Saturday, March 29, 2014

Questions about non-custodial parent's rights when child lives in a different state?

Q:  My ex and I both reside outside of CT where we lived when we were married. My child and I are in NY and he is in PA. He recently spoke with a lawyer and has hit me with a barrage of threats over modifying stipulation. All because he is no longer employed and I have not received child support. He's threatening to sue me for health coverage he paid for our child over the course of the last 3 years. Prior to that, I covered the health insurance for 4 years. Our divorce states "both parties are responsible for health insurance through the employment as long as the coverage is a reasonable cost". He has stated he would like me to start driving my child to see him on the weekends (200 miles). He is unemployed and I work 45 hrs. Driving my child would be a great inconvenience. What are my rights?

A:  David's Answer:  Preliminarily, was your divorce done in NY or CT? If done in CT, then you will need to modify/enforce there - and as such should re-post your question in that state's forum. If done in NY, then you should file a petition/application to modify/enforce here in NY. As for who's responsible for the health coverage, this depends on whether there was a separate provision for "unreimbursed medical expenses." If there was, then out-of-pocket medical insurance premiums would indeed be an example of such an expense. Speak to a Family Law attorney in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

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