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Rachel Aliza Elovitz
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Rachel Elovitz’s Answers

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  • Once a father is legitimized, can he take his child when ever he wants without permission of the mother? Keep her long periods?

    I have a 1 yr old, have not received any child support. Just occasional drop off of food. I let him spend time with her every weekend for the simple fact that i want my daughter to bond with her dad. I filed for child support back in January have ...

    Rachel’s Answer

    The legitimation establishes the legal relationship between a father and child. It allows the child to inherit from the father as if born in lawful wedlock. It allows the father to serve as a placement resource for the child if he or she were taken into state custody. It allows the father to seek parenting time or custody of the child. What kind of time depends on that to which the two of you agree in any mediation or collaborative process or what the judge determines if you go to trial. Even if you resolve the issue in mediation or through some other ADR process, the Judge still has to approve of any agreement reached. An award of parenting time or custody has to be based on the child's best interest.

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  • Can the judge deny a father of legitimization if he has a criminal background?

    Criminal background in identity theft. Its current happened more than one occasion.

    Rachel’s Answer

    The grant of legitation requires the petitioner to meet a two-fold legal burden. Specifically, you have to show that you have not abandoned your opportunity interest to form a meaningful relationship with the child and that it is in your child's best interest that the legitimation be granted. The mother may try to claim that it is not in your child's best interest to be legitimated by a father with a recent criminal record for committing identity fraud, that such conduct is not the kind of behavior and judgment the child should learn to emulate. You will need to be prepared to argue or an attorney on your behalf that you are not the sociopath she may paint you to be, that you made a mistake, owned up to it, paid your debt to society, are working hard, gainfully employed, want to support your child financially, emotionally...to ensure his academic success, extracurricular engagement, spiritual development, etc.

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  • What will/can CPS do if I haven't taken my perfectly healthy 10 year old to the doctor for a "Well Child" visit?

    I had CPS called on me when I left my 10 1/2 year old son home alone. I had to work for 2 hours, and my state has no laws against leaving a 10 year old home alone. CPS came in and investigated anyway. I fully cooperated when they looked all thr...

    Rachel’s Answer

    Giving you a meaningful answer would require more information to which no one on this site is privy. For example, the report to DFCS may have come from a mandated reporter (i.e. the child's teacher) who may have been concerned about your son reporting that he often spends time unsupervised in the home, that he recently burned himself when alone (which might be why they were checking the setting of your tap water to see if it was too hot), and if they already had concerns and that was exacerbated by a finding that your child had not been to a well visit in 4 years, and that you did not follow through and take him when they raised a concern, you might find your child being taken into care (into the custody of the state) in connection with a complaint alleging that he is without proper parental care and supervision.

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  • Can a finalized divorce be refiled to include spousal support?

    My mother has been divorced for 2 years and has a simple divorce decree. It does not include any spousal support as that was reached in an outside the court agreement. Her ex husband has now decided he no longer wants to pay her the spousal suppor...

    Rachel’s Answer

    The short answer to your question is probably not, and here's why. There is a doctrine in the law known as “res judicata” and in divorce and alimony cases, it is applied such that a final decree has the effect of binding the parties (your mother and father in this instance) to all matters which were actually put in issue and decided in their divorce, or which matters were, by necessary implication, decided between them.

    In cases wherein a settlement agreement was incorporated into the final judgment and decree of divorce, the Georgia Court of Appeals has held that the rules of contract construction are applied to determine whether the agreement manifested an intent to settle all issues between the parties. If it did, then a petition for alimony filed by your mother will likely (and should under the law) be dismissed, as it would fail to state a legal claim upon which relief could be granted.

    However, no one on this site has seen your mother’s divorce decree, and she would be wise to show it to an attorney. It may not (although I would be surprised if it did not) state that the parties’ agreement -or their manifest intent - was to resolve all issues incident to the divorce.

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  • Does my friend, the mother, need a custody attorney.

    Currently, the parents are divorced and have joint custody. The mother - technically homeless, but staying with a friend. The child - 11 years old. The father - undocumented and abusive (unproven). The father is threatening to sue for sole custod...

    Rachel’s Answer

    You post leaves some important facts unanswered. When you say that they have "joint" custody, are you referring to joint legal, joint physical, or both? Even if they have "joint physical," while Georgia law defines that as shared (i.e. 50/50) custody or something closely approximating that, there are settlement agreements out there that will call a physical custody arrangement "joint" when it is not a true "joint" custodial arrangement - and will refer to one parent as "primary' and the other as "secondary," when what you really have is a sole custodian and a visiting or non-custodial parent. If she is the primary physical custodian, then he cannot relocate with the child without interfering with her custodial rights and committing a crime. However, if she is homeless, if she cannot provide a safe and stable home environment for the child, then she is at risk of the child being taken into state custody and placed with an "abusive" father (or if the evidence in any dependency proceeding indicates that he has been abusive, then the child may end up staying in foster care until the mother can comply with a case plan that would include getting stable housing, stable income, and she (and the father) would likely have to submit to parenting assessments to ensure that there are no barriers to healthy. safe, and effective parenting). If she is homeless, she is also making it easy, if you will, for the father to file a modification of custody action (giving him a basis to claim that there has been a material change in circumstances affecting the health and welfare of the child and that it would be in her best interest for custody to be modified). If she wants to avoid those potentialities, then she needs to do everything she can to establish some stability and a healthy and safe living environment for her child. If the father files a modification action, then absolutely, she will need representation. She can all Georgia Legal Services, Legal Aid, and if the case ends up in Juvenile Court, she can request a pro bono appointment.

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  • My ex wife gave me 10 days notice over the holiday to relocate my two kids to another state. What can I do?

    She has custody and I get the kids every other weekend and every other major holiday and half of each holiday period. She told me she will give me dual custody if I allow her to take the kids with her out of state. I felt pressured and signed the ...

    Rachel’s Answer

    You need to file a Petition for Modification of Custody. You need to do it yesterday, and you would be wise to retain an attorney who regularly practices family law. Best of luck to you.

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  • Can I set a visitation schedule of our kids, meet point etc. after having temporary custody? Should I file for sole custody now?

    Never married to childrens father, he has legitimized them due to child support order I had to file against him. I had a temporary restraining order against him that has now expired and now he is making demands on where I should drop off and pick ...

    Rachel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Hi. Your post invites a few questions. You alluded to a temporary order in which the Court granted you physical custody of your children. Did the Order provide for a visitation schedule for the father? If not, and if, as your post suggests, there has been no final Order on custody and parenting time, and if any parenting time provisions in the restraining order have with the expiration of the Order become of no force and effect (a lot of ifs)...in other words, If there ard no parenting time provisions in any Order providing for his visitation with the children, then you do not have to jump to his demands.

    However, if he is asking you to meet him for a parenting time exchange at a place designated by a court order or at a time designated by a court order and you do not show up, then unless there was some
    act of God or emergency that kept you from meeting him, you are setting yourself up for a finding of contempt.

    Even in the absence of a court order, if what he's asking you to do is reasonable so that he can have a relationship with the children and you are not willing to be accommodating at all, it can't hurt you if he seeks custody of the children and claims that you are not willing to facilitate a meaningful relstionship between him and the children.

    The keyword is reasonable. You do not have to meet his unreasonable demands, unless his demands are consistent with the provisions of a court order.

    If you are unsure of whether an order requires you to do something he's requesting of you, then you need to show it to a lawyer.

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  • My son messed around with a married women and she got pregnant we dna we know its his how do we get him legitimizes?

    She is still married living with her husband has a criminal background. She won't let us see him. My son works but he is not rich he is only 19 and she is close to her 30"s. And she is trying to take him to child support for his whole check. Wha...

    Rachel’s Answer

    He needs to go talk to a family law attorney about filing a petition for legitimation, seeking an award of parenting time or custody, and each parent's obligation to support the child under the law.

    Right now, the parents who are obligated to support him are his mother and presumptive legal father, namely the man to whom his mother is married, if in fact he was born during their marriage.

    If your son wants a relationship with his child, then it would be unwise to wait to file for legitimation. The legal burden in demonstrating to the court that the legitimation should be granted is two-fold.

    Specifically, he has to first demonstrate that he has not abandoned his opportunity interest to form a meaningful relationship with the child, and he has to demonstrate that it would be in the child's best interest for him to be legitimated. If he waits a number of years to seek any involvement with his son and to file for legitimation, then the mother will have a basis to argue that he has has abandoned his opportunity interest.

    If he cannot afford an attorney, he should call his local bar association and ask for a pro bono referral. If he cannot find the number for his local Bar Association online, that he can call the Georgia Bar Assoc. The number can be found at GA bar.org. I believe it is 404.527.8700.

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  • Can I file abuse and child support papers while living in the house with an verbally and physically abusive partner?

    I moved in with him in July 2013 while pregnant with my now 11 month old child and a 5 year old daughter at the time. Presently hes gotten abusive verbally and since got physical twice. The first time he kept pushing me in the head and I fought ...

    Rachel’s Answer

    Call Women's Resource Center's 24-hour hotline. They offer support and information. You cannot keep your children in an abusive environment unless you want them to learn those behaviors or be otherwise traumatized by them.

    Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence (metro-Atlanta) 404-688-9436

    Georgia Domestic Violence Hotline (Outside metro-Atlanta)
    1-800-33HAVEN (334-2836)

    National Domestic Violence Hotline (Outside Georgia)
    1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)

    You can also apply for child support online with DHR's Division of Child Support Services.

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  • Can l legally stop visitation if I think my son's life is in danger

    My son is five. When it's time to visit his father his does not want to go. My son's father has a big untrained pit bull in his apartment. The dog is bigger than my son .The dog scratched my son on his face and my son's dad did not notice it.My so...

    Rachel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You do not give us some specifics that may be important in providing you with a meaningful response. For example, if you told us that your son has been around this dog for 5 years without incident, that you have not seen the ex smoke weed in 3 years, then withholding this father's parenting time is likely to backfire. It would under such circumstances reflect poorly on you and your willingness to recognize the importance of the child's relationship with his other parent.

    However, if you were to tell us that this dog is a new addition to the family, that you have a good faith basis to believe he is an aggressive dog, such as that he put another child in the hospital, or that the scratch on your son's face required twelve stitches, or that he otherwise poses a threat of imminent harm to your son, and/or that your ex was, for example, in two car accidents because of substance abuse in the last 6 months and poses a threat if harm to your son, then you would want to file a modification action, and in the interim, let him know that you are only comfortable with supervised visits.

    You might look into Nia's Place, Visits Inc, and A+ Services.

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