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Sonja N Aoun

Sonja Aoun’s Answers

101 total


  • How do I change the employer information on child support that is garnished?

    I have a court order for support and the wages are garnished and sent to me, the father has switched jobs, how can I get the garnishment order sent to his new job, so he does not continue to fall behind and face jail time? He lives in another sta...

    Sonja’s Answer

    You will need to formally amend the court order by petitioning the court that issued the original income deduction order (sometimes called a wage withholding order). Then you will need to coordinate with the sheriff's office for service out-of-state. In the alternative, you may wish to open up a case with the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE); they are familiar with these logistics and handle matters like this with regularity.

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  • Can I ask a judge to combine an existing show cause case (already scheduled) with a new motion to amend the custody order?

    What is the procedure to accomplish this?

    Sonja’s Answer

    Procedurally, this is usually something that can be done, but I encourage you to speak with a family law attorney first to determine whether doing so is wise. Sometimes the desire to be efficient and avoid multiple court appearances is not actually the best thing to do. For example, if the current hearing is set for a very short time, such as an hour or so, it's probably not enough time to also present your case to amend the custody order.

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  • What is a capias warranty in relation to family regarding custody?

    Have a court ordered custody agreement were both parents have joint and legal custody but one parent has custodian. But the parent is refusing to honor the custody agreement in terms of letting me have our twin-daughters for a week. Called the pol...

    Sonja’s Answer

    A capias is issued by the court, most frequently when a party who was properly noticed for court (such as for a contempt hearing) fails to appear. If your agreement about custody is contained in a court order, you can talk to an attorney about enforcement actions, whether a Motion to Enforce or a Rule to Show Cause for contempt for violating that court order.

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  • What can I do if my ex wife is about to go for custody of one of my sons in Virginia when I have custody of him in Iowa?

    Firstly myself and my ex wife have not started divorce proceedings so, as far as I am aware, she has no legal custody orders in place ... I however do have one for my oldest son (in the state of Iowa), my ex wife resides in Virginia and now has bo...

    Sonja’s Answer

    There is a uniform statute across the U.S. that states custody cases need to be filed where the child has resided for the past 6 months, unless there is a prior court order (then the case will be heard by the court that issued the first custody order, unless and until the case file is transferred elsewhere). You'll need to consult with a family law attorney in the county where your children are staying with your wife. Virginia usually gives both parents shared legal custody and then determines where the children should live and how much visitation (sometimes called custodial time or parental access) the other parent should have. If she fights you on this, it will probably be quite costly. But if she hasn't filed for divorce yet, you could file for visitation and joint legal custody in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, which usually is a bit easier to navigate without a lawyer. Most custody and visitation cases, however, especially involving different states, require the assistance of an attorney.

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  • Need assistance with an ADRO. I need to make sure PSA has the correct wording in it pertaining to ADRO.

    Husband worked for the state for a # of years. We have been separated for 10 years but not divorced yet. He wants to backdate PSA to 2005. Therefore the marital share is not going to be 50%. The divorce is ugly and I am not getting any $ from the ...

    Sonja’s Answer

    One of the best ways to make sure the PSA or Final Order of Divorce has the correct language in it is to contact the plan administrator for the retirement plan to get their requirements for an ADRO (sometimes called a QDRO or COAP, or simply a DRO). The time to negotiate the details to include in the retirement orders is now, so you are wise to seek counsel immediately. In terms of college, Virginia courts will not order either parent to pay for college unless there is a signed agreement in place already, in which case that agreement may be enforceable as a contract. You should speak with your attorney about the best way for you to get this information if you are going to represent yourself. Good luck.

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  • Can a divorced ex husband with no coustody take 2 kids overseas ??? as well claim them in his taxes ??? he's a dead beat dad

    he's never visiting them or buying them a thing , useless and smooch

    Sonja’s Answer

    The U.S. State Department is the best place to turn for answers about the overseas travel. If the children already have a U.S. passport (or a valid passport issued by another country), it's certainly possible for the father to take the children on a trip. If you'd like to take steps to prevent this, you'll want to address it with the U.S. State Department and the court with jurisdiction over the children. If there is no passport issued yet, it should be easier to prevent him from traveling because generally speaking, both parents need to apply for the passport. (If the children qualify for passports from other countries, you'll want to contact the nearest embassy or consulate for that country.)
    The IRS regulations govern tax exemptions for children, but the general answer is that the parent with custody claims the children. You may wish to refer to these websites:
    Passports: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/under-16.html
    Taxes: http://www.irs.gov/uac/A-%E2%80%9CQualifying-Child%E2%80%9D

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  • Is a responsible father allowed 50/50 custody with his children?

    have been separated for 11 months now. in the separation agreement it states that I have joint legal custody of the kids with their mother. Stating in more detail that I get them 41% of the time and she gets the the remaining 59%. I am trying to g...

    Sonja’s Answer

    Courts don't usually order 50/50 time splits with the children, but if you and your spouse can agree to that and you have that agreement incorporated into a written order, they will enforce it. This type of issue is usually best addressed in mediation. Courts often have a list of mediators, or you can ask a reputable family law attorney in your area for a few suggestions. The key is to address this before the final divorce is entered. After that, to change things without agreement, you'll need to prove that circumstances in the children's lives have changed (and then that the change you're requesting is in their best interests), and that's not always easy to do.

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  • Is the husband still entitled to ownership of the home? What can I do to protect myself and the home from him?

    Husband and wife are on the deed of a home, but the mortgage loan is only in the husband's name. Husband files chapter 7 when the house goes into default, leaves the premises and separates from the wife. The wife files chapter 13 to stop the forec...

    Sonja’s Answer

    Bankruptcy doesn't affect legal title to a home. It addresses debts. The circuit court will address the ownership of the home if the spouses can't resolve it between themselves and enter into a written agreement about it. An experienced family law attorney should be able to help answer this question -- there are many factors to consider, such as whether either party made a downpayment on the property, whether there is any equity in the home, etc.

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  • My son's father continuously violates visitation order.

    I have full legal/physical custody of my 5 year old son. His son's father was ordered to: 1. Call son weekly 2. Send an email weekly to ask how son is doing 3. Have a weekly dinner date with son 4. Have visitation every other ...

    Sonja’s Answer

    Even though you state the father was ordered to do certain things, it's important to remember that visitation is not an obligation in Virginia -- it's a privilege. It's unfortunate that your son's father is not exercising his visitation fully. You may wish to seek counseling for yourself and your son to find ways to help him cope with the cancelled or missed visitation. Healthy management of expectations is essential in all family law matters and it's a good life skill in general, so if it's affecting him, you may want to look into this option. In terms of court action, I encourage you to seek legal advice from an experienced family law attorney in your area. Many times, the best course of action is to take no legal action at all, but you would benefit from talking the matter through with your own attorney.

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  • Is there anything I can do?

    It seems that every time my daughters father gets mad at me I'm sitting in court. He took me to court in 2009 and I was given sole custody. I never heard from him again. In 2011 I contacted him and asked him to give up rights so that my fiance co...

    Sonja’s Answer

    The short answer is that you can probably never stop your ex from going to court. However, from your question, it doesn't seem like you have any reason to go to court right now. If you can see the situation is negatively affecting your daughter, you may want to follow up on the advice to seek counseling for her. You may want to set up some sessions for yourself as well -- in part to find ways to help her, and in part for yourself -- when you feel powerless about the legal situation and custody matters in your life, it usually has an impact on your child as well. You may also benefit from a meeting with an experienced family law attorney in your jurisdiction who can reassure you about the potential risks if your ex does bring you to court again. Good luck to you.

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