Published on:

Father Seeks to Obtain Child Support

In a child support proceeding, the father appeals from an order of the Family Court which denied his objections to two orders of the same court which awarded the petitioner with child support based on a determination of his gross income and counsel fee.

A New York Family Lawyer said the order is modified on the law and as a matter of discretion, by deleting the provision thereof denying the appellant’s objection to the order directing him to pay a counsel fee in the sum of $20,000, and substituting a provision sustaining the objection to the extent of directing him to pay a counsel fee and deleting the provision thereof denying his objection to the order awarding the mother child support and substituting a provision sustaining the objection to the extent of granting his application for a mortgage payment credit against his investment income on his investment property; as so modified, the order is affirmed, without costs or disbursements, and the matter is remitted to the Family Court for further proceedings consistent herewith, including a new determination of child support.

Although the matter of counsel fees is entrusted to the sound discretion of the trial court, it is nonetheless to be controlled by the equities of the case and the financial circumstances of the parties. Given the financial circumstances of the parties, as well as all the other circumstances of this case, the Family Court improvidently exercised its discretion in awarding the mother the sum of $20,000 in counsel fees.

A New York Child Custody Lawyer said the Family Court improperly calculated the father’s income for purposes of determining his support obligation. Pursuant to Family Court Act, a parent’s income, for the purpose of determining his or her duty to support a child shall include investment income reduced by sums expended in connection with such investment. The Family Court failed to credit investment expenses in the amount of $7,250, representing mortgage payments, against the investment income which the father received from his investment property, when it calculated his total income for purposes of child support. Thus, the matter is remitted to the Family Court for a recalculation of the father’s income and his support obligation. The father’s remaining contentions are without merit.

A Nassau County Family Lawyer said in another child support proceeding, the parties were divorced pursuant to a judgment which, upon subsequent resettlement, directed that the father pay the mother a specified amount in weekly maintenance commencing April 9, 1985, for a period of six years and one day, that he pay her pursuant to Stipulation a specified amount for the support of each of the parties’ three children, and that a stipulation entered into on the record in open court survive and not merge in the judgment. By that stipulation, the parties agreed that the father was obligated to pay room, board and tuition for each child while in college, and that so long as the father pays tuition, room and board, child support shall be reduced by 12 ½ percent except while the child or children are home for summer and holiday recesses.

Disputes arose as to the father’s payments pursuant to the judgment and surviving stipulation and the mother commenced the proceeding for enforcement of the judgment and stipulation. A Nassau County Child Custody Lawyer said the proceeding was, at least in part, resolved by stipulation and the father agreed to make future payments through the local Support Collection Unit. However, the Hearing Examiner did not honor his requests that the order include the durational limit on maintenance of six years and one day, and that it include the 12 ½ percent reduction in child support Moreover, the Hearing Examiner did not authorize payment to the Support Collection Unit by personal check. The father’s objections to these alleged omissions were denied by the Family Court.

The Family Court properly declined to authorize payment to the Support Collection Unit by personal check. There is nothing in the record which suggests that the father, who does not seek to set aside the Family Court stipulation, understood that his agreement to make payment through the Support Collection Unit would involve anything less or other than what ordinary procedure would require. In any event, inasmuch as the manner of payment is determined by the local social services official, and inasmuch as the requirement that payment should be made by cash, postal money order, bank money order, or certified check, has a rational basis and is not arbitrary or capricious.

A Nassau Child Custody Lawyer said that the father’s remaining contentions are without merit. The mother’s application for an award of counsel fees for defending this appeal should be addressed to the Family Court.

Each parent has duties to fulfill to their children and no situation would give any parent the right to skip such obligation. If your father neglected his financial obligation, a Suffolk County Child Support Lawyer can help you remind your parent of your needs and your rights as their child. Stephen Bilkis and Associates can also provide you with a Suffolk County Visitation Attorney and a Suffolk County Family Lawyer.

Contact Information