Saturday, April 26, 2014

My son is seeing his mother being abused. What do I do?

Q:  My ex and I have 50/50 custody. We are currently in the middle of a custody evaluation after I filed for primary. I have a restraining order against her as she was abusive. My 4 y/o son told me that he sees his mom get hit by her boyfriend. What should I do? Should I bring it up with the evaluator? File a motion to remove him from the home? I have no "evidence" other than what he said, which he brought up out of no where. He wouldn't say what happened other than he saw it. I don't want it to look like I am just using this as a means to get him but I don't want him to see this. I have tried to get him into therapy because I worry about the situation there but the mom has blocked me and wont give permission, so I can't use that as evidence either. Help!

A:  David's Answer:   You should both mention it to the child's attorney as well as to the evaluator. Whether you should file a motion to switch custody pre-trial should only be decided after consultation with an experienced custody law attorney. Thus, call a NYC Child Custody attorney to schedule a consult.   -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

We have joint legal custody but their father doesn't come for them as he should,

Q:  We share custody which the children lives with me but the father doesn't come for them as he should now we're back in court and i'm seeking sole custody seeing that i'm playing the role of a sole custodian with the father not present.Also he was given the permission to file their taxes and he refused to give me the children tax money,will the judge order him to give back. it hasn't been the first he's done it. He has been doing it since 2011 and lies about how much he receives plus on top of it his girlfriend says she will be using my money to go on vacation which is basically my children's tax money. i need help.

Additional information
He trying to get custody and he isn't present. We have 3 children together but only 2 is on the court papers because while going to court i was pregnant with our third child. He always makes excuses for not coming for them,like: i have no gas ,no food,im sick or i have to work. Should i present this to the judge?
Im a great mother and i know my children's need. i have been caring for them from the day they were conceived and their dad doesn't show up. I take them to pediatricians,asthma clinics,allergy clinics,dermatologist adn the list goes on. i need help.
A:  David's Answer:  You should certainly present whatever proof you have of the father's "excuses" for cancelling visits. That said, the custody/visitation Judge can't rule on the financial issues, so if there's an issue with the tax deduction, you'd need to file a support modification petition. If he's now contesting custody, however, you should definitely have a good attorney representing you. Call a NYC Child Custody attorney to schedule a consult.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Can the attorney general in NY handle paternity, child custody, and child support? If so, how long does it take, and the cost?

Q:  The father of my child lives in NYC (We used to live there together), but I am now out of state (in TX with my family - they are helping me raise the child). Texas lawyers tell me that they can serve the father with paternity, custody, and support papers, but that if he does not reply, the TX courts have no jurisdiction over him. So, they have advised me to file with the attorney general in NY, and they say it is free. Is that true? How long would it take? What if he does not respond to the papers in NY? Would a warrant be issued for his arrest, or would I have to hire a lawyer for that to happen?

A:  David's Answer:  It's a good piece of advise never to solicit legal advise on NY law from an attorney not licensed to practice here - chance are they are guessing. In your case, their guess is wrong. The Attorney General plays no role in Family Court proceedings. You would thus need to file petitions with the Family Court in the county where he resides. Here's a link for more info: That said, if you've been living in TX for more than 6 months, it's arguably TX is now the "home state" of the child for custody purposes. Moreover, additional facts are needed to assess the jurisdictional issue to determine whether NY v. TX would have jurisdiction on the support issue. The jurisdictional issues are governed by interstate statutes applicable in all 50 states. Schedule a phone consult with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

In N.Y., can one parent seek pscyh. care for a minor when the other parent withholds consent in a joint custody agreement?

Q:  My friend and his ex-wife are divorced and share equal custody (legal and physical) of their young children. Their divorce agreement says that decisions re: the health of the children should be made jointly. His ex-wife has been bringing the children to her personal therapist for treatment. My friend dislikes and distrusts this therapist since she does not seem to be able to give impartial advice. She is clearly biased in favor of his ex-wife. My friend told his ex AND the therapist that he does not consent to her treating his kids, but that he would consent to their seeing another therapist. His ex refuses to listen and keeps bringing the kids and the psychologist keeps seeing them. What, if any, recourse does he have?

A:  David's Answer:  One would need to carefully review their divorce agreement to see whether it provides for the occasion when they disagree. For instance, many such agreements require the parties to seek mediation prior to going to court. Thus, your friend is best advised to schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Last time I was in court with my ex I was asked whether I have more depositions to complete. Her lawyer said she is done with

Q:  depositions and I said that I would like to depose her boss who is paying for her legal fees. I would like to notify her lawyer that I would like to depose Plaintiff's boss via skype since I live in LA. What is the procedure for letting her know this? Do I have to pay any fees in order to depose her boss? This is a divorce/child custody/ child support case. Thank you!

A:  David's Answer:  You would need to submit an application to the Court for court approval to take a third-party deposition. Generally such depositions are not allowed in Family Court custody cases. Speak to a NYC Child Custody lawyer for more info.   -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Who Governs Forensic Evaluators , and Psychologists as Mandated reporters of Child Abuse?

Q:  I reported abuse to a psychologist acting as a forensic evaluator in a divorce custody matter.

He took no action on this at all. Psychologists are 'mandated reporters of child abuse" , but who do they report to and what actions can I take for this person's incompetence.

Is this actionable, and if so in what court?

A:  David's Answer:  Psychologists are mandated reporters, and if they receive a report of suspected child abuse, are generally required to call in same to the statewide hotline of suspected child abuse & maltreatment. That said, in the forensic context, a psychologist may also consider whether the Court has already ordered an investigation by ACS/CPS (if yes, there's no need to duplicate efforts) - and may also report same to the Judge via their forensic report. Call a NYC Child Custody attorney to schedule a consult for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (