Saturday, March 29, 2014

If my parental rights to my children are taken away am i still liable paying g arrears or current child support payments

Q:  Change of custody

A:  David's Answer:  If your parental rights are terminated, you may file a petition to terminate child support. Arrears may not be cancelled however. Please be sure you're distinguishing between a mere change of custody & an actual termination of your parental rights by CPS. Consult a Child Support attorney in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

I'm ordered to pay 50% in daycare costs however the daycare provider is my ex's sisters, how do I know the rates are proper?

Q:  I was just ordered to pay 50% in daycare costs for my child. However, the daycare provider is my ex's sister. The affidavit she filled out for her financial disclosure for courts show the amount. What if she has her sister change the amounts now because she knows I have to pay 50%? Is there anything I can do? Please don't tell me to ask my attorney cause she is all about women's rights not fathers rights. And I am a father.

A:  David's Answer:  You're entitled to see proof of both (a) receipts AND (b) payment by the mother. Demand both. Ultimately if you see they're "gaming the system," file a modification petition. Consult a Child Support lawyer in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

My ex wife pays me child support 225 a month plus n additional 25 because she was in the arrears o the judge added the 25 to go

Q:  the arrears. Now since Oct she had a stroke and now only pays half as she is on medical leave. My question is if I take her to court for the new arrears but not the previous arrears she still owes does the judge wipe out the new arrears because she was unable to work because f her stroke or does the among continue to go up and but she des not have to lay it now, or does the nudge wipe out the judge wipe out the full amount of the new arrears. The previous arrears stays the same but what about the new arrears.

A:  David's Answer:  Arrears cannot be cancelled. If your ex does not file a downward modification petition, then arrears are enforceable through the date of your hearing. Schedule a consult with a Child Support lawyer in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

My sons father is self employed I can prove he has hidden his income. What can be done to make him pay?

Q:  I am fairly confident I can prove for over 10 years this has been going on. If i can prove it what can the court do to make him pay for all those years he claimed income of $12,000? Can they impose some type of penalty that would punish him for falsifying documents as well as make him pay? I have already done all the subpoenas but not sure what to ask for on the petition for a modification. I want to hire a lawyer at some point but can't afford it for the whole thing. I have been building my case but haven't filed as of yet. I also want to ask for legal fees of course.

A:  David's Answer:  Your implied question is whether you can get the support retroactive for the 12 years - you cannot. By statute, you may only get child support going forward. Implicitly, the law says you conceivably had the ability to discover his "true" income at the time, but did not employ those efforts at that time. You should indeed schedule a consultation with a Rockland/Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Monday, March 24, 2014

LEASE FRAUD TO REDUCE CHILD SUPPORT- I'M reposting and rewording my last question. details below

Q:  we are doing a modification on child support based on overnights starting in addition to the child's father's coop being rented which counts as additional income. BUT he argues that there is no additional based on the lease agreement because after mortgage, coop fees and utilities are paid, there is no profit. I understand the fees and mtg BUT I am arguing the utilities cuz it varies and it's not mandatory. He's obviously just trying to reduce his child support. BUT In addtion, when asked to provide a copy of this lease agreement, he sends 2 different ones by accident. Isn't that fraud?? He argues one is just a different version for the tenant's employer to pay. Thoughts?

A:  David's Answer:  If the father has a downward modification petition pending, I'd be more interested in what he states is his basis for relief. As for payment of mortgage v. utilities, that's really discretionary with the Court. As for the lease agreement(s), would need to actually review them to provide a definitive opinion. Schedule a consult with a Child Support lawyer in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Is my husband obligated to continue paying 2000 a month in Child Support although he lost one job& works still over 40hrs a wk?

Q:  My husband had 4 jobs. He lost one job. He was making $100,000 a year. In addition he works over 40 hrs a wk still. His child support was based on $125,000. He currently makes over 80,000 but less than 100,000. He currently pays $2000 a month in child support.

A:  David's Answer:  The answer to your question depends in part on what he lost the 1 job. If he can document that he lost the job through no fault of his own, then he should qualify for a reduction. Schedule a consult with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

My ex husband voluntarily was giving me more child support for the past 28 months. now that he retired he said he's going back

Q:  to the original 17% which was 296.00 per month he voluntarily gave up the amount because he was being promoted and did not want to pqay the higher C/S i'm sure his lawyer told him to do so. what can i do . right now he said he's still looking for a job, but i do not trust him

A:  David's Answer:  The answer depends in part on how long ago the agreement was done, as well as the basis for modification. If his income has substantially increased since the date of the agreement, and assuming the legal standard of "substantial change of circumstance" applies, then you should be able to petition for an increase. But as the answer to your question can turn on several facts being specified, you're best advised to schedule a consult with a Putnum/Westchester Child Support lawyer. -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Subpoena family court support do they have to be signed by magistrate and does other party need to be copied?

Q:  Other Party sent many letters and fax disparaging me to the magistrate. They were not refuse nor returned they were read and made part of the file. I leaned of one of the letters that as sent and asked her to recluse her self she refused stating she never read it but them refers to the contents in the proceeding. I viewed the file to find many letters and faxes very similar along with 12 subpoenas that I was never copied on. I want to file a complaint have it removed from her and be able to re-argue the case for support.

A:  David's Answer:  To make a proper record, you'd need to file a formal motion asking that she recuse herself. The initial ruling would be by her - if she refuses to recuse herself, get a court order from her denying your application & file an Objection appeal. Be sure to order a copy of the transcript of each hearing date. Schedule a consult with a Rockland/Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Can a downward modification petition adjust support that is owed and not paid? Or only when a violation petition is heard?

Q:  Three weeks ago, my son's father filed a downward modification support petition in an adjoining county where I live temporarily. My petition predates it, for a violation since he was not paying at all before I moved. Will he be able to get what he hasn't paid "downward modified" with his petition or will he have to wait until the violation petition is heard to get the "arrears" modified?

A:  David's Answer:  He can potentially get the arrears adjusted going back to the date of his petition. Any prior arrears cannot be reduced or vacated except in egregious circumstances (which is a standard very rarely applied). Schedule a consult with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

I initially filed petition for child support in 2003. The NCP could not be served because he moved and I did not know his addre

Q:  I did not know his address. The case remained opened until child services located him in July 2008. the NCP was served and court date was in March 2009. The magistrate's child support order for $65 was ordered from July 2008. Now my question is . Did the magistrate's child support order commenced as of July 2008 because that's when the NCP was served? What about the previous five years? Is the NCP not liable because he was not served until 2008? Is there anything I can do now for 2003 to 2008. He was not served simply be cause I did not have an address . I could not locate the NCP but that was not my fault.

A:  David's Answer:  At this point, it depends on what the order states. If you had wanted retro back to the original filing date, you would've needed to have requested same at the time of the '09 hearing. If you did not do so & the order does not provide for same, you are most likely precluded from re-litigating the issue 5 years after-the-fact. That said, you can always try filing a motion to renew/reargue the original order - it is discretionary with the Magistrate to either accept it for filing or not (usually such applications must be filed within 30 days of the original order). Schedule a consult with a Child Support lawyer in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My sons dad retired end of 2013 and says he no longer has to pay his support. His 2 boys get SS (autism). Is this true?

Q:  They were receiving SS benefits plus child support weekly. They received an increase in SS and their dad says this makes up for his child support payments. He receives SS and a pension from NY state and has the boys on his lifetime health insurance.

A:  David's Answer:  It is well-established law in NY that social security benefits for the children do NOT take the place of child support. Moreover, voluntary retirement in the face of an ongoing support order does not generally entitle that person to a reduction in the payments. Schedule a consult with a Dutchess/Westchester Child Support lawyer for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney ( 

Going through court for child support, please help

Q:  My child gets medicaid and the father has his own personal health insurance. He is trying to get the amount it would cost him a month taken off of the amount hes supposed to be paying based on income. I refused the proposal they set a temp order in the mean time. Doesnt he have to put him on his insurance because hes on medicaid? And can he really pay a lower amount then what the guidelines say? ??

A:  David's Answer:  Usually an additional cost to cover the child on medical insurance is split on a pro-rata basis. As such, it's not that the entire amount would be taken off the basic order - instead, only the portion you would otherwise need to pay would be subtracted. In other words, if the comparison between your income & his is 80%-20%, then only 20% of the additional premium would be subtracted off the order. Regardless, he need to prove what that additional amount is. Schedule a consult with a child support lawyer in your area.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

I am acting pro se in family court. what format do i use with a cplr 3122 objection? responding to new petition

Q:  I won judgment for ex to pay 1/2 college. presently in court for enforcement. his new lawyer's new petition demands discovery on items already ruled upon. I am writing an objection CPLR 3122 and questioning format on how to write this to new attorney. New Attorney has filed downward mod petition and asking for financial papers. Last downward mod was ruled on 8-9-12. Believe it is stall tactic and taking advantage of my pro se status. any info greatly appreciated. ty

A:  David's Answer:  The format could be as simple as a letter in which you specify your objections. That said, I think the new attorney would be able to ask for some disclosure pre-dating the last modification ruling, unless the Magistrate made a "findings of fact" setting forth what your income & expenses were on the last case. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Paternity and child support motion filed against me from a brief affair 4 years ago.

Q:  I live in NY State. Had a brief extramarital affair with a single young woman 4 years ago. She said she got pregnant and its my child. Never heard from her again. She then married, settled down with another man who is the only father the boy ever knew, and he calls him Dad since birth. Some months ago she contacted me to sign and give up my parental rights so her husband can adopt the boy. I did so thinking it was the end of it. But a few weeks ago, got papers asking for paternity and child support from Family Court. She said marriage is in trouble and this guy changed his mind. I make more $$ than both of them combined. I plan to challenge this using equitable estoppel defense against paternity. There seems to be plenty of case law support mostly issued by NY Appellate Court. Any advice?

A:  David's Answer:  Yes, the doctrine is arguably applicable. The issue may be that some Judges feel the doctrine of equitable estoppel cannot be used as a shield to disclaim paternity. That said, you need to employ an attorney as you'd need to file a motion on the issue so as to prevent the ordering of a DNA test on the 1st court date. Schedule a consult with a Family Law attorney in your area.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

What factors determine how quickly you get a cort date in family court?

Q:  I am simply only asking out of curiosity. I recently filed a petition for modification for a visitation/custody order/i wrote several concerning reasons as to why i believe they need more time w me as their father. I filed 2 days ago and today got the summonds to serve my ex with a court date in 2 weeks. Not that im mad but im surprised how quickly this processed and how soon the court date is. Does anyone review these forms and look at pressing concerns over other petitions or is it just a first come first serve thing? I did write a 4 page statement of dates and many issues tht have been going on. And no lawyer no way i could even afford a cheap one.
A:  David's Answer:  The clerk's office will tend to prioritize emergency filings. Other than that, it's a first-come-first-serve basis.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Comment on the Rachel Canning case

In the news today is a story about an 18-year-old suing her parents for child support in New Jersey.

She was suing for emergency support after claiming her parents kicked her out.  The Judge denied her request for emergency support and adjourned the matter until April.  According to the NJ Dept. of Human Services website (, a child may be emancipated at age 18 for child support purposes, but this may be extended until 21 (or apparently longer) if the child is still in college or otherwise not financially self-sufficient.

New York has a slightly different rule, in which emancipation is presumptively age 21 unless emancipated sooner.  Thus, in New Jersey, it appears to place the burden more on the "child" claiming support beyond age 18, while in New York the burden of proving the case is on the parent(s) attempting to get out of paying support.

In my mind, New York has the correct approach.  Parents can still claim a child has emancipated themselves by virtue of his/her conduct (such as unjustifiably moving out), but the burden is on them to prove the case.

It is all the more important to continue financial support to a child if s/he is unemployed and has looked for a job but cannot find one.  According to the latest statistics (, approximately 1 out of 4 teens are completely unemployed (defined as actively seeking a job, but unable to find one).  This does not even count the number of teens who are working part-time but want (or need) full-time jobs, or those who are underemployed (working a job significantly below his/her skill-set or educational level).

While it may be that Ms Canning is an undeserving brat, it may also be that her claims are true and that her parents abused her in response to school suspension.  One hopes the Judge will ultimately hear both sides fairly at a trial and justice will be done.