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Curtis Bounds’s Answers

50 total


  • What if the contract to withdraw a a PFA petition with prejudice is not honored?

    I signed a contract with my abuser that I would withdraw my PFA petition with prejudice under the condition that we work with a Parenting Coordinator to resolve disputes and reduce conflict. He then had his attorney modify the standard PC contract...

    Curtis’s Answer

    Control and intimidation are facets of many relationships and it sounds like this is such a relationship. Assuming there are children there is always the possibility and even likelihood that such tactics will be used again. Not all abuse rises to the level of obtaining a Protection from Abuse Order, and these orders assert a different kind of control, specifically, no contact between the abuser and the victim. But, because they expire in a year or two, persons in relationship often end up back where they started, again with children in the middle. Therefore, choosing to use a parenting coordinator, even under less than ideal conditions, is better than litigation for resolving the day-to-day problems of life. An Order of Protection from Abuse is good to prevent a persons from doing physical harm and should be used always for that situation (even if there are criminal charges pending), but the threat of incarceration for being an a**hole often just leads to sneaky behavior by the abuser. It is difficult to re-file a PFA that has been dismissed with prejudice, and it is difficult to enforce an agreement to go to counseling or use a parenting coordinator. If a person doesn't want to cooperate, enforcement is often ineffective. What does cause people to rely again and again on a therapist or parenting coordinator is if they think they are getting something out of the process. In order for that to take place, both sides have to exercise give and take and try to see things from the other persons point of view. That's called creating empathy, which is the emotion that takes persons out of control and manipulation relationships in to relationships that are for the mutual benefit of the persons in the relationship, and the dependents of that relationship. Humans like to have control when they are taking care of their own needs, but when others take care of their needs, they will sometimes let go and let others control. Remember the story of the table in Heaven and the table in Hell. In both scenes, the diners had spoons shackled to their hands that were 3 feet long. In Hell, the diners were struggling to get the food in to their own mouths with these oversized spoons. In Heaven, the diners were feeding each other.

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  • Does a will supercede a marriage?.... If I leave my assets to my girlfriend and I am still legally married, who gets what?

    I am still legally married, from Delaware, but wife lives in Pennsylvania and I live in Delaware with my girlfriend. Want to draw up will and leave everything to my girlfriend and nothing to legal wife.

    Curtis’s Answer

    In Delaware, the spouse is entitled to a third of the other spouse's estate upon death, known as the elective share. A person seeking to resolve matters of estate when married needs to consult with a divorce lawyer and a trust and estates lawyer in the State where jurisdiction exists to prosecute the divorce, as well as the State where the person making the will resides.

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  • I want him to sell for my half but he won't... What now..... and is there any statue of limitation?

    Divorced in 2010 in Delaware... married in 1995.. husband stayed in house but i'm on title.. abusive husband.. My question is their a statue of limitations on selling the house and settling divorce. I just wanted to end the marriage.. He is...

    Curtis’s Answer

    The Delaware Family Court has jurisdiction to order the sale of a house owned by formerly married persons, even if no one sought property division at the divorce. A petition has to be filed with the Court. I recommend that you consult with a lawyer. When unmarried people are in a similar situation it's called a partition action and those are filed in Superior Court. So a lawyer who has experience with this type of petition in either Court should be able to handle it.

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  • Would the NYS court modify his cs if I took him to court for not adhering to our divorce agreement?

    My ex and I have both moved from NYS, where our divorce was granted in 2010, I to DE and him to CT. My ex is claiming he cannot pay cs ordered by the NYS court due to change in employment circumstances. He claims he only makes $25k annually (no lo...

    Curtis’s Answer

    When both parties move out of the jurisdiction, then enforcement usually falls to the State where the payor lives according to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) which has been adopted by most States. A child support order can be registered in the payors State for enforcement. The Delaware Division of Child Support Enforcement may be able to assist in registering the out of state order. Once an enforcement action is brought, then a modification petition can also be filed by the payor for the purpose of modifying his or her child support obligation. Side agreements for child support may be treated differently depending on the laws of any given State. In Delaware, the Family Court always retains the power to modify child support agreements, having held that as the child is the beneficiary of the support order, the parents' freedom to contract is limited. It will be necessary to contact an attorney in the State where the enforcement action is taking place in order to know what is the law. Note also that if the payor wants to modify his or her child support obligation, absent an enforcement action, he or she must file that modification action in the new State of the payee. Under UIFSA, the original State maintains jurisdiction to enforce or modify its own orders but its difficult to enforce or modify an order when no one lives there anymore. Here is a helpful web link. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/interstate-child-support-enforcement-case-processing-and-uifsa

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  • Should my unmarried pregnant daughter seek legal advise before her baby is born?

    My unmarried daughter is due to give birth this year 2016. She & baby will be living with us (parents). She is not in a serious relationship with the father. She is under the impression that this young man will be involved in the life of the chil...

    Curtis’s Answer

    Yes. Make an appointment for your daughter to see a family law attorney before the child is born.

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  • What can I legally do to be able to see him. Is there a process are their papers to file. Are the odds against us.

    My 8 year old grandchild lives with his mother in Delaware. We live in Georgia. She has decided to cut off all contact with us. We are not allowed to call nor see him and she has moved.

    Curtis’s Answer

    The Delaware Family Court can grant and enforce third party visitation rights provided that the child's parents do not both oppose the third party contact. The Court examines the request based on the child's best interest. The burden is on the party requesting visitation to show that the parent's objection is unreasonable. A petition for grandparent visitation is begun by filing a petition for third party visitation in the Family Court in the County where the child lives, unless there is already a Cour in another jurisdiction that retains jurisdiction over the custody case.

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  • Could I possibly file the lawyer and do some research and handle this myself so I don't starve.

    I live in Delaware and I handled my own divorce and that has been granted. The property settlement has been more difficult and I am out thousands of dollars and not one lawyer will pursue 50/50 to resolve this case because my husband is a bum and...

    Curtis’s Answer

    In Delaware it's difficult to obtain an equal split when one party is better off economically than the other unless there's plenty of money to go around. It's possible to pay a lawyer for legal advice and continue unrepresentated but unwise and especially if the other side has a lawyer. One piece of advice I give to my clients is to consider 50% of what? In a small marital estate, the size of non- retirement assets is often small and giving one side an extra 10% or more is not the end of the world. Even when one is talking about equity in a house or car, getting more or less of the equity for oneself usually just means having to borrow more or less from the bank to buy out the other spouse or buy the next house or car for oneself. Retirement assets are viewed a little different and can often be divided equally depending upon when they were acquired and how they were acquired. Ask the lawyer. We can always be fired and new or none hired, but before changing horses it may be better to reasses the goals and consider a more realistic approach. Above all, experienced family law attorneys provided perspective that it's oftentimes difficulty have when one is in the midst of one's own divorce litigation.

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  • Registering vehicle in new state

    my soon to be ex husband moved out of my house (I'm the sole owner of the house) a year ago next month (will also be a year since I filed for divorce). He moved out of MD to DE. The truck he drives is registered to both of us. He's lived in DE nea...

    Curtis’s Answer

    Delaware DMV is not sending out the State Police to patrol vehicle registration. Vehicle ownership amidst divorce involves more than registration. Even though parties are separated it's important to maintain insurance on the vehicle. If the car title is in the possession of the lien holder then title cannot really transfer until the loan is paid off. Depending on where the divorce was filed, Maryland or Delaware, the court order or the parties written agreement should address equitable ownership (the owner who will be driving and paying the cost) of the vehicle. When the loan is paid off, the other owner giving up the vehicle will need to assign the title to the equitable owner. Until the loan is paid off, the person driving the car, paying the loan and the insurance should register the car in his or her state of residence. An even cleaner break would involve refinancing the loan in to the sole name of the equitable owner and immediate transfer of title. That gets the other spouse completely off of the hook. But practically speaking it may not be possible to refinance the loan. Of course, if there is no loan then transferring the vehicle is easy and the parties can just show up together at the DMV and sign over the title. In that case an agreement can be written as to how much money the owner spouse owes the non-owner spouse for the car, or money can change hands immediately. There is no transfer tax when "selling" a car to the other spouse.

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  • How do I start a custody procedure to keep my goddaughter with me until the end of the school year?

    I am the godmother of a 16 year old girl who resided in Colorado with her mom (my friend). Her mom agreed to have the daughter live with me temporarily and go to school here in DE. She moved here in May and I have paid for everything that she need...

    Curtis’s Answer

    A non parent can file a petition for guardianship or a petition for dependency and/or neglect in the Delaware Family Court after the child has resided in Delaware for six months (earlier if there is an emergency, as long as the child is here). The Delaware Family Court has locations in Wilmington, Dover and Georgetown. The petition is filed in the County where the child lives. If there is already a pending petition in Colorado or another home state then that may derail a Delaware proceeding. A Delaware Family Court Judge will decide where such a child should live if the Delaware Family Court has jurisdiction to hear the case. The standards for granting guardianship or custody to a non parent are different than between natural or legal parents. It is not the best interest of the child standard. It is whether the parent can and will provide for the basic needs of the child. If the standard were "where is a child going to get the best raising?" few of us would meet that standard as to our own children all of the time.

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  • Domestic dispute in Delaware. Husband arrested - no contact order in place until trial. how do I get the order withdrawn?

    My husband and I were staying at a motel in Newark, Delaware on 10/24/15. We were there for a parents weekend at my stepsons college. After a long day of drinking, my husband and I got into an argument and I hit my head and called police. I blamed...

    Curtis’s Answer

    The no contact order is a condition of bail or release. It can be modified by the State before trial. The best way to do this is to hire a criminal defense attorney to handle the matter and for that person to speak with the prosecution. A word about domestic violence. Statements to the police that are later retracted can be problematic. Drunk or not it's not a good idea to tell stories to the police, then or now. If there are problems in a relationship then it's a good plan to deal with those problems and not sweep them under the rug because it's hard or creates different problems. Bumps in the road should be fixed. Relationships don't have to end because of domestic violence but ignoring the problem can be hazardous to ones health. Counseling is available for couples and treatment is available for alcohol use or abuse. As Secretary Clinton once said, "never waste a crisis."

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