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John Stocks’s Answers

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  • How likely is it that I can gain more parenting time/ be named the residential parent out of a contempt case?

    If my ex has been violating our parenting plan, and she is charged with contempt, what is the likelihood that I will be able to gain more time with my child, and be named the residential/custodial parent out of the contempt hearing?

    John’s Answer

    Your chances are small. The contempt findings, i.e., what was determined to be violations of the parenting plan, would dictate the remedy. Probably a scolding from the court, make-up visits, & fees against the contemnor, but not a change in custody.

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  • Which is easier to get in Washington State: divorce or anullment?

    My stepson married an illegal immigrant in September last year. I feel he was deceived and coerced into marrying her and I think he can get an anullment. The relationship is ending now and she is kicking him out of their apartment. They have no ...

    John’s Answer

    Divorce. Why does he want an annulment, anyway? Will she agree to the annulment? That might help - if she agrees. The Court could still say "no." Did they consummate the marriage?

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  • I am divorcing. How do I get my wife to participate in mediation?

    Both parties have completed the interrogatory phase, and mandatory mediation is to commence no later than mid September, with a trial, if it comes to that, in October. I would like to begin mediation soon, as I see no reason to wait 4 months. Al...

    John’s Answer

    You can't speed up a settlement if the other person wants to say "no." The deadline is there for a reason -- that is the latest the court mandates that you engage in dispute resolution (mediation).

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  • I am an American citizen. I recently went to Serbia and married a serbian man. How do I go about getting a divorce or annulment?

    1. Will I have to go back there to get all of this done? 2. We got married April 29th, is there a certain amount of time where it's a difference between an annulment or a divorce?

    John’s Answer

    1. The answer is no, if all you want to do is dissolve the marital bonds. If you live in Washington State, then our courts do have jurisdiction over the marriage and may dissolve it. However, the court cannot impact or dispose of property or child support issues because it would lack iin personam jurisdiction over your husband. So, your first question is difficult to answer because of the legal phrases -- "subject matter jurisdiction" and "personal jurisdiction." If the Serbian man has never been to the United States, then it is almost impossible to get personal jurisdiction over him to get a complete divorce. If you do serve him with legal papers whereever he is, I still cannot see how a Washington Court would consider having personal jurisdiction over him. However, if you get a divorce where he lives, which is considered a "foreign court", then property can be enforced in Washington. MacKenzie v. Barthol. 142 Wn. App. 235, 240-41, 173 P.3d 980 (2007).
    2. I don't recommend an annulment because it likely will not work in this State. We call it a "Declaration of Invalidity" meaning the marriage was invalid for some reason, like fraud or lack of consent by parents (if a minor), or the person was still married to someone else, or mental incapacity of one person or due to alcohol/incapacitating substances, or lack of ratification (like living together or having sexual relations).

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  • How can I find out if my husband has a assult charge on him?

    My husband shoved one of my employees up against the wall. He warned him and I have even went to management over the guy harassing me. The guy went somewhere but we didn't see where he had no physical damage whatsoever would it help my husband out...

    John’s Answer

    1. Research public records, 2. Send subpoena to entity hd

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  • Do police have the right to search your wallet??

    A citizen turned in my lost wallet they found at a fast food restaurant. The police searched it at the station and found my fake id. When i went in to identify my wallet the also charged me with my fake. Is this against my rights?

    John’s Answer

    What was the charge? Doesnt seem they have proof you used it for anything. If the jurisdiction you are in criminalizing carrying fake i.d., then you probably win under an invasive search that exceeded the scope of the purpose for looking inside the wallet. They will say it was required to take inventory.

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  • When a cop is arresting someone and there is a baby along in the house, what is the officer should do?

    Need information about the procedure, should the cop leave a baby home along and arrest the person

    John’s Answer

    The officer should ask the arrested parent if someone can come I over. Department of Social Services likely would not be involved unless the alleged crime related to abuse or neglect of a child, or was a heinous allegation.

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  • I live in WA and am going thru a divorce. Question regarding reporting spouse's income.

    My spouse and I are in the middle of a divorce in WA State. We lived apart for all of 2012. Do I need to (still) report half of her income under community property laws? I have no access to her income, nor she mine. I desire to file my Federal Tax...

    John’s Answer

    First, talk to a tax preparer not a lawyer (unless the lawyer specializes in tax law). Second, your filing status can be married but filing separate, and you only report your income.

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  • Can a man be forced to determine parentage after the child reaches the age of 18?

    Father never signed acknowledgement of paternity when I gave birth. Son is now almost 15 years old and I need to know if the only way I can force his name on the birth certificate is if I do it before my son turns 18. I've never received or ask...

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The answer to your question - can a man be forced to determine parentage after the child reaches the age of 18 -- YES. Either parent or the child may bring an action. The statute uses the word "child," but then later defines child as "an individual of any age whose parentage may be determined under this chapter." Also, the chapter (RCW 26.26) later states that a "proceeding to adjudicate the parentage of a child having no ...second parent ... may be commenced at any time during the life of the child even after the child becomes an adult..."

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  • Can my ex husband claim my daughter if he only sees her a few hours a month and my divorce papers say I get to claim her?

    He does pay child support but rarely sees her

    John’s Answer

    This is a question most lawyers cannot really answer correctly. The answer is "yes", of course, because he "can" try to do anything. There are a few approaches to this common problem. First, think about the IRS -- all they care about is that 2 people dont use the same social security number or tax dependent, so often, the ruling by the IRS is "first to file gets the exemption," and then they reject the second tax return because the social security number conflicts.

    Second, the courthouse is the place to go if someone violated the tax exemption language. Even if father claimed the child, and if the IRS says, "sorry Mom, he was first," then that does not mean you do not have a remedy for it. For example, I have filed contempt proceedings on this issue arguing, "Your honor, my client was deprived of $2,000 due to the loss of claiming the exemption." In the case I filed last year, the court said: (a) Dad has to pay mom $2,000, (b) Dad has to pay mom $2,000 for her attorney's fees, (c) Dad has to pay a civil penalty of $100 to the clerk of the court due to contempt, and (d) mom gets the next year as well.

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