Friday, May 18, 2012

First District Reverses Judgment of Arrearages

The First District Court reversed today in Gilbert v. Cole, a case in which the parties’ divorce decree allocated support for each child, but their mediated modification agreement did not.  Because of this, the Appellee argued, she was entitled to seek judgment as to arrearages accruing after the older child’s emancipation but prior to the filing of a petition for modification.  The lower court agreed, and awarded arrearages through the date of filing of the petition for modification.  The First District, however, found first that the parties’ mediated agreement changed only the amount of support to be paid, and that the final judgment controlled as to all other support issues.  Next, the First District found that  the final judgment created an allocated support award, 50% to each child.  In addition, the First District pointed out that if there was a miscalculation in the arrearages, the obligor would have been entitled to a retroactive modification prior to the filing of the petition.  The case was as such remanded for the lower court to determine the correct arrearages based on these findings.

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