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Mary G. Commander
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Mary Commander’s Answers

1,183 total


  • Step parent adoption

    How much is a step parent adoptin process? Do I file with the courts where the child lives or where I live?

    Mary’s Answer

    I have not seen a step-parent adoption in which the step-parent and the child did not live in the same place. More information would be needed as to the situation to determine whether this process would be appropriate.

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  • How do I know how much money my spouse will owe me if he keeps the home?

    My child and I moved out of the home because of alcohol and drug abuse of my husband. We have been separated for over a year. He says I took what I wanted when I left so I get nothing else. There is some equity in the home along with adequate p...

    Mary’s Answer

    Personal property, absent something of extraordinary value, rarely is worth fighting over and is usually not something that a judge wants to deal with. If you cannot resolve a division (or buy out) of personal property, courts often will order that it be auctioned off.
    Regarding real estate, to determine the equity, the parties can agree on a fair market value, agree to use the tax assessment or have an appraisal performed. There can be other issues if either of you contributed separate fund to purchase the property, etc.

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  • Can the father (non custodial parent) of my daughter come back and fight for custodial custody if he moved out of state?

    court order has been issued two years ago.

    Mary’s Answer

    Moving out of the state would not prevent the father from filing for custody. The court would look to see if there had been a material change of circumstances since the entry of the last Order and that move could be considered such a change. The court then would determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child.

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  • What can I do!? My kids are not safe. HELP!

    I was in an 8 yr long abusive relationship and we had 3 children together (9, 8, and 4). He was physically and verbally abusive. In 2008 I was granted a 2 yr protective order and dismissed it the very next day and went back to him. Finally in 2010...

    Mary’s Answer

    If CPS has been unable or unwilling to take any action, then you are right to have filed a custody petition. You also are correct, however, that a judge is unlikely to move three children into your one bedroom apartment. This is the type of situation where a judge could look for other family members to care for the children, or even foster care, if you are unable to relocate and the father is found to be abusing the children.

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  • I have primary custody of my child. Do I need permission from his father to travel internationally?

    The details in our agreement state: e. Vacation, School Breaks, Summer Plans. By mid-April each year, the husband and wife will discuss the upcoming summer plans and mutually agree on all scheduled summer camps or activities. Both the husband and...

    Mary’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Does your child already have a passport? If so, you do not need the other parent's consent. You would give the required notice of the trip. If he objected, the burden would be on him to ask the court to prevent the trip.
    Have you and the father considered going to mediation? This is the kind of issue that would be resolved best without the need for litigation, if possible.

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  • Keep child custody appeal or drop and go back to JDR judge?

    Long story short, my ex was recently awarded full sole custody. I immediately appealed the case due to the fact that she flat out lied in court and in fact has our daughters being taken care of by a FUGITIVE OF JUSTICE. She is refusing to honor ...

    Mary’s Answer

    While the appeal has been filed, the Juvenile Court judge still has the authority to enforce his/her Order. So, a contempt proceeding can be filed in the Juvenile Court now. You also can proceed in the Circuit Court with the appeal.

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  • My adult son lives in my house. He pays $250/mo, not rent, but to offset to food & bills. In VA can I ask him to go today?

    My adult son wore out his welcome in every living situation in SC & begged for us to let him move in with us in VA. We finally said he could with the understanding that it was to give him a chance to save $ for his own car/place. We have even loan...

    Mary’s Answer

    You can ask him to leave, but if he refuses, you will have to go to the General District Court and have him evicted.

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  • After a visitation/custody order is signed by the judge can you take the other parent back to court?

    after you have gone to custody/visitation court and you and the other parent has signed the order that was drawn up and it has been singed by the judge and the 10 day appeal period has passed by but the other parent wants changes to the order...ca...

    Mary’s Answer

    Many courts have a six month period before they will let parties file a new petition.

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  • Since I owe 100 percent of our daughters student loan can I go back to court matrimonial to not have to pay full alimony any mor

    I can only afford one her as in ex wife or sally mae as in student loan

    Mary’s Answer

    You are in a common situation. If you have a support order for an ex-wife that is not going to be changed because you chose to incur debt to educate an adult child. Technically, you had no obligation to pay for the education. As the parent of a college student, I understand your dilemma, but I do not see the court granting the relief that you seek.

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  • Do i need a court case if me and the custodial parent have an agreement on child support arrears?

    I had a court ordered arrangement back in 2009 the mother lost custody at the end of 2010 but didn't have the child 90 percent of the time throughout 2010 and they gave me custody until September 2011 she then took me back to court for child supp...

    Mary’s Answer

    If support is owed under a court order, then there needs to be a court order which establishes the compromised arrearage amount. Otherwise, you are risking being held liable for the full amount.

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