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December 2016 Archives

I was served divorce papers on December 14, 2016 in New York. How long do I have before responding specific date please?

Q: I was served divorce papers on Dec 14, 2016. He filed it on Nov 18, 2016. On Dec. 18,2016 he posted pictures of his wedding.
David's Answer: Assuming you were served in NY, then you have up to 20 days to serve and file an Answer. If you were served outside of NY, then you have 30 days. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Uncontested Divorce attorney for a full assessment.

Is my husband of 3 years entitled to my personal accounts that was not co-mingled / joint if we were to divorce?

Q: I am considering a divorce and my husband said he will contest to half of everything i have. He never made any contributions to any of my accounts and all my accounts are not joint or comingled at any point. Would he be able to get his hands on my personal checkings, investments and savings accounts if i were to file for divorce? We had a joint account at one point and he emptied out that account and closed the joint account without me knowing. Since then i have kept all my hard earned money in my individual personal accounts. Now im worried that if i filed for divorce and he contest it, he would get half of my money that he never contributed to.
A: David's Answer:
Generally all marital assets are divisible including bank accounts - and this is irrespective of whose name the asset (or account) is in. That said, if some of the funds were deposited after you physically separated, you can make an equity argument that he should only be entitled to half of the assets which accrued while you were still together. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Divorce attorney for a full assessment.

What are the pros and cons of dropping child support settlement with the the custodial parent.

Q: My daughter is owed over $31,000 in back child support and the father asked me to drop the order by settling for 10,000 and 5 lump sum payments not equaled to what is owed. He has only made 5 payment not equal to the amount issued via the court order which is $600/mth. What would you advise?
A: David's Answer:
He appears to be playing games - if he has $10,000, he should use it to pay down the arrears anyway. The Court can ultimately send him to jail for failing to pay child support - all the more so if the Court finds out he's trying to extort an agreement out of you. Schedule a consult with a White Plains Child Support attorney for more info.

What are the pros and cons of dropping child support settlement with the the custodial parent.

Q: My daughter is owed over $31,000 in back child support and the father asked me to drop the order by settling for 10,000 and 5 lump sum payments not equaled to what is owed. He has only made 5 payment not equal to the amount issued via the court order which is $600/mth. What would you advise?
A: David's Answer:
He appears to be playing games - if he has $10,000, he should use it to pay down the arrears anyway. The Court can ultimately send him to jail for failing to pay child support - all the more so if the Court finds out he's trying to extort an agreement out of you. Schedule a consult with a White Plains Child Support attorney for more info.

My ex violated a court ordered visitation for the first time, should I take it to court?

Q: My ex and I share legal and physical custody of our child with her having last say in important decision making and also has primary physical custody. She has always acted as if she has sole legal custody and never consult with me when it comes to school, medical and other. She has been verbally abusive to me once before in front of our child during a transfer and now she is denying me to see my child altogether even though I was supposed to have him for the holidays. Should I tolerate this longer until she does it again or can I go to court for contempt now?

Child support question.

Q: Hi I have a 20 year old daughter I pay child support to but she has dropped out of school and doesnt lives with her mom only on weekends, weekdays with a friend and she works full time does that falls in emancipation law?
A: David's Answer: If the child works full-time, she is arguably self-supporting. One reason a child may be "emancipated" is if s/he becomes self-supporting. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Support attorney for a full assessment.

Can I get custody of my son after I gave him to my aunt due to being sick with schizophrenia?

Q: One day I went to the hospital and I took my son with me and since I didn't have my cell phone my son was taken into ACS because I didn't have a way to reach to someone to come get my son in the hospital. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and ACS was charging me with negligence and they didn't want to give my son back to me. My family came to NY to help me out my mom wasn't clear to take my son but my aunt was so they gave her temporary custody of my son. He came out of the foster home and like two months later I gave her full custody of my son because they were still saying that I wasn't capable of taking care of my son so I gave her the custody. Now I would like to get custody back of my son. Would this be a difficult since they have in their files of my mental illness but since then I haven't had any mental break down.
A: David's Answer:
 You would likely need a report from your current therapist opining that you've made sufficient progress in treatment to allow you to re-gain custody of your child. The burden is ultimately on you to prove the change of circumstances. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

The custody order allows father to have access to medical and educational records and providers not school Christmas Concerts?

Q: I believe he violated the order and I need to know how to address it. Also I want to get an order of protection b/c he is backed to threatening my life and sending threatening text msgs. He calls my phone demanding to speak with our daughter when he has a court order which states he is suppose to provide a phone. He did provide the phone but for the last 2 months he hasn't paid the bill and demands to speak to her on my phone. Then when I don't allow it he threatens to hurt me.
A: David's Answer: If he's threatening to hurt you, then file a petition for an order of protection with the Family Court. If you believe he violated any order, you may file a violation petition - that said, records of "school concerts" would likely be encompassed by "educational records." Schedule a consult with a Bronx Domestic Violence attorney for a full assessment.

Is the the petitioner of a protection order allowed to contact and harass the respondent?

Q: An ex of mine has a protective order against my wife and she (my ex) has contacted my wife on two occasions since the protective order. My ex lives in Bronx, NY and my wife and I live in Connecticut.

Does child support end at 21 in NY?

Q: child support order in effect for 2 children (now 19 & 21). is the 21 yr old emancipated and do I have to continue paying child support for her. I sent a letter to the agency and the reply was "it is unallocated, and doesn't have an effect on the order".
A: David's Answer:
You would need to file a petition for modification, based on the 1 child turning 21. You may wish to run the calculations, however, because it would be 17% of your current adjusted gross income - and thus there's always the possibility the order could increase from what it is currently. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.

Daughter went to live with her dad right before college at 18. Will I have to pay both support and college?21 or senior yr?cred?

Q: She left on her own did not like my rules. I had already completed FAFSA. I had given 1/2 a refundable housing deposit for University of Tampa to secure housing while she was still living with me even though I expressed it maybe too expensive for us. I took her on a SUNY loop. Encouraged her to go to SUNY. Will I be stuck to pay child support and college. He wants half I make less. He is a construction worker. Does a lot off the books only showing $59,000 in income. I make $50,000 He wants spending money from me for her and also travel expenses.
A: David's Answer: Generally college expenses are paid pro-rata, meaning a comparison between your income & the father's. If you cannot agree on the contribution, then either one may file a petition for the issue to be heard by a Family Court Magistrate. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.

Am I responsible to transport my daughter to and from to meet her father? I moved 2 hours away from him.

Q: I moved to NYC from Philly which is about 2hrs away and we agreed to meet halfway every other weekend with no court ordered. He now says that he is not obligated to do so and now wants me to drive 2hrs there and back. Is that something that I should comply with? We have never had a problem before and had been doing this for the past 2 years why change now? I have contact with my daughter daily and keep her for the summer and holiday's.

I need to know if my ex-fiance has legal rights to my engagement rings that he purchased

Q: I have recently ended my engagement with my ex and we have decided to part ways. He financed my engagement rings, however I used previously owned jewelry as a down payment towards the rings. So in turn, I actually lost personal belongings worth money. I still have my engagement rings which I do not believe should be returned to him as they were a gift. He is threatening to take legal action since he is still financing the rings. Does he have any legal rights to these items as they were a gift to me significant of the engagement? Also another piece of information that may be useful, I financed his wedding band via his credit account with the jewelry company, however I have held up to my end of the bargain and paid my portion of the balance in full and can provide proof of payments. Does he have legal right to the wedding band as I purchased it and we did not fulfill the marriage ceremony?

How can I get kingap guardianship benefits for my nieces and nephews

Q: My nieces and nephews were put in foster care July 2015. They were directly placed with me since August 2015. I didn't get the kinship foster care payments because I had a case in 2012 that was dismissed so the case worker told me to file for guardianship and once it's granted I would get the kingap guardianship benefits. I was awarded guardianship on December 2,2016. Now I'm told that I can't get the kingap guardianship benefits because of my 2012 dismissed acs case and because although the kids lived with me for 16 months they weren't in foster care. Throughout the past year the case worker, judge Millsap, and the acs attorney told me that once I had the guardianship papers I could apply for the kingap guardianship benefits. I went on the nys kingap website and it states that there are cases where a person has been indicated and they still are eligible to receive the benefits. My case was dismissed. I am a new York city Housing exterminator but it's impossible to provide a good quality of life for myself 5 nieces and nephews. It's difficult to provide for them with $506 cash assistance and $289 in food stamps monthly. I also have my 2 children to provide for.

I live in NYC if I marry someone and he dies will I be responsible for his back child support.

Q: I have been living with someone for 17 years and we are considering marriage. He owes back child support from the early 1980's. Will I be responsible for his debt if he dies ?

In what case can a judge grant the baby father custody?

Q: My ex tells the court that we make things difficult for him to receive his daughter on visitation. That is not true, so now we have to prove we are not being difficult in giving him the child. I also have a order of protection on him. So since the incident on Tuesday he and my sister had a fight. I called the cops. I put a stay away from our child because I fear of her safety..

Can I get out of affidavit of support? Or is there a way out of this nightmare

Q: Me and my wife have been married for less then a year and it hasn't been a good marriage. In fact it has been a horrible time even tho we married for love it's not working out and we are in process of getting the greencard waiting for the interview but we jus can't get along I feel as if she wants to file for abuse she provokes arguments and records them for what seems as evidence. I don't feel comfortable in my own home. I want to leave but I'm scared that she will find a way to make me pay for her to live for free she doesn't even want to work I feel trapped what can I do ?! Why won't she go back to Spain and stop fighting with me

I have sole residential custody of my children, can I petition the courts for the father to have sole residential custody?

Q: The children came into my custody in 2013 and it has become an economic burden to support them as a single parent. My ssi benefits has been currently suspended and I am supporting myself and two other kids with child support and ssi income I receive on behalf of my son. I have tried to work part time but I can't afford child care and as a result I had to turn down job offers. I don't have support that will allow me to work and bring in any income sufficient to raise my children. The father picks them up one day a month for five or six hours. I am living with a disability and it has been difficult to care for my children as well maintain the things they need.

Jurisdiction and my child gets SSI disability and pay child support modification PLZ HELP!!!!

Q: I am a resident of Maryland. Me and my wife had are child in Missouri because I was in the military. His birth certificate is from Missouri me and my wife separated. I filled for divorce in Missouri and she was not suppose to leave the state. She took my child to New York (Her home state, I have 0 connection with) She filled for public assistance and newyork put me on a temporary support order. I told them they didnt have jurisidiction over the phone. the judge said you might be right and postponed it. We had a new judge i said again newyork does not have jurisdiction. The judge put me on child support. Been on that order for 5 years. I have never filled anything, and have never been in the court. I have only talked to the magistrate cell phone when my wife had them call. Can i challenge the support order for lack of personal or subject matter jurisdiction. I have never signed any paper work or gave them any paper work stating my income nothing literally every hearing on my cell phone. I live in maryland. Need a modification lowering my child support because i make way less than i did in the military. My child gets SSI disability my Wife does too. Its a mess help plz!! any advice!

What is the NYS Law on using evidence of events that took place prior to a custody order?

Q: In June 2016, I consented to an order granting physical custody to my ex. I have since discovered thru an ACS worker my ex called to investigate me (report was unfounded) that about 28 years ago my ex was hospitalized for a suicide attempt and diagnosed with major depression. Ex also had a crack cocaine history around the same time frame. I'm considering using this information to seek a custody change. Currently, there are no issues with the kids in her care. But, the issues aforementioned could resurface. I think a custody change would remove the kids from the danger of my ex possibly relapsing. I didn't know my ex at the time of these events so of course we didn't have kids. But I think people don't change much and I'd hate for my kids to be subjected to a reoccurrence of my ex spouse's former conditions.

Will the child support enforcement put a person in jail for lack of payment?

Q: There is a situation with my husband. He have not paid his child support he is not working and he is so lazy to pay child support to his other kids. He is not even helping at all financially. My relationship with my husband is just not good as before. Every time that I tell him that I feel sick or the kids are sick he does not like the fact that he have to be in a hospital. He will start saying ignorant things. It is his kids why not pay attention when they are sick, I be all the times there with my kids when they get sick stay up at night and make guard to make sure my kids are okay and getting their medicine on time. If a police rings the bells even if it is not for us, my husband runs out through the window all scared thinking that he is going to get arrested. I tell my husband, you need to get a job we are living with my mother and we need our own place where out kids could have their room boys with boys and girls with girls. For him that a NO, he expect me to do everything and he does not even lift up a plate! I lost my feelings towards him, I do not trust him and he does not trust me either. He is very harsh with us.

Can a marriage certificate be revoke if husband owes child support

Q: My husband owes child support from his ex girlfriend and its around $48, 000. Since 2005 he stated that he does not want to work at all. I have four children's with him and he have not supported me at all. He can't drive a car or even teach martial arts. I though he was going to be a responsible man and work but he is waiting for me to finish college and he wants me to run a food business so that he could work. All the money that I receive at this moments is because of my mother. Yes, indeed my mother is the one paying bills and supporting me in cash and my husband does not even do nothing at all. I got married with him in 2009 and just this year I just found out that he owes tons of money to his others children's. I would like to know if my marriage will go into jeopardy and the marriage license be revoke. Besides my husband is controllable and he does not inspire me any confidence at all and he is not good at all only to put me in misery life.

What happens when all petitions ( child visitations, order to stay in NYC etc ) are dropped?

Q: For over 10 years my kids dad whom has never ever paid child support or even complied with his Saturday visits has dragged me into court. This week an attorney deemed the kids old enough 15 & 13 to not be forced as they wish not to have contact with him.
He decided to Stop and drop all the petitions he had as to visitation or communication.
What does that mean exactly??
My lawyer was not specific at all. She said she would Mail the dismissal to me.
I don't understand what that means exactly.
Am I able to move because in one of the orders I was ordered to stay in NYC only.
Is this the last I'll hear from him?
Am I finally free from this parasite?

Can judge change an order if no jurisdiction but enforces it?

Q: Judge denied jurisdiction on my out of state order but granted enforcement of visitation of the order so my question is can the judge change the visitation in the order if there is no justification. So let's say they give me supervisor visits and not my regular unsupervised visits how does that affect my custody order since she had no jurisdiction to change it.

Is it possible for a biological father to relinquish his custodial rights of an unborn child to the biological mother?

Q: My friend and I decided to conceive a child through insemination done at home without physical contact or any intimate relationship involved. The agreement was that he would be involved in the child's life, but my wife and I would be the custodial parents. Unfortunately, we did not go to a doctor for the insemination process nor did we complete any legal documentation beforehand, but he is still willing to relinquish his rights as long as we have something in writing stating he can be part of the child's life. Please advise. Thank you.

I am suing my ex in family court for contempt of court- he has decided to stop making support payments

Q: our divorce agreement calls for him to make child support payments of $1300 per month and also to give me the social security money she receives- and alimony- and pay for 1/2 of medical expenses- the decree says even if the child moves in with him for 6 months he is required to make the payment- he stopped making payments immediately and 6 months ago stopped making alimony payments- he refuses to pay 1/2 the medical costs for the past 2 years which now total $15 k- i have gone to family court and started a contempt of court action- is it necessary to hire an attorney? money is very tight due to his non payments to me-
A: David's Answer: Usually agreements provide that attorney's fees are mandatory upon a breach. Thus, review the default (as well as the default notice) provisions of your agreement. That said, it's almost always better to have an attorney representing you in Family Court cases. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.

Do I have to pay alimony to my wife on the same date as my child support is due?

Q: According to our divorce agreement, the child support would be paid on the first of the month, which is $720. She gets $580 for two years, but there is no specific due date on the agreement. While I would pay her alimony in the month, as obligated, I have to live for myself and have my financial obligations where giving her the lump sum difficult The decree just happened and according to her lawyer, I have to pay up by Friday or they garnish my pay check. Another issue has to do with our storage room that she agreed to give up. She then changed her mind just as I had left the apartment although the lease still has both our names on it. I was trying to pay her the $30 for the cost of the room since she didn't want it transferred to my mother's apartment (we live in the same complex) but she never cashed the check. As it is, everything in that storage room is mine since she cleared out all of her possessions. What legal recourse do I have if she gets the management property involved and my stuff is thrown out? As it is I cannot afford an attorney since I had to declare bankruptcy.
A: David's Answer: It's unclear what you mean by having to give her the "$580 for 2 years" - do you mean $580 per month in alimony for the next 2 years? If so, and the agreement doesn't specify on which date of the month you're supposed to pay, then you would generally need to pay each month but the date may be different than child support. A definitive assessment can only be reached after a full review of the agreement. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Support attorney for a full assessment.

In New York is anyone exempt from paying child support. For instant a non constudial parent that's on welfare?; and/or someone

Q: My only source of income is Veteran disability so do I still have to pay child support? What if my only source of income is public assistant?
A: David's Answer: Income from disability is still income for child support purposes. And while someone on "public assistance" (which disability is NOT) generally would pay a minimum order of support, the Court can still require the person to find work if able-bodied. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Support attorney for a full assessment.

Can a judge order joint legal custody in a contested divorce/custody case?

Q: What precedent/case is there to prevent a judge from ordering joint legal custody in a custody trial? I would like to read the cases. Can you cite any?
A: David's Answer: The caselaw provides that a Judge MAY order joint custody at trial. Doing so, however, remains in the Judge's discretion. Thus there's no caselaw "preventing" a Judge from ordering joint custody at trial as a general proposition. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

Can I take my child in to a shalter without acs the judge or the father consent

Q: Right now I'm in court because acs is claiming I neglect my child and mental abuse when this happened the child was originally living with me and my mom until me and my sister got into an altercation and call the cops and had an order protection placed against me when i was locked up the child father came and picked him up with out my consent along with his clothes , if I was to take the child back and go in to a shalter would I go to jail or would the child end up in Forster care because of my actions
A: David's Answer: If there is either a court order of custody to the Father or another relative and/or an order of protection barring you from access to the child, then you cannot merely "re-take" custody. If you do so, then it's arguably custodial interference which is a misdemeanor - in which case you could indeed face jail if you violate the order. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

Family court case out of control

Q: I am a father who has been in my sons life since birth. I often would take care of my son on my days and his mothers days. Me and his mother were never a couple and I recently got back with my ex and my sons mother started creating problems for me. I was brought to family court for a sole legal custody petition, during the first hearing the referee allowed to petitioner to move 100 miles away and it prompted me to get an attorney. The first time I heard about the move was in court. The petitioner stated that since I have objected to the move that she would do all the transportation. Also the petitioner violated the temporary visitation order more than seven times and at the second hearing nothing was said or done about it and I was told I had to do all the transportation now myself. Should I put in a complaint to be reviewed or should I wait till trial?
A: David's Answer: If she filed a custody petition, you should consider filing a counter-petition and/or an Answer to her Petition. More facts would be needed as to whether you should appeal or merely "await trial." Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

Will my order of protection against my ex husband and his mother prevent visitation from our son in NYC via family court?

Q: I have an order of protection from NJ against my ex husband and his mother. He has raped and beaten me, along with trying to kill me. His mother had threatened kidnapping my son, along with fighting me whilst pregnant. I live in NY and we have pending custody / visitation cases. I want her to have no rights to my son but my ex lives with her, Smh. Also, he has pending NY and NJ criminal charges.
A: David's Answer: Obviously if the order of protection is a "stay away" order of protection, then the NY Court would generally honor same. If its not, then the court in NY MAY consider the order of protection in structuring visitation, but the larger issue is whether the NJ court made any factual findings of wrongdoing on their part. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

I think that I have a winnable case against ACS (the child protective division of the state of New York), do you?

Q: My son and I have been tangled up in the family court system for many months. He was removed from my care following reports I made about a feeling I had that people were breaking into our shelter room while we slept and abusing us sexually. We were laughed at by hospital staff, city officials, and anyone else to which I tried to explain out situation. Due to trauma that caused me to seek mental health services when I was younger, my son was removed from my care and placed in foster care. There he reported to me that he was molested on two separate occasions by older children in the home. When I reported this to the foster care agency following each incident, they accused me of being crazy and putting my son up to it. Him they threw into inpatient care at several mental health facilities. He was put on medications to which I never consented, we were not allowed to see each other, and I had to repeatedly send for money from back home because most of the time transportation fare was not provided. During this time I did everything that ACS requested, except for the voluntary taking of psychotropic medications. (If you have any advice please bless us with us a response to hear the rest)
A: David's Answer: You have not yet stated a caused of action. The issue is whether you were wrongfully deprived of due process rights. Thus, generally to sustain a civil rights claim, you would've need to prevail in either the trial court or appellate court - i.e., a court finding that ACS wrongfully removed your child. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Abuse defense attorney for a full assessment.

I have a warrant for my arrest and havent attended my supervised visits at ACS because I dont want to get picked up.

Q: I have an ACD agreement with ACS via Family Court. Am i violating that agreement and what is a possible outcome(s)? I have criminal charges pending already and most involve contempt regarding violating an order of protection.

My wife and I signed divorce papers. I was shortly deported after. Are we divorced?

Q: I would like to remarry.
A: David's Answer: When you say you "signed divorce papers" - does that mean you signed the Plaintiff's & Defendant's affidavits? Did your wife submit the judgment package to the Court? If so, you could give a process server authorization to check the court records to see if the Judgement's been signed. Call a Bronx Uncontested Divorce attorney for more info.

Ncp bringing child back after agreed time

Q: Me and me ex used to have a visitation order that he petitioned for In court. He was getting my daughter every other weekend from Saturday morning till Sunday 4pm. He didnt show up to a follow up hearing and so the whole case was dismissed. I have still been following the old agreement so that he can get parenting time. Well he was supposed to drop her off at 4pm today but at 3:30pm texted and said he was bringing her back late and said it is whenever he is done with the activity they are doing. If he is not going to follow what we agreed upon originally and there is no court order to enforce, can I refuse his visitation since I can no longer trust him to bring her back on time. And just wait for him to petition for visitation again. If he isnt going to follow what we had always agreed upon and now wants to do whatever he wants cause there is no court order, will I get in trouble for not wanting him to take her and waiting for him to refile? I was trying to do this outside of court and allowed him to still have his parenting time but if he isnt going to cooperate what should I do?

When NCP does not forward mail

Q: Is it a crime when the non-custodial parent does not forward mail to their ex-spouse and/or children? Suspect health information is going to their address rather than ours. We cannot change the address with the mailer/provider.   
A: David's Answer: It's not necessarily a crime, but it's also something which can potentially be addressed by the post-judgment part and/or Family Court (if the issue has to do with child support). First try to get agreement from the other parent by writing a letter/e-mail. Schedule a consult with a White Plains Family Law attorney for a full assessment.

Can i get alimony even if im on disability?

Q: Im on disability for major depression and my husband committed adultery. I want to get a divorce but i will need help to live on my own.
A: David's Answer: Yes - the mere fact that you receive disability wouldn't disqualify you from receiving alimony (i.e., maintenance). The Court would otherwise look primarily at the disparity of income, along with a host of other factors. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Divorce attorney for a full assessment.

If I go to the hospital and have my new born,no drugs in my system nor the baby,but I have an open case can they take the baby?

Q: I had a mental black out, I drank till I blanked out and didn't know where I was at, I left my daughter in the house and was suppose to be going to the store and coming right back, that never happened I ended up at the precinct and then to the mental clinic in the hospital.my daughter has been in care for almost 2yrs.i comply with everything, drug test, my therapist, taking my meds, visitation is only once a week for 2hrs, my daughter keeps changing her mind, one minute she wants to come home, then the next time she doesn't want to come home, it's back and forth with that. the judge is not trying to move this case forward, i am being discriminated against, my lawyer I feel is not fighting enough or know the rights with dealing with this type of situation, my heart is killing me trying to stay strong and now I think I might be pregnant and I wouldn't want to kill the baby if I am, but I don't want cps to take my baby away either, this pregnancy was Not planned, so if I had to kill this baby to keep it away from cps I will. but would they or could they take my new baby from me? If I'm doing good? If I go to the hospital and there is no drugs in either one of our bodies could they take my baby?

Im in nyc. Im 11,000$ in child support arrears. But i haven't been working all of this time. Since 2012. Can i get it reduced.

Q: I stopped working due to being diagnosed with m.s but i have had some of and on off the book jobs paying no more than 200 a week plus i get foodstamps .im about to start working a full time job and i wanna pay my arrears but is there anyway to reduce that 11,000 .my son is over 21 already.
A: David's Answer: Generally arrears cannot be reduced. There are limited exceptions, such as when you can prove your income was below the poverty line for any given year in which your arrears accrued. Even then, you would need to prove you were attempting to maximize your income. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Support attorney for a full assessment.

Im a foster parent and the agency whom i worked with was negligent in every aspect. NY

Q: I am a foster parent and the agency placed a child under my care since the age of 4, she was suppose to be in my home for 18 months. the agency never provided the adequate services for her needs and lost her records numerous times which i would provide to them being that i always saved copies of her records. The mothers rights were never taken away after failing numerous times drug and programs. Now the child is 9 1/2 and she was removed from my home in less than 24 hours like she was being abused. I am aware that the child is happy to be with mom, but I feel that this Agency violated her rights and put this child thru a trauma. she is currently reading 1st grade level and was never treated as a special needs child. I feel someone should be held responsible and that changes should be made to protect our children. The principal is not the incentive, its the lives of the these children that are being used as a number and not treated as an individual. these children are becoming victims of the @#$^ &* "child care system"
A: David's Answer: You have a right to contest the removal, but must do so in a timely manner. If you're not otherwise contesting the removal, however, then it wouldn't appear you have legal standing to sue the agency. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

Once you drop a petition for custody can it be filed again? The judge said no. I'm in NY

Q: The father filed a petition against me for joint custody. On the day my lawyer asked if I'd talk to him so I did. I was able to get him to drop the petition and did so when we went in front of the judge. Now the judge stated, since this is dropped he cannot open it back up. Is he ever able to file again against me? Since I didn't file any petition against him would I be able to in order for visitation or set schedule?

My ex never complied with ACS court mandated services, now he contacted me on FB saying he want to see the kids. What should do

Q: He needed to complete alcohol abuse program, domestic violence(batterers program) and parenting classes he never did never went to court. Case was opened 11/2012 and closed 12/2014. I'm confused how should I go about letting him see our children. I don't want any repercussions from allowing him to see the kids and then he doesn't behave accordingly.

How can I check to see if my husband has really filed divorce?

Q: My husband has said for the past 2 1/2 weeks that he has already filed or that the process has already started. I've checked the website www.nycourts.gov as we live in New York, but nothing comes up. I also checked the Bronx online but nothing comes up. I called the ny clerks county office and they said I should look online. Anything else I can do? Has he possibly not filed? Or is it just not showing up online? We live in the Bronx, NY.
A: David's Answer: Nothing will come up online until a Request for Judicial Intervention has been filed. Your best bet is to travel to the County Clerk's office & check their computers, or send someone on your behalf with an authorization (e.g., a process server). Call a Bronx Divorce attorney for more info.

Is adultery still valid as part of divorce if it has been more than a year and does it affect alimony?

Q: My husband and I are going to be going through a divorce. He cheated a few years back and I retaliated and cheated almost a year and 9 months ago. We went to therapy and have tried to make it work for over a year. He now tells me that I am entitled to nothing (ie Alimony/spousal support) as I committed adultery and that he will prove it and I do not stand a chance at gaining anything. This is really terrible as I've don't nothing but try and I don't even want this divorce even though we've hurt each other. Any advice I would appreciate.

Can I reopen a divorce case after was finalized?

Q: I finalized the divorce with my ex-spouse a year ago. I sign a No-Fault ground divorce decree. She is a lawyer. When we were married she just to tell me that her Juris Doctor belong to both because I worked while she went to school. I had to admitted when she graduated it was one of the proudest moment of my life. I was a wheelchair technician at the time. After 13yrs the marriage was over. I'm moved to New York because she got hire by Phillips Morris and we have a 7yr old daughter. She remarried. I'm working for the State of CT but I'm struggling because the expenses are higher than Kansas City where we lived before. I just found out that the law degree in fact is a common asset. I put to much on the marriage even my VA loan is attached to the house in Kansas City (I served for 7yrs). The divorce was finalized in White Plains NY.
Please advise.
Thanks, Raul.
Please any information It would be appreciated
A: David's Answer: First, the ability to share in a spouse's license or degree was old law - the law has since been amended in New York to vacate that claim. As it was amended last year, however, one would need to know that date of your divorce decree. Even so, there would need to be a basis to re-open the divorce, other than merely "buyer's remorse." It may behoove you to schedule a consult with a White Plains Divorce attorney for a full assessment.

Can I move out of the the state if I have sole legal and physical custody of my child and the father has no visitation rights?

Q: I live in New York and have sole legal and physical custody. The father has no visitation rights and hasn't seen the child in years (hasn't had visitation rights in years). Do i need the courts permission to move? Do I need to notify the court? I don't even know where my childs father is located.
A: David's Answer: Generally you need either the Father's permission or court permission. Whether your case would constitute a rare exception to the general rule would need to be assessed. Schedule a consult with a White Plains Child Custody attorney.

How soon can I get an annulment after marriage in the state of New York and under what conditons? How soon can I get a divorce.

Q: What are the circumstances for an annulment after a marriage and if Im not qualified for an annulment how soon can I get a divorce? There is no assest or children involved.

If my daughter doesn't live with me for the entire summer during college, is she considered emancipated & we lose child support?

Q: I'm divorced and my 17 year old daughter is living with me, but planning to go to college in the fall. She mentioned that she may take summer courses or an internship between her freshman and sophomore years, so she won't be living with me for the whole summer. Does that mean we'll no longer receive child support or assistance with college from her father, because she'll be considered emancipated?
A: David's Answer: Most agreements say that a child's attendance at college is NOT considered an emancipatory event. That said, if the father contributes towards room-and-board, this is generally a deduction from child support. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.

Can i file an lawsuit against acs?

Q: My case has been open for 5 years straight since my first was born 2012 of January. It started in may of 2012 an docter report me that i missed an serious apointment with my son. So my child was removed and we went on trial but the docter was no where to be found to start the trail. My son was in foster care i did service and they still haven't gave me my son til he was 1 yrs old then my second child was born 2013 then they gave custody to the father in june of 2013 without me in the home. They remove them and put them back in my custody in july of 2013 due to positive drug screening. I had then until august of 2014 when we had to meet about my housing issue in the shelter so i put them with my grandmother instead of me being there with them. I wanted to get stable then get then back. Now from that time, i placed them there without me living there. I had my 3 rd child in nov 2015 so they put me under supervision watch by my child father til now. So i am getting really fed up with the system they feel that i am not responsible to take them to there appointment due to i missed an appointment with my first. they are talking bout my first and not my other two its very depressing .
A: David's Answer: It's hard to say from this in what way you believe ACS has violated your rights. Throughout the course of your case, at any point you had the right to file an appeal of any order you disagreed with. Generally you can only sue if a court determines ACS was wrong in removing your child and/or pursuing a case against you. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Civil Rights attorney for a full assessment.

Can a judge grant more child support with proof the dad is working off the books?

Q: I'm in the middle of a child support case and the father claims he only makes $9 per hour (part time at that). It seems as if he has the pay stubs to support it as well. However, he recently posted videos on his social media accounts counting excessive amounts of cash with comments claiming that he works at night and all his money is is made legally. He seems to be hiding this income from the judge to make it seem he's living below the self support line. Will my videos be enough to prove to a judge he is working off the books and in deed has more money for our daughter?

Exit an Agreement with a Divorce Lawyer

Q: My divorce is final for months but my lawyer keeps contacting me (and charging me every time) for instance asking for another retainer to do a 401 investigation. Also being charged for things that they said I wouldn't be charged for.  Is sending an email to exit our agreement enough?

Can I proceed with a divorce for my mother who had a stroke and cannot speak for herself from her new husband of 2 years?

Q: My mother wanted a divorce from her new husband and has stated that to me on a couple of different occasions he has also left voicemail messages on my wife's phone stating that my mother wanted a divorce and so does he, 3 weeks later my mother had a severe stroke and cannot make decisions or even complete a full sentence, he has since then been a tremendous strain on the Family, I am her health care proxy along with her POA, can I file a divorce on behalf of my mother? I live in New York

Will I be granted access to my children in family court?

Q: I was arrested for leaving them in a running car, I had the ac on so they would be ok. I was not gone for more than 15 minutes when I was called by officers to come outside. I went to court and I was given an order of protection. My children are my whole life, It has been torture living without them these two weeks. The order is for a year but the social worker from cps said he filed a petition for me and I should get served those papers in about 3- 4 weeks. I asked him for a copy but he said I would get it in court. Also when the incident occurred I signed a safety plan with him where I would always be supervised with the kids with either my relatives or my husband and he never gave me a copy to give to my public defender. I feel that he might have helped out my case more by providing me with this document. My children are 9, 2 and 2 months. My 2 year old cries for me everyday my family says. This is a travesty of justice. By punishing me,my children are being punished even more. I am a great mother and this one time mistake shouldn't cost me my whole family. I have been staying with my cousin until the petition comes through, This is traumatic on my whole family.

Joint custody - passport issues

Q: Hi, the father of my kids (we have joint custody) does not want to sign papers so that our kids (age 14 & 7) can get passports. Can I get him to sign papers through court? If so, what application would I have to fill out, and which court would I have to submit it to? Can I do this without a lawyer? Thanks

Will the Court still order a DNA..all 3 parties are aware who's the biological father we have proof evidence..and private lawyer

Q: Hi during my marriage I had an affair which lead to a baby.. I was aware who the dad was but was afraid to tell my husband now everything is out..and all of us know who's the real dad.. is it neccessary for the courts to do a DNA.. we have proof ..evidence and we did our own DNA.. my husband is signing off his rights because he know he's not the Dad.. and the biological dad wants he's rights we have our next court day in 2 weeks.. I hope this is our last one we been going to court since march... ..

What can I do about the court-appointed attorney? He can't keep badgering my kids like this until they say "yes, I want to go."

Q: I am divorced from my wife. We have 2 kids, ages 7 and 8. Over my objection, she wants to relocate with them to Portland, OR. in "no way, shape or form", is it in their "best interests", to do so. The kids' court-appointed attorney has already interviewed them about the move and they were unsure about it. The judge scheduled a trial, which will help he make a determination one way or another. Prior to the trial, this attorney wants to interview them YET AGAIN, and if the kids now want to go,he'll approve the move! I don't want him to interview the kids any more. I've never been abusive towards them, they love me very much, the mother has not fully cooperated with all the court orders involving visitation over the last 6 years. The 3,000 mile distance is insurmountable. For all intents and purposes, any orders, e.g., nightly telephone calls, religious upbringing, visitation set forth by a NY court will thereby by unenforceable. This attorney is just hoping to wear my kids down.

How can I help my sister in law find a good lawyer at a reduced rate or pro bono?

Q: My sister in law recently broke up with the father of her child. This "man" is not only a drug dealer but a user as well. He has never had a real job or a place to live other than his parents house, but his parents got him a high priced lawyer to try to get full custody of their child. My sister in law on the other hand is a school teacher and a positive member of society. On her salary she is paying for a place to live, daycare and all other expenses that her child and her incur. On a teachers salary there isn't enough left over to hire a good lawyer. She is working with financial aid to get a lawyer, but it is taking forever and I am afraid this lawyer will have to much on their plate to give my sister in law's case the time it deserves. Would love any and all info you can give me. Thank you

What are my next steps if the father of my child disagrees with my decision to move to another state and filed a petition?

Q: I recently was presented with the opportunity to move to another state with my significant other. At the moment my son and I live with my mom and siblings in a three bedroom apartment. Moving with my significant other to another state means that my child will have his own bedroom, live in a safer environment and attend a better school. His dad served me with custody papers and I don't know what to do next. However, i feel confident in my parenting skills and I am primarily making this move to give my son a chance to have what he doesn't have now (his own bedroom, better education, better neighborhood). I am not asking for sole custody of my child and have said many times to his dad that I respect his rights as a parent and I am more than happy to split up our time with our son by allowing him to have him over the summer/winter breaks along with other holidays which require him to be away from school without negatively affecting our son's life. I don't want to take my son away from his dad, but I know this move is crucial and will improve the quality of life of our son. I live in New York City and was just served papers and don't know what to do next. Am I allowed to still move?

How to modify Family Court Order of Protection in New York?

Q: I was the respondent in a NY family court petition where the petitioner gained a stay away order of protection. Since that time, the petitioner has moved out of state. How does the respondent have the order of protection modified to remove the requirements that they stay away from the petitioner's home and place of employment now that both of these locations have changed since the issuance of the order? The petitioner never had the order modified.

Break in child support modification hearing I have to come back in I weeks

Q: I went to court for a upward modification on my child support order and my ex wife attorney had her testify and once my attorny cross examined and object to most of her paper work that where incomplete an all copies the mangistrate said we going to have a break and will come back at a date that 8 weeks from now....the mangistrate for the most part agreed with my attorny but why postpone for another adjournment?...thanks for any help

How does spousal support work Bronx NY?

Q: I make almost three times what my husband makes and we have two children. I would be the custodial parent. I would have to pay him spousal support? What about kids tuition, medical and all the extras I pay. How could I be expected to pay him while he lives scott free with his mistreess blocks away from our home? He is currently giving me $300 every two weeks but recently stopped. We have been separated 3 months. What do I do?
A: David's Answer: Merely because he earns more than you doesn't mean you necessarily pay him spousal support. While there are calculators to figure out presumptive levels of maintenance (i.e., spousal support), there are numerous factors the court may use to deviate from the presumptive number. Schedule a consult with Bronx Alimony attorney for a full assessment.

Can I sue the father of my child for a Noninvasive Prenatal DNA Testing? & with this proof could I get support while pregnant?

Q: I fell for a man very fast. He asked me to have a baby almost right away. In the beginning everyone thing was wonderful suddenly he be came dissent and started lying to me all the time. By then I was six weeks pregnant which he was quit happy with. I have lots o text messages between us show this. Once I confronted him about the lying. He then told be that do to the trust issues he no longer wanted me to have the baby. When I told he that I was still going to have the baby he then told me he would be moving to Germany in a couple of months. He makes mid 6 figures. I don't know how I going to get all I need for the baby before he or she comes. Plus I am a high risk pregnancy so I will not be able to safely continue for much longer. He also know this. What If amthing I able to do?

How can I get sole custody of my child?

Q: The father of my child has given me 15 days to evacuate his home due to a Marshall's order of foreclosure but he has filed a order of protection against me for him and our child but our child is in my custody. will that affect me as far as keeping my child with me until the court date. I just received the order of protection today I am the Sole Provider for our child.

Once estoppel is in place what will be the next step in the court room and will they give him custody rights and register him

Q: My sons father took me to court for a Dna my is 5 years old judge placed an estoppel on him are they gona give him custody and put him on birth certificate I have allowed the child to viste but I have been sole provider for the child even tho his parents claim the have help but yet I have never seen a dime only a pack of diapers 4 times when he was a baby what will be the next step in court

Can a child be taken out of state without consent from non-custodial parent?

Q: I just received a message from my child stating that he was out of state. I had no prior knowledge about this trip, nor was I aware that my child would be missing 2 days of school, especially considering that they were off this past Monday and Tuesday and will be off again this coming Monday and Wednesday - and had academic troubles recently, resulting in being held behind. Is this against our custody order, which states that all medical and educational decisions would jointly be made, to be taken out of state and/or being out of school without prior discussion?A: David's Answer: If your custody order is that specific, one can surmise this is a violation. That said, it may suffice to send a default notice letter warning against future violations, rather than immediately going into court. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Family Law attorney for a full assessment.

What do I do next?

Q: I am the defendant in a matrimonial case, I moved out of state (NY) when the relationship ended with our 3yr old child. I had an attorney who attended court 3x on my behalf. I had to cancel this representation has my bill was already $10,000 (thats all my savings) and I am not fighting for anything but child support. I wrote the court and explained my situation in regards to inability to afford an attorney and requesting a public defender. I received a letter stating that I should do an Order to Show Cause. This is my first time in court, I have no idea what to do! Worst I am in another state! Any advise?

Should i sign papers

Q: Child support Getting a divorce my wife wants me to sign a paper saying i will give 25 percent but i heard that number is going down to 14 percent but she is not asking for alimony or my retirement or my anuityanuityannuityacuityantiquitytenuityannuitant and we have 5050 custody and if 5050 custody should i have to pay support i am on workmans comp also

My son's father file for a modification in child support. He claims he makes less money.

Q: My son's father is claiming he is making less money than before and he also knows that I change jobs and I make more money.
We always have problems because he doesn't want to pay for extra curricular activities, he says that's included in the child support that I get. How can I ask for help on that when I go to court?
Also what do I need to bring for proof of child care? I pay my mom weekly for picking up my son from school, feeding him and staying with him 3 hours or 3 hours and a half.
Thank you!
A: David's Answer: Generally extracurricular activities are not a mandated expense & otherwise included in the basic support. For the childcare, at least initially you should bring proof of your payment as well as a notarized letter from your mother detailing the care. Ultimately, she may need to come in to testify. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.

Can i get joint custody of my son if i retire?Can i get a modification in child support with out a change in custody?

Q: I live in new york and have overnight visitation of my 13 year old son. I pay child support and am planing on retiring in a few months.
A: David's Answer: The fact that you would have alot of free time to spend with your child (presumably as opposed to the other parent) would certainly be a factor the Judge would consider, but only 1 factor amongst many. One cannot say that, in itself, would be a basis to switch custody. Moreover, if you voluntarily reduce your income, you would generally not qualify for a reduction in child support. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Family Law attorney for a full assessment.

In NY, when it comes to a "nail and mail" service of process, is there ANY type case in which such service would be improper?

Q: I had someone try to serve my husband with an Order to Show Cause in a post-divorce matter, in which I seek to relocate out-of-state. Attempts were made before 8 A.M., 4:30 P.M. and 7:45 P.M. on different weekdays. All attempts were unsuccessful. I was wondering if the papers could have been affixed to his door, and copies be sent to him via mail. (Please see "Ask your question" above, also.) Thank you.
A: David's Answer: Affix-and-mail service may be done in many cases, but only after you've made a diligent attempt to serve in the manner the Court prescribes first. If the Court required personal service, then generally a "diligent attempt" includes 1 weekday, 1 weekend & 1 nighttime attempt, all at least 72 hours apart from each other. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

What can I do if my lawyer is unresponsive to all for 60 days and my divorce and child custody case goes into defaults?

Q: I retained a lawyer in May. After paying the retainer fee he called me in to do a networth statement on June 28th since then I've been asking him for an update and he has failed me. I found out my husbands lawyer has been trying to contact him for the last 2.5months as well via letter, email, text and phone calls and he has not responded to the opposing lawyer either. I'm scared my case will go in default. I'm a single mother of three and I feel robbed. I can't afford for this case to go to default as my husband is not capable of taking care of our son. I need to find out what's going on and don't know what to do. I need help to make sure the best Decision is made for my son and his future.
I'm so dared in not going to get a fair chance because I don't have anyone on my side.   

Can I go to a preliminary conference without a lawyer?

Q: My spouse filed for Divorce and PC. Can I go to PC representing myself? If I go with a lawyer, how much would it cost? I heard that lawyer charges for the hours waiting at the courtroom if there is any delay from the original scheduled time. With limited financial resource, I am worried I will end up paying 5 hours for a 30 min PC. Please advise.
A: David's Answer: Yes, you can represent yourself, but it isn't advisable (especially if your spouse is represented). While most lawyers do bill for all their time (and not merely the time spent in the courtroom itself), if your conference is in Westchester then it's very unlikely the lawyer will be there for more than 90-120 minutes. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Divorce attorney for a full assessment.

What should I do if a judge has given us a deadline to submit a custody agreement and the time has passed by a month?

Q: The last time we went to court the judge gave my daughter's mother and I a deadline to come to a custody agreement so she could sign it.The judge wanted us to send the agreement to her to sign and enter it as a court document.It has been over a month since the deadline she gave us.I do not have a lawyer which means I have been emailing my ex and her lawyer myself to no avail.They have not been responding to my emails or phone calls regarding this issue.I sent them both a proposal for the custody and expected to hear from them with an amended proposal or an agreement that we can both agree to sign.My ex is completely not interested in the judge signing the custody agreement it seems.She lives with my daughter and I do get visitations.I also pay the court ordered child support.My questions: Is she prolonging the signing of the custody agreement as a way to gain some sort of an advantage? and What should I do about this?
A: David's Answer: Assuming your case is in Westchester, you can contact the Referee by sending a pre-motion conference letter and state that you've tried to contact the mother's attorney to no avail. See if the Referee can intervene and offer a solution. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

Alimony Loss of Home

Q: Home was recently sold at Sheriff's Sale. I could no longer afford it and my expenses (including substantial medical expenses due to a debilitating disease diagnosed ten years ago) have increased quite a bit. I don't have funds for a rental. Is this considered a change of circumstances for consideration for an increase in alimony? Divorced 25 years ago - there has been no change in alimony.
A: David's Answer: If you were divorced 25 years ago, then the question becomes how long the alimony was ordered for (in terms of duration)? if it terminated many years ago, then it would be extremely hard to justify a resumption of the alimony at this point. Moreover, one would need to know more about your finances & ability to become self-supporting. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Alimony attorney for a full assessment.

What should i do defend myself in court, while being intimidated by my abuser, and judge who won't grant any relief.

Q: My husband has beaten, raped and mentally abused me for many years, He's forced me to terminate many pregnancies, because of his job. I felt like a hostage in my marriage, and I count myself lucky to be alive. I never mentioned to the court he was an abuser, or ever had him arrested. I just said he abandoned me and my children. Because of this I have suffered in court and haven't been treated fairly, and I have lost almost, everything to him. Every time I face him in court I feel victimized, over and over again. I had to defend myself in court we're now at post judgement, and I feel he has taken full advantage of how clean I've made his image look in court.

What can happen in court that day?

Q: I just moved from puerto rico to ny in june 2016. I've been out of ny for 14 yrs. Now in 2011 my ex filed or the state filed for child support. I just moved back to new york in june and i received a paper stating that i failed their court ordered child support that started in May 2015. The child enforcement agency knew my address in puerto rico. I never received the court order. I just looked at the paper and it has an address in new york. Im assuming that's were they sent it. It says i owe 1,770 arreas. I knew of the child support because they garmished my tax return. What i never received was the court order of child support. I dont want to go to jail for comtempt. It says i willful failed. And i just didnt know. I live in a shelter with my fam if i go to jail they loose the shelter.i filed a pettion for dna. She revealed that the boy was not mine after birth 2 yrs later. The boy knows the father. He never seen me.. I just need to know what can i expect!! I didnt know. Dont i have to be served the letter. Im nervous. Can someone help please.

What is a compliance hearing when child support has just ended?

Q: There is still a child support arrears which I will try to invalidate because of violation of due process.
But I have been sent a summon to come to court for a compliance purposes which is what is stated on the summons?

Mom is considering the possibility of relocating once again. I refuse to let my Daughter leave me again. What are my options?

Q: My 5 year old Daughter has resided at various locations (at least 10 places no exaggeration) in three different states since she was 6 months back in August 2011. As a highly, all-around, involved Father, I am concerned about the well-being and stability of my Daughter going forward, now that Mom is 5 months pregnant with whom she is 'on and off' with, someone who on more than one occasion, placed his hands on her and once threatened my life, admitting to being mentally unstable in a phone conversation back on Aug 31st. Mom relocated from FL on two different occasions, most recent move in July '16, to remain close to the man who hit her, left their FL home because the income wasn't as great and it wasn't the place for him, according to Mom. I can't rest my head believing that the man who left her high and dry quite a few times, will assume full responsibility of the house once their child is born. Mom just informed me that she had to place our child in emergency childcare after school (09.19.16) because the man she continues to have high hopes for, left her out on her own to figure it out. What are my rights as a Father? I just want what's in the best interest! Please help!

How long can I be separated from my wife before my marriage is considered dissolved? There must be a time element involved.

Q: I have been separated from my wife for 3 years now. No communication, no personal contacts - nothing is going on between us. No children either.

I need some advise. Lost and confused.

Q: I have been married since October 2014 and my husband is a US citizen. Moved here in April. Long story short, my husband decided that drugs were more important to him then making our marriage work. He choked me once, He begged me to forgive him and I didn't file a police report. I just settled into a permanent job after giving up my old job back at home to be with my husband, who i thought felt the same way as me. Now he wants a divorce as soon as possible because I don't make him happy. I am so hurt and confused right now. What can I do in this situation?

What do I have to submit in order to get an order of protection removed

Q: The Judge where I live had an order of protection and why son is not allowed to live or have any communication with me. I want to submit a motion to get the order of protection removed. What do I have to do. My son is being released in December 2016 and has no where to go. What can I do?
A: David's Answer:
Many more details would need to be supplied in order to answer this question. Was the OP issued by criminal or family court? Did it involve something you did to the child? How old is the child & was an attorney appointed to represent the child? You're best advised to schedule an appointment with a Westchester Domestic Violence attorney for a full assessment.

Is there anyway a family court judge can modify a criminal order

Q: A order of protection was placed without my consent and now we have one child and one on the way and we would like to get this order modified so we can raise our family together with no problems and we have not had any police contact or criminal contact since the order was put in motion in December 2015

How do I terminate parental rights?

Q: Out of 15 years I've only spent one week with my son. 15 years of her denying him to visit has caused a great divide. Now that he's getting in trouble with gangs in New York she wants my involvement. After 15 years of denial of having him in my own home she turns around and places me on child support. I'm so done with this and do not have tons of money for attorneys. What needs to be done?
A: David's Answer:
You cannot terminate your own parental rights. The only thing you can do is offer that she have the child adopted by her significant other, if applicable. Schedule a consult with a Westchester adoptions attorney for more info.

Can I take my exhusband back to court because he is not doing what he is supposed to in the divorce decree as to fixing the hous

Q: I have been divorced for 13 years and my ex husband was supposed to help fix the house. He has not been doing that and i have asked him many times and he just ignores me. The house is in desperate need of repair especially the stairs and the driveway. I have fixed some things and he has not given me his share only gave $1,00.00 which he reluctantly gave for the windows and the bill was 6,700.00.

Do I stand a chance in court? (Cant afford a lawyer so will be pro se).

Q: I took my girls for a trip out of state to visit my extended family on October 21, 2014. This pissed my kids' mother off and- although there is NO court order prohibiting out of state visits- she decided I would no longer have my court-ordered visits with my daughters. Our case had always been a contested one (I had to take her to court just to be able to see them, CPS false allegations of sexual and physical abuse, etc), and although for 4months I attempted to make contact, I essentially gave up. I took the time to finish school, moved, and began to make contact again on May, 2016. I was stonewalled until July where my girls' mom said the girls needed clothes and I had to buy them a phone if I wanted to speak to them. I bought everything and sent it to her friend's house at her request. I tracked the package and it was delivered to the door. It is September and I have yet to hear from her at all. I want to go back to court. Ideally, after some time, I will be able to resume our regular visits. I have emails that show SHE stopped all visits and flatly tells me my girls have another "daddy." Do I stand any chance? Child support always paid.
A: David's Answer: It would certainly appear the mother would be violating the order, but depending on the history of your relationship with the children, how far you moved away and other factors, there may be grounds to modify the order as well. You should speak with a Bronx Child Custody attorney further regarding the matter

Can I ask the courts to only my don't to vist his father everyother weekend baby is only 7 months

Q: The father is asking the court for a full summer month spring brakes and holidays and everyweek end I have to concernes the baby is only 7 months he only knows my husband as dad the father has no furniture doesn't meet the living conditions and also has temper issues and they have a altar in the house with candles in a closet which is a safety hazard To me what can t do or how can I explain my concernes to a judge
A: David's Answer: It certainly seems on the facts you're providing that the visitation request is too much, too soon. Usually parents get "half of summer" with a school-age child - there doesn't appear to be justification of same with respect to a baby. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

Will I get drug tested ?

Q: My child's father has an issue with me moving on with someone else. The child is 10 years old and he wants visitation rights all of a sudden even though he picks him up and drops him off whenever he pleases. Our first court date is sept 19 I wanted to ask do we get drug tested that very first visit?
A: David's Answer: Most likely not - the Father would need to allege you're a current drug user. Moreover, if he's petitioning just for visitation, and not for custody, I wouldn't see how same would be relevant to his petition. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Family Law attorney for a full assessment.

Motion/venue issue

Q: My lawyer has agreed to my ex spouse's venue issue and he still wants to be difficult. I am asking for part of his pension after 25 years of marriage. Can my lawyer over come this issue? I started fighting this case in January 2016. Should I keep dishing out money for my part of the pension? Can my ex keep stalling over this venue issue, even though we have agreed to what he wants? He does not want to split this pension.
A: David's Answer: It's hard to assess this, as one would need to know on what basis your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is still fighting the venue issue. One would also need to know on what basis he's asking for a deviation from the general rule on retirement division - i.e., 1/2 of the marital portion. Thus, if you want a 2d opinion, just schedule an appointment with a Bronx Divorce attorney.

Can my child's father be held in contempt if he's violated every court order?

Q: My child's father has been the petitioner in every court hearing.Yet, he never follows through. On numerous occasions, he has not picked my child up for visits. Now he's looking to get custody of my child,Due to a brief displacement i went through.What are the chances he'll be granted a modification of custody?

A: David's Answer:
He can't be held in contempt for not visiting your child, as visits are his right, not his obligation. This would otherwise be grounds to modify the order, however, as for his chances at custody, one would need to know what you mean by "displacement," as well as assess numerous factors which bear on custody. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

How does RJI and PC in a divorce case work? Is it timing consuming and costly to filing RJI and request for PC?

Q: Can you please advise How RJI and PC in a divorce case work? Is it timing consuming and costly to filing RJI and request for PC? Thank you.

A: David's Answer:
The filing of those documents, in itself, is neither time-consuming nor expensive. Both get filed with the clerk's office (with proof of service upon the opposing party/counsel), with the result being a contested case. If you're dealing with a contested case, however, you should at the least consult an attorney, if not retain one to represent you. Call a Westchester Uncontested Divorce attorney to schedule a consult.

Pro Bono Divorce Attorney in White Plains NY area.

Q: I filed all the paperwork for uncontested but now my spouse is contesting so I have filed the RIJ and have a date however after the court lost my paperwork and gave me 3 days before the conference I will hope for them to adjourn for a future date however I am very overwhelmed and scared that because I dont know the law, I could be hit...

Should i file a petition against children's father stating the many valid reasons he should not have my children?

Q: Going to file rebuttal in custody case. Should i state vaild points on why judge should not grant custody to him? Example father has anger issues wife is recovering alcoholic children are allowed to play with 12 year old boy. Children are 6 and 4 girls.Lack of supervision in father house. I can go on and on

How can I obtain custody?

Q: My wife and I have struggled for five years after marriage before we could have a 24 week preemie.This happened in January 15,2016.
Even though our son is doing well,I feel he need more love and attention from both parents.My wife has gained admission to do her phd at Binghamton,we live in the...

I recently had Acs come to my home because I called the cops on my kids father for assault..He is the biological father and was

Q: He was arrested and released, he has to go to court in a lil over a month.,I decided on my own terms to drop the charges,but I was told by ADA that it's the judges decision..An order of protection was order for me by the judge, Now ACS wants to place a Order of protection to my kids,..I refused this too take place. They informed me it was the judge's decision if there's enough evidence..they are healthy kids no abuse.How long do I have to put up with ACS and can I or should I get a lawyer..

Can i move anywhere in the state without an issue with my child?

Q: I know that moving out of the state with a child is hard. But i was wondering can i move within the state. I am located in the Bronx and would like to be closer to binghamton with family and all? Is this treated like moving out of state?

Will I have to split the assets if she kicks me out a 2nd time if we already split them

Q: My wife and I are separated she needs time to see if she wants to get back together.we are just going for legally separated so she can keep my benefits my company said she could . She wants a part of my assets now before she makes up her mind if she takes me back after I give her a part of the IRA what happens if she kicks me out again

I have a child and would like to move to a different state dad is not involved can I do this without getting in any trouble?

Q: I was never married to father of child. He pays support 25 per month and moved Down south. He hasn't seen his son for over a year and a half. I have to move due to my parents retiring. We live with them n they can't afford ny so we are going to massachussets to continue to be with then. I can't afford to live by myself so I'm moving with them to find a job to support my son. Unfortunately I can't do it on my own. Will I get in trouble moving? I mean I don't hear from the dad but he can be malicious. He moved south almost 2 years ago. Will I be ok to move? Thanks in advance

My son was removed from my care under suspicious circumstances by ACS.

Q: My son was removed from my care under suspicious circumstances by ACS. Though I'm the one charged with neglect, they have put him in unsavory situations that he never would have been in had he still been in my care. He was also given Risperdal though I would not give consent. He was supposed to be returned to me a long time ago, but ACS creates different reasons not to return him.

Can i get child support arrears waived in NY?

Q: If the custodial parent agrees and no money is actually owed to NYS (i.e. only to custodial parent), is it possible to get arrears waived (by petition? satisfaction of judgment?) and passport block lifted?
A: David's Answer:
You can obtain a written consent from the custodial parent. You'd then need to file a petition to adjust arrears (based on the agreement) & have the custodial parent served. S/he must then appear at the court hearing to be allocuted on the waiver. Schedule a consult with a White Plains Child Support attorney for more info.

If a person is incarcerated how could u sevre that person court order papers

Q: My grandson's mother will not allow me to see my grandson and right now my son is incarcerated.and and taking thE mother to court for visitation but both parents have to be served. A: David's Answer: Generally you can have the incarcerated person served via the Warden. If you go there on a visit, you can also have him sign an acknowledgement of receipt (this must be cleared with prison officials beforehand). Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

Can I get rid of a child support order that was decided on consent?

Q: My son's father filed a downward modification and I consented to the modification because he was angry and had sent me texts/emails that made me feel like if I didn't do what he asked he would make life impossible for me in our visitation/custody hearing. He threatened that he would not allow me to travel or do anything with my child if I didn't lower it. Do I have any legal standing to vacate or get rid of that order in any way? Also, when we went to visitation hearing he ended up getting more visitation so he has filed another petition for a downward modification based on the increased visits. What can I do to go back to our previous child support order?

Is their any benefit/harm to stating "special relationship" in a federal 1983 claim involving child removed & put in foster care

Q: I'm under the gun re statute of limitations. Filing initial complaint pro se and will then get an attorney as I have 2 days! Doing research I've come across the term "special relationship" and am wondering if this can help me? Ultimate goal is to name Judges which of course won't happen. Child taken away unjustly-"article 10 proceeding disguised as a PINS proceeding" is how someone put it. PINS petition appealed and subsequently deemed defective. Should I bother mentioning a "special relationship" or is their no point? Many thanks!
A: David's Answer: You do not necessarily need to allege a specific "special relationship" in your pro se complaint so long as there is a factual basis which would support same. That said, bear in mind you cannot sue Judges for actions taken in their judicial role - focus your efforts on the child welfare agency, caseworkers or other entities who did you wrong. Schedule a consult with a White Plains civil rights attorney for a full assessment.

Can someone other than either spouse contest a divorce?

Q: For example, if a husband and wife agree to an uncontested divorce, splitting up marital property as they see fit, can the husband's adult child from his previous marriage get involved in any way to try to get more from the wife's estate for her father if she feels he's not getting what he should?

(Family court ). Can I be taken bk to court for child support after she missed her first court date because we settled out of ct

Q: The mother of my child was going to take me to court for child support. We ended up unofficially settling out of court. So she never showed up for her court date and it got dropped. Now she wants more money can she take me back to court

What can I do since NY Child Support Enforcement will not close my case?

Q: According to my divorce decree that was filed in Virginia and not New York (New York thinks it was filed in New York, child support is paid until the child reaches 21), child support payments will terminate when the child turns 18 years old or when the child graduates high school. My youngest just graduated high school May 28, 2016 and my oldest graduated 3 years ago. I have been overpaying for my oldest daughter for the last 3 years. I have tried several times to stop it but I was told from the NY Child Support Hotline that I have to wait until my youngest daughter turned 18 years old. They finally closed her case September 21, 2015 after I asked for a review. But they turned around two months later and reopened her case without any explanation to me. Every letter I receive states that I am in arrears but they never add up. I have written several letters to them but they never respond with an explanation on why my case is still open. All it says that I am in arrears and they never answer any of my questions. Doesn't any of the $13,000 that I have paid for my oldest daughter since she turned 18 years old over 3 years ago, count for anything? What can I do to be heard?

Ex continues to schedule activities or change my visitation.

Q: My ex continues to schedule activities during my visitation. Usually a day before my scheduled visitation, my ex will text or email me and include our son 13 yr old son in the conversation (by including his phone number or personal email) therefore making it uncomfortable if I say no to making the switch. I don't want to upset my son since my ex clearly promised this activity to him so often times,I just agree. My ex has changed my visitation so regularly now that it I am not able to make plans for my son and I. Can I file that my ex is not following the order? 

Can I ask for support from a father's spouse in a child support case?

Q: My kids father doesn't pay child support and works off the books. He told me he doesn't have any intentions on giving me any support and will tell the judge that he's on public assistance and works as a handyman( off the books). I recently found out he got married and I wanted to know with that being said, will the judge consider his spouse's income during the case? and am I even able to ask the judge for such a request as he will keep his marital status a secret.

Ex stopped taking our child to therapy ordered by the court

Q: My ex stopped taking our child to therapy. Our orders state that she and I both have joint legal custody and must make medical decisions together. My ex refuses to discuss why she removed our child. I spoke to the psychiatrist who said that she tried to reschedule the cancelled visits but my ex will not return the psychiatrist calls. The psychiatrist recommends my child continue therapy. Can I file that my ex is not following the order?

Can I get my two children back from the administration for children's services if the charges are false but I pleaded guilty

QThe judge said that he was going to find me guilty no matter what and the second lawyer I had said to take the guilty plea because she can do nothing to help me.under all the stress that i was put through by them i pleaded guilty under the stress.now the fourth lawyer I have helped me to get some of the evidence I needed to prove the neglect charges are false ,that only my lawyer could get, I got the rest on my own.my first child was taken at birth.my second child was also taken at birth because my first child is in foster care and because I didn't finish all my mandated programs but I finished them all before the termination of parental rights case was started for my second child. Then my third child was taken two weeks after he was born because of the same reasons but he was given back. They don't want to give me back my other two children.my children were born December 2012, July 2014,December 2015.

How long does it take for a divorce decree in Westchester county to be imaged?

Q: My divorce case status changed to disposed and JOD was signed about 11 days ago. I went to the Westchester clerk office and asked for my divorce decree. They said it has not been imaged yet. 

Divorce in NY, LLC interest, income VS support.

Q: I am in the middle of a divorce, in NY. My spouse has a LLC business. There is another active member at the LLC. Before we filed the joint extension (4/15/16), he insisted that there was a profit and no refund for year 2015. End of June 2016, he produced a document showing back early 2015, he granted LLC interest to the other member, which lowered his income for 2015. Before he disclosed such "grant", there is absolutely no disclosure that there is such grant. It is obvious that the "grant" was done 2016 but they backed dated to 2015.

How can I find out if my husband divorced me if I live in NYC and he lives in VA? He said we were divorced but he lies alot

Q: I live in NYC n haven't spoken to my husband over 6 yrs. I spoke to him last week and he said were divorced but won't give me information. He lives in VA. How can I find out?

My e-wife is trying to reopen our child support case saying that I still owe arrears. Can she reopen the case?

Q: My ex-wife is trying to reopen our child support case. I still only owe her arrears as I no longer owe state, city or federal. Also our children are in the military. Three years ago we went (together) to court and she ( my ex-wife ) wrote a letter stating that I gave her $70k for child support. All I owed her was arrears. The judge stated that the matter was no longer in court and the agreement was between me and my ex wife. I have been paying ever since, however, certain things happened last year where I couldn't pay. I have since been paying her since March. Can she reopen the case although I have been paying her, even if it has been sporadically?

Does my sons biological father have rights?

Q: My son will be 7 years old in October. His father has never met him let alone acknowledged him. He is not on his birth certificate either. Now 7 years later, he all of sudden decided he can no longer live his life knowing he has a son whom hes never met and would like to be in his life. He also told the judge on our first court date after the dna test that he did not want anything to do with the child but that he would pay child support(court ordered by public assistance) I think his issue is that he no longer wants to pay child support and because of the situation (my boyfriend has been raising my son with me since he was one year old) I said no and he said he will see me in court. Does he have any rights?

Can the judge allow me to relocate with my child to Michigan front NY .

Q: My son's father filed for sole custody and he is a drug and alcohol addict. He also is verbally, emotionally and physically abuse towards me. I want to move to my home state with my son for a better quality of life for both of us. My mother ,daughter and siblings are there, i want to go to school and it's cheaper to live as a single parent in Michigan than NY . Will the judge let me do so.

Should I seek legal council also?

Q: I petitioned for child support in April through the child support agency. My court date was today as soon as we were called the judge swore us in.Then began to ask if we will be representing ourselves or would we want to seek council. I said represent myself and the respondent said seek council, the judge gave us another court date. Should I now seek council? and why is he allowed to get an appointed lawyer and not me?

How does it affect my divorce if my spouse told one of our children we are getting a divorce.

Q: My spouse told my stepdaughter daughter that we were getting a divorce. I wasn't involved on the conversation. My spouse claims it was done because she deserves to know the facts before deciding to go live with her father. My step daughter told my spouse that she wants to go live with her father because she misses him. She is still going to live with her father. My spouse doing this does it affect my divorce case when the papers are filed. Thank you for any input in this question have a great day. 

Can I file for custody for a child that is adopted

Q: My family minor is in a psych unit because the guardian can not care for her and is always abusing her and kicking her out. So she sent her to a psych unit.. She's been in the psych unit for 3 years. The guardian was going to first give me joint custody but then she switched up and said she doesn't want to give up her rights at all because she doesn't want her to be happy. Can I file for custody even though my niece who is in the pysch unit is adopted.

Can I get overnight reduced if 7 yr old daughter doesn't want to sleep over for 2 nights?

Q: My ex has overnight visits every other weekend. Friday after her school program (5-5:30pm) until sunday 4pm. He has never really been involved and has just started overnights in the beginning of July. She has slept over there twice so far and she doesn't want to do two nights. She called me last time at night crying hysterically wanting me and wanting to go home. I had to try to calm her down and reassured her that I would see her the next day. She has on numerous occasions told my ex that she only wants friday to Saturday and wants to go back Saturday night. He basically tells her she has no choice and then when she gets off the phone she starts crying hysterically. I feel like this huge jump from day visits to two overnights is affecting her. I try very hard to encourage her and reassure her but it breaks my heart seeing her so upset. Can I get his overnight reduced if it affects her so much?

Do I have to give a percentage of my pension to my husband if I earned the entire amount before I married him?

Q: I worked for AT&T from 1973 to 1985. I have just received notice of a small pension ($446/mo). I married my husband in 1992. Fidelity is the Pension Manager and is insisting that my husband is entitled to half of my pension or I must get a waiver. But, I earned the entire pension before I met him.
We have three children ages 19, 17, and 17. My husband has made it clear he does not plan to stick around after the children are through college.
I am 65. He is 55.
My parents have passed away. I have kept my small inheritance from them separate from the household funds.
His parents are living, but he stands to inherit a significant amount when they pass.
I am afraid he will take half of everything I have, leave and then dissolve the marriage. Thank you in advance for whatever advice you can offer.

Should I tell my niece's therapist abuse past n recent abuse/sexual abuse without risking my chances of getting custody

Q: My niece is in a psych unit for the past 2 years because her guardian isn't healthy to care for her (guardian has had a stroke, and other disabilities) and because my niece tried to commit suicide. Her guardian is willing to give me joint custody. So during my day pass with my niece she confesses to me the reason why she committed suicide was because her guardian has abuse her since little. She has called the police several times on her but the police always sided with the guardian. After the guardian was fed up with her calling the police she sent her to the psych. Her guardian has put fear in her heart to not tell no one. One of the abuse was my niece was 11 years old and one of my nieces guardians tenant had raped her. She told her guardian and they bashed her and told her she was lying. The tenant still lives in the same household 3 years later. When I have joint custody I have to let her stay at her guardians house because the guardian will have visitation. Her therapist at the place where she is at doesn't know anything about the abuse nor the rape. How can I go about this and still be able to get custody of my niece without risking that she be hurt on visits.

The status of my contested divorce case is changed to disposed and it says JOD signed. What should i do to get a divorce decree?

Q: I had a hugely contested divorce which went through trial for three days and the judge gave his decision at the end of the three days. Now my divorce case status is changed to disposed and it says JOD signed. What are the next steps for me to get the divorce decree?

Day care expenses in addition to chlid-support payments is breaking my back. Can I ask for any relief? Please help

Q: I had a vicious ex spouse who managed to take sole custody of my child from me. I am paying child support and 60% of day care expenses which is breaking my back. I have other loans and am in a very arduous situation. Please help.

If the parent who is paying child support receives a lawsuit are his children entitled to a %?

Q: My kids father will be getting a settlement and I'm wondering whether my kids will be given a portion of it by law? Supposedly what he owes in arrears will be paid through this also.

Are there Lawyers who specialize in the father's rights in New York?

Q: I'm a father who has been fighting for visitation with my son for over a year. The case is being handled by New York. I moved down south and ever since I have only been allowed to see my son if I'm in New York. My Ex wife wants for me to have two weeks in July and two weeks in August. All other visits have to be in New York. I need guidance, what she's offering doesn't seem right. The court appointed attorney that I have isn't helping. I want to be more than a summer dad.

NCP calling me names through text messages when trying to discuss certain matters with him

Q: In my visitation temporary court order, we have a no disparaging clause. Which is supposed to apply for everything (in front of child, through text, social media...). I recently texted NCP about how I have not received any child support in 4 weeks. Like always he comes off very defensive and rude and says I am approaching him wrong (which I am not, he just always has attitude towards me) I am very respectful and never curse nor call him names. He goes on to curse at me and starts calling me names which I repeatedly have told him to stop acting like that towards me. In the recent text messages he has called me "nigga, douche, money grubbing lil sh*t, a dog and an incubator". Are these disparaging comments? Is he in violation of the court for speaking to me like this? We have joint legal custody and I have primary physical custody( he gets every other weekend fri evening to sun evening). If he acts like this can I get sole legal and physical custody? or can his visitation be decreased to one night?

Should I be concerned about my ex wife going to family court to modify custody?

Q: After a two year custody trial, my ex wife and her attorney agreed to settle. It was agreed that I have physical custody and we share joint legal with final decision making to me. Now, after a 3 week summer visit, my ex text me and says our 11 y/o daughter wants to live with her and she's going to court for modification. Our custody order is barely 2 months old and there has been no change in circumstances. Ex also has history of coaching our child during the custody trial.

19 yr. old daughter wants to start spending the night at boyfriend's room he rents w/another boy.

Q: I get child support for my 19 yr. old daughter who has a history of depression & hospitalizations. She's threatening to do overnights @ 24 yr old boyfriend's room he rents . She does not work & is under psychiatric care. What measures can I take to have her stay home? Call police? or is there nothing I can do?

Can I move to California with my child even if I'm not married to the biological father?

Q: My son is 6 months old the father and I are having relationship problems also his mother smokes inside the home and I don't want her near him when she smokes.

My spouse served me with a summons for a request to modify custody order that was already final, Can this delay divorce?

Q: After my spouse and I went to court to settle matters such as custody, alimony, and child support she summoned me again for a modification of custody when I already served her with papers, can this delay the divorce process?

Should I call social services?

Q: My child was on visit with the father and father choked him trying to take the child's phone away. So my child wouldn't speak to me. My son texted me telling me to call the police and he also sent me a picture of a bruise on his eye. I called the police and the child was removed and sent to my parents car because my parents was on the scene. I live in NJ and the father resides in NY. The closest relatives was my parents. The police did not arrest the father. I told the officer the father has a temporary restraining order from his son because of prior incidents that happen and the judge ordered that visits still must continue but with the father not putting his hands on the child. Should I put in a call with social services as well. What should I do because my attorney isn't getting back to me.

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