Justia International Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Vermont Supreme Court
The case revolves around a dispute over the currency-exchange method used to calculate child-support arrears. The parties, previously married and living in Canada, separated in 2010. The Canadian court awarded the mother sole custody of their child and ordered the father to pay monthly child support and spousal support in Canadian dollars. The mother and child moved to Vermont, and the father to New Mexico. In 2013, the Office of Child Support (OCS) began collecting support from the father, converting the Canadian dollar obligation to U.S. dollars using the exchange rate in effect on the date of the Canadian order.The OCS filed a motion with the Vermont family division in 2020 to register the Canadian order and modify the father's child-support obligation to zero, as the child was no longer living with the mother. The father argued that the OCS should have applied the exchange rate in effect at the time he made each payment, as the value of the Canadian dollar had declined significantly since 2010. The magistrate agreed with the father's argument and directed the OCS to recalculate the arrears using the exchange rate in effect on the first day of each year.The Vermont Supreme Court affirmed the family division’s ruling that the magistrate had discretion to use a different conversion method. However, it reversed the portion of its order upholding the magistrate’s determination that the mother owed the father as a result of the recalculated currency conversion and vacated the magistrate’s order directing the mother to pay the father. The court concluded that it was inequitable to require the mother to repay the father for overpayments resulting from the recalculation, as the father had never objected to the administrative collection of the amounts determined by the OCS. View "Stone v. Henneke" on Justia Law