Bryant v. Carty

Decision Date23 December 2016
Citation44 N.Y.S.3d 290,145 A.D.3d 1543,2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 08693
Parties Sylvia F. BRYANT, Plaintiff–Respondent, v. William M. CARTY, Defendant–Appellant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

Degnan Law Office, Canisteo (Andrew J. Roby of Counsel), for DefendantAppellant.

Davidson Fink LLP, Rochester, Kelly White Donofrio LLP (Donald A. White of Counsel), for PlaintiffRespondent.



In a prior appeal, we agreed with defendant that Supreme Court erred in denying, without a hearing, that part of his motion seeking to vacate the child support provisions of the judgment of divorce, and we remitted the matter for a hearing (Bryant v. Carty, 118 A.D.3d 1459, 989 N.Y.S.2d 200 ). As we explained in our decision, "the judgment of divorce specifically provided that the child support provisions of the parties' 2009 Property Settlement and Separation Agreement (Agreement) merged with the judgment of divorce" (id. at 1459, 989 N.Y.S.2d 200 ). It is undisputed that, in determining the amount of child support, the Agreement contained income information from 2003, which the parties relied on in a prior agreement entered into in 2005, rather than income information from 2008, as required by Domestic Relations Law § 240(1–b)(b)(5)(i). Following a hearing, which the record establishes was limited to defendant's allegation that the Agreement was procured by fraud on the part of plaintiff, the court properly determined that defendant failed to meet his burden of establishing fraud (see Weimer v. Weimer, 281 A.D.2d 989, 989, 722 N.Y.S.2d 328 ; see generally Christian v. Christian, 42 N.Y.2d 63, 71–73, 396 N.Y.S.2d 817, 365 N.E.2d 849 ). The evidence established that the parties agreed to use the 2003 income information to expedite the divorce and that defendant carefully read the Agreement before he signed it.

Defendant raises for the first time on appeal his contention that the child support provisions of the judgment should be vacated on the ground that those provisions do not comply with the requirements of the Child Support Standards Act (see Domestic Relations Law § 240[1–b][b], [h] ), and thus that contention is not properly before us (see Leroy v. Leroy, 298 A.D.2d 923, 924, 747 N.Y.S.2d 639 ; see also Nash v. Yablon–Nash, 61 A.D.3d 832, 832, 878 N.Y.S.2d 382 ; Dudla v. Dudla, 304 A.D.2d 1009, 1010, 759 N.Y.S.2d 212 ; see generally Ciesinski v. Town of Aurora, 202 A.D.2d 984, 985, 609 N.Y.S.2d 745 ).

Although plaintiff properly concedes that the court erred in precluding defendant from questioning plaintiff's former attorney regarding certain factual matters (see Stanwick v. A.R.A. Servs., 124 A.D.2d 1041, 1041–1042, 508 N.Y.S.2d 755 ; see generally Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. v. Intuit Inc., 32 A.D.3d 284, 286, 820 N.Y.S.2d 54, affd. 8 N.Y.3d 506, 836 N.Y.S.2d 527, 868 N.E.2d 208 ), we conclude that the error was harmless inasmuch as...

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