Saturday, September 28, 2013

Can a US court establish paternity by default

Q:  Can a US court establish paternity by default and order a United States citizen man to pay child support and suspend his US passport for not paying child support? The courts cannot locate this person, because he does not have a US mailing address and cannot garnish his wages, because they cannot locate any assets in the United States. He had sex with this woman in the United States but the mother suspects that he moved to Japan, before her child is born.

A:  David's Answer:  Yes, but I would wonder how the father was served with the petition if his whereabouts are unknown. More facts would be necessary in order to definitively answer this post.  --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

What happens a mother asks a US court to order a man to pay child support that lives in the United Arab Emirates?

Q:  What happens a mother asks a US court to order a man to pay child support that lives in the United Arab Emirates? This man is a citizen of the United Arab Emirates.

A:  The mother would need to establish jurisdiction over him, which is usually done via the Hague Convention on Service Abroad. She must also establish personal jurisdiction. Finally, she should coordinate her efforts with a UAE Child Support attorney as s/he would need to assist in the enforcement of the order.  --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Child Support Arrears Waived

Q:  i finally got my arrears balance to zero by it being waived. My question is will i qualify for a refund of the money being taken out while the system is being updated?

A:  David's Answer:  You should bring a copy of the court order immediately to SCU so they can stop the garnishment. You can also bring it to your payroll department so they can stop sending the money to SCU. If any money is in fact taken by SCU & still held by them, then you can get it back from them. If SCU dispersed it to the support recipient, then you'd need to sue her for the overpayment. --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

How do I transfer a child support case from New York to North Carolina?

Q:  My son and his mother live in Maryland and I live in North Carolina but the child support case is still in New York. What can I do to have it transferred?

A:  David's Answer:  It depends on what you mean by "case." If no one resides in New York any longer, then New York would no longer have exclusive jurisdiction over modification or enforcement petitions. Future such petitions should be filed in Maryland. That said, if you're talking about the collection of the support, then either one - probably better for the mother to do so - may make an application to have the collection transferred to North Carolina Support Collection Unit. --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Can I get the back child support?

Q:  My parents got divorced when I was young, 3-4 years old. My father was ordered to pay child support and only paid a handful of months he was suppose to. My mom took him to court on a few occasions, but he worked off the books in order to get away with not paying it. Currently, he's a supervisor at one business and owns another with a partner. I'm 20 now, but was curious if I could sue for back child support or if my mom had to, or if it was even possible to get the money at all.

A:  David's Answer:  If there's an outstanding order & he owes arrears, then it can be enforced. Furthermore, he generally needs to pay support until you're 21, so your mother could also file a petition for upward modification. Have your mother schedule a consultation with a Dutchess/Westchester Child Support attorney.  --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Can Social Security Earnings be calculated towards child support?

Q:  Am working f/t & am a custodial parent. If I decide to collect social security can my portion of child support be increased and non-custodial parents share be decreased? In other words: Can social security income be calculated towards child support? I am 63 yrs. old.

A:  David's Answer:  All income counts towards the calculation of child support. That said, if you're the custodial parent, then merely because you have greater income does NOT result in a decrease of child support. The only real argument the other parent would have is if the combined parental income now exceeds the statutory cap of $136,000 per year. If that's not the case, then an increase on your end won't provide a basis to downwardly modify the support. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support lawyer.  --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, September 21, 2013

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.

A:  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 Child Support attorney (

I threw my 18 year old child out because of drugs use, not going to school and risky behavior. Do I have to pay child support?

Q:  She is living with her boyfriend and family.

A: David's Answer:  Potentially yes, if she files a petition alleging she is not financially self-supporting. The issues on the case will be: (1) whether she has a job or is readily capable of obtaining one, and (2) whether she emancipated herself by virtue of her actions. In any event, I highly suggest that you schedule a follow-up consultation with a Westchester Child Support attorney.    --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Should two bonuses paid in a year due to administrative changes in my company's bonus program be used in my child support calc

Q:  I normally get one bonus in Jan. In 2012 I got a bonus in Jan. In Oct, my company decided to move the next year's bonus payment from Jan 2013 to Dec 2012 to align performance bonus with the year earned. This pushed income I would have normally received in 2013 into 2012. Thus over-inflating my 2012 income. Now my ex wife is claiming that my income has increased and wants an adjustment to child support claiming my income is my salary and the two bonuses. My argument is that 2012 was not a normal year due unforeseeable timing change in bonus payout. How do I approach this situation to keep the Dec bonus from being used in the child support calc? I live in Westchester County NY.

A:  David's Answer:  I'd suggest to get a letter from your employer that states what they did. I'd also suggest to bring in your current paystub so the magistrate can see for pro-rated income for 2013. Finally, I'd suggest to bring in copies of previous years tax returns so the Magistrate can see your historical earnings. In any event, I'd also highly suggest that you schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment of the case.   --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Arrears Child Support Hearing

Q:  I have a CS hearing coming up to get my arrears waived by my daughters mom (she will be present) My question is.. is it necessary to still bring in my W-2's and pay stubs for this type of hearing and if so can i send these documents in prior to the hearing?

A:  David's Answer:  No need to send this information in beforehand. You also likely don't need the mandatory financial documents if the ONLY issue is the arrears. Bear in mind that besides having the mother served, you'll also generally need her to execute an affidavit regarding the waiver of the arrears AND she'll need to appear to be allocated as to the waiver. --  David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I was served with appear in family court in 5 days, I cannot attend on short notice, what can I do?

Q:  I have been out of work and have no income I receive Medicaid, SNAP AND HEAP and am in deep on child support I have a great relationship with my sons who are 22 and 20 How do I get the appearance rescheduled?

Additional information
My wife works and I care for our kids 2 year old twins and a 3 year old she cannot get day off

A:  David's Answer:  The question becomes: if you're out of work, why can't you attend court? Generally the "press of other business" is not a legal reason for not showing up to court. You can try writing the court a letter & while sometimes that works, if it doesn't then the court may proceed in your absence. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Is there a statute of limitation on back child support owed to the state of new york?

Q:  i left the u.s 23 years ago because of a difficult family situation nonetheless i kept contact with my child.(having him come over for summer,christmas and whatever other vacation time available he even stayed with me for 3 years). in all this time i refused to pay the state what it was asking for child support(to be explained at lattertime). i know owe 40,000 dollars and have no way of extinguishing the debt any time soon.

A:  David's Answer:  Yes, it's 20 years, but the problem is that the statute of limitations extends to each period of time you violated. In other words, you MAY be able to avoid 3 years worth of arrears (unless there were subsequent orders or judgments), but not the remainder of the arrears. It's probably best that you seek to cut a deal.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Downward Modification of Child Support: When will I find out if my ex files for a downward modification of child support?

Q:  He just started a new position in Tarrytown. How long do I have to wait to find out if he filed a petition? I just got downward in May of 2011. I receive the support from the Child Support Unit. Would they be advised as well?

A:  David's Answer:  He is obligated to serve you with the summons & petition. In between times, you always have the option of going to court and verifying any new filing with the clerk's office. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support attorney.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Social Security pd $796/mo from my disability when all 5 children were under 18 by garnishment. Why am I still paying out $796?

Q: I was divorced in NY 15 yrs ago. Had 5 minor children. Ex receives NYS child support, modified to $873/mo for 3 when other 2 aged out (as per my disability modification) She also receives $796/mo garnish of my own SSD, originally based on 5 minors. I receive $1010/mo. This is my only income. All together she's paid $1669/ mo for cs. BUT SS told me that irrespective of children aging out & not receiving any more of my SSD, any remaining children under 18 would pick up the difference of total amoutn meaning that my ex would still get $790/mo whether there were 5 or 2 children under 18. Asked why, was told by SSD rep that amount stays the same as it was for the 5 children until the very last child turns 18. Paying $795 out of my SSD for 2 as I did for 5. WHY? No wonder SS is going broke!

A:  David's Answer:  Your confusion may stem from the difference between payment of child support, which is what was awarded by the court, and the subsidy awarded to the children (payable to the mother) by the Social Security Administration. The latter is NOT considered a form of child support and technically does not reduce the benefits otherwise payable to you. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support lawyer.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Upward Modification/Child Support do I need proof of non-custodial parent's increased income from new job before going to court?

Q:  It's been less than 3 yrs since last decision. Non-custodial parent's recent job change may be securing him 15% or more in increased earnings. We don't exchange tax info & I do not know for certain; but suspect his earnings have increased with his new job oppty. His childs' needs have also increased. My earnings have not increased. If I seek upward modification & go to court, does my atty need to establish the increase in his earnings before going to court? How is that done? Or can the Judge just inquire about his new earnings in court when we go.? I understand that an upward modification can be asked for if the earnings have increased 15% or more or 3 yrs have passed since last decision.

A: David's Answer:   The proper procedure would be to bring the evidence in with you to court. Thus, when you file the petition, your attorney should immediately subpoena the records from his employer. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Friday, September 6, 2013

Can I deduct college tuition payments from the amount of child support i pay?

Q: I pay about $3000 in child support each month and my oldest just started college. I pay $1000 per month to the school toward tution/room and board. Can I deduct this payment from the child support and pay only $2000?

A: You cannot do so if there's a court order of support. You nevertheless can petition the Court for a modification to get that credit. How likely you will be is dependent on a number of factors, including whether you pay support pursuant to a mere order or pursuant to a written Settlement Agreement.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

My judgment of divorce ordered that "during the time the infant attends college ( she started in August)

Q: the child support shall be reduced by 50%. Can I ask for an upward modification? with the money that I make I cannot pay for my part of school with the 50% reduction.

A: Whether you can modify the agreement largely depends on the language found in the agreement regarding modification. As such, I would highly advise to have the Agreement reviewed by a Family Law attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Did we serve the court papers properly?

Q:  my daughters father lives in ontario i live in nys. we have a court order providing me with sole custody and him with supervised visitations. my mother and i took the documents provided by my lawyer 6 hours north to my daughters father and my mother served him in person. my daughters father says it was not done properly and that we were required to go through ontario court or the consulate to serve him and that he is not legally bound by the serving. my mother has completed an affidavit and had it notarized as to the fact that she did serve him. so the question is, is what we did correct?

A:  David's Answer:  If you were trying to serve the initial summons in the case, then service was likely invalid. Service in a foreign country must generally be done via The Hague Convention, so long as the country is a signatory on same (which Canada is). Please see: You are also best advised to schedule a consultation with a Child Support attorney in your area, particularly one familiar with international cases.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

I just received a letter from Cabarrus county court house stating they are pursuing me for child support.

Q: I just received a letter from Cabarrus county court house. The letter states that my child's mother applied for T.A.N.F and as a direct result they are pursing all the paternal fathers for Child support. I will like to know my right s as a father to stop the court from pursuing me for child support when I clearly have and continue to support my child.

A:  David's Answer:  Since Cabarrus Co. is in North Carolina, I would advise to consult a child support lawyer who practices in that county. You may find such a lawyer by looking on Avvo, or by consulting, or -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Im on ssi i get medicade and food stamp i need a child support lawyer can i get one for free or for small payment

Q: low income no help with rent we have 2 girls 19 and 15 we have 4 kids the boys are older neaver paid child support for the boys or the 15yrs old . there is a open case for the 19yrs old .dss open it. i dont recieve any case from dss. i need help

A:  David's Answer:  If you do not receive a cash budget subsidy for the children, then DSS will not generally sue on your behalf to reclaim Medicaid or Food Stamps. As such, if you wish to file your own case, just goto Family Court & file a petition. In terms of a lawyer, most lawyers in this field will not take the case for free. However, some offer sliding scales and/or payment plans, so I encourage you to contact a Westchester Co. Child Support lawyer to schedule a free follow-up consultation. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

If me & the mother signed a contract stating child support cost is $150 every 2 weeks compared to $500 every 2 weeks; does the

Q:  contract stand at $150 or do i still have to pay the $500 every 2 weeks?

A:  David's Answer:  If the mother files a petition & wishes to have support paid at the $500 amount, the Magistrate will most likely allow this unless the "agreement" was a duly-executed Separation Agreement. That said, I think it's worth your time to bring the agreement to an attorney & have it reviewed. Thus, I highly suggest that you call a Westchester Family Law attorney to schedule a consultation.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Can my housing allowance from the VA be used to calculate child support?

Q:  I am a full time student and receive a set amount from the VA to live on while I am in school. I pay an amount that my EX and I agreed on for child support, but now she is taking me to court for more. It is April now and my school is finished in November, which means I will no longer be getting any money once I graduate. The allowance I receive now is Non taxable and doesn't get reported to the IRS. Can a judge order me to pay 17% of this for child support? Don't get me wrong, I am a good father who gives what he can to help his child but if I give any more I won't be able to live for the remaining time I am in school..

A:  David's Answer:  Yes, a housing allowance is generally considered income for child support purposes. However, I agree with the other poster that if your income falls below the self-support reserve, the support itself may be quite low. That said, you have an obligation to work a full-time job even if you are attending school. Thus, you should schedule a consultation with a Child Support lawyer in your area. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Can child support order be changed from state established to state where kids live?

Q:  I was divorced in Ct in 2002 and child support was established in 2004,the same year I moved with my children to Ny. We have lived here since...can orders be changed to Ny?

A:  David's Answer:  In what state does the support obligor live, in NY or CT? If the support obligor still lives in CT, then any modification/enforcement must generally be done in CT. That said, there may be a different basis for jurisdiction in this state over the support obligor, so it may be worth it to have a follow-up consultation with a Family Law attorney. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Do I have to give my baby his fathers last name?

Q:  My boyfriend and I are moving in together after 5 years. We are having a son in March. He is convinced that the only option for my son is to have his last name. He says that if I give the baby my last name it would alert social services that he is either not involved or that we have problems. My reasoning is that we are not married and likely won't so why should I call my son by a different last name to mine? Can you please advise?

A:  David's Answer:  You may give the child your last name if you desire. Merely listing your last name as opposed to the father's will not trigger any report to DSS. In any event, I encourage you to follow-up with a Dutchess/Westchester Co. Child Support lawyer should you have additional questions.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

No warrent has been issued yet, but I know that I am in violation of a court order. What do I do?

Q:  I was remainded to custody for failure to pay child support. I was given a stay for 7 days to come up with X dollars. I was unable to do so and know that I now have a set amount of time to serve. Do I turn myself in now or do I have to wait for a warrent to be issued?

A:  David's Answer:  You would need to go back to court. If a remand order was already issued, a warrant is only necessary if you don't turn yourself in. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Can I emancipate my daughter? She is 18 not attending college works but has lived with her grandparents for about a yr because

Q:  She doesn't always get along with her mom. We barley have talked for yrs from on going brain washing. Her mom currently collects my child support and I want to stop it. I tried over the yrs to have a relationship with my daughter but a big part is on my end I set rules and her mom doesn't. Because of this it has ruined my relationship. My daughter has been involved with the police and court many times and I have no control. I am a newly retired corrections officer that just received disability due to a inmate officer altercation

A:  David's Answer:  It is possible, but it's also a very tough case to prove. Basically you need to prove that your daughter's refusal to visit you is completely unjustified and that you've made efforts throughout the years to repair the relationship. I'd advised to assemble a paper-trail of any efforts you've made - and indeed to reach out to her again via letter or e-mail. In any event, you should schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support lawyer for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (