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Damon Sharad Bivek
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Damon Bivek’s Answers

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  • Paternity test

    Remember that your question will be posted in a public forum for all to see. Include all relevant details, but please omit any personally identifiable information.Can i still get a paternity test even though we divorced 5 years ago.. child is 12 y...

    Damon’s Answer

    You can certainly get a DNA test. All you need is a hair follicle or other suitable sample from your child. You simply send this off to a laboratory, and they will tell you whether or not you are the biological father to a 99.9% degree of certainty.

    The more interesting question is what do you do if the results come back, and it is proven that you are not the biological father. Now you have a situation where you are the legal father, but not the biological father. You will still be liable for support of this child, unless and until you can have the Divorce Decree set aside for fraud. If the child is not yours, then the mother must have known there was a possibility at the time of the divorce that the child could have a different father. Since she failed to disclose this information to the Court or to you, you could argue that she committed a fraud, and file a Petition to set aside the Divorce Decree as it relates to the legal and physical custody of your child.

    The first step I would recommend that you take is to go ahead and get the DNA test done. All you will need is the child's cooperation to get a hair follicle or other suitable sample. Here is a good website for a lab that handles DNA testing.

    www.gtldna.net

    If the results come back to show that you are not in fact the biological father, then I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney to discuss your options.

    Please know that this is a general interest posting and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Where do I file to have the parental rights terminated of the non- custodial parent, if they live in another state.

    I have Primary Physical and Legal Custody of my sons. Relocation has been approved by the court . Supervised visits suspended, after two consecutive missed visits.

    Damon’s Answer

    How long have you lived in Atlanta? If you have resided here for 6 months then you have legally established residency, and you will need to proceed with your Petition for Termination of Parental Rights in the county where you and the child reside. The appropriate Court to file your Petition for Termination of Parental Rights is the Juvenile Court.

    If you have not lived here for at least 6 months, then you will need to get the father to sign a Consent to Jurisdiction and Waiver of Venue. There are also very strict requirements in order for you to be successful in a Petition for Termination of Parental Rights. Missing two consecutive visits alone will not be sufficient. If you would like some more information about the specific requirements, then I suggest that you contact an attorney and provide him/her with some more information in a private and confidential setting.

    I have handled many termination of parental rights cases in the Atlanta area, and would be happy to speak with you further in a complimentary 30-minute consultation, so that you can get some more information on how best to proceed in order to achieve your goals.

    Please know that this is a general interest posting, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I am a single father with a 3 year old daughter. I would like to have full custody of my daughter, what should I do?

    I've been in my daughters life since she was born. My daughters mother and I were once living together but not in our own home. We were all living with a relative of mine. Recently, four months ago my daughter moved in with me because she kept ge...

    Damon’s Answer

    My first question to you is were you and your daughter's mother ever married? If the answer is NO, did you ever have the child legitimated? If so, what are the terms of the Legitimation Order? If not, you will need to file a Petition for Legitimation so that you can establish yourself as the legal father of your daughter, and request primary physical custody of her as well.

    You will need to file the Petition for Legitimation in the county where the mother resides. In order to seek primary physical custody of your daughter, you will need to show the Court that it is in the child's best interests that she reside primarily with you, rather than her mother. This is a question of fact for the Judge to decide. The more evidence that you can gather showing your involvement in your daughter's life, the more compelling an argument you can make to the Court.

    In order for me to properly advise you on what to file and where to file it, I need the answers to the questions that I pose above, as well as some other information from you. If you would like some information about the costs for an attorney to represent you, and how long all of this would take I suggest that you schedule an appointment to speak with me or another attorney in a private and confidential setting.

    I offer 30 minute private and confidential consultations at no cost to you, so that you can get some more information about how best to proceed to achieve your goals.

    Please know that this is a general interest posting and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Where does the father in GA have to go to legitimize a child if the pregnant mom moved out of state?

    9 years ago my boyfriends then girlfriend left Georgia and went to Tennessee. He had no idea where to find her. They have now contacted him and he finally got to meet his daughter. However the mom is now refusing to allow him to have her here wher...

    Damon’s Answer

    If the mother of the child and the child have both been residing in Tennessee for 9 years, then the appropriate jurisdiction to file a Petition for Legitimation would be in the Superior Court of the County where the child and mother reside. I suggest that your boyfriend contact an attorney that practices in the county where the mother and child reside to file the appropriate paperwork.

    Please know that this is a general interest posting and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Husband ask for divorce 4 months after a big expensive wedding. Can I get him to pay some of the wedding expenses.

    both live in fulton county.

    Damon’s Answer

    It is unlikely that a Court would order your husband to pay back wedding expenses in the event of divorce. The Court will likely view the wedding as a gift to your spouse similar to the wedding ring that he gave you. In the event of a divorce, gifts between spouses (wedding reception, jewelry, etc...) are not marital assets subject to equitable division. Each of you will get to keep your gifts. If you do get divorced, perhaps you can use the gifts that he gave to you (wedding ring, jewelry, etc...) to offset some of your wedding expenses.

    In the event of a Divorce, the Court will look to equitably divide the assets and debts that the two of you acquired during the course of your marriage. Equitable division does not always mean 50/50. It means that the Court will look at the conduct of the parties during the course of the marriage, and determine what is a fair split based on facts specific to each case. Gifts are viewed by the Court as non-marital assets, and so are not typically taken into account in a divorce.

    Any assets that the two of you acquired during your short marriage, however, WILL be subject to equitable division. If you would like to discuss the specifics of what an equitable division of assets and debts might look like in a private and confidential setting please feel free to contact me for a complimentary consultation.

    Please know that this is a general interest posting and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you want specific legal advice you will need to provide more facts to an attorney in a private and confidential setting.

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  • I have temporary primary custody of my son. I have remarried and we are moving out of state. What are the laws regarding this

    issue. It does not state any where in our divorce papers that I am not allowed to move.

    Damon’s Answer

    The laws state that the secondary physical custodian of your son has the right to modify custody should there be a substantial change in circumstances. Whether or not the change of custody will be granted will be a question for the Court to decide, based on what is in your son's best interests. Georgia Court's have held that an out of state move does constitute a substantial change of circumstances, but that does not mean a change of custody is granted in every circumstance depending on the reasons behind your move.

    My suggestion would be to notify the mother of your child in writing of your intentions, because you do not want to be brought back to Court here in Georgia after your move. It will take you six months before you can establish residency in another state, and it is best to sort out any potential issues in advance of your move.

    Should the Mother file a Modification of Custody action after you notify her of your intentions to move you absolutely need to consult with an attorney.

    Please know that this is a general interest posting and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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  • Do I have sole custody of my son? I am trying to get a passport.

    I was not married to his father when he was born, but he did sign the birth certificate. I am trying to obtain a passport and the documents they are requesting to prove sole custody I don't have. The only documents I have is court papers for chil...

    Damon’s Answer

    From the information that you have provided it sounds like you have primary physical custody of your son, but you do not have sole physical custody. If the father has visitation rights, then he has secondary physical custody of your son. You will likely need him to sign off on the papers to obtain the passport.

    Please know that this is a general interest posting and does not create an attorney client relationship. If you would like some more specific advice, then I suggest you schedule a free consultation with my office to learn more about your options.

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  • HELP!!!!!!!!!!!! Can an attorney change custody?

    From permanent joint legal to temporary joint legal without anyone's knowledge or the matter being heard or discussed by a judge or either party?

    Damon’s Answer

    I am a bit confused by your question. If you are asking whether or not an attorney can modify custody on a permanent basis to a temporary basis the answer is no. Only a Judge can modify custody, unless you signed a Consent Order indicating that you agreed to a change of custody.

    If you would like to bring in some paperwork and speak to an attorney about your situation in a free consultation to get some better guidance, then I suggest you call my office to schedule a consultation.

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  • If I am already in a custody case and my ex has physical custody...

    And there have been extreme circumstances to get custody back - do I have to file a modification of custody or just wait until the final hearing?

    Damon’s Answer

    Has there been a Guardian Ad Litem appointed in your case? You can get an emergency modification of custody in the middle of the divorce or modification proceedings on a temporary basis if the circumstances warrant such a change. In most cases, you will need the testimony of a Guardian Ad Litem or other child expert recommending that such a change occur on a temporary basis, before a Judge will grant you the change. Again, it depends on the county and Judge that you have in your case. If you are in the middle of a custody case, and you are not represented by counsel, I strongly encourage you to at least speak with an attorney about your options. Please feel free to contact my office for a free consultation should you with to discuss things further in a confidential and private environment.

    Please know that this is a general interest posting and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Self-Employed Father filing bankruptcy, he is going to determine how much he can pay.

    I am aware that legally he needs to file for modification before he can "truly" decrease .. but, how is this determined? He is selling one restaurant and filing bankruptcy on the other one/two and he says HE will determine for month of December wh...

    Damon’s Answer

    The short answer to your question is Yes. Before his child support obligation will decrease, he will need to file a formal Petition for Modification of Child Support with the Court. Whether or not the Court will grant the Petition to Modify his Child Support downward will depend on a number of factors including whether or not he can prove that there has been a substantial chance in circumstances. This substantial change can take place if his income has decreased substantially, your income has increased substantially, the child's needs of decreased or increased substantially, or a number of other factors affecting his ability to pay and the child's needs.

    Unless and until he gets an Order from the Court decreasing his child support obligation, he will continue to be responsible for the full amount, and you will be able to hold him accountable in Court for any arrearages that accrue. In order to enforce collection of the arrearages, you would need to file a Motion for Contempt against him. If he does end up filing a Petition for Modification of Child Support it is important that you retain counsel to help you defend the action properly.

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