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Joseph Allan Shaw

Joseph Shaw’s Answers

21 total

  • Do I have to give my children to their father after he has broken custody agreements?

    Has broken agreement: not getting kids on time, not sending letter when taking them out of state, and meeting half way.

    Joseph’s Answer

    You are not supposed to withhold visitation over issues like these or because of child support issues. The proper remedy is to ask the Court to hold him in contempt. Simply being difficult yourself in response to other parent being difficult might feel good and perhaps even will produce the proper outcome.....but, it can also give you unclean hands if someone resorts to the proper legal solutions. I concur that the proper course is to consult with an attorney who regularly practices in the Domestic Relations Court handling your case.....they know how your Judge is likely to react to these issues.

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  • How to prove a mother unfit?

    In the past two yrs my ex wife has had 7 boy friends, 8 homes (most with boyfriends) and 5 jobs (each bearly lasted a month), she has also had a third child (not mine). I have proof of all of this. She has also not supported our two children. We s...

    Joseph’s Answer

    If there is a custody fight between you and the mother of your children, you likely would not have to prove that she is unfit. The judge would simply have to determine whether it is in best interest of the children to be with her or you......not unfitness of either of you. However, if you signed custody over to your brother, you might have a much tougher fight getting them back from him if he were to challenge you on the issue. You should talk to a lawyer who practices in your area about this issue, as there are a lot of variables that can greatly impact these cases.

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  • How to gain visitation with child out of state?

    My fiance has a son from a previous marriage 13yrs ago. She will not allow him to see or speak to his son as of 2yrs ago. He wants to be in his life. The divorce decree states that he may have visitation "when convenient for both parties"... but i...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Continuing Jurisdiction likely remains in Martinsburg, WV, so the father likely needs to consult with an attorney who regularly practices in the same court where the custody was established. It sounds like a horrible visitation schedule that should be modified given the situation. I am not sure what the procedure would be in WV, but in Alabama, he would file a motion to modify visitation and ask the judge to order a new visitation schedule. There would be a hearing where both sides would make their arguments and then the judge would decide if the change is warranted. Normally there must a material change of circumstances before a change can be made. It sounds like it has become impossible for the parents to agree, so the father probably has a good case that should be presented to the judge. Please have him consult with a WV attorney right away.

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  • I have custody of a little boy, can his grandparents get him now?? That I have custody threw the juvenile courts

    We have had him since November 12, 2013. We have full custody of him.. threw juvenile court system.. his grandparents want him now, and we do not want to give him yo them.. the judge said if we want too, what can they do to get him?

    Joseph’s Answer

    Once a custody order has established custody, then a much higher burden (established by Ex parte McLendon, and often simply referred to as the McLendon standard) is required of the parties wishing to change that custody. Although custody is never res judicata or final, it is more difficult to change it once it has been established. You need to speak to an attorney and not ignore the situation.

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  • Can my wife file for a divorce in another state even tho she have one pending in another state?

    Me and my wife have a divorce in continues,our court date is in Aug. But I was served papers from a lawyer in Louisiana today. That shows that she filed for a divorce in Louisiana. And she have attorney here in Alabama as well. We had court two we...

    Joseph’s Answer

    There needs to be more information given before this question can be answered. If Alabama does not have jurisdiction, then she could file a motion to dismiss the case here and also file for divorce in the state that properly has jurisdiction while this motion is pending. Although personal jurisdiction in Alabama can be waived, subject matter jurisdiction cannot. If the person who filed for divorce has not lived in Alabama for at least six months, then Alabama does not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case. You need to discuss this issue with an attorney right away.

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  • Would it be better to admit to adultery and move on with court/mediation or continue hiding it? Paperwork was filed for Adultery

    A coworker and I started talking and decided to take it further while we both were in marriages that were obviously ending very soon. I serparted from my wife about 1-2 weeks after meeting her and she told hers she was divorcing him about 4 weeks ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    This question is more complicated than it first appears. First and foremost, keep in mind that Adultery is still a crime in Alabama (I have never seen it prosecuted, keep in mind that anything you say or answer can technically be used against you in a criminal case). I agree that it is never a good idea to lie. However, any decision on how to handle this issue must be carefully handled with full knowledge of the risks. I have had clients refuse to answer this question and require the opposing party to provide strict proof. I have also had clients be completely open and forthcoming about their behavior. In both scenarios, they did it with a full understanding of the risks and issues involved. I also agree that this issue will not affect child support (unless your income is outside the range of the rule 32 guidelines, where things can get crazy), but it could certainly affect alimony, property settlements, and the custody of the children. It could also affect how much bargaining power you have in negotiations regarding these issues. You need to meet with an experienced attorney right away and gain a full understanding of your situation and your options.

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  • What can be done about a joint-custodial-parent who frequently refuses to provide a means of contacting the child?

    My son's mother and I share joint physical and legal custody of our 2.5 year old son in the state of Alabama. I make it a point to speak with my son every day I don't see him. Usually, this is a 4-6 minute long call. A portion of our custody agre...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Is nightly telephone visitation addressed in the visitation schedule contained in the divorce decree/settlement agreement? If so, and if she is violating the schedule, then you could ask the court to hold the mother in contempt for violating the terms of the order. She could face sanctions, possibly having to pay your costs and attorney fees for having to enforce the agreement. You need to discuss the situation with an attorney who practices family law in your jurisdiction.

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  • Does having a live-in fiancee affect a joint custody agreement in the state of Alabama?

    I share joint legal and physical custody of my 2.5 year old son with his mother. A few short months after our split (we were never married), my son's mother is engaged to another man who has been involved with the 12 step program for drugs and alc...

    Joseph’s Answer

    There could be an issue with this. If it can be proven that the living arrangement/conditions are detrimental/unsafe to the child, then a modification of custody may be appropriate. If you have joint physical custody, you might be dealing with a simpler standard than if the mother had primary physical custody (i.e., you might not have to meet the requirements of Exparte McClendon that would otherwise have to be met). You need to meet with an experienced custody attorney to discuss this matter.

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  • Will I have to pay for child care expenses when I get divorced?

    Wife is stating that she pays $1000 a month for our kid to go to pre-K. She will not disclose to me where the child actually attends pre-k- so I can not call to verify. (We live in different states) My question is, in the divorce trial, will she ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    There are a lot more facts that will be needed to accurately answer your question. You did not say whether your wife lives in Alabama or whether you come to Alabama for your visits. You also did not say whether the divorce is taking place in Alabama or the other state. If it is in Alabama, I have found that, depending upon the total combined income, judges will normally use the day care rates on the Alabama Office of Courts schedule, which can be found at: http://www.alacourt.gov/pdfppt/ALDayCareRates2009.pdf Transportation of the child for visitation/parenting time can be negotiated or can be decided by the judge who will consider a number of factors in your situation. However, all of this can vary from county to county and from one Judge to another. You should be asking your attorney these questions and ascertaining whether there is a strategy to deal with them. If you do not have an attorney, you need to get one who practices regularly in your jurisdiction immediately.

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  • How does a hold for a FTA work?

    What is the process of dealing w/ a hold resulting from a FTA for drug paraphernalia?

    Joseph’s Answer

    Usually, once you are picked up/arrested, they will either hold you without bond and transport you to the jurisdiction where the FTA was issued or they will grant you a new bond for the FTA. Normally you need to get a local attorney deal with the underlying case. Although paraphernalia does not have as serious consequences as other possession charges (i.e., you will not have your D.L. suspended), it is still a criminal charge and should be taken seriously.

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