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Tina Leah Lewert

Tina Lewert’s Answers

29 total

  • Can i reapply in family court for custody now that the dependency court has closed its case?

    permanent guardianship was awarded to the great grandmother. the mother is in prison. DCF wanted me to do BIP, which i refused. MY daughter was taken away because the mother had a meth lab in the home. i was living in another state. because i refu...

    Tina’s Answer

    No, sorry. They would likely just assign the family court case to the same judge and/or consolidate the cases due to something called "Unified Family Court". Either that or your petition in family court would be subject to a motion to dismiss based on a doctrine in the law known as "res judicata" which means that the issue has already been heard and determined and cannot be re-litigated.

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  • Can my wife's counsel issue a subpoena before the 10 days are up after the notice was filed?

    My wife's counsel issued Notice Production of records from my employer, then issued the subpoena to the employer days before the 10 days expired. Additionally, her counsel did not notify me properly of the Notice, I happened up on it in the Docke...

    Tina’s Answer

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    You are entitled to the 10 days' notice so that you have the opportunity to object within those 10 days BEFORE the subpoena is issued. This is unless you agreed to waive the 10 days, which is something we attorneys sometimes ask of one another, but it does not sound like you agreed here to do that. You can file a motion to quash subpoena based on the attorney's failure to follow the rules, set it for hearing before the judge and argue the motion.

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  • If ex waved the right to future assets, is she still entitled to an aportionment of my disability awarded 5 years after divorce?

    recently i discovered that my ex was awarded an aportionment of my disability compensation from the VA. I found out after inquiring why i hadn't received payment. I'm awaiting copies of the paperwork from the VA concerning this. In the divorce ...

    Tina’s Answer

    Generally, equitable distribution is not modifiable, so once the rights to or interest in an asset have been waived, they have been waived. As for assets acquired after the divorce was final, particularly if the disability was from something that occurred after the divorce, those assets should have nothing to do with her. Is there some sort of judgment or child support owed? There could be something else holding up your payment, and you should absolutely have an attorney look over your documents and/or assist you in inquiring.

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  • How do I get my ex husband to follow the visitation order? He shows up unannounced at my home to see them on avg. 2 times wk.

    I have asked him nicely many times to respect the boundaries and he refuses. He says he will not stop. That its good for the kids and doesn't hurt anything. He is manipulative and controlling and it invades my privacy, space and time with my kids....

    Tina’s Answer

    You have a couple options here. You could file a Motion for Contempt/Enforcement, asking the court to hold him to exactly what the timesharing schedule says and asking for sanctions, possibly in the form of paying your legal fees. The parenting statute states that a parent may be held in contempt and lists sanctions for the parent's failure to abide by a court-ordered timesharing schedule. You could also ask the court to order/appoint a parenting coordinator, who can assist with day to day parenting issues including timesharing exchanges and violations. It would be nice if he were willing to do this voluntarily, but if not it's probably something I would include in your motion as a remedy for the future. You may need to seek counsel on this one.

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  • If I divorce my husband and he won't or can't get a job to support himself, is that a consideration in awarding custody?

    If he cant earn money to afford even diapers how can he share custody?, The child is a newborn. She's also breast fed - does that factor in?

    Tina’s Answer

    The court can certainly consider this, but unless he's voluntarily underemployed and chooses not to work, the court may not impute a lot of income to him. If you make considerably more income than he does or is capable of earning, you may have to pay him some child support. In any event, the court will want to maximize the child's time with both parents so long as that is in the best interests of the child.

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  • Does the petitioner speak first in family court?

    I petitioned the court for a time-sharing schedule and was wondering if I will be the first one to speak. If the opposing party starts to speak can I object?

    Tina’s Answer

    If you are the petitioner, you will have the opportunity to present your case first at trial. This means you will likely be afforded the opportunity to present the judge with an opening statement, followed by the respondent having the same opportunity, followed by you presenting your case-in-chief by testifying or calling witnesses to ask questions. The respondent will have the opportunity to ask cross-examination questions of each witness before each witness leaves the stand. The judge is usually good at controlling the courtroom, so if someone speaks out of turn the judge will typically instruct them not to, but you can object if it becomes unruly/discourteous.

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  • What if I do not have proof that I paid for child care when I go to court?

    Will I still be able to get this included in my child support modification? I just started writing up receipts from a book I got at Office Depot because someone told me I should. Will it matter that I do not have proof from before these receipts? ...

    Tina’s Answer

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    The most reliable source of this information would be the testimony of a person from the daycare who has personal knowledge that you paid, or actually has the records and can bring them to court and authenticate them.

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  • What do I need to do to collect back child support and Insurance costs from non-custodial parent?

    My child's father owes me close to $10K in back child support. He also has never provided Health Insurance for her as was part of the court order. His wife is now paying regularly only the monthly amount, no arrears. He is unemployed and living of...

    Tina’s Answer

    File a motion for contempt/enforcement, seeking 1) payment of the arrears he owes, 2) interest on the arrears he owes; 3) legal fees if you incur them; and imputation of income to him. The court can't modify the child support at a hearing on your motion - it can only modify child support if he files a petition for modification and he sets a hearing on that. If he can work but chooses not to, then the court can impute some income to him - perhaps his last income or some other leval of income that he could earn, such as minimum wage or the median income for his age group. You should get interest, and the court should likely set a payment plan for him to pay off his arrears plus interest in addition to the ongoing child support due every month. If he has no assets in his name then the court may find he does not have the "ability to pay" the arrears in a lump sum, but at the very least they should set up a monthly payment towards the arrears so you can start getting this money back. Good luck.

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  • My daughters father is taking me to court trying to get my parental rights taken i need help so i dont get railroaded

    he has a lawyer and does not pay child support has shown up once on july forth to get her after a time share was made . and is now trying to tell the court its me not showing up but i have witnesses to prove ive been there

    Tina’s Answer

    Modification of timesharing and parenting rights is a very complex issue and should not be taken lightly; you really should contact an attorney immediately and obtain some in depth legal advice, or retain counsel to represent you. You need someone to review the pleadings and talk with you about your case and any testimony or evidence you can bring to the court to help defend your position. If you have witnesses or documentary evidence, you should make sure you bring same to court. Still, the rules of evidence are intricate, and what the judge is and is not allowed to hear are dictated by those rules, so you may have a hard time getting certain testimony or documents into evidence without the guidance of a lawyer.

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  • Should the judge have recused himself from my divorce case?

    My judge that ruled on my divorce worked with my ex BEFORE the case as a guardian ad litem volunteer (both of them). A picture was published with them standing side by side long before the divorce was settled. I feel like I did not get a fair de...

    Tina’s Answer

    You don't need to show a pattern to get a judge to recuse himself. Your attorney needs to file a motion within 10 days of the issue that gives rise to your perception of bias, requesting that the judge take himself off the case, and you need to sign that motion as a sworn affidavit. The law says that if the motion is "legally sufficient", the judge must recuse himself. You should talk to your attorney about filing such a motion if you've just learned of the connection/photo, etc. Or your attorney may find that there are other grounds upon which you can seek to recuse the judge. It's not about his own feeling on whether he can be neutral; rather, it's based on YOUR perception that you cannot get a fair trial, typically based on some conflict of interest or something the judge said to "pre-judge" the case.

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