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Everything posted by Ted_from_Texas

  1. I'm no expert on Florida law but typically when you file for divorce certain automatic injunctions kick in that restrict both spouses' ability to incur debt and otherwise conduct significant financial transactions without the consent of the other spouse and/or the court. If you are contemplating divorce and have reason to believe your spouse would attempt to run up credit card bills to your detriment pending settlement, you should first consult a local family law attorney to learn how to either prevent it, or at least mitigate the financial impact on you. Good luck!
  2. If I understand your message correctly, your husband moved to Florida in May, followed by you and your daughter in August. I don't know what Florida's residency requirement for divorce is, but six months is typical of most states I'm aware of. If that's the case for Florida, your husband is already a resident for divorce purposes, and you will be in a few weeks. It stands to reason that you'd file in Florida. A local family law attorney can best advise you how Florida laws apply to your particular circumstances.
  3. Your message is astonishingly silent on two important points: Why has your brother's paternity never ben legally established (which is what I assume you mean by "legitimized")? And if the child's environment is as secure, loving and supportive as you describe, how can there be a "suspicion" of drug use and neglect? Can you elaborate? Under the circumstances you describe the birthmother's chance of regaining custody would seem to be slim, but we only have your description of the circumstances, which could be biased or incomplete. The grandmother/guardian would be well-advised to consult with a local family law attorney if she hasn't done so already, to go over all the facts and plan a strategy to keep the child safely in her hands. If legal fees and expenses are an issue, the financially secure relatives who surround the child can be asked to pony up. One thing is certain: until your brother establishes his paternity and steps up to assert his parental rights and responsibilities (assuming he is, in fact, the father) both he and you will remain legal strangers to the child and there's nothing you can do except stand back and watch events unfold as they will.
  4. You always have options. I'm no expert on New York law but I believe New York is a so-called equitable distribution state, which means you and your wife are each entitled to an equitable (i.e., fair) share of the total of all marital assets. As a general rule, "equitable" is held to mean a 50/50 split unless there are circumstances that suggest such an even split would be unfair to either of you. There are no such circumstances apparent in your message. Some additional facts that could be relevant: When and how were the properties acquired? Are the properties mortgaged? If so, what are the terms of the mortgage(s)? What was the source of the money used to improve the properties, and what was the nature of the improvements? Are there other assets whose value could offset the value of the properties in question? Your attorney can go over the responses to these and other relevant questions to help you determine the best course among available options. Note that you have described to us what your wife wants to do, but not what you want to do. Do you have an alternative proposal? Note also that liquidating all or some of the properties will not leave you without an income, since presumably you can use your share of the proceeds to reinvest in other properties and manage them on your own as before. I strongly suggest you consult with a local family law attorney, if you have not done so already. Good luck!
  5. Your awkward use of terminology suggests you would be well-advised to seek the assistance of a local family law attorney. Just so you know, "SAPCR" is an acronym for "Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship" and can refer to any number of family law issues. Your issue is apparently a custody order (not SAPCR order) and the SAPCR is the process that led to the order. If I read your message correctly, the other parent has repeatedly violated the terms of your custody order and you want the court to enforce it. If so, what you want is an Order to Show Cause. Your attorney can help you prepare it and defend it in court. If instead you want to change (modify) the terms of the custody order you could file a SAPCR for modification, but in that case it seems pointless to seek enforcement of the order you want to replace. Again, your attorney can help you determine your goals and advise you how best to achieve them.
  6. If the father is domiciled in Pennsylvania (regardless of where he lives) and filed for dissolution there before the mother filed in Arizona, the Pennsylvania case has precedence and the father needs to state in his response to the mother's petition that a prior case in Pennsylvania already exists. Which parent the minor children live with is irrelevant.
  7. There is no legal requirement that your daughter have a job, or that she carry college courses while in high school, do volunteer work, or graduate high school with an AA degree in addition to her high school diploma. Any work she does pursuant to the degree is therefore subordinate to the legal requirement that she visit with her mother in accordance with your divorce decree or custody order. While you personally may feel it's in your daughter's best interest to place her education and prospective career above her mother's visitation rights, there are clearly others who disagree. If you have been coaching her to place her education above her family obligations you are violating the spirit if not the letter of the custody order. Do not expect to court to back you up. If she can find a way to continue her studies while visiting Mom that's fine, but otherwise the coursework will have to yield. If that places a financial burden on you, so be it. You can't incur that burden and then use it as leverage against Mom's legal rights. Worst case, your daughter will have to wait to go to college after she gets out of high school, which is what the vast majority of students do anyway.
  8. Your message begs the question, if this man is really as bad as you say, why did you choose to have a child with him? Termination of parental rights (TPR) is a very hard goal to accomplish. Basically you will have to present compelling evidence that the father's behavior is so bad that it places your daughter's health and/or safety in jeopardy, and that the chance of his reforming is virtually nil. A history of unemployment and participation in "illegal hobbies" (whatever that means) just don't rise to that level of egregiousness. What you have said is that if you die you'd prefer your child to remain an orphan -- or even a ward of the state -- that to have even supervised contact with her father. To answer your question, I'm inclined to think the fact that he pays court-ordered child support will have little if any effect on a TPR case. I suggest you consult with a local family law attorney to discuss possible options for the care of your daughter in case anything happens to you, based on your unidentified state's laws and your particular circumstances.
  9. What "Tax_Counsel" says, plus this: Even assuming Mr Trump gets the funding and court clearance to implement his deportation plan, he's already stated he's going after "criminals" first, meaning persons convicted of crimes will get priority. There's nothing in your messages to indicate your wife has ever been convicted or even accused of a crime. While by overstaying her visa she has technically violated one or more of our immigration laws, I can assure you she will be given low priority for deportation until the million or so (who knows really how many?) true criminals will be dealt with. It could be years before your wife's case comes up, by which time the deportation policy could be changed or Mr Trump could be out of office. If you really want to maintain a relationship with your son during the foreseeable future I strongly recommend you retain the services of a family law attorney licensed to practice in the state where your child resides to set up a program for communication and visitation. As a practical matter, you're going to have to work within the system, however corrupt you believe it to be. I know this isn't what you want to hear. I'm sorry.
  10. If he is in fact the father, why do you object to his name on the birth certificate? His name on the certificate does not by itself accord him any legal parental rights -- he must still go to court for that, and the absence of his name on the certificate does not preclude him from doing so. The DNA testing is another matter. You are perfectly within your rights to withhold your consent to DNA testing outside of court, and even if you consent there's no guarantee the court won't require an additional test, so what's the point of doing it? Again, as with the birth certificate, the test result by itself doesn't confer any legal rights or obligations on you or the father. Matters of paternity, custody, child support and visitation can only be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction. Any agreement you reach with the father outside of court will have no standing in law and cannot be enforced. A local family law attorney can acquaint you with your and the father's rights, obligations and possible options under your particular circumstances and your unidentified state's laws. I strongly suggest you consult with one at your earliest opportunity.
  11. In matters concerning the custody case (i.e., custody, child support and visitation), yes. Concerning any restraining order the court could (or would) issue against him I couldn't say, but of course such an order would have no legal significance if he never travels to Georgia.
  12. The only legal question I can see that you raise here is whether you have the right to force your stepson and/or his girlfriend to leave. You do not, as long as your husband wants them to stay. Both of you have the same right to invite anyone you wish onto the marital property to stay as long as you wish, for any reason or no reason at all. Since it seems (and we only have your side of the story) that your husband has clearly and unequivocally chosen to place his son's interests above yours, and your first duty as a parent is to protect your daughter from (among other things) the fallout from drugs and violence, it appears you have already done the best you can by removing yourself and your child from the scene. What remains is to decide whether to maintain the status quo while your husband sorts out his family mess in the hope of getting back together, or to proceed with divorce or legal separation. That's a call only you can make. I strongly suggest you consult with a local family law attorney to review your rights and possible options under California laws and your particular circumstances. Good luck!
  13. Anyone can ask the school to confirm or deny that it has issued a diploma or degree to the individual. The school may comply with the request but is not legally obligated to do so. If confirmation is withheld but the court deems it to be relevant to the case, the judge can issue a subpoena or court order directing the school to provide the information, at which time the school is legally required to comply.
  14. WHY do you keep posting the same message over and over? If CPS is already in the mother's life, why do you think filing another report will help? You can, of course, but rest assured the mother will know she's being investigated. I suggest you contact the CPS caseworker who has been assigned to the case and volunteer to foster the child when and if CPS determines placement outside the home is necessary and appropriate. You will have to jump through some hoops and even then there's no guarantee you'll be accepted, but once CPS is on the case that's the best you can do.
  15. Adoptions are tricky in even the best of circumstances. It's not a matter of going down to the courthouse and signing some papers. If your parents (by whom I assume you mean your mother and stepfather) are serious about this, they need to consult a local family law attorney who specializes in stepparent adoptions to find out how to get the ball rolling. As a minimum, your biological father will have to be located to obtain his consent to the adoption. If he cannot be located or his consent is not forthcoming, the process becomes more complicated, adding additional time and expense. This is certainly not going to happen in the next week, or month. It would be more reasonable to hope for it to happen by your birthday next year. Good luck!
  16. Not sure what you mean by "just common law". A marriage is a marriage, and a valid common-law marriage is just as legal and binding as a formal marriage. There is no such thing as a "common-law divorce". If you have a valid common-law marriage in accordance with Colorado law (and it's not immediately clear from your message that you do) then you must divorce in the conventional way. I strongly suggest you consult a local family law attorney to determine your marital status and the appropriate steps to take. Of course matters of custody and child support will have to be dealt with in any case.
  17. It's not clear from your message that you did, in fact, overpay. Depending on the wording of the support order, the applicable law, and the circumstances of the case, it's not unusual for the support payment to remain unchanged when one child ages out and the other does not. I suggest you consult with a local family law attorney to review the exact wording of the order to find out whether you overpaid and if so, whether you can arrange to have all or part of the overpayment applied to the younger child's college expenses. Good luck!
  18. Somebody threw the water. Somebody broke the broom. Both are physical acts of violence. Your wife yelled (screamed?) loudly enough to disturb the neighbors. You need to understand that while many -- perhaps all -- couples argue, when the police get involved in the argument you have crossed the line into domestic violence. This is not going to disappear. For reasons I won't get into here, prosecutors will not and cannot dismiss DV charges simply because one or both of the disputants want them to. I have no idea how this incident will play out or what the ramifications will be for your wife's license, but let this serve as a wake-up call for you and your wife to stop arguing. There's counseling available if you need help or guidance to dial down your disagreements.
  19. School rules, such as disciplinary matters, or when and under what circumstances you can leave a classroom, are the province of the individual school district or the school itself, and are governed by the Texas Education Code which gives a lot of latitude to the districts in such matters. Not every school or district has the same rules. Simply put, if your school administration says you have to have parental permission to leave class, you have to have it. What happened at other schools or at other times is not relevant. If you are attending school, you must abide by the school rules. If you have reached the age of majority (18 in Texas) you may choose to drop out, but if you stay in the same rules apply to you as to other students. I hope this answers your questions.
  20. If there is a guardianship order you may not "just go get him from school." No, it's not technically kidnapping but it is violation of a court order and you can be subject to a number of legal consequences, not the least of which it could make it difficult to have the guardianship order reversed. Bite the bullet, go to court and do it right.
  21. You cannot "give" guardianship, temporary or otherwise, to anyone. Only a court can do that. If there is no court-issued guardianship order, you never officially relinquished custody and you can take your child back anytime you wish. If there is a guardianship order, the correct procedure is to petition the court to have the guardianship terminated. Consult local counsel.
  22. Court clerks have neither the training, the competence nor the authority to interpret the law or give legal advice. Unless the court order explicitly stated that the ex was prohibited from accepting a child support payment that was already processed, she is not in contempt. Add the final payment to the claim your husband is taking to small claims court.
  23. The laws that govern the adoption will be the laws of the state where the petition is filed, so you may want to consult with attorneys in both states to find out whether one state has an advantage over the other for your purposes. Otherwise, since your adoptive "child" is an adult, it doesn't matter. Assuming you file in Texas, your adoptive daughter can take your name or not as she chooses. Her children's names cannot be changed without their father's consent unless or until his parental rights are terminated, which is an entirely separate process from the adoption. The adoption will have no effect whatsoever on her custody, visitation and child support orders. And for what it's worth, her extended family members have no legal say in the matter.
  24. Whether the guardian is exceeding his or her authority depends on the terms of the guardianship order, the circumstances under which it was awarded, and the nature and severity of the ward's disability, none of which you say anything about in your message. Also missing is what the ward him- or herself has to say about it. Note that any child can converse, reason and make certain decisions, but that doesn't mean they don't need to be supervised. Since you describe the ward as a person you "care for" and not as a friend or relative, I surmise your relationship is that of a professional caregiver such as a nurse or physical therapist. As such you are probably not privy to many of the details of the ward's case and may be unable to make an accurate evaluation of the situation. "Micromanaging" a ward's activities, finances and medical care is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you have reason to believe that the guardian's actions rise to the level of physical, emotional or financial abuse or neglect, you should contact Adult Protective Services (or the equivalent authority) in the county where the ward resides and explain your concerns to a caseworker. APS has the legal authority to evaluate the facts you provide and if warranted open an investigation into the matter and intervene to take corrective action as necessary.
  25. If you don't know how much your ex makes, how do you know she makes a lot more than she did before? Just askin'. If it's been more than three years since your last child support review, or if you have reason to believe her income has changed significantly, you are free to file an action to have your share of support reevaluated. Both you and your ex will be required to produce detailed income statements for the court. Your ex's spouse (and yours if you have one) might also be required to submit statements as well. Their separate incomes will not affect the support payments but the court might want to see them in order to assure nobody is sheltering all or part of their spouse's income. Your ex's remarriage will not by itself affect child support unless it can be shown that they have a business or financial relationship as well as a marital one. (E.g., are they business partners? Does one employ the other?) A local family law attorney can best advise you on the best way to proceed and the possible success of the action.
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