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Fourth Department — Child Support: Jelks v. Wright

Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Child Support

Presumption of Willful Violation

Jelks v. Wright
CAF 11-01599
Appealed from Family Court, Erie County

Background: Respondent appealed from an order finding that the respondent be incarcerated if she did not pay certain child support arrears within two weeks. The respondent appealed from that part of the order finding her in willful violation.

Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court concluded that there is a presumption that the respondent had sufficient means to support her minor children and that failure to pay is prima facie evidence of a willful violation. The respondent had stipulated to her violation. Further, she failed to rebut the presumption by submitting evidence that she was making reasonable efforts to obtain gainful employment to meet her support obligation.

Catharine M. Venzon of the Venzon Law Firm for the respondent-appellant; Melvin M. Jelks, III, pro se