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Michael David Thomas
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Michael Thomas’s Answers

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  • If my husband keeps telling me to leave...What happens in the divorce if I go?

    I'm 27 and my husband 55. We are pretty much done with each other. I can no longer except the verbal abuse, lack of love/passion, financial hold and anger etc. He makes 45k, he has a rental property income, and I only make 15k. I want to leave, I ...

    Michael’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear all that you are going through and I think would be wise for you to make an appointment with a local Family Law Attorney to discuss your options. Of course, I understand you desire to leave but before you do, I think it would be wise to have a plan which would likely entail attempting to propose some sort of separation agreement. Based on the disparity in income, you may be entitled to spousal support and you may have certain valuable interest in his real estate holdings. In addition, by you having or proposing a separation agreement you have some measure clarity on the situation. You come into the conversation with an idea of this is what you need/ want. He may agreed, disagree or propose some counter-offer. Regardless, the situation is moving forward and in this process you can advise him that you are leaving on whatever date. This avoids any abandonment claims. Once you have left the marital residence, if he has not agreed to pay support then you can file for spousal support to assist you until you have been separate and apart for the statutory time.

    Bottom-line, go have a sit down meeting with an attorney to help get your through this.

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  • I am contemplating a divorce. Can we get separation agreement and maintain same household?

    Married almost 2 years; no children involved; I do not expect this to be contested; what's his is his; what's mine is mine, although there is a house involved with the loan in my name and I don't want my credit rating jeopardized, leaving the hou...

    Michael’s Answer

    As the previous responder mentioned, you have prepare and enter into a separation agreement while you are under the same roof, and the court will require some 3rd party verification. However, at some point someone needs to go. Part of your agreement should be to deal with the house, specifically someone is moving out, someone is refinancing, or possible selling the house. So my question would be how do we best guide toward you goal of the ultimate divorce and this include getting somebody out.

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  • As the Grandparents can we get visitation rights ordered for our sons daughter when he is not in her life on a regular bases?

    my son is not in his daughters life she is 6 months old he sees her maybe 3 times a month. My husband and I have had her every weekend since birth and any days I'm off we pay the mother 250 a month buy ALL DIAPERS, WIPES AND CLOTHES she receiv...

    Michael’s Answer

    The short answer is yes you can file to request visitation or even custody, but it is extremely hard to win over an objecting parent. I have been successful in representing grandparents, I have even won custody in one case (that is one case in 10 years of practice) but it is a long hard road. You must show you that you have an existing relationship with the child separate from your son and that relationship would be harmed should the Court NOT give you visitation. This is very difficult to show. The parents outrank a grandparent and so you must show that despite there objection it is in the best interest of the child that your visitation be preserved. I realized she has had Past convictions of child endangerment but that was in the past. Is the child being harmed right now? I know and believe you when you say how much you love your grandchild and please do not take anything I am saying as lessening this. I am merely presenting that case will not be easy but I would enjoy an opportunity to discuss this further. Much of my practice in the Newport News area.

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  • What is the best way to prove that I am a sober and fit parent in hopes of having more time with my child?

    My child's father has temporary custody of our four year old. While in the relationship I struggled with alcohol abuse for a period of time. I have since gotten sober yet he and his attorney still paint me as an unfit alcoholic to the court. I wan...

    Michael’s Answer

    The longer you have been sober the better your argument. I am not sure from your question what visitation you have been granted. You mention one day a week but I am unclear as to whether you were granted overnights. Assuming your reference is that you have one day visits per weed and no overnights, I would suggest your goal would be to work toward having every other entire weekend schedule. Then maybe work on extending that to include some week day evening visits. The way you do this is with hard work. Attend your AA meetings, earn those chips, and develop a good relationship with your sponsor. The longer you remain sober the weaker the argument is that your are an unfit parent. Get active in some community activity like going to church. Have well respected people vouch for you. Again this will take time. I am not sure how long ago this last order was entered but you should probably start meeting with attorneys now so you can find one that you feel most comfortable with. You want at attorney you can work with for the YEARS to come. this is not a situation of going in to file a quick motion to amend and all your problems are fixed. This is going to take a while to undue the damage created by the past but with hard work and your diligence you can work to getting a more standard visitation schedule.

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  • Can a mother keep a child from the father because of child support issues?

    As far as visitation the divorce papers state "liberal and reasonable agreement agreed to by the two parties" in regards to visitation. The established schedule has been the father has three weekends in a row - the mother has one. Since she has hi...

    Michael’s Answer

    Not paying child support is not a valid basis for denying the Father visitation. However, it sounds like the divorce decree very ambiguously "reasonable and liberal as agreed." So unless this goes on for several weeks the father will have a difficult time proving that the Mother is in violation of the court order. It also sounds like the father is planning to go back to court on this issue. I hope you mean that is filing a Motion to Amend Visitation to get a clear schedule laid out.

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  • If the amount of support a spouse is requesting creates financial hardship for the payer does the judge award lower punt?

    My spouse is requesting spousal support for $500. After paying my debts I'm only left with $400 for food, gas to work, expenses. Including in the debt I'm already paying $600 combined for furniture I let my spouse have, the rings she took I'm stil...

    Michael’s Answer

    You definitely need an attorney to assist you. The court will begin the analysis of spousal support by looking at the parties GROSS income, not net. There is a formula used in the calculation for spousal support, and with certain exceptions, that formula is 30% of your pay minus 50% of her pay... Again gross not net income. The Court may deviate from this formula as need would dictate but you need someone to present your case in the light most favorable.

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  • Husband is an alcholic and awaiting court date for DUI , he retired and I am not able to afford to live on my own at this time .

    I do not want to make a move until I find out what is going to happen in the DUI case we have been married 24 yrs and I don't see anyway of making this work ..we have not slept together or had sex in the last 12 or 15 years ...we do not have an...

    Michael’s Answer

    I think you should consider proposing a separation agreement. I understand your concern about just simply moving out but you do need to do something. Depending on the relative incomes, you may be justified in requesting spousal support. While your name may not be on the house, if it was acquired during the marriage, it is still marital. Please consider making an appointment with an attorney to assist you planning your next step

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  • Spousal Support

    If my spouse gets denied for spousal support during support hearing. When we get to divorce hearing can she try to request it again? and since we have a separation agreement in place where we both waived all rights to spousal support. If she gets ...

    Michael’s Answer

    If you have a signed agreement, waiving spousal, then I agree with the Court denying her spousal. Now, she can try to request it again at the divorce hearing but the case is very clear that unless she proves duress she will be denied again.

    As far as uncontested goes, it sounds like there is nothing left to fight over, just the fact she does not like the agreement she signed. Please consider speaking with a local attorney like myself to get your divorce squared away.

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  • Would being a pothead be enough reason for a judge to grant full custody to other parent as well as supervised visitation?

    Father is the pothead. Lives out of state. He is in pa, me and baby are in va. He has not given any child support. He has only come down once since birth. Baby is almost 3 months old.

    Michael’s Answer

    Did he file requesting visitation or custody? Based on the age of the child and your comments, I am assuming the child resides with you and you are the primary custodial parent. So the real issue is what visitation would the father have. The Court will likely give him visitation but it might not be supervised. Drug use alone will not demand supervised visitation. A better argument would be that he is absent as a father and has no relationship and therefore initially visitation would need to be on a limited basis (no overnights). Unless he demonstrates some harm to the child, the court might not demand supervision

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  • Do I have to pay half of a flight ticket?

    My ex husband is being stationed to the west coast. He gets weekend visitations and the month of July in the summer with our child. Since he is moving to the west coast because of the military, he asked that we split the cost of a plane ticket for...

    Michael’s Answer

    what does your court order say about transportation? Many times the Courts will rule on how the transportation costs shall be carried out, sometimes they don't. Absent any such language, there is no mandate for you to pay half of the plane tickets. Many times the Court will order that if a parent relocate it is there responsibility for the air fare for their visitation. I think we need to sit down and look at your current order to see what are your obligations. Many times relocations will cause a motion to amend to be filed and realistically this may be needed because weekend visit will definitely not be working out anymore.

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