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Joanna Marie Mitchell
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Joanna Mitchell’s Answers

970 total


  • Can I move 50 miles (as the crow flies distance) without permission from other parent or court?

    Wanting to move with children and I know in Florida there is a rule that you can only move 50 miles from the home in which you were living at time of divorce. I heard that it is not driving miles, it is as the crow flies (straight line) miles. C...

    Joanna’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. If it is 50.01 miles, then you must comply with the Relocation Statute. You would need to file a Notice of Intent to Relocate and serve that on the other party. If they object, then you would need court approval. Of course, if you discuss it with them and get their consent prior to moving, perhaps by agreeing to be responsible for more of the transportation because of the move, then you would just need to reduce that agreement to writing and file it with the Court as a Joint Stipulation. If you are not sure how to do any of this, then you really should consult with and retain an attorney to assist you.

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  • Is there a special filing we can do as there "technically" is no father?

    I'm a divorced Florida man. My fiancee is a divorced Florida woman. She adopted 2 children at birth (now ages 3 and 6) after her divorce. After we're married, I would like to adopt them.

    Joanna’s Answer

    Yes, you can adopt them through filing a step-parent adoption. Normally, this would require the consent of the biological father, but in your circumstance, it doesn't sound like this should be necessary. Therefore, it would be just a matter of filing the proper paperwork and having a hearing in front of a Judge where the adoption is granted. You should consult with an attorney and retain one to assist you in filing the correct paperwork. The process shouldn't take that long (a couple months at best).

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  • What route do I have to take to receive majority custody of my children. Being that our parent agreement is in Jacksonville, FL

    We have been trying to work out our parenting agreement for some time now. We both lived in Jacksonville Fl. We had shared parenting 50/50 one week with me then one week with her. She later went to the Military and left me with the children. So ...

    Joanna’s Answer

    Depending on the circumstances, you most likely need to file a Supplemental Petition for Modification of the prior agreement and Order. Whether you will be able to obtain majority timesharing depends on many factors that the court considers in order to determine what arrangement is in the best interest of the children. In order to fully determine how you should proceed and determine your potential rights and options, you really need to consult with an attorney who, after learning more specifics about your situation, can properly advise you. Many family law attorneys offer free initial consultations, including my office. You should speak with several attorneys and then proceed with the one with whom you feel the most comfortable. Please keep in mind that your case, most likely, would be in Jacksonville. So, you should consult with attorneys who practice in that area.

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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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