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Nancy Nellor Retsinas
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Nancy Retsinas’s Answers

56 total


  • I left my bipolar husband because he became violent, how do I protect me and my kids and my money and assets?

    Husband had an affair last year and then was diagnosed with bipolar last year as well. He went off of his meds and went crazy. He tried to commit suicide, he tried to jump out of a two story window in front of my children. He became abusive ver...

    Nancy’s Answer

    You should call a lawyer and get advice as soon as possible. Your situation is too complex for an AVVO to give your situation justice.

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  • How do I know if mediators recommended by opposing counsel are unbiased?

    My husband and I are considering mediation for dispute resolution relating to divorce and child custody. His lawyer suggested three mediators to choose from. How do I know they will be unbiased? Am I better off finding a mediator on my own? Where ...

    Nancy’s Answer

    The best way to decide if a mediator recommended by your husband's lawyer is unbiased is to call the mediator and talk with them. You should ask the mediator how they interact with counsel before and during a mediation, and how they avoid being biased. If you are comfortable with their answers ... select them.

    A recommendation from an attorney for a particular mediator does not generally imply bias; mostly it implies that the lawyer has client's who have used that mediator in the past and had good things to say about that mediator, and any good lawyer would want to refer their client to someone who they felt was competent and could help their client resolve a disagreement.

    Mediators pride themselves on being objective, and they have a business reputation to maintain. Showing bias will ruin that reputation. So, call them. Talk with them. See if you like them. Then decide what to do.

    Good luck.

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  • What is the abusive use of conflict statute for Washington state

    Where would I find the abusive use of conflict statute for Washington State referred to by Carolyn Elsey in response to the post abusive use of conflict? How does the court go about determing if the conduct creates the danger of serious damag...

    Nancy’s Answer

    Tough question with a multitude of potential answers. You need to consult with a lawyer about you unique situation. Abusive use of conflict is fact-specific and difficult to prove. And there are specific strategies you would want to employ when thinking about moving forward with a request to limit a parents time with his/her child due to abusive use of conflict. Consulting with a lawyer is advised.

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  • Is this contempt of court?

    The parenting plan my ex and I have states regarding notification: each parent shall inform the other when that parent plans to be away from his or her residence with the child for more than two nights. The information to be provided shall inclu...

    Nancy’s Answer

    You need to inform your children's father of your itinerary a reasonable time before you leave, not after the 48 hours has elapsed. I have seen judicial officers interpret "destination" to mean actual address, absent very clear facts that your children's father will pose a threat to the children if he knows the address of where you are going. Now, if you are going to be traveling from place to place, the judicial officer will generally not require you to give every address for where you are going to be.

    What would you expect your children's father to do if the situation were reversed? Do for him what you would expect from him.

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  • What is reasonible telephone contact with children with other parent?

    Our parenting plan says you have reasonible telephone access to children when they are with the other parent at your expense. I send a cell phone with my kids on their visits with my ex. Oldest, 10, says he takes the phone when they go with ...

    Nancy’s Answer

    The local family law courts grapple with these kinds of things a lot. I have had judicial officers say that a parent has a right to take a child's cell phone away as discipline if that parent feels the need to do so. This is obviously the wrong ruling, and does not take into consideration the fact that their dad is trying to limit your exposure to them while in his case, but nonetheless its what is happening in some local courts.

    I have also had judicial officers severely limit the father's rights to call at will, and say that a father may call once or twice a week while in mother's care. This would go both ways, so that when the kids were with their dad for extended times, you may not get contact but once or twice a week.

    So, what to do?

    You my be able to go back into court on a motion to clarify your parenting plan and ask that the court set specific days of the week/times of the day for each parent to contact the children. And set forth a good history of what's been happening with telephone contact. If you have not been keeping track, start keeping a log.

    You ought to consult with a lawyer about this. I can only provide general advice. Having a lawyer look at your paperwork and talk with you about your unique situation will yield much better advice than I can give here.

    Good luck.

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  • Does one parent automaticly have full custody of a child just because they have had the child for five years? Or is it the perso

    My child is with her mother, I am sapose to get her every weekend but she is telling me that I can only see her when she wants me to see her.I need to know if I take her to court will I get more visitation time?We have always done things outside o...

    Nancy’s Answer

    Its a good idea for you to consult with a lawyer about this situation, and probably a good idea to file with the court for a custody/visitation order. If you actually have an order right now, and the order says you have every other weekend, then you should file a motion with the court to enforce that order. A lawyer can help you decide what the right move is in this situation.

    You might also consider inviting your mother to mediate your differences with a trained mediator. Here is a good one: http://www.centerpointresolution.net/crsfamily.html

    Good luck.

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  • Do I have to give a make up visit because ex was uanble to take our children when he was scheduled to?

    My ex and I do not speak to each other. There is a NCO and protection order in place against him. He was scheduled to have our children from 4 to 7 pm this week. It was the day before school began, and both kids had school open houses/socials d...

    Nancy’s Answer

    What does your court order say? If there is no court order, then whatever visitation arrangements you two make are between you two and no contempt is possible. If there is a court order that specifically provides for make-up time, then you need to provide it. If your court order is silent, then there is no legal obligation for you to provide make-up time, especially in this situation.

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  • I want to petition to change the Child custody order in Washington to be a joint order

    In 2001 my exhusband sued me for custody because I was moving out of state. He won he had more money to fight. We entered into custody agreement where he had custody and I had liberal visitation. He had her come live with me from 2002 to 2007 and ...

    Nancy’s Answer

    Talk with a lawyer about our situation. These issues are complex and fact-specific, so it is difficult to provide a coherent answer to them with a personal consultation. You should be prepared to pay a consultation fee to any lawyer you meet with about your legal issues.

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  • At what age does a human being have the right to speak and be heard in regards to their life? Do I have jurisdiction and or cust

    I (petitioner) filed for custody of my child in WA state in July 07. I served the respondent via certified mail. I received receipt of service validation via the USPS. Child born in 98 resided in WA for the previous 4 yrs with pet. Prior to...

    Nancy’s Answer

    You need to consult with a lawyer. The law surrounding your situation is too complex for a simple answer through AVVO.

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  • How do I file a contempt of court if I don't have an address for the my sons dad? I want to file for full custody of our child.

    We currently have a parenting plan set by the courts, however it has not been followed for about the last 10 months. I have also not seen any child support in about 1 year. The state is also unable to find him to try to collect child support. W...

    Nancy’s Answer

    You are in a difficult situation here.

    First, you have to be able to serve him with your papers in order to take action against him. If you can't locate him, its sometimes possible to serve by mail or through publication notice, but you have to get a court order granting you permission to serve by mail or through publication, thus increasing your costs with no expectation that you'll be able to rouse him.

    Assuming you can find/serve him:

    On the child support issue, I would hold off filing for contempt and I would keep working with your support enforcement officer to see if they can locate him through IRS records. If you have selected full support enforcement services, the state will collect past-due support as soon as he and his employer can be located. But, as you well know, if he's choosing to hide and not pay child support, there is not much you can do to collect. And getting a contempt order against him does you no good unless there is money to go after.

    On the parenting plan modification issue, I'd need a little more information as to why it would be important to you to change the parenting plan, especially since he is not exercising visitation. Sometimes its best to just go with the flow. The longer he goes without seeing his child, the more opportunity you have once he does show up (IF he shows up) to limit his time with your child. That being said, you can mail/publish notice on this modification and get a default order against him so if/when he does show up you have that court order already in place. But this may cause him to just go in to vacate the order and ask the court for a do-over ..... whether that would be successful or not can't be answered at this juncture; its a matter of whether you want to borrow this potential future headache by taking such action now.

    I can only offer very general guidance here, since I have no information about your particular circumstances. It would be a good idea to consult with an attorney about these issues so you can have a better handle on what to do in your unique situation. You should be prepared to pay an attorney a consultation fee but this may be well worth it in order to get good advice about your next steps.

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