Tuesday, December 31, 2013



A:  David's Answer:  Her motivations for filing for the order of protection largely do not matter. The main focus at trial will be whether you actually committed a family offense. Speak to a Family Law attorney in your area. -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

I have a no contact order from my ex. I recently spoke to her daughter and offered the daughter an apology for my behavior.

Q:  Would this be a indirect contact violation ??

A:  David's Answer:  It may depend on whether the order also prohibited 3d party contact, and whether you said something to the effect of, "tell her I apologize." Speak to a Family Law attorney in your area. -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Adopting my step son. Birth mother has not seen him in 7 months. Has only 2 hours of supervised visitation 1 day a week.

Q:  Says she hasn't see him because her probation officer wont let he. Ever though she showed him court papers for when she could see him. She had to do some class for probation. That ended in Oct. still hasn't tried to see him. Hasn't been going to visits on a reguler bases from the beginning. Has gone weeks and months before. I would love to adopt him.

A:  David's Answer:  One would think the adoption Judge would find that she has "legally abandoned" the child by failing to maintain substantial contact for a period of longer than 6 months. Speak to a Family Law attorney in your area. -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Hello, my daughter's father been absent for more than 3 years, no cs been paid nor visitation.can the court take his rights

Q:  i been filing petition for violation of cs this year and it been a lost. my husband want to adopt her as well, do we we need the bio-father sign a consent form or can we try with the court knowing that he been more tun 3 years absent volunteer with no payment of cs

A:  David's Answer:  If the father has not visited the child in 3 years, most likely the adoption court will find that he legally abandoned the child & will allow the adoption to proceed with or without his consent. Schedule a consultation with a NYC/Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Can my ex get supervised visitation of our child?

Q:  if he's gotten endangerment of the welfare of children charges, long history of violent/domestic crimes. Has abused 4 separate women, has a history of drug/alcohol abuse, has subsequent mental health history (including bipolar, anger issues, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies in which he was hospitalized for in 2011, 2012, & 2013), has had no jobs, hasn't held a permanent residence in the past few years, homeless on multiple occasions, and lives off of SSI for being mentally incapable of doing anything on daily basis due to anxiety attacks that last all day every day.

A:  David's Answer:  One would think with this list of maladies the Judge would make his visitation supervised. Make sure you have documentation of as many of these allegations as possible.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

If you lost your job or you retired receiving a low monthly income from the retirement and you are also receiving food stamps

Q:  What are your monthly obligation towards child support when you are receiving food stamps, and what is that law called for that and you too have a minor child that is in your custody from another woman? And how does it affect back child support?

A:  David's Answer: Merely receiving food stamps doesn't bear directly on the calculation of child support, as it's what total income you have that counts. Moreover, support is set at your ability to earn income, so if you voluntarily retired while having a prior order of support, you generally would not qualify for a reduction (as this would be a form of "voluntary quit"). Finally, having another child to support MAY affect child support, but as a necessary element of that defense, you'd need to bring in proof of what the mother of that child is earning. Schedule a consultation with an Orange//Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

I had a custody hearing last Sept 2013 and lost because I represented myself, my whole case was based on son's medical condition

Q:  Due to a lack of funds I acted pro-se and represented myself plus the court appointed attorney did not want to represent me because all he wanted me to do was to drop my case & I should be happy I have joint custody. My child's blood chemistry was at extreme deadly levels of which my complaint was all about. By the time we finally went to trial my son's blood chemistry went back to normal because mother was scared, when I attempted to present my medical case I was unable to show it because I was not a medical professional. The children's Right Society was not on my side nor did they care, so I became stage freight and lost my focus so I lost my case. Two weeks ago I found out that my son's blood chemistry is back to an abnormal deadly level again. What can I do I cant sleep at nights.

A:  David's Answer:  First, you should not represent yourself. If you are too poor to afford an attorney, the court can assign you one. If you do not qualify for free representation, there are many lawyers who offer sliding scales on their fees - shop around (even to adjoining counties). Next, I'd need to know more details as to why you think the mother is to blame for your child's "abnormal blood chemistry." Schedule a consultation with an Orange//Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Is it possible to remove court appointed child Attny who's violated my son (7 yo)'s confidence? He doesn't trust her.

Q:  Trying to modify visitation bc dad refuses to participate in my sons life. Removes him from friends, sports & insists on taking him out of town against my sons will. I'm worried abt the psychological effects on my son who begs me to be able to stay home & play with friends. Dad has a lot of $ & little interest in parenting ( we have joint legal). I feel stuck bc the child avocate is not helping to protect my sons needs & seems enamourd with my ex (who is somewhat famous). My poor son is devistated about being uprooted (dad lives in another town) every other weekend & shuffled around. Now ex is asking to get him a nanny so he can travel with him. I'm represented but nobody seems to be considering what's best for my son... Just my ex. Child avocate refuses to let me get my son into therapy.

A:  David's Answer:  While it is possible to file a motion to have the attorney for child removed, it rarely is granted. Thus, you should have relatively clear allegations which impugn the ethics & professionalism of this attorney. Request that the Judge interview the child "in camera." Be prepared for (unspoken) backlash, however, if the motion fails. If you don't feel your attorney is acting in your best interests, consider a change. For (at the least) a 2d opinion, schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What do i do if i have an support order agiant me allready and i want to contest my son paternity.

Q:  my kid is 6 yrs and i've been in a up and down war with the mother i resently have had reasons to believe that im not my sons birth father how do i proceed im at a bad time in life and need help i have no idea what to do about the whole thing but its got very angery and scare .
please help

A:  David's Answer:  You may file a petition for a DNA test, but the problem is that you may have waited too long. There is a legal doctrine called "equitable estoppel" which in a nutshell means that if you sit on your rights for too long, at some point you lose them. That said, the worst that the Magistrate says is "no, you don't get a DNA test," so go ahead & file the petition. I wouldn't do so without the aid of an attorney, however. Schedule a consultation with a Family Law attorney in your area for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Is there any way to get protection for my daughter and I from her emotionally abusive father?

Q:  My daughter's father uses my daughter constantly against me. He is emotionally abusive. I have sole custody and visits are as agreed upon. I try to work something out, buy, every time, I am threatened with court. I want a divorce, but can't afford one. I can't use legal aid because he used legal aid when he tried to take her when she was a newborn. he has told me time and again, he will fight a divorce. I just need help. I feel like I am trapped in a corner.

A:  David's Answer:  Shop around - some attorneys offer sliding scales on their fees and/or will agree to collect the bulk of their fees from him if he makes significant money. It certainly sounds like you need a better defined visitation schedule so everything's clear between the two of you. Schedule a consultation with a Family Law attorney in your area for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/forms/namechange..... You should also consider consulting a Westchester Family Law attorney on the issue.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How can can you prove emotional abuse in family court?

Q:  my uncle has gone crazy and has been put into many mental institutions. my aunt and her kids do not feel safe around him because he has in the past emotionally abused them. he has even tried to hurt himself. so my aunt wants to get an order of protection so they can feel safe again. is there anyway to prove emotional and verbal abuse using her kids or other people as witnesses?

A:  David's Answer:  The issue is that emotional or verbal abuse, in themselves, do not create grounds for an order of protection. This is because one must allege (& be prepared to prove) that a domestic violence crime has occurred - and verbal/emotional abuse generally does not constitute a crime. She may wish to consider getting a divorce, assuming she's still married to him. Schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

How do i fight an order of protection that was falsely given on my behave.

Q:  my husband was charge with and family offense and there is and order of protection, how can i fight that order of protection.

A:  David's Answer:  Is your case pending in criminal court or Family court? If in Family Court, then it's your petition & you always have the right to withdraw your own petition. If in criminal court, then you'll need to speak with the prosecutor. Speak with a Dutchess/Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Can my ex-husband file for reduction of child support if he is unable to prove a perm disability and takes a lower paying job?

Q:  We have already been to Family Court. It was a fact finding hearing where he previously had shown he was on temporary disability, but, was suppose to prove that he had a permanent disability if he wasn't going to return to his employer. He was unable to prove a permanent disability and given six months with the modified support amount pertaining to his temp disability and then he would return to his full amount. He has not returned to his former employer and feel he is going to now say he is making a lower salary and try to file for a continued modified support payment. Can he do this?

A:  David's Answer:  It seems to me on the fact you're presenting he'd still need to prove he's disabled. Otherwise, he'd need to show he lost his last job through no fault of his own & has made a diligent search to find commensurate work since then. schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

I am in a custody fight in family court, I have legal aid. My ex was appointed a lawyer, 9 months ago my ex got a new job.

Q:  She is now making 50 grand a year, her lawyer knows this and doesn't care. I just lost custody temporarily because of her lawyer. The judge and my lawyer don't want to help me, What can I do?

Additional information
My lawyer has a full docket and no time or interest, she has been unprepared at every court date. I'm lucky if I get 5 min before court while my ex has her court appointed lawyer on speed dial. I am trying to get her lawyer removed because my ex makes to much money to qualify for a free lawyer

A:  David's Answer:  Your options are: (a) ask the Judge to assign another lawyer, or (b) explore hiring a private attorney, perhaps one who offers sliding scales and/or payment plans.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

How do I get emancipated?

Q:  I am currently 15, i turn 16 in 7 months and my mom won't allow me to work or do anything all I do is go to school and come home I can't even stay after school if I do I get in trouble. My mom won't even let me empty out the garbage there has to be am adult with me. So how do I prepare myself for living on my own and what steps should I take to get emancipated. Also they have a history of abusing me in 2005

A:  David's Answer:  First, I disagree with the suggestion that you can just "file a petition," as there's no such petition to file. Second, I disagree with the suggestion that you just "run away," as then you would likely become a "person in need of supervision" & quite possibly wind up in a group home. Third, the military will most likely not accept you without parental consent. None of these are realistic options for your situation. The frustrating truth is that you may need to "grin & bear it" as child welfare will most likely not get involved unless there is current abuse or neglect going on (the past "abuse" won't apply as they need to determine that you are currently at risk of harm).  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)