Question: My wife threatened me that she will file a restraining order if I won’t come home at the specified time that she wants. Is that reasonable? We are not on good terms but I have never abused her in any way, and I can say that I am a good provider financially. I am a family man working hard for our living. I would admit that she found out that I am dating another woman but still I go home everyday, but I arrive home late like before 12pm the latest. Can I counter her restraining order if I’m not doing any harm to her.Your prompt advise is greatly appreciated.
Answer: Generally a restraining order is not utilized monitor spousal relationship like you have described. Also generally a cause of action will have to be filed before a restraining order can be issued. Usually, they are issued to prohibit abuse (physical or financial).
Greg in Colorado,
Question: My wife and I live in Colorado. My wife decided to baptize my son at her home town of El Paso TX. Now she is saying that she dosen’t want to come back home and that she will not let me take my son back home. My son is 8 months old and is a resident of Colorado. I gave her permision to leave the state for two weeks. It has now been a little over a week. How can I get my son back to Colorado?
Answer: Once the child is in Texas for 6 months, then Texas has jurisdiction over him and he is a resident of Texas. You need to take prompt action on getting a case filed in Colorado and requesting a writ to return him immediately.
Troy in Oregon,
Question: I have decided to back out of a deal made in a settlement meeting with my ex, her attorney, my attorney, and myself. Question is, if nothing was signed, was there a legal agreement reached? Is the settlement official?
Answer: Generally settlements are not legally enforceable unless they are signed by everyone and indicated as nonrescindable or if there was a record made at court relating to a final agreement.
Darrel in Arkansas,
Question: I will be starting my divorce with my wife in the next few months. I have been the primary care giver with dropinng the kids off every morning and picking up from school. I do the majority ot things that the mother are usually credited with doing. I want to know what are my chances of joint custody. I work and I have a very good track record.
Answer: The court will do what is in the best interests of your children. Since you have been very involved in their care, this certainly increases your odds. The better equip yourself, start a log of all that you do and what your wife does it will be helpful to the court.
Mitchell in Texas,
Question: I’m currently 44 years old living in TX. I was married in Michigan at 21 and had 3 kids. The marriage didn’t work out and I’m now married to my second wife for 14 years. I’ve paid my ordered support the best I could over the years but since my new marriage the bill for back support has climbed to massive proportions. When I was younger I made good money and my support payments where close to 170.00 per child a week! Because of my health I’ve been working on and off but my payments never decreased. My 3 kids are now all over 18 years old and I still will be paying for support for the rest of my life because of back payments. I’m disabled now and receiving SSI for only 540.00 a month and the gov. garnishes half that check leaving me 260.00 a month to live on. I can’t even afford to fill out a court form to have that changed because the form costs 60.00 just to file it. I guess my question is. Am I just screwed for life or what?
Answer: The court has no jurisdiction to change your child support obligation as your children are emancipated. Also generally the interest and penalties are statutorily ordered and can not be changed by a judge.
Rhonda in Connecticut
Question: My boyfriend pays his ex $2600.00 a month for his two girls. He has them one night a week over night because he works 6days a week 12hour days. The money ultimately pays the mortgage on her home. The question is her boyfriend lives with her and does not work and she makes little money to pay the food and utilities. Can the father do anything about this. His children are suffering because they really can’t afford this big house. He has pleaded with her to sell and take the $2600.00 for a smaller house with less cost. Does he have any recourse?
Answer: The courts very rarely look into the use of the child support by the payee parent. The only way they will order an accounting is if the children are neglected and their physical needs are not being met. Most likely, there is no remedy to allow oversight.
Shawona in New York
Question: My husband and I live in NYC, but his child lives in Pennsylvania. He pays child support but has to go there to visit his child, he wants to bring her to NYC, but the mother wont allow it. He has not gone through the court cause he fears the court battle and he feels he will loose. What can we do?
Answer: Generally a parent has the right to bring the child to their home to visit unless it is unsafe or there is a problem. It sounds like it is worth pursuing a further order to get more quality time with the child.
Ask A Lawyer is powered by the father-friendly attorneys of Cordell & Cordell, PC.
Clarissa Finnell is an Associate Attorney in the Indianapolis office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and has been licensed in Indiana since 1997.
Read more about Clarissa Finnell.
Dorothy Walsh Ripka is the Team Leader of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. offices in Dallas, Fort Worth and Memphis. Ms. Ripka is a seasoned attorney who has devoted her practice exclusively to domestic relations. She is licensed to practice law in Texas, Missouri and Illinois.
Read more about Dorothy Ripka.