Over 30 years of experience in divorce & family law

Blog

APPELLATE COURT FINDS THAT MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS WERE NOT THE BEST OPTION TO ACT AS SUPERVISORS OF VISITATION

Sep 14

DIVORCE LAWYER Nassau County NY
H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney, and mediator with over 34 years of experience suggests where supervised visitation with children is appropriate, that the qualifications and availability of the supervisors must be scrutinized.
blog

In a recent case decided by the Appellate Division Second Judicial Department, the Court was presented with a situation where the mother required supervised child visitation and the lower Court directed expanded alternating weekend supervised child visitation with the maternal grandparents acting as the supervisors. Essentially, supervised child visitation is appropriate where unsupervised child visits can be detrimental to the subject child. The central issue in the case was whether the maternal grandparents would responsibly provide the requisite supervision to ensure the children’s safety during the visit. In reversing the lower Court, the Appellate Division found that the lower Court did not determine the willingness or ability of the maternal grandparents to adequately supervise the children for the entire weekend visit. The Appellate Court referred the case back to the lower Court to redetermine the mother’s supervised parenting time with the children.

This is not an unfamiliar situation. There are times where the proposed supervisor of child visitation is not in Court or is too closely aligned with the party under supervision. In the first example, the Court does not have the opportunity to extensively question the proposed supervisor to determine whether the person is capable of providing the necessary oversight. In the second example, a close relative may have his or her loyalties tested by the parent who will seek a measure of liberty with the child, free of supervision by the relative. Oftentimes, the relative will have the supervised child visit in a residential setting and may not remain in the same room as the parent under supervision (with the child). These scenarios are particularly troublesome for the Courts. Accordingly, proper, and extensive vetting of the proposed supervisor becomes a paramount concern for the Court. In a case that I settled last year; the problem was addressed in part by the supervised child visit taking place in a restaurant. However, as the pandemic has reduced the available options for supervised child visitation in public, there may be more cases along the lines of the one referred to in this blog.

I have been litigating child custody and divorce cases for more than three decades. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website.

Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island matrimonial practice over the past 34 years. Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family law matter by phone at 516-747-2290.

My Nassau County office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.
Written by, H. MICHAEL STERN, Divorce & Child Custody Lawyer


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

RECENT APPELLATE DECISION PREVENTS ONE PARTY FROM SEEKING A RESTRUCTURING OF TERMS CONCERNING REAL ESTATE WHICH DIFFER FROM THE PARTIES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

Jul 29

DIVORCE LAWYER NASSAU COUNTY
H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney and mediator with over 34 years of experience suggests that if there is uncertainty concerning the disposition of property subject to distribution in a divorce, that the parties should avoid waiving their rights to have a Court determine the disposition if a subsequent dispute arises between them.
blog

In a recent case determined by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, the Court held that where the parties Stipulation of Settlement clearly provided for the method of distribution of their real estate, that the Court was not permitted to change or rewrite the disputed terms of the parties agreement. Furthermore, the Appellate Court held that since the parties Stipulation of Settlement had contained a waiver of equitable distribution, the terms of the agreement prevented the Court from addressing the distribution of property, deeming the issue fully resolved.

In my opinion, where there is uncertainty concerning the disposition of property in a divorce, the best practice is to avoid any waiver and include a clause reserving jurisdiction for the Court to address all aspects of the distribution of the asset following the settlement. In both Stipulations of Settlement and Separation Agreements, I have routinely provided for a reservation of rights by the Court to address all aspects of the process of liquidating real property, as it has been my experience that unforeseen problems can arise that require judicial involvement. If a problem arises, it is best to have the Court available to help facilitate and implement the party’s intentions.

I use my best efforts to settle all divorce cases. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website. Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 34 years.

Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family law matter by phone at
516-747-2290.

My Long Island office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.

Written by, H. Michael Stern, Divorce Lawyer Nassau County, NY


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

ENROLLMENT IN KINDERGARTEN CAN CONSTITUTE A CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES WARRANTING A REDUCTION OF CHILD CARE CONTRIBUTIONS

Jul 20

DIVORCE & CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER NASSAU CTY, NY

Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney and mediator with over 34 years of experience suggests that a Child Support Downward Modification Petition should be filed by the non-residential parent where a child has enrolled in kindergarten, resulting in a significant reduction in actual child care expenses.
blog
In a recent case determined by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, the Court held that the father had met his burden of proof of a substantial change in circumstances where the parties child had enrolled in kindergarten, resulting in a substantial reduction in child care expenses.

The Court affirmed the finding of the Family Court and reduced the father’s obligation to the pro rata share of the reasonable and actual childcare expenses paid by the mother.

I suggest that it is prudent to verify the actual childcare expenses incurred if there is a change of employment by the recipient parent or the enrollment in kindergarten. Enrollment by the child in school district based after school programs should also be scrutinized by the parent paying childcare expenses. While child support may not change if the only change in circumstances is the enrollment of a child in kindergarten, the amount of out-of-pocket childcare costs are subject to a downward adjustment.

I have been litigating Family Court Child Support Modification cases throughout my career. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website.

Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over 34 years. Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, by phone at 516-747-2290 if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce, child support or family law matter.

Due to the pandemic, I conduct telephone or in office consultations. My office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.

Written by, H. Michael Stern, Divorce & Child Support Lawyer Long Island, NY


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

WHEN YOUR SPOUSE HIRES AN ATTORNEY THAT YOU PREVIOUSLY TALKED TO, THE KIND OF INFORMATION THAT WAS DISCUSSED WILL DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR SPOUSE’S ATTORNEY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED BY THE COURT

Jul 13

DIVORCE LAWYER Nassau County, NY
H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney, and mediator
with over 34 years of experience suggests that when interviewing attorneys to handle your divorce case, it is important to keep a record of the topics discussed during the meeting.
blog
In a recent case decided by the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, the Court was presented with a situation where the wife had met with and had follow up calls with an attorney. Apparently, the wife provided that attorney with financial information. That same attorney was a partner in a firm hired as co-counsel to represent the husband a few years later. This presents an issue of a potential conflict of interest on the part of the firm acting as co-counsel which could result in the disqualification of the firm. The Appellate Court determined that there was no basis to disqualify co-counsel for the
husband based upon a conflict of interest as there was no proof that the information was significantly harmful to the wife. The Court found that the financial information that the wife gave to the attorney in question was subject to discovery in the divorce case. Discovery is a process where information and documents are exchanged by the parties in a divorce case. The Court also found that the financial information was already known by the husband.

The question is whether the result would have been different in that case if the wife had imparted information concerning issues such as marital fault, domestic violence, or custody and visitation issues. These issues are not subject to discovery in parts of the State of New York. In the First Department, none of these issues would be subject to discovery. That is why it makes sense to keep a record of the subject matter discussed during an attorney consultation, as that same attorney could be hired by your spouse. These issues arise from time to time and no litigant wants to be in a position of having to assess whether the attorney on the other side possesses significantly harmful information that can adversely impact his or her case.

I have been litigating divorce cases for more than three decades. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website. Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 32 years.

Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family by phone at 516-747-2290.

I am conducting telephone and in person consultations during the pandemic, by appointment. My Long Island office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.

Written by, H. Michael Stern, Divorce Lawyer, Nassau County NY


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

WHAT I LEARNED DURING MY PERSONAL APPEARANCE IN THE COVID-19 NASSAU COUNTY FAMILY COURT IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY ORDER OF PROTECTION PROCEEDING

May 21

Family & Divorce Lawyer Nassau County NY

H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney, and mediator
with over 34 years of experience recently made a personal appearance with a litigant seeking an Order of Protection in the Nassau County Family Court. These are my informal observations and suggestions for any party seeking an Order of Protection in Nassau Family Court during the pandemic lockdown, pending the re-opening of the Westbury, New York Courthouse
COVID-19
First things first, the Court is temporary situated in Mineola at 262 Old Country Road.
The entrance to the temporary Court is located on Old Country Road. I suggest that if time permits, download a copy of the Nassau Family Court case information sheet from the “Nassau County Family Court petitions and forms” web page. Fill it out beforehand to save time. When you arrive, you will encounter a Court Officer. If you inform the officer that the forms for an Order of Protection are needed, you will be provided with a blank form set. You may not be permitted inside the Courthouse while you prepare the paperwork, so bring a clipboard to write on. It makes sense to write down (or type) the details of the event or events which underlie the application for the Order of Protection and bring that document with you to Court. That document can be attached to the handwritten Petition and made a part of it. If not prepared in advance, you will have to write out the details of the event(s) within the Petition form following your arrival at the Courthouse. If you have questions concerning preparation of the Petition form, you can ask to speak to one of the Court Clerks for assistance.

Once the paperwork is completed and carefully reviewed, let the Court Officer at the
building entrance know that the forms can be filed with the Court. Then you will have to wait for your case to be called. Once your case is called, you will be brought into an empty courtroom. The Judge, Court Clerk and Court Officer will be teleconferencing the case. Basically, you and the escorting Court Officer will be the only persons present, the Court staff will be appearing remotely. It is the equivalent of a Zoom teleconference. You will be sworn in and questioned by the judge. A decision will be made then and there as to whether you qualify for an Order of Protection and the terms will be placed on the record by the Judge. Then you will be escorted out of the Courtroom and will have to wait outside the building for the written Temporary Order of Protection to be prepared. I suggest that the applicant wait for the Temporary Order of Protection in all instances. The Temporary Order of Protection will be served by an agent of the Court on the other party. I suggest that the raised seal official copy always be kept in reach of the applicant. If the police are summoned, it is important for the responding officers to have the raised seal official copy available for review, so they act accordingly.

I have been litigating Family Court cases for more than three decades. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website. Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 34 years.

Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family law matter at hmsternesq@gmail.com or by phone at 516-747-2290.

I am conducting telephone and virtual video consultations during the pandemic, by appointment. If you want to have a telephone or virtual video consultation, please call my office to arrange one. I am also available to conduct the consultation in person at my office.

My Long Island office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.

Written by, H. Michael Stern, Divorce Lawyer Nassau County NY


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

IF A PARTY IS NOT COMPLYING WITH DISCOVERY IN A NEW YORK DIVORCE, ONE MUST CONSIDER THE TACTICAL IMPLICATIONS OF A MOTION TO STRIKE THE PLEADINGS OF THE OFFENDING PARTY

Apr 10

DIVORCE LAWYER LONG ISLAND NY

Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney and mediator

with over 34 years of experience suggests that unless the offending party is the Plaintiff and the other party does not want a divorce, the best approach is to seek an Order of Preclusion as to evidence and testimony, as opposed to striking the pleadings of the offending party.
DOWNWARD MODIFICATION

In a recent case decided by the Appellate Division First Judicial Department, the Court

was presented with a situation where the offending party did not comply with demands for financial information. As a sanction, the lower Court had struck the offending party’s pleadings (which refer to the grounds for divorce and relief requested by that party). The Appellate Court found that the offending party was not precluded from presenting evidence and testimony at the trial. It found that the trial Court had correctly ruled that the reason for the inadmissibility of her evidence was due to the evidence being unenforceable and incomplete hearsay documents. The stricken pleadings did not bar or impair the offending party from presenting the documentary evidence.

This is an interesting decision due to the tactical considerations that a litigant must

choose where the other party is holding back financial records. Certain Courts in New York incorporate a provision in the order made at the very first Court conference (e.g. the preliminary conference) in a divorce case that mandates that one party or the other will proceed with a ground for divorce at trial. That mandate cannot be altered without the consent of the parties or by Order of the Court. An Order to strike the pleadings of a party who is designated in the Order to proceed with the grounds for divorce at trial is of no usefulness whatsoever if both parties want a divorce. In that case, the other party will proceed with the divorce and the offending party gets away with the misconduct, unless counsel fees are awarded to the other party at trial.  If one party does not want equitable distribution of marital property (which is a consequence of a New York divorce), then striking the pleadings of the party who is designated as the party to take the divorce at trial can result in a dismissal of the divorce action. If the “no fault” ground is stricken, then a marital fault ground would have to be the basis of any subsequent divorce case. In the case decided by the Court, the offending party appears to be aggrieved, but the reason is not attributable to the well-founded tactical decisions made by the other party in that case.

My belief is that the better practice for other party in that case would have been to seek

the alternative sanction of obtaining an Order precluding the offending party from offering evidence or testimony at the trial.

I have been litigating divorce cases for more than three decades. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website.

Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 34 years. Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family law matter by phone at 516-747-2290.

My Long Island office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.

Written by, H. Michael Stern, Divorce Lawyer, Nassau County NY


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

DOWNWARD MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT FOLLOWING A LAYOFF DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS, COVID-19 REQUIRE CERTAIN PROCEDURES FOLLOWING THE CLOSURE OF NASSAU COUNTY FAMILY COURT

Mar 18

FAMILY LAWYER NASSAU COUNTY NY

H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney and mediator with over 34 years of experience is available to assist litigants in the preparation of the documentation needed to file a downward modification of Child Support Petition in the Nassau County New York Family Court.

If you have been the victim of a permanent lay off from your job, suffered a business closure or similar situation, my office is available to assist you in filing the Order to Show Cause, petition and information sheet as well as represent you in front of the Support Magistrate when the Court’s reopen.
DOWNWARD MODIFICATION

Generally speaking, a person who suffers an involuntary layoff (of a non-temporary nature) which is not attributable to the actions of the employee, must file a petition for downward modification to obtain relief from the accrual of child support arrears in the New York. The Court has discretion to deny applications where the disruption of employment is temporary. In the event of a permanent layoff from a job, the affected employee should be maintaining detailed records of his or her search for a new job until the court hearing is completed.

A downward modification case is typically started by the filing of an information sheet and a petition for a downward modification with the Family Court Clerk’s Office at the Courthouse in Westbury, NY. The filing date is critical as any adjustment in the amount of child support will be retroactive to the filing date if the application is successful. For the time being, the procedure has been changed.

Following the interim shutdown of the New York State Courts, except for “essential matters” due to the coronavirus, on March 17, 2020, I went to the new location for the Family Court Clerk’s office and discussed the procedure for filing a downward modification in the Nassau County Family Court with the clerks at the reception desk.

I was informed that the Clerk’s office would accept new petitions, but a petition alone would not suffice. I was told that an Order to Show Cause would have to be filed with the petition, which would then be presented to the Judge presiding for signature. The Judge would then assign a date for hearing the matter. This would lock in the date for retroactive application of any order if the applicant is successful.

Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 34 years. I encourage you to read the client testimonials on my website. Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family by phone at 516-747-2290.
My Long Island office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall ring road at 666 Old Country Road in Garden City, New York.


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING ON FINANCIAL ABILITY TO PAY CAN BE REQUESTED TO RE-APPORTION THE FEES OF THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD IN NEW YORK CHILD CUSTODY CASES

Feb 04

DIVORCE & CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER, NASSAU COUNTY NY

H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York divorce and family law attorney with over 34  years of experience suggests that a hearing on the ability to pay should be requested if  circumstances warrant and a party disagrees with the apportionment of fees directed by the Court to pay the Attorney for the Child (referred to as the “AFC”). Attorneys for the Child are routinely appointed by the Courts in New York to represent the child’s interests and to espouse the child’s position (if known) in child custody and child visitation proceedings. In Family Court cases, there are no fees for the Attorneys for the Child. Fees are directed and typically apportioned in Supreme Court divorce cases (and Writs of Habeas Corpus).life insurance

In a recent case determined by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, the Court was presented with a situation where an Attorney for the Child was appointed to represent the children’s interests in the child custody proceedings before the Court. The Supreme Court directed that the fees of the Attorney for the Child be equally divided by the parties without considering the parties finances and presumably determining each party’s ability to pay the Attorney for the Child’s fees. As a party in the case had made a motion to the trial Court to re-apportion the Attorney for the Child’s fees, the Appellate Division determined that it was appropriate to direct a hearing to examine each party’s finances (and implicitly their respective ability to pay). The trial Court was directed to make a new determination concerning responsibility for the Attorney for the Child’s fees following the hearing.

From a practical perspective, it makes sense to examine whether circumstances warrant a re-apportionment motion. An examination of the facts should be undertaken to determine if there is a meaningful disparity of income or resources between the respective parties to the child custody dispute.

I have been litigating divorce cases throughout my career. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website. Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 34 years.

Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce, child custody, child visitation or family law matter by phone at 516-747-2290.

My Nassau County office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.

Written by, H. MICHAEL STERN, Divorce & Child Custody Lawyer


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

PROOF IS NEEDED TO COLLECT A CHILD SUPPORT ADD ON DURING A NEW YORK FAMILY COURT ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDING

Jan 22

CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER NASSAU COUNTY, NY

H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney and mediator with over 34 years of experience suggests that a child support recipient cannot make a claim for arrears for a child support add on, if the expense was not previously paid by the claimant. In New York, any Court ordered payment for a child that is made in addition to child support is called an “add on.”life insurance

For illustration only (as an example unrelated to the Court case discussed below), let us say that PARENT A is directed in a judgment of divorce to pay the dental expenses of the child. A bill for $500.00 is submitted to PARENT A for the cost a set of dental x-rays for the child. PARENT A ignores the bill. PARENT B commences an enforcement proceeding to collect child support arrears, including $500.00 for the x-rays. The catch is that PARENT B hasn’t paid that bill before the Family Court hearing date. Can PARENT B collect the money for the dental bill under these circumstances.

In a recent case determined by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, the Court held that to claim an add on expense as a child support arrearage, the parent/claimant must not only pay the bill, but the parent claimant must also provide the Court with admissible evidence of the payment of the expense at the hearing to be entitled to a money judgment for that add on expense. The Court determined that while the parent/claimant in the case before the Court had testified that payments for add on expenses were made, no proof of the payments were admitted into evidence during the hearing. The other party challenged the amount of the money judgment issued by the Family Court on appeal and prevailed. The Appellate Division directed a new hearing to fix child support arrears.

Proving child support arrears involve complex issues of evidence law. Trial objections can be raised to preclude the admission of evidence, frustrating bona-fide claims for child support arrears. This can result in no recovery for the parent/claimant where funds should have been recoverable.

My suggestion is that enforcement hearings should never be undertaken by unrepresented litigants on either side of a claim for the fixing of child support arrears.

I have been litigating Family Court child support enforcement cases throughout my career. Recent child support case results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website. Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 33 years.

Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family law matter by phone at 516-747-2290.

My office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.

Written by, H. MICHAEL STERN, Divorce & Family Lawyer, Long Island, NY


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

IN NEW YORK, THE COURT CAN COMPEL THE SHARING OF ONE PARTY’S STUDENT LOAN DEBT FOLLOWING THE DIVORCE

Jan 02

DIVORCE LAWYER NASSAU COUNTY, NY

H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney and mediator with over 34 years of experience suggests that Student Loan debt incurred during the marriage may be apportioned by the Court under certain circumstances.life insurance

A 2019 case in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, the Appellate Court determined that when a party incurs student loan debt during the marriage, the Court can compel the other spouse to pay a portion of the outstanding student loan debt, if the marriage benefitted economically from the education received by the debtor spouse. If there is no economic benefit to the marriage resulting from the educational pursuit of the party incurring student loan debt, the law has been that the student debt becomes the sole responsibility of the party incurring the debt. This was the case even though the student debt was marital debt, incurred during the marriage. In a recent case the Appellate Division carved out an exception holding that if income to the household is derived from the degree obtained by the debtor spouse, the Court can make the other responsible for a portion of that debt. However, the apportionment of debt was not equal, with the Court making the non-debtor spouse responsible for a little more than 38% of the debt.

From my point of view, it is now important to analyze:
(1) the amount of student debt incurred during a marriage;
(2) the income earned by the debtor spouse following the attainment of the trade, degree or certification;
(3) the earning differential between pre-education earnings and post education earnings;
(4) the length of time that such income was generated and;
(5) the disposition of those earnings following receipt by the debtor spouse. This information is critical to determine a party’s position for settlement or trial.

I have been trying divorce cases since 1987. My goal first and foremost is to win at trial
when a settlement cannot be reached in the case. Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 33 years.

Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family law matter by phone at 516-747-2290.

My office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall ring road at 666 Old Country Road in Garden City, Long Island.

Written by: H. Michael Stern, Divorce & Family Lawyer, Garden City NY


The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.