Act Quickly if You are Seeking Child Support in Westchester County, NY
Many of our clients in need to child support in order to help provide for their children often indicate that they are "hoping that the the other parent will do the right thing" or "that they have an 'understanding' with the other parent". Unfortunately, what they don't know is that their "hopes" and "understandings" are not enforceable in any court. In other words, if the person who should be paying support to help provide for their child decides that they no longer want to, they can stop and there's nothing you or any court can do to enforce your informal agreement or understanding. Even worse, until an action or petition for child support is filed, the Family Court is unable to award any child support for the period of time that you delay before the date of filing.
Recently, I had a mother from New Rochelle, NY with two elementary school age girls sit across my desk and tell me that her daughters' father had given her some money on a regular basis when the girls were little. Unfortunately, he never contributed for pre-school or daycare when she went to work. Of course, he never contributed any money towards the payment of the children's medical bills.
Now, he was on the verge of getting remarried and had stopped paying any support for the past several months. She was hoping that she could get reimbursed for all the money that she had spent for daycare, medical bills, and all the money that he had stopped paying her over the last several months. Regrettably, my client had never gone to any of the Westchester Family Courts to obtain an Order for Child Support.
The bad news, the law does not allow people like my client to go back in time to get the money that would be rightfully due to them without an existing Court Order.
The good news, as soon as she contacted the experienced Westchester, NY child support lawyers of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP, we were able to immediately file a petition with the Westchester Family Court in New Rochelle, NY and get our client the child support order that both she and her two daughters deserved.
The Same Rules apply to People who are Overpaying for Child Support
Just like the person who waits too long to seek the assistance of the Westchester Family Courts in White Plains, New Rochelle and Yonkers, people who are paying too much for child support and may be in arrears for non-payment of support.
The Westchester child support attorneys of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP recently defended a mother who was receiving child support pursuant to a Westchester Family Court Order. She was being sued by her son's father claiming that he had been overpaying for the child's daycare for several years. Despite the existence of the Court Order, the father was seeking that she repay him more than $10,000 in child support, claiming that their son had not been in daycare for years and that the mother improperly profited for all the years that he had overpaid.
Fortunately for our client, our child support lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the claim.
The Strong Public Policy of New York that Bars Recovery for Child Support Overpayment
It is the long established public policy of the State of New York and the Family Courts in Westchester County, NY which bars a party from recovering overpayments of child support.
This public policy has been recognized and applied to deny claims in instances involving both spousal and child support. As stated in Grossman v. Ostrow, “Since the husband did not request or obtain a stay of the Family Court order, restitution or recoupment of payment made pursuant to it is not proper. "Temporary alimony paid pursuant to an order which is subsequently reversed may not be recovered by the husband either directly by restitution or indirectly by recoupment. The right to restitution or recoupment in cases of alimony, following reversal or modification, as herein, is not recognized. This, because right to support arises out of the policy of the law and not of contract. The same rationale applies to instances of child support and the elementary social obligation of a parent to support his own offspring. That too has already been judicially observed.”
In Fitzgerald v Corps, the Court affirmed the denial of a direct claim for reimbursement or restitution for overpayment of child support citing, “the strong public policy against restitution or recoupment of support overpayments.”
The Courts have continued to apply this strong public policy even after the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) was enacted. “There is strong public policy in this state, which the [Child Support Standards Act] did not alter, against restitution or recoupment of the overpayment of child support.” (In the Matter of Taddonio v Wasserman-Taddonio)
In reiterating this strong public policy, the Court in Baraby v. Baraby, also provided insight as to what the claimant’s remedy should be in such circumstances. “We further agree with plaintiff that Supreme Court erred in directing recoupment of defendant's alleged overpayments of child support. The CSSA contains no provision authorizing recoupment for overpayments of child support. As previously noted, the statute contemplates a credit for past payments of temporary support but only in the context of fixing a retroactive support award. Thus, the CSSA does not alter the strong public policy against restitution or recoupment of support overpayments evident in prior case law. If defendant believes that plaintiff is not incurring childcare expenses his remedy is an application to modify the order.”
A Proven and Experienced Child Support Lawyer can Assist You
With over 50 years of combined experience protecting the rights of clients in the Westchester Family Courts located in White Plains, New Rochelle and Yonkers, NY, our child support attorneys will know how to properly serve your child support case. Whether you are seeking child support, defending against a child support claim, modifying or changing a child support order or looking to terminate child support, Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP will make sure that your case gets the attention that it deserves.
Don't delay! Contact our child support lawyers today and protect the financial interests of you and your children.
Call for a free consultation! (914) 946-4808!