Long Island’s Best Divorce Lawyer said this was an appeal of the Supreme Court concerning maintenance and child support payments. The Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s award of maintenance, however modified the order as to the Defendant’s child support obligations.
The Supreme Court directed the Defendant to maintain life insurance policies to secure his support and maintenance obligations. The life insurance policies were to be valued at $500,000 and the Defendant was required to “name each child as irrevocable beneficiary on life insurance available to him through his employer, as well as death benefits, until each child is emancipated.” A Nassau County Child Support Attorney said the Appellate Division modified this part of the order. The required value was decreased to $300,000 and the Defendant was allowed to obtain a declining term life insurance policy. As a result, the Defendant may choose a policy where he may “reduce the amount of life insurance by the amount of child support actually paid, provided that at all times the amount of life insurance is not less than the amount for child support remaining unpaid.” The language above naming the children irrevocable beneficiaries was struck from the judgment.
As to counsel fees, the Appellate Division found the court abused its discretion in awarding the Plaintiff $18,000 in attorney’s fees. Domestic Relations Law §237(a) is the applicable provision and provides “in any action or proceeding brought…for a divorce…the court may direct either spouse…to pay counsel fees and fees and expenses of experts directly to the attorney of the other spouse…having regard to the circumstances of the case and of the respective parties. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that counsel fees shall be awarded to the less monied spouse.” Here, the lower court abused its discretion and the Appellate Division reduced the award of counsel fees to $9,000.
Child support obligations following a divorce are an important matter. If you are considering divorce seek out the advice of the experienced attorneys at Simonetti & Associates.