Monday, March 30, 2015

I need to find a probono lawyer to help me with a child support order modification in Westchester.

Q: I have a child support order & filed a modification. I am not working and need help. I have a court date for April 23rd.

David's Answer: If your case is in Supreme, you can check with the Office of the Self-Represented. If your case is in Family Court, then you can shop around and/or call the Bar Association. It should be noted extremely few lawyers do cases for free, especially in the Family Law field. That said, many offer sliding scales on their fees. -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

My 16yr old son is in special ed with executive functioning disorder. He was tattooed at a licensed parlor without my consent.

Q: I left my son and 16yr nephew, who Iam his legal guardian, at his dads house over the weekend. My brothers girl friend took both boys for tattoo's without calling and asking for my permission. I'm devastated. My son is immature and did not know the risks. I'm taking him to his doctor to be tested for HIV and hep c. My son wanted to be a police officer and has now it will effect his future earnings. HELP

David's Answer: Assuming you have sole or primary residential custody, this would appear to be a violation of the order. You can file an enforcement petition, with the Judge then deciding what sanctions to level at the father (in addition to assessing him with any costs of the tattoo's removal). -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I have to go to Supreme Court Matrimonial part in White Plains with a phone recording on CD.

Q: Will they let me walk in with a small CD player? I'm concerned that Security won't let me bring it in.

David's Answer: You're best advised to make these arrangements first with the Part Clerk, who will then likely need to coordinate with Security. Bear in mind if you're representing yourself you must lay a proper foundation to get a recording into evidence.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Friday, March 20, 2015

What is the proper language you use when you want to state that the child support magistrate fabricated the facts

Q:  what is the proper language you use when you want to state that the child support magistrate fabricated the facts so her facts of law are erroneous and what laws are used to cite this argument...

A:  David's Answer:   It's not so much that the Magistrate "fabricated facts," it's that you're disputing the factual findings the magistrate made. Your argument is that it was an abuse of discretion for the Magistrate to find as s/he did. As for caselaw, that'd need to either come from hiring an attorney (as same would need to be crafted to the individual facts of your case) or you'd need to hit the Law Library. Schedule a consult with an Orange/Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

My ex wants me to buy our child a phone.

Q:  I am considering a smart watch when she is age appropriate for it. Is it legal to use GPS to see where she is? I'm the ncp.

A:  David's Answer:  It is perfectly legal to use gps to track your child, but this is also something the other parent should be aware of. Indeed, this really shouldn't even be something you hide from the child either. Schedule a consult with a Rockland/Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I have a family court order guaranteeing phone contact between myself and my daughter. My ex is now crying harassment to me beca

Q:  I once a day when she has her text the word "call" when I'm ready to talk. She's trying to wiggle out of giving me phone time and even told the attorney for the child she's "too busy" to give me a min of time on the phone. Our child is about 3. She's committed numerous other minor violations of the order. What's the best course of action?

A:  David's Answer:  If you believe she's violating the agreement/order, then mail her a default notice letter specifying the allegations (be specific by date, etc.). If she still continues to violate, then file an enforcement petition. Schedule a consult with a Rockland/Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

My wifes ex filed for a temporary order of protection against me toward my step girls. Can i get a court appointed attorney?

Q:  My wife and I have been married for past 8 years and she has been divorced for the past 12 years. We have custody of her 2 teenage girls. Their father does not like that I am an active parent in their lives and is also trying to get out of paying custody so he filed for a temp. order of protection against me toward them after a verbal argument I had with one of the girls due to their attitudes and I grounded them. He then filed for a change of custody against my wife. So, we have 2 separate court cases going on. I had a lawyer represent me through so far but nothing is solved yet and I can;t afford it anymore. Can I apply for a court appointed lawyer to represent me since we have not gone to trial yet? There's only been hearings so far.

A:  David's Answer:  You can ask the court to assign you a lawyer, assuming you're financially eligible. The Court will not only consider income (generally below $40-45,000/year) as well as property/assets. Schedule a consult with an Orange/Westchester Family Law attorney for more info.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Question for NY attorneys and MO attorneys. Can I relocate from NY to MO with my 3yr old and file for custody once I have moved?

Q:  No custodial paperwork has been filed at this time. I am her sole provider, I receive no assistance/ help from her father. I am working with helping my child through developmental delays and really need the support of my family whom all is back in MO. I moved out to NY in 2011, 7months pregnant, thinking her father was sober, and hopes of building a family. Due to his alcoholism and his destructive behavior I left with my daughter almost 2 years ago, on my own. I am in the process of bankruptcy due the financial damages of living with an unstable addict. I am barely making it, however, I have a family that loves us &they want to help, but they are in MO. I have found a job out there and a place but am afraid to move because of I do not have the luxury of time or funds. What should I do?

A:  David's Answer:  You should definitely not move until you either have a court order giving you permission to move or a written, notarized agreement from the father agreeing to the move. You've set forth many facts which are in your favor in a custody/relocation case, though there are many more factors the Judge will consider. You're best advised to schedule a consult with an Orange/Westchester Family Law attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

I owe 800 in areas for child support I have a hearing may 24 will I go to jail

Q:  Im divororced for 12 yes have one daughter by my ex wife I also rwcieve ssi disability my recent areas was paid 1200 I stopped paying because I felt as though that since she got married two times prior to her first marriage she doesn't allow me to see my daughter at all ! I currently owe 800 dollars and IMA little scared that if I go to court I might get locked up should I go with at least 500 jus to be on the safe side what should I do I need help

A:  David's Answer:  You should pay as much of the arrears as possible. That said, if all you owe is $800, it's doubtful the Court will put you in jail for such a small relative amount. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Will a Judge ever ignore federal law, NY law and GA law and simply do what the Petitioner wants because she's the mother?

Q:  My ex wife and I were divorced in Georgia and they issued a final judgment and decree of divorce, parenting plan order and settlement agreement. My child's mother has now filed in Westchester County, NY to modify custody. Under UCCJEA, DRL 76(B) and GA law, since I still reside in the state of GA and have never moved, which is the original state that issued the original orders, any modification of custody should be done here because GA retains continuing, exclusive jurisdiction. However, in court yesterday the Judge wasn't ready to rule on the motion to dismiss (I had a NY attorney there for me), hadn't read it and rescheduled the court date giving my ex more time to respond. Is it possible for this new judge to ignore all law, federal, NY law and GA law and allow her to modify in NY?

A:  David's Answer:  Obviously the Judge cannot ignore the law, otherwise you can appeal. However, the law is more nuanced than you present as the UCCJEA also includes an exception to "continuing, exclusive jurisdiction" if the Judge finds the home state to be an "inconvenient forum." In a nutshell, the Judge would need to determine that all or most of the witnesses & evidence on the issue of custody no longer exist in GA - usually this is when the child's been residing in NY for many years. For a 2d opinion, schedule a consult with a Westchester Family Law attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

If I violate a court order for supervised visits what can happen?

Q:  I m very concerned because my seven year old daughter has expressed that she does not want to see her father to her law guardian and the CPS worker. I was in an abusive relationship with him for many years - he tried to kill me-before our ten year relationship he was incarcerated for thirteen years for murder. yet -with all this they are still have ordered the visit and my court appointed lawyer I feel is not helping me -he seems to be pushing for the visitations as well.

A:  David's Answer:  You'd need to file an order to show cause & request that the Judge suspend visitation. If the Judge does not do so & you violate the order, then the Judge can monetarily sanction you, award counsel fees, order make-up visits at your expense, or possibly even consider it as a factor in switching custody. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

Can I terminate the parental rights of my daughter's father? He agrees to this, but there is also so much more.

Q:  In the last 10 years he has 4 Felonies that I know of. His most recent was yesterday for Criminal Contempt, class E Felony and Harassment to his soon to be ex-wife. They have 3 children together. The other 3 are for DWI's. My daughter has noted that he was drinking and driving in the car with her. My daughter is 14 and wants nothing to do with him, she will be 15 in June 2015. 2 years ago we went to court for his drinking and the judge ordered he is only allowed to see her during therapy. I brought her about 5 times total, and her father then cancelled all further visits. The last time he has seen or spoke to her is July 2014. He hasn't paid any child support since September 2014. Please help. My fiancĂ© will adopt her, and that is what she wants, but we aren't married yet.

A:  David's Answer:   You can commence an adoption proceeding, and then have the biological father execute a surrender of his parental rights. If the father isn't exercising any visitation, then even if he didn't cooperate you'd still likely be able to prove he legally abandoned the child. Call an Orange/Westchester family Law attorney to schedule a consult.    -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney ( 

Can I have juvenile arrest charges expunged?

Q:  At age 15 I was arrested and charged with 1st degree assault in adult court. It was then transferred to family/juvenile court where the case was adjudicated and I plead guilty to 2nd degree assault and received 2 years probation.
About 1 year later I was in a car with a group of kids who had marijuana and I was arrested because it hidden in an area of the car that was closest to me. The charges were dismissed because the kid that owned the pot later came forward to claim it was his.
I did a background check on myself and the 1st degree assault arrest charge appeared on my record even though I was a minor. Will the second drug arrest appear on an FBI background check even though I was not fingerprinted and a mugshot was not taken? I am 26 years old now and haven't been in trouble since.

A:  David's Answer:  Regarding the juvenile delinquency case, you can file a motion to seal the records in Family Court. It is dubious at best whether Family Court can order the police to expunge its own records, however. Regarding your subsequent arrest, however, that would need to be dealt with in adult criminal court, assuming charges were actually filed. You can call a Westchester Family Law and/or Criminal Law attorney to schedule a consult for more info.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (