Published on:

Petitioner Seeks Increase in Child Support

Maureen K. is the petitioner in this case and James H. is the respondent.

History

In 1995, a motion was filed that aimed to increase the child support payments made by Mr. H from $45 to $106 weekly. Mr. H objected to this order, and a Hearing Examiner was assigned to the issue.

Mr. H’s objections were sustained and the Hearing Examiner would not sign the proposed order. Now, the CSEU has filed an objection to that decision. For the reasons that will be explained, the objections were subsequently denied.

Facts

A New York Criminal Lawyer said that in March of 1983, the Monroe Family Court entered an order between the respondent and the county’s department of Social Services. Mr. H agreed to pay $25 each week for child support for an unborn child. His employee health benefits would also be extended to cover the child, and the payments themselves would be made directly to the Monroe County Child Support Enforcement Unit.

A modification to the original arrangement was filed in 1989. This increased the payments to $45 each week. Mr. H was earning $31608 at this time. In 1991 another motion was filed to increase child support payments, but this petition was dismissed. In 1995, based on a request by the child’s mother, CSEU began a review of the case. During this time, the gross income of Mr. H was revealed to be $32167 in 1994. The review resulted in a new assessment being made of $106 per week being owed for support.

At the hearing in 1995, evidence was presented to illustrate the financial situation of both Mr. H and the other of the child. Mr. H’s income statements verified the information obtained by the review committee. The mother of his child had tax forms showing that in 1994 she earned $14619.94 and $9398.81 in 1995.

CSEU felt that this information validated their work and that the adjusted fee should be paid. However, the respondent felt that CSEU had not paid attention to all the factors at play, even violating their own regulations by doing so. A Nassau County Criminal Lawyer said he claimed that reasons for varying the amount assessed under the CSSA would apply to him, and that he should not be required to pay for the entirety of uninsured medical expenses. CSEU filed an objection, but does note that the correct amount assessed should have been $97.

Findings

According to the Family Court Act CSEU can propose an increase in payments when the child’s health care needs aren’t being met, or when there is a larger than 10% shift from the last support order.

However, the Monroe County CSEU failed to follow two key regulations when performing their assessment. More than 3/4s of the medical expenses not covered by insurance should not have been allocated to the respondent. Secondly, the CSSA formula including adjusting the calculations based on the mother’s income was not performed.

When the correct figures are plugged into the formula, Mr. H’s owed amount is actually $90.98.

Family Court has very tightly prescribed jurisdictional limits. There is also very little guidance as to how a hearing growing from an objection to an adjustment would proceed, or how much authority the court could have in processing such a case.

The court also does not have the power to properly review a case when it is deemed that an error of some kind has been made. Instead, a Queens Criminal Lawyer said, the system is set up so that if the court denies the order, then the CSEU needs to re-review the case and make adjustments or reassessments where necessary.

Ruling

The initial ruling by the Hearing Examiner is confirmed. CSEU was at error so its objections are also denied.

When a legal matter arises, Stephen Bilkis & Associates are there to help you evaluate your legal options. Our lawyers understand any circumstance that you might find yourself in, and will strive to obtain a favorable outcome for you. Free consultations are available at our offices found throughout metropolitan New York.

Contact Information