Ted_from_Texas

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Ted_from_Texas last won the day on May 18

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  1. In every state, sleeping arrangements of children are left up to their parents' or legal guardians' judgment. Note that when a child is in foster care, his or her legal guardian is likely to be the state, which then may exercise its judgment in the form of regulations imposed on the foster caregiver. However, absent state involvement, the law has nothing to say about where a child sleeps or who he or she sleeps with.
  2. In a word, no. Child support is never owed to the child, but to the person who has physical custody of the child, as reimbursement for the out-of-pocket expenses of providing for the child's needs. Even if the child is away from home, there's a reasonable assumption that the custodial parent is still providing some level of support. If your husband has reason to believe his child has become self-supporting and has evidence to back it up, He is free to petition the court for a modification to his support order that reduces or terminates his obligation to his ex; however, I can think of no legal mechanism to transfer that obligation to the child. Consult local counsel.
  3. When a child is born out of wedlock (that is, when the child's parents are not married to each other) the father has no legal parental rights or obligations whatsoever until there's a court order that says he does, and what those rights and obligations are will be spelled out in the order. Until the order is in place, the mother retains all parental rights exclusively, regardless of whether she leaves the child in the temporary care of another person, whether that person is the father, a relative, friend or neighbor, or professional caregiver, and regardless of the reason she left the child in that person's care. While the mother may not just "walk in" and take the child (no person may enter another person's residence without permission of the owner or resident) she may show up on the father's doorstep with a law enforcement official and demand return of the child, and if he refuses he may be subject to any of a number of civil and/or criminal penalties. I hope this answers your questions. If you are the father in question and you want to establish and maintain your parental rights, you will have to go to court to prove your paternity (if you haven't done so already) and obtain a formal, enforceable custody and support order ("parenting plan") that specifies in detail your rights of custody and visitation, and your obligation to pay child support. A local family law attorney can help you get started.
  4. Tell your Mom that when food spoils it releases pathogens (bacteria, molds, toxins, and other whatnot) into the air around it, contaminating everything inside the refrigerator, perishable or not, in ever-increasing concentrations until it's cleaned out. At room temperature or warmer, the inside of the fridge becomes a virtual Petri dish of nasty. Even meds that are hermetically sealed (such as pills in individual foil packets) would have to be thoroughly decontaminated before they could be safely opened and consumed. The elderly, and folks not in the peak of health to begin with, are particularly vulnerable to diseases these pathogens may carry. The staff, whether she realizes it or not, did her a big favor and may even have saved her life.
  5. If your Jamaican marriage was valid 25 years ago, it's valid now (unless you have since divorced or your spouse is deceased) regardless of whatever paperwork you do or don't possess. Who is asking you to document your marriage, and why?
  6. The truth will out, sooner or later. There are too many people who know, and you have no control over what they say or do, now or in the future. Much better to reveal the truth yourself now, so you can maintain some control over how it's revealed. I'm curious as to how you think it's in your son's best interest to withhold the truth of his true parentage. Care to elaborate on that?
  7. Because your son and the child's mother were never married, he has no enforceable parental rights whatsoever until there's a court order in place that says he does and specifies what those rights are. Your son needs to go to court and obtain a formal, enforceable custody and support order ("parenting plan") that confers on him the right to see his child and the obligation to support that child in accordance with Missouri's child support guidelines. Part of the process will include a judicial determination of his legal paternity. DNA testing may or may not be required, but his name on the birth certificate is not by itself sufficient to establish paternity. A local family law attorney can explain how Missouri laws apply to his particular circumstances and help him negotiate the process. If you want to help your son, the best thing you can do is help him find and retain a lawyer. Good luck!
  8. You don't actually say, but the implication in your message is that your wife is living in the marital residence with your child, and you are not. In general, the law gives either spouse the right to invite into the marital residence anyone he or she wishes. If you could produce credible evidence that your wife's friend presents a threat to your safety, you could get a restraining order to keep him away from you, but if you're not staying in the marital residence with your wife, that won't do you much good. Even if you divorce your wife and regain control of the residence (an iffy proposition since she's there with the child) you still couldn't keep him away from her wherever she lives, as long as she wants him there.
  9. If "no one knows" about this law, how does it come to pass that you know about it? Perhaps instead of asking a bunch of lawyers -- whose job is, after all, to know the law -- or a bunch of strangers on the Internet (none of whom, to my knowledge, practice in Pennsylvania) you should approach the person who told you about it. Is he or she a lawyer? where did they get their information? It may be that you are looking at a draft piece of legislation that was never passed into law or signed by the governor. In any case, you can get a "no fault" divorce in Pennsylvania with or without your spouse's consent or cooperation. Consult local counsel.
  10. Again, your use of language gives me pause. What exactly does "She was told by the court..." mean? Does she have a court order, or is she relying on what someone told her? What does your brother turning 21 have to do with anything? I really think your mother needs to consult a local family law attorney who can ask all the right questions to determine for certain what is going on, and advise her how best to proceed. To answer your question, if she has a court order that specifies the amount of arrears owed her, she can make a claim on the father's estate and use the court order as proof of the debt.
  11. Your syntax is somewhat garbled but as near as I can make out, when your half-brother was 18 his dad owed your mother nearly $20,000 in child support arrears. Then sometime in the next three years the court lowered the arrears from $20,000 to "very little". Who sought this reduction, and on what grounds? Did your mother agree to the reduction? If in fact a court order was issued reducing the arrears (unusual but not unheard of) then your mother cannot collect on the "old" arrears. She is owed whatever the court order says she is owed. If the father passed away before even this new amount was paid, then it is still owed to her by the father's estate, but only until the estate is probated and closed. Your mother needs to file a claim on the estate ASAP if she hasn't done so already, assuming the estate is still in probate. Her claim for child support arrears should be given priority over the other debts owed by the estate. If the amount she is owed exceeds the value of the estate, she can only collect up to the value of the estate. I'm not aware of any legal mechanism by which she can collect from a source other than the estate. Consult local counsel.
  12. Just so you know, child support arrears are never paid to the child. They are paid to the person to whom they are owed, which would be the person you were directed to pay by the child support order that was in effect when the arrears were incurred. As far as arrears are concerned, the fact that that person no longer has custody of the children is irrelevant. You don't say anything about current child support, as distinct from child support arrears. If there is a court order in place designating the grandmother as the child(ren)'s custodian and awarding her support, you should be paying that to her as well. If there is no such order, you are, at least for now, off the hook for current support. Your public defender's role is probably limited to the matter of enforcement of the support arrears, and has nothing to say about current support. To find out where to go from here concerning current and future custody, support, and visitation matters, you should consult a local family law attorney.
  13. If you really do have all the facts, and you are aware of the legal significance of each fact, and you know how to present these facts to the court in a way that best supports your case, then no, you don't need a lawyer. On the other hand, if that's the case, why do you keep asking for advice in a forum that expressly prohibits, by its own rules and by California law, giving legal advice? No member of this forum who practices law will ever tell you you don't need a lawyer, and why would you credit anything you read here from someone who doesn't practice law? It seems clear to me (in spite of what you wrote in your original message) that you don't want to hire a lawyer, and that's your call to make. So my advice, which is free and worth every penny, is to get offline, gather your facts, take them to court and present them as you feel will be most effective, and when the judge rules you'll find out whether you did the right thing.
  14. Based only on what you've shared here, and knowing nothing about his side of the story, he's blowing smoke. In the first place, he can't put you in prison, only a judge can do that, and then only if you've been convicted of a felony. Even if you were a horrible mother and even if you really did lie about him to the kids, and even if you violated your custody order, you wouldn't have committed a felony offense. If your ex had consulted a lawyer, he or she would have told him that. In the second place, if your ex had retained an attorney to take you to court for custody, the first step would have been to file a complaint or petition in the appropriate court and you would have received notice officially, not second-hand through your father. I suggest you listen to your own logic and put this whole incident on the back burner. When and if you are served notice, you can consult a local attorney who will help you effectively defend your case.
  15. As far as I know, Ohio is not a state where recreational use of marijuana is legal. The drugs were in your house. The paraphernalia was in your house. The fact that the kids were not in your house at the time of your husband's arrest does little to help your case. You and your husband both use, and you apparently use in the house where your kids either reside or visit frequently. It's possible you have managed to keep your habit so far concealed from the kids, but I doubt it. Kids aren't stupid, especially by the age of 13. If they don't already know what's going on in your bedroom, they will soon, and kids learn by example. I can't predict how the custody action(s) will pan out, but the choices you and your husband have made up until now do not make you look good in the eyes of the court. Consider this a wake-up call, clean up your act, and get a good lawyer.