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Petitioner Brings Action to Transfer Title to Property in Divorce Proceeding

A New York Family Lawyer said in an action for a divorce and ancillary relief, the defendant husband appeals, as limited by his brief, from stated portions of a judgment of the Nassau County Supreme Court which, upon a decision of the same court made after a nonjury trial, adjudicated him in contempt of court, distributed the marital property, and awarded the complainant wife with maintenance and counsel fees. The notice of appeal from the decision is deemed a notice of appeal from the judgment.

A New York Custody Lawyer said it is ordered that the judgment is modified, on the law, by deleting the provision thereof directing the defendant husband to transfer the title of certain commercial property to the wife; as so modified, the judgment is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs to the wife, and the matter is remitted to the Nassau County Supreme Court for the entry of an appropriate amended judgment in accordance herewith.

A Manhattan Family Lawyer said in order to sustain a finding of civil contempt under Judiciary Law based on a violation of a court order, it is necessary to establish by clear and convincing evidence that a lawful court order clearly expressing an unequivocal mandate was in effect, that the person alleged to have violated the order had actual knowledge of its terms, and that the violation has defeated, impaired, impeded, or prejudiced the rights of a party. Here, the evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant husband knowingly disobeyed the Supreme Court’s order directing him to pay an expert to ascertain the value of his business and also failed to comply with the pendente lite (awaiting the litigation) support order. Consequently, the Supreme Court properly adjudicated the defendant husband in contempt of court.

A court is not required to rely upon a party’s account of his or her finances in determining the party’s income. Under the circumstances here, the Supreme Court properly imputed the sum of only $15,000 in annual income to the complainant wife and the sum of $100,000 in annual income to the defendant husband.

A Manhattan Custody Lawyer said the Supreme Court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in rejecting the husband’s claim that he should have been credited for overpayments of child support. Further, the Supreme Court’s determination regarding arrears, equitable distribution, child support, and maintenance rested largely on its credibility assessments, and it was in the best position to gauge the credibility of the husband and wife. Consequently, the court affords its credibility determinations great deference on appeal. Under the circumstances here, the Appellate Division decline to disturb the Supreme Court’s determinations with respect to these contested issues.

The Supreme Court did not err in directing the defendant husband to contribute his pro rata share of the expenses related to the religious schooling of the children. In addition, the counsel fee award to the complainant wife was not improper.

The Appellate Division agree with the defendant husband’s remaining contention that the Supreme Court erred in directing him to transfer the title of certain commercial real property to the wife. The commercial property at issue was owned by a corporation over which the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has since issued an order in which it corrected its decision on two issues. Accordingly, the matter is remitted to the Nassau County Supreme Court for the entry of an appropriate amended judgment.

The complainant wife’s contentions regarding the order which corrected the Supreme Court’s decision are not properly before the Court on this appeal. Moreover, since the wife has not taken a cross appeal from the judgment, the Court has not considered her contention that the husband was improperly given a credit for money he allegedly used for the down payment on the marital residence.

When husband and wife fight over material things, their children’s feelings suffer. If you want to spare your kids from emotional trouble, settle with your partner with the help of a Nassau County Family Lawyer with the assistance of a Nassau County Child Support Attorney. Stephen Bilkis and Associates can also provide a Nassau County Spousal Support Lawyer to help you get what you deserve in a divorce action.

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