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Dana Joseph Stewart

Dana Stewart’s Answers

59 total

  • How do you legitimize a child in Texas

    I'm just trying to figure what steps are taken for a father to legitimize a child in the state of Texas, and if the child isn't legitimized, does the father have any legal rights to that child?

    Dana’s Answer

    Expanding off the previous answer, keep in mind that until paternity is established, the father has no real rights and duties under the law. Therefore, the father doesn't have set times of possession and access, but he also doesn't have a obligation to pay child support. It's hard to discern the exact route you should take without knowing more details. Talk to an attorney about this to ensure your rights, and the child's rights, are protected. Best of luck.

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  • Need to take my daughter out of state for the weekend on family emergency but it falls on her father weekend he is a

    non negotiable person, i learn to never ask him for anything because he will tell me no, just to be spiteful because im asking for something, what can i do? what will happen if i only informed him but not ask and just took her with me n tell him h...

    Dana’s Answer

    You defintely do not want to put yourself in a position to be held in contempt of court. If that happens, not only do you open yourself up for paying a fine, you could also be put in jail. Definitely not worth it. Take the advice above and contact an attorney to assist you. Best of luck.

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  • How do you get a divorce when you are unable to locate the spouse and have no way to trace him after 33 years of abandonment

    I have not seen or heard from my husband for over 33 years when he abandonded my son and myself. I got a copy of our marriage certificate to get his social security number only to find out he had put an invalid number. The social security office...

    Dana’s Answer

    I agree with Ms. Shanklin - 33 years is long enough, it's time! As stated in the previous answer, there are legal procedures in place that allow someone in your predicament to get divorced. You should speak with an attorney in your area so that you follow the correct steps to ensure everything is handled the right way. Best of luck.

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  • I have file a Petition to Modify the Child Parent Relationship. The respondant did not provide me a copy of the Answer she filed

    The respondant did not and has refused to provide me with a Copy of the Answer/Response she filed with the Denton County Court. Even after asking her to provide the document to me. Can I Set my hearing with the Judge to sign my order? Does it ...

    Dana’s Answer

    I completely agree with Mr. Daley, especially when it comes to getting an attorney to help you. If you try to handle this on your own, then fully expect to be held to the standard of an attorney. So, if you miss a deadline, don't know the rules of evidence and civil procedure or better yet, the local rules; then you are possibly jeopardizing your case. I wouldn't risk it.

    Also, in regards to the mediation - many judges require the parties to mediate before you can even set the matter for final trial.

    Best of luck.

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  • House deed is still in my name and spouse, how can I release myself from responsibility of paying mortgage

    I would like to give the home to my soon to be ex-wife. I am going thru a divorce. How can I, if at all, give up my obligation for all responsibility of the home to include payment of mortgage? She works full time, I am unemployed I am divorc...

    Dana’s Answer

    Generally, if you are on the note for the house, you are not just going to be able to sign a document and automatically be released from that liability. Even if the court awards the house to your wife in the divorce, you are still on the hook as it's up to the bank/creditor to make the decision to release you from liability.

    You should try to get your wife to refinance the home in her name only. If she can qualify to do so, that will effectively remove you from any liability on the home. If she can't qualify to refinance the home, then you need to put some protective language in the divorce decree . Also, you need to have her sign a Deed of Trust to Secure Assumption. This document will force the bank to give you notice of an delinquent balance on the house after you are divorced. The bank has to give you the chance to cure the default (pay the amount owed), before they can initiate a foreclosure.

    These situations are always tricky - there may be other options, but without all the facts I can't get more specific. I advise you to speak with an attorney - this is a complex area to deal with. Best of luck.

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  • Custody documents

    we have legal custody documents for our grandchild she is in another state with her mother who has not recived these documents stating she is no longer the primary custodial parent my question is can we send her a copy of the documents by cm and r...

    Dana’s Answer

    Was the child's mother not at the hearing(s)? She should have been given notice of the litigation as she is entitled to notice.

    Has the child been residing with you primarily or with mom? And when you say you have "legal custody documents" what exactly do you mean? Did you adopt your grandchild? Or did you file a suit to Modify the Parent/Child Relationship? One final question - when you were in court, were you represented by an attorney?

    Unfortuantely, as you can see, there are numerous facts that are needed before an accurate answer can be given. I highly suggest that you contact an attorney in your area. Best of luck!

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    Dana’s Answer

    I agreed with the previous answer - setting the matter for trial usually puts pressure on the other side. Also, one thing to keep in mind, if the parties reached an agreement/settlment, through mediation for example, then you can file a Motion to Enter. This bascially means that the parties settled, but one side has not yet signed the order that was drafted from the settlement..

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  • If a 9 year old child is deeply depressed and has a strong fascination with guns, is that a reason to call CPS?

    the mother is possibly abusive and on drugs.

    Dana’s Answer

    I am not sure how much CPS is going to be able to help. In Texas, where I practice law, CPS will investigate claims of abuse/neglect however, unless the situation is obviously bad, not much will happen. Some people are very good at hiding skeletons in the closet. CPS can make someone take a drug test. But, in Texas, they use a cottonswab in the person's mouth and the reliability of the tests are not great.

    My advice would be to get the child to a counselor. Hopefully the counselor will be able to make the child feel comfortable and eventually, the child will open up regarding issues with the mother. The counselor, at a minimum, will help the child sort through some things. And, there is a chance that things the mother is doing will be exposed during the counseling sessions. I have had cases just like this and the counselor ended up being a crucial witness in court. It is always nice to have a neutral third party as a witness since they appear more credible to a judge than someone who is related to the parties.

    However, if you feel the situation is so bad that you cannot wait for the child to go through some counseling, then you might want to consider filing emergency motion/temporary restraining order to get possession of the child/keep the child away from the mom. I would consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction to see what the best options are. Best of luck!

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  • Can i get the child support lowered?

    If i get my daughter everyday from 3-6 and her mother picks her up when she gets off at 6 and we rotate weekends. Example, i would get her on a friday and sunday over night and mother gets her saturday and the next weekend we would switch i would ...

    Dana’s Answer

    Please keep in mind that I am licensed attorney in Texas. That being said, I will try to at least give you some advice.

    In Texas, the courts can take several factors into consideration when setting a child support amount. One of those factors is that amount of time the obligor (the person paying child support) spends with the child. For example, I have had cases where the parties had a 50/50 possession schedule and therefore, no one paid child support. However, I have also had cases where there was a 50/50 possession schedule and one party still paid child support - but it was a reduced amount compared to the state guidelines.

    All family law cases are very fact specific, so it's difficult to give you a prediction without knowing more of the facts. My advice is to contact an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction to see what options you have. Best of luck!

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  • Can my ex keep my new girlfriend away from our children?

    My ex wife left me over a year ago and now that i have moved on with my life she refusses to let our children around my new girlfriend. My girlfriend and i have been together for 4 months and she was allowed around them when we werent dateing but ...

    Dana’s Answer

    Before I address your question, please note that I practice family law in Texas. I am not familar with the laws of your state. That being said, I hope I can at least give you a little help.

    Sometimes in a divorce decree, there is language that states a party cannot have an unrelated person of the opposite sex spend the night when the children are in that party's possession. So obviously, if your decree has language along those lines, then you need to follow the court order.

    How is your ex dictating what you do with your children during your possession periods?
    Generally speaking, during your times of possession, you are the parent that makes the decisions (assuming your decree does not state otherwise). Therefore, you should be allowed to bring your children around your girlfriend.

    However, if your girlfriend could expose your children to something that would negatively impact them, your ex could have grounds to ask to court to not allow her around your children.

    So, as you can tell, there are a lot of details that are needed before this question can be answered. I suggest that you contact an attorney in your area. Best of luck.

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