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Former OMB director embroiled in child support dispute

Generally, during divorce proceedings the parties have to grapple with various issues ranging from child custody, property and asset division to child support. In divorces where children are involved, emotions can run high, and the whole process can get complex and potentially contentious. Florida residents familiar with the former executive Office of Management & Budget office director Peter Orszag may find it interesting to learn that he is embroiled in a contentious child support dispute with his ex-wife.

According to reports, the couple finalized their divorce in 2006, and stipulated to an arrangement wherein Orszag financed a $400,000 trust fund for his two children's schooling, and other major expenses. Furthermore, the couple agreed to divide up other costs. However, the trust eventually depleted, and Orszag's ex-wife is now seeking $22,000 per month in direct payments. Their post-divorce dispute revolves around whether their 2006 arrangement should be re-examined.

Orszag's income was reportedly a little over $3 million last year, and he is expected to make nearly $4 million this year while his ex-wife's income is reportedly about $350,000. In an effort to address the depleted trust issue, Orszag put forth a proposal to re-finance the fund, and directly pay for the schooling expenses of his children. However, his ex-wife's attorney rejected the proposal noting that Orszag wants to have control over his children's education

Attorneys for Orszag allege that his ex-wife is seeking spousal maintenance disguised as a child support request. On the other hand, his ex-wife's attorneys accuse Orszag of using his financial resources as a weapon against her. His ex-wife notes that she has a much more stressful life, only part-time domestic help compared to Orszag's more high-class lifestyle.

In any divorce with children, child support issues can get complex. Generally, parents want the best for their children, but there are times when child support disputes can affect a parent's judgment. To ensure that the legal decisions are being made, it may be helpful to consult with a family law attorney familiar with child support issues.

Source: The Washington Post, "Peter Orszag and ex-wife in contentious court fight over child support," Emily Heil, March 12, 2014

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