Posts tagged "Schmidt"

Schmidt v. McCulloch-Schmidt (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-078-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;     13‑P‑1951                                  Appeals Court     ROBERT N. SCHMIDT  vs.  SANDRA MCCULLOCH-SCHMIDT. <endname> <docket>No. 13‑P‑1951.      <decdate>July 2, 2014.     <catchwds><idxtop1>Divorce and Separation, <idxtop2>Child support, <idxtop2>Modification of judgment. <idxtop1>Parent and Child, <idxtop2>Child support. <oppc>   Robert N. Schmidt (father) appeals from an amended judgment entered in the Probate and Family Court modifying his child support obligation.  We affirm.   Background.  We recite the relevant facts, as found by the probate judge.  The parties were divorced on March 8, 2006.  There is one child of the marriage.  Pursuant to a separation agreement filed by the parties and approved by the court, the father was obligated to pay child support to the mother, Sandra McCulloch-Schmidt (mother).     After the divorce, the mother was approved for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits.  The mother receives monthly disability benefits for herself, and an additional monthly payment on behalf of the child (SSDI dependency benefits).  On May 4, 2012, the father filed a complaint for modification asserting that his child support obligation should be reduced because his business income had declined significantly since the divorce.  On May 15, 2013, following a trial held in March of 2013, the judge made findings that calculated each party’s income, applied the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines (2009) (guidelines) to those levels of income and issued a judgment of modification reducing the father’s child support obligation.  The judgment was based both on the father’s reduced business income and on the increase in the mother’s income resulting from the SSDI benefits she received for herself and the SSDI dependency benefits received on behalf of the child.[1]  The judge declined to give the father a credit for the SSDI dependency benefits paid on behalf of the child to further reduce his support obligation.  The father filed this timely appeal from the amended modification judgment.[2]   Discussion.  The father asserts that the judge’s refusal to give him a dollar-for-dollar credit for the amount of SSDI dependency benefits paid on behalf of the child was error.  Specifically, the father argues that Rosenberg v. Merida, 428 Mass. 182, 185-186 (1998) (Rosenberg), and certain provisions in the guidelines[3] dictate that he receive a credit against the amount of child support owed under the guidelines for the amount of the SSDI dependency benefits paid to the mother on behalf of the child.  We disagree.   In Rosenberg […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 3, 2014 at 12:50 am

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