Statute Prohibits Petition for Downward Modification of Support After Arrears Accrue/No Appeal Lies from an Order Entered by Consent
The Second Department determined father could not bring a petition for retroactive reduction of child support and a reduction of arrears after the arrears had accrued. The court noted that father could not appeal an order he consented to:
Family Court Act § 451 provides that the court “shall not reduce or annul child support arrears accrued prior to the making of an application pursuant to this section.” A court “ha[s] no discretion to reduce or cancel arrears of child support which accrue before an application for downward modification of the child support obligation” … . Here, the father petitioned for a downward modification of his child support obligation after the arrears accrued. Thus, any modification was [*2]prohibited.
In any event, the Family Court properly concluded that the father was barred from relitigating the amount of arrears owed. The order dated July 11, 2012, which fixed the amount of arrears that the father owed, and provided the basis for the entry of the money judgment against him, was entered on his consent. On appeal, a party may not collaterally attack an order entered on his or her consent … . Matter of Cadwell v Cadwell, 2015 NY Slip Op 00369, 2nd Dept 1-14-15