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Joe Lewis

Joe Lewis’s Answers

94 total


  • Will my ex receive visitation?

    My child is 7 years old. The biological has not been around since 6 months old (I forced visits, though he saw her only 5-6 times). I'm married now 3 years, with my husband 4 1/2 years. We would like to file for adoption and we were wondering if h...

    Joe’s Answer

    This is a tricky area, and it's almost impossible to predict an outcome, but IF the biological father wishes to press for visitation, he certainly can regardless of adoption proceedings. This would be a family court case, not probate court. That said, the situation you describe doesn't lend itself to more than occasional supervised visitation at most. You shouldn't have too much trouble defending against any actions he might take.

    As far as probate is concerned, the same sort of best interest analysis that takes place in family court will take place in the adoption proceeding. The need to tell a good story, and describe a good plan for the child is paramount in a positive outcome. The fact that a bio-dad either does not contest it or shouldn't win because his behavior over the years has been atrocious will only help the petitioner, but shouldn't be the crux of any petitioner's case.

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  • Can I use facebook and phone messages in court proving adultry? Messages were backed up on our general use computer at home.

    Is that considered illegal ?

    Joe’s Answer

    There are very, very few reasons why a Maine court would entertain evidence or testimony about adultery. Public policy is strongly against the notion of airing out a couple's dirty laundry, or make one party pay for their tawdry -- but otherwise legal -- behavior. (The main exception would be to show a significant waste of marital resources.)

    The court is happy to grant you a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. There is no burden of proof...you just have to say that you don't think you can work out your issues.

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  • Roommate refuses to move out

    Currently my fiancee and I rent a home, we are the only two on the lease. We have a mutual friend who agreed to pay 1/3 of the expenses to include rent, lights, heat etc. Our roommate hasn't paid his share. After 3 months we asked him to move out ...

    Joe’s Answer

    You are enduring cracked ribs and physical fights around your child, and you wonder what can be done? It is was me, I would move! Even if there were a court-based way to get this roommate out, that's definitely going to take months, and cost lots. Being right and being smart are not always the same thing. In this case, the smart thing is to cut your losses and move on, even if it's not "right."

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  • I have 3 unpaid parking tickets from 3 and 4 years ago ($150 total) for parking on the street in front of my appt with no meters

    I was simply parked too long (24 hours). This was in Portland, ME and now live in another city. I have received a traffic since (which I did pay) and no mention of the parking tickets was made. Should I be worried?

    Joe’s Answer

    I wouldn't worry, but you need to remember that Portland will boot your car if they find it and there are three or more outstanding parking tickets. Just pay the tickets.

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  • What's my next step?

    My Mum passed away. She had a Living Will, a House, a $10,000 Life Insurance Policy, and a $30,000 Trust. According to her Will her Estate was to be divided equally between three siblings; Older Sister, Older Brother, and Myself. My brother spent ...

    Joe’s Answer

    Sorry for your loss.

    You should definitely consult a local lawyer who can gather all the appropriate facts, determine what your rights are, and come up with a game plan for getting what's yours or otherwise holding the others to account.

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  • My knee was broken by a dog. Can I sue for damages and medical expenses?

    A dog ran into me and broke my left knee at the joint. I was on crutches for 8 weeks and in a soft cast. I have done Pt and am continuing to have pain and limited motion. I am still seeing an orthopedic Dr. I'm not sure what the outcome will be.

    Joe’s Answer

    Assuming you can tie your accident to the actual dog, then you absolutely should pursue a lawsuit. Also, you don't mention where you were, or what were the circumstances of this event. Any witnesses? In any event, most personal injury lawyers will offer you a free consultation to review your situation in-depth. You should consider contacting a local lawyer.

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  • I'm just wondering, and I can't find it anywhere, what the legal justification is for adultery laws.

    I'm aware that adultery is rarely prosecuted, though it is still illegal in 21 states, but I'm wondering what the rationale for these laws are. I know what the laws say, and the consequences, but can't seem to find the actual reasoning behind it. ...

    Joe’s Answer

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID2509311_code1222553.pdf?abstractid=2509311&mirid=1

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  • What should I do after I get served the divorce papers by sheriff?

    the plaintiff request is to set apart the non marital property to each party and divide the marital property. I have 20 days to answer and I was wondering what should I answer!? (we do not have children) Is there any form that I should fill or m...

    Joe’s Answer

    Service of the papers is the first step for Plaintiff. In order for you to protect your rights, you should file an answer and counterclaim. I've added a link to the appropriate form to this post. Filing this form with the court basically tells the court that you are aware of the divorce, and that you want to be heard on any issues in dispute.

    So that's the easy part. The harder part is knowing what the law is when it comes to property, and to make sure that you are getting your fair share. Alimony might also come into the mix. The hardest part is getting that fair share by knowing how to work the court system.

    The bottom line is that you should absolutely be working with an attorney if you have property on the line. Most local family lawyers will offer a free consultation.

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  • What are the odds of winning a case against a motion of modification of child and spousal support which was made within 4 months

    If a divorce was finalized in March 2014, and only one month later the payor of child and spousal support was "laid off" and filed a motion to modify the above support, will a judge accept this if it is considered a temporary change of circumstan...

    Joe’s Answer

    It is within one party's rights to seek relief from a support order if his or her income earning potential has changed. That said, the other party can argue that this new income reality is voluntary underemployment or unemployment, and keep the support level the same. The court's aren't going to tell the payor that he can't change jobs or careers, but it will tell him that he may not force his children and ex-spouse to pay the freight on that change.

    You need a lawyer.

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