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Father Granted Downward Modification Of Child Support

Father Granted Downward Modification Of Child SupportIn the case before support Magistrate Sandra Mendelson-Toscano, sitting in the Family Court of Nassau County, a father filed a downward modification of child support petition asking that his child support obligations be reduced. The parties had previously been divorced and there were two children of the marriage. Upon receiving the downward modification child support petition, the mother filed an enforcement action against the father. She alleged he failed to pay child support payments in a timely manner.


There was a joint trial held before Support Magistrate Mendelson-Toscano. She ruled since the father’s income had decreased by more than 15% since the previous child support order had been made, he was entitled to a downward modification of his child support payments. She thereafter entered a decision modifying his support obligations retroactive to the date he brought his child support downward modification case. In addition, the support magistrate ruled the father was entitled to credit for child support payments he made and a dollar for dollar credit for room and board payments he made while his son was attending college.

However, even though the father’s child support payments were reduced and he received some credits, the Support Magistrate found he still owed child support arrears to the mother. Therefore, Support Magistrate entered a non-willful finding ordering the father to pay mother’s attorney’s fees since he had failed to comply with the condition precedent as set forth in the prior child support order.


In this case the father won on some issues but was still forced to pay the mother’s attorney’s fees.

p>schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at or 800-344-6431.


FATHER HELD IN CONTEMPT FOR FAILING TO PAY CHILD SUPPORTIn an action for Justice Jeffrey Sunshine sitting in the Supreme Court Divorce part in Kings County, a post judgment lawsuit was brought by the mother. The father, who was the defendant in the action, and an attorney, asked for a downward modification of child support. The issue of child support had been dealt with in a recently executed stipulation of settlement. This new case asked that the father be held in contempt because he had paid no child support for more than 18 months. There were arrears in child support which totaled over $30,000.


The father claimed since he had shared custody of the child, he was entitled to be given a credit for any payment he made on behalf of the child. Justice Sunshine found the father’s claim he was financially unable to pay child support was not supported by the court record. He had paid more than $900 monthly in a car lease. In addition, he had paid gas and other expenses for his car but had made no payments towards the $1500 a month child support obligation he had to the mother. Justice Sunshine stated the record revealed the father earned over $100,000 a year and the mother earned $45,000 a year. Justice Sunshine rendered a decision that he had no authority to vacate arrears due for child support which were incurred by the father prior to bringing the lawsuit for a downward modification of child support.


The father, an attorney, should have hired an attorney experienced in handling support proceedings related to a divorce.

p>schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at or 800-344-6431.


Fathers’ rightsIn a case in New York County, a father had custody of the party’s child. The mother brought a lawsuit to change custody. She sought full decision making authority regarding the parties’ child. She claimed there had been a change in circumstances. The pleadings indicated the father “repeatedly and unreasonably fails to communicate…regarding the child’s health, medical, dental and educational issues.”


The Mother specifically alleged the child was consistently failing to log in or logged in late for his school classes. The school classes had been held remotely during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. She claims in some situations the child was marked absent because he logged on so late. The mother also claimed the child failed to turn in school work and didn’t attend supplementary tutoring.


The Father brought a motion to dismiss the mother’s petition. Judge Hasa Kingo sitting in the Family Court of New York County ruled the allegations of the mother, even if true, did not establish there was a change in circumstances which would warrant a hearing regarding the best interests of the child. Judge Kingo noted the overwhelming majority of petitioner’s allegations involved remote schooling. These allegations took place in 2020. In 2021, the child returned to school on a full time basis and therefore these allegations were no longer relevant.

The Judge in this case dismissed the mothers petition for change of custody to her and for her to have full decision making authority.


This is a case where the father continues to have custody of his child. Fathers who fight to keep custody of their children can be successful!

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at or 800-344-6431.