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Stephen Wright Williams

Stephen Williams’s Answers

213 total


  • Can I file a PFA motion if my ex is having sex in front of my son? Custody issues?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Sorry to hear about the circumstances, but thank your for engaging here and asking such an important question!

    A PFA is a specific kind of action for a specific kind of situation. The body of law and court processes associated with PFA actions tend to focus on domestic violence.

    You can also consider retaining counsel to file a custody action based on the circumstances or, if you believe your son is being abused, neglected or exposed to explicit materials or situations, you can also contact the Child Welfare Department of your local DHR office.

    If the information here has been useful, can you mark this as best answer or at least as helpful? Would you benefit from free, general information about Child Custody by checking out more of our Answers here on Avvo? If so, please click to visit our profile. Thanks for reading! ~SW, Foxtrot

  • Can a judge order a 14 and 18 year old to go to family therapy?

    Stephen’s Answer

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation and what your kids are going through. I'm glad they've got a parent like you that's going to stand up for them.

    I'm also sorry I can't give you better news. Yes, the Court can order the parents to participate in counseling with the children. Technically, the Court has not ordered the children to attend, the Court has ordered the Parents to take the children, if that's what's going on. So, if the kids don't go, you could be risking contempt of court for yourself and a claim by the Other Side that you're not supporting the needs of the children by taking them to counseling.

    It sounds like a complicated case and I really hope you get with a local lawyer if you haven't already to get specific advice and advocacy suited to your unique situation.
    ~
    If the information here has been useful, can you mark this as best answer or at least as helpful? Would you benefit from free, general information about Child Custody by checking out more of our Answers here on Avvo? If so, please click to visit our profile. Thanks for reading! ~SW, Foxtrot

  • When, date, What discrimination and unfair .Why doing on me and child . I do no reason. I will try look find lawyer help

    Stephen’s Answer

    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation.

    One thing that is helpful is to identify and clarify your goals in a situation like this. For example, are you wanting to sue the school for money? Or would you be wanting a court to order them to take or not to take a particular action?

  • Can i get a divorce still?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Yes, you can still get a divorce. Congrats on the baby on the way! During such a joyous time in your life, you should be letting an experienced, supportive family lawyer worry about these issues while you focus on being healthy and relaxed for baby.

    The issue you’re going to have is that your husband is the ‘presumed’ father of the Child you’re about to have, so you’re boyfriend will need to file a separate petition to show that your husband has not persisted as the father and that your boyfriend is entitled to pursue paternity.

    Knowing that, yes, you can get divorced. What are your goals or priorities, from a practical perspective? Like what are you trying to do or what are you trying to protect?

  • Can my 15 year old change his last name to his step dad's?

    Stephen’s Answer

    First, I’m sorry to hear that your son has missed out on a better relationship with his biological father. On the other hand, what a blessing it is that your husband has stepped in and stepped up for your son, for you and your family!

    Introduction

    There are two ways to change a child’s name. You can pursue a ‘simple’ name change OR you can pursue a full-blown adoption.

    With a simple name change, the biological father will retain such rights he may have at present, even if they are limited, as well as the right to petition a court of competent jurisdiction to increase his visitation or legal rights … or even modify your physical custody of your child!

    If your current husband pursues an adoption, the successful completion of that process will not only have the effect of changing your son’s name but also establishing your husband as the Father of your Child, in every sense but biologically.

    An adoption sounds like the opportunity to recognize and formalize your son’s and husband’s long-standing and loving relationship, which sounds like something they both deserve in addition to getting your son’s name changed.

    Applicable Law

    Regarding JUST the name change, I’m looking at § 12-13-1(b)(11), Ala. Code 1975, and here’s what I’m seeing.

    (b) The probate court shall have original and general jurisdiction over the following matters:

    (11) The change of the name of any minor residing in their county, upon the filing of a declaration in writing, signed by the parent or legal guardian of the minor, stating the name by which the minor is known and the name to which it is to be changed, along with the consent from all persons who have natural parental or legal rights of the minor. Consent of the minor is required if the minor is 14 or more years of age. This subdivision does not apply to a minor who is involved in a domestic relations matter that is pending in the circuit court or to a minor whose name is ordered by a court to be changed pursuant to the Uniform Parentage Act.

    Id., emphasis added.

    Discussion

    It looks like the name change process would require consent of your son’s biological father.

    As you mentioned, you don’t even know where the biological father is, so you wouldn’t be able to get that consent. However, if you pursue the adoption process ( or a related ‘termination of parental rights’ process) you can serve the biological father “by publication” and the law will deem that he had notice of the proceeding. At that point, the biological father can either answer your adoption petition or be deemed to have waived any objection to the process.

    Conclusion

    Every situation is different, and I can’t give you legal advice without sitting down with you and your family to go through your unique circumstances, but it sounds like you, your son and your husband have a great opportunity to do so much more than merely change your son’s name!

    I do hope you make it a priority to consult and retain an experienced adoption lawyer that can give you the guidance and support you need.

    Thank you for your commitment to your family and good luck taking the next steps and getting this process going

    ~
    If the information here has been useful, can you mark this as best answer or at least as helpful? Would you benefit from free, general information about Child Custody by checking out more of our Answers here on Avvo? If so, please click to visit our profile. Thanks for reading! ~SW, Foxtrot

  • How was this legal

    Stephen’s Answer

    First of all, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. You sound like a loving Mother with such a good heart.
    ~
    Second of all, we must make clear that we can't provide legal advice for your specific situation without undertaking, at the very least, an Intake Assessment or full consultation with one of our lawyers.
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    One thing that we would need to know is when all this happened? If this happened some time ago then the case may be less about what was in your system at the Child's birth than what has gone on since then. I would be surprised if DHR has proceeded to termination of parental rights over nothing more than a positive THC test, whether it was something legal or otherwise.
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    Two things: (1) stop asking yourself or anyone else "how is this legal?" because it doesn't matter at this point; it doesn't change what you need to do to stand up for yourself and your family, so...
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    (2) if DHR has filed to terminate your rights you may hire a private attorney or seek indigent status from the Court for a court-appointed attorney. If you are dealing with DHR and any of this without staying in touch with and working with an experienced, aggressive Child Custody lawyer, then it doesn't matter what's legal and what's not because the system will run you over unless they're held accountable to the law, going forward.
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    If the information here has been useful, can you mark this as best answer or at least as helpful? Would you benefit from free, general information about Child Custody by checking out more of our Answers here on Avvo? If so, please click to visit our profile. Thanks for reading! ~SW, Foxtrot

  • Can I sue DHR in Alabama?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Sue them for what, exactly? Getting your kids back? Money damages like in a car wreck case or something? Both? What have you got proof of? Start asking better questions and being more clear about what you need and what your priorities are will serve you well in dealing with DHR and in life.
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    Sorry, I'm not a position to direct you further without more information. I hope you continue to think this through, consult an attorney and get the help you need.
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    If the information here has been useful, can you mark this as best answer or at least as helpful? Would you benefit from free, general information about Child Custody by checking out more of our Answers here on Avvo? If so, please click to visit our profile. Thanks for reading! ~SW, Foxtrot

  • Meaning of this verbiage?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Without knowing more about your specific circumstances or the typical pattern and practice of your judge, I can't offer any specific advice. However, generally, a rule of construction is that whatever language is contained in a specific paragraph, arguably, is more applicable to that paragraph. So a fair interpretation would be that whatever the Thursday paragraph says is what you do on Thursday and whatever it says in the other section applies to the other section.
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    If the information here has been useful, can you mark this as best answer or at least as helpful? Would you benefit from free, general information about Child Custody by checking out more of our Answers here on Avvo? If so, please click to visit our profile. Thanks for reading! ~SW, Foxtrot

  • How can my daughter get her two daughters home to her ? They are still married , she doesn't want to be with him anymore ,

    Stephen’s Answer

    First, this is time sensitive. If you want to keep "jurisdiction" of the case in Alabama rather than the state to which they've fled your daughter needs to contact a lawyer immediately. In many states, including Alabama, jurisdiction vests once the Child has been in the new state for 6 months.
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    Interstate Child Custody law is a very complicated and challenging process. Hiring a lawyer should be your immediate, first priority. Nothing I or anyone else says online is going to help you unless you take action, hire a lawyer and get the proper legal process and case going. I wish you and yours the best.
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    If the information here has been useful, can you mark this as best answer or at least as helpful? Would you benefit from free, general information about Child Custody by checking out more of our Answers here on Avvo? If so, please click to visit our profile. Thanks for reading! ~SW, Foxtrot

  • Can my boyfriend so to be exwife keep his 6 kids from coming around me?

    Stephen’s Answer

    The simple answer is yes. Since there's not a court order, there's nothing ordering anyone to do or preventing anyone from doing anything with regard to their kids. So there are some implications there...
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    WHEN your boyfriend has his kids for visitation or custodial time there's nothing that says you can't be around. IF the Other Side won't let him see the kids there isn't anything your boyfriend can do to force the Other Side's hand.
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    Since you say "soon to be" ex that makes me think there's a pending divorce. If so, there should be a custody or visitation order in the Divorce that address your boyfriends time with his kids. She will HAVE to follow that or open herself up to contempt of court. However, if the Judge puts language in the Custody or Visitation order about you not being around HE may have to follow that.
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    I hope you have a lawyer to help with this or that you contact one asap.
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    If the information here has been useful, can you mark this as best answer or at least as helpful? Would you benefit from free, general information about Child Custody by checking out more of our Answers here on Avvo? If so, please click to visit our profile. Thanks for reading! ~SW, Foxtrot