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Philip Smith Burnham II
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Philip Burnham’s Answers

422 total


  • How to Subpoena documents in family case?

    I don't have a lawyer but am I able to subpoena documents from the other parties place of employment? It will help prove that the other party is being untruthful and hopefully will help to keep my child safe.

    Philip’s Answer

    Refer the New Jersey Court Rules. Court Rule 1:9-1 states that “a subpoena may be issued by the clerk of the court or by an attorney or party in the name of the clerk.” This means you will have to generate a subpoena and sign it in the name of the clerk. If you are unsure how to prepare or serve the subpoena, you can go to the Court and ask them to issue the subpoena for you.

    Good luck.

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  • When splitting additional child care cost based on income %, do I need to take into consideration tax credit?

    like usually, court orders are so general. My court order reads that during summer if there are additional child care costs, it will split based on their income alloc; 60% def and 40% Plaintiff. The question that I have is: Should I take into cons...

    Philip’s Answer

    The tax credit is already taken into account in the child support guidelines work sheet. However, if your children start going to a child care center full time, this might be a change in circumstances to allow you to review your current arrangement.

    Good luck.

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  • I was wondering if I do not have a lawyer to represent me in family court. Do I have the right to submit evidence

    Family court son being alone with registered sex offender of an adult brutal sexual assault and kidnapping. Mother leaves child with him doesn't show up for him does not feed him properly or at all picks child up heads to bfs even though court ord...

    Philip’s Answer

    Yes, as stated by the other attorneys, you can submit evidence. It is difficult to determine if you are talking about a motion or a trial. While the evidence rules are essentially the same for both types of hearings, the procedures are different. If it is a motion, you have to attach the evidence as Exhibits. Refer to New Jersey Court Rule 1.6. If it is a trial, you probably have a Case Management Order and will need to follow that Order to know when to file the documents with the Court.

    You should hire experienced counsel to assist you. Good luck.

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  • If I go back to court for custody of my 3 yr old son what could happen, will I get more time?

    My ex was in jail for 3 wks for missing a court date, hes got court today. However over the break I found out that he has been sleeping with 2 other woman and taking my son to their houses. He already lied in the court the first go round about h...

    Philip’s Answer

    You need to file a Cross-Motion with the Court to limit his time and revise the parenting schedule. You might want to ask for a supervisor (supervised parenting time) to monitor the situation. I would consult with an attorney to get more specific advice about your matter, but the court is obligated to do what is in the best interest of the child.

    Good luck.

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  • How do you prove emotional abuse at a custody hearing?

    If you have a toddler that is not old enough to express how they feel through words, how do you prove emotional abuse? It seems like no therapists/psychologists will get involved if it has anything to do with a court case. Can you get visitation s...

    Philip’s Answer

    It would be very hard to prove such an allegation absent so physical proof of injury or some type of video showing the emotion abuse. If you obtain a video be careful you do not violate any wiretap laws, but short of physical evidence, I am not sure how you would sustain your burden of proof in court.

    Good luck.

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  • Can a woman be charged for using drugs while she's pregnant after the baby is born

    I would like to know if a woman is pregnant and she test positive for drugs.. at least multiple times and it has been documented and her previous children have been taken away by that division of child protection and permanent can the state charge...

    Philip’s Answer

    It is really up to the authorities if they will charge her. However, if the child is born addicted to any substance, the doctors are obligated by law to report to CP&P (Child Protection and Permanency) formerly DYFS.

    Good luck.

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  • Am I being unreasonable with what im.asking of my sons father?

    Its My legal night tonight with my son, his father asks to take him to his daughter play from 630_730. I said ok but can we trade Thursday (today) for sunday since ill get no time with my son. (I live 25 mins away from him) he told me no that he ...

    Philip’s Answer

    If you are the PPR - you really have every right to deny his request, but all that does is punish your son. Sometimes you have to document and build a case for a modification and use the other parent's unwillingness to compromise down the road. I agree with your point of view, and it is not unreasonable. I also fully agree that you should document and make him sign his request for vacation time.

    I wish you the best, good luck.

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  • Can my ex keep our son from coming to see me during agreed upon visitation schedule? Or at all? We have JOINT custody.

    I'm divorced 13 years, have a handicapped son who is over 18, due to lies and deceit from my ex and his lawyer as well as the incompetent lawyer I had after taking complete care of my son for 18 years alone, my ex was awarded my son to reside with...

    Philip’s Answer

    Is your ex saying you cannot see your son or is there a court order limiting your contact with your son? It sounds like there has been allot of litigation regarding custody and parenting time. You have to follow the current court order and your ex has to follow the current court order.

    If your ex is not following the last court order, you should put him on written notice he is violating the order and ask him to stop immediately. if he does not stop, you will have to file an enforcement application with the court to make sure you get your parenting time.

    I would take action sooner than later because the longer you do not have contact with your son, the harder it might be to get the time restored. Please seek experienced counsel to assist you.

    Good luck.

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  • Retainer Amount - Post Judgment Family

    How do lawyers determine the amount they want for a retainer? Have recently met with a few lawyers for some post-judgment issues and the amounts for retainer have varied by several thousand (Ranging form $1500 to $10,000). Issues are child suppo...

    Philip’s Answer

    You certainly have a variety of answers as well as quotes from different attorneys. One thing I can tell you is that any retainer agreement in New Jersey involving family law issues cannot charge a non-refundable retainer. This means if there is a balance left after the services have been rendered and billed by the law firm, the balance of the retainer has to be returned/refunded to you. You really should find someone you have a comfort level with and whom you think can provide the best legal services for your issues.

    Good luck.

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  • What can I do to stop ex wife to have man coming in and out from my daughter's residence

    I go to pick my daughter up 4 times a week. When I am outside waiting, I see different guys coming in and out from the house. I am not sure if ex does it only to make me feel Jeoulous but my concern is about my kid. I hate to be asking my daughter...

    Philip’s Answer

    I agree with you that these situations are always tricky and difficult. First, you will need to file a motion with the Superior Court of New Jersey to make some changes. My experience is that while courts do not want to legislate morality, they will get involved to protect and act in a child's best interest.

    if you are going to file the motion without a lawyer, I would document and list exactly what you put in your question. Also, you could try to require her to date someone continuously for a period of time before they are introduced to your daughter or you could agree that neither party will bring dates around your daughter.

    Because you want to change your custody arrangement unless the mother agrees, you will have to prove that a significant “change of circumstances” has occurred since the original custody arrangement was created.

    I would get the services of a attorney in your area.

    Good luck.

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