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Divorced couple returns to courtroom with child support issue

Cameron Kennedy, ex-wife of former Director of the Office of Management, Peter Orszag, probably thought that financial dealings with her ex-husband would be over once they finalized their divorce in 2006. Everything seemed to be in order: the couple’s two children would get to see both parents, they would be well provided for by a $400,000 trust, and all major expenses and assets would be split.

But the financial security of their children has changed since the divorce. The trust that had been providing funding for their tuition has since been depleted and the children still require schooling. Kennedy, who feels that her ex-husband should help pay tuition costs and any other major expenses, has now requested that her ex-husband pay $22,000 a month to help relieve some of the financial pressure she feels. But bitter feelings are beginning to turn this simple request for support modification into a contested issue.

Orszag’s attorney has gone so far as to call her request “backdoor alimony cloaked as child support.” But Kennedy refutes this assertion pointing out that the money would only be used to help pay for the children’s schooling, nannies, plane trips between each parent’s household and coaching for their children’s sports activities. And with her ex-husband expected to make $4 million this year, it’d be difficult to argue that he cannot afford this request.

Though media reports tend to focus on the bitter argument over money that comes with this issue, it’s worth noting that there is another issue at hand here: what is in the children’s best interest? It’s a question that weighs heavily on the minds of nearly every family law judge across the United States, including here in Washington. And just like in so many cases, this could be the deciding factor for the judge in this case as well.

Source: The Washington Post, “Peter Orszag and ex-wife in contentious court fight over child support,” Emily Heil, Mar. 12, 2014

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