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Joanna Marie Mitchell
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Joanna Mitchell’s Answers

925 total


  • 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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  • Injunction

    I told the mother i would file paternity and she would need a lawyer. She then began to get angry and stated i will not take her baby. The mother asked if I have no contact with her. I have never contacted her only with the lawyer present about f...

    Joanna’s Answer

    From what you have stated, it sounds as if she is attempting to get the injunction as a means of limiting your contact with the child. However, that doesn't mean that she cannot obtain one. A lot will depend on how things are presented to the Judge, and yes, the entry of an injunction could affect your paternity action. Therefore, you really need to hire an attorney to assist you in both matters. This is especially true considering she has an attorney. How these cases turn out will have a lasting impact on the relationship that you have with your child. Therefore, best not to "wing it", and instead, hire a competent professional to assist and direct you.

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  • Post-nup...confused?

    Considering a post-nup. Husband want me to give up rights to future retirement and he is willing to give up rights to mine. I have not acquired any retirement accounts because I have been a stay at home mom and presuming my education for the las...

    Joanna’s Answer

    From what you have stated, it sounds as if you are waiving any interest in his retirement monies, either already accrued or accrued in the future, which only benefits him, as you don't have any. Also, to waive alimony now is probably not a wise idea, as you don't know what the future holds. Even if something is not catastrophic, you still might need alimony under certain circumstances. Definitely have an attorney review the document before signing anything, and, of course, there is always wisdom in the saying "If more than one person is telling you the same thing, perhaps it is something you should listen to ..."

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  • Termination of parental rights lasts how long?

    How long are the consequences of the TPR? My young neighbor wants to get a friend to sit with her 2 sons, pre-school age and she knows the woman had her rights terminated years ago to her 3 kids. Is the young neighbor at risk for using someone wh...

    Joanna’s Answer

    Termination of parental rights last forever. Therefore, as stated, it is a pretty severe consequence, usually to something pretty bad happening. However, there can be multiple reasons, and sometimes, someone voluntarily terminates their parental rights. I would definitely want to investigate and find out why the parental rights were terminated before leaving my children with her, especially as it was three children. That seems suspicious.

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  • Property Settlement issue. Please peruse details below.

    My former wife and I were granted a divorce IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, SEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA in 2008. In the property settlement I agreed to be responsible for a second loan for a rental property in California tha...

    Joanna’s Answer

    Normally, you wouldn't be responsible for paying her the balance of a loan that has been satisfied. However, it depends on the wording of the settlement agreement. You should have your agreement and final judgment reviewed by an attorney before agreeing to anything or taking further action.

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  • I am disabled(wheelchair bound), have no access to spouse income....he handles all financial matters,I get fifty dollars weekly,

    For gas,no clothing,personal care(hair,nails),mentally and emotionally abusive,druggie,cold unaffectionate........

    Joanna’s Answer

    What is your question? Are you seeking divorce advice? Please repost with more information regarding exactly what answers you are seeking ... important information if you are seeking a divorce are length of marriage, if there are any minor children, his approximate income, and, of course, the questions that you would like to have answered.

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  • At what age in Florida can a child choose which parent they want to live with?

    the father lives and works in texas the mother took the kids back to FL when they were 8 months old and the father has been paying child support the kids are in Coleman FL

    Joanna’s Answer

    If the only thing that was ever established by a court is child support, then you need to bring a legal action to establish your rights to spend time with your children and have regular contact. It would require extraordinary circumstances for a judge to order the children to move to Texas from Florida on a majority time basis; however, you should be able to at least have Summers and holidays and other school breaks with the children, as well as time in Florida whenever you would choose to travel here. Once that is established, if she continues to deny you contact in violation of a court order, you would have a much stronger case for the children to reside predominately with you. As for the age question, at 10 years old, their wishes will not likely be considered. However, as they get older (14, 15 or 16), the judge will give more weight to their reasonable desires. As stated by other attorneys though, this is only one of many factors that the judge considers in determining what timesharing arrangement is in the best interest of the children. You need to consult with and retain an attorney to assist you.

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  • Do I need a lawyer? Should I be worried?

    I have been the custodial parent of my son since the day he was born for the last 7 years. I was served with court papers this week from his father wanting full custody. He recently has received ssi and my son also gets a check. He's been complain...

    Joanna’s Answer

    You should consult with an attorney immediately in order to be certain to timely respond to the papers that were served on you. Keep in mind that it is 20 calendar days, not just business days. From what you have stated, I am presuming that you and the father were never married and that only child support was previously established. If this is correct, then the father will be entitled to timesharing with the child, even if he was previously not involved in the child's life. However, the amount of timesharing will depend on what arrangement would be in the child's best interest, which requires the consideration of and presentation of evidence on many different factors. In order to best determine your potential rights and options, you need to seek a consultation with a family law attorney.

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  • What do I have to do so I can get either guardianship/custody of my step-daughter...

    My husband who is in the process of serving a prison sentence for basically childmolestation who in which I want to divorce. But before we were married he had got another woman pregnant and she did not want to keep the child so we all agreed I wou...

    Joanna’s Answer

    It may be possible to do a guardianship with the mother's consent. However, perhaps the best and most permanent route would be to do a formal step parent adoption, which would require cooperation of both the biological mother and your husband (and would need to be done prior to any divorce proceedings). If you are able to adopt the child, then subsequently, in the divorce proceeding, you could be awarded sole parental responsibility for the child. As stated previously and by the other attorney who responded, either route is going to require the biological mother's written consent.

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  • Still married awaiting for divorce and custody to start

    Hey guys sorry for asking this late, after I won my injunction case, my ex was put in a shelter by the judge she abandon the marriage she does not allow me to see my kid is been 3 months, if I were to pick up my kid from the person that is taking ...

    Joanna’s Answer

    I agree with the other two attorneys. Rarely is it the right thing to do to just go "snatch" the child from the caregiver. While you may not be breaking the law, Judge's typically frown on someone not pursuing things through the proper legal channels. And, as they say, two wrongs don't make a right. Consult with an attorney in order to best determine how to proceed.

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