Q: What action should I take if my spouse or ex-spouse refuses to give me parenting time with the children (visitation)?
A:
The first thing you should do is contact the police and have a police report prepared documenting the interference with your parenting rights. If interference with your parenting time continues you can bring a proceeding to hold the mother in contempt, change the visitation arrangement or request for a change of custody.
Q: Can a father withhold child support payments if he is deprived of his parenting time (visitation) with his children?
A:
No! Child support payments and visitation are separate issues. One is not related to the other. If your spouse or ex-spouse prevents you from having parenting time (visitation) with your children and you are paying child support, you cannot stop making child support payments. This is true even if you have no contact with your children.
Q: If I remarry and have additional children, can I have my child support payments reduced?
A:
No. The fact that you have after born children is not a basis for reduction in child support payments. This is true even if the after born children from another relationship cause you financial distress.
Q: What is an attorney for the child?
A:
An attorney for the child is a court appointed attorney whose responsibility is to protect the child’s best interests. The attorney for the child presents the child’s point of view to the court. Attorneys for the child or children are appointed both in the Supreme Court and the Family Court in New York.
Q: What are forensics in a divorce situation?
A:
Forensics and forensic psychologists provide reports to judges giving them more information, and in some cases suggestions, as to who is the most capable parent. These reports can indicate who should have custody of the children. In addition to psychologists, courts sometimes appoint social workers and/or psychiatrists to do forensic reports. Forensic evaluators meet with both parents and the children. Sometimes they meet with other individuals living in the parties’ residence. Some judges take forensic evaluator’s recommendations very seriously, while others do not consider their reports to be of significant value. It depends on the circumstances of the case and the judge.
Q: Can I tape record conversations between me and the mother of my children?
A:
Yes, provided you are a party to the conversation. In New York, you can tape record conversations on the phone and in person only if you are participating in the conversation. You cannot tape conversations with anyone with whom you are not communicating. This would constitute a crime.
Q: Can I tape my children’s conversations with their mother?
A:
No. Since you are not a party to these conversations, they are private communications and it would be a violation of New York State law and Federal law to tape these conversations. In addition, it would breach the confidential relationship your children have with their mother by your taping their communications.