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Michelle Nicole Mathis

Michelle Mathis’s Answers

40 total

  • Process of divorce deposition? I am hoping the lawyers office deposition is final step for my ex??

    My ex is in the navy and deploys next week. Once she deploys she will be unavailable for 9 months to sign or attend anything. I returned the uncontested divorce waiver as I live in CA and she + the lawyer are in VA. It looks as tho they are doi...

    Michelle’s Answer

    If all goes well, the depositions (affidavits) of your ex and a corroborating witness will be accepted by the Court, and a Judge will sign the Final Divorce Decree. The affidavits are a way of taking the testimony required by the Court in support of a divorce without a Court hearing. Occassionally, there are "problems" with the information in the affidavits. For example, the Virginia Statute allowing for Divorce by Affidavit was recently changed requiring more information than before. If the affidavits do not meet the requirement of the Statute, the Court will return them, and the Attorney for your wife will have to fix them by doing them again. You said "once she deploys she will be unavailable for 9 months to sign or attend anything." These affidavits need to be notarized, and whether your ex is on a ship or stationed abroad, the Navy has JAGs, Legalmen (paralegals), and Officers above the rank of O4 who have the power to notarize affidavits. In my practice, I routinely send divorce affidavits to sailors who are deployed out of state to sign and notarize. The point is, there are many twists and turns that a divorce can take, and your assumption that your ex won't be able to complete this step while deployed is likely incorrect.

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  • How do I get my 19 year old son to move out of my home? He does not have a job and we do not have a rental agreement.

    I have asked him to get his own place and he says he has no where to go, no money and can not find a job. It has been over a year now.

    Michelle’s Answer

    Actually, this is a landlord/tenant question. Even though you do not have a written rental agreement, you may have created some understanding or "tenancy" with your son as to how long he can stay in your place. Whether or not you can request the assistance of the Court's to remove him depends on the Agreement that you have. If that Agreement involves you providing him a place to live, and he's given you nothing in return (i.e.. money, labor) as "consideration" then you probably have a good argument that you should be able to terminate what would be "a tenancy at will." Filing an "unlawful detainer" seems like an extreme resolution for this problem though. Every situation is different, lawyers are trained to ask the right question to assist with your particular set of facts. Speak to one for additional guidance on your particular situation.

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  • A former tentant in Iowa owes a lot of back rent. What is next?

    The tentant has moved out before her lease is up, owing a lot of back rent. I sent her a certified letter with the total. What is my next step, can I turn her into a collection agent or do I sue her?

    Michelle’s Answer

    The other attorney is correct, the General District Court in the city where the rental property is located is typically the correct forum to bring this action. You can file a warrant in debt yourself with the assistance of the clerks, however, to evaluate whether you have a strong case or not, you should consult with an attorney, and consider hiring one to do the entire litigation. A collection agent is going to have little leverage to make some one pay a debt unless it has been reduced to judgment by a Court. You will need your Tenant's forwarding address, or now where she can be served, in order to give her notice of the court case. I regularly litigate landlord-tenant disputes in Hampton Roads. I offer free 15 minute consultations if you are interested in learning more (757) 502-3175 you can also schedule one online at www.mathislegal.com

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  • I am a military member, i was convicted of 1 dui offense. i missed one ASAP class and now i'm summoned to court as non compliant

    i am the sole provider for my family and i have a special needs child that was sick on the day i missed class. i am facing a year in prison and as the sole provider my family will be homeless and i will loose my medical benifits for my child. what...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Most likely, you are being summoned to court to "show cause," meaning to explain, why you disobeyed an order of the court, which was to comply with all of the requirements of ASAP. Did you tell your ASAP counselor BEFORE/AFTER you missed the class or NOT-AT-ALL, that you couldn't leave your sick child that day, do you think s/he believed you? At this point, you DEFINITELY need to make this court date, you need to be convincing/apologetic that you didn't have any other options but to miss the class. Get the documentation (if any) showing that your child was sick on the day that you missed. You need to try and "make-up" the class before your court date. And, you need to be honest with your chain of command as to what is going on. Since the stakes are high, you should start speaking to Criminal Defense Attorneys. This is based on the small amount of info that you've provided, sitting down with an Attorney, should give you a better action plan and peace of mind. Good luck.

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  • What are the implications if the petitioner contacts the respondent of a protective order

    petitioner initiated contact with respondent of a protective order case. amicable, conciliatory communication ensued for a couple of weeks. then the petitioner call the police and had the respondent arrested for violating the order.

    Michelle’s Answer

    If there is an existing court order that prevents communication, and you have contact with that other person, amicably or not, you have still violated a court order. You can't trust the other person that "it's ok" when a Judge has already said "no, it's not ok." That being said, the original basis for the protective order would appear weak when the the person who claims s/he needed protection is the one initiating contact. And the call to the police leading to the arrest seems retaliatory. You should consider petitioning to dissolve the protective order, and hiring an attorney to help you explain the possiblel violation to the Court. I am a Norfolk attorney who defends Protective Orders. Click my Avvo profile, or go to my webpage to learn more.

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  • I've been charged with destruction of property 18.2-137(A). Will it stick?

    I've been charged with destruction of property misdemeanor. My roommate paid rent for the month of Aug, but was supposed to move out before the month of Sept. On Sept 1st, I threw all of his belongings away. All his clothes, documents, and electro...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Contact me, you may have a good defense, I currently have a Destruction of Property case in Virginia Beach. It is a "specific intent" crime, meaning, your objective in tossing out his stuff, had to be -- to destroy it, looks to me like you were simply trying to get those possessions off your property. In addition to criminal cases, I also regularly do landlord-tenant law, so I can check what you did with his property, against those rules and your lease.

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  • Is there any of filing for constructive desertion? Or any benefit?

    I have interviewed two lawyers, one says file for constructive desertion, other says save your money and let's just send a separation agreement. I am afraid that my husband will file constructive desertion event once he receives the separation ag...

    Michelle’s Answer

    I would like to point out, that it is possible to do both things, and do either one first. If you file for divorce based on 'constructive desertion' assuming you have a legitimate claim for it, ultimately, as the divorce progresses, you may be able to solve all your issues through a separation agreement. Or, you can start by sending over a separation agreement for your husband's consideration, and if he doesn't sign it, then if you have a legitimate claim for constructive desertion, then you can still file on that basis.... and your case may still end in a separation agreement. Litigation is expensive, most divorces end with a separation agreement. You have two paths available on how to start, but taking one, doesn't shut the door on the other. Whoever your hire as your attorney should evaluate (through your input) the liklihood that your husband will sign a separation agreement, whether it be now, before filing, after filing, in the future, or on the morning of what was supposed to be contested hearing, or NEVER, and plan accordingly. If he's 100% against it, why bother? If he could be reasonable, give it a shot. It starts the negotiations on a better emotional tone then accusing them of abandoning you, but everyone's case is different. Good luck.

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  • Will a court order supersede a military family care plan?

    My Ex husband is in the Army, He is having to make a Family care Plan, He is in Kansas, I am In Washington. I do not have the ability to leave at a moments notice to go get my son if he is deployed. Thus he is asking me to allow his parents, (that...

    Michelle’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    A military family care plan is an administrative tool for the service, it does not trump or supercede a valid order from a state court. FIlling out a family care plan forces the member to think ahead about who will be taking care of his kids if he deploys, it doesn't give anyone the POWER to do anything. If the Court Order says that you will have custody of the child while he is deployed, then that is what your ex should be doing, giving you back custody. Your court order may or may not go into the logistics and responsibility for who is responsible for transporting the child. As of now, whatever it says goes. But if you can't pick up the child, and he has delegated this responsibility to his parents, that doesn't seem out of the ordinary. The grandparents are probably watching the kid while he is in Kansas as well. I have to differ from the attorneys above. First of all, if your custody order is part of a final divorce decree, it is extremely unlikely that it is temporary. Unless Mr. Cave is referring to the type of court order that the grandparents may get as the temporary one. The grandparents can "try" anything, whether or not their actions would be legally sound is a different story. You better believe a Kansas court is going to want to know where the child's mother is, and what the prior custody order says, and should decline jurisdiction based on the prior order from Washington (unless there is a real emergency). Kansas may or may not even give grandparents (or more specifically, parents of military members) the right to petition for custody, you need to ask a Kansas attorney. Second of all, unless you were married to your ex-husband for twenty years overlapping twenty years of his service, you probably don't qualify for legal assistance from the military as a former spouse. Try to sit down with a Washington family law attorney for a consultation to double check this advice and soothe your fears. That attorney should be able to help if the grandparents or your ex pulls any shenanigans. Good Luck.

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  • Looking for a attorney that deals with veteran benefits?

    Just informed by family member that my grandfather/ guardian left me his VA benefits is there a time frame& how would I go about looking into that? I am asking this question for a. Family member

    Michelle’s Answer

    If you are looking for an attorney with experience in Veteran Affairs or the skilsl to find the answer to your question, then the VA has a website where you can search for attorneys that have received certification from them at http://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/

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  • Convicted Sex Offender sentenced at a Court Martial, I have now been summoned to a jury. Do I have to go?

    I was convicted at a Special Court Martial (Max sentence is 12 Months confinement) for an offense that now requires me to register as a sex offender. When I registered with my local police department, they weren't too sure if my charges were equiv...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Phil Cave is correct, the terms felony and misdemeanor do not apply to court-martial sentences. If a court is summoning you to jury duty, you either have to go, or correctly follow their procedures or exceptions for not going. When in doubt, It is better to go and tell the court that you erred on the side of showing up. You may very well be dismissed based on California's classification of your military conviction, but if you are having a tough time deciding whether or not you have to go, then that uncertainty is a sign that you should let the court decide... after you show up.

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