment benefits per month.