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Fourth Department — Child Support: Jeffery v. Sprague

Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Child Support

Ability to Pay — Impossible Financial Situation

Jeffery v. Sprague
CAF 12-01059
Appealed from Family Court, Steuben County

Background: The petitioner mother appealed from an order of the Family Court granting the father’s objections to a child support order. The mother argued that the Family Court was limited in determining whether the Support Magistrate had abused its discretion in determining the child support award.

Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court noted that the Family Court was empowered to make its own findings of fact. The Family Court had concluded that, based on the father’s 2010 income, which was higher than his 2011 income, the father could not afford to pay more than double the amount of his previous child support payments and that the Support Magistrate’s determination would leave the father in an impossible financial situation.

Michelle A. Cooke for the petitioner-appellant; Wendy L. Gould for the respondent-respondent