Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Father did not agree with initial child support order. What to expect at second hearing?

Q: I went to my initial child support hearing in November and the father objected based on the 17%. The support magistrate will be looking at our financial affidavits. He is not below the poverty line, this is his only child/I do not keep the child from him and he has been on his job for 18 years. What should I expect at the second hearing? This whole process is becoming quite stressful. Thanks in advance.

A: David's Answer: There are a few common factors the Court will use in deviating from the standard child support calculation. First, if the combined parental income exceeds $136,000 (the current statutory "cap"), then the court MAY deviate on the percentage for income exceeding that amount. Second, if the father is supporting other children pursuant to a valid written agreement or order, the Court SHOULD give him a credit for those payments. Finally, if the father has some unusual expense (such as student loan debt, a garnishment, high health care costs, etc.), the court MAY take same into account in making the support lower. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

Do support magistrates tend to frequently lower child support based only on what the noncustodial parent says?

Q: I recently got a final support order. In my temporary order I had received a WHOPPING $40/week (being facetious here). We went back to court for the final order and now my son's father claimed he lost his job and cannot pay $160/month. The judge now made a $25/month court order. He didn't show any proof of this job loss and lied repeatedly under oath. Do support magistrates frequently make decisions of reducing child support without any proof from the noncustodial parent? It just seems like justice is not being served, especially since I brought in all the proof of income and expenses that I was asked to bring in and he came in empty handed.

A: David's Answer: The Judges role isn't necessarily to "challenge" the father's proof, but to hear the evidence presented & rule upon it. You had the ability to challenge the father's case, but I presume you represented yourself & thus (& this is meant with no offense) did did not know how to properly do so. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

College expense obligations of a non-custodial parent

Q: I am the non-custodial father of a 21-year old who attends one of the most expensive college in the country. For the first two years, he was awarded an excellent financial aid package, which put my pro rata share of the expenses into the average SUNY expenses. In AUgust 2011, his grandmother passed away and left a very hefty inheritance to his mother (my ex.) Because of this, the college has significantly reduced his aid award. My ex expects me to pay my pro rata share of these significantly increased costs, which is more than 2 X the original cost two years ago. Is this equitable? It is not what I agreed to. To complicate the issue, she has since quit her job, which is going to significantly increase my pro rata share. Is this fair, and legal?

A: David's Answer: Here's the question: is the "agreement" a written settlement agreement which was incorporated into your divorce judgment? Furthermore, what are the provisions for modifying same? Does it prescribe an amount - or percentage - that you contribute towards college? These are among the factors which will bear on whether the order can be modified. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Supprt lawyer (

What does this CPO-D/R implies when placed in the calendar of a court order?. Can you explain??

Q: this is in relation to a child support case. Unfortunately unable to pay due to lack of work.

A: David's Answer: It usually means the date is just on the calendar for administrative control purposes, often used as a "tickler" in the system to trigger a deadline for the Magistrate, such as when an order or decision is due. Nevertheless, I highly suggest you verify same by calling the Clerk's office. -- David Bliven, White Plains Child Support lawyer (

I am a married man who had a child outside of marriage

Q: The child's mother is now taking me to child support. Why do they want my wife's finical information if she is not legally obligated to the child.

A: David's Answer: They may be asking for your wife's information if she helps pay for some of your household expenses and defrays more than your 50% share of same. If she does not, then I would object to disclosure of same (which forces their hand to file a motion so the Magistrate may consider whether to order that disclosure or not). -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

Child support ny state

Q: I have to two sons going away for college this fall and both will be staying in the school dorms. My question is will my payments go directly to them or the same as now to the mother?

A: David's Answer: Unless the order is modified, you must continue to pay the mother. That said, there are a couple of different possibilities to modify: (a) you may get a credit off basic support for your contribution toward room-and-board, and/or (b) if the kids basically live at school and only return to the mother's house to visit on breaks, you may be able to get the basic support reduced or eliminated during the periods of time they live at school. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

Can I take my ex to court for non payment and possibly increase if he doesn't have a job?

Q: More than 2 yrs ago I moved out of my parents home and have been paying for my daughters insurance and medical bills without extra payments from her dad. I have only received 1 Cola increase of $6.50 in 10 years because he has been unable to hold a job long enough for me to take him back to court. He is now in arrears but still has no job on file. Do I have any chance of seeing a judge let alone getting an increase?

A: David's Answer: If you cannot prove he's had an increase of income, then it will be quite difficult to get an increase. That said, you certainly should be able to enforce the arrears. I thus suggest that you schedule a follow-up consultation with a Child Support lawyer in your area. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

How do I get the NYS Child Support Enforcement Unit to stop Enforcement of my arrears, since I'm paying it off?

Q: I have been paying child support, plus an additional amount for arrears that accrued during a period of unemployment - of which my ex wife had taken me to court for over a year, with the intent of trying to get me put in jail. I was asked to bring in proof of a job search every month for almost 9 months during this process. it ended once I got a job and was making payments. The Child Support Collection Unit established the arrears payment, and I went on with my life. a year later, Im arrested on a traffic stop because my license was suspended due to child support. I called Child support enforcement after finding out the next day that my Bank account was levied; Their response was that the court agreement of payments has nothing to do with them, and offered me no direction.

A: David's Answer: The law was recently amended to give Family Court jurisdiction to hear cases involving SCU suspending licenses. I thus encourage you to file a petition on that issue & to schedule a follow-up consultation with a Child Support lawyer in your area. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

If a noncustodial parents income doesn't increase can a judge increase child support?

Q: Noncustodial parent is on public assistance married and has two dependents.

A: David's Answer: If the non-custodial parent is on public assistance, it means s/he isn't working. However, just as they must make a diligent search for a job and/or participate in workfare or jobs training programs as a condition of their continued receipt of benefits, they can be required to submit the same proof to the Support Magistrate. Indeed, the Magistrate is entitled to make an independent determination as to whether his/her job search is "diligent" and if it is not, can consider making a "needs-based" order. -- David Bliven, Weschester Child Support lawyer (

Family court electronic testimony for child support

what is considered audio visual? would that be skype or cam. Also i dont live in the same state, can i send copies of my documents for disclosure or do they need originals the reason i ask is because it states that it has to be signed by a notary public
David’s answer: "Audio-Visual" technically means both hearing you & seeing you. However, in most instances, giving "electronic" testimony means testifying over the phone. Usually in a child support proceeding, you must designate where you will give the testimony, which in most instances is the SCU in your state, or a notary public or lawyer's office. Additionally, you should strive to send them the originals - I suggest to send them to the Clerk's Office via certified mail, return receipt. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

I am the petitioner and have my first hearing for child support coming up Do i have to fill out all question?

on my financial disclosure sheet there is a section where it asks me income of other members in my house hold.. If I leave that section blank, will it be an issue ? Am i obligated to fill this part out
David’s answer: The real question would be: is there a good reason not to disclose it? If not, you should put it down. While some people do not initially disclose it, if there's an attorney on the other side, s/he will probably catch the non-disclosure & ask that it be disclosed anyway. It really only becomes relevant on issues such as that other person contributing more than 50% of household expenses and/or if combined parental income exceeds the statutory cap (as of this writing, $136,000) -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My ex- wife is taken me to court 4 support but she has my so and i have my daughter

Q: i got custody off my daughter in oct 2012 and a suspended order of custody as well ,will i have to pay her support 

David’s Answer: Generally when there is a split custody situation the court calculates child support you would pay to her for the child in her care, and then the court would calculate support she would pay to you for the child in your care. However, you must have your own cross-petition requesting support for the Court to do this. If you do not, then the Court will only calculate support you owe to her.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support Attorney (

I am the non-custodial parent and my daughter will turn 21 on 9/16/13. How do I terminate my support, which is $1,100 a month

Q: Does the state of NY automatically close my child support case on my daughter's 21 st birthday?

David’s Answer: They should, assuming there was no valid, written agreement (which was then incorporated into an order) extending the emancipation time. If the order is garnished from your pay, then you want to monitor it closely to verify whether it stops. If it doesn't, then you should immediately do 2 things: (1) file a protest with SCU, which may serve to halt the dispersal of the funds they collected, and (2) file a petition to terminate the order.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support Attorney (

Up to what age is a parent financially responsible for their child in NY if he is a part time student taking only 1 class?

Q: My child will be 23 on April 1st. He is working part time. He is under the impression that we have a legal obligation to support him until he is 24 since he is taking 1 course in college. He is currently failing the class which is a basic English course.

David’s answer: I also agree. Child support statutorily cuts off at age 21, unless there is a valid, written agreement to the contrary (which in turn was incorporated into an order/judgment). As such, I suggest that if there was such an agreement, you take the time to have it reviewed by an Orange/Westchester Co. Child Support lawyer.  --  David Bliven, Westchester Co. Child Support lawyer (

Monday, April 8, 2013

Child Support order done on NY, everyone moved to PA - can it be terminated?

Q: Family all have lived in PA last 10 years.  New York was issuing state of the original child support order.  The last modification was done in 2010 in New York, but the Magistrate directed that all future Petitions be filed in PA.  Can the support order be terminated in PA due to emancipation if kids are over 18 (even though NY law extends emancipation until 21)?

A (David's Answer): Yes, because PA now has exclusive jurisdiction if Father, Mother & child lives there [see FCA 580-613].  --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (