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Westchester Family Law Attorney Archives

Can a child support order be cancelled if both parties agree?

Q: My ex and I have a child support order in the state of New York. We have agreed to handle the care of our child outside of the court. I pay all expenses for my child and provide way more money than the order calls for. We would like to completely do away with child support and the courts. How do we request this? What is the action called? 

What should I do...make an Ord to Shw Cause showing why the judge's decision was incorrect + ask that they be ordered back to NY for GOOD?

Q: My ex-wife, after our divorce was finalized, made an Order to Show Cause in a New York Supreme Court to relocate and was successful; as such, she and our child moved out of state.. There was a hearing, and I fought the alleged merits to the move. The judge issued an "Interim Decision After Hearing". The judge set forth several conditions that my ex has to comply with, e.g. , proof of employment, proof that she came back to NY to visit between now and our next court appearance (which will be in March 2018, proof of pediatrician's treatment of child, proof of family's support in new locale and proof of compliance w/ other matters . If she succeeds in convincing the judge that she has complied, then the move will be made permanent. I WANT THE JUDGE TO ORDER THEM TO RELOCATE BACK TO NY because the family reneged on the promised support, the child is not seeing a doctor for a somewhat serious condition and more. I believe that the move was not made in the child's best interest. There is also new evidence, which is relevant, and very well might have changed the outcome of the decision that I'd like to submit, that I couldn't have known at the hearing, because they just came to light. 

My son wants to speak to the family court, child protective services but can't because he is in a teen treatment center.

Q: My son, a 16 year old, 11 month old has been held by a teen treatment center for over 45 days. He wants to leave, live with me and go to a public high school. He basically wants to move on with his Iife. I recently filed for a modification in custody. I believe his Mother wants to keep him there so she can continue to receive $1500 a month in child support as well as 42% of additional child expenses, which she always inflates. The mother and the school district have enrolled him in a day center run by the teen center which would mean greater profits for them. The school district would send tens of thousands of dollars to the outplacement program so my son could be bused two hours during the day in New York Traffic. Basically, my son is a pawn in a sick game. The custody proceeding has been adjourned six weeks from now. My son say's he has the right to be heard in a court of law. I don't know what to say to him and I'm only given 10 minutes a day to speak to him. I'm hopeful a law guardian could be appointed soon, but don't even know if he/she will get access to him. He's 90 minutes away in another state.

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.

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