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Cathleen Elisabeth Norton
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Cathleen Norton’s Answers

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  • Im gonna put child custy and child support. If he leaves for work at 4:30 am and comes back almostat 8p.m can I have the win if

    I want sole custody? He doesn't have a steady job he keeps changing companys because he ends up bad and has to move and the other thing is that his illegal here and changes his social security every time? Can that affect him and get him in trouble?

    Cathleen’s Answer

    You really should be encouraging a relationship between your child and his/her father instead of trying to "catch him" in a financial lie. The two have nothing to do with each other. Besides, if you want to bring up irrelevant facts, the judge may penalize you and give him more time if the judge determines that you are undermining his parent-child relationship. If he wants to step up as a dad, you should encourage that--it is best for your child (assuming he is fit). Good luck to you.

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  • What can I do if my child support case worker has a conflict of interest?

    Recently found out that my case worker is the sister of my ex-husband's new girlfriend. All necessary paperwork has been sent to the correct address. I have been award child support and suddenly the checks are being sent to 2 different and very w...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Speak to her supervisor and explain the situation.

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  • If my ex girlfriend got married will i still have to pay my child support for my daughter?

    my ex just asked for $100 more on my child support and just recently got engaged and i believe she got married in the past couple of weeks.

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Yes, you will always have an obligation to pay child support for your daughter even if she got remarried. The child is not the new husband's legal obligation. She is, and will always, be your financial responsibility, unless someone else adopts her. I am including a link below which will help you understand some of the basics of child support.

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  • Should I file immediate divorce or legal separation?

    I am separated from spouse for over a year. Not legally however. He just incurred hospital bill of $6k and I know he won't be able to pay. Will collection agency come after me? Should I file divorce ASAP to protect my income? Or legal separation?...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    If there is no chance for legal separation and there are no religious reasons why you wouldn't file for divorce, then you should file for divorce. I am including some links below that will explain the process. Good luck to you.

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  • Although there never was a court order of child support and my daughter is 16 can i now take the matter of support to court

    The state of california determined the monthly amount. in order to pay back the state aid i was given. Paternity was determined. Can I take this matter to court and ask for all the support that is owed? He was always on the run, hiding businesses ...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Yes, of course you can take the matter to court. You always have that right. But it sounds like you should follow up with CSSD to do so since they already seem to have a case pending. If you wish to file a Request for Order on your own, you may do so, the the link below will help explain that process. Good luck to you.

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  • In CA, can both parties stipulate that all past child support due is forgiven and to end all child support obligations?

    Child support of about $350/mo has never been paid for 10 years or so and child is 17 & no longer lives w/custodial parent. Child's custodian gets about $900/mo from non-custodial parent's social security benefits. Custodial parent did get this am...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Yes, it is possible to stipulate that all arrears are "forgiven" but not if the government has paid welfare benefits for your child. If your child received aid then the CSSD will not allow you to "forgive" the debt unless the government is paid back any aid that your child received during his/her minority. It is best to have a lawyer represent you who is familiar with these kinds of settlement negotiations. The last thing you want is to negotiate a deal and then realize that you've made a mistake in drafting the agreement. Good luck to you.

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  • Is the length of marriage based off the legal separation date? Will I be forced to pay alimony on my current income?

    I have been legally separated for 5 years at that time I was married 8 years. I had to pay alimony at that time but he had to pay me child support and the offset was he owed me. I have never collated any money from him. We have been trying to save...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    The date of separation is based on 1) the intention not to be married any longer and 2) some overt act (i.e., moving out of the family home. If you have been working on "saving the marriage all these years" then it is quite possible that your date of separation was not 5 years ago, but rather, now since you now want a dissolution of marriage. Therefore, the length of the marriage could be 8 years or 13 years. A good lawyer could argue both. It sounds like you will be headed for a trial on the issue of a date of separation--obviously it is better for him if the marriage is 13 years as opposed to 8 because it has significant implications for both the amount you will have to pay for spousal support as well as the duration you will have to pay for spousal support. Before making any more "unknowing" mistakes in your representation of facts, I strongly suggest that you consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area who can make an argument that the marital standard of living should be based on the 8 year period (if that, in fact, is better for you). The cost of hiring competent legal counsel may well be far less than what you'd pay in spousal support, especially since if not done right you could be on the hook for a "marriage of long duration." Please proceed with caution. Best of luck.

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  • Child Custody: Summer Schedule

    My ex and I have an agreed (court order) Summer schedule with our 10 year old son. Am I allowed to share this with him? I'm not sure if it's normal for parents to share court order schedules with the child or not.

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Well, you can share the schedule with your son so he knows when to expect to be at your house and when he's going to be with the other parent, but I'd advise against any talk about "court orders." There is no reason why your son needs to even know about court. Just tell him "mom and dad have agreed to X...."

    FYI - it is not normal for parents to share court orders with the children. In fact, most judge prohibit any discussion about the family law case with the children. Most are smart enough to figure some of it out, but the rule of thumb is: keep the children out of it.

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  • My wife and I share 50% joint custody of our 2 adolescent children.

    according to our MSA, I have been paying my ex wife about $1200 per month yet she refuses to allow them to bring any of the clothing she bought for them to my house. I do , of course, have other clothing that I bought for them, but the point is,...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Not exactly. You aren't entitled to have 1/2 of the clothing because you pay support. Honestly, it sounds like she is being totally unreasonable, but it is not worth the headache and cost of litigating it. Focus more on the big-ticket items--if you've spent more time with the children since the order was made, if either party's income has changed, etc. If any of those things have changed, then it may be a good idea to go to court. Otherwise, the situation you describe is an unfortunate one--but not worth fighting in my opinion. What a pain! :)

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  • Can I stop verbal visitations until a court ordered one is agreed upon? State of CA

    A court order has not been established but a court hearing for mediation is set. Since we cannot come up with an agreement, can I stop visits until we get something through court?

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Technically, you would not be violating a court order if you withhold visitation until the court date. Query whether that's a good idea though. If you need help understanding your options and the pros/cons of a particular course of action, you need to consult with a family law attorney. No one can answer such a broad question with any degree of competency without more facts. I am including links below which will help you understand how best to prepare yourself for the upcoming mediation and custody hearing. Good luck.

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