Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What does it mean when you're told your support application is "light"?

Q: My soon to be ex's lawyer contacted me and said that my support application was "light". They are now asking for pay stubs and w-2 forms which have already been submitted. Can you tell me what this means?

A:  David's Answer: It's hard to say what is meant by that. If you have a modification petition, perhaps the lawyer meant that the basis for modification was arguably insufficient from a legal standpoint. You're best advised to schedule a consultation with a Putnum/Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Is my New Jersey employer under any obligation to collect NYS child support? Can they collect it and pay if i request it of them

Q:  I just started a job in new Jersey. The support is court ordered and paid directly to support.

A: David's Answer:  I see no reason why it would not be collectible. Make sure NY SCU has your employer's information. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

My daughter will turn 21 in Jan and is a fulltime student. can I still collect support for her until she graduates in NYS?

Q:  Now support I receive pays for her apt. I cannot afford this without the support and I am afraid he will not continue to support her.

A:  David's Answer:  If you do not have a prior written agreement from the other parent to extend support until she graduates, then any further support must be on consent. In that instance, contact the other parent & see whether s/he will agree. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is it wrong if I withhold $ due to a discrepancy in child support when my ex is in arrears with daycare reimbursement for 4+mos?

Q:  We have a divorce decree, he is ordered to pay child support and % daycare and medical. He is over 4 months in arrears with daycare reimbursement, csu deducted the wrong amount in October for child support and although he is in arrears with daycare reimbursement he is demanding I reimburse the discrepancy which is way less than what he owes for daycare.

A:  David's Answer:  I would advise to write the father with the following proposal: either you be allowed to treat the discrepancy as an off-set, you else you'll need to go back to court to enforce the arrears, in which case he'll be hit with interest and counsel fees. If he chooses the "hard way," then hire a lawyer & file the application. Speak to a Dutchess/Westchester Child Support lawyer for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Is father financially liable if he grossly underrepresented his income for child support?

Q: This question is regarding a 2009 child support order, and a 2010 order upon support for an educational trust. I found out that the child's father grossly under-reported his income to the court. Instead of earning $150,000 a year, he actually earns $750,000. The child was entitled to share in her father's wealth and standard of living, and was deprived of it due to his lie. I have copies of pay stubs over a three month period to prove it. It is also on documents from another court (he is not aware that I have these documents in my possession, or that I am aware of his true income). Is the child entitled to back child support for what the amount "would have been" had his true income been taken into consideration in 2009 and 2010? How do I proceed?

A: It is doubtful, but one would need to know in what manner did he misrepresent his income. Did he produce tax returns & W-2's & those were fraudulent? Or did he just orally state what his income was? If there is so much money at stake, you should definitely retain a lawyer to assist you with the case.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Can I get arrears waived in NY?

Q: I have been paying support for 16 years. Was petitioned in 10/12, court date 12/12 custodial parent did not show up. New court date in 4/13 custodial parent attends with out paperwork. Finally appeared on 9/13 and I am in arrears for over $10K. Shouldn't the arrears be calculated from the date parent finally came prepared for court?

A: No, because the arrears flowed from the date of the prior order. If you mean retroactive support (not technically arrears), then answer is also no, as the Magistrate would have (implicitly) determined that was the proper amount you should have been paying all along.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

If my ex took a voluntary layoff to receive funding go back to school, can he now collect child support from me?

Q: he took this layoff in January, voluntarily, and was accepted into a gov subsidized second careers program. He now only collects the money they offer for schooling support and has come to me to take me for child support. I have been paying for all of our daughters expenses (clothing, extra curricular activities etc) since January and have kept receipts.

A: I'm confused by your question - are your children residing with the father? If yes, then you do indeed need to pay child support to the father regardless of his job situation. If the children are residing with you, on the other hand, then the father owes child support to you, not the other way around.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

Is offsetting of medical bills a violation of a decree? How about unilateral religious decisions for a child?

Q: My ex did not directly pay me her portion of an orthodontia bill, but prepaid
4 months (on my account ) instead so that could claim FSA savings.  She then billed me $3 for the difference!  I am taking her to court in two weeks in search of proactive modifications to prevent such behavior and to ensure she reimburses me on time consistently. She often does not.  She also unilaterally decided to put my son in church confirmation classes and then withheld information on it.  What are my chances of getting modifications such as prohibiting offsets, time limits on reimbursement, and agreement(s) on religious decisions?    

A: I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "off-sets" in your context. Generally though, one needs to strictly follow the agreement as stated. If one does not, one risks a default by the Judge & thus possible sanctions and/or counsel fees.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Can a parent legally receive child tax credit refund for child not living with them?

Q: Child was sent to Mexico from April '08 - August '11. I went with the mother to tax preparer and when he asked where the child lived each year she claimed it was NY, but at the time he was in MX on "vacation". I know for a fact that the child lived in MX for continuous period of 3+ years so would his mom legally be entitled to claim him on taxes for the time period he did not live with her in NY? Mom is undocumented immigrant and father is not at all involved in child's life.

A: No - if the child was not residing in the U.S., the parent cannot claim a tax deduction for the child with the IRS.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support lawyer (

How to collect child support arrears:Court's clerk and/or NYS Child Support Enforcement erred re judge's CONDITIONAL Order?

Q: "Old divorce" found in court records contain judgment of divorce and separate, "not to be merged" Stip of Settlement. Judge's order granted waiver of child support/pendente lite arrears ON CONDITION that ex was to cooperate in selling all marital real properties. Ex deliberately went underground, never cooperated, childrens family home foreclosed, other sold but no monies were given to satisfy arrears. In contacting NYS Child Support, it claimed not to know anything about the judge's CONDITIONAL order. In calling the court clerk who said that the judge's order must have been misinterpreted at NYS CSU, but that on review of my JOD and Stip, pendente lite order arrears should NOT have been irradicated UNTIL and WHEN equity money from marital real properties was distributed to plaintiff. After many years ex re-surfaced in NY. He has bought, sold other real properties since divorce, some paid in full way before mortgages due. Presently owns minimum two properties, one paid off completely after having mortgage only six years (he resides in this one). Want to obtain money judgment, attach all assets, especially real properties, bank accounts (he inherited quite largely), etc. Also want him to pay all legal fees as he deliberately, with much aforethought, DENIED his children their rightful upbringing and place in our society by his stealing what should have been theirs and denying me as I struggled terribly, financially, to keep the roof over our heads and food on our table. He was selfish and cruel to have done this to his family.

A: You would need to file an order to show cause in the original issuing Court. Depending on exactly how the settlement & Judgment read, it's possible to get the arrears enforced as well. Counsel fees are usually granted upon the Judge finding that he willfully violated the order.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Do I have to pay child support until 22 if child is attending only 2 days a week and doing homestudy for the rest?

Q:  Child is 21 and has been a in full time college and lives with her mother. NY decree says child support until 22 if she is a full time student. Child has never had a job and doesnt plan on it. Doesnt drive also. She was in school 4 days a week but now is going to attend 2 days a week and do independent study for the rest of her classes. Do i have to pay the last years child support? Will a judge still consider that full time schooling and would her never working even a part time job in her life go against her at all? Custodial parent hasnt worked in 3 years also.

A:  David's Answer:  What matters is whether the school considers that "full-time." If she is taking 12 credits, that's probably considered full-time & thus it doesn't matter how many days she's actually on campus. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with an Orange/Westchester Child Support attorney. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What to do if Mother of Your Child Threatens Support - but You're Already Supporting Another Child

David Ivan Bliven
Written by:                   
In NY, child support is calculated 17% for 1 child, and 25% for 2 children. But what happens if you're being threatened with a child support case, but already are supporting a child from a previous relationship?      

1 - Get a Written Agreement

The very first thing you should do - if you do NOT already have a child support order for that 1st child - is to have a written agreement drawn between you & the mother of that 1st child. The agreement should be drafted by a capable child support lawyer, as there's particular language which should go in there so it's valid.

2 - Ideally Get the Agreement Reduced to the Form of an Order

You are best advised to then file a petition in Family Court & get a Support Magistrate to issue a court order based on the agreement. Then if the mother of the 2d child files a petition for a support order, you can produce a copy of that agreement and/or order, along with proof of payment, and you should receive a credit for supporting that 1st child.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Contributing toward children's college expenses - start saving now!

Contributing toward children's college expenses - start saving now!
David Ivan Bliven
Written by:                   
Many parents who are divorced are worried about child support - either enforcing it or having to pay it. Because college for their children is often a long way off, some don't think about it while dealing with the other issues. But college is a big expense & has a way of sneaking up on you.

1 - War story from a past potential client

A guy came in to see me saying the mother of his child was suing him for 50% of college expenses. He said he was already paying basic support & simply didn't have any money left. I reviewed his settlement agreement - it clearly said he was to pay for college. Bottom line: he was screwed! Lesson learned: save for college when they're young!

2 - In New York - child support continues thru college!

Child Support in New York generally continues until age 21 & thus includes payment towards college expenses. If the parent did not start a 529 plan early on, then s/he will still generally be liable for their share of college expenses - whether they can afford it or not. As such, if you have a child in grade school, it's best to start a 529 plan now or else set yourself up to get screwed later (or hope they attend public school). Support Magistrates will most likely impose the expense of college on the non-custodial parent even when he/she is already paying basic child support. Thus, it's a double-whammy: If you're making $50,000/year, you could already be paying $150 per week in basic support - and then on top of that you could be $100 or more per week towards college expenses. Lesson: save now or hurt later!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Can a 15 year old vehicle titled to myself and another be seized in nys for child support judgment, vehicle reg to me.

Q:  judgment has been valid since 09,they JUST swiped my bank acct so it seems like they are just NOW REALLY attacking me. i have been just recently paying it down..judgment is less then 6000. kicker is i HAVE my girls

A:  David's Answer:  The age or value of the vehicle wouldn't matter as to whether they could seize it, what matters is whether you have an ownership share. That said, the other owner would be able to contest the seizure & should immediately speak with an attorney who handles debts matters. If you now have the children, that's certainly a basis to terminate the ongoing support order, but the other parent would still be entitled to enforce the arrears. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support attorney. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Will my live in girlfriend's income be considered for my child support?

Q:  My ex and I have three kids together. My ex recently filed for support and we share joint custody. Will my girlfriend's income (she and I have been living together for three years now) be considered in my child support?

A:  David's Answer:  Your girlfriend's income will not generally count as your income for child support purposes, unless she is supporting you. Schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support lawyer for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, November 2, 2013

When my son turns 18 in 6 months he is planning to go move with his aunt (mothers sister). Child Support...

Q:  If my son chooses to move with his aunt at age 18, will me and my ex be responsible for supporting him at the aunts house. I know NY states says 21 but I wasn't sure if he was choosing to move away from both parents if we could still have too. And if so how would that work ? I'm pretty sure that if we do the sister isn't going to take support money from her sister. Would support judge garnish her wedges as well ? Right now I pay my ex 25% for my 2 children if my 18 years old chooses to move do I have to pay each house hold 17% because it would be split? Thanks hope its not to confusing ?

A:  David's Answer:  Yes, conceivably you'd still need to support the 18yo if he's not working (& thus financial self-sufficient). If the move is without the parent's consent, you may argue that he's emancipated himself by virtue of his action. Otherwise, it would generally be up to the aunt to sue for child support, at which time the Court could indeed take a portion from both mother & father's income. In any event, I advise that you schedule a consultation with an Orange/Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

My daughter in law lives in aruba. has child 6mths old. father is nyc cop. how can she get child support?

Q:  they were married 1 yr ago.

A:  David's Answer:  She can file the proceeding in Westchester Family Court - so long as he resides in New York, then that state would clearly have jurisdiction over him to proceed on the support matter. She may also wish to consider filing for divorce, as she may qualify for spousal support as well as asset distribution (though probably not that much given the short-term duration of the marriage). In any event, have her schedule a phone consultation with a Westchester Child Support attorney.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (