Saturday, August 30, 2014

Is this a conflict of interest?

Q: I am currently seeking mediation in relation to a family dispute. However, my ex-husband's mother used to work for the attorney that the mediator works for. My ex's mother DID work alongside the mediator, therefore, creating a bias situation.

Mediator's are supposed to be independent but, on this occasion, she has been brainwashed by my ex mother-in-law.

What can I do?

A: David's Answer:  Since mediation is voluntary anyway, if you're uncomfortable using the mediator, then just ask for another one. It's the extremely rare circumstrances were a prior agreement would lock you into a particular mediator.  - David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My ex is not abiding to the visitation. My child's bday lands on my weekend and my ex is taking her anyways. can she be arreste

Q: I have a decree that states I have every other weekend and Wednesdays. My ex is insisting that she will take my daughter on my weekend anyways.

 A: David's Answer: The police would not generally get involved unless you are the custodial parent. Otherwise, whether she is "entitled" to access on the child's birthday depends on whether the agreement/order provides for time on holidays, vacations & the birthday. If it does, then holiday/vaca/b-day time trumps the regular access schedule. - David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Saturday, August 16, 2014

In a temporary order for a custody case do I have to file a motion to get permission to appeal?

Q: I understand I have 35 days from the date of mailing to file the appeal. Does filing a motion to get permission to appeal affect how much time I have to file the notice of appeal?

A: David's Answer: Regarding your 2d question: no, it does not. You must do BOTH - you must file the notice of appeal (with ancillary documents) as well as the motion for permission to file an appeal when appealing from a temporary order. At the least the notice of appeal should be filed within the 35-day deadline while the motion should ideally be filed simultaneously or as soon thereafter as possible. - David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Friday, August 8, 2014

Can someone be made to pay child support while out of work on public assistance?

Q: I became ill and was hospitalized. During that time my marriage came apart and older child ran off with the spouse. Husband supported me throughout the marriage while I raised our child. I started to work part time to help make ends meet. The majority of bills were in my sole name. Now i am left with an overwhelming amount of debt on the mortgage as well as unpaid household bills and credit cards with no income. I've been out of part time work for over two years. Is it legal to make me pay, and take money out of cash assistance?

A: David's Answer: It would be "legal" to do so in this instance, if it's reduced to a court order. The support can then be executed against any form of income. You should therefore keep a job search diary detailing a minimum of 20-30 efforts to find full-time work commensurate with your work history & education. For a full assessment, schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Support lawyer.-- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Can I sue for custody of a child not biologically related if child is in danger.

Q: Child lived with my family since birth. Mom took child away a year ago because child is more independent. Since child is unhappy and is left alone most days while mom is away at work.

A: David's Answer: When you say "child is left alone," whether the child is "in danger" depends on the age of the child. If the child is over 10, then the child can likely take care of him/herself - thus while not an ideal situation for the child, there wouldn't necessarily be any danger. If the child is being left alone & is under 10, then you should consider calling in a report of suspected child neglect. Call a Bronx Child Custody lawyer to schedule a consult for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Signing your rights over

Q: My child doesn't live with me.. I do get to see my child but when the custodial parent doesn't get there way with me, and it never involves the child it's more like personal issues, she takes me to court.. I want to sign my rights over, she's a good mom I want my child with her but court is to much.. can I still see my child if she allows me? Is it against the law?

A: David's Answer: There is no mechanism to terminate your own parental rights under NY law outside of the context of an adoption proceeding. Whether you then exercise or enforce your visitation rights is up to you. Schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody lawyer for more info. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Support attorney (

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Spouse has file sole custody to exclude me, can i file a motion for a temporary custody. kids are better off with me...

Q: Spouse has file sole custody to exclude me, can I file a motion for a temporary custody. Kids are better off with me..what would the judge look for in making that decision?

A: David's Answer: If your spouse already has custody of the children, then to switch custody pending trial there must be some well-documented emergency going on, such as abuse or neglect. In that instance, you should consider calling ACS and/or asking the Judge to order a COI report from ACS. Schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody lawyer for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Visitation question

Q: So my child mother and I were looking through a calendar and we both noticed something. I've never had my child on any given holiday because his mother wouldn't allow it (not even split birthdays). For the first time ever our visitation order allows me to have my child on Mother's Day and Father's Day my only two holidays in a year. My child mother is trying to threaten to take me to court or give up my holidays which is suppose to be on my visitation day. Am I obligated to not get my child on Mother's Day or Father's Day because those are my visitation days or should I pick up my child on those days since it is my court ordered visitation day.

A: David's Answer: Generally holidays trump "normally-scheduled" visitation days. Thus, whether those are "your days" versus "her days" will depend on a review of the order. Thus, you're best advised to schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full review & assessment. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Ex is relocating with our daughter to NC and was unaware. Went to court and going to trial. What to prove to stop relocation?

Q: Joint legal custody with my daughter. Ex remarried and had a son and now feel that they should get a fresh start in another place, North Carolina. Not knowing, a recent trip I took to Peru for 3 weeks, when I got back, a day later, my ex and daughter revealed that they were going to NC permanently. I said yes, but later that night changed my mind to collect my thoughts and thought this would not be in the best interest of my daughter since she was doing well in her school and has her friends and family here in NY.

A: David's Answer: To fully assess the case, one would need to know many more facts. How old is the child? Is her preference genuine, or influenced by the custodial parent? Why do they feel they need a "fresh start?" What has your level of access been with the child? How involved are you with the other activities (school, medical, extracurricular, etc.) the child has? Have you been compliant with child support? Is there a feasible plan offered whereby you can maintain a similar level of access to the child even with the move? You're best advised to schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney ( 

How do I get the courts to intervene?

Q: I have a court order stating that my child may only be transported by a party holding a valid US license. NCP has no valid US license but continues to drive a vehicle registered by a friend. She's not listed on insurance as authorized driver, I'm certain. Today she had her cousin who's visiting from another state transport our son in this vehicle. I explained to her that I wasn't comfortable as I'm pretty certain this cousin is not listed as an authorized driver either. NCP just got 2nd ticket for unlicensed op and they still haven't taken vehicle from her. Is there any language I can get put in to final order that bars NCP from basically circumventing the law to transport our son or any way to compel the facilitator to appear before judge and explain why she allows unlicensed driver.

A: David's Answer: The issue (to me) isn't so much of an authorized or unauthorized driver, but more whether the NCP is violating the strict terms of the order. If she is, then right her a default notice letter asking her to cease violating the order. If she doesn't abide, file a violation petition. Schedule a consult with a Child Custody lawyer in your area for more info. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Judges are imposed to sharing parenting and joint custody if both parents are fit.Im a father and would like to know whats the

Q: What is the best and secure way to make this happen?

A: David's Answer: First, Judges rarely "impose" joint & shared custody, though they do encourage at least joint custody. If you are very involved with the child (have nearly equal access), are very involved with the child's extracurricular activities, share in taking the child to appointments (such as Dr. appointments) and share in decisions regarding the child in an amicable fashion, then you're well on your way to establishing a good case for joint custody. Schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

I filed for sole custody but have changed my mind- how do I get out of it?

Q: I didn't realize my children would have to be directly involved when I filed and I don't want to put them through it.

A: David's Answer: All you'd need is to send a letter to the court withdrawing your petition (assuming the opposing party hasn't filed a counter-petition). That said, the only aspect where your children would be "involved" is via an interview in a lawyer's office & possibly (IF the case goes to trial) a private interview in the Judge's chambers outside of the presence of the parents. Before deciding anything, it may behoove you to schedule a consult with a NYC Child Custody lawyer. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

Can lying to the police during visitation of a be child okay?

Q: I have an order protection against my daughters father because he used to abuse me. Now he is fighting for visitation and is constantly lying to the police officers saying that on the order of visitation my husband is not allowed to come to drop off and pick up because he claims my husband threatened him, which never happened, but on the order of visitation it says his wife isn't allowed due to acs reasons. He tries to say that I'm supposed to be at the precinct at 9:30am when it says 10am. The police officer says that he's trying to to find something to get me In to trouble. He argues with the air because I ignore him in front of our daughter. He always starts with me and my husband and even when I'm alone he is worst. He disrespected me and questions my ability to be a mother.

A: David's Answer: Lying to the police should not be okay, and I'd suggest to get a police report confirming the falsehoods he's made. Ultimately unless the police are willing to give you a report, a letter, an affidavit - something - it's probably not going to go too far in court. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (