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Collin C McKean
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Collin McKean’s Answers

15 total


  • When the Respondent is really the Petitioner, how do I respond?

    I was served with courts papers for a child custody modification. I did not file the petition for modification but was named the petitioner in the filed court docs. Do I now just call myself the "Petitioner" and file my response? Is this grounds ...

    Collin’s Answer

    The designation of parties is set in the original petition filed in your case. You're now dealing with a post-decree modification and the designations of petitioner and respondent remain the same as in the original case action. You will be expected to file your response or responsive pleadings as the petitioner if you were designated the petitioner in the original action.

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  • How can I get a divorce when I don't have the income for it?

    I live in here in Washington and my husband lives in Florida. I don't have a job and he won't pay for it. He is leaving it up to me to file for it

    Collin’s Answer

    There are free self help forms at www.washingtonlawhelp.org as well as great explanations on the process and expectations for completing the forms to obtain a divorce in Washington. Before entering a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage I encourage you to have it reviewed by a lawyer, even if everything is agreed on by you and your soon to be ex-spouse.

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  • How long will a temp parenting plan stay active and in place? How would I go about making some changes & then making it final?

    So we've had a temp parenting plan since June of 2013 (that was already derived from a modified final plan) with many stipulations, expectations, and guidelines (because father was using drugs). How long does the temp plan stay active and in place...

    Collin’s Answer

    Your temporary parenting plan will continue to be active until modified by a new parenting plan or your case is dismissed. The court does not generally dismiss your case without first providing you with notice. If your temporary order needs to be modified in any respect, you may want to file a motion requesting specific modifications and entry of a final parenting plan assuming all other issues of your case are also finalized. Your parenting plan is a very important document. The power it has over the schedule you will be required to maintain is far reaching and in order to achieve the goals for your final parenting plan, you would be smart to consult with an attorney prior to filing your request for entry of a final parenting plan.

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  • Can an incorrect calculation made by the court in a child support order be corrected and child support amount change back dated?

    I noticed that the Commissioner in my case used an incorrect amount of deduction for FICA and social security when imputing the non-custodial parent's income at minimum wage. He used the full amount, rather than the employees share. The difference...

    Collin’s Answer

    If for any reason you disagree with the ruling of the Commissioner and wish to have the Judge of your case consider the same motion, you may file a motion for revision. To file a motion for revision in Pierce County, you have to do so within 10 days of the entry of the Commissioner’s written order. In addition, you must schedule (note for hearing) the motion on your assigned Judge’s next available motion date (and no sooner than six working days from the entry of the order). If you have any scheduling issues for your motion for revision, you should file a motion requesting accommodation immediately. In certain cases, you may also file a motion for reconsideration with good cause shown. Before filing a motion seeking additional or alternative relief, you should consider speaking with a lawyer. There are many rules that apply to the substantive issues of your case, as well as the procedural steps of your case. The rules setting time frames for filing a motion for revision or a motion for reconsideration in Pierce County are not the only rules that may apply to your case.

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  • I got married and my new partner's ex has control of my partner's life insurance and retirement. Should he get a will?

    my new husband's divorce paperwork says that his ex-wife gets a portion of his life insurance and retirement. his ex is listed as the primary beneficiary on both. There are a lot of things invlived, I get that, so I wondered if it would be a good ...

    Collin’s Answer

    In Washington, life insurance is commonly required as security for child support because it provides security for children in the event of the untimely death of an obligated parent. Life insurance may also be ordered in a divorce decree to insure spousal maintenance for the duration of the obligation. The court order generally will state a set amount of life insurance that the obligated party must maintain while the support obligation is in existence. The obligated party is not thereby precluded from obtaining additional life insurance coverage and naming a different beneficiary so long as they do not reduce the amount of insurance designated to insure the support obligation. Life insurance is a non-probate asset and so as long as the necessary insurance level is maintained by the obligated party then the estate of the obligated party is not likely to be affected by claims of the ex-spouse related to the support obligation.

    Similar to life insurance policies, retirement interests such as 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions, and other tax-deferred retirement plans are generally non-probate assets and so the proceeds pass directly to the designated beneficiaries (bypass probate). The potential claim of an ex-spouse to retirement interests would be limited and defined by the terms of the decree which will specifically define the ex-spouse's interest therein. If the decree provides the ex-spouse with an interest in your new husband's retirement, it is possible that an additional court order is required to actually divide out the ex-spouse's interest from your husband's retirement interest. Many employer sponsored retirement plans require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order("QDRO") signed by the court and submitted to the plan administrator to effect the division of the retirement in favor of an ex-spouse. If your husband's ex-spouse has not yet received their portion of your husband's retirement, it is possible that the plan administrator has not yet received the proper QDRO. If your husband's decree requires him to hire an attorney to prepare a QDRO it will be appropriate for him to have the QDRO prepared and administered sooner rather than waiting until he is intending to retire. Finalizing the division of his retirement early will resolve his ex-spouse's claims to his retirement and reduce any uncertainty about your husband's ability to designate a new beneficiary (possibly you).

    The decree will define and limit the interest that your husband's ex-spouse has in his retirement and will define your husband's obligation to maintain life insurance. This information is only general in nature and not intended to be specific legal advice for your situation. Your husband should review his divorce decree with a family law attorney (potentially with a family law attorney who is comfortable advising him about QDROs) to get specific legal advice. The division of retirement and enforcement of divorce decrees can be complicated and before taking any actions your husband should consult with an attorney about his specific obligations. Receiving good legal advice will help him resolve any question about his obligations to his -ex-spouse so that he can respond with confidence to any communication she initiates about these obligations.

    And it is always a good idea to revisit your individual estate plans after you get married. Although a new will or estate plan will not change your husband's obligations to his ex-spouse defined by his divorce decree, establishing an estate plan with your husband will help give you and your husband the piece of mind you are looking for.

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  • Where can i find in oregon law the rights of the full custody parent. Pertaining to choice of religion

    I have full physical and legal custody and I don't want my child going to church with his father because we pratice different faiths. I need to find the law that says this so he will stop

    Collin’s Answer

    Legal custody relates to “the legal relationship between a minor child and the legal custodian, i.e., the person to whom the court has given the primary rights and responsibilities to supervise, care for, and educate the child; usually, that is the person with whom the child lives most of the time.” Ortiz and Ortiz, 310 Or 644, 649 (1990). You will note this is not an Oregon statute, but it is Oregon law. There is no Oregon statute that can be pointed out to you specifically answering your question.

    ORS 107.154 states the legal authority retained by a non-custodial parent when a custody judgment is entered: “Unless otherwise ordered by the court, an order of sole custody to one parent shall not deprive the other parent of the following authority…”

    ORS 107.105 states the authority a court has in entering a judgment addressing the custody arrangement: “[t]he court may provide in the judgment… [f]or the future care and custody … of all minor children of the parties born, adopted or conceived during the marriage and for minor children born to the parties prior to the marriage, as the court may deem just and proper … When appropriate, the court shall recognize the value of close contact with both parents and encourage joint parental custody and joint responsibility for the welfare of the children.”

    With no clear answer from Oregon statutes it is appropriate to look to your specific judgment confirming the custody arrangement for your child. Sometimes a judgment will specifically discuss the parties’ mutual rights/responsibilities relating to issues of religious education, but not in most cases. If religious education was an issue of contention at the time your judgment was entered it may well have been addressed specifically.

    If the child’s religious upbringing has become an issue now after entry of the judgment and no term is included in the judgment addressing religious upbringing of the child you may experience difficulties in preventing father from including the child in his religious activities during father’s parenting time without first obtaining modification of your judgment to include such restrictions.

    You should be aware, if you move to modify the terms of your judgment to restrict father’s ability to involve the child in religious activities during his parenting time it is likely your proposed modification will be reviewed in light of the best interests of the child and Oregon’s policy of promoting a strong relationship between children and their noncustodial parents.

    To fully understand your options you should consider speaking with an Oregon attorney expereinced in family law matters.

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  • Can i supinoea a person to a divorce court ?

    person was sleeping with wife after we seperated.

    Collin’s Answer

    It is possible to use the court's subpoena power to compel a witness to appear in a dissolution matter; however your attempts to compel such a witness will not be entertained by the court unless such witness has testimony relevant to the issues before the court.

    Be aware before attempting to use the subpoena power of the court that Oregon law states, "The court shall not receive evidence of specific acts of misconduct, excepting where child custody is an issue and such evidence is relevant to that issue..."

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  • My husband and I are no longer married but I am having a hard time seeing our child.

    I had told my husband I was leaving after many attempts to work out our marriage and he knew I was leaving the state for work and talked to him daily to ask about our child. During our marriage I was the one who took care of him and all his needs ...

    Collin’s Answer

    If a judgment of dissolution of marriage was entered in an Oregon court it should include a parenting plan or language addressing the parties respective rights of access to the children. You should obtain a certified copy of the judgment from the court to review its terms.

    Your first order of business is to enforce all parenting time as allowed by the judgment. It may also be the case that the parenting plan provided for in the judgment is inadequate and a modification of that schedule will benefit your child. If so you should seek a modification in an Oregon court of the parenting plan. Even if the judgment provides for no parenting time, it is possible to modify the parenting time to provide you with appropriate access and visitation.

    If you wish to simply enforce the parenting time provided for in the judgment Oregon law provides for an expedited process of enforcing parenting time. The Oregon courts maintain a website with forms to assist you in doing so on your own. The website is found at: http://courts.oregon.gov/OJD/OSCA/cpsd/courtimprovement/familylaw/familylawforms.page?

    Generally no judgment is entered in a dissolution proceeding without appropriate notice to the opposing party. From your question it appears there may be an issue with proper notice in your case. Where a judgment has been entered without proper notice it is possible to set it aside In some cases. If you believe you have been provided inadequate notice you might consider speaking with an Oregon attorney.

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  • Is Multnomah County's (Oregon) mandatory parenting class required for divorcing parents with an 18 year daughter?

    My daughter is 18 years old and is living at home while attending college. Multnomah Co. has different forms and petitions to file depending upon a whether the divorcing parents have child or not. In addition, Multnomah Co. requires a parenting ...

    Collin’s Answer

    Do divorcing parents of a child 18 years old need to attend the mandatory parent education program? No, because the mandatory parent education program only applies to parties with children under age of 18 years per Multnomah County Supplemental Local Rule 8.125(2).

    Do divorcing parents of a child 18 years old that is attending school file dissolution paperwork as "divorcing with child" or as "divorcing without child?" Oregon law grants the court authority to provide for the support of the "children of the marriage." Further, under Oregon law an unmarried child of the parties to a dissolution of marriage and who is between the ages of 18 and 21 is a "necessary party" to the dissolution proceeding for child support purposes. So it is appropriate to file your dissolution documents as "divorcing with child" even though no parenting time or custody arrangement will need to be addressed.

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  • My wife let me and my son no papers have been filed i want to move back home to my family with my son(which is in another state

    I only moved away from my home state because my wife wanted to. I have my son currently. she moved in with boyfriend and stops by maybe once a month to see him for 20 min.

    Collin’s Answer

    If your question is whether or not you can move your child's residence from the state of Oregon without giving consideration to your child's relationship with Mother, the answer from a judge will generally be NO, you can not.

    You should be aware that you potentially face a difficult court case if you attempt to move the child's residence without first obtaining agreement or other clear acquiescence from Mother. There are many possible ways your scenorio could resolve itself. You should consider speaking with an Oregon family law attorney before taking action that would further disrupt your child's life.

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