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J. Matthew Catchick Jr.
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J. Catchick’s Answers

1,642 total


  • Am I elegible for an expungement

    In 2007 I got in trouble with the law and caught a drug case. I end up getting a delayed sentence and completed it a year later. Now the delayed sentence they say because I completed it, it was if I got found not guilty. Unfortunately I got a...

    J.’s Answer

    My very kind but strong advice to you is to order your criminal history through the Michigan State Police (you will have to pay to get fingerprinted, and the cost of the report is about $80), as that record is one of the most comprehensive reports available to lay people. After you get the record back from the Michigan State Police, schedule an appointment with an experienced Expungement attorney, who should be able to give you a definitive answer as to whether you are eligible to request an expungement. The applicable statute is MCL 780.621 (amended 1/12/15). Warmest regards, Matt.

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  • Who has to pay for court fees of the engagement ring?

    My fiances father broke our engagement and wedding and is demanding the ring back. He is threatening to show up with the police at my parents house. His son never asked for the ring until I text messages my former fiance and asked him to have his...

    J.’s Answer

    In Michigan, the man IS entitled to the return of the engagement ring if the wedding is called off, so, unfortunately, my very kind but strong advice to you is to return the ring, assuming you did not invest any money in it. And, maybe the dad did you a favor -- do you really want to marry someone who is so controlled by their own father? I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt.

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  • Is it possible for me to get an annulment, not a divorce?

    I'm 21 and my then fiancé and myself move to Michigan. My father said that he would help us out and give us a place to stay while we settle in the state. He required that we are married to help though. So we got married and 6 months later we regre...

    J.’s Answer

    In Michigan, you can only get an annulment if you qualify under one of the several listed categories, such as bigamy, fraud, or if one party is deemed insane or incompetent. I would kindly but strongly recommend you consult with an experienced Family Law lawyer to see if your case qualifies for an annulment, and if it doesn't, hopefully you can speed through the process and finalize the divorce. I wish you all the best of luck, and I hope you enjoy a nice week. Warmest regards, Matt.

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  • Will a criminal high court misdemeanor for Maintaining a Drug House prevent me from keeping my care giver status?

    I was recently arrested and am trying to decided what I should do.

    J.’s Answer

    It might -- a lot depends on the applicable licensing board, and your individual employer/governing body. Are you talking about being a caregiver for the elderly, or an MMMA caregiver? Anytime one is charged with a crime, I highly recommend they make every possible effort to minimize the impact of that crime on their permanent criminal record, especially considering how much easier it is for companies to get info about you via the internet. My very humble but strong advice to you is to consult with and select a local criminal defense attorney (Mike Cronkright and Jared Austin and Mary Chartier are all great, among many other fine lawyers here on AVVO), to assess all your options -- if you are a MMMA caregiver, please make sure you interview lawyers that are well versed with all the provisions of the MMMA. You want to keep an eye on the future, and being able to "expunge" whatever charge you plea to (assuming you don't have any valid defenses to the charges, and assuming you are eligible for an expungement 5 years after you are sentenced). I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt.

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  • Can a 16 year old request to terminate visitation, and how likely is a judge to agree?

    My son is 16 years old and has always lived with me. I have sole legal and physical custody and his dad has "reasonable visitation". They have never had what one would call a good relationship. His father is borderline verbally abusive (which is n...

    J.’s Answer

    Uhhhh. These cases are SO tough. I am so sorry you and your son have to go through this. You want to be VERY careful that the dad cannot accuse you of parental alienation, so a possible option for you is to send the dad a letter with your concerns, and suggesting counseling with him and your son. If he refuses counseling, you MIGHT be able to convince a Judge to suspend his parenting time until he completes the counseling. You may also want to request the Judge to conduct an "in camera" (in private) interview of your son, so the Judge can hopefully confirm that you are not trying to negatively influence your son. I wish you and your son all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt.

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  • How is the probability of getting a citation waived at court if I say that I am repentent for what I did and will never do it ?

    I got two citations for a speeding ticket with expired license plate. When I called to court they asked me if I wanted a formal hearing. What should I say in there to get the amount waived? If I say that I shall be extra careful and never do the m...

    J.’s Answer

    Although they may reduce your fine, if the speeding ticket is reported to the Secretary of State, it will stay on your driving record for 7 years (with resultant increases in your car insurance premiums), so my very kind but strong advice to you is to consult with and select a local Traffic/Criminal Defense attorney, who can hopefully negotiate a deal to keep the civil infraction (speeding ticket) from being reported to the Secretary of State. Hopefully, that expired plate charge was also written up as a civil infraction and not a misdemeanor. I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt.

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  • My daughter comes to me during the summer from indiana. Can i keep her in michigan as a non custoldial parent?

    My daughter has informed me of incidents of drug abuse in the home, physical violence, neglect. What can i do to keep her in michigan?

    J.’s Answer

    Assuming the original case was handled/concluded in Indiana, that Indiana Court likely has continuing jurisdiction, so I would recommend you consult with an experienced family law lawyer in the same County where the case was originally handled (as you will likely need to address the above issues in that Court). I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt.

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  • Can I move out of state with my son?

    I am unmarried but living with the father of my child. We signed an affidavit of parentage at birth, meanwhile things are not working out between us. I am originally from Missouri and would like to move back with my child. Can I do this without an...

    J.’s Answer

    Technically, with no Custody Order in place, you could move, but if you don't meet MO's residency requirements, and if he files before you in Wayne County, you might end up having to litigate the case here in Michigan. I would recommend you consult with a Missouri Family Law lawyer, to confirm their residency requirements, and how that court may deal with your move. I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt.

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  • What happens if I get sole custody and didn't change child support order?

    My boyfriend got sole custody of his son back in 2013 I believe. He never had the child support changed and has been paying his ex all along. He finally submitted for a modification to drop the support. Can he get her to pay it back?

    J.’s Answer

    The general rule is that, absent extreme circumstances (like fraud or threats of violence), one cannot retroactively modify child support. The effective start date, by statute. is the date the other side was served with the Motion requesting modification of child support. However, I would still strongly recommend your boyfriend consult with a local family law lawyer (Chuck Kronzek and Natalie Alane are both great, among many others fine lawyers here on AVVO), to see if there are any possible exceptions he can use to try to get credit for past paid child support. I wish your boyfriend all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt.

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  • Can my ex-wife take me to court for more child support after voluntarily quitting her job?

    She plans to quit her job next month after having a baby with her new husband. Will the court award her more child support if she motions for more due to the change in her circumstances?

    J.’s Answer

    There are many variables that go into calculating child support and child care under the Michigan Child Support Formula ("MCSF"), and properly calculating support under the MCSF is quite complex, so I would strongly recommend you interview and retain an experienced family law lawyer if she does in fact file her Motion. Imputation of Income is addressed in Section 2.01(G) of the 2013 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual -- you can find it for free on-line. The court may not be very aggressive in imputing her with income if she left her job to have a baby, I hope that helps. Warmest regards, Matt.

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