Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Do You Want To Ask An Attorney A Question For Free?

Drum roll please.....

The moment you have all been waiting for....

(well maybe not all of you, but you should have been, he is a pretty cool dude)

Who would like to talk to Mr. Attorney Man?

You've seen me mention him on this blog quite a few times and it got me thinking, would you like a chance to talk to him?

The idea struck me that since many of you are in or have been in a domestic violence situation, are single moms, have gone through or are going through a divorce, are struggling to get your ex to pay child support, and so on, and so forth, that maybe some of you have a few questions about your situation that he might be able to answer.

With that in mind I asked him if he might be willing to get involved with a blog post and he said he would be happy to answer reader questions that fall within the realm of Family Law.

Do you have a question about divorce? Custody? Child support? Order of Protection?

Here's your chance to ask that question to a real live attorney, for free!

Ask your question in the comments section below and Mr. Attorney Man will answer them in an upcoming post. I do ask you to remember that he is a very busy guy whose time is tied up with his very real clients, so I can't promise that he will get to every single question but he will do his best to answer what time allows.

I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with!

***************************

And because everyone in this country is sue-happy, I have to add a legal disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER: Any information given is intended for general informational purposes only. The information should not be construed as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any response given does not result in any further obligation to provide an additional response. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.


***********************************

34 comments:

  1. I am not in need of legal advice but I was curious about something. Why are fathers or ex-husbands sometimes allowed to be scapegoated? They are forced to pay child support more than they can afford and thrown in jail when they inevitably can't pay. Being in jail or not having a car make it even harder to make money. On top of that these fathers might not get joint custody or even visitation time more than once two weeks or something. Notwithstanding the father being abusive. Aren't the fathers getting a raw deal as well as the mother or children?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a loaded topic. I don't see it as having to name a scapegoat. I don't think the realization is clear until one person has to be mommy, daddy, and everything in-between. The rules child support specifies are not nearly as harsh as the reality of raising children alone. We all made personal decisions that have to take a back seat to the needs of our children. Some bad decisions should not have been made without thinking of how we are going to support our kids.

      Delete
    2. And that right there is the sound of a whiney father. First off, fathers are not made to pay more than they can afford. In most states they are forced to pay a set percentage of their income. If they can't afford to pay that much, then that means that they are living beyond their means. The mother and children should not suffer because a father has a mortgage that is higher than he can afford and therefore chooses not to pay his child support. If there are extenuating circumstances, then it's the fathers responsibility to get himself into court and go before a judge, which many noncompliant fathers don't do and therefore get thrown in jail. Child support agreements can be modified to relect income changes and yet many fathers seem to feel as though "oh I lost my job, I can stop paying now," which is not the case. Get your ass into court and modify it through the court system. If you fail to do that, you are going to jail. If the judge hears your case and decides against you, then maybe you need to be working a bit harder to provide for your family. Child support needs to come first and then a father needs to work the rest of his life around his remaining income, not the other way around.

      I won't comment on visitation because that often comes down to how good your attorney is and how much care the father provided to the child before the seperation, but your beliefs on child support are completely whacked.

      By the way, I am not Mr. Attorney Man, just someone who knows how the system works.

      Delete
  2. Is Mr. Attorney Man single?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, he has an amazing girlfriend and they are extremely happy together :)

      Delete
    2. Good for him! Sad for the rest of us :)

      Delete
    3. Haha! Were you planning some sort of chance encounter? How funny

      Delete
  3. What, if any, recourse do I have for obtaining support for my two children when their father works a job for a week quits and repeats. I do have a court order, however, I am spending so much time and money going to the courthouse to continuously file withholding orders for the employers only to get a letter weeks later that he quit. He's been MIA for 7 months with no contact with the children. Do I have options at all?

    ReplyDelete
  4. How+why did you get into the pro-bono side of divorce/family law?

    ReplyDelete
  5. The father of my children abandoned them about a year before being incarcerated. They were 4 and 2 years old at the time. The only time he has tried to contact us was in 2009 when he asked to vacate his entire child support obligation (he is in arrears $69,000 currently). The court denied his request. This past December he was paroled to a half way house in a not so nice area. Once again he requested to vacate his entire child support arrears and this time was seeking to reconnect with the kids. The court again denied this request. I am not comfortable with introducing violent and criminal behaviors into my children's lifestyle. I will be in debt until I die to pay back the money it cost me to gain an education (I am working on a Doctorate) so I can provide them with a safe environment and so they can live in a nice neighborhood. My oldest is now 17. My questions are: Are there precautions that can legally be set in place in the event that I become forced to introduce this man to my children? I am concerned for their physical and emotional wellbeing. Also, at what age will the court terminate the need for child support and shared custody arrangements? Can I seek to have them terminated at 18? This man is NOT a father. He has had no contact with us in 13 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOW that's a lot of money. Geesh. He owes you like half a house! Good question! I'm fairly certain that custody and child support end at age 18 or when the child graduates high school, but what the hell do I know. I'll be interested in hearing the answer.

      Good luck dear, that's a tough situation to be in :(

      Delete
  6. My parents are currently separated. My father is unstable and unpredictable due to mental illness and various addictions. My mother has been waiting for the right time to serve him papers, but has not yet done so. She tried once and he "ran away" to escape having to deal with it.

    My siblings and I would like them to divorce and move on with their separate lives. It would be healthiest for everyone (including him). What kind of options does she have? Will she have to stay married to him if he refuses to sign the papers? Any advice would be appreciated it.

    Thank you,
    Haley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry your family is going through a rough time :( Thanks for your question!

      Sending you and your family BIG *hugs*

      Delete
  7. What made you want to help Eden? Surely there are many women that need help, why her? I don't say this in a troll like manner, just curious as to why you would invest yourself into her case, a case that appears to be quite intense.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Are we allowed to ask other types of questions? I would like to know what you have learned from Eden. She is such an inspiration on this blog for so many people and she talks so highly of you, what have you learned from her? I guess I'm just interested in knowing what it's like to know her in "real life." It's quite apparent that she has made some impact on you or you wouldn't be involved in her nonprofit and her book, can you tell us a little bit about that? Your relationship dynamic intrigues me and I wonder if she is just as engaging in real life as she appears to be with her readers.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Let's see, he has learned a lot of corny jokes, how annoying I can be, and that I don't go away easily. I think he just keeps me around because I bake for his office staff every once in a blue moon.

      Delete
  9. I deleted my comment because I realized I was signed into my account and due to the nature of the comment, would rather be anonymous with this. I realize it's probably too late (once it's out there, it's out there!) but better safe than sorry. Here it is, in anonymous form:

    My aunt dropped her 10-year-old daughter off at her father's house (the daughter's father, my aunt's ex-husband) for a visitation weekend, then decided she wanted to sever all parental rights/responsibilities and sign over full custody to the guy. She never told either of them she was doing this, she just didn't show up on that Sunday to pick up her daughter and ignored all phone calls for 2 days. Then she finally answered her ex's call and said, "I don't want her anymore. You raise her." before hanging up.

    If she wants nothing to do with her daughter and has signed (according to what I've been told) away all her parental rights, is she under any obligation to help out financially with her daughter's life? What recourse does my uncle have?

    Thanks. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many cold-hearted people in this world. How awful for that little girl! My Girl Child has a hard enough time and she was significantly younger than 10. How sad :(

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure you can sign away your parental rights to the extent you aren't obliged financially. I say this because there are whole web sites of men's rightsers complaining about the fact they can't have 'paper abortions' from parental responsibility.

      However I think the law is still catching up with the concept of dead beat mums. Morally she should certainly be providing child support, and I gather there are more instances of women being required to do so. It probably depends on which state they live in, and how good a lawyer the child's father can afford.

      I feel bad for the child, things must have been pretty terrible at home, to then be rejected like that is really going to mess her up. :(

      Delete
    3. From conversations I've had with the 10-year-old's older brothers (they're closer to my age and are actually the same age as my brother and sister - 20s and 30s), life at home was pretty normal for her. My aunt's seriously crazy, there's no doubt about that. But I don't think things were too terrible.

      I honestly just think my aunt up and decided she didn't want to be a parent anymore. No rhyme or reason. Just made a sudden, out of the blue decision.

      I can't decide if that's better or worse. Better that my cousin didn't have a terrible home life, but worse because she had absolutely no idea this was coming. :(

      My uncle makes pretty good money as does his wife. I don't know much about how or even if he wants to fight it. I have a feeling he's not going to fight it though, only because doing so would enrage my aunt, and he doesn't want their daughter to witness any more of her crazy.

      Delete
  10. My husband and I have been married for over 15 years and yet my name is still not on our house. (He owned it before we married, but he only got it a few years before, so it's not like it was paid for before I came along, or his inherited family property or anything.) I keep asking him to add me and he keeps saying that it doesn't matter, but that if I do all the work and get all the papers together to do that for him then he'll sign them, whatever. But of course only the owner can do that, somebody with no current legal status connected to it can't get the property paperwork on a house, just like they can't go to the DMV and get a random car title either (and a good thing too, or some stranger could add themselves to your house or acquire your vehicle) so it's a catch-22, or so it seems. He says it doesn't matter, and we live in a community property state anyway, so why worry, but my worry is not just what happens if we were to split up, but that if something happens to him, God forbid, even though our wills name each other and all, it will become a big mess and I really do need to be on the title now already. What do you think? (Also, I am still unsure about how to be added, i.e., joint tenants vs tenants in common, and then there's something I heard about setting up a trust, etc.?) I wish I knew the best thing to do and the best way to go about it. ??? (And if he's right and it doesn't really matter... I think it does, myself though.) ?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooo, that's a good one! I think I know the answer but will be interested to see what Mr. Attorney Man has to say!

      Delete
  11. How can a child decide if (s)he is abused at home or not? When relatives make him feel inferior quite often in many ways, he cries inside, but still doesn't know if it is a real violence or just a human imperfection that others treat him that way? And he really want to get some help, but doesn't have nobody to turn? And is afraid that if he asks for help at school, his situation will become more "public", because the teachers have a duty to inform proper authorities? Is there something between the total revelation and total silence he can choose? How to find someone trusted who can look at everything more objectively? Excluding the help line, we assume he doesn't have a phone.

    Kisses for you, Eden. You are so warm, good, cute, awesome and crazy ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. How has it felt for you to read Eden's version of the events that you have been involved with? Do you think it is making you a better attorney because you are able to get an in depth view of what your clients, specifically victims of abuse, are dealing with? What has been your greatest surprise in this process?

    And just because I'm a big Eden fan I have to ask, is she really this fun in real life? (Not saying that you aren't fun IRL Eden, just seem like you would be a blast to hang out with and I want to hear it from someone who knows you!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you the same person who asked above what I am like in real life? Oh COURSE he is going to tell you I'm fun. BECAUSE I'M FUN.

      Right Mr. Attorney Man? RIGHT!???

      Delete
  13. I have sole custody of my 12 year old son who sees his mom every week at a supervised parenting center per our custody order. I got sole custody 4 years ago due to her mental health issues, chemical dependency, personality disorder type stuff and history of abuse and stalking. She wants to see him more and see him unsupervised and I want him to see her more but I am wary because she hasn't completed any of the parts of the court order that said she had to get evaluated and treated. The court order also says she has to be at a supervised parenting time center. I shouldn't go around the court order and let her see him outside of there, right? Should I let her see him at the center but in an unsupervised room like she wants? I don't have contact with her so don't know how she's doing and I don't trust her because of our history. Should I contact her and set up a meeting to see how’s she’s doing, if she’s healthier/sober now? How would I even be able to discern something like that? She’s been living with some very religious relatives for the past 4 years who swear she’s doing great, is sober, has become a Christian, goes to bible study and church, and has transformed into this wonderful woman and have offered to supervise her visits with him. But I don’t know these relatives and don’t trust them either. I wish I could make her get evaluated and treated so I would know she’s better so our son could see her more. Is there any way I could get her to do that? My son cries sometimes that he misses his mom and that she loved him more than anyone and he feels more comfortable with her than anyone and I wish I could make everything better for him somehow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That breaks my heart to hear :( I'll leave the legal stuff up to Mr. Attorney Man to answer, but if I may offer a few words of advice and hugs on the son part, that is extremely typical. Kids can't grasp what they don't understand and so when they grieve the loss of the person not there, they make them bigger. "I'm really sad I don't have my mom... so it must be because she was the greatest! It hurts that she isn't here... and that must be because she loved me the most." They give meaning to their pain by putting the absent parent up on a pedestal, because they don't know how to grieve concepts that are way beyond their understanding. All they know is that they hurt bc the other parent isn't there, and since they don't feel that same loss and pain with you, it causes them to think maybe they love the other parent more, the person that could take away their grief if they just came back. They don't understand that just because they want something doesn't mean it isn't good for them. As much as it hurts to see him in pain, you as his father need to make the decisions that you feel are best for him and his safety, even if they collide with what he wants. Has he been in counseling? Sometimes it's easier for kids to be able to process and work through these emotions when it's with someone who doesn't have a stake in the game. It's just a thought. I wish you well and and sending big empathetic hugs. It hurts, I know it does :(

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your reply. He has been in counseling on and off since he was 4 to help him deal with this situation. I do not currently have him in counseling as his therapist discharged him saying that he was doing very well. I still think about bringing him back but for now he is not.Thank you for your insight regarding his idealizing his mother... it makes sense that he would make sense of his pain in that way. Very insightful and helpful, I will keep it in mind next time he says those things.

      Delete
  14. After reading about how much Eden loses it when she goes to court, what did you think of the post "because no one ever told me" dated Oct. 22nd when she went to court on criminal charges? I'm an attorney as well and I have a few clients that I could not fathom sending into court alone, and my heart leapt when I read that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. what have you learned about working with victims since working with eden and reading her blog?

    ReplyDelete