It is common for courts to issue orders that impose financial obligations on parties in New York family law cases. Such orders are legally binding and enforceable by the courts. For example, if a party fails to comply with the terms of an order, they may be held in contempt. Recently, a New York court discussed what a party seeking to hold someone in contempt for failing to comply with a family court order must prove in a case in which a former wife moved to hold her former husband in contempt for failing to pay counsel fees and arrears. If you have questions regarding the enforcement of orders in New York family law actions, it is in your best interest to consult a New York family law attorney as soon as possible.
The Factual and Procedural History of the Case
It is reported that the former husband and former wife were divorced by judgment in September 2013. Among other things, the judgment directed the former husband to pay the former wife over $420,000 in arrears for carrying on the marital home and counsel fees in the amount of $30,000. The judgment was later modified to reduce the arrears owed by the former husband to slightly over $200,000; the award of counsel fees in the amount of $30,000 was affirmed. A second judgment for additional counsel fees was entered against the husband in April 2017.
Allegedly, in May 2018, the former wife moved to hold the former husband in civil contempt for failing to pay the arrears or counsel fees. The court granted the motion. The former husband then moved to vacate and set aside the contempt order. The court denied his motion, and he appealed. Continue reading