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Petitioner Brings Case to Collect Back Child Support


A New York Family Lawyer said the decree of divorce was entered to dissolve the bonds of matrimony existing between a couple, restoring each to the status of a single person, awarding to the mother the care, custody and control of their minor children, and directing the father to pay to the mother $10 a week for the care, maintenance and support of each minor child.

The divorce decree was based on the ground of three year’s separation obtain by the mother with the father’s agreement by his execution and filed waiver, and appearance in the action.

The mother shortly remarried and her children remained with her. The step father appeared to be close to them and have had almost no contact with the father over the intervening years.

Subsequently, a support petition was filed by the mother in the children’s behalf and on that date the court entered a consent order directing a deposit of the sum of $10 a week, for both children. The court also made an order of protection providing for certain visitation.

A New York Child Custody Lawyer said the hearing was held with regards the complaint of arrears and of the mother’s request for an increase and also of the father’s complaint that the visitation directions had been violated. At the conclusion of the said hearing, the justice ordered that an order modified to $15 a week, plus $60 on arrears, the father to have privilege of visiting the children on notice to mother.

Thereafter, another justice conducted new hearings at which both parties were represented by attorney, and further modified the order to $20 a week.

Later, both parties were before another justice and he ordered arrears of $120, $20 a week, plus $10 a week on arrears. The bond also suggested if any further defaults. The father pays $60 in open court to the mother and the arrears above set are further reduced to $60.

At the request of the mother and her attorney, a warrant was issued because of the father’s failure to comply fully with the order and his not answering a summons which had been issued. However, the said warrant was vacated by the justice, on proof that the arrears had then been reduced to $20.

Again, a Staten Island Family Lawyer said on the mother’s request, the justice ordered another warrant but stayed with the decision. Shortly, neither the mother nor the father was present, so the justice indorsed into a no appearance and no action.

Thereafter, a justice made an order for the physical examination of the son. The said examination was ordered to determine whether the son, then nearly nineteen years old and in college suffered the kind of physical disability contemplated. The mother having urged that her son suffered from rheumatic fever.

Based on records, the ruling expresses the view, which is the law of the case, that the language automatically fixes the seventeenth birthday as the expiration date of every support order for a child, unless there will have been an express extension on proof of facts within the domain of the concluding sentence.

Moreover, a Staten Island Child Custody Lawyer said such a concluding sentence has been applied in cases where the child is a mental defective, psychotic, epileptic, or otherwise industrially incapacitated. In addition, it is the usual practice in the court to regard a child’s need to continue education until graduation from high school as one of the exceptional situation contemplated. However, the said practice has not yet been authoritatively approved, having expressly declined to pass upon that precise question and reserved it for future determination.

A doctor and the director of the medical division of the court made a report and stated that the son, age 18, complains of intermittent attacks of fever for the past year. At 6, he is said to have rheumatic fever and was told he has rheumatic heart disease. There are no other symptoms and no other relevant history.

The justice then expressly directed that the order as to the son had terminated by operation of law but seemingly he continued the $20 weekly order for the daughter alone and without specified date. The daughter had not yet then attained the age of seventeen years but did reach that age on specific date, as of which date the order for her automatically expired, not having been extended.

The mother’s present husband, an attorney, wrote in view of the question of the continuing jurisdiction of the court raised by the age of the children that his firm had been retained to institute an action to recover the total balance which might be due or become due, divorce decree, and for that purpose he asked for a statement of the entire amount collected from the father through this court. The letter mentions that such course was recommended by the justice. The attorney also stated that it seems the best, and indeed only, the available remedy.

The payments of the father through this court have a total $3,380, of which $2,060 were remitted by him through the family court, between a specific period of time and $1,320.

The previous decision directs payment of $10 a week for each of the two children during their entire minorities.

Seemingly, such action on the decision has not yet been instituted and the matter remained dormant, request from the mother that the case be scheduled again, on the assumption that there were still unpaid arrears accrued under the court’s order.

Such a hearing was scheduled before the court and finally when the court’s reserved decision pending the study which has eventuated in the memorandum.

The mother was present on both those days but not the father. Instead, the latter’s sister attended and in his behalf. The father stated in a letter that since he came out from his service, he remained single because he could not support a new wife and his children. He recently married again, and his children have reached their 18 years of age. He then asked the court to stop his payments to his former wife.

Because the father’s sister is not an attorney and the relations between her and the mother are tense and unfriendly, the court stated that caused probation officer will notify her and she would not be permitted to represent the father but should furnish his address to which the memorandum might be sent. In response, the attorney who had represented the father from previous hearings filed another notice of appearance in his behalf and requested that a copy of the memorandum be sent to that attorney.

Inasmuch as the daughter attained the age of seventeen years, and was then in college, the order for her terminated automatically on that date, although any deposits made thereafter by the father and remitted to the mother became the child’s property and need not be refunded. But those deposits may be credited against any claim in the action on the divorce decree.

It appears further that the book arrears accrued were $170 and that since that date the father deposited a total of $230, so that there are actually now no arrears.

For the foregoing reasons the proceeding is marked terminated and any book arrears is cancelled, without prejudice, however, to an action in the children’s behalf on the previous judgment in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Stephen Bilkis and Associates office provides legal assistance for those in need. The Queens County Family Lawyer or Queens County Custody Attorney can offer legal representation for family related disputes. You can also approach the Queens County Child Visitation Lawyer if you want to maintain your rights to spend time with your kids.

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