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Dana Joseph Stewart

Dana Stewart’s Answers

63 total


  • I have visitation of my 17 yearold son, this is one of my weeks for the summer, can his dad turn him in as a runaway?

    He sied it wasn't my time, and wanted him to come back now.

    Dana’s Answer

    If you have a court order which states the possession periods when you are to have your son, then you don't need to worry about what your son's dad may or may not do. Although you may have to deal with a situation if he does report your son as a runaway, such as dealing with the police and showing them your court order, ultimately, if you do have a court order, then your son's father does not have the right to your son during those periods. If you are still confused or concerned, please seek advice from an attorney in your area. Best of luck

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  • Wisconsin child custody, visitation laws, procedure for modifying visitation in the parenting plan

    how to modify visitation ex wife and ex mother in law infere with my visitation they have not allowed me to see my sons in 1.5 years and i can't afford a lawyer

    Dana’s Answer

    Your divorce decree should have set out a custody schedule. If your ex is not complying with that schedule, then you can file an enforcement/contempt motion. In Texas, the Attorney General's office handles custody cases for free. They help individuals in situations like yours. I am not sure if the AG office in your state does the same thing, but it is worth checking in to. Best of luck.

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  • Is a parent violating the parenting plan if that parent refuses to take children to basketball practice, New Mexico

    i have joint custody of my 2 children my daughter joined basketball and has visitation with her father every other weekend and he doesn't want to take her to practice does he have that right

    Dana’s Answer

    I practice law in Texas, so you need to speak to an attorney in your area. However, I can tell you that I have had clients with very similar situations. Judges and courts will base their decisions on what is in the best interest of the child. Children are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities such as basketball and this helps them develop. If one parent refuses to take the child to the practices or games during that parent's possession periods, a judge may look down upon that parent, if the judge feels that parent is just trying to be difficult. However, if there is a legitimate reason why the parent is not taking the child to the practices/games, such as the parent has to work during the practice/game times, then you have a different story.

    These cases are all different because the facts are never the same, so it's hard for me to give you a definite answer without knowing more. However, I can tell you that you might be able to get a judge to require the father to take your daughter to practice and games. Speak to an attorney. Best of luck.

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  • What are the rights of a grandparent when the biological parent take back custody of child and refuses visitation

    see above

    Dana’s Answer

    I am a licensed Texas attorney, so I advise you to speak with an attorney in your area. That being said, in Texas, grandparents can file a case in court and petition to be awarded possession to the grandchild. This is not a fundamental right, so a court does NOT have to award the grandparent with possession. However, depending on the facts of your situation, you may be able to get possession periods (ex - one Saturday per month). Best of luck.

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  • What are the rights of grandparents when the parents are separated?

    my son and ex girlfriend have a 2 yr old daughter together. A custody agreement has been signed by a judge. Recently my son was to have custody but he could not locate the mother to make plans to pick up his daughter. After over 14 hours of pho...

    Dana’s Answer

    Please keep in mind that I will be answering this question based on the laws of Texas, as this is where I am licensed. To answer your first question, yes, the mother does have to "live up" to the custody agreement. Although the police were unable to help you, the court system will be able to. If a party fails to comply with a court order, that person could be help in contempt of court.

    Keep in mind though, that one single incident is probably not enough for the mother to be held in contempt. It might not be worth the time and money you would have to spend on a contempt/enforcement case for one failure to follow the court order. However, if the mom has broken the court order several times, well then you have a better chance of getting the order enforced. Tell your son to keep a journal and document every time his ex fails to comply with the court order (be very specific including the day, date and time of each entry). This can help prove to the court just how the mom has been acting.

    As far as grandparent rights. In Texas, grandparents do NOT have a right of possession of their grandchild(ren). However, a grandparent can file a case in court and request the court to award some possession periods to the grandparent (ex - one Saturday out of the month). You need to contact an attorney in your area to discuss this situation in detail. Best of luck.

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  • What are my rights to have the language of a separation / divorce co-parenting agreement ammended?

    I want to have specific language ammended in an original separation / divorce agreement relating to conduct. The arrangement is 50/50 joint legal and physical custody.

    Dana’s Answer

    In Texas, you are allowed to modify a divorce decree for several grounds. One of these is if there has been a significant change in the circumstances. Unfortunately, without more facts, I cannot tell you whether you qualify. Also, I am not familiar with the laws of your state. I recommend that you contact an attorney in your area and discuss what you would like to accomplish. More than likely, you should be able to file a suit to modify your divorce decree. Best of luck.

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  • Procedure for getting partial custody and visitation under WA state child custody laws

    Every other Wednesday the father has telephone visits with his son. To which the child lives in Georgia. The father has phone calls on the weekends too. The mother makes the child busy so the father cannot have phone calls with the child. These ar...

    Dana’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear of your unfortunate situation. You are definitely right when you say that a father should have the same rights to his child as the mother. Since you have a court order which states you are suppose to speak to you child on certain days, at certain times, you need to document the times when the mother does not comply. I advise all my clients in similar situations to keep a journal. You should write down every time the mother does not follow the court order. Be sure to put the day, date,and time.

    It sounds like you have had trouble in the past showing just how many times the mother has done this. It would really help your case if you gave the court your journal rather than trying to verbally prove that the mother has failed to comply with the court order. Perhaps after a month or so of documenting her not following the orders, then you will have a much easier time getting someone to listen to your complaint. Best of luck.

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  • TX child custody laws, father's right to primary sole custody, parent's right to visitation

    Father procedure in getting sole custody of child with visiation rights when the mother wants the father to sign over all rights of the child to the mother

    Dana’s Answer

    I am not sure I completely understand what you are trying to ask. If you are curious how to obtain sole custody of your child - you will have to show that your child's mother is "unfit." Most of the time, courts are reluctant to award sole custody. Typically, you will see courts award the parents with joint custody. However, this does not mean you cannot obtain sole custody.

    One thing to keep in mind is that just because a parent is awarded sole custody, that does not mean the other parent is precluded from seeing the child. The other parent can still be given possession periods. The parent whom is awarded sole custody gets certain rights and decision making powers that the other parent does not. So, in your scenario, if the father agrees to allow the mother to have sole custody, the father can still have "visitation rights" to the child. Before you make any decisions, you need to speak to an attorney. Best of luck.

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  • Procedure under ID child custody law to seek sole custody of child

    My daughter is 10 weeks old. Her father and I have been living in separate states (he in Tacoma, WA and I in Post Falls ID since before her birth; Nov 29, 2007) Chloe was born May 30, 2008. Her father and I were never married, and were together ...

    Dana’s Answer

    Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the laws of your state, as I practice in Texas. However, I may be able to point you in the right direction. In Texas, men and women can use the Attorney General's Office to help obtain custody and even child support. The Attorney General office offers these services for free. Again, I don't know if the same services are offered in your state, but it's worth checking in to. Good luck.

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  • Family

    Me and my wife have a 3 month old girl we are seperated and getting a divorce when I get to see my daughter do I have to return her to her mother. Her mother's house is unfit please give me some answers

    Dana’s Answer

    I am a licensed Texas attorney, so you need to meet with an attorney in your area. However, I should be able to give you a few answers. Currently, without any court orders, you both have the right to possession of your daughter. If you feel that your wife's current living conditions are unsuitable for a child, then you need to take the proper legal actions. You mentioned that you two are going to get a divorce, have you already filed? If no, then you need to. After the suit is filed, you should request a temporary orders hearing - this will allow you to go before the judge asap and present your case. At a temporary order hearing, a judge can decide who will have tempory custody, who will pay child support, and many other issues.

    Again, you need to speak to an attorney in your area to get an understanding of all your options and rights. As far as returning your daughter to your wife's house, there really isn't a simple answer for that question. Legally, you do not have a custody schedule. However, if you refuse to let your wife have your daughter, the police may get involved. You may want to contact Child Protective Services and discuss your matter with them. Perhaps they can shed some light on the options you have, as I am not familiar with the laws of your state. Best of luck.

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