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Lori I Barkus

Lori Barkus’s Answers

168 total


  • Wanting to remove parental rights

    I am seeking to remove parental rights from my ex. We have been separted for five years never were married. He owes at least 20,000 in back child support, and works under the table so he doesn't have to pay. My future husband wants to adopt the ki...

    Lori’s Answer

    You can file a petition for termination of parental rights for the purpose of stepparent adoption. If your ex husband agrees to the petition, the judge may allow the termination of parental rights and the adoption to take place (remember that both must happen, and at the same time). If your ex does not agree, then you will have to prove grounds for termination. Failing to pay child support and not seeing the children are things the court will look at in making the decision. If you are serious about the adoption, you need to speak with a local family law attorney about the steps you need to take to proceed and the likelihood of success.

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  • My ex husband liquidated accounts before I filed for divorce. Is this legal?

    I've been divorced for 6 months. I was separated for 1 year before I filed for divorce. During that time my husband liquidated accounts and the account balances on all the accounts went down. My attorney wanted to go after lifetime alimony and sai...

    Lori’s Answer

    I'm not sure what your question is. Yes, it is improper to remove money from marital accounts. This is considered marital waste. If the question is whether you can recover additional money from your ex husband 6 months after the divorce was finalized, this is trickier and not something I can answer without knowing all the facts. It depends on whether you have grounds to reopen the case based on improper financial disclosure and it also depends on what your agreement says. I recommend that you have a lawyer review your agreement and discuss with you the fact and circumstances

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  • Would I be legally responsible, If I got a married woman pregnant? Could the make me pay Child support?

    My girlfriend was going to eventually file for divorce after being separated with her husband for months. I got her pregnant and she is still married to her ex. Her adoption agency says I am not the legal father even though I am the biological f...

    Lori’s Answer

    The short answer to your question is yes, but it depends on a lot of variables. The husband is presumed to be the father because the parties are married, but the husband can challenge whether he is the father and prove to a court that he is not (I assume they are still divorcing?) If this happens, the mother can seek child support from you.
    I am concerned about giving even this much information because your question not only leaves out a great deal of facts but you also mention an adoption. If she is having the child adopted, the situation becomes different. Since that part of your question is unclear, I cannot provide even general information for that set of facts.

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  • What can I do if i paid my child support for the past 2 years, and my ex-wife only had recevied the half of the money?

    I had made payments for the past 2 years and my ex-wife has not recieved child support payment since my daugther turnes 18, she is now 20 years old. How can i found out where the money went?

    Lori’s Answer

    I assume that you are paying through the Central Depository or State Disbursement Unit. If that is a case, then there is a record of where payments have been sent. You can contact the central depository directly and make an inquiry. Be prepared to be persistent. Like most state agencies, it takes a while to get through and information is not easily forthcoming.

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  • My husband has left with another woman. What are my options.

    My husband has been carrying on an affair for over two years. He has refused to file for separation or divorce insisting that if I want a divorce I should file. He has recently left town and may have traveled out of the country with his girl. I...

    Lori’s Answer

    There is no legal separation in Florida. There is a procedure for support unconnected with dissolution of marriage. I would caution you to speak with an attorney about which way to proceed. Given the facts as you describe them, you may need to take steps to protect marital assets, which cannot be done in the context of a support proceeding.

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  • How can I answer a contempt of court motion? Must I wait until I get into a court room?

    I have been without a job for the last two months. My ex-spouse has filed a contempt of court due to not paying Sept Child support, retro and non-covered health expenses at the rate of 50%. I, however, have the copies of cashed checks for most of ...

    Lori’s Answer

    I would caution against handling this matter yourself. Contempt of court is serious and a judge has the right to order you put in jail if you are found to be in willful contempt. You should seriously consider having an attorney represent you at a contempt hearing and advising you on how to prepare for one.

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  • Im a single mom, my baby is 10 months old and now the father wants to take her. Is there a support for mother's rights?

    he has never given child support, his name is on the birth certificate. i also have a document where he states that the baby resides with me and i can take her out of the country on unlimited basis until she is 18. I have an open schedule with h...

    Lori’s Answer

    Yes he can request a parenting schedule, but he first needs to establish paternity through a court order and establish payment of child support. He must also pay child support back to when she was born. If you feel he does not know how to take care of her, perhaps he will agree to attend some parenting classes. If you have specific concerns about his ability to be a parent and attend to an infant while unsupervised, you should speak with a local attorney about these concerns and what the concerns mean in terms of his timesharing and parenting rights.

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  • Can I leave the state with my 17 month old daughter?

    My husband and I have no filed anything at this point but want to understand if I did file for a searation or divorce can I leave the state with my daughter? My family is all in WI and we live in FL at this point. I am also thinking of just ge...

    Lori’s Answer

    You cannot relocate without your spouses written permission or a court order. Please also keep in mind that there are requirements for filing a petition for relocation, even when a spouse agrees to it.

    Regarding the second portion of your question, there is a difference between relocating permanently and leaving for a brief period of time. It is unclear which you intend to do.

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  • My wife are getiing a divorce.....it will be amicable. Until the final outcome...

    Intially moving out what are my financial responsibilities to the house hold ? She bought the house years before we met, we always split the bills 50/50.......no kids.....am I to continue to pay my 50% of the bills (house,electric,water,phone...)e...

    Lori’s Answer

    There are too many questions and too little facts to give a proper answer. I recommend that you speak with a local attorney about marital and separate property as well as support issues.

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  • My spouse will not sign the marital settlement for dissolution, can I still get divorced? Can the dissolution be served?

    My spouse and I are both in the military, currently I am here and the other overseas. I would like to get a divorce for irreconcilable differences. I filled through an online service and my spouse will not sign the marital settlement for dissolu...

    Lori’s Answer

    I would not recommend an online divorce service in any case, and definitely not in one involving two members of the military. There are legal questions about where you can file and whether you can proceed with a divorce at this time, if your spouse is located overseas. Also, an unsigned settlement agreement is not a document that can be filed with the court because it is not a contract between you, merely a settlement offer.
    I strongly recommend that you speak with a local attorney with experience handling military issues about the correct procedure for filing for divorce.

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