Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our court order states my ex and I are to split the medical premium 50/50 for my son. How do we calculate that ?

Q:  My husband has $330 deducted from his pay each month pre-tax, so the actual cost to him is approx $250. Am I obligated to pay him 50% of the gross premium or $165, or 50% of the actual cost after taxes which would result in $125?

A:  David's Answer:  The issue is the actual cost to cover your son in addition to his other costs. It's that number you would be dividing by 2. Schedule a consult with a child support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Legally divorced since 2012 but still living in the same house with my ex.. can I get child support from him ?

Q:  For financial reason I am unable to find a place on my own ... I am still living in same house as my ex spouse but never ask for child support . We split all the bills ..But I would like to know if legally I can still collect child support so that my kids and I can move out move forward ..My divorced was finalize in October of 2012.
Thank you

A:  David's Answer:  The problem is that generally child support is only awarded to the custodial parent. If you are both residing in the same household, and the bills are being paid, then technically you're both the "custodial parent" of the children. What did the divorce decree say about custody & support? You're best advised to schedule a consult with a Putnum/Westchester Child Support lawyer.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

I am trying to modify my child support

Q:  My ex husband pays 50.00 per month for our two children, aged 9 and 5, He has an 18 year old son from a previous relationship that gets over 200.00 per month, and the son is in the army. he has not called or seen the children for months, and changed jobs without notifying support. He earns much more than i and i don't understand why the first child gets so much more, when his mother earns more than his father, and he gets paid from the army.

A:  David's Answer:  It may be that the father is pulling a fraud - saying he pays support when he really doesn't. You can try to argue in your case that the military child is emancipated & therefore any payments the father makes for that child are voluntary. If successful, he would then not get to subtract that order before the court calculates support for your children. Speak to a child support lawyer in your area. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Monday, February 24, 2014

How can i prove money orders were sent for child support?

Q:  I have my first child support court date coming up soon. We never had any legal arrangment and were never married. I always gave her a good amount weekly that she was fine with until recently. I have several money order recipts that are from after the date she filed the petition. These recipts clearly are just small stubs with numbers on them. How can i prove to the court that they were written out to my ex and i wrote child support on them? Can the court find out by tracking the number or is that my responsibility ? I know i can request a photo copy of the original money order but then I'd have to mail in the original recipt and dont know if that would count against me in court to not have the original copy. Just want to make sure i get credit for all these.

A:  David's Answer:  First, you only get credit for payments dating back to her filing date anyway. Second, see if she'll agree to the amounts in court once you produce the money order receipts you have. If she doesn't, then seek an adjournment to get the receipts with the memo portion.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Can this money be taken in family court?

Q:  I have a court date in a few days for child support court. I have to put down all my income, assets ect. Can they account for a settlement i got a few months ago from a serious injury that happened on the job at work? I thought this settlement was because i had to go through this traumatic injury and it was employers fault, i dont see why i would have to pay for my ex for it. Also my girlfriend lives with me and helps with bills , why do they want to know who lives w me and how much they make? Its me they want

A:  David's Answer:  Yes - as a general rule if its workers comp then this is considered income. If it's otherwise meant to pay your bills, etc. while you are out of work, then it's income. If you otherwise are being supported by someone, they may potentially impute income to you on that basis. Speak to a support lawyer in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

How will court determine child support?

Q:  I am awaiting a court date since my ex summonds me with child support. I know she works full time and i currently make 250/week gross and made 13000 last year and 20000 the year before. Im not sure what she makes but works at a restaurant and married to someone who works at some gas gas station. Any prediction of how much will be mandated for me to pay for 2 kids? Do they go by current income, last year or last 2 years? just predicting on how much to save to pay whats owed when ordered next month.And no im not a dead beat always have paid, just couldn't not workig the last 6 months due to recovering from major surgery.

A:  David's Answer:  If you worked full-time all last year & still only made $13,000, they will use that income & calculate 25% of your adjusted gross. If not, the Court may pro-rate the income as if you were working full time, all year. Another option is for the court to use current year income - but they usually only do that if at least 6 months have passed in that particular year. Speak further with a child support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Friday, February 21, 2014

For a new child support court case do i have to disclose information on a workers comp settlement?

Q:  My ex and i have had a verbal agreement on child support payments but recently has served me with court paperwork for an unknown reason. I have proof of all payments and have never not paid. A few years ago i was severely injured on the job task and about 6 months ago received a fair settlement that i have put into savings. On the summonds it asks to put down all income assets etc. This is from an injury that my doctor claims a permanent 25% loss in my arm Hense why i got this money. Is this something i have to report to child support when court date happens? I cant afford a lawyer or I'd ask one.

A:  David's Answer:  Yes, you have to report it as to do otherwise would be to commit felony perjury. That said, merely because you have money in the bank doesn't mean this constitutes "income." Whether it's considered income or not may depend on whether that's your sole source of income & whether you're drawing upon it to pay living expenses. If so & perhaps to that extent it may be considered income. Speak further with a child support lawyer in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Claiming a Child as a Dependent on Taxes

Q:  My ex and I have a court agreement where we have joint custody which states that our child lives with me during the day and he is dropped of to her at night. For the last few years, we've adjusted our schedule so that he lives with us half the week each each. It's a true shared custody. Our support papers, custody papers and divorce decree do not specify which parent is entitled to claim our child in taxes. I am the higher wage earner and per the IRS, in shared custody situations, the parent with the higher income is allowed to claim the child. My ex just told me she just claimed our daughter. Can I fight this claim with the IRS? even though our custody and visitation papers are not reflective of what we have been practicing? I have her on email agreeing to the shared custody. Thank you.

A:  David's Answer:  I would not advise to fight this claim with the IRS. Instead, I'd advise to get a modified order which reflects that each of you will alternate the deduction on odd-even years. Speak further with a Westchester Child Support lawyer.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

How long does ex have to wait to ask for upward modification

Q:  Our ex received upward modification last March for our son who turned 19 years old. How often does he have to wait to ask for another increase two or three years in NYS

A:  David's Answer:   I assume you mean "upward modification of support," as you had originally posted this under the "child custody" category. That said, the rule is every 3 years, unless beforehand there has been a substantial change of circumstances. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Support lawyer for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, February 15, 2014

On the temp. support papers it says to show the other party of any bills for my son do I text him or call him and tell my ex?

Q:  We just went to court for visitation and we automatically got a temp order of support and now he has to pay me every week. I just got the papers in the mail and also a 400 medical bill for my son do I pay it and just bring the bill to the courts the next time we have to go or text it to him or just not say anything? He doesn't want to talk to me and thats why hes taking me to court and I know the courts are going to force him if he wants to see our son because he lives with me but do I say anything or no

A:  David's Answer:  The best way to handle it is to send the bills along with an itemized cover letter requesting his pro rata share. You should mail him bills like this on a monthly or bimonthly basis. Speak further with a child support lawyer in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

I have shared custody - how is child support calculated

David Ivan Bliven

Written by David Bliven
Child Support Lawyer - White Plains, NY
Some people share custody of their child - which means exactly 50%-50% in each household. The issue then becomes whether child support is paid at all - and if so, how much.

1 - Is shared custody pursuant to an order - or just informal agreement?

The first analysis is whether the shared custody arrangement is pursuant to court order, or just by a mutual, informal agreement. If it's pursuant to court order, then you can skip to the 2d section below. If it's pursuant to informal agreement, then you're best advised to start keeping track of the days (& even hours of those days) the child is with you. Reason being: if there's a dispute later on about whether you do indeed shared custody, then at least you have something in writing to corroborate same. You should also begin confirming the days you'll have the child with the other parent in writing. As an example, you can send a calendar to the other parent for the next month marking off "M" or "F" on the days to designate which days the child will be with you versus the other parent. In the end, you're best advised to file a petition for shared custody & get the arrangement confirmed via court order.

2 - Support based on who makes more - with some exceptions

The prevailing law - however incorrect - holds that in a shared custody situation the parent who makes more is automatically deemed the noncustodial parent & is thus potentially liable for the full guidelines amount (i.e., 17% for 1 child, 25% for 2, etc.). That said, many courts deviate from the presumptive calculation in a shared custody situation & do an off-set: first, then calculate support as if the father is paying the mother support. Then they calculate as if the mother pays the father support. The difference between the two calculations would therefore be the only money changing hands.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I am disabled and on a fixed income now is there anyway I can get a pro bono lawyer for my back child support owed to me

Q:  my ex has been dodging the SCU for over 20+ years now and I really need some money from him. He either skips town or quits his job so this way I cannot collect from him. How was he able to buy a house and the SCU did nothing to stop this. I could have gotten his down payment. He owes me well over 90,000.00 and the last money I got from him was $10.00 every 2 weeks that they garnished from him. He is hiding money some where. Someone please tell me what I can do to make this sperm donor pay

A:  David's Answer:  Very few lawyers will work for free, but you can shop around. If you file an enforcement petition, the court can also incarcerate him for up to 6 months, in addition to other remedies you may have. Speak to a Child Support attorney in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Is there anyway I can go after my exhusbands new wife for any back child support? He is hiding any monies under her name

Q:  He remarried approx. 8 yrs ago. Since then they bought a new house (which has now been foreclosed on) as well as a wedding with over 150 guests. How could the support collection unit allow him to buy a house????? He is obviously is hiding money under her name as well as working off the books!!!!! I am completely frustrated, I live hand to mouth and am now disabled and on a fixed income. I really need some money my medications cost me over $1000.00 per month!! I need help

A:  David's Answer:  Yes, it's possible. First you need to obtain a money judgment for the arrears. Then you'll need to commence a separate action in Supreme Court, suing his wife under a little-used legal doctrine called "necessities." In a nutshell, it alleges that a spouse may be legally liable to creditors for the debts of the other spouse. Speak further with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

What form do I fill out to request an emergency temporary modification of child support in family court?

Q:  What form do I fill out to request a temporary emergency modification of child support? Do I have to do an order to show cause (supported by an affidavit) to get enough money to take care for the child until the trial 6 months from now? Grounds: dad grossly understated his income by over 600% on 2009 order, both parties have has more than 15% change in income, child's needs not met by current order, we suddenly/unexpectedly fled dad's house due to his drug relapse, and he has stopped paying all her customary expenses. Her lifestyle has since fallen from high to poverty-level. I will file the temporary order at the same time as I file a regular petition for upward modification. Please advise on proper papers to fill out to get quick results given child's post-dissolution concomitant need.

A:  David's Answer:  My question is: trial on what? If you filed a support modification petition & the earliest date the court gave you is 6 months from now, then that's the earliest date & you can't speed it up. If you have a divorce case pending, then yes, you can file an order to show cause seeking interim modification pending trial. Speak further with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Is a court order needed to stop paying child support or can i just stop paying when my son is 21 next month?

Q:  I went 2 years ago when my other son turned 21 but that was to get it reduced, now my younger son is 21 next month.

A:  David's Answer:  Unless there is a valid written agreement extending support beyond 21, then you can just stop paying. If there is a garnishment & it doesn't stop, then ask your employer to stop sending in the money & immediately file a petition in Family Court to terminate the garnishment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Child support for my son ceases when he reaches the age of 21.

Q:  the order simply states that we are to share medical premiums 50/50 but doesn't state when it ceases. is it implied that it will cease as the same time as child support?

A:  David's Answer:  Yes, unless there is a stipulation of settlement providing otherwise, basic support as well as the "add-ons" (medical & educational) end at age 21. Speak further with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Valid Reasons for reducing child support payment

Q:  I want to modify my child support monthly payment amount since I can no longer able to maintain my current basic expenses (rent, food, car payment) and keep up with the demands of the child support payments. I want to know what I can expect from the court and if this is a valid concern that would help me lower the payments just a little bit below the standard percentage that's apply to everyone (ie I pay 25% for two kids and I want to lower my payments to about 22% or 20%). Again, I'm struggling to make ends meat and this is the reason for trying to lower the payments but want to make sure I take all the necessary backup if needed.

A:  First, the Court cannot generally change the percentage, unless the combined parental income exceeds $141,000 (as of 2014). Second, how likely the court will reduce the support may depend more on how substantial a decrease of income you've had & the reasons for the decrease. Third, I'd need to know whether the original support was done pursuant to a stipulation of settlement or mere order - and whether it's more than 3 years old. You're thus best advised to schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Am i suppose to send back child support paperwork from a private lawyer or wait til i get my own lawyer?

Q:  I have always paid child support through verbal agreement with my ex. I recently have been out of work and get surgery next week. I get very little from disability and my ex thinks im lying about so yesterday she had me summoned for child support. I have surgery next week so will have to try to get it adjourned or ill be getting wheeled in. All these 
Papers i was given dont make sense and the last page is all my income, assets , etc. i want to know are any of these forms something i have to fill out and send to the court or are these copies of standard court papers that her lawyer wants to use against me? I will seek counsel if they offer me a public defender since i have no money or assets but will they appoint me one or is that only with a criminal offense?

A:  David's Answer:  It's hard to say exactly what to do with the documents since I can't see what you have. I presume you were given a financial disclosure affidavit - if that's what you're referring to, then yes, you must completely fill it out & have it notarized. You're best advised to call a Child Support lawyer in your area - many lawyers give either a free or low-cost initial consult.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Is there any way to get rid of back child support?

Q:  Currently owe $11,000 in back child support and i would like to know if its possible to sign over custody, let another man adopt my child, and sign an agreement with the mother that says i don't have to pay the back child support?

A:  David's Answer:  If the mother is in agreement with all that, then yes, it's certainly possible. Unless she consents, however, the Court cannot reduce or eliminate child support arrears. Speak to a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Ex Wifes Boyfriend filed taxes using our biological daughters socials. Can I fight this since it was without my consent?

Q:  1. My ex wife has full, sole and legal custody of our daughters. 2. They live in New York and I live in CA. 3. I am an active part of their lives to include visitation, gifts, costs etc. 4. I pay 25% of my income towards their support. 5. I pay over $2,500 in travel fees every year to have them come stay with me for the summer. 6. I had asked her to let me file them since I spend over $13,000 each year in their support and she stated to me that he did it without her consent on 02/01/2014.

Additional information
She also informed me that she allowed him to file for her and our daughters in 2012 using the tax form for release or consent to file. I am not sure exactly the name of the form. She states that his tax attorney had it on file from last year and allowed him to file them again this year. If push comes to shove, I believe that she will state to the IRS that is was filed with her consent in order to maintain her relationship. Can I fight this?

A:  David's Answer:  If they are not domestic partners, then I don't see how he'd be allowed to claim her as a dependent (since he could not generally put your ex-W's name on his return). I'd suggest to file a support modification petition & ask for the Magistrate to direct that you get the deduction. Speak further with a Child Support lawyer in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I owe a lot of back child support due to being in prison. i have been paying it back for over a can i get my license

Q:  i need to know what i can do

A:  David's Answer:  DMV may give you a work-restricted license. If they deny same, then you can file a petition in Family Court & ask the Magistrate to order DMV to give you a work-restricted license. Speak further with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

I have received court pepper saying that I'm being violated for non payment of child support. It is going to he my first time

Q:  Appearing on this violation. It says if the court thinks I willfluy did not pay they can lock me up for up to 6 months. What happens? Will I be autmaticly sent to jail that day? I owe a total of 1000 I am not working and am currently 7 months pregnant I have gotten 500 from my partner if I pay that to them on the court date will they still lock me up

A:  David's Answer:   First, you should keep a job search diary of all your efforts to find work. The Court will usually expect 30-40 efforts each week. Second, you should obtain documentation proving you lost your last job through no fault of your own. Finally, I'd advise to file a downward modification petition. If you do all these things & pay the $500 I think it's very unlikely you will be locked up. You should speak further with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Child support whoas Help!!

Q:  I owe arrears in child support and are trying hard to work out paying them off but they are refusing to give me a reasonable amount monthly to pay back. Secondly they are charging me support but for the last 4 years I have had had full custody of my daughters . Went to court today and they are refusing to stop enforcement from four years back . They are now stating they need the mother in court. Please help tell me what I'm doing wrong ...

A:  David's Answer:  The issue is that they aren't obligated to work out a payment plan with you in the first place - they technically can take out up to 50% of the order (in some cases up to 60%) to satisfy the arrears. Moreover, the reason the Magistrate needs the mother in court is that she'd need to admit the child was with you - and even then its only discretionary (not mandatory) that the arrears be waived for that period. Speak with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (


Q:  Since Feb 2000 to March 2013, my salary was garnished in where I owed the amount of $34,743.97 in child support arrears. From 2000 to 2006 the Child Support Enforcement Agency seized my IRS tax refunds, savings and checking bank accounts, State tax refunds, & Motor Vehicles license plates refunds. In 2007 when I was in family Court emancipating my daughter, the CSEA illegally seized my two(2) weeks salary of $1,309.00 from my savings and checking accounts and the (the S/M judge ignored me when I informed him). The CSEA with unsigned warrants in 2011 and 2012 temporary detained me and illegally seized two(2) of my vehicles from my driveway, when I was paying the amount $476.00 a month for child support arrears. Since Feb 2000 to Mar 2013, I have paid $62,655.41 in child arrears.

A:  David's Answer:  You would be best advised to get an "Account & Records" statement from SCU showing what they say was owed, what they say was collected from you, and what funds, if any, were (as yet) undispersed to the CP. If they received the updated orders and wrongfully failed to update their garnishments, then it's possible you can file an Art. 78 action against them in Supreme Court. Part of the issue there will be why you did not act sooner to formally petition them to amend their garnishment (if you didn't). If the allegation is that the CP wrongfully collected the funds, you may need to sue him/her in civil court. Schedule a consult with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

In a 50/50 shared custody situation, which parent can claim the child when filing taxes.

Q:  Since I am the higher earner, I pay support to my ex even though we have shared custody.

Thank you.

A:  David's Answer:     If you and the other parent have the child EXACTLY 50% of the time, then you should get the deduction. That said, I'd advise to communicate your intentions to the other parent to avoid both of you taking the deduction (which may trigger an audit for either or both of you). If there is any dispute, file a petition with the Family Court. Speak to a White Plains Child Custody lawyer for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (