AFAF ELSAYED, Respondent,
AHMED EDREES, Appellant.
Appellate Division, Second Department
Decided July 6, 2016.
ELSAYED v. EDREES
141 A.D.3d 503, 35 N.Y.S.3d 411
Ordered that the appeal from the order dated November 14, 2013, is dismissed, without costs or disbursements; and it is further,
Ordered that the appeal from so much of the judgment as, upon the order dated June 26, 2012, entered on the defendant's consent, awarded custody of the parties' minor children to the plaintiff, is dismissed, without costs or disbursements; and it is further,
Ordered that the judgment is affirmed insofar as reviewed, without costs or disbursements.
The parties were married in 1991, and thereafter had four children, who were born between 1992 and 2004. In 2009, the plaintiff commenced this action for a divorce and ancillary relief. Following the commencement of the action, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the cause of action for a divorce on the ground of cruel and inhuman treatment. The Supreme Court granted the plaintiff's motion in an order dated September 14, 2011. Thereafter, in an order dated June 26, 2012, the court, on the consent of the defendant, awarded custody of the parties' minor children to the plaintiff. In an order dated November 14, 2013, the court determined the defendant's motion for certain relief. Additionally, following a nonjury trial, and upon the orders dated September 14, 2011, and June 26, 2012, the court entered a judgment dated January 6, 2014, inter alia, awarding the plaintiff certain child support and declining to award the defendant a distributive share of the value of the plaintiff's nursing license. The defendant appeals from the order dated November 14, 2013, and the judgment dated January 6, 2014.
The appeal from the order dated November 14, 2013, must be dismissed because the right of direct appeal therefrom terminated with the entry of the judgment in the action (see Matter of Aho, 39 N.Y.2d 241, 248 ). We do not review the order dated November 14, 2013, on the appeal from the judgment, since the defendant advances no argument in his brief regarding that order (see Gross v Johnson, 102 A.D.3d 921 ).
The appeal from so much of the judgment as, upon the order dated June 26, 2012, entered on the defendant's consent, awarded custody of the parties' minor children to the plaintiff, must also be dismissed, as no appeal lies from an order entered upon the consent of the appealing party, since a party who consents to an order is not aggrieved thereby (see CPLR 5511; Matter of Gittens v Chin-On, 19 A.D.3d 596 ). To the extent that the defendant contends that he did not consent to the custody award, his remedy is to move in the Supreme Court to vacate or resettle the judgment and the order dated June 26, 2012 (see Matter of Strang v Rathbone, 108 A.D.3d 565, 565 ; Matter of Reilly v Reilly, 49 A.D.3d 883, 884 ).
The Supreme Court properly granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on her cause of action for a divorce on the ground of cruel and inhuman treatment pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 170 (1). The plaintiff made a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by submitting evidence which established that in 2010 the defendant was convicted of, inter alia, attempted assault in the third degree after he physically assaulted the plaintiff in the presence of the parties' children (see Brady v Brady, 64 N.Y.2d 339 ; Acito v Acito, 21 A.D.3d 1044, 1045 ). In opposition, the defendant failed to raise a triable issue of fact.
Contrary to the defendant's contention, the Supreme Court's determination of the issue of child support is supported by the record. "A court is not bound by a party's account of his or her own finances, and where a party's account is not believable, the court is justified in finding a true or potential income higher than that claimed" (Matter of Thomas v DeFalco, 270 A.D.2d 277, 278 ; see Mosso v Mosso, 84 A.D.3d 757, 758 ). Courts are afforded considerable discretion in imputing income (see Morille-Hinds v Hinds, 87 A.D.3d 526, 528 ). Here, the court's discretionary determination to impute income to the defendant based upon his less than credible testimony is supported by the record (see Gleicher v Gleicher, 303 A.D.2d 549 ).
The Supreme Court's determination of the issue of equitable distribution is also supported by the record. "Enhanced earnings from degrees and professional licenses attained during a marriage are subject to equitable distribution" (Haspel v Haspel, 78 A.D.3d 887, 890 ; see O'Brien v O'Brien, 66 N.Y.2d 576 ). "Although the enhanced earnings from academic degrees and professional licenses attained during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution, it is incumbent upon the nontitled party seeking a distributive share of such assets to demonstrate a substantial contribution to the titled party's acquisition of that marital asset" (Badwal v Badwal, 126 A.D.3d 736, 737 ). The nontitled spouse also has the burden of proving the asset's value so as to afford the court a sufficient basis upon which to make a distributive award (see Vainchenker v Vainchenker, 242 A.D.2d 620, 621 ). Here, the court properly determined that the defendant failed to prove the value of the plaintiff's nursing license, or demonstrate that he made a substantial contribution to the acquisition of her nursing license (see Badwal v Badwal, 126 AD3d at 737; Esposito-Shea v Shea, 94 A.D.3d 1215, 1217 ; Higgins v Higgins, 50 A.D.3d 852, 853 ).
The defendant was assigned counsel for the custody portion of the matrimonial action. His contention that the Supreme Court erred when it relieved assigned counsel once the custody portion of the action was over is without merit (see Judiciary Law § 35 ; Matter of Smiley, 36 N.Y.2d 433, 439 ; Meara v Meara, 104 A.D.3d 916, 917 ; Hughes v Gallup-Hughes, 90 A.D.3d 1087, 1088 ).
The defendant's remaining contention is without merit.
The case of Pierre v Pierre is provided as part of a free educational service by J. Douglas Barics, attorney at law, for reference only. Cases such as Pierre may be overruled by subsequent decisions, different judicial departments may have different controlling case law, and the level of the court deciding each case will determine whether it is controlling law or not. Pierre v Pierre is presented here to help illustrate how the law works in general, but for specific legal matters, an attorney should be consulted.
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