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Christopher Smith’s Answers

22 total

  • Ex-husband has primary custody of our 2 kids, no custody agreement in decree. Do I still have rights to see our children?

    My ex keeps our kids from me because I have a boyfriend and he doesn't want "any other men" in their lives. He, however, is now re-married but going through another divorce. He knows I don't have a lot of money to hire a lawyer and says that I don...

    Christopher’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I'm confused by your statement that "there is no custody agreement." Do you mean that there are no possession orders? Or do you mean there are no orders designating where the kids will reside and with whom? If here are no orders stating with whom the kids will live and when each parent shall have possession, then either one of you may keep the kids whenever and where ever you like. This is not a good situation for anyone, especially the kids. I suggest you take your divorce decree to a family law attorney for a consultation. The attorney will be able to advise you what current rights you have and how you might be able to improve your situation.

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  • Can i withdraw as pro se and demand a bond from my ex spouse to pay attorney fees for contempt of alimony

    Divorce was final 05-2012. my attorney has withdrawn and I have no other funds to secure another attorney to represent me for contempt of spouse for alimony. He has hired new attorney to represent him for contempt charges he faces.

    Christopher’s Answer

    You can and should hire an attorney to represent you. Depending on the facts of your case and your ex-spouse's financial situation, it may be possible to have the Court award you attorney's fees and collect attorney's fees from your ex-spouse. More details of your case is required for me to give you a more complete answer.

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  • What happens if missed the person trying to subpoena me in a divorce case or what should i do?

    my husband has already filed divorce papers and mailed them to me a few months ago but ive never signed them and now someone is trying to subpoena me

    Christopher’s Answer

    If the process server left his contact information, you can call and arrange a time and place to be served. If you know you are going to be served, go ahead and retain an attorney. Your attorney can contact your husband's attorney, or your husband if he does not have an attorney, and arrange a time and place for service. Your attorney can also file an answer even before you are served and possibly alleviate the need for service at all.

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  • I am in a divorce, my lawyer dropped my case. I have a mediation scheduled for next week. What do I need to do?

    i called to cancel meeting and was told i could not cancel it. I was told her lawyer would have to cancel it. My lawyer has not filled with the court that she has dropped me. I was also told i can not get another lawyer until this paper is filled.

    Christopher’s Answer

    If you intend to retain another attorney, which I highly recommend that you do, you can retain another attorney even before your current attorney gets an order permitting withdrawal from the Court. Your new attorney can simply file a motion for subsititution or a notice of appearance and begin working on your case. Regarding the mediation, if you intend to retain a new attorney, either retain that attonrey and have him go to mediation with you, have the new attorney call and reschdule the mediation, or give the mediator and your spouse's attorney written notice that you will not attend the scheduled mediation because you need more time to retain an attorney and that your new attorney will call to reschedule. Please be adivsed that I am assuming a lot of facts in this matter. For instance, I am assuming that you do not have a trial date any time soon, I am assuming that your attorney just recently decided to withdraw, and I am assuming that you actuall intend on retaining another attorney (among other assumptions). If you do not inend on retaining another attorney (which would be a big mistake), then you have no reason to delay the mediation and you should attend and attempt to settle your case.

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  • Can I emancipate becuse of depression

    I've moved to Florida after livening in Texas for 5 years and it's caused some serious depression, so is it possible I could emancipate or leave if a friends parents said they would assumed responsibly of me?

    Christopher’s Answer

    Because you live in FLorida, you will have to know Florida laws regarding your question. I am assuming by "emancipate" you are referring to removal of disabilities of a minor. Each state has certain requirements that a minor has to meet to have her disabilities removed so that she can live independantly as an adult. I doubt that suffering from depression is a requirement in any state. In general, you must be of a certain age and show that you have been and can provide for yourself. Rather than worrying about "emanciaption" right now, I stronlgy urge you to talk to your parents, and if you are not comfortable talking to your parents, then talk to a pyschologist, a psychiatrist, or even a school counselor regarding your depression. Depression is a serious issue and you should seek help.

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  • Can ex wife stop husband from obtaining medical records or speaking with childs doctors to find out what is going on with child?

    Just wondering if my husbands ex wife can legally stop him from obtaining a copy of any medicial records pertaining to his/ their son or speaking with any of the childs doctors in order to try and find out what is going on with his son and needs ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Christopher and Timothy both made good points. Check the court orders to see what your husband's rights are regarding medical records of the child. Even if the orders provide that your husband is entitled to the records and to consult with the doctors, the ex-spouse may have convinced the doctors that your husband is a bad parent and should not receive the child's medical information. If prodcuing a copy of the order does not work, ask the ex-spouse to sign a HIPPA authorizing the doctors to provide the information. If she refuses, consider filing a motion to enforce the conservatorship orders, a motion to compel, or perhaps a motion to modify the current orders. I might even consider filing a motion to compel against the doctors forcing them to appear in court to explain why they should not provide you with the requested information.

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  • Can something be done if my husbands attorney does not respond?

    I have an attorney to represent me in my divorce. We have the final decree ready to go and are needing my husbands signature. The papers were sent to his attorney weeks ago but we can not get a response from them by phone or email. My attorney say...

    Christopher’s Answer

    If your husband knows that a proposed decree is waiting for him at his attoreny's office, then he can contact his attorney and get things moving forward. I doubt that the issue is solely with his attorney. If so, your husband can fire his attorney and retian a new attorney. If the issue is that your husband is dragging his feet, then you are probably no longer in an uncontested divorce situation. You can move your case forward by setting it for a temporary orders hearing or requesting a final trial setting. Serving your spouse with discovery requests will often get things moving as well.

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  • Divorcing and moving out of state. Is there a standard form I can use in my decree to outline visitation?

    Assembling information for an upcoming divorce. Would like to have some standard format to work from to propose visitation for the other parent when I move out of state. Even if you feel that Texas will not permit I still want to prepare for thi...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Unless your soon to be exspouse agrees, it is not likely that a court is going to allow you to move the child out of state. There are a few fact patterns under which an out of state move may be allowed, but for most cases it is not going to happen. having said that, yes there is a Standard Possession Order in the Texas family code that will allow you to pattern your orders after. I recommend that you retain an attorney to handle your divorce, or at least consult with one to discuss guideline visitation and the posibility of the courts in your county allowing you to move out of state with the child.

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  • I recently found out I'm pregnant and when the father was told he said he was going to sign his rights over.

    He said that he doesn't want another child and he is under the impresion he will not have to pay child support if and when he terminates his parental rights! Is that true or will he still be finiacially responsble for his son or daughter even thou...

    Christopher’s Answer

    A biological parent, man or woman, connect simply choose to "sign over" his or her rights to a child. It's not like getting rid of a car you decided you don't want anymore. If the sole reason for terminating a parent's rights to a child is that the parent does not want to pay child support, I doubt that there is a court in Texas that would order termination of the parent's rights. In fact most, courts are reluctant to terminate a parent's rights, voluntary or not, unless someone else is ready to step up and adopt the child or that parent is truly a danger to the child. You can't make a person be a good parent, but you can make him/or responsible for supporting a child. As an added bonus, you can have the Attorney General's Office pursue the child support at no cost to you.

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  • If father was MIA for two years but now wants visitation, can I file abandonment and pursue step-parent adoption?

    My ex abandoned me 10 days after he found out about my pregnancy. We were never married but I listed him on the birth certificate and he showed up to confirm paternity. My daughter is 6, the first 3 years of her life he saw her MAYBE 18 months tot...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Can you pursue a step-parent adoption? Yes, most definitely. Will you be successful in terminating bio-dad's rights and completing the adoption? That depends on how the facts develop in your case and the particular court to which your case is assigned. It is the policy of the State of Texas to encourage a healthy relationship between parents and their children. However, it is not always in the best interest of the child to continue the parent-child relationsip. On the face of it, your fact pattern suggests that it would be in the best interest of your child to terminate bio-dad's rights and allow step-dad to establish a permanent parent-child relationship. I recomment that you discuss this matter with a family law attorney familiar with the courts in your county and get started right away.

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