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Westchester Family Law Attorney Archives

When my daughter's at college in a few months,hundreds of miles upstate, can local or college police be asked to protect her?

Q: My 18 year old daughter had an order of protection from her abusive father for about a year and a half, until February of this year. Due to a subsequent Order to Show Cause, her father now has to stay away from certain events such as her prom and graduation. She's now afraid that in September he'll drive several hundred miles upstate to terrorize her at her college. Without a full order of protection from the Westchester family court, will we be able to get protection from local or college police, since she'll be living there 10 months out of the year?

Another Lesson about going with a "Cheap Lawyer"

It's tempting - I get it. One lawyer says he'll handle your case for a few hundred dollars - or charge per court appearance. Another lawyer's retainer is several thousand up-front. Since you don't know what you're getting, and money is tight, you rationalize to yourself that you'll be o.k. with the cheaper lawyer. After all, he seems like a nice guy, seems like he's been doing this awhile - what could go wrong?
I had a child support case in court recently where the Father retained a cheap attorney. The guy is over-loaded with cases, every single time the case is on in court, he always has multiple other cases. He appears disheveled and doesn't appear like he remembers the case. He even showed up on our last court date & called out his client's name even though his client was sitting nearby - indicating he had forgotten who his own client was!
Suffice it to say, this "cheap attorney" cancelled 1 of the court dates at the last minute - costing both my client & his own client a day off from work. On 2 other court dates he showed up to court approximately 30 minutes late each time - the last time the case was marked for a 10am time-certain trial & he showed up at 10:25 by his own admission. He didn't even bother to apologize to the Judge - apparently his sloppy reputation preceded him.
He tried "negotiating" a settlement with me. His negotiating tact: "Will you client agree to reduce any of the support amount?" When I said "no," he meekly replied "ok" and walked off to his client to "break him the bad news."
This "cheap attorney" did absolutely nothing for his client - except of course to cost him at least $2,000 (since he charged a flat-fee of $500 per appearance) as well as several days off his personal leave balance. Because of his intransigence and unprofessionalism, I had refused to engage in any settlement negotiation and got everything my client deserved.
Thus, while it may be tempting to go with a cheaper attorney, you also have to consider whether that attorney will actually end up costing you money.
Here's an analogy: Say you want to buy a car. You have a choice between buying a new car with an excellent performance rating. Or you could buy a used car, where you'll need to spend alot of time and money taking it constantly back to the repair shop. Which do you choose?
Well, if you literally can't afford the new car, that's one thing. But if you rationalize that "maybe you'll be ok with the used one" that's another. Point is that you may end up worse off with the used car - after factoring in your precious time & money (not to mention aggravation) - than with the new one.
Lawyers are like cars - there are used ones out there and new ones. Amongst the new ones, there are quite capable cars (Fords, Nissans, etc.), there are luxury cars (Lexus, BMW, etc) and there are certainly elite cars (Lamborghini, Ferrari, etc). If you make 6-figures, or close to it, you can - and should - afford a Lexus attorney. Otherwise, you may be stuck on the highway cursing at the Heavens that you made a bad choice later on! 

My EX husband Petitioned for downward modification and then withdrew his case. Can he resubmit his petition?

Q: My ex lost his job and filed for downward modification...he then withdrew the petition without letting me know nor did the court alert me. Can I claim damages?

Will my child's mother get in trouble

Q: My child's mother does not allow me and my child to speak on the phone when she's been ordered by the judge to allow my daughter to call me once a day. 8 days go by before I even see my child. Should I file a petition for this? She's already been told by a judge to allow phone conversations yet does not let me speak to my child. I have taken screen shots of every text I send my child's mother asking to speak to my child with no reply or phone call. When I call her she does not answer and my child claims the house phone does not work. I am constantly worried. If my child is home with no cell phone available and needs to call 911 there is not house phone for my child to use.

How to reply to Ex not agreeing to one part of a visitation order modification letter.

Q: My ex and I are trying to agree on a visitation order modification. She has submitted her letter to me outlining the adjustment but I do not agree with one part of it. I would like to reply to her in a short and simple but respectful way letting her know that I do not agree with one part of her letter. I am not very good when It comes to drafting up well worded responses especially when it comes to legal matters. So if anyone can assist me with how to word a reply in a short 1 or 2 sentence that would be greatly appreciated.

Can I move jurisdiction to Westchester from Brooklyn Family Court

Q: I am in the middle of a motion... child support modification & violation...this case has been on going since June 2016 which I think is beyond ridiculous! I actually moved the date up and was seen today... the refused to motionfor contempt of court because the respondent did not appear stating we have a date of 4/25 even though he was served... I am beyond fed up with Brooklyn Family Court as the respondent has yet to turn over financial information ordered by the judge 3 months ago!! No contempt of court? Can I go to the appellate court... I think this judge is not being fair... I really want to move it to Westchester but without losing all my time back till June 2016

Do I as the non-custodial parent have to let my ex see my new apartment even if there is no court order requiring me to do so?

Q: I just moved and I provided my ex with 30 days notice in writing outlining the new address, move date, Pictures of apartment property, sample unit, apartment website link, details on why I am moving and requesting that we change one visitation day drop off location as it would be better for our child, The order states we can adjust it as long as we both agree in writing. My ex has responded with her own version of my initial letter for me to sign. She outlined 3 items in her version, 2 of which are inline with my original letter. Which are 1: acknowledging that I have moved. 2: acknowledging that changing the drop location is in our daughters best interest. The 3rd item states "Once I move I will need to either provide her with a video footage of actual apartment or make an appointment for her to walk through the apartment". There is nothing in our court order in any form requiring me to show her the apartment if and when I move. Our child has already stayed at my new apartment and loves it. she is decorating her own room. My ex will not sign to change the drop off location until I agree to she her the new apartment. Any Advice on how I should best handle this.
A: David's Answer: Well, if she's willing to settle for "video footage," and you've already provided pictures, what's the harm in providing the video footage? To me, this seems like the easier way of dealing with the issue than possible court litigation. For more info, schedule a consult with a White Plains Family Law attorney.

Can a Judge presiding over a divorce case order an ACS investigation ("COI")?

Q: My case started as a custody battle with my husband but then we filed a Summons and Complaint for divorce. Since the judge in FamilY Court also sits in a Supreme Court part - she took over the divorce case. She then issued an ACS investigation but, when I was looking on google, the ACS investigation comes under the Family Court Act -- does this mean that the judge wasn't legally able to issue an ACS investigation since it is now a Supreme Court divorce case and no longer under the Family Court Act?

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