Skip to main content
Joshua T. Mathews

Joshua Mathews’s Answers

531 total


  • Need to know how to do an annulment with out having spouse prosecuted

    I married my spouse in April and found out in August that he was married to someone else she filed for a divorce and it was granted what and how can I get out of having him prosecuted

    Joshua’s Answer

    A crime has two parts, an actus rea and a mens rea. That's Latin, and it just means that there must have been both an action, and an intent. If he thought he was divorced, he can't be prosecuted for anything.

    Either way, the family court will likely have little interest in a claim of polygamy unless someone files a complaint. The marriage is "void as a matter of law," and can be annulled fairly easily.

    Best Wishes

    See question 
  • Stop paying child support before our court date

    I paid child support a week. I have a "FC Motion to Modify" case, the court (Independence, MO) date is Feb 11 2015. My child is not living with her mom and it has been sense Nov. 03 2014. How do I get my child support stopped NOW before the court ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    There are actually a couple of possible ways to deal with this, depending on where the child support came from in the first place. If it was a state administrative action, then you can provide information to child support enforcement and they can assist.

    Do you have custody of the child? Do you have a relationship with the child? If the child is not living with Mom, why isn't the child living with you?

    See question 
  • Can I sue the man I'm pregnant by for emotional abuse, disclosing my privacy, and failing to assist with financial liabilities

    I informed the man I'm pregnant by after taking two test. He replied in message stating that he would assist and help in anyway possible if I was pregnant. He asked that i go to the doctor to confirm and inform him when I did. Before I had a chanc...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress is a tort question, so this may need to be placed in another area. If you don't have money for an attorney, contact the State for assistance in getting child support. Missouri is understaffed and overworked in this area, so it can take up to two years in some cases, so if you CAN get money for an attorney, do so.

    As previously stated, however, there is no law against being an a--hole. His failure to help is neither a crime, nor a civil tort. He's not the father until he has been proved to be the father, which can't happen without a paternity action, and that CAN'T happen until the baby is born. Missouri does not recognize a child until there is a birth certificate.

    Best Wishes

    See question 
  • How do I get my son's father, who recently moved to China, to pay child support?

    He was living in Shawnee, KS until a few months ago. Yesterday I got a text that he was not working for the same company anymore and that he won't be willing to pay child support unless it's on his terms.

    Joshua’s Answer

    Mr. Velez is right. This is a difficult situation, at best. If you have not established any paternity, yet, then doing so will be difficult, though you may be able to serve him via "publication." We have done this on a number of cases with parties outside the US. If we can prove to the court that we have made every reasonable effort, and have delivered paperwork to his work in China, then the Court may allow publication service without actual service.

    As Mr. Velez said, the Chinese government won't help you collect, but you can get arrears started so that he owes a lot when he returns. And, as another responder said, you may be able to garnishee his wages through an American company.

    Best Wishes

    See question 
  • Can my moms ex keep all my kids toys after they break up?

    My mom and her boyfriend of 15+ years broke up on Jan 1st after a fight became physical. His house is where they kept ALL their things, the house they went to every wk. He has kept everything! The Christmas ornaments and decor that belongs to us ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    There is no way to handle any of this without court, and the dilemma that you're concerned with will result either way. Whether you go through court or simply show up at his house, he can start breaking things.

    If those items belong to someone other than him, then he should return them. If he destroys them, instead, then it may be destruction of property, conversion, trespass to chattels, or other torts and crimes. Talk to a lawyer if the value is worth going after.

    See question 
  • Do I get my child's whole Christmas break?

    On our signed agreement, it's says I get her every other Christmas. It does not say for how long. It doesn't say for her whole Christmas break. Nothing. I live in Missouri and my child lives in Pennsylvania. At the moment, the Father will not comm...

    Joshua’s Answer

    First, it sounds like you may have done your divorce without attorneys, or with attorneys who weren't very well versed in family law. This is a common dilemma, where the documents are missing very important information.

    Unfortunately, though, if the document actually just says "Christmas," then you get December 25. That's it. There isn't even any real guidance on what time that starts and stops, leading to people trying to pick up and drop off kids at midnight. If you DID have a lawyer the first time, go back and find out why that information wasn't put in the parenting plan.

    See question 
  • Is our parenting plan for 80/20 joint custody guidlines a legal contract?

    My son's father hasn't seen his son since June 2014.how can you not be held responsible On deciding not to use your time when you can be held responsible for not giving them that same time How can I make sure my parents a very active.role in sons...

    Joshua’s Answer

    This is the predicament of a parent with primary placement of a child. The other parent is not obligated to exercise their parenting time, and often don't. If he received some "credit" on his child support due to the amount of parenting time, you may be able to get that modified and have the credit removed, but that's about it.

    You also can't go back and re-try the case, so if college expenses weren't in there the first time, the court cannot consider ordering them now.

    As for your parents, this is usually a two-part question. If something were to happen to you, custody would go to the father automatically. Your parents could ask for "third party custody," but they would have to proved that he is unfit, unable or unwilling, which is an extremely high bar. They can, however, request grandparents visitation, and that is often granted.

    Best Wishes

    See question 
  • What do I need to do to protect myself and my children financially?

    My husband has threatened divorce and has taken all of my credit cards and bank card. He controls all of the finances and assets. I am a stay at home mom of two (which is the way he wanted it) and I am concerned about the financial well being of...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Mr. Hopkins is absolutely right. The only way to protect yourself is through the court. If you are concerned that you don't have access to money, talk to some lawyers anyway. They may be able to ask the court for orders that your husband pay a retainer, and be able to ask for full attorney fees later.

    Best Wishes

    See question 
  • I might be getting a divorce wanted to know if my wife's business is protected from me

    She started the business before we were married but we moved It also started a new one and made the old one into apartments but my name is only on one of the loans nothing else it is a llc company

    Joshua’s Answer

    If the business has assets worth asking about, then you need to get legal counsel. This is a complicated question, with very specific legal and accounting elements. An attorney can help you determine what assets may be all or partially marital, and what rights you have. If the business, or its assets, have appreciated in value due to work performed during the marriage, that is work that could otherwise have been spent obtaining more marital assets. That's what makes it marital.

    Remember that names on titles have nothing to do with family court. The court looks to what you have an equitable right to, (or an equitable responsibility towards), without regard for any outside contractual elements.

    This is definitely not a question that can be answered in this kind of forum.

    Best Wishes

    See question 
  • Wanting to do paperwork on our own, what exactly are all the things we need for divorce, alimony, and child support?

    I am a SAHM, so $ is tight, we would like to discuss and agree on as much as we can, just the two of us. What all do we need to look at discussing? We have two kids. He is the only owner listed on the house, he refinanced the cars, but I believ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Unfortunately, nobody can give you a complete list. While practicing law isn't exactly the same as performing surgery, it does have its parallels. Each step will depend on specific circumstances, and the result of each step will lead to a myriad of options from there.

    Divorce isn't like marriage. Marriage is essentially a contractual process, and once you have the paperwork and have been approved, you can be married. Divorce requires a finding by a court that the parties are incompatible and must be divorced upon those grounds. It also requires a finding by the court that any parenting arrangements and property settlements are just and equitable. Therefore, there is a lot of information that must be submitted to the court, and a trial will be required. The parties must appear and put evidence on the record.

    The question would be no different if it were a criminal matter. Do you need a motion to suppress evidence, have anyone's rights been violated, what are the criminal penalties, etc?

    In this case, you must determine what temporary orders must be put in place, what assets will require special provisions, and much more. There is also evidence regarding federal statutes like the service-member's relief act and Indian Welfare Act, which even if they don't apply, must be answered.

    The vast majority of pro se divorces are denied because of a failure of the parties to present the proper evidence, and there is no "list" that you can simply provide to the court. If there was, you wouldn't need a judge at all, and the matter would be handled much like a marriage license.

    My barber used to have a sign on the wall that said, "Haircuts $9 - Home haircut repair, $12,50." What little you save initially will often be far outweighed by the cost of mistakes that are made, which are difficult or impossible to fix later.

    Talk to attorneys about a simple, streamlined divorce with all matters in agreement. The clients who end up paying the most are the ones who are going back to try to undo the mistakes of a poorly planned and executed divorce.

    Best Wishes

    See question