In a stipulation which settled a prior dispute between parents, the father agreed to pay child support. The mother had sole custody of the parties’ child.
The father thereafter commenced a Nassau County Family Court proceeding to terminate his child support obligation. Upon the mother’s motion, Support Magistrate Penelope Beck Cahn dismissed the father’s petition. Family Court Judge Edmund Dane denied the husband’s objections to the Magistrate’s ruling.
Last week, in Singer v. Prizer, the Appellate Division Second Department affirmed. The court held that the father’s agreement not to “bring on any application to . . . modify” his agreed-upon child support obligation precluded the father from commencing the proceeding below. The Second Department held:
the cause of action alleged in the petition was “completely undermined and rendered legally insufficient by the very terms of” the stipulation.
The Court did not expressly state whether it was construing the husband’s waiver of the right to apply for a modification as a waiver of the right to seek a complete termination of the child support obligation. There was no mention of a provision of the parties’ stipulation which barred a proceeding to completely terminate the child support obligation.