Appellate Court Vacates Trial Court Ruling on Temporary Spousal Support and Child Support; Orders Defendant to Pay Triple the Amount of Attorney’s Fees to the Law Office of Yonatan Levoritz

The firm won a complete reversal of a trial court decision in Davydova v. Sasonov, 109 A.D.3d 955, 972 N.Y.S.2d 293 (2d Dep’t 2013), providing the firm’s client with an opportunity to receive considerably more financial support from her husband while their divorce was in the process of being litigated.

A New York State appellate court agreed with the firm’s client that the trial court failed to comply with both New York domestic relations law and the Child Support Standards Act when it determined the amount of temporary spousal support and child support to which she was entitled. In a typical divorce or legal separation case, New York State law sets forth the standard amounts of temporary spousal support and child support that the financially disadvantaged party should receive while the divorce or legal separation is in progress. However, the appellate court in Davydova ruled that the trial court is not bound by these guidelines, particularly when there is considerable evidence that one spouse greatly out-earns the other and has the ability to provide greater financial support than these guidelines suggest.

In this case, the appellate court held that there was sufficient economic evidence of the vast disparity in incomes and assets between the firm’s client and her husband, yet the trial court failed to explain why it awarded the firm’s client relatively meager financial support in light of the husband’s considerable income. Thus, the appellate court sent the case back to the trial court with instructions to recalculate the amounts of temporary spousal and child support the firm’s client should receive. Moreover, the appellate court vacated the trial court’s attorney’s fees award of $15,000 and tripled it, awarding the Law Office of Yonatan Levoritz $45,000 in attorney’s fees.

In contested family law matters, particularly when one spouse has much greater earning potential than the other, it is imperative to have an attorney with experience and success at both the trial and appellate court level. If you or someone you know is looking for a New York family law attorney with over a decade working in both state trial and appellate courts, contact the Law Office of Yonatan Levoritz for a consultation.