Saturday, October 26, 2013

NYS , my son ( 16 ) and I would like to request a new law guardian in his PINS case . How can we do this ?

Q:  I am the PINS filer against my son . Despite that , I agree that he should request a new Law Guardian . Our 1st court date , he was a no show . Another attorney stood in for him . In between the 1st and 2nd court dates , I made several calls to his office to setup a meeting with him or talk over the phone . I always had to leave a message , with no reply . They office suggested scheduling an appt , about 1 / 2 hour away . We have lost lots of time from work and school . I had been informed they would accommodate the child's schedule . So I requested they meet at his school . They never got back to me about that . At the 2nd date , he approached us with less than 5 min before we were called in . How can he serve my son's best interests if he doesn't know my son ?

A:  David's Answer:  Since he is your son's attorney, your son would need to make that request on the next court date of the Judge. That said, it is rare such attorneys would come to the child's home or school in order to interview the child - usually such interviews are done in the attorney's office. In any event, feel free to contact a Dutchess/Westchester Co. Family Law attorney to schedule a consultation should you have any follow-up questions.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Domestic violence

Q:  On friday i was involved in a domestic violence dispute i pressed charges on him we have 2 kids together,there is now a warrant out for his arrested,after the incident i guess he took the kids to his moms house, he had custody in the sense that they stay with him,i.tried to get my children back and i went to.the police station and they told me that i can't get my kids bekuz he left them with his mom.i need answers.I'm scared for my children would perfer to be with me..please help

A:  David's Answer:  You should immediately go to Yonkers Family Court first thing in the morning & file an order to show cause & petition requesting custody. If he is believed to still be in jail tomorrow, you may ask the Judge to issue an order requiring the grandmother to turn the children over to you. You may then go there with a police escort. I'd also suggest to file your own petition for an order of protection in Family Court. You should also call a Westchester Co. Domestic Violence/Child Custody lawyer to schedule a follow-up consultation. -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

How soon restraining orders can be lifted in NY

Q:  My wife has filed a restraining order in family court against me and we are also going through a divorce,there are chances that we can have a reconciliation . we have a 3 year old son. My wife birthday and my son birthday is in this wk. how much time it takes to lift a order , if she approach a court??I really want to be with my family on special days. what is the earliest time frame in which orders can be lifted in the state of NY. ThNKS

A:  David's Answer:  I'd suggest that you both go into Court together & that she filed an order to show cause & petition to modify (or vacate) the order of protection. This MAY allow to change the order the same day you go in. That said, should you have follow-up questions and/or need representation, then I encourage you to call a White Plains Domestic Violence lawyer to schedule a consultation. -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Need Advice!Kids Witnessing Domestic Violence!What steps will I need to take ?Kids never told law G, they were threaten not to!

Q:  My husbands ex has been involved with her first cousin on and off for the past 8 years. The boyfriends moves out for months at a time and then comes back. Last year we went for custody of the children because there schooling along with them wanted to live with us, No change is Circumstance ! So our trial end in 09-2012 and in 11-2012 the boyfriend was thrown out of the house because he had throw the ex against the wall and begun choking her in front of the kids, also he had flipped the dinner table on her while kids were there. We knew there was alot of verbal abuse but the kids neglacted to tell us about the 8 years of physical . The ex started dating cousin again kids are afraid for him to move back in and if he does they want to live with dad. Kids are 17 & 12

A:  David's Answer:   If you don't have independent corroboration of the d.v. event, then the issue will ultimately be whether the children report the events to their assigned attorney. If they do not & there were no police reports of the incident - and the mother denies the incident - then it may go nowhere. That said, I highly encourage you to schedule a follow-up consultation with a Dutchess/Westchester Co. Domestic Violence attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

What does emancipation age mean in New York State?

Q:  In New York State, if a parent has sole custody of a child, when that child turns 18 but is still living in the custodial parents house and also still attending high school, can that child choose to move out and live with the non custodial parent at the childs own choosing without the consent of the custodial parent? Also, if a spouse gives up the rights to the other spouses pension, does that mean that they are also giving up claims or rights to receive the spouses social security when they become of retirement age? After being married for 27 years, can each spouse still collect on each others social security upon retirement or is that waived in a divorce? Thanks very much.

A: David's Answer:  The answer to your first question is yes, the child can move where s/he wishes to. Regarding your second question, it depends on how the settlement agreement was phrased in the divorce case. Thus, it behooves you to bring the agreement in & have a full consultation with a Family Law attorney in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can you drop charges against someone else in a domestic violence case?

Q: charges i pressed

A:  David's Answer:  It's up the the D.A. whether to withdraw the case. You should speak with the ADA on the case as well as the other side's defense attorney. Should you have any follow-up questions, you may schedule a consultation with a Westchester Co. Domestic Violence or criminal defense attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Legal name change, or not?

Q:  If my daughter's biological father never signed her birth certificate, can I change her last name? I am now married and her stepfather would like her to have his last name. Her biological father is not involved, and there is no father listed on her birth certificate. Lastly, I was never married to her father, but we did establish paternity in court, he just never singed the birth certificate. Thanks.

A:  David's Answer:  If you established paternity thru the court, then it doesn't matter that his name is on the birth certificate or not - he is the legal father of the child. As such, you must commence a chance-of-name proceeding. Please consult the court's website for further details: You should also consider consulting a Westchester Family Law attorney on the issue.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Saturday, October 19, 2013

If you filed for your spouse to come to the US and they got green card. But once in US you felt they defrauded you.

Q:  What can you do? We got married in 2006. I lived in Nigeria with him for 2 yrs. But I came back for school. He came here in May 2013 and showed me a different person. He has already moved out and changed his address. I have not had any contact with him in 2 months. What can I do to get his green card taken away because I was honestly defrauded my this man. Or what are my other options?
Can I get this marriage annulled we do not have any children together or do I have to get a divorce

A:  David's Answer:  It is possible to get the marriage annulled, but you need to plead & prove fraud (i.e., there were certain promises made to induce you into marrying him which turned out to be false). But yes, you may otherwise file for divorce based on "no-fault" grounds. Schedule a consultation with a Westchester Divorce Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can my 12yr old attend a bar mitzvah if his father is saying no because he doesn't want to give up the time with him

Q:  The father is mad at me because I didn't give him up on one of my days

A:  David's Answer:  If it falls on a day the father has visitation per a court order, then the father gets to decide (assuming there's no corollary provision allowing the child to attend events otherwise scheduled on visit days). You may wish to consider filing a modification petition allowing the child to attend such events on visitation days, so long as the father gets a make-up - or alternatively permitting the father to attend. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My parents signed an acknowledgment of paternity which reissued my birth certificate with a corrected last name

Q:  J was under 18 when this was done, and was not aware of it until years later. i took the corrected birth certificate to ss office to get name corrected (went from Smith to Smith-Jones) and passport office. Explained the situation, and encountered no issues and my ss card and passport were corrected. Have been using smith-jones from then on. it has now been 10 years , but I worry that maybe my parents should have done something else before I started using the corrected name (ie smith-jones instead of just smith). I have gone to graduate school etc. on smith-jones (though college has been smith). maybe i am being overly cautious but I just wanted to ask if they did anything wrong of if since my birth certificate was corrected/ressiued that is my legal name and im ok without anything else.

A:  David's Answer:  If the birth certificate was changed, this should suffice. You may also wish to consider doing a change of name proceeding.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

How can my boyfriend get his child from cps?

Q:  Boyfriend and I together for four years. We have two kids plus my son. A women he slept with 3 months before we meet, told him he was the father of her baby. Now three, he's been taken by cps about six months ago. He was being left alone in the house and physically abused by her ex boyfriend. This is the second child she has lost to cps. My boyfriend filed a petition and was given a court appointed paternity test, and was deemed the father of this child. My questions are how does the court decide who gets the child? Do we need to be married? Does he have to be on my lease? What type of home qualifys? Does he have to work? What type of past criminal record will effect it? What can we do to get him? Will he have to pay past dss expenses? How long does this take? How Is It decided? Phew!

A:  David's Answer:  He needs to file a petition for custody. I don't think his name being on the lease or you being married are major factors, but the Court will certainly want to know how he'll be able to support the child. If he doesn't have a job & for whatever breaks up with you, the court won't want to run the risk that if that happens the child goes right back into foster care. Violent felonies - especially involving children - may have an impact; anything else would need to be assessed on its own. A custody case could take several months. He's best advised to schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

My husband has a fair hearing cause he wasnt happy with the decision being indicated. he doesn' have a attorney

Q:  what he should expect on the fair hearing and what he should said. he has learn his lesson and the case is closed. now i don't know he is nervous

A:  David's Answer:  At the very least, he should strongly consider scheduling a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney. At the consultation, the attorney can at least discuss what the facts are and suggest ways to present the case. There are also lawyers out there who accept cases on a sliding scale.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Step parent adoption no father on birth certificate

Q:  how would this work? my husband wants to adopt my daughter- her bio dad has been out of her life since she was born; he is not on the birth certificate and dna has never been established- do i still need to notify him?

A:  David's Answer:  The Court will ultimately determine whether you need to provide notice to the father. If the biological father did not execute an acknowledgment of paternity and has not been involved with the child, then there's a possibility the Court will dispense with notice. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with an Orange/Westchester Family Law attorney.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

My husband hid my stuff from me. Can I call the cop? If I do call the cop, what would happen to him?

Q:  Our daughter has been misbehaving. She had lost a few things at school and constantly forgot to bring her homework home. I had told her if she continued to misbehave, I would take her toys away from her. And I did. When my husband found out, he accused me for "traumatizing" our daughter. I tried to explain to him that depriving the valuable stuff from kids (TV time, play time, and etc) is a way to help discipline them but he wouldn't listen. Last night he threatened to take my stuff away if I didn't give the toys back to our girl. I told him she has to "earn" it back. This morning when I was about to go to work, I found that my handbag was gone - he put my purse on the sofa, but took away the handbag. Can I call the cop? Would it make a bad record for his future job (banking)?

A:  David's Answer:  I doubt the police would consider this larceny, much less "domestic violence" (which is the category you posted this in). If things are that bad between you & your husband, you may wish to consider filing for divorce.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Should an American father visit his children in Europe?

Q:  Should an American father visit his children in Europe? He has children in Europe. He can visit his children in Europe only under the direct supervision of local law enforcement. The US State Department can arrange those visitations in Europe and will tell him what he can and can not do in Europe.

A:  David's Answer:  Where else would the father propose to visit the children?   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Can I sue a former therapist if he failed to report suspected child abuse 7 years ago.

Q: My son made comments that indicated his father was touching him in appropriately. I was scared to report the incident because I thought his family would come after me, lie to child protective services, etc... Because I was scared, my therapist never reported the incident. A new therapist that I have recently started seeing mentioned that he was "legally required" to report the abuse. In retrospect I realize it would have been better to have reported this so that I could have learned the truth and protected my son.

A: The way you phrased your posting, it appears the therapist was yours & not the child's. Assuming that's the case, then the therapist would not technically be mandated (in my opinion) to have called in a report unless s/he spoke to the child. On the other hand, if YOU suspected abuse (based on your child's statements to you), it is just as possible you may have committed child abuse or neglect by failing to report the allegations yourself (or at least having the child evaluated if there was any doubt about the child's statements).  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can my husband get half of my workman's comp case if we are getting divorced?

Q: The money I received for settlement of my workman's comp case is all ready spent. I live in New York. The money went into my account because we don't have the same bank accounts. My husband and I spent it together on things for the house. Does he still have rights to half of it?

A: It is correct that, generally, only assets which currently exist are divisible in a divorce case. Thus, if the money is gone, then there is no claim he'd have. It would have been unlikely he'd have a claim to it anyway, as usually compensation for personal injuries are considered one's separate property so long as the funds remain segregated in a separate (i.e., not joint) account.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

What form/affidavit should be signed if a stepfather wants his stepchild to use his last name?

Q:  I am petitioning a name change for my minor so he can use my husband's (stepfather) last name before we register him to kindergarten. I called the county clerk's office and they gave me the procedures. They had mentioned that I need to have my husband sign and affidavit saying that he is aware of the name change and he is acknowledging it and that he is taking full responsibility. What is the appropriate form that should be used? Thanks in advance.

A:  David's Answer:  You need to commence a name change proceeding. The link to the instructions/forms is as follows: You should note that the biological father will need to be served with a court summons. Nevertheless, I advise you to consult further with a Westchester Co. Family law attorney.  --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can my ex's parents get grandparents rights and who responsible is it to set it up?

Q:  my ex's parents has had little to no contact with my child in the past 4 years(3 1/2 years of straight no contact). the father got visitation rights almost a year ago. few of the visits the father had to have them at his parents house since the father lives far away also my child has done 1 holiday with fathers family. but now all the visits are where the fathers wants and thats been at his house and his parents don't get to see my kid anymore. his parents just started to email me asking can they see him. is it my responsibility to let them see him on my days with my kid or is it up to the father. i feel it should be the fathers responsibility to let his parents to see my kid on his time. if they take me to court will they get wrights?

A:  David's Answer:  Grandparents may petition for visitation, and that's usually a day or two per month in addition to the father's visits. If they haven't seen the child in awhile, the Court is much more likely to start slow - thus with the once per month for a few hours. That said, there may be other factors at work which will need to be assessed. Thus, you're best advised to schedule a consultation with a Dutchess/Westchester Child Custody attorney. --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

My live in partner has hit me, twisted my leg Im afraid to report him b/c he is illegal and if he is deported he will kill me.

Q: I live in Westchester county new york, my partner lives with me he is from Ecuador. he does not work and is backed in child support with ex.

A: I recognize your concern & would mildly disagree with the suggestion that if he's deported, you're no longer in danger. If he entered illegally once, then he can do so again. As such, you should strongly consider not only reporting him to the police & filing for an order of protection, but also requesting Domestic Violence assistance (which may include help with relocating) from an agency such as Hope's Door or My Sister's Place.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Does the family court ordered mandatory courses impact on my husband criminal court charges?

Q:  My husband now is facing both charges from criminal and family court for domestic violence (DV). And I am trying to reconcile with him by withdraw the case from family court which is the one i could control and in order not to affect his doctor career in the future, I told my lawyer to fully drop off the whole case and my lawyer said it is quite risky to do so since DV is a repeating behavior. So she suggested me to add a mandatory course court ordered him to go (batterers'). But my husband's lawyer asked him not to accept my request and he said this course is kinda like a probation which is not good for him to win the criminal case. I don't whether it is true or not. if it is true, what I can do to make sure he changed without putting records on him?

A:  David's Answer:  I don't see any direct impact on the criminal case. Indeed, the best plea he's likely to get in criminal court would be an ACD - which would almost always require him to complete a batterer's program anyway. If you're looking for a 2d opinion and/or for a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney.   --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

My wife lied and applied for a restraining order, I have a hearing on Wednesday in Putnam Family Court - is it possible to:

Q:  Obviously, they issued a TRO, I want to block or eliminate the restraining order from being issued on a temporary or permanent basis.

This is simply a ploy (she was coached by someone in law enforcement) to get me out of the house so that she will be in possession. I work in a law firm and have attorneys who would gladly go with me to court - family law is not what we do and I don't want to spend the next 2 days researching Lexis for answers - Bottom Line is that I want to vigorously defend myself against this unbelievably vicious and unfair manipulation of the legal system just to gain the upper hand in a divorce case.

I am looking for someone who is in family court in Putnam County on a VERY REGULAR BASIS - preferably with a law enforcement background, affiliations or relationships.

A:  David's Answer:  This site cannot make direct referrals. That said, you'd be best advised to file an order to show cause to vacate the TRO. You're also best advised to schedule a consultation with a Putnum/Westchester Family Law attorney.   --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I am 16 and pregnant the father is 21 will he be able to sign the birth certificate without getting in trouble

Q:  My parents consent to the relationship

A: David's Answer: See my prior answer to your duplicate post - why on earth your parents would allow a senior in college to date a junior in high school is a moral question, not a legal one.  --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

I am 16 and pregnant the father is 21 will he be able to sign the birth certificate without getting in trouble or arrested

Q:  My parents consented to the relationship will they get in trouble

A:  David's Answer:  By signing the acknowledgement of paternity, he's admitting to statutory rape. --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Could my husband new wife make me change my husband last name that i kept after a divorce.

Q:  when i got married i kept my husband last name. could his new wife make me change my last name through court if she does not approve of us both having the same last name.

A:  David's Answer:  Generally-speaking, no. --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can I don't answer the door when police try to serve me an temp order of protection?

Q:  my wife were at the family court in white plain yesterday and had a order of protection as she told me over the phone. Do I must answer the door when police knock? Can the police catch me on street to serve me? what will happen if someone other than police serve and I refuse to sign? Trust me my wife is little crazy, because she just ask the judge to have me stay away from her work, and no phone calls, and she allow me to stay at home, and allow me to take care of my kids, she simple just don't want to come home. Tomorrow, she even ask me to pick up the kids and her at the grandma' house to go to the beach.

A:  David's Answer:  If you evade service, then the Judge will most likely just order "affix-and-mail" service where the police can then just leave it at your door. Furthermore, if the order restricts your access to the children, by evading service, you will only interrupt your own visitation rights with your children, You're best advised to schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney. --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

How to deal with a 17 year old teen that is abusing their parent and may be suffering from mental illness.

Q:  A very good female friend of mine is being tormented, terrorized, intimidated and verbally abused by her 17 year old son on a daily basis. The boy's father was physically abusive toward the boy's mother while they we married, but they have been divorced for 6 years. The 17 year old boy also has several mental health issues, including tourette's syndrome and OCD and is extremely antisocial. Is there any legal remedy aside from getting law enforcement involved? He refuses to see a doctor, let alone get any type of therapy. I am afraid that if anything is to be done, it would have to be somewhat soon as he will be 18 in December and I feel his mother will have absolutely no ability to address this situation either legally of medically.

A:  David's Answer:  If the child is turning 18 in December, then while theoretically she could file a PINS petition, there would likely be little the court would do between now & 3 months from now.  --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Can i still be able to file a order of protection thru family court?

Q:  my ex and i have 4 children 14,13&12yr old twins he has not been involved in the kids lives for almost 11 years there was a final order of protection issued by idvc court criminal division and 3 additional charges of contempt of court. The order was 7yrs expired 2 1/2yrs ago last incident was 4yrs ago when he made threats against my unborn baby at the time filed a report with detectived but no arrest since he was across state lines. Now i found out hes secretly been in contact with our 13yr old. Hes never requested or wanted visitation when asked he told the judge no nor has he payed any support.. is it too late to file a restraining order thru family court?

A:  David's Answer:  There is no strict statute of limitations for orders of protection in Family Court, but the real issue is whether you really have a need for an order of protection. Perhaps your efforts are better spent addressing his visitation application. That said, for a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney.   --  David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (