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Christopher Jay Harding

Christopher Harding’s Answers

1,153 total


  • How do I start to get custody of my son if the mother recently was arrested for drug charges.

    She has full custody at the moment. With the recent arrest, I feel it is better that my son live with me. She has moved 3 times since August and my son is not getting the pproper education, support he needs.

    Christopher’s Answer

    You should file to modify custody. Always use a lawyer when a child is at risk, like here.

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  • What grounds does my ex have to prove to remove my son from my primary custody?

    we have fights through text and phone, i think she has been negligent with my daughter who lives with her. she has her around a spending the night at guys house when she is not there and only knowing the guys for six days. she says i am a bad fath...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You should only be worried if there may be something there. That is hard to determine without talking with a lawyer. Most likely, she is continuing the argument along a different route - a custody case. Never, ever risk going into a custody case without at least consulting with a lawyer. The grounds, to specifically answer your question, are normally best interest of the child. If the orders haven't been changed and originally let her have your son, you need to modify them immediately because you are out of compliance.

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  • Can a man legally request a dna sample for paternity?

    My ex is requesting a dna test of my unborn child when there is no possibility of it being his child. The conception date is months different than the last time we slept together. He text me saying his lawyer needs receipts of drs visits, blood wo...

    Christopher’s Answer

    It really sounds like the ex is just bullying you. He is certainly able to get a DNA test, but most courts will wait until the child is born to avoid any risk to the child. The ex will also need to file a paternity action unless there is some court proceeding already in progress.

    His lawyer can contact you but you do not have to speak with the lawyer. When the ex won't give you the information on the lawyer, either he doesn't have one (likely) or really is being difficult, which means you can expect every issue to be contested. It sounds like the ex is trying to claim the child as his own. Perhaps you should just cut off all contact with the ex and just wait to see if he is serious enough to file his law suit and serve you.

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  • Can my ex-wife petition to re-open our final divorce decree in the State of Texas?

    I plan to retire in 10 years. Could my ex-wife petition the courts to re-open the divorce case and seek payments from my retirement account? We signed a Property Settlement Agreement (notarized in Texas) regarding retirement accounts outside of th...

    Christopher’s Answer

    One thing you would want to look for is a reference to the property settlement (sometimes called an "Agreement Incident to Divorce" as well) in the decree. If it is referenced, you should be fine. If not, when she files, you will have to address the issue with the court, most reasonably through the estoppel defense and a res judicata argument. Res Judicata simply means the facts (retirement accounts outside of Texas) were known about at the time of the first decree and should have been litigated (or were, per the agreement) at that time. You may want to combine that with Rule 13 sanctions or some other form of request for sanctions to help the case settle quickly. Sanctions are used and appropriate in this case if she is abusing the judicial system to attempt to get relief she would not be entitled to.

    Another thought - most retirement companies will not pay out to a non-beneficiary unless you set it up that way or there is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). The QDRO does not sound like it was drafted for the accounts outside of Texas. That means you probably need to see a lawyer and have them look at this property agreement and decree of divorce and see what your obligations actually are. You may be required to receive these funds and then transfer them to the ex-wife. If so, you are going to be set up as a trustee, and need to make sure you track the money clearly. Otherwise, you might be liable for those monies and breaching duties as a trustee.

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  • I have been served a Waiver of Service - am i giving up my rights to signing the final decree or having any say so,

    on how we agreed to divide our assets?

    Christopher’s Answer

    If it is a standard waiver, yes. Take it to an attorney, many of whom will give a free initial consultation, and have them review it as part of the consult. The language will determine if you give up rights, including the right to be noticed before any hearing or final order is entered.

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  • Do I have to transfer my CS case to NV.

    I currently live in TX & receive CS. Our son is 17 still in High school until he is 19. We are thinking of moving to vegas for my job. We are divorced and he never responded to jurd transfer before. Do I have to transfer my CS case to NV, if he ha...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The child support action will actually end up where you can only pursue it in Texas or in the home state of the obligor. It will not transfer to NV unless the obligor lives there. Interstate child support issues can be tricky, but certainly done. Any child visitation/conservatorship issues would end up transferring to NV in 6 months. Also, make sure you have the ability to move to NV under your current orders. You may need to file to change any geographic restriction located in the final order.

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  • Is a MSA binding if the final order has not been signed by all parties because other party is adding an arguable order?

    I had a MSA in May of this year. The judge ok'd the msa, but we haven't got the final draft. The procecuting attorny is adding something to the msa that was not discussed, but they think it was. Therefore we/I cannot proceed with some of the stipu...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The entire MSA is binding, even though you do not have a final draft of an order, as long as the MSA states that it is (and I'm sure it does). Look for effective date language. The time limit would be set by the MSA or by the Court when the Court decides to dismiss your case for want of prosecution. Talk with your lawyer about the case and how to push it to a conclusion. It is possible to do.

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  • I do not have standard visitation. I know I deserve more. My divorce attorney did not request it during my case.

    I have my son every other weekend from 5:30 F until Sun a7pm. I know that standard in Texas should give him to me until school on Monday. I also have him Thurs nights for a short overnight. I do not get him 30 days in the summer but I should. ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    So when I think standard, and I think most attorneys agree, I think 6:00 PM Friday to 6:00 PM Sunday. Expanded Standard is the term I use for the schedule you discuss, with a parent either picking up from school or dropping off at school for the weekend. If your ex deliberately intended to not give you that schedule, and knock out the standard summer language, yes, you need an attorney. Otherwise, you and the ex can file for the modification and submit an agreed order to fix it.

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  • Do I need an attorney for a change of venue in my divorce and child custody case, which was decided 6 years ago.

    My divorce/child custody case happened in Fort Worth in 2006. Ever since then my ex, my son and myself have all lived within the city of Dallas. Any time we make a change, my ex and I have to drive back to Fort Worth. I want to move it to Dallas...

    Christopher’s Answer

    If it is going to be contested, an attorney is always a good idea. However, if your ex will agree, then all you need is an active case, so next time child support or visitation is modified, file in Tarrant then move it over to Dallas. It will take some time for the transfer to actually take place, since it requires a physical moving of files and then putting those files in the right spot, but Tarrant can still make temporary orders, so that should be okay. The pleading is a Motion to Transfer Venue. You might hire a lawyer to draft it, since it does have to follow some technical requirements, such as being verified.

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