Appeals Court Upholds Father’s Rights in Family Court

Martin & Colin, P.C. announces that it has won an appeals court victory in favor of a divorced, working dad paying child support to the child’s mother.

The father had returned to court to obtain a downward modification in his basic child support obligation based upon a loss of income as a result of a long job layoff and to obtain a reduction of his court-ordered obligation to pay child care because the child was now in elementary school full-time and did not require child care. The trial court denied the father’s application in its entirety.

The father did not appeal the trial court’s refusal to reduce his basic child support obligation due to his long layoff (which had ended and the father was back to work). However, the father did appeal the trial court’s refusal to reduce his court-ordered obligation to pay child care because the child was now in school full-time and no longer needed childcare. In a decision and order dated July 12, 2011, the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed the trial court and ordered that the father receive a reduction of his childcare obligation retroactive to the date the father filed his petition.

In its decision and order, the appellate court made two points: 1) that a change in the expenses for the child may constitute a change in circumstances entitling the father to a reduction in his child support obligation; and 2) that it was undisputed in this case that the child care expenses had decreased significantly since the order of support had been issued, due to the child attending school full time. Therefore, the appeals court held that the father should only be required to pay his share of the child care expenses actually incurred by the mother.

The lawyers at Martin & Colin, P.C. successfully represented this hard-working father on the appeal. The decision is published at: http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2011/2011_05962.htm

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The experienced lawyers at Martin + Colin, P.C., headquartered in White Plains, handle child support, child custody and family court matters.  If you need a family court attorney, Martin + Colin, P.C. may be able to help. Please call (914) 771 7711 or email using the ‘Contact Us’ form on this webpage.