Friday, September 26, 2014

I have no support order from the past to pay such money,now they want it and back dated for the past two years.can they?

Q:haven't had her in two years,me and my wife went are own ways and we all said it would be best for her to live ex mother in law due to we could not take care of her,and they said no money is excepted from me or my wife that they will pay for all and anything she will need.they are doing this due to the fact that i'm taking my wife to court for visitation of our son,and that came to me in a text message.they want it back dated for the past two years.can they go that far back?

A: David's Answer: If there is no child support order or enforceable agreement, then support is generally only retroactive to the date of the application. That said, you should figure out what you may owe & start making payments now. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's been well over 90days since my trial to have my CS order terminated,the judge still hasn't made a decision.What can i do

Q: I've overpayed thousands of dollars at this point .Does she have a legal time frame to make a decision and if so what can i do to enforce this .At this point i'd rather her rule against me so i can appeal.

A: David's Answer: The very general rule is that the Judge has 60 days from when the case is fully submitted to render a decision. That said, this deadline can be extended due to backlog and/or waiting for transcripts to come in. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I am five months pregnant with my fiancés child and I am not quite sure that things are going to work out

Q: My fiancé is recently divorced with two children and is already working a ridiculous amount just to be able to pay his ex wife what she is getting for child support. I know that he will have no time to take care of a new born due to his work schedule. Is there any way that I can obtain soul custody of my child and does the fact that we aren't married help my case?

A: David's Answer: Once the child is born & you have separated form your fiancé, then you can file for custody in Family Court. Whether you are married or not doesn't affect the analysis regarding custody, however. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Ex called the police for harassment last year

Q: I called her and her sister because she was using marijuana while she had custody. She did not press charges. I now wan to file for phone time and more visitation. Do I need to worry about the report?

A: David's Answer: I'm not sure I understand - you called in a report on her for using drugs, or she called in a report against you? That said, it you called in a report against her but did so in good faith, I don't see it hurting you. Of course, one would need to assess the full history here to render a definitive opinion. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

I am getting remarried and want to protect my self this time.

Q: My fiancé and I are expecting a child together and live in my apartment. We want to buy a home. She has been a student and has minimal credit. So, we will both contribute to a down payment. I have been approved for a mortgage. I would like to know, if the home is purchased before we get married and I am the only one able to get a mortgage, in the uneventful case of a divorce, will she have rights to the home aside from a portion of down payment.

A: David's Answer: Generally the house would remain your separate property. However, she MAY be able to claim a share of the principal paid down during the marriage with marital funds and/or capital improvements made to the house with marital funds. You're best advised to do a prenup. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Sunday, September 7, 2014

If my ex goes back to his home country the Caribbean islands does he still have to pay child support and can I remove his rights

Q: we have gotten a divorce and things are not working for him he has visitation but I don't want my kids to deal with him. he has not paid me in four months and I have him on collection for back payments I believe he is goin to try an just go back home. if he does can I still fight for child support or can I have his rights removed when he is gone.

A: David's Answer: Yes, most countries will honor U.S. support orders, but you'll need to verify this by consulting a Family Law attorney in that country. For instance, you may need to register the order for enforcement purposes in that country. You would not, however, be able to "terminate his rights" outside of the context of an adoption proceeding. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Grounds for abandonment? Can I have his rights revoked? My daughter turned 14 in June and wants nothing to do with him at all

Q: My ex has a drug/alcohol addiction. He is currently going to court for his 3rd DWI within the last 10 years that he recv'd in Apr. The judge at family court ruled in Jan 2014 that he is not to have any visitation with my daughter, unless in a therapeutic session and only until the counselor deems it necessary to cancel sessions. My ex recently canceled all further sessions and told my daughter that he would walk away and leave her alone. He has had no contact with her since July, and does not pay child support regularly. The child support collection unit, filed a violation.

A: David's Answer: There is no such thing in NY has having parental rights terminated outside of the context of an adoption proceeding. You can, however, file a motion/petition to have visitation terminated (as that's apparently what he wants anyway). His obligation to pay support will continue, however. - David Bliven, Westchester Family attorney (

Child Support. My children are in college. Am I legally required to pay for their college education?

Q: I pay child support for my children. They will be 20yrs old this December and in their third year of college. Am I legally responsible for paying for their college education? Our divorce decree/or separation never stated anything pertaining to such. Why can't they pay for their college, as I have paid for mine. I am sure I am not first to ask this nor will I be the last.

A: David's Answer: First, I'd advise against taking legal advise from a lawyer not licensed to practice law in NY. Even if your divorce decree was silent on the question, you may still be liable for college expenses. The custodial parent would need to file a modification petition to include the college expenses as an add-on to the basic level of support. The primary issue then is whether based on the support you're already paying as well as your basic living expenses you can afford the additional amount for college. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

How much time before a court appearance does a response to a petition need to be delivered to opposing attorney for a family cou

Q: How much time before a court appearance does a response to a petition need to be delivered to opposing attorney for a family court matter? This pertains to responding to a petition seeking to modify an existing visitation order.

A: David's Answer: If the petition was served on you via personal service more than 8 days before the court date, then you should have your reply to the opposing attorney 2 days before the court date. For a full assessment, schedule a consult with a Rockland/Westchester Family Law attorney.- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can you cite a webpage in a court response

Q: If i file a response to a petition in Family court, can i cite in my papers a webaddress link that illustrates or proves my point or is that not an acceptable thing to do in courtpapers?

A: David's Answer: If it's important enough, you may wish to print out the webpage & attach it as an exhibit. The Judge isn't necessarily obligated to look up the cite. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can she modify custody to full?

Q: My girlfriend recently agreed to joint custody with primary placement of her three children. She utilized a mediator and her and their dad were able to avoid court. Since then he has made multiple threats to keep the kids and/or take them away from her. He has also since moved to a two bedroom apartment which means when he does have the kids... They don't each have their own bed. There are several other concerns that individually seem like nothing but feel like a pattern we our concerned with. She would simply like to have the mind games, threats and stress gone.

A: David's Answer: The question becomes whether the mediation agreement was ever reduced to a court order. If it wasn't, then can can always be easily changed by going into court. If it was, then she'll need to file a modification petition, itemizing all the factors upon which she feels there's a basis to change the order. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can I make a motion about my ex's refusal to split dental expenses although it's in our divorce agreement ---even though......

Q: Even though it goes back a couple of years? I just found the clause in our agreement that confirms my ex should split that with me. If it's not too late to pursue this, what would the motion be called?

A: David's Answer: I'd first advise to send a default notice letter, attaching the bills & proof of any payment, to him via certified mail, return receipt (indeed, you agreement, perhaps in a later section, probably requires same). Then you can either file a contempt motion in Supreme or a violation petition in Family Court. - David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What is intergrated domestic violence court

Q: Confused on what idv court is

A: David's Answer: IDV means the criminal case and any related custody, visitation and/or divorce case is combined & heard before the same Judge. Whether this is done is in the sole discretion of the Administrative Judge. - David Bliven, Westchester Family attorney (