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July 2014 Archives

Case Law Review for the Week of July 15, 2014

Ferrer v. Reynaldo, Appellate Division, Unreported Decision (July 11, 2014): In this post-judgment matter, the Appellate Division reversed and remanded the ruling of the trial court, which had set the Defendant's child support obligation at the guidelines level for his unemancipated daughter while she was attending college. The Appellate Court noted that Appendix IX-A to R. 5.6A clearly states that the guidelines are not to be used to determine either the parent's share of college expenses or the child support obligation for a college student, although they can be used in the court's discretion for students who commute to college. Instead of utilizing the child support guidelines, the Court is required to review applicable case law and the relevant statutes, and should be made in light of all the financial circumstances of the parties and the children. The Court further acknowledged that child support and college contribution are discrete yet related obligations, noting that some expenses are subsumed by college expenses while others remain constant in addition to the college expenses.

Case Law Review for the Week of June 23, 2014

Hoffman v. Hoffman, Appellate Division, Unreported Decision (June 26, 2014): In a rather straightforward appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's denial of the Defendant's motion for recusal, citing case law to support the decision that recusal is left to the sound discretion of the trial judge, with recusal being appropriate when there exists any reason which would preclude a fair and equitable hearing or ruling or would reasonably lead the parties to believe so. However, the Appellate Division was clear that bias is not shown merely from past adverse rulings against a party.