In the case of Zedan v. Westheim, the Virginia Court of Appeals, in a published opinion, ruled that the trial court property awarded wife an appeal bond of approximately of $221,000.00 after the case was remanded back to the trial court from the Virginia Court of Appeals. The husband posted the appeal bond to suspend execution of a judgment for child support arrearages against him while he appealed to the Virginia Court of Appeals. While the husband was not found to be in contempt of court on appeal, the Virginia Court of Appeals did uphold the child support arrearage and remanded the case to the trial court for the trial court to "determine how father should be brought into compliance with the support provisions of the annulment decree." Upon remand, the trial court released the appeal bond to the wife and not the husband. The Virginia Court of Appeals did not need to enter any new award against the husband.The purpose of an appeal bond is not to secure payment of all damages incurred as a result of the suspension of the execution of the judgment. While the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the husband on the contempt issue, it ruled against the husband and in favor of the wife on all the other issues before the Virginia Court of Appeals including that of the child support arrearage. Father could have appealed just the contempt conviction, but instead he appealed the contempt conviction and the child support arrearage. As a result, he assumed the risk that he would lose the appeal bond. Also, the actual language of the Virginia Court of Appeals' order remanding the case did not instruct the trial court to determine whether the child support provisions should be enforced at all. Rather, the Virginia Court of Appeals instructed the trial court to determine how to enforce the child support provisions. Therefore, by releasing the bond, the trial court complied with the mandate of the Virginia Court of Appeals. Husband was not denied due process by this action. Finally, the remedy the husband seeks, the return of the bond, would lead to an absurd result under Virginia law. If husband's argument was upheld, he would have received the appeal bond back if he won or if he lost.
-Rob Hagy, Charlottesville Child Support Lawyer. For help with your child support issue, please call me at 434.293.4562 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to helping you.