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Homa S. Woodrum

Homa Woodrum’s Answers

45 total


  • When a father signs over his rights to his child does he still have to pay child support?

    Homa’s Answer

    I'm not sure what she is having you sign as far as "signing over rights" - if she is talking about terminating your parental rights completely (the legal effect being that you are no longer the legal father of your son) then you wouldn't have future support obligations. You do have a potential past or back child support obligation no matter what you sign now regarding your "rights." If she's talking about custody, a non-custodial parent does still have a child support obligation. The Family Law Self Help Center has an ask a lawyer session each Thursday from 2-5 where you could take any documents and get a free fifteen minute consultation. Please don't do anything so serious without getting a full disclosure of your rights and what potentially giving any of them up means.

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  • Since i voluntary signed guardianship cuzz i was in another state to i loose all my parential righta

    Homa’s Answer

    Ms. Whitbeck is correct that a written temporary guardianship can be revoked by you - but given that your sister in law has cut off contact and blocked your number I am wondering if she took your informal temporary guardianship to court and obtained general guardianship there and isn't telling you about it. Which is to say, I would recommend checking with the court to make certain there isn't a case involving your kids on the docket (you have to go in person because minor guardianships are kept off the online system) since if your sister in law is willing to cut your daughter off from any contact with you, it may be possible she filed with the court for guardianship and gave a fake address for you or misrepresented contact she had with you. Which is to say, a court hearing may have happened without your knowledge. If that is the case, you could not simply pick your daughter up at school because your temporary guardianship as granted to your sister in law would have been replaced by something far more strict. Once you've verified whether or not there's an existing case, it is true that you can revoke the temporary guardianship and see your daughter.

    The family court is at 601 N. Pecos Rd. (Pecos and Bonanza) here in Las Vegas. When you enter, go to your right to get a number from the clerk at the desk and make sure you're asking for "records." When you reach records, have some cash with you since you'll have to pay per page for any information they have. If it turns out there's a case you can take steps to appear and file in that case and explain what is going on (as Ms. Whitbeck mentioned, legal aid has services to assist). If there's no case, write a letter to your sister in law revoking the temporary guardianship (which expires on its own after 6 months, just in case that much time has already passed). The letter step isn't necessary but a paper trail is always good.

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  • When I am served for child modification request and it says I have 10 days, is it business or calendar days?

    Homa’s Answer

    Normally it is ten calendar days for a standard motion that has the language about how many days you have to file a written response. The more important issue is the service of the OST. If the OST is ordered ten days or more out then they can mail you the notice of entry of order on the Order Shortening Time. Anything less than ten days and they can personally serve you as long as you get the notice within one judicial (aka business) day. Here's the rule about orders shortening time, I'd make an effort to file something in writing before the hearing date as soon as possible and of course appear at the hearing.

    For your reference, this is EDCR 2.26, which covers the family court in Las Vegas where your question was posed.
    "Rule 2.26.  Shortening time.  Ex parte motions to shorten time may not be granted except upon an unsworn declaration under penalty of perjury or affidavit of counsel describing the circumstances claimed to constitute good cause and justify shortening of time. If a motion to shorten time is granted, it must be served upon all parties promptly. An order which shortens the notice of a hearing to less than 10 days may not be served by mail. In no event may the notice of the hearing of a motion be shortened to less than 1 full judicial day. A courtesy copy shall be delivered by the movant to the appropriate department, if a motion is filed on an order shortening time and noticed on less than 10 days’ notice."

    On such short notice it may be also hard for you to get assistance but Thursday from 2-5pm at Family Court they have lawyers available to answer questions for free so draft a response and go to court Thursday to have someone look things over with you and then you can file the response and mail it out before the hearing next week. Be sure to drop a courtesy copy off at the third floor in the corresponding judge's box.

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  • My ex husband and I agreed on holiday vacations that if he had to go to work more than six hours that I have first rights of

    Homa’s Answer

    I would add to Ms. Whitbeck's answer that the step after communicating the violation in writing and having him on notice that you will seek Court intervention if it happens again, is Motion for an Order to Show Cause Why [He] Should Not Be Held in Contempt. It forces him to testify and appear to explain why he is not in violation of the order. Then if he fails to appear or fails to argue successfully in his favor, you move to the contempt step. The thing is, however, that what you really want is probably to not just look at contempt but to instead, or additionally, move to compel compliance in the future. Be aware that going back to Court may open a Pandora's box, I'd suggest consulting with counsel in case this is the only issue you are having with life after the order. If he's on notice that you are aware of his violation of the order, maybe you will be able to achieve the resolution you hope for. Good luck!

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  • Does the attorney work for you or you for your attorney?

    Homa’s Answer

    Hopefully what your lawyer is telling you is that it is the law that you as the parent cannot waive support because it belongs to your child. If you're hearing the phrase "best interests of the child" when your lawyer is explaining this, it is because that is a term of art in the law to mean child custody, support, etc. is focused on what will best care for children. People are surprised to learn if they apply for public assistance down the road and aren't getting child support (say they were never married to the parent of their child and never went through a formal custody procedure so no order for child support is in place), the District Attorney's office will go seek not only child support but back child support. Which is to say the obligation exists no matter what. I tell clients why not start a 529 account and put support payments in there as a way to save for the child's college? Or a savings or trust account for their benefit. It is not your money to refuse on their behalf. Your lawyer is trying to comply with the law and advise you of the same. If you have a feeling of distrust when dealing with your lawyer it may be time to find someone you do feel you can trust. The lawyer/client relationship should be one of mutual communication. You should be able to ask your lawyer for more information. Hope that helps!

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  • I have had guardianship of my friends grand daughter since she was the weeks old and she well be two in two months

    Homa’s Answer

    My first question would be whether you have a formally court-ordered guardianship. Then I'd ask if all her family was properly noticed of the guardianship via mail and/or published notice when guardianship was originally obtained. Family within the second degree of consanguinity has to be notified of the proceedings when they happen so they can object or volunteer to serve, etc. They may be able to attack your guardianship on those grounds. Family is often prioritized in guardianship if they live in-state. The court will consider the best interests of the child, however, and not outright uproot her from the home she's known for the majority of her life but that isn't to say they wouldn't potentially grant guardianship to her father's family and then do a slow transition over time. I just want you to know that the stakes are high - just having guardianship already doesn't protect your rights as guardian especially since you are not related to the ward. I am a big advocate of being able to have a voice in court without an attorney but until they actually file something in the case to change things, they may be just trying to threaten you. Once they do file something, you'll want to have a consultation with an attorney. It may ease your mind to meet with an attorney now to review the filings you've already got in the case just to make sure you did everything correctly if you did it yourself or if another attorney handled it. Unfortunately, legal aid doesn't offer free attorneys where a guardianship is contested but they do have Thursday 2pm Ask A Lawyer sessions at family court where you can get free advice and there are also forms online you can use to respond to anything the father's family does file. I had a case recently where there were threats to file to change guardianship but they were just threats and nothing was filed. In that case an unrelated person had guardianship and had the child since they were 3 days old and now they're almost 5 so it is not an uncommon situation for the court to see. It really will ease your mind to meet with an attorney even for just an hour to understand the worst case scenarios.

    Also, thank you for taking care of this little girl and giving her a home.

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  • Can you end up back in court if the judge from family court discovers you lied on your finances

    Homa’s Answer

    Lying to the Court is a serious thing, why did you misrepresent your finances? Fraud can result in a result being changed down the road and important calculations like alimony or child support being wrong. It sounds like you want assurance that your misconduct is going to play out in your favor but honesty is the best policy. What stage of the case are you in? You can file amended financials if it is early enough, you may want to talk to an attorney about how to present the correct information to the Court apologetically and hope that you are not sanctioned. This is very serious and if you signed off on your finances under penalty of perjury (such as with a verification) then you have an even bigger incentive to take corrective action.

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  • Can my ex change final custody decree and give me more time with my son even if judge ruled against it

    Homa’s Answer

    Many people operate in practice contrary to a specific time share on custody but your question as worded has me concerned. Why did the judge "rule against" primary with you? If you and your ex want to agree to something different, be sure to put it in writing and get a new court order on the stipulation between the two of you. All it takes is someone getting upset and calling the other person out for violating the order as written to be back to court down the road. Also, child support calculations depend on who has primary so that may be why your ex wants you to have primary "off the books" so to speak. Getting things in writing always protects those involved.

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  • Is it right for my attorney to agree to the opposing party's proposal to waive child support even though I have primary?

    Homa’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Child support belongs to the child, so the parties can't waive it on the whole. They can adjust amounts based on factors they have to present to the court so though you see the word "waive" for support it may be that you are stipulating to joint custody despite the nature of the time share and your closely similar incomes under joint custody break down to a neutral state on support. A settlement stipulation should be run by you for review by your attorney, and if you genuinely feel that something is being agreed to that you aren't on board with contact your attorney asap to remedy it. Even if it ends up being semantics, words have power and the parties are the ones that use this document in the future. For example, if you have a substantial change in income, the calculations may raise support as an issue again and the word "waive" may become a battleground. Please communicate your concerns to your attorney so they can explain or remedy what is going on.

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  • How will a judge decide between homeschooling and public schooling if parents cannot agree?

    Homa’s Answer

    The overall standard in cases involving children is "the best interests of the child." There is no objective measure of this except to say it is very case specific. If a child was already in homeschool the court may say, for example, the status quo should continue. If not, the other side may argue they want socialization, etc. and you may want to plan to show how that will be dealt with. There are so many groups that bring homeschoolers together so you are probably preparing in that regard. What are your reasons for homeschooling? For example, someone homeschooling to avoid vaccination may be viewed differently by the court than someone homeschooling for another reason. Co parenting means hopefully reaching a middle ground (a co-op maybe?) - I tell parents that it is usually better to craft a resolution between one another or meditate versus letting a judge decide for the very reason of uncertainty. Also, would homeschool be a reason to not work full time? The other side may argue you are trying to be willfully "underemployed" for child support calculation purposes since public school is free and would free you from being at home. There's a lot to consider that isn't one size fits all, perhaps try Thursday's Ask A Lawyer (lacsn.org) from 2-5pm at family court so you can speak to a lawyer for free for fifteen minutes. It is hard enough planning for the future if everyone agrees, hang in there.

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