Skip to main content
Ruth Laura Edlund

Ruth Edlund’s Answers

6 total

  • I'm 19, living in Georgia, Have left home, and now my mom wants to take legal action against me for it.

    After 19 years of hurt and mental suffering, I left home in the middle of the night three weeks ago. Now my mom, who is mentally unstable(and one of the reasons why I left) is trying to hurt me by threating legal action against me and my friend wh...

    Ruth’s Answer

    I am not admitted to practice in Georgia but felt compelled to answer this question. It is a good thing that you were able to remove yourself from the midst of a difficult situation. At the age of 19, you had no legal obligation to continue to live in your mother's house.

    The threats that your mother is making appear to go beyond threats of legal action and are, at least indirectly, threats of harm--"you're going down" and "you will pay." You should find the domestic violence prevention organization in your county (the national hotline number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)) and seek help in obtaining a Family Violence Protection Order. I have added a link to this message with information about the Georgia law.

    See question 
  • My ex has legal custody of my 16 yr old son. He has lived with me for the past 9 months.Can I legally claim him on my taxes?

    My ex has legal custody of my 16 yr old son. He has lived with me for the past 9 months.Can I legally claim him on my taxes?

    Ruth’s Answer

    What do your court orders say about who may list your son as a dependent? Is there a child support order in place requiring you to pay child support? Has that order ever been changed?

    If your son has been with you for nine months, it sounds like he came to your household around June of last year, meaning he spent only half of 2008 living in your household.

    It sounds like you may be able to list him if your ex doesn't, but it also sounds as if your ex has the right to do so. You should coordinate this with your ex because it will attract the attention of the IRS if both parents claim the same child.

    See question 
  • Procedure for seeking child custody, correct jurisdiction for mother and child living in OH and father in MI

    do i have to get an ohio lawyer to fight for my son when i live in michagian but he and his mother live in ohio

    Ruth’s Answer

    How long has your son lived with his mother in Ohio? Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which is in effect in both Michigan and Ohio, the state when the child has been living for the last six months is the "home state" of the child and the jurisdiction where any custody proceedings must be brought.

    See question 
  • Wa State custodial father alienating 13 yr old girl from non custodial mother, not supporting visitation.

    Custodial dad on a campaign against mom, alienating daughter since divorce in 2002. He's angry, wants revenge against mom who supports and believed girl when she said dad sexually abused her. Criminal case was dismissed without prejudice, even tho...

    Ruth’s Answer

    This is a very difficult situation and my heart goes out to you. Raising a teenager is very difficult in the best of circumstances without an abusive ex-spouse.

    Dad has a strong legal obligation to make every effort possible to make daughter take residential time with mom. The case of Marriage of Rideout, from the state Supreme Court demonstrates how hard dad has to try. It doesn't sound like he's doing this.

    You could move to have dad held in contempt based on Rideout, but this may exacerbate an already highly polarized situation. Is daughter in counseling? Does the parenting plan provide for joint decisionmaking on counseling? Reunification counseling might be a better preliminary step prior to using a strong measure such as contempt.

    See question 
  • Rresending Post Secondary support. Student received support while not meeting RCW. Will the court resend support?

    RCW 26.19.090. The student received support for more than 1 year while not meeting the RCW points (low gpa for school standards, failure to share critical info, attending less than full-time and dropping out of school) and was suspended. The stu...

    Ruth’s Answer

    Not clear what you mean by "resend" support in the title of your question. Are you asking whether a court will require the student to repay support already paid in the past? If that is your question, the answer is no, because support may not be modified retroactively (there are provisions for reimbursement of overpaid daycare expenses in the statute, but that does not relate to post-secondary support).

    If your question is whether the above facts might be asserted as a basis for modification of the order for post-secondary support to terminate the obligation, the answer is yes, failure to remain in school and maintain minimum standards would be grounds to seek to modify the support order.

    See question 
  • My ex spouse will not pay spousal maintenance. Is there a way to have his checks garnished in WA State?

    My ex spouse has been ordered to pay spousal maintenance for the next several years. In this past year, he has established a record of not paying the amount ordered on time. Now that the divorce is final, I am and will be totally dependent on thos...

    Ruth’s Answer

    If--and this is a big if--you are also receiving child support from your ex-spouse, your ex can be required to pay maintenance as well as child support through the Washington State Support Registry ("WSSR"). If you are not receiving child support, only maintenance, you cannot use this option.

    If your ex-spouse fails to make timely payments, you can make a motion to reduce the arrears of maintenance to judgment and use that judgment as the basis for garnishing his wages or bank accounts. Unfortunately, this means that you either have to let a number of late payments accumulate, or you have to make multiple motions to reduce the arrears to judgment. If your ex-spouse makes payments that are late by a matter of days, there may be little you can do other than try to develop a cushion for when the checks are delayed (I realize that this is much easier said than done).

    If your ex-spouse fails to make payment at all, and he has the ability to make payments, you can make a motion to have him held in contempt of court for non-payment. The consequences of a finding of contempt are unpleasant, and being brought into court for nonpayment may improve the timeliness of his payments.

    Best of luck to you as you prepare to enter the workforce during these very challenging economic times.

    See question