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Joanna Marie Mitchell
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Joanna Mitchell’s Answers

934 total


  • How long does a judge have to answer a motion?

    I am in the middle of a divorce. It has been almost 2 years. My wife and her attorney are dragging their feet and not answering questions. We have petitioned the judge asking for a hearing

    Joanna’s Answer

    Sounds like what you have done is filed a motion for something. Just filing a motion doesn't do anything. Judge's don't "answer" motions. They make rulings on motions after hearing argument from both sides at a scheduled Hearing date and time.

    You need to call the judge's judicial assistant (you should be able to get the phone number by calling the Family Law Clerk of Court) and see when the judge has available hearing times, making sure you allow enough time for your matter to be heard. Hearing times are usually in 15 minute increments. So, if you need 30 minutes or an hour, be sure to ask for it. Then, once you have obtained dates and times that the Judge is available, you need to contact the attorney for your Wife (or their legal assistant) and try to coordinate a date and time with them (from the dates given to you by the judicial assistant) when they are also available. Once you have done this, then you will need to draft and file a Notice of Hearing, sending a copy to your Wife's attorney and usually the judicial assistant as well.

    If you are not familiar with the former procedures, it is strongly suggested that you hire a family law attorney to assist you. Scheduling a hearing is easy. Many other procedures, laws and requirements are much, much more complicated, and if you don't know them, you will severely jeopardize your potential options and rights. This is even more true if your Wife has an attorney. You need to immediately contact an attorney to assist you.

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  • The mother wants to give up her custody of our child? As the father, would I be able to secure full custody?

    divorced for a couple of years.....co parenting agreement, child support and child custody agreement in place. father recently was awarded a significant downward modification of child support thus making the mother less than motivated to continu...

    Joanna’s Answer

    If she is in agreement, the process can be pretty straightforward. A joint stipulation for modification of the existing Order would be drafted, signed by both parties and then filed with the Court for review and approval by the Judge. You should hire an attorney to properly handle and file the necessary paperwork.

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  • How do we file an ex parte hearing?

    My children live in Florida with their mother and stepfather and I have visitation during all holidays in California. I found a text message from the stepfather to my son of him nude on a dirtbike saying "shhhh don't tell" I confronted the stepfat...

    Joanna’s Answer

    I am presuming that you original court case was in Florida and that it is Florida DCF that is investigating. That said, until DCF makes a finding or closes its investigation, you need to call them and ask them what to do. DCF trumps the Judge or any existing Order when there is a pending investigation. It is possible, if you send the children back, that you could be found guilty of failing to adequately protect your children. Call the DCF caseworker assigned to your case and ask them how to proceed so that you can continue to protect your children. You may also want to hire an attorney to represent you here in Florida so that when and if you fail to return the children and their mother files a motion for return of the children (presuming she'll do this), you can be properly represented and inform the Judge of the pending DCF investigation.

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  • In re: FL Mandatory Disclosure

    Parties entered into a mediation agreement to modify a NY Judgment of Divorce. Petitioner filed financial affidavit, Respondent did not. At the mediation table Respondent was asked to obtain pay stubs from employer (by fax) as a basis to calcula...

    Joanna’s Answer

    What is your question? Setting aside the agreement? To do so can be very difficult, but it may be possible depending on obtaining more facts. You should consult with an attorney.

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  • My fiancee is Jamaican living in the u.s. and wants to divorce his wife living in Jamaica. What is the process to divorce in u.s

    It takes 1-2 years from file date in Jamaica. Is there a quicker/cheaper process from the u.s. He is not a u.s. citizen.

    Joanna’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If he is a legal resident of Florida and has been for at least six months, then he can file for divorce in Florida. He would still have to serve her in Jamaica and, if there are children involved, then Florida may not have jurisdiction over any issues pertaining to visitation or custody. He should hire an attorney to assist him. If there are no children, it may be possible for him to get divorced in Florida within 6 months or so, depending on what issues there might be.

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  • Can I prevent the father of my child to have contact with hime after he tried to make me abort twice without my consent?

    The father of my child is a pharmacist. He didnt want the child. He gave me abortion pills twice. Once on my food and.second time vaginally without me knowing. He sent me to er twice. Called the police on both occasions. 1st time he was asked to l...

    Joanna’s Answer

    You do not have to let him have any contact with the child until and unless a court orders you to do so. And, from what you have stated, you should have sufficient grounds for a restraining order for both you and the minor child which would, most likely, only permit supervised visitation for the father, if that. I definitely agree with reporting him though. His license should be revoked due to his unconscionable actions.

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  • At this hearing . If the judge orders child support will he automatically get custody? Or will he have to ask for a hearing?

    I live in Volusia County FL. My son's father and I were not married. He left while I was still pregnant and has never made contact with our son. Never paid a penny for him. Child support enforcement has tracked him down in 4 states but he has neve...

    Joanna’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    No, he won't automatically get "custody or visitation". He would have to file a separate legal action in order to obtain that. All CSE establishes is paternity and child support. More information regarding custody, visitation, child support, paternity and other Family Law matters is located on my website at http://www.mitchell-pa.com/FAQ_Main.html Be sure to stop by and check it out!

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  • I am in love with my boyfriend who is working in India.But my parents wont agree to this proposal.I am still studying

    My sister is having an affair with a non christian and she stands by her decission. My parents neither dont agree to her proposal nor mine. My boyfriend is 28 years of age and is working in India. I am 24 years and needs 4 more years to get my deg...

    Joanna’s Answer

    You are an adult and can do as you choose. However, if you choose to act against your parent's wishes and they choose to cut you off financially as a result, then you need to be ready to deal with that. Your parents have no legal obligation to support you past the age of 18 years of age.

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  • Can a couple ask for a child support amount LOWER than the amount derived by the state of Florida?

    The way I read the form provided by the court clerk's office, is that the amount the calculator gives you is the minimum. However, the non-custodial parent doesn't feel that is a fair amount. Can we come up with an amount that is agreeable to bo...

    Joanna’s Answer

    In Florida, child support is considered the child's right that neither party can bargain away. However, if there are compelling reasons, the court may permit you to temporarily lower the amount. You may also want to be certain that you are calculating the amount properly, giving proper credit for things like child care expenses, health insurance costs and the amount of timesharing that each party has with the child or children.

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  • Can my exhusband win a contempt of court case against me for claiming my son as a dependent?

    We have had rotating custody of our 2 children for over 10 years. We each claimed one child on our taxes as we agreed upon in our divorce settlement. The problem lies in that he has not been taking the children on his scheduled time for over 2 yea...

    Joanna’s Answer

    While your logic is sound and I can definitely see your point, unfortunately, you cannot simply unilaterally refuse to comply with something that has been court ordered. If you took the dependent deduction when a court order said he was supposed to have it, and if the court order doesn't contain any conditions that must be met for him to be entitled to claim the deduction (such as exercising timesharing, current on child support obligation, etc.), then, most likely, you will be found to be in contempt for willful non-compliance with an existing court order.

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