A New York Family Lawyer said in a matrimonial action in which the parties were divorced by judgment, the complainant former husband appeals, as limited by his brief, from so much of an order of the Nassau County Supreme Court as granted the defendant former wife’s motion to hold him in contempt for failure to comply with the maintenance and child support provisions in the parties’ separation agreement, which was incorporated by reference into the judgment of divorce, directed his incarceration for a period of 90 days in the Nassau County Correctional Facility, permitted him to purge himself of the contempt by paying the sum of $175,000 to the former wife, and denied his cross application for a downward modification of his maintenance and child support obligations.
The appeal from so much of the order as committed the former husband to a term of incarceration of 90 days in the Nassau County Correctional Facility is dismissed as academic, without costs or disbursements, as the period of incarceration has expired; and it is further ordered that the order is reversed insofar as reviewed, on the law, without costs or disbursements, motion is denied, and the matter is remitted to the Nassau County Supreme Court for a new determination, after a hearing, of the cross application.
A New York Custody Lawyer said the Supreme Court erred in finding that the former husband was in contempt. In the absence of proof of an ability to pay, an order of commitment for willful violation of judgment in a matrimonial action may not stand. The record fails to support a finding that the former husband had the ability to pay his maintenance and child support obligations as set out in the parties’ separation agreement.
Furthermore, the court should not have denied the former husband’s cross application for a downward modification of his maintenance and child support obligations without first holding a hearing. The parties’ remaining contentions are without merit.
A Brooklyn Family Lawyer said in another child support dispute, the appeals are made by the former wife from an order of the Family Court made in the first proceeding which increased from $40 to $60 the weekly amount the husband was directed by a prior order of said court, to pay for support of the couple’s child and denied an application to direct the husband to pay arrears for child support which had accrued under a 1961 order of the former Domestic Relations Court of the City of New York, and from so much of an order of the Family Court made in the proceeding as denied the wife’s application for recovery of the same arrears, without prejudice.
A Brooklyn Custody Lawyer said a child is entitled to support from its father not only in accord with its needs but also in accord with the father’s means. This encompasses his ability to pay in relation to his wealth. The rule is the same whether the support proceeding is a local one or one brought, as was the first above entitled proceeding, under the Uniform Support of Dependents. There is no question that respondent is possessed of sufficient means to afford the support of the child in the amount herewith directed.
It is also noted that since 1958 neither the additional separation agreement nor any court order made payment of support conditional on visitation rights or required that the child be maintained in New York. The father never made a motion to be relieved of his duty of support but unilaterally stopped making payments during the period of June 14, 1965 until March 11, 1966 because the child was removed from the State of New York. Under these circumstances, the father should not be relieved of his obligation to pay the arrears for this period of time.
The Family Court in Nassau County is empowered by the Family Court Act to enforce payment of arrears of support payments which were directed by court order made in another county, whether such order was made by the Family Court or by the former Domestic Relations Court of the City of New York.
Children rely on their parents for provide for their needs. If your partner neglects his obligation, consult a Nassau County Child Support Attorney together with a Nassau County Spousal Support Lawyer. Stephen Bilkis and Associates can also provide you with a Nassau County Family Lawyer to assist you with your family related issues.