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Andrea Ruth Gundersen

Andrea Gundersen’s Answers

8 total

  • My ex and I had an agreed order for him to pay child support, $800.00 per month. He lost his job last year and has not paid.

    I learn that he is traveling backa nd forth to Nigeria, which cost money. How do I proceed to get the case back into court. My orginal attorney wants $1500. more to take it back into court. What do I do/

    Andrea’s Answer

    Until such time as your ex husband files a modification to modify the agreed order for child support, he is bound by the amount he agreed to and the arrears are vested, regardless of whether his financial circumstances have changes. The only way to enforce the order is to take him back to court. If you cannot afford an attorney, the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement division may be able to file on your behalf without charging you legal fees. However, there may be a substantial delay of several months before the DOR actually files your case to get it before the court. That is the draw back to having the department act on your behalf.

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  • As a foster dad do I have any rights with child I have had for 8 months?

    There are several out of town scenarios that would like to do intra state fostering of this child. Can I fight to keep her? TPR has not been initiated but the parent is not working on the case plan.

    Andrea’s Answer

    Unfortunately, as a foster parent, you do not have legal rights regarding the child or legal standing to contest the placement of your foster child. At this time the child is a ward of the state and it is up to the Department of Children and Families to seek and successfully obtain the termination of parental rights. At that time, the child would then become eligible for adoption and as a foster parent you could apply to adopt.

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  • Rights of an unmarried father.

    I am on my childs birth certificate. However my girlfriend (mother of my child) has left our residence with the child. I have not taken a paternity test or petitioned the courts for visitation thus far. If i am able to see my child and want to tak...

    Andrea’s Answer

    Being listed on the birth certificate or having a DNA test confirming you are the biological father, does not give you legal rights to the child barring a court order establishing you as the legal father of the child. In order to gain legal rights as the child's father you will need to file an action to establish paternity. If the mother is agreeable you could have a agreement prepared to address the issue of paternity as well as establishing a parenting plan, time sharing schedule and child support which could then be filed with the court. Without a legal establishment of paternity, you have no legal rights to the child and if the mother refuses to allow you to see the child, there is nothing you can do. I would advise that you contact an attorney to discuss establishing the paternity of the child which would then give you legal rights as a parent to petition the court for time sharing (visitation). It is best to establish your paternity sooner rather than later to avoid the mother removing the child from the State and then having a multi-jurisdictional issue when you try to establish paternity.

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  • What is Florida's laws on child support and alimony when the working spouse is working their best?

    What is the worst thing that can happen to someone who is working their best and is not lying or hiding any money or assets but simply and factually does not have the money to pay full child support? Can the person go to jail? Can the inability to...

    Andrea’s Answer

    If you have had a reduction in your income since the child support order was entered you should consider filing a Supplemental Petition to Modify the child support. If the court found that the support should be modified, it can only be modified back to the date of filing of the modification. Therefore, your child support arrears will continue to accumulate if you do not file for a modification. As to what the courts can do if you fail to pay the court ordered amount, there are a number of things the court can do. The court can suspend your Driver's license, if you have an occupational license the court can also suspend that. And if you are found in contempt for failure to pay the support, and the court finds that you have the ability to pay the support, it can order a purge and if you fail to pay the purge, you can be placed in jail for up to 179 days, or until you pay the "purge" amount. The court can use your income and assets to determine your ability to pay. Failure to pay child support is not a criminal matter. Even the incarceration for failure to pay a "purge" is not a criminal matter but a civil matter. However, if you are picked up on a writ of attachment for failure to pay a court ordered purge, you will not be able to "bond" out. The "key" to release is the payment of the purge amount.

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  • I was awarded $7,000 for child support, alimony and attorney's fees, Is it legal that my lawyer kept it all for owed legal fees?

    I was owed $30,000 of which $7,100 was for legal fees. The judge issued a purge order for $7,000 which my ex husband paid. My attorney kept the money for her fees and then withdrew from the case.

    Andrea’s Answer

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    The answer to your question depends on whether the court ordered the purge payment to be used for child support arrears or attorney fees. If indeed your court order stated that the purge payment was ordered to be applied towards the child support arrears, and you did not have a written agreement with your attorney as to authorizing any funds received were to be paid towards your outstanding bill, then those funds should have been forwarded to you for child support arrears. If however, your court order did not specify as to how the distribution of the purge funds were to be applied or designated that the purge was to be applied towards attorney fees, then your attorney may have had the authority to apply the purge towards her outstanding bill.

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  • Who knows the evidence in a divorce case?

    I was wondering if the lawyers know the evidence of the other spouses case and vice versa in a divorce going to trial? Does my spouse know my evidence I will present in court before I got to court? I was told by someone that my spouse will know a...

    Andrea’s Answer

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    Generally, prior to the trial date, both sides must disclose the witnesses they will call and the evidence that they intend to present. If a party tries to introduce evidence at trial, without prior notice, the court may exclude the evidence. There are instances where rebuttal evidence may be presented which could be used to rebut testimony or evidence that was raised by the other side.

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  • Constitute a violation of child support. When there is no paternity establish for the non-custodial parent.

    Meaning as a part of the child-support court order does the custodial parent have to notify the non-custodial parent of the child's whereabouts if he or she is leaving the state are the country. And is just a violation off the child support court...

    Andrea’s Answer

    If you have a "child support court order" as you state, it is highly likely that paternity was established either in that order or a prior order. I would recommend you read the order carefully. Under Florida law, in order for the court to enter a court order that requires a biological father, who is not married to the mother, to pay child support, the court would have to establish paternity. That could be done by either the father admitting paternity or by other legal means. If the Father admitted paternity in the child support case then that could legally establish paternity. Once paternity is established the father has legal rights to the child, barring a court order to the contrary. It is advisable that you consult a family law attorney before relocating to avoid possibly infringing on the father's parental rights.

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  • I am in the process of going through a divorce. My question is about the marital home.

    I am in the process of going through a divorce. My spouse and I purchased a home in shortly after being married. The deed is in both of our names, but the mortgage loan just in my spouses name. Because my spouse makes much more income than I do...

    Andrea’s Answer

    You state in your question that you are "going through a divorce". If the dissolution of marriage action is still pending in the court and a final judgment has not been entered yet then the issue of the distribution of the marital assets, which would include the real property purchased during the marriage, should be dealt with in the dissolution of marriage action. Even though the mortgage is in your husband's name, the family court has the authority to allocate the responsibility for the mortgage debt equitably between the parties. It is highly advisable that you seek the advice of a family law attorney regarding the specific facts of your case and your rights, prior to the court entering a final judgment in the dissolution of marriage action.

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