252 A.D.2d 768, 1998-07055, Soule v. Soule

Docket Nº:1998-07055
Citation:252 A.D.2d 768, 676 N.Y.S.2d 701
Party Name:Soule v. Soule
Case Date:July 16, 1998
Court:New York Supreme Court Appelate Division, Third Department

Page 768

252 A.D.2d 768

676 N.Y.S.2d 701

C. David SOULE, Appellant-Respondent,


Kim M. SOULE, Respondent-Appellant.


Supreme Court of New York, Third Department

July 16, 1998.

[676 N.Y.S.2d 702] Lester A. Sittler, Fly Creek, for appellant-respondent.

Vitanza, Shabus & Fertig (Thomas A. Vitanza of counsel), Norwich, for respondent-appellant.


CREW, Justice.

Cross appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court (Ingraham, J.) ordering, inter alia, equitable distribution of the parties' marital property, entered June 16, 1997 in Otsego County, upon a decision of the court.

Plaintiff and defendant were married in August 1983 and have two children, born in 1984 and 1990. Following the parties' separation in January 1995, plaintiff and defendant executed a written agreement providing, inter alia, that they would maintain separate residences and share joint custody of the children. 1 Plaintiff thereafter commenced this action for divorce in October 1995 seeking, inter alia, equitable distribution of the parties' marital property. Defendant answered and counterclaimed for, among other things, custody of the parties' minor children.

At the conclusion of the bench trial that followed, Supreme Court awarded equitable distribution of the parties' marital property, which resulted in an award to defendant of $112,878 (consisting of $18,754 in assets already in her possession and a lump-sum award of $94,124). Additionally, Supreme Court ordered plaintiff to pay defendant $400 per week in maintenance until such time as defendant dies or remarries and awarded child support in the amount of $361 per [676 N.Y.S.2d 703] week, with both payments retroactive to October 31, 1995. 2 In so doing, Supreme Court fixed plaintiff's maintenance and support arrears at $8,800 and $11,870, respectively, and also awarded defendant $3,000 in counsel fees. 3 These cross appeals by the parties ensued.

Initially, both plaintiff and defendant contend that Supreme Court erred with respect to its award of maintenance. Plaintiff, although not directly challenging the weekly sum awarded, contends that such maintenance should be of limited duration. Defendant, on the other hand, asserts that while a permanent award of maintenance is entirely appropriate, the weekly sum ordered by Supreme Court is inadequate to permit...

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