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Joanna Marie Mitchell
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Joanna Mitchell’s Answers

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  • Can this be done? See "Explain your situation"

    Can two unmarried (never been married) parents going before a judge with their parenting plan also add a written agreement that neither one can make any future changes to the plan including requesting additional or updated child support payments f...

    Joanna’s Answer

    Yes you can go in front of a Judge with a parenting plan that is agreed upon, and presuming it is in the child's best interest, the Judge will approve it. You would need to file a Joint Stipulation to Establish Paternity. However, No, you cannot make it non-modifiable, nor would you want to. Child support is always modifiable if circumstances change AND you cannot see the future to know if a change in the parenting plan might be warranted in the future. For example, one parent might change jobs that might make the existing timesharing agreement unworkable. OR, one parent might get into some sort of legal trouble whereby perhaps them having the child overnight is no longer in the child's best interest. OR, years from now one person may be earning significantly more and child support should be modified. Because the future cannot be foreseen, nor what might be in the child's best interest in the future, neither a parenting plan nor child support can be made non-modifiable.

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  • Can you help me?

    I am currently stationed in fort hood Texas and I am very limited on time and money. I haven't been able to have my daughter in Florida be with me at any given time. The mother won't allow it. I went to Florida on leave and I tried to get my daugh...

    Joanna’s Answer

    I agree that more information is needed in order to answer your question as to what you need to do. As the Father you have equal rights, but only if they've been established either by operation of law or by a Judge. You need to consult with an attorney who can discuss the particulars of your situation and then advise you as to how best to proceed.

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  • Who is responsible for flea expenses if your dog contracts them at a pet day care facility

    We picked up our pet from a day care and boarding facility and instantly noticed she had a flea. She did have all her necessary medication and flea prevention going in. We reported the flea immediately and the facility thanked us. Over a month lat...

    Joanna’s Answer

    It will be nearly impossible to prove that the flea came from their facility. You can check the language of your boarding contract to see if it provides any recourse, but you are likely to be simply throwing your money away trying to pursue this matter. I would personally recommend (and this is personal advice, not legal advice) getting a good flea medicine, such as FrontLine Plus or something comparable, put that on your dog and your flea problem should resolve in a month or two if applied properly. And, should you need to board in the future, simply treat your dog BEFORE you board him, and that should eliminate the problem.

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  • Is more than the financial affidavit really required for Mandatory disclosure if neither party requests it?

    I was reading about Mandatory Disclosure, I know my ex does not have everything, if he can even provide any of it, required to be provided for this and I don't really want it, I can provide some of it but not all of it myself, if we both provide t...

    Joanna’s Answer

    You can agree to limited financial disclosure, if you're both in agreement. However, I would recommend getting at least basic information (tax returns, bank statements, paystubs) in order to make sure that child support is properly calculated. If the assets and debts have already been divided, then you should do a partial agreement where each keeps own in their own name and you could include in that agreement a waiver of further financial disclosure.

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  • How do I establish paternity if I was still married when I gave birth to my son?

    I have been separated from my ex for a couple years and had a new baby with my boyfriend a few months ago, before his birth I filed for divorce and included the unborn baby in the children born or conceived during the marriage but not common to bo...

    Joanna’s Answer

    I agree that it is two separate actions. However, your legal Husband should file an Affidavit of Non-Paternity in the divorce action, and the biological father an Affidavit of Paternity. This will not establish his paternity, but it will help "un-muddy" the waters. Then, if you want to establish his paternity legally and add his name to the birth certificate, you would need to file a separate action to do so. It doesn't matter whether you or the biological father were to do this (your legal Husband cannot). You really should retain an attorney to assist you in order to ensure that everything is properly handled.

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  • Can I stop paying child support if my ex wife abandoned the child and I now have to take full care of the child?

    basically what happened was we divorced last year, we came to an agreement on everything and signed a settltment agreement. I was to pay child support per the agreement and I have been. Recently my ex wife has left her home with her boyfriend an...

    Joanna’s Answer

    You should file a Supplemental Petition to Modify Child Support and Timesharing, simultaneously with a Motion to Abate Child Support. If you are unsure how to proceed, you should consult with and hire an attorney to assist you. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations.

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  • What would be the right path to file forms in regards to parents breaking agreement with court ruling?

    Father is having to relocate to another county that is approx 54 miles from me with our children because he is losing his home. We have 50/50 joint custody and time sharing set up in the current modification through lake county courts. I know it i...

    Joanna’s Answer

    I agree with the other answers IF he intends to still try to exercise 50/50 timesharing. However, if he doesn't intend to exercise 50/50 timesharing, then he won't be ordered back and the move would constitute a substantial change in circumstances that would warrant a supplemental petition for modification of both timesharing and child support. You should consult with an attorney and permit a professional to assist you so that your rights and those of your child are properly protected.

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  • Need a Florida attorney my neighbor put a restraining order against me that clearly accused me of committing serious crimes...

    Only problem is I have documentation stating I was at work during every episode of his malicious cruel attack towards me.

    Joanna’s Answer

    I agree with the other attorneys. Just because he filed for an injunction or restraining order doesn't mean that he will be successful in obtaining one (other than perhaps temporarily, pending a hearing on the matter). You absolutely need to have a competent attorney at the hearing so that your evidence can be presented properly thereby permitting the Judge to make the correct and informed decision.

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  • What is a typical long distance plan for a toddler?

    My Ex and I live in different states. Not a drivable distance. I've been told for a school aged child the parenting plan would include Spring break, Summer etc. Any examples of how a toddler's schedule would be? Would the toddler travel or the o...

    Joanna’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    There is almost an unlimited number of ways that timesharing (previously called visitation) can be worked out. Each case is different. There is no "standard" timesharing schedule. The best interest of the child is of the utmost concern and many factors are considered in order to determine what timesharing schedule would be in the best interest of the child. It is presumed that regular and frequent contact with both parents is in the child's best interest, unless there are reasons existing that this would not be in the child's best interest. If one of the parents reside out of state and it's not a drivable distance, then travel costs may also be a consideration. Generally, one parent travels down to pick up the child and take them back to their home, and then the other parent travels up to pick up the child and take the back to their home. However, sometimes one parent does all the travel. There really are so many variables that your question is nearly impossible to answer in this forum. You really should discuss the situation with a knowledgeable attorney who can learn all the pertinent facts during the consultation and then properly advise you on your options.

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  • My friend has filed for a divorce, still lives in the same home with two children, caught kissing a guy by friend of the husband

    She's affraid the home will foreclose if she leaves before it sells. He told her he is going to sue her because he cannot afford the home. Is this possible? She makes more than him and is the one leaving the marriage. What are the ramifications fo...

    Joanna’s Answer

    My colleagues are correct. Florida is what is called a "No-Fault" state, which means you don't need grounds for divorce and wrongdoing (true or not) generally doesn't come into play, unless someone has been squandering marital funds and assets on another party (hotel rooms, car payments, gifts of money, etc.). As for the home, if there is any equity, that equity will be divided in the divorce proceedings. If it doesn't have any equity, you may want to consider letting it go into foreclosure proceedings and the "short selling it" (if the lender will permit you to do so). She really needs to discuss your situation with an attorney in order to best determine how to proceed, as this forum is limited to general answers.

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