Friday, September 26, 2014

If my child support case is reactivated, will it be a new case or be subjected to the old order? As of now I'm unemployed.

Q: If my child support case is reactivated, will it be a new case or be subjected to the old order? As of now I'm unemployed. Brooklyn, NY

A: David's Answer:  If the "old case" was dismissed, then one cannot generally "reactivate" it (except via a motion to vacate a default or motion to renew/reargue). Generally if an order was vacated, then the custodial parent would need to file a new petition, which would then only be retroactive to the new petition's filing. - David Bliven, Westchester Child Support Law attorney (

Possible Child support Fraud

Q: My daughter moved in with her father when she turned eighteen years old. I paid child support for a year until she moved back in with me. For several reasons I had always doubted that my daughter was living with her father but was living on her own, The other day I discovered that the year I was paying child support my daughter filed as an independent/head of household, she also posted "moving again" on her facebook page two days before we were to appear in court for his child support petition suggesting that she was not living with him during the time when he filed the petition. I would now like to petition him for child support since our daughter is living with me (under 21 years of age) and would

Additional information

like to know if I can ask the support magistrate to do an inquiry regarding this issue?
A: David's Answer: The Magistrates do not "investigate" the case, as what evidence is presented is ultimately up the to individual parties to research & present. That said, it seems very unlikely you'd be able to get relief at this point, since you otherwise could have researched the issue at the time of his original filing, and apparently chose not to. - David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My obligation to split babysitting for a 15 year old was successfully eliminated by family court this week. My ex now....

Q: My ex now owes me almost $1K since I filed in early May. How long does my ex have to reimburse me for that, and if not done on a timely basis what can I do?

A: David's Answer: Did the order specifically require her to reimburse you the money - and specify the amount? If yes, then wait 30 days, if she doesn't pay, send her a default notice letter via certified mail, return receipt demanding repayment. If she still doesn't pay, file a violation petition & ask for a money judgment. - David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Petition to change child support

Q: I agreed for my ex to pay the minimal amount of child support. I am now realize that it is not enough since I moved to a larger apartment and have more expenses. But since we agreed, the custody changed and my ex and I now share custody. Can I petition the court that my expenses have increased and I need help. Also, is school supplies covered by the support I receive from my ex? I've tried to ask her for help with school supplies but she keeps telling me it's a basic necessity so what she gives me each week should help cover.

A: David's Answer: It depends on how long ago the agreement was & whether it opted out of normal modification clauses. If if did not, then once every 3 years the parties can automatically re-visit child support by merely filing a petition. Even before then, support can be modified upon proof of a substantial change of circumstances (usually defined as income and/or expenses changing by 15% or more). - David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Taking ex back to court for a reduction in child support and I would like to gain another day in custody..can I bring this up?

Q: My ex was served with papers to go back to court for a reduction in child support. As of right now, she has physical custody. She has been violating many aspects of our written agreement such as not furnishing bills on time, not giving first right of refusal to the kids if she is not available and making unilateral decisions in regards to the kids. I have already made a complaint of harassment against her with the local police. I am wanting to gain another day of having my kids..can I bring this up at our court date or file it then. I don't want to keep going back and fourth to court. As of right now, I get them every other weekend, one day during the week and alternate mondays following the weekend she has them.

A: David's Answer: No - the Support Magistrate only deals with child support matters. You'll need to file a separate petition for modification of the visitation order. - David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Downward modification. How can I get a downward modification of child support?

Q: Let me say I am not looking to get out of paying child support, I only have 1yr to go. I was unemployed for awhile - plant closed and I tried to get a downward modification after that happen to no avail. The Support Magistrate denied it, several times. I recently became employed and my earnings are much less & again I wish to take my paycheck to show that a downward modification is necessary. Plus, my son is now in college full-time living at school. Since my ex is not paying for the incidentals that were normally paid for, lights, food, water bill etc. Does this change also effect support? My child will be 20 this December. So I have been paying the current support even though the last two years he has been away at school and I have been unemployed. They reside in New York State.

A: David's Answer: The issue is whether you are able to document your prior "diligent job search" so as to prove the job you did get was commensurate with your prior earnings (i.e., it was the best job you could get under the circumstances). Moreover, since you'd be liable for your share of college expenses, the fact that your son is attending college won't help you & could indeed result in a higher order. - David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Is this new attorney right about my old attorney "screwing me"?

Q: New court order: started with a temporary order since out of work, they waited until i was back to work to calculate final order. I was on disability from a car accident which lead to surgery so was out of work. Final order back dated from first out of work not considering involuntarily not working. Now high in arrears. I had a consultation with a new lawyer i found online and he says my old lawyer screwed me, that i should have never had to been ordered full amount back dated from involuntarily out of work and my lawyer should have said something. Is this true? Did i just flush 3G down the toilet for a lawyer who didnt help me , just helped increased arrears? Also said my weekly amount should be lawyered since under poverty amount but imputed since made more last year.

A: David's Answer: First, a definitive opinion can only be rendered after a full review & assessment. That said, if you were involuntarily out-of-work, you would have needed to present a certified medical report to that effect, stating during such time periods you could not perform ANY work. You would have also needed to have presented proof of how you were supporting yourself while out of work. If you did both of those, then yes, as a general rule, support arrears should have taken into account your reduced income. - David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (