Saturday, June 22, 2013

Can the State Dictate What I can talk To My Children About?

Q:  I am in a Divorce Custody Battle in New York Supreme Court. There is a Court Order stating that we are not to discuss the case with the Children. ( 8 and 5 year old ). From my reading such an order telling me what I can and can't talk to my children about is unconstitutional. There are precedent cases where the state has been told it has no place dictating what a parent may say to a child.

Should I put in a motion to overturn this order for being unconstitutional, or could any enforcement of this order be viewed as a violation of my rights?

A:  David's Answer:  This is a case where the "right to swing one's arm stops at another's face." The Court is following what is generally done in custody cases which is to do their best to shield the children from getting in the middle of the custody fight. In other words, in effect the Judge may be infringing on your rights to a degree, but simultaneously protecting the children's rights. I sincerely doubt a Judge would lift that restriction, and it would likely make you look bad just in making the application. There are likely greater fights to be waged in your case - this generally should not be one of them. In any event, I highly suggest to schedule a follow-up consultation with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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