Plaintiff appealed the denial of his request to terminate payment for daughter’s college expenses and child support. The parties divorced in 2011 with two children. The PSA required them to contribute to their children’s college expenses and the child support obligation continued until each child was emancipated. Son was emancipated in 2014 and daughter started college as a full-time student in 2014. Plaintiff filed to terminate child support and college expenses in 2016 because daughter had ceased all communication with him. Plaintiff and daughter had been ordered to attend counseling in 2014 and order provided that daughter’s failure to attend the sessions was a waiver of any future college payments. Daughter testified she attended four joint counseling sessions, the sessions were jointly terminated by plaintiff and herself and she denied refusing to communicate with her father. Trial court found plaintiff did not show a change in circumstances. Plaintiff argued trial court did not consider the Newburgh factors. Court found trial court erred by not conducting a plenary hearing as called for in the 2014 order and in finding no change of circumstances as to child support. Court also reversed the part of the order requiring defendant to pay two-thirds of daughter’s college expenses because the order did not contain findings of fact based on updated financial information.

First published in the NJSBA Daily Briefing 1/30/2020

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