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Leslie Hall Amos
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Leslie Amos’s Answers

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  • My daughter gave me temporary custody of her 2 y/o daughter since shes unemployed numerous arrest and unable to care for her.

    my daughter was recently arrested in florida for prostitution and called me to get her baby since she has no job and unable to provide for her. what are my rights and how do i keep custody? She's 37% speech delayed and this is the 2nd time I've be...

    Leslie’s Answer

    It sounds like you have a very good case for custody of the child. Has the child lived in one place for the last 6 months? If so, that is her home state and where the action should be brought. Also it would be important to track down where Mom and Dad can be found since you would need to serve them with the custody complaint.

    As for your rights, without a custody order you have none, Mom or Dad could come get her, of course you could (and maybe should) refuse, and could possibly file a custody action and an emergency custody action if needed if the child was at risk of harm (sounds like that could be the case) but you probably don't want to pursue that unless absolutely necessary. It would be best to go ahead and file a custody action. You must first overcome the parent's constitutional rights to the care custody and control of their children, although given what you describe, it doesn't sound like that would be too difficult to prove.

    I would suggest that you speak with an attorney to decide what the best course of action would be. If you start the action in FL, know that FL will probably continue to have jurisdiction over the custody matter until the child reaches 18 unless you can get it changed down the road which can be difficult and cumbersome.

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  • How do I enforce a Temporary Child Custody Order when the plaintiff is refusing to let me see my daughter?

    I am the defendant to a Temporary Child Custody Order. I am also barred from contacting the plaintiff. Temporary custody was granted to the plaintiff. I am entitled to unsupervised visitation; however, the plaintiff is refusing to adhere to the te...

    Leslie’s Answer

    Write a motion to show cause and also give the judge an order to appear and show cause that he may sign, ensure that it is all properly served upon the other party, then research the law on what you will need to prove to show that she is in contempt of the order and put on evidence at the hearing to support this. I have seen many times where a party has tried to do this on his/her own and failed even though they had adequate grounds to hold the other party in contempt but didn't hire an attorney. Best of luck to you.

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  • How do I find a lawyer that does out of state divorce

    I recently separated from my husband and who lives in NC. I am now in NH. We have been married 18 years. I have no money and only have a small SS check . I am looking for someone to get me a flat settlement and take their fee at the end.

    Leslie’s Answer

    Unfortunately, divorce and family law attorneys generally don't work this way. They typically require you to pay up front and request attorney fees if appropriate and so you may get some or all of you legal costs back then if appropriate. If you are looking to settle with your spouse, then you may be able to negotiate with him on paying your attorney fees, however I would caution that you MUST bring your claims for property division (equitable distribution) and spousal support before the divorce judgment gets entered or else it is forever waived.

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  • Is there a certain number of years after a divorce after which it becomes to late to file for distribution of assets?

    I vaguely remember reading somewhere that after something like 4 years it is too late to go to court for a judgment on distribution of assets.

    Leslie’s Answer

    If you have not brought your claim for equitable distribution BEFORE a divorce judgment is entered, it is forever waived and the claim may not be brought, you do not have a year after the divorce judgment to bring it. There is a very limited opportunity if you are not subject to the jurisdiction of the court where the divorce judgment was entered, but that only would get you six months.

    You have listed probate as the practice area, I am not sure why, so I am not sure if your spouse is deceased and you are wanting some of the estate? Regardless, just so you understand, equitable distribution is the division of marital property and debts, and a claim for it must be brought before a divorce judgment is entered, otherwise it is waived and you may not go back to the court and ask that they divide marital property and debts after the divorce judgment is entered.

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  • Should I terminate rights or how should I handle this? I just want what is best for my daughter.

    Her father hasn't seen her in over a year. She is 12 yrs. old & wants nothing to do with him. He says if I don't make him pay support then he will walk away, but as long as he has to pay he is going to MAKE her go see him. The $ is not importan...

    Leslie’s Answer

    It is probably best that you seek the advice of an attorney in your area to fully discuss the details of your situation. It is not clear if you have a custody order (or parenting agreement) in place at this time? It sounds like perhaps you do? I think generally speaking, judges are reluctant to terminate parental rights since this terminates the financial obligation that each parent has to the child unless there is someone else ready to adopt the child. You mention that she wants to change her last name, so perhaps you do have someone who is willing to adopt her?

    Regardless, you must have appropriate grounds to terminate rights, and you should discuss the details of the situation with an attorney, but if he has not seen her in over a year and not paid any support for the child for the past year, it is possible that he may be deemed to have abandoned the child and fall within the grounds to terminate based on a parent who has neglected the child.

    It would be best to discuss the details of your situation with an attorney before you decide to drop the support case altogether. It may be that you decide to enter into a permanent consent order for custody and support in which he has no custody/visitation and you receive no support. Then there would need to be a substantial change in circumstances to modify that arrangement, this would potentially protect you if you lost your job or all of sudden really needed support from him to help with the child, but this would also leave the door open for changing custody too (but again something would have to be substantially different from the time the order was entered).

    Also, with regards to making the child go see him, you are not required to physically force the child to go see him, yes if you have an order that says it is dad's visitation, you would tell her she needs to go but you don't have to physically force her to do it, yes he could file a motion to show cause for why you are not complying with the order, but he may have some trouble proving that you willfully violated the order if you encouraged her to go, can prove that you encouraged the visitation and she refused.

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  • If I recently won a hearing for a DVPO against my child's father will that help my child custody case?

    Our 8 month old daughter was present when he pushed me. He only filed for child custody because i filed for child support, literally the next day. will it hurt me that i still allow him to see our daughter due to the verbal arrangement of every ot...

    Leslie’s Answer

    Would a judge consider it yes but it is difficult to say how much weight the judge would actually give to it. If there are concerns that he may be abusive to the child then it would definitely be a consideration (but I'm guessing that is not the case since he hasn't been ordered to stay away from the child). What sort of custody is he wanting as well, is he just wanting to have every other weekend? If so perhaps you can work it out but since there was an act of domestic violence between you two, custody mediation has probably been waived. I would recommend consulting with an attorney in your area to discuss your matter in detail and what your goals are for child custody.

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  • Is no visitation rights, no rights to see child at school, no contact the same as no parental rights?

    my friend has no rights to see child...father withholds child in violation of court order, but his lawyer has him use various excuses to get off. mother has not had visit with child in 3 years, is not allowed to see him or talk to him, but is ex...

    Leslie’s Answer

    Child custody and child support are entirely separate issues and causes of action and the lack of an ability to see the child or have custody/visitation with the child has nothing to do with the financial obligation of a parent to the child. If I understand correctly, your friend is Mom, she cannot terminate her rights, she doesn't have standing to file the petition to terminate her own rights, this action would need to be brought by the other parent, an agency, or other person, see NC Gen Stat 7B-1103 for who can file the petition.

    The right to see a child is a custody action, it sounds like she needs to hire a lawyer to try to get some visitation/custody of the child, if that is her goal. If her goal is to simply not support her child (not pay child support) then she is probably going to be out of luck, as the natural parent of the child, she has a financial obligation for the child regardless of whether or not she sees the child and if there is a court order in place saying she has to pay, then she can go to jail if she does not, and that is usually incentive for most people to pay (answering your question, why pay?)

    As for the difference between a right to see the child and having no parental rights, I believe you may be confusing 2 separate issues, the first being custody, and the second being the termination of parental rights.

    If your friend wants custody or visitation with the child and Dad is in violation of a court order for not allowing it, then your friend should seek the assistance of an attorney to start enforcing the order, and pursuing the visitation. I definitely think that your friend should seek the advise of an attorney to assist her with this matter, schedule a consultation to go through the situation and see what the best course of action would be.

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  • Husband had moved substantial amount of savings out of joint account into his own name. Is this legal?

    He found that I was talking with someone online rather inappropriately, I will admit, but without intention to physically meet and this had never happened. He even spent a lot of money hiring an investigator to find something (nothing was found ) ...

    Leslie’s Answer

    Joint account funds are just that joint, so either party could move the funds out.

    A word of caution, as a stay at home mom, I assume you have no separate income, and would be what we call a dependent spouse who would generally be entitled to spousal support in the event that there was a separation and divorce, in North Carolina if you have committed acts of marital misconduct that include illicit sexual behavior, it would be a bar to alimony, meaning you wouldn't get it if he can prove that you committed acts of illicit sexual behavior during the marriage, so I would say be very careful in this regard. Illicit sexual behavior means acts of sexual or deviate sexual intercourse, deviate sexual acts, or sexual acts defined in GS 14-27.1(4), voluntarily engaged in by a spouse with someone other than the spouse, so to put this in really simple (and blunt) terms, any sexual acts (any type of intercourse not just vaginal, any oral sex, as well as any type of penetration, no matter how slight by any object into the genital or anal opening of another person's body) with anyone (male or female) other than your spouse would be illicit sexual behavior. Sorry to be so blunt, butif you are tempted to engage in any sex acts with another person, then separate from your spouse with the intent to end your marriage or risk being prohibited from receiving alimony.

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  • Child Custody in Wake County

    My sons father left to mexico two years ago,we are not legally married.he did not ask for him or financially support him at all! He is back i received a call today from a lady saying he apparently filed child support to himself. I do not want my c...

    Leslie’s Answer

    First I would just say that child custody and child support are two entirely separate claims/issues, so the fact that he has filed an action to establish a voluntary support obligation does not mean that he gets to have custody of the child. If your son has not seen him in two years and doesn't really know his father then it would probably be a shock to the child to all of a sudden see his father and spend time with him. Having said that, regardless of whether or not you were married, as the natural parent to the child he has some rights, however not having seen him in 2 years, if truly no contact and no support, just disappeared, it may be that he has acted inconsistent with those rights, but maybe he has his life together and wants to contribute to his son and try to be a part of his life. I'm not sure avoiding him entirely would be the best thing, but I would suggest discussing the details of your situation with an attorney so that you can decide what would be best approach to achieve whatever your goals may be. Best of Luck to you.

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  • My custody mediation got waived. What do I do now?

    I served my ex husband with papers ordering custody mediation and filing for custody of the kids. The mediation was scheduled for the 15th. I just got a letter in the mail from his lawyer, with a waiver of mediation. It says it was waived due to...

    Leslie’s Answer

    Go back to family court and ask for a date for the hearing. As the other attorneys have cautioned, it would probably help you to seek counsel and hire an attorney to represent you. "Facing him in court" without the assistance of an attorney may not help you get where you want to be.

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