Meccico v. Meccico

Decision Date05 July 1990
Citation76 N.Y.2d 822,559 N.E.2d 668,559 N.Y.S.2d 974
Parties, 559 N.E.2d 668 In the Matter of Encarnacion MECCICO, Appellant, v. Frank MECCICO, Respondent.
CourtNew York Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
OPINION OF THE COURT MEMORANDUM.

The Order of the Appellate Division, App.Div., 553 N.Y.S.2d 540, should be reversed, with costs, and the order of Family Court reinstated.

A separation agreement is a contract subject to the principles of contract construction and interpretation (Rainbow v. Swisher, 72 N.Y.2d 106, 109, 531 N.Y.S.2d 775, 527 N.E.2d 258). Where the contract is clear and unambiguous on its face, the courts must determine the intent of the parties from within the four corners of the instrument (id.; Nichols v. Nichols, 306 N.Y. 490, 496, 119 N.E.2d 351, reh. denied 307 N.Y. 677, 120 N.E.2d 851). The agreement at issue unambiguously created two separate obligations for the husband: the first for $300 per month as child support, and the second for $150 per month to the wife to defray rental costs. Although the agreement provides that child support will terminate when the children reach maturity or emancipation, no similar termination clause was attached to the rent provision. Accordingly, the Family Court order requiring defendant to pay $150 in maintenance, even after all his children reach the age of majority, was correct and should be reinstated.

WACHTLER, C.J., and SIMONS, KAYE, ALEXANDER, TITONE, HANCOCK and BELLACOSA, JJ., concur in memorandum.

On review of submissions pursuant to section 500.4 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals (22 NYCRR 500.4), order reversed, etc.

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  • Burns v. Grandjean
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • November 18, 2022
    ...and unambiguous, the intent of the parties must be gleaned from the language used therein (see Matter of Meccico v. Meccico , 76 N.Y.2d 822, 824, 559 N.Y.S.2d 974, 559 N.E.2d 668 [1990], rearg denied 76 N.Y.2d 889, 561 N.Y.S.2d 551, 562 N.E.2d 876 [1990] ; see also W.W.W. Assoc., Inc. v. Gi......
  • Dillon v. Dillon
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • November 16, 2017
    ...interpretation (see Graev v. Graev, 11 N.Y.3d 262, 276, 869 N.Y.S.2d 866, 898 N.E.2d 909 [2008] ; Matter of Meccico v. Meccico, 76 N.Y.2d 822, 823–824, 559 N.Y.S.2d 974, 559 N.E.2d 668 [1990] ; Desautels v. Desautels, 80 A.D.3d 926, 928, 915 N.Y.S.2d 337 [2011] ). Where a separation agreeme......
  • Rajala v. Allied Corp.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • November 2, 1990
    ...prime resin, because no such provision appears in the clear and unambiguous language of the agreement. See Meccico v. Meccico, 559 N.Y.S.2d 974, 76 N.Y.2d 822, 559 N.E.2d 668 (1990) ("Where the contract is clear and unambiguous on its face, the courts must determine the intent of the partie......
  • Memnon v. Clifford Chance Us, Llp
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of New York
    • October 27, 2009
    ...must determine the intent of the parties "from within the four corners of the instrument." Id. (citing Meccico v. Meccico, 76 N.Y.2d 822, 824, 559 N.Y.S.2d 974, 559 N.E.2d 668 (1990)). However, when the terms of the contact are susceptible to more than one reasonable meaning, a court may co......
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