New York child custody, Manhattan child custody, Brooklyn child custody Lawyer
Divorce Lawyer. New York child custody, Manhattan child custody, Brooklyn child custody Lawyer.
Divorce Lawyer. New York child custody, Manhattan child custody, Brooklyn child custody Lawyer.

Recent Cases Affecting New York Divorce Law

What is the Recent Law on Child Support in New York?
June 25, 2021

Recent 2021 Child Support Decisions Highlight Numerous Commonly-Faced Issues

No matter what the issues are in your New York child support matter, having competent, knowledgeable legal representation will help you navigate the processes of production, negotiation, modification, or enforcement of a child support agreement, Order, or judgment. Thus far in 2021, the Appellate Division’s Second Department has decided a number of cases that implicate issues commonly litigated in child support actions. Read on for several examples case law that touch on child support related issues that the Law Office of Lisa Beth Older can help you traverse.


Downward Modification of a Child Support Obligation

In an agreement as to child support, it is important to consider the potential for future changing economic circumstances. New York law allows for a noncustodial parent to seek a modification of child support under certain conditions, such as a substantial change in circumstances, three years of elapsed time, or a 15% change in a party’s gross income. However, if your income is variable from year to year or has the potential to decrease dramatically, it may be worth outlining this possibility in a stipulation of settlement or other child support agreement, providing for more specific potential circumstances that could trigger your entitlement to a downward modification.

Recently, in Rodriguez v. Starks, 194 A.D.3d 1063, the Appellate Division’s Second Department upheld a reduction in child support obligation following the father's successful petition for a downward modification. In this case, the father was an NFL player who made $850,000 per year at time of the entry of the Order of support. However, the agreement between the parties allowed for the father to seek downward mod if he stopped playing professional football. Because the Order contained this provision, the father was entitled to a recalculation of his child support obligation pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act. The Law Office of Lisa Beth Older can assist you in drafting or modifying an agreement that will comport with  your particular, individual financial needs.


Inter-State Orders and Judgments

Whether you are new to New York and are seeking enforcement of a child support judgment or Order from another state, or relocating elsewhere and now seeking to enforce a New York child support judgment or Order in another state, you should know that generally, under the Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act and Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, the state issuing a child support order retains continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over its child support orders so long as an individual contestant continues to reside in the issuing state. (See: Matter of Spencer v. Spencer, 10 N.Y.3d 60, 66.)

Recently, in the case of Nassau County Dept of Social Services v. Ablog, 194 A.D.3d 817, the Department of Social Services brought a proceeding under the Family Court Act seeking support from the father on behalf of his daughter who had turned 18 and moved to New York. The child support magistrate denied father's motion to dismiss and entered a final order directing him to pay support, but in accordance with the above principles, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division held that Florida retained continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of child support order.

Jurisdictional issues in child support enforcement can become complicated when interstate judgments are involved. The Law Office of Lisa Beth Older can be trusted to navigate these complex issues with care and experience.


Reimbursement of Expenses

In addition to a basic monthly child support obligation, child support Orders and agreements may include provisions that require the noncustodial parent to cover or contribute to reimbursement for additional expenses, such as medical expenses, recreational activities, or education expenses. Under New York law, the party seeking reimbursement of expenses related to support of child must show that he or she actually paid the sums for which reimbursement is sought.

In the recent decision in Parente v. Parente, 193 A.D.3d 862, the former wife petitioned for reimbursement from the former husband for his pro rata share of the children's college expenses pursuant to parties' stipulation of settlement that was incorporated into judgment of divorce. The Court found that the wife had established sufficient proof of payment, however, the Support Magistrate below had erred in failing to award the father a credit against his pro rata share of the room and board expenses for the amount he had paid in child support for the same child at the relevant time.

Determining what is owed by whom when the text of an agreement is complicated or allows for credits and expenses can be difficult. The Law Office of Lisa Beth Older can help you understand your obligations, determine a fair and balanced support agreement, or modify one that is not working for you.


By: Your Manhattan Divorce Lawyer 

Lisa Beth Older

Is there bias against people of color in Family Court?
June 25, 2021

A recent report promulgated by the New York Supreme Court Chief Justice Janet Fiore stated that based on a recent task force inquiry there has been a racial injustice bias in the court system which has produced a "second class system for people of color". The Chief Justice asked Jeh Johnson to inquire into our system of Justice in New York and prepare a report. That report found that after interviewing more than 300 individuals involved in the Court system,  done anonymously, the interviews revealed bias. Of the three hundred workers interviewed it showed systemic racisim in the way people of color are treated. The report listed Family Court and housing court and criminal court as potential offenders. The Report cited lack of resources as a contributing factor. The report discussed that court employees do not get adequate training on implicit bias. It was also discussed that it should be an imperative that all courthouse employees get bias training. While this is not a scientific study, it does seem to suggest the need o the Court to any hostile environment that would work a hardshp on people of color 

The Third Judicial Department has mandated bias training for all courthouse employees. 

I think that Family Court will benefit from bias training of all people of all races so that we can eradicate the culture of hatred that has persisited in our country for way too long. I personally welcome representing all people of any race and treat every one of my clients, adversaries and court staff regardless of race, gender or sexual preference with the respect they deserve as I do not see color, I only see people and I find it disgusting if any person injects racisim and hatred into our court system. It has no place there or anywhere.

That said, more needs to be done to research this issue since three hundred people is not a large enough sample from which we can make the sound conclusions necessary for an action plan. 



Update on Child Support Information in NY State -- 2021
February 12, 2021

A child must be supported by their parents until the child turns 21.

If the child lives with one parent over the other, the parent who resides with the child is considered the custodial parent. Child support is a right that belongs to the custodial parent and it does not matter if the custodial parent has funds of their own. Child support is determined by the Supreme Court in a divorce action or by Family court if the parties are not married. The parties can also agree to the amount of child support but the agreement must be formal or the court may not accept it.

And child support is determined through a statue called the Child Support Standards Act. This guideline helps to calculate the "basic" child support obligation amount that the noncustodial parent pays in child support.

Settle if Possible!
April 3, 2017

I read an interesting article about how divorces are handled in Israel. It was initially written by John R Ellison and was published in the Harvard Business review on January to February 1990. The article had to do with our adversarial system in NY Divorce and in other states in America.  In the adversary system the idea in divorces is that aggressive representation will result in a good finding of the truth. Unfortunately in New York divorce cases it is often the case that this system fails when couples are of little means. The judicial system is now encouraging more efficient ways of dealing with divorces and family disputes. There are other options other than going to court such as mediation and collaborative divorces. In the case described in the article it was discussed that one wife wanted a divorce but her mother-in-law was pestering her. The court in Israel thought about it and ordered that the husband purchase a ladder so that when the wife wanted to avoid her mother-in-law the latter was available for her to leave. While the result was interesting, the premise behind it is more interesting.

Choose a lawyer who is bent on settling your case rather than a lawyer who wants to litigate. The last resort should be #family #law #litigation and #trial.  Most judges in New York County on #divorce cases urge this when litigants appear in their court room. They won't necessarily direct the parties to buy a ladder, but they are wise enough to encourage the litigants to settle out of court and are sensitive to the needs of the party's inability to pay for expensive procedures such as independent psychiatric evaluations, attorneys for children and the like.  But sometimes one party or the other drives litigation with unnecessary motions and demands of the court. And under our system of law the litigants are entitled to a fair discovery of assets and a fair discovery of the facts from the other side.  Sometimes the litigant needs judicial help to enforce Orders and the like.  Most cases that end up in Court are high net worth cases such that the courts are bound to hear arguments from both sides. Further,  when there are serious allegations or any allegations for that matter involving custodial Arrangements of the parties and children,  especially when issues are raised as to Fitness of the parties drug use or mental illness. the case ends up in Court and the Courts need advise in parsing expert psychological facts gleaned from expert reports that are filled with medical jargon.

The lesson to be learned is to exhaust all remedies out of cout before resorting to judicial intervention. And if all else fails then hire a NYdivorcelawyer who is experienced, wise, well respected amongst her or his peers and Judges, knows the law, and is #trial savy.

Article by your #NYdivorcelawyer #Lisa Beth Older