Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Can a father who's wealthier pay the child's mother's counsel fees in child custody/visitation hearing?

Q:  I am the custodial parent (NYC)of a one year old child and was recently contacted by the father's attorney. We were never married or lived together. He has always lived out of state. I'm now in the position to respond to the attorney and I'm concerned as the father is significantly wealthier than I am. It has been an ongoing issue with him wanting to take the baby out of state for visits. Will I be responsible for attorney fees if I am the less monied parent. I'm concerned about being inadequately represented.

A:  David's Answer:  If your question is whether you have the ability to request that the father pay a portion of, or all of, the fees your lawyer would otherwise charge to you, the answer is yes. Any representation that you cannot file a counsel fee motion in a Family Court custody case is simply dead wrong on the law, as there are numerous appellate decisions confirming the ability to do so. Schedule a consult with an experienced NYC Child Custody lawyer for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

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