STATE OF NEW YORK
SUPREME COURT : COUNTY OF CHAUTAUQUA
SHARON A. WINTERS,
-vs- Index #H-10211
MICHAEL D. WINTERS,
LODESTRO, CASS & EDWARDS
(Stephen W. Cass, Esq.
of Counsel) for Plaintiff
FESSENDEN, LAUMER & DEANGELO
(Mary K. Barr, Esq. of
Counsel) for Defendant
DECISION AND ORDER
These parties were divorced on 2.21.95 at which time a
stipulation was entered disposing of all matters but one.
The parties were unable to agree about paying off the wife's
student loan of $5,000 and left this to the Court to be
Each side was given the opportunity to make a submission
in regard to this debt; however as none have been received,
the Court now issues its decision based on the information
These parties were married in 1978 and had three
children who are now 16, 14, and 11. The parents will share
joint custody of the children with physical placement with
the father. The youngest child receives social security
benefits which go directly to the father.
The husband earns about $20,000 annually, and the wife
earns about $13,000 annually. The wife will pay $39. a week
to the husband as child support pursuant to the Child Support
Standards Act using the self-support reserve.
There are no other marital debts.
Apparently, the student loan money was not used for
educational purposes. The wife's tuition was free. She said
that she used some of the money to buy the husband a stereo
and other purchases. It is the wife's position that the
husband should have sole responsibility for paying off the
loan since she gave up the furnishings in the marital home
and waived maintenance.
The husband is willing to pay half the loan. He argues
that the wife received the benefit of the education.
While it is true that the wife waived maintenance and
her right to furnishings, the furnishings were apparently not
worth much. While she would probably have been entitled to
maintenance based on the differences in she and her husband's
disposable income and the length of the marriage, her husband
will have the three children living with him. Any amount of
maintenance he could afford to pay her would have been
minimal at best.
Since each party appears to have received some benefit
from the loan, and since each has made concessions, it is
fair to have each be responsible for one half of the
This is the decision and order of this Court, no further order shall be necessary.
Dated: April 17, 1995
Mayville, New York
Justice of Supreme Court