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Court Rules on Nonpayment of Alimony


This case begins where a couple was divorced, and the mother got the custody of their two children. The children were fourteen years old and twelve years old respectively at that time of the divorce. The father was given visitation right of not less than eighty-five days per annum. The alimony set was at $1,800 per month and for child support it was at $1,000 per month per child. A NYC Visitation Lawyer said the mother did not comply with this order, which made the father file a petition for modification of the alimony to $1,000 and decreasing the child support to $300 per month per child.

It was determined that the mother was making their children decide whether they want to see their father or not. It is between them and their father, who lives in Florida. She does not discourage them to see him, but she does not encourage it as well. The Trial Court granted the father’s petition, and this was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

The mother filed a motion for contempt of court against her husband saying he is not paying the alimony. She asked the court as well to award the alimony in arrears and to have it continued. According to a New York Family Lawyer, the Domestic Relations Commissioner reviewed the file and found that the father was in arrears for the amount of $3,600 until that month, and the next regular payment should be made the following month. He testified he did not pay the alimony because he was not able to visit with their child. The older one was already emancipated. The mother, he said, refused to discuss visitation with their daughter. He did not deny that he could make the payment as the amount was deposited to an escrow account. He raised the same issue as with his claim where because of the denial of visitation, he did not pay the alimony.

The court found that in this situation, it is not a defense for non-payment of the alimony, and he was asked to pay the arrears. The father appealed against this order and the succeeding ruling denying his claim that his son had been emancipated. He was told to pay the alimony and the child support. The Court of Appeals addressed two issues. The first with regard to the decision of the Trial Court that denial of visitation was not a defense to not paying the alimony. They agreed with the father, this was an error. They said that as long as this withholding does not negatively affect the child’s welfare, the court could grant this relief. The mother can appeal once she has already complied with the court’s ruling. A NYC Visitation Lawyer said, as for the emancipation of his son, the court found insufficient evidence. They reversed the order to pay the alimony in arrears and affirmed the payment of child support.

An NYC Order of Protection Lawyer commented that the court has the right to approve the withholding of child support or alimony, as long as it is not detrimental to a child’s welfare. In cases for visitation, child support or custody, the best interest of the child is always placed first in the consideration. They try to make sure as well that the orders are equitable to both parties.

If child support or visitation with your child has been withheld from you, there are remedies available. Stephen Bilkis and Associates has an experienced team of lawyers who will provide you with options. We have offices in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan to assist you. We also have offices on Long Island in Suffolk County and Nassau County and Westchester County, Long Island. For legal assistance and a free consultation, call us now at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW.

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