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Shari M Gianarelli

Shari Gianarelli’s Answers

58 total


  • Do I need to file for contempt of court?

    My husband and I moved from MT to WA 4 months ago. I left my son with his father because he told me he would drag me through the court system and have my son taken away from me. I didn't want my child to endure that, so we agreed that he would sta...

    Shari’s Answer

    Your question is very complex. However, if you are not being given the rights and privileges you and your son's father agreed to in a written parenting plan, then you should file a Motion asking the Court to hold him in Contempt and asking the Court for some kind of relief. If you want just what you already agreed to, then you should let the Court know. If you want to modify the parenting plan, then you should also ask for that. Interfering with a parent's contact with a child is considered a change in circumstance warranting modification of a plan if it's in the best interests of the child to make the change. The key is getting all the information you can and documenting all of your attempts to remain in contact with your son and the denials. You should be getting all of your school information directly from the school, as a Mother, in any event. I never recommend that separated parents rely upon the other to feed them information. Contact the school and ensure you are receiving duplicates of all mailings and information. If you know where your son goes to the doctor, get his medical records. If possible, go to the town and speak with his teacher(s) and other people in the community about how your son is doing. And ask for a visit in person with your son while you are there or go to the school to see him and have lunch or something. You are legally entitled to do so. Good luck.

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  • How would it work in a parenting plan if both parents are going to be in different states?

    We are unmarried, and i was brought to Montana to "make it easier" for my son and I to get the help we needed. I'm a first time mom and my son is almost a year and a half. I realized being out here has made my health that much worse due to stress ...

    Shari’s Answer

    You should seek legal advice. I believe there are low cost attorneys available in your area who can help you including through the University of Montana Law School. Working out a parenting plan between parents in different states is done everyday by Montana Courts and mediators and parties. There are any number of arrangements which the two of you could agree to or a Court could order. You will want to be prepared to advise your attorney where the child has lived, and with whom, since birth. If you have been in Montana for more than six months, then Montana is considered the child's home state for purposes of jurisdiction. If less than six months, you can, as the child's parent, and so long as there is no Court order in place requiring you to remain in State, or the child to remain in State, return to where you were living and file for a parenting plan there. You should expect you will need to provide the Father with substantial and frequent contact, whether by video conference or in person. It would be good to speak with a counselor or doctor about what is best for a child of such a young age in regard to separation from you for visits. Good Luck.

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  • I was 17 when I shoplifted and was charged with petty theft and I paid all my fines, a month later I turned 18. Is that cleared?

    I am curious because when I apply for jobs I'm not sure if I should say yes to the misdemeanor questions or not. Is it off my record? The item was around $50 but was on sale for $20. There was no intention to shoplift when I walked in, it just hap...

    Shari’s Answer

    I don't have enough information to answer your question. What court were you convicted in? What State? All of these have bearing on your answer. If you were charged in youth court, your record is sealed and you are not required to disclose the offense. If you were charged in justice or city court, then it probably shows on your record. You can order your Montana criminal record on-line and that would tell you exactly what is on the record and what is not. That would be the best way to determine whether you need to disclose the conviction. If it is not Montana, you would need a National criminal record check which you may also request through a law enforcement agency.

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  • Is it possible to get 12 year old misdemeanor possession and paraphernalia charges expunged in Montana?

    The conviction occurred 12 years ago. I recently received a master's degree and these old charges from when I was 19 could affect the chances of employment from large design firms. Is it possible to have them expunged from my record?

    Shari’s Answer

    Montana does not permit expungement by State law at this time. You may have an argument that you should be allowed to withdraw your guilty plea because your rights were violated somehow by the Court (no attorney representation being the most likely) however it is unlikely.

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  • With court order custody agreement I haven't seen my son in 6yrs and we have never Been in court?

    My sons dad remarried and since they refuse to follow the court ordered parenting plan for my visitation. When I have filed w the court for violation his attorney get it thrown out. My son is being manipulated by his da and step mom and we have ne...

    Shari’s Answer

    You need to hire an attorney and to file a Motion to enforce your rights under the parenting plan. If you cannot afford an attorney you can file your own papers for Contempt indicating that the Father is not following the parenting plan and filling out an Affidavit stating what has been happening that violates the parenting plan. The Court has forms available and they are also available on the internet.

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  • Can I apply for a passport and drivers license with just my husbands last name when my legal married name is hyphenated?

    My legal last name is hyphenated (Gottszky-Harris). I always just go by my husbands last name in everyday life. I would like my passport and DL to just say Harris. Can I do that or do I have to legally change my name to just Harris?

    Shari’s Answer

    I believe you will legally have to change your name to just say Harris, but the best place to get answers to this question would be the US State Department. They have a good website. You can usually ask questions of your local Clerk of Court for your District Court, as well.

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  • In Montana if you divorce your husband can he take your inheritance left to you

    I have been married 35 years and I am due to inherit from my father. If I divorce my husband after I inherit the money is he entitled to half.

    Shari’s Answer

    Without knowing the full circumstances of your marriage, this is a difficult question to answer. However, Montana is a state that requires equitable division of assets. Equitable means "fair." The Court will require you to disclose all of the assets you have at the time of divorce and where they came from. I believe that you have an excellent chance of retaining your inheritance if the following things are true: 1) it is only left to you and not you and your spouse; 2) the inheritance is not something (like a farm or business) that your husband or you contributed to building up or maintaining during the marriage; and 3) when you receive the inheritance you do not co-mingle it with assets held jointly with your spouse. In other words, if you pay off your joint mortgage or car loans, you have co-mingled the money and he will get half of that. If you put the money in a joint investment account or bank account, or buy something with both of your names on the title, the money is considered co-mingled and that portion of the inheritance will likely be divided equally. I rarely see inheritances and family gifts paid out to spouses so long as the money or property is not commingled with other joint assets AND after inheritance the non-inheriting spouse does not contribute to the maintenance of the inherited asset. This is easier for cash that you keep separate than land or vehicles or businesses which require some care and upkeep from you. Make sure if you inherit property of this nature, you should make all payments for taxes, license, registration, etc. from your own separate monies.

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  • My ex girlfriend and mother of my 2 year old accused me of molesting my child to build a case against me for full custody

    I have a 2 year old with an ex girlfriend, and I have tried to work out visitation arrangements and a parenting plan on good faith without filing papers. In the 2 years of my daughters life she has only allowed me to visit my daughter in her apar...

    Shari’s Answer

    You need to retain an attorney immediately to assist you in working with the Department of Child and Family Services as well as to file for a parenting plan to protect and ensure your rights. We provide representation in Kalispell on these types of matters. Don't wait. Hire someone who has experience working with DFS as well as representing parents in civil custody matters.

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  • What is the number of years / Montana statue of limitations a person has to press charges for felony embezzlement / forgery?

    In Billings Montana a close friend signed her name to her boy friends business checks out of his check book and cashed them in the amount of more then $100,000 from years 2003- 2007. Here name was not on the account. Does the Statue of limitatio...

    Shari’s Answer

    Most likely the answer is yes he can still report the crime to the police and request that she be charged with felony theft for the unauthorized use of his money.

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  • I live in Montana. I would like to know how long someone has to go after an individual after committing the following:

    A person within a business wrote and signed several checks out of the business account. In an excess of $100,000. The person was not an authorized signer on the account. How long does the business owner have to go after the individual? The sig...

    Shari’s Answer

    If you are asking if there is a limit on when the person can be prosecuted for the act described, if it was unauthorized use of funds to which the person had access, the short answer is five years for felony theft unless the person still has any of the stolen property in his or her possession. With cash, depending upon how it was used, the state can probably file at any time because it is likely that the thief purchased something with the money that he or she still possesses.

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