Divorce: New York

Divorce: New York

Category Archives: Child Support (C.S.S.A.)

Subscribe to Child Support (C.S.S.A.) RSS Feed

Divorce Settlements: It’s Not Just What You Say, But What You Don’t Say

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Child Support (C.S.S.A.)
It is often said that it is difficult, if not impossible to prove a negative. The concept may be extended to finding the intent of the parties to a contract, and more particularly a divorce settlement agreement One would think a divorce settlement agreement would provide for all of the rights and obligations of a … Continue Reading

Melting Pot (Part 3 of 4): Domesticating the Foreign Child Support Judgment

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Counsel Fees, Enforcement of Support and Orders
The third of four decisions this month with an international context was decided by New York County Supreme Court Justice Manuel J. Mendez. In Bond v Lichtenstein (pdf), decided July 15, 2014, Justice Mendez granted a mother summary judgment in lieu of complaint under C.P.L.R. §3213 domesticating a $570,110.05 Hong Kong judgment for child support … Continue Reading

Unemployment, Alone, Does Not Prove Inability To Pay Child Support

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Enforcement of Support and Orders
Unemployment, alone, is not sufficient to avoid incarceration for the willful failure to pay child support. So held the First Department when on April 8, 2014 it affirmed the determination of Bronx County Family Court Judge Sidney Gribetz in Gina C. v. Augusto C. Based upon the fact-finding determination of the Support Magistrate, Judge Gribetz had found … Continue Reading

Fraudulent Tax Returns in Divorce Actions: Sword or Shield?

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Equitable Distribution, Tax Matters
It is certainly not a rare problem. When confronted with fraudulent income tax returns, what is a divorce court to do? Should they be used as swords or shields? In her January 31, 2014 decision in Morille-Hinds v. Hinds, Supreme Court Queens County Justice Pam Jackman Brown appears to have disregarded the failure to report … Continue Reading

Applying the Ambiguous SUNY-Capped Contribution-to-College Clause

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Child Support (C.S.S.A.)
Where a divorce settlement agreement contains a SUNY cap on the parents’ obligations to contribute to college expenses, do you subtract financial aid first from the SUNY cap, or first from the total actual costs of the child who chose to attend a private college? Do you include loans in the “financial aid” formula? In … Continue Reading

Claimed Ignorance of C.S.S.A. Treatment of Income Over Cap Not Basis to Set Aside Divorce Settlement Agreement

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Attorney and Client, Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Settlement
The alleged failure of the mediator and the husband’s counsel to advise the husband that a court need not apply the C.S.S.A. formula to the husband’s entire agreed-upon income of $1,200,000.00 per year income is not a basis to set aside a divorce settlement agreement, or its $29,500.00 per month child support obligation. So held … Continue Reading

C.S.S.A. Recitiation Requirements Relaxed for In-Court Child Support Sipulation

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.)
The required C.S.S.A. recitation in an oral open-court stipulation by which the parties explain why they have agreed to a child support obligation varying from the presumptive C.S.S.A. formula may not have to be as “precise” as that required in a written stipulation. Such appears to be the holding of the Appellate Division, Second Department, … Continue Reading

Ambiguous Agreements to Pay for Children’s College Expenses

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Enforcement of Support and Orders
What is a “mandatory” college expense to be shared by the parents? In its January 15, 2014 decision in Shaughnessy v. Cox, the Second Department upheld the order of Nassau County Family Court Judge Robin M. Kent (which in turn upheld the determination of Support Magistrate Neil Miller) directing the father to pay 50% of the … Continue Reading

Imputing Income When Determining Child Support

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.)
Three Second Department decisions within eight days this month reveal the discretion of the trial court when income is not apparent (no pun intended) on a determination of a parent’s basic child support obligation. In Fein v. Fein, the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the determination of Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Bruce E. Tolbert to impute … Continue Reading

Child Support Computations When Spousal Maintenance is Awarded

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.)
When calculating a child support obligation, what effect does a simultaneous spousal maintenance award have? The November 21, 2013 decision of the Appellate Division, Third Department, in Alecca v. Alecca reveals the conflict among the Departments, questions of logic, and the need for action by the Legislature. Agreeing with Judge Anthony McGinty, deciding for the Ulster … Continue Reading

Court Orders Disclosure to Aid in Arbitration of Child Support Issues

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Discovery
The calculations required by the C.S.S.A. to be made by an arbitrator in child support determinations provide the “extraordinary circumstances” needed  to warrant court-ordered disclosure of documents from a self-employed ex-husband. Such was the ruling of Kings County Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey S. Sunshine in his November 6, 2013 decision in Weisz v. Weisz. In … Continue Reading

Sporadic Visitation by Father is Basis to Increase Child Support

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Custody and Visitation
Where a divorce settlement agreement provides that the parties have agreed to deviate from the Child Support Standards Act formula in part because of the time the “non-custodial” parent is to spend with the children, a substantial reduction in that visitation may result in an increase in the child support obligation. Such was the holding … Continue Reading

No Child Support Awarded Upon Combined Parental Income in Excess of $136,000 Statutory Cap

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.)
Considering the add-ons for private school, health care, child care, and extra-curricular activities, imposing a base child support obligation upon a father (the less-moneyed spouse) in excess of his pro rata share of the first $136,000 of combined parental income would be unjust and inappropriate. Such was the holding of Acting Supreme Court Kings County Justice … Continue Reading

$400,000 Combined Parental Income Cap Imposed by Second Department when Determining Father’s Child Support Obligation

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.)
Two published decisions last week ruled on the whether to award child support upon combined parental income in excess of the base child support amount. In the first, the Second Department in Beroza v. Hendler, found it was an improvident exercise of discretion for the trial court to have capped the parties’ combined parental income at … Continue Reading

Contract Enforcement Available Despite Successful Downward Modification of Child Support

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Modification
A court’s reduction of a divorce judgment’s child support obligations, incorporated from a settlement agreement that survived the entry of that judgment, does not result in a modification of the agreement. The shortfall may still be collected through a separate action to enforce the contract. As Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Leonard D. Steinman noted … Continue Reading

Child Support Continues: Full-Time College Student With Own Apartment When Not At School Does Not Reside “Full-Time Away From the Home of the Mother”

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Child Support (C.S.S.A.)
The fact that a father set his daughter up with her own apartment when not away at college could not be used by the father as a basis to discontinue making child support payments to the mother. Such was the holding in Trepel v. Trepel, a July 12, 2013 decision New York County Supreme Court Justice Lori … Continue Reading

Emancipation Of One Child Does Not Automatically Result in a Downward Modification of Unallocated Child Support

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Modification
The emancipation of a child does not automatically result in the downward modification of an unallocated order of child support. Rather, the support payor has the burden of proving that the existing  amount of unallocated child support is excessive based on the needs of the remaining unemancipated children. Such was the holding of the Appellate … Continue Reading

The Second Department Rules on Child Support Parental Income Cap, Transfer of the Marital Residence, and Judgment Formalities

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Equitable Distribution, Forms, Judgments and Orders, Statutes
In a May 8, 2013 decision in Mejia v. Mejia, the Appellate Division, Second Department, modified a divorce judgment’s provisions concerning the cap on combined parental income, the disposition of the marital residence, college expenses for three children ages 14, 10 and 6, and judgment inconsistencies with the underlying decision and judgment  formalities. After the … Continue Reading

Wife Wins Million-Dollar Lottery While Divorce Action Is Pending

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Counsel Fees, Equitable Distribution, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
What does a court do with a wife who claims not to have discovered that she was a million-dollar winner of a May 19, 2011 lottery drawing until only days before the ticket would have expired a year later, and 11 months after she was awarded temporary support and counsel fees in her pending divorce action? … Continue Reading