781.708.4445

wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

“Thanks for your service, son. Now, about that child support…” Bobblis v. Costa

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Levine Dispute Resolution - Divorce Mediation

I’ve drafted a lot of separation agreements over the years. I have also been accused, on occasion, of trying to anticipate some pretty unlikely events. But I never considered the possibility that a child support payor might try to stop paying because his kid earned a college scholarship, let alone one that committed him to military service after graduation!

Really?

Instead of saying “congratulations, and thank you, son”, the father demanded retroactive termination of child support to the start of his son’s ROTC training, junior year, citing the “military enlistment” emancipation provision of the parties’ divorce agreement. And to think, Claire Booth Luce had never heard of the Bobblis case when she coined “No good deed goes unpunished”.

The Probate and Family Court dispatched the father’s demand with careful legal analysis. The Massachusetts Appeals Court did the same, crediting Judge Lisa Roberts’ good work, and distinguishing military enlistment (and full time attendance at West Point or other military academy), from attending college on a military-provided scholarship. The appellate panel upheld the trial judge’s ruling that the child remained unemancipated, and child support unchanged.

The father represented himself at the trial level, but he had counsel on the appeal. Presumably, his lawyer advanced irony-free arguments that she believed would survive the giggle test. The Appeals Court accorded the appellant and his counsel the dignity of a reasoned, published decision rather than the “you’ve got to be kidding me” reply a/k/a summary disposition.

They even declined to award appellate fees for advancing a frivolous argument.



Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

family and probate law disputes divorce litigation Baseball Arbitration Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Massachusetts lawyers Divorce Agreements divorce arbitrator Alimony Reform Act Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth annulment Cohabitation divorce lawyers alimony Massachusetts Baseball family law arbitrator health insurance mediators health coverage special master child support Levine Dispute Resolution medical benefits Obamacare dispute resolution separation Massachusetts alimony Child Support Guidelines family support MLB labor agreement resolve disputes Baseball Players private dispute resolution The Seven Sins of Alimony IRC §2704 how baseball arbitration works Massachusetts divorce lawyers divorce mediations General term alimony Defense of Marriage Act alimony statute Same Sex Marriage divorce arbitration Massachusetts alimony and child support arbitration family mediation lawyers lawyer-attended mediation Uniform Arbitration Act mediation family law Major League Baseball Arbitration disputes rehabilitative alimony divorce mediators mediator conciliation COLA high-risk methodology divorce and family law mediators alimony reform legislation alimony law traditional negotiations SJC lawyer litigation alimony orders LDRC fraud divorce mediator divorce arbitrators Self-adjusting alimony orders Boston Divorce support orders Levine Dispute Resolutions Levine Dispute Resolution Center divorce process divorce mediation arbitrators Family Law Arbitration Massachusetts divorce mediators divorce and family law family law arbitrators divorce judgment mediations divorce agreement Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act facilitated negotiations arbitrator divorced Matrimonial Arbitration self-adjusting alimony Chouteau Levine DOMA pre-ARA alimony med/arb family law mediation med-arb