Appeal Victory Upholds Mother’s Right to Child Support

Martin & Colin, P.C. announces that it has won an appeals court victory in favor of a divorced, working mother receiving child support from the child’s father, who is now her ex-husband.

The father had returned to court to obtain a reduction in his child support obligation based upon his claimed reduction in earnings. The trial court denied the father’s request for a downward modification of his child support obligation. The father appealed.

In a memorandum decision dated March 15, 2011, the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the order of the trial court. The amount of child support the father is required to pay to the mother remains unchanged. In its decision, the appellate court made two points: 1) that a parent’s child support obligation is not necessarily determined by his or her current financial condition, but rather by his ability to provide support as well as his or her assets and earning powers; and 2) that the father in this case had the necessary skills and ability to obtain higher paying employment.

A portion of the appellate court’s decision is below:

Here, the Supreme Court found, in effect, that the appellant’s financial documentation provided an incomplete account of his finances. It further found that the appellant, a former law firm partner who specialized in corporate transactional work, had the necessary skills and ability to obtain employment in a different legal practice area. Thus, the Supreme Court found that the appellant failed to establish the requisite change of circumstances warranting a downward modification of his child support obligation (see Family Ct Act § 413 [1] [a]). Upon our review of the record, we find no basis to disturb that determination.

The lawyers at Martin & Colin, P.C. successfully represented this working mom on the appeal. The decision is published at:

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The experienced family court lawyers at Martin + Colin, P.C., headquartered in White Plains, handle child support, child custody, child neglect, juvenile delinquency and other family court matters.  If you are in need of 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.


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