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Massachusetts Divorce Modify Child Support Verbal Agreement Lawyers Attorneys

Posted in Child Support on 8th January 2011

Massachusetts Divorce Modify Child Support Verbal Agreement Lawyers Attorneys

BETH WHITE vs. JAMES LAINGOR.
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS

April 27, 2001

Facts:

The parties were divorced in 1988. In 1993, they stipulated to a judgment under which the father agreed to pay $ 125 a week in support of their two minor children. Two years later, the mother remarried. In March, 1997, the mother filed a complaint alleging that the father’s child support arrearage totaled $ 13,800, and a hearing was scheduled. On May 6, 1997, just prior to the hearing, the father filed a modification complaint seeking to reduce his support obligations. At that point, the parties, through counsel, negotiated a verbal agreement pursuant to which the father would (1) consent to an adoption of the children by the mother’s new husband and (2) make a lump-sum payment of $ 8,000 (representing a reduced amount of the outstanding arrearage), in exchange for a release from all past, present, and future child support obligations.  On June 27, 1997, the father signed the consent to adoption forms, purchased a cashier’s check in the amount of $ 8,000, and ceased making child support payments. However, shortly after the agreement, the parents’ older child became twelve years old and she exercised her statutory rights and refused to proceed with the adoption. Without her consent, the intended adoption could not be perfected.  Thereafter, the father did not transmit the $ 8,000 agreed lump-sum and he made no further support payments.  On December 8, 1998, the mother filed another complaint against the father, claiming arrears in the amount of $ 18,000. After a hearing on the complaint, the judge concluded that the father’s arrearage totaled only $ 8,000 (the reduced amount set by the agreement), and ordered him to make future weekly payments in the amounts of $ 125 (toward child support) and $ 31 (toward arrears).  Appellant, mother, sought review of a child support modification order from the Worcester Division of the Probate and Family Court Department (Massachusetts).

Issues:

Whether the trial court erred in awarding the father’s arrearage totaled only $ 8,000?
Whether the trial court fails to consider the best interest of the children before modifying the child support?

Discussion:

The Court noted that “In many situations, parents are in the best position to negotiate on behalf of their own interests and those of their children. However, in circumstances such as these, we harbor a real concern that the interests of the child may be compromised during the bargaining process. We therefore hold that agreements between parents to reduce child support obligations in exchange for the surrender of parental rights, without a judicial finding that the proposed agreement is in the best interests of a child, violate public policy.  Generally speaking the Massachusetts courts encourage the resolution of marital disputes, including support issues, by the agreement of the parties.  However, “an

Massachusetts Essex Division Family Child Support Agreement Contempt Lawyers Attorneys

Posted in Child Support on 7th January 2011

Massachusetts Essex Division Family Child Support Agreement Contempt Lawyers Attorneys

JOAN M. QUINN  vs. SEAN J. QUINN.
We take the plaintiff’s name as it appears on the complaint.
APPEALS COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS
December 14, 1999, Argued
April 20, 2000, Decided

PORADA, J. On October 2, 1996, the plaintiff filed in the Probate and Family Court an amended complaint for contempt alleging that the defendant had failed to comply with an order of the court to pay child support in the sum of $ 350 weekly for the parties’ minor children.

The defendant filed an answer to the complaint in which he alleged as one of his defenses the plaintiff’s agreement of April 9, 1993, to accept the lesser sum of $ 275 weekly for child support. The Probate Court judge dismissed the contempt complaint based on his belief that the plaintiff’s agreement constituted a bar to her complaint for contempt. The judge also reduced prospectively the order of child support from $ 350 weekly to $ 322.50, based on the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines (guidelines).  Plaintiff appealed dismissal of her contempt complaint from Essex Division of the Probate and Family Court Massachusetts.), as barred by plaintiff’s agreement to accept less child support and downward modification of child support amount.

Whether an agreement between the parties relating to child support made subsequent to the entry of their divorce judgment and without court approval continued to constitute a defense to a contempt complaint?
Whether the judge erred in modifying the child support order?

The Court finds that an agreement between the parents relating to child support, which was fair and reasonable and free from fraud, and which was entered into after the entry of their divorce judgment, could constitute a defense to a complaint for contempt.  In light of the passage of G. L. c. 119A, § 13(a), this action raises the issue whether an agreement between the parties relating to child support made subsequent to the entry of their divorce judgment and without court approval continues to constitute a defense to a complaint for contempt. This Court concludes it cannot for the reasons discussed below.  Under G. L. c. 119A, § 13(a), an action to enforce a child support order takes on the semblance of an action on a judgment. In an action on a judgment, an agreement to accept less money than due, absent proof of new consideration, does not constitute a defense to the action.  The same principle should apply to a civil proceeding to enforce a child support order. Of greater import, however, is the fact that G. L. c. 119A, § 13(a), no longer permits a judge to moot or reduce arrearages for child support except for any period during which there is pending a complaint for modification. Thus, the ground on which we based our decision in part in Gridley v. Beausoleil, 16 Mass. App. Ct. at 1007-1008, is no longer valid.

Therefore this Court concludes that the plaintiff’s agreement to accept less money than provided by the court order

Should I in this custody agreement proposal?

Posted in Child Care on 13th November 2010

issue of Xtreme : I Should those in the custody settlement proposal ?
My lawyer put this sentence: “. (The woman) is also the recipient of the child tax benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit have been separated and has not contributed to the care of the child” Now, my wife received all the money while I primary caretaker of our child . She gave me none of that money yet to pay child support. I am willing to drop everything when we split to 50/50 to make parenting vereinbaren.Ich worried that since my wife told me (verbally) they will accept 50/50, that the rates they can or a spot of trouble. I’m mentioning this is not a good idea, right now. ? Even if I did this would be to mention what we suggest and now no role to play in court I guess Any suggestions Best Answer:

reply zzsleepur
Put the children first and what is important … not one of you.


What do you think? Answer below!