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Father Moves for Termination of Prior Orders

A New York Family Lawyer said that in an action for a divorce and ancillary relief, the husband appeals from three orders of the Nassau County Supreme Court which granted the wife’s motion pursuant to Domestic Relations Law for leave to enter a judgment against him in the amount of $39,760 for child support and maintenance arrears after a hearing, denied his motion for termination, cancellation, or modification of prior orders and a judgment of the court directing the payment of child support and maintenance, and adjudged him to be in contempt of court for his willful, wrongful, and conscientious refusal to comply with the aforesaid orders and judgments, and committed him to the Common Jail of the County of Nassau until he has paid the sum of $98,000, representing arrears in maintenance and child support.

It is ordered that on the court’s own motion, the appellant’s notice of appeal from the order which committed him to the Common Jail of the County of Nassau is treated as an application for leave to appeal, and leave to appeal is granted; and it is further ordered that the orders are affirmed, without costs or disbursements.

A New York Custody Lawyer said that the husband’s motion for termination, cancellation, or modification of prior orders and a judgment of the Nassau County Supreme Court directing the payment of child support and maintenance was properly denied. The husband’s claim that he was impoverished and unable to find work for the five-year period relevant to his motion presented a credibility issue, the resolution of which by the trier of fact is accorded great deference. The court’s determination that the husband’s unemployment was self-imposed in order to avoid his child support and maintenance obligations is supported by the record. Although the husband claimed that he had unsuccessfully sought employment, his claim is not supported by the record. Moreover, he admitted that he could and would be employed but for his being embroiled in all legal harangues.

The court’s determination that the husband willfully failed to comply with the orders and judgment directing the payment of child support and maintenance is also supported by the record. The court therefore properly found him to be in contempt of court and committed him to jail both upon his failure to purge himself of contempt pursuant to an order of the same court and his willful, wrongful, and conscientious refusal to comply with prior orders and a judgment directing the payment of child support and maintenance despite his ability to do so. Contrary to the husband’s contention, the court correctly calculated the amount of arrears at $98,000, based upon outstanding orders and a judgment that the wife had sought to enforce. The husband’s remaining contentions are without merit.

A New York City Family Lawyer said that in another child support proceeding, a mother commenced a proceeding pursuant to the Uniform Support of Dependents Law (USDL) in her State of residence to enforce the support obligations of the father, as set forth in a divorce judgment of the Nassau County Supreme Court. Thereafter, the California court transferred the proceeding to New York. Although the Hearing Examiner found that the mother was entitled to child support arrears, in an order, he incorrectly determined that such arrears could be granted retroactively only to the date of her petition. In fact such arrears can be granted retroactively to the date of the judgment of divorce.

A Manhattan Family Lawyer said following issuance of the Hearing Examiner’s order, the father filed a petition for a downward modification of his support obligations. The Hearing Examiner erred in denying his petition on the basis that the Family Court lacked jurisdiction to modify an order issued pursuant to the USDL. The case at bar involves a petition to modify a support obligation initially set by a New York State court and subsequently enforced by the Family Court in a USDL proceeding.

Finally, contrary to the father’s contention, the USDL proceeding in this case was not procedurally defective. There is no reversible error where a court does not precisely follow the directives of the Domestic Relations Law in USDL proceedings, as long as it largely complies with that statute’s requirements.

As children grows, so as their needs and the financial obligation of parents to their children also increases. If your partner chooses to provide your children lesser child support, ask a Nassau County Child Support Attorney together with a Nassau County Family Lawyer to represent you. Stephen Bilkis and Associates can also offer the legal expertise of a Nassau County Visitation Lawyer if you need one.

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