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Kristin Stone’s Answers

39 total

  • Can I change my children's last name with out their fathers permission?

    They are 7 years old and 20 months old. He has not seen the 7 year old since October 15, 2011 and has never seen the baby. We divorced May 3, 2011 when the baby was 29 days old and has not expressed any interest in the baby and has provided absol...

    Kristin’s Answer

    You could change your children's names without the consent of their father in either of two circumstances: (1) dad has failed for two or more years before the petition is filed to support and keep in contact with the child, or (2) the noncustodial parent has been convicted of the crime of child abuse or criminal sexual conduct and the child or the child’s sibling is a victim of the crime. The court will give weight to your daughter's wish to change her name. I would suggest that you ask him to consent to the name change. Tell him how your daughter wants to have the same name as you. I would approach it in a way that doesn't suggest you are eliminating him from their lives, but rather trying to help them feel more comfortable. Good luck.

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  • How do i prove drug use in court, regarding parenting time and visitation with minor child?

    I have a daughter of whom i have custody. Her non custodial parent was granted visitation every other wkend, but does not execute it regulary. The other party was very recently terminated from their employment due to testing postitive for marijua...

    Kristin’s Answer

    In order for a court to order supervised visits you are going to have to demonstrate that the other parent poses a risk of harm to the child if left unsupervised. This is a difficult thing to do, but meth use definitely poses a risk of harm to a child. Do you have proof of this termination of employment? Do you have any other information that the parent uses drugs, especially meth? Have you or others witnessed unstable behavior around the child? Is the child exposed to drug use? Is the parent at risk of losing his or her home because of the loss of employment? Think about these things and also think about whether you two could agree on a supervisor. If you can prove drug use, the court could drug test him and make the return of unsupervised visits contingent on negative drug screens. I would suggest that you act quickly so as to avoid putting your child in danger.

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  • Parental issues.

    I am 17 and I live with my mother. She said that I can't live with my dad becasue he owes on child support. She also said that I don't have any say in where I live, even though I'm 17. She said that I'm stuck at her house until I'm 18. Also, what ...

    Kristin’s Answer

    Hi, I am sorry you are having difficulties. Technically, child support and custody are two separate issues. Unfortunately, you don't get to decide where you live until you are 18 - your parents do, and if they don't agree, then the courts do. Custody cases are very difficult and more than likely, even if your dad filed a motion to change custody it would take just as long to do the case as it will for you to turn 18. Your mom is boss until you are 18 with other things, too - like telling you can't do something that is legal. Hang in there. Soon you will have a lot more options without having to deal with the courts.

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  • As a father who lives in IL that never married the mother of their 3 year old daughter who lives in MI, what rights are there?

    Father pays child support and is only allowed to see child when mother doesn't decline. Which has been 48 hours every 3-6 months, and father does the commute there and still has to follow mothers guidelines. As a father what rights does one have, ...

    Kristin’s Answer

    I agree with the previous answer and would also add that once there the father is established as the legal father, he has all the rights that any legal parent has. If there is a previous court order regarding custody and child support, a court won't modify it without a change in circumstances.The focus is on the best interests of the child. This is where the analysis gets very fact intensive. For instance, one thing the court would look at is whether there is an established bond with the child. Is he able to care for his child? Is mom prevent visitation? It is very difficult to change an existing custodial arrangement governed by court order but it is certainly possible. Best.

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  • What is the penalty for violating an order from the Friend of the Court in Michigan.

    My wife and I are going through a divorce right now. She was cheating on me with her ex husband and is still seeing him. One of the orders that the Friend of the Court put into the custody order was the my wife and I could not have our 6 year old ...

    Kristin’s Answer

    The court has a variety of enforcement powers, including holding your wife in contempt of court for violating a court order. What I am interpreting from this question is that the purpose of the court order is to prevent your daughter from exposure to a romantic relationship. Changing a tire is very different than your daughter being present during a date, while making dinner together or spending any time together. Thus, in this situation, I doubt the court would use its contempt powers. I would, however, inform the court of this incident in so much as it is a blatant disregard for a court order. As you indicated, she had other modes of assistance. In this context, it is relevant to the final issue of custody.

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  • How do I stop or get supervised limitation with non-custodial parent?

    My ex-wife has vistation rights with our son. However, he is always telling me the inappropriate situations that happen while his is with his mother. From smoking pot, to dancing naked on the internet with men, constant domestic fighting with he...

    Kristin’s Answer

    Whoa! From what you are saying, there is a serious risk of harm to the child when visiting mom. File an emergency motion for suspended/supervised visits. I would attach letters of these recommendations and medical records to bolster your case. Make sure your motion is strong because suspending visits is the most extreme action a court can take. Think of other best interests factors as well (see Friend of Court Handbook). Demonstrate the risk with facts and documentation. Most of all, be sure to care for your son as much as possible - love and security. Best.

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  • I was recently charged with domestic violence and I dont know what to plea at my hearing?

    It is against my sister that I live with. She did not press the charges

    Kristin’s Answer

    When you go to the first hearing, the court will do to things: First, arraign you (if they haven't already) and set a bond. This is a portion is important so that the bond isn't too difficult for you to comply with. Second, they will ask whether you want to plead guilty, not guilty or stand mute to the charges. If you plead guilty, you won't have an opportunity to defend yourself and it will go on your record. There are several possibilities that can occur which would allow you to have no permanent record. They will set the matter for a pretrial and ask you if you want a court appointed attorney. If you get one and decide later to retain, you can always do that so if you don't have money right away, be sure to ask for a court appointed attorney.

    Once a complaint of dv is made, the prosecutor decides whether or not to proceed with charges, not your sister. However, her reluctance to go forth with charges will make their case much more difficult and your case much stronger. Good luck.

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  • A woman came to my door saying that I'm the father of her 8 yr old

    The birth certificate says it's its her husband. Now she claims it's mine and wants to take me to court. She was legally married to the man the child believes is his father. At this point I'm angry to just find this out and I'm sorry to say but...

    Kristin’s Answer

    This is a hot topic in law right now because the law just changed. What you are describing is now handled under the statute called the Revocation of Paternity Act. Since the child is eight years old, mom would have one year to file a complaint from the date the new Act was put into place (June 12, 2012 ). First she would have to prove either that 1) she, the husband, and you at some time mutually and openly acknowledged a biological relationship between you and the child, or 2) the husband, having the ability to support or assist in supporting the child, has failed or neglected, without good cause, to provide regular and substantial support for the child for a period of 2 years or more before the filing of the action or, if a support order has been entered, has failed to substantially comply with the order for a period of 2 years or more before the filing of the action, or 3) the husband lives separately and apart from the child.

    If mom can establish one of those things, and you deny you are the father, the court may order DNA testing. You aren't in much control of those things, but here is where your argument is strongest: the court can refuse to enter the order if it isn't in the child's best interest. The court can consider the age of the child, the relationship between the husband and the child, the relationship between you and the child, or any other appropriate facts. If she does file, I would strongly suggest you retain counsel because if you are found to be the legal father, you will be responsible for child support and any other court orders associated with the child until she is up to 19.5 years old. Best.

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  • How should I go about getting joint custody? And what are my chances?

    My ex an I have two children together. I want to be a part of my kids life but she doesn't allow me. She says she has moved, but the address FOC has is her old one, she has a phone for a few weeks then it's shut off. I don even know how to get ao...

    Kristin’s Answer

    Child support and custody are two separate issues. Are you taking advantage of your supervised visits? That is the first thing you need to do. It is presumed that it is in the children's best interests to have a relationship with both parents, so now you need to establish a foundation to demonstrate to the court with solid evidence that you can parent. You said you had a court date. Did that pass? The way to change the custody arrangement is through a motion and to show the court there has been a change in circumstances that warrant the custody modification. It is a difficult burden for you to meet. Check out the best interest factors the court analyzes and tailor your behavior accordingly. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28fdvv2r55xezj1yq5hchnhu45%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-722-23. You really need a lawyer to help you because these are complex issues. Best.

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  • I am so worried my soon to be ex husband is turning into a sexual predator around our 5 year old son . What can I do ? Help me !

    I left my husband for many reasons, one of which is I caught him downloading and printing porn off the internet, he purchased many adult porn movies off the satellite TV, he has stacks of adult magazines he goes through often, he sends texts of ...

    Kristin’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Poulson's answer and would add that if he is harassing you to the point you need to shut of your phone, you may want to consider filing a police report (depending on the nature and frequency of the texts). Your daughter may want to consider doing so as well.

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