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Video : Father receiving a downward modification on child support

FATHER HELD IN CONTEMPT FOR FAILING TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT

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.

FATHERS DEFENSE: SHARED CUSTODY

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.

CONCLUSION

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 Elliot@sdnylaw.com or 800-344-6431.

Mothers Support Violation Petition Dismissed

Mothers Support Violation Petition Dismissed In this case a mother brought a support violation case the father in Nassau Family Court before Support Magistrate Sandra Toscano. Mother’s petition alleged Father had violated his obligations to pay child support. She also claimed he did not pay his pro rata share of educational expenses and child care pursuant to a prior court order. Father moved to dismiss mothers application. He claimed she failed to attach a copy of the parties 2008 child support agreement which established he did not owe her any arrears for child support. He also argued that Mother’s petition should be dismissed due to latches (the issue was too old) and equitable distribution (it had already been decided).

The Court’s Reasoning and Decision

Mother claimed the parties 2004 stipulation stated any further agreement had to be endorsed by a court or was considered non-binding. The 2008 agreement which reduced the Fathers child support was not “so-ordered” by a court, and the court held was therefore not binding. Father’s claim based on this agreement had to be dismissed. Support Magistrate Toscano also held the defenses of latches and equitable could not be brought in this proceeding with regard to the issue of child support arrears. However, Magistrate Toscano did dismiss the Mother’s petition for child support, child care expenses and educational expenses because she didn’t comply with due process. Support Magistrate Toscano held that the petition lacked the requisite specificity required to give father due process by affording him the ability to prepare and present an adequate defense. Since Mother’s petition did not have the adequate specificity it was dismissed.

Conclusion

This is a victory by a Father, not on the merits but based on violations of legal procedure by the Mother when she failed to adequately present a petition which met the statutory requirements.

Downward Modification of Child Support Denied

Downward Modification of Child Support DeniedIn a case in Suffolk County, New York, before Judge Paul Hensley who sits in the Family Court a father objected to an order made by a Support Magistrate that dismissed his petition for a downward modification of child support. The father presented arguments that the Support Magistrate made a mistake in dismissing his claim due to a substantial change in circumstances. He had been laid off from his job and he was unemployed for a period of over a year.

Child Support Payments

The Judgment of Divorce set a child support payment obligation of $2,000.00 per month. The agreement laid out documentation that the proper amount of the child support obligation was approximately $2,900.00 per month. However, the settlement agreement and the Judgment of Divorce showed the parties opted out of Family Court Act Section 451(3) and both parties agreed to the lesser amount of child support of $2,000.00 per month.

The Judge’s Decision

Judge Paul Hensley in his decision found the father had the burden of proving after the order of consent was entered the father involuntarily lost his job. The father had to thereafter prove he made diligent efforts to obtain a similar job. Judge Hensley, after reviewing the court record, found there was sufficient evidence showing the father did not prove the 2 elements of his claim for a downward modification. His objections (which amount to an appeal) of the decision dismissing his downward modification of support was denied.

Conclusion

Fathers have to be careful when they bring applications to reduce their child support because they have lost their job. Coming into court and saying I was laid off and I couldn’t find another job is simply insufficient. Substantial documentary evidence must be presented with regard to both being laid off and diligent efforts to obtain other employment. If the father does not meet his burden he will be unsuccessful in reducing his child support even if he is still unemployed.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a father’s rights lawyer who has been representing fathers throughout the Metropolitan New York area in child support, child custody, visitation cases and divorces for more than 45 years.  Should you need guidance with regard to marital or family issues feel free to contact the law firm of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP at 800-344-6431 or you can e-mail Elliot Schlissel at Elliot@sdnylaw.com for a free consultation.

Mother’s Relocation to Florida Denied

Mother's Relocation to Florida DeniedA mother had brought a Family Court case seeking to relocate to Florida. She wanted to bring her child with her to Florida. The father had opposed this application. The mother lost her application in the Family Court. She thereafter appealed the denial of allowing her to relocate to Florida.

The Appeals Court Decision

The Appeals Court also denied the mother’s request to relocate and affirmed the prior decision of the Family Court. The Appeals Court took note the record did not show the mother’s plan to relocate was a real plan. The record was insufficient to establish the child’s best interests would be served by allowing the mother and the parties’ child to move to Florida.

The Mother’s Circumstances

The mother was unemployed. She had no family members or extended family in Florida. There was no information as to her having a job in Florida, what town she wished to live in and where the child would go to school. The mother claimed the father would be able to visit the child in Florida. However, the father’s work schedule and personal life were likely to prevent him from having any significant contact with his child if the mother was able to move with the child to Florida. It was also unlikely the child would be able to come back to New York to spend substantial time visiting with the father.

The mother claimed her financial and economic situation would greatly improve if she relocated to Florida. However, she did not show even if she received economic benefit, the parties’ child would benefit from this relocation.

Conclusion

If one parent seeks to relocate and the relocation has a negative impact on the other parent, the relocating parent must present a very detailed case as to how the relocation will benefit the child of the parties.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights lawyer representing fathers in custody, relocation, visitation, support proceedings throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached for consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Parental Alienation

Parental-Alienation

Parental alienation is inappropriate behavior by one parent whether it be the father or the mother which is designed to have a negative impact on the relationship between the children and the other parent. It can be considered a type of brainwashing. Parental Alienation is the manipulation of children by one parent for the purpose of preventing or destroying a warm and loving relationship the children have with the other parent. Parental alienation is harmful to the children. Parental alienation has been known to cause both emotional and psychological damage to children. The parent that is victimized loses his or her ability to maintain a relationship with the children through no fault of his or her own. In some cases allegations of sexual or physical abuse are part of the parental alienation scheme.

Parental Alienation Syndrome

A child subject to parental alienation often develop parental alienation syndrome and develop an intense dislike for one of their parents even though there is no logical reason for the child’s behavior to that parent. If you suspect the other parent is engaging in parental alienation, you should take immediate legal action to stop this inappropriate conduct. The longer the parental alienation continues on the more difficult it is to get the child back on the right track.

Custody Lawsuits and Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can be used as a method by a litigant in a custody case to have a negative impact on a parent’s ability to obtain custody of his or her children. If you suspect this is going on bring this to your attorney’s attention. This should be dealt with immediately to stop it from destroying one parent’s relationship with the children.

schlissel-headshot

If you are a victim of parental alienation or your children are being victimized, contact the law office of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. We have been helping parents throughout the Metropolitan New York area to deal with parental alienation for more than 3 decades. We can be reached at 800-344-6431 or you can e-mail us at: Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Father’s Request to Eliminate Child Support Denied

A father brought a proceeding in Queens County Family Court.  The case was assigned to Judge John Hunt.  The father requested his obligations to pay child support be terminated.  He claimed that the child had been constructively emancipated.  He further claimed the mother had been involved in parental interference that prevented him from maintaining a relationship with his daughter.

 

Litigation

The father and mother had been litigating various issues since 2007.  The father claimed he had no relationship with his daughter.  The mother testified she gave the father every opportunity to see his child but he never took any action to try to maintain a relationship with her.

 

The Judge’s Decision

Justice Hunt found the father had failed to meet his burden of proof showing there had been a change in circumstances sufficient to terminate his child support obligations.  Judge Hunt went on to find the father failed to establish the mother frustrated his relationship with his daughter.  He also found the child was not constructively emancipated.  The Judge’s decision instead found the father avoided his responsibility for his 18 year old daughter.  He made no efforts to form a relationship with her.  Judge Hunt found the father’s testimony to be fallacious and self-serving.  He also found if the father had waited an reasonable period of time which amounted to an inexcusable delay of 10 years in pursuing his remedies to submit these issue to the court.  The father’s application was dismissed.

 

Conclusion

Attorney Elliot SchlisselFathers seeking to terminate child support payments must make a detailed evidentiary presentation to courts.  Judges are very hesitant to eliminate child support payments without very strong evidentiary presentations.

 

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a father’s rights lawyer representing fathers on child support, visitation and custody matters for more than 4 decades.  He can be reached at Elliot@sdnylaw.com or 800-344-6437.