Michael Lee Dewitt’s Answers

Michael Lee Dewitt

Olympia Family Law Attorney.

Contributor Level 8
  1. My aging parents are being financially exploited by other family members. I need to know what I can do legally.

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Michael Lee Dewitt
    2. James Marston Brown
    3. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr
    4. Lawrence A Friedman
    5. Kathleen Flammia
    5 lawyer answers

    You have two options before you. You can either file for legal guardianship, which is a process that takes about 90 days or so to finish, or you if you want more immediate results, you can petition the court for a vulnerable adult protection order. Actually you could both. The vulnerable adult protection order would give you an immediate protection order while you wait for the guardianship to play out.

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. My ex-wife wants me to pay her, for $2500.00 in college expenses that my daughter incurred in August. Can I be forced to do this

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Michael Lee Dewitt
    2. Michael John Gainer
    3. Christopher Daniel Leroi
    3 lawyer answers

    Your opening sentence answers the question. The law is very clear - if the request for post-secondary education is not made before the child is emancipated, the court loses jurisdiction over the child, and you cannot be ordered to pay. It looks like the mother's deadline to file in this case was last June. Of course, nothing prevents you from helping her out from time to time as you see fit.

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  3. My sister has power of atty over my mother. She is trying to empty her bank accounts. Can my mother give me her money to keep?

    Answered 5 months ago.

    1. Maureen Ann Wickert
    2. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    3. Michael Lee Dewitt
    4. Kelly Scott Davis
    5. Julia Mccarthy Brown
    5 lawyer answers

    Your proposed solution does not address the underlying problem - that an attorney in fact is abusing their fiduciary duty. Look at the power of attorney itself for how to terminate it. Most require a written notice to the attorney in fact. If your mother is no longer incapacitated, then she has the ability to terminate the POA. Once it is terminated, your sister cannot legally access your mother's funds. If your mother is unable or unwilling to terminate the POA, then you can take legal...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

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  4. Do I Need a family law attorney?

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Michael Lee Dewitt
    2. Matthew Robert Kaminski
    3. Deborah B Josephson
    4. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    5. Shadan Kapri
    5 lawyer answers

    That kind of schedule is not in keeping with what the child development experts say an infant child needs. In fact, the latest research says that very young children do not necessarily benefit from overnight visitation with the non-residential parent (they do better with frequent, shorter visitation sessions - every other day for at least a couple of hours, for example). A good resource for examples of age and developmentally appropriate parenting plans is the Arizona Parenting Guidelines,...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. How does my son go about establishing a parenting plan when the mother and child live in California. Baby was born yesterday.

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Michael Lee Dewitt
    2. G. Geoffrey Gibbs
    2 lawyer answers

    I agree with the previous answer. Under the UCCJEA, a child custody matter must be decided in the child's home state. Under the facts you give, California is the home state. Since you and the father are in Washington, you could start by seeking a Washington lawyer that is also licensed in California.

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  6. What can I do to reschedule - and reimpose restraints - if I (petitioner) broke down en route to the show cause hearing?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Michael Lee Dewitt
    2. Bruce Clement
    3. Alan James Brinkmeier
    3 lawyer answers

    I'm guessing the court did one of two things - it either cancelled your hearing when you failed to appear, or it went ahead with the hearing with only her in attendance. So the first thing you should do is find out if your failure to appear actually harmed your legal interests. If the hearing was cancelled, then all you have to do is file a new motion and obtain a new order to show cause. If the court did go forward with the hearing, and you disagree with the resulting order, then your only...

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  7. Pro se Petitioner, Respondent represented. Judge ruling for Temporary orders in divorce in WASHINGTON STATE. I am confused.

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Howard M Lewis
    2. Michael Lee Dewitt
    3. Thuong-Tri Nguyen
    3 lawyer answers

    Already having a lawyer is not a requirement in Washington. In fact, it is common for an attorney for the financially disadvantaged spouse to get a temporary order requiring the other spouse to contribute to the attorney's fees. The legal standard you have to show is two part: a) that you have the financial need for assistance, and b) that your spouse has the ability to pay. In your case, it sounds like the court ruled against you because you do not have an attorney yet. I think the court was...

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  8. I have received settlement of conference letter divorce from court. I would like to seek advice from attorney. If any Pro Bono

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. Michael Lee Dewitt
    2. Emily Laz
    3. Bruce Clement
    3 lawyer answers

    The best way to seek a pro bono attorney in Thurston County is through the Volunteer Legal ClinIc. You start that process by contacting CLEAR, and they will determine your eligibility based on your income. Since you are employed, you make be earning too much to qualify for a pro bono attorney, but if you are still within certain income limits, you may be referred to the Moderate Means Program, where attorneys have agreed to represent clients at reduced rates due to the clients' limited incomes....

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  9. Can I claim any property from wife who abandoned marriage two years ago. She says she has a truck and house now?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Howard M Lewis
    2. Ted D. Billbe
    3. Michael Lee Dewitt
    3 lawyer answers

    Under Washington law, community property stops to accrue once your marriage is "defunct" - this is usually held to be the date of separation. The court does have the authority to apportion one spouse's separate property to the other, but it rarely does so. Whether or not you are in that slim minority of cases depends on the particular facts of your case.

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  10. How do i get my exs rights terminated???

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Michael Lee Dewitt
    2. Melissa Marie Denton
    3. Bruce Clement
    3 lawyer answers

    In order to even begin to terminate his parental rights, you will need to have somebody else in place to assume those rights. This is usually done in the form of a step-parent adoption, though if you are not married, another suitable adult may suffice. In short, the court will not just terminate a parent's rights - no matter how bad they have been - without a new parent willing to take their place. In the best case scenario, the biological father will simply consent to the adoption, and you...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful