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Child support overpayments, resulting from the retroactive application of a reduced child support award, may be recouped against future add-on expenses of the children. So held the Appellate Division, First Department, in its March 31, 2022 decision in Castelloe v. Fong.

That decision affirmed an Order of New York County Supreme Court Justice Michael L. Katz, which in turn confirmed the award of a Special Referee.

The appellate court upheld the Referee’s decision to impute $250,000.00 in annual income to the father. The Court also upheld the Referee’s decision to use a $250,000.00 cap to calculate the father’s child support obligation of $3,333.33 per month ($40,000.00 per year), finding that it was sufficient to meet the children’s “actual needs” to live an “appropriate lifestyle.” The trial evidence reflected the parties’ comfortable upper-middle-class lifestyle and that both parties had significant financial resources to support the use of a $250,000 cap.

Continue Reading Overpayment Of Child Support May Offset Future Add-on Expenses

In two decisions this month, appellate courts reversed Family Court orders and dismissed petitions for grandparent visitation.

In Pinsky v. Botnick, the petitioner was the paternal grandmother. Her son had died at the age of 35, survived by his widow and 4 children, then ages 9, 7, 5, and 3. Her Family Court petition for visitation was filed approximately six weeks after her son’s death.

At the hearing, the grandmother testified that she had a close relationship with the children. The grandmother also acknowledged that the mother was a fit parent. However, according to the mother, the children were hysterical about the court proceeding, fearful that the grandmother would take them away from their mother. The attorney for the children informed the Family Court that the children did not wish to see their grandparents.

Nassau County Family Court J.H.O. (and former Judge) Elaine Jackson Stack denied the mother’s application to appoint a neutral forensic evaluator. The mother retained Peter J. Favaro, Ph.D., whose report was received in evidence. Dr. Favaro reported that the children were experiencing a “complicated bereavement”: the three older children had reported having bad dreams about seeing their grandmother and that she would take them away. Dr. Favaro concluded that forcing interaction between the children and grandparents would only strengthen those fears.

Continue Reading Grandmothers Denied Visitation in Two Recent Appellate Reversals