Saperia v. Vlasiu: Urgent Support Claims
The parties in this case have one child together. The mother brought a motion seeking interim child support, among other things. In an Endorsement dated March 25, 2020, Justice Hood determined that while the other claims are not urgent, the mother’s request for interim child support was presumptively an urgent matter that ought to be heard. As a result, the parties appeared in front of Justice Diamond on March 30, 2020 by way of teleconference.
At the time of the hearing, the mother provided extremely limited evidence and the father has not filed any responding materials. The father acknowledges that he is the biological father of the child and that he has an obligation to pay child support. However, he claims that he is currently paying over $6,000 per month in expenses associated with the family home which is co-owned by the parties as tenants in common. These monthly payments exceed any amount of child support that would be payable under the Child Support Guidelines. As such, the father takes the position that his payments towards the family home expenses should be treated as payments in lieu of child support.
In response, the mother argues that the largest component of the father’s monthly payments towards the family home expenses consist of a mortgage for which the father is solely responsible, given that the mother fully paid her share of the property’s acquisition cost. Therefore, child support is still due and owing.
Given the financial issues in dispute, Justice Diamond found that he could not assess whether the child support claim is truly urgent without further information and evidence from the parties. As such, he ordered that the father shall file his responding materials by a certain deadline, after which the mother may file her reply materials, if any. This decision demonstrates that financial disclosure remains hugely important for the determination of property and support issues, especially when a support claim is characterized as urgent.
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