Kassin vs. Kassin: A Child Support Award, Reduced by Social Security Benefits Received By the Child, May Effect Alimony

In this divorce case, the trial court denied the defendant ex-husband’s post-divorce-judgment motion in which defendant sought (1) to terminate his alimony and child-support obligations, (2) relief from his obligation to maintain life insurance for the benefit of the parties’ children, and (3) a credit for Social Security benefits received by the plaintiff ex-wife for the benefit of the parties’ unemancipated child. On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed the denial of the of the request for modification of support, concluding that the trial court had properly denied the relief requested by the defendant. However, the appeals court held that, under the Child Support Guidelines, the defendant was entitled to a credit for the unemancipated child’s Social Security benefits, and the Appellate Division remanded for the calculation of that credit. Further, and significantly, since under the terms of the divorce judgment the child support was converted to alimony as each child was emancipated, the alimony payable would also be reduced by the Social Security benefits received by the unemancipated child upon that child’s emancipation.

The case can be found here – kassin-v-kassin-9-24-08