Skip to main content
Joanna Marie Mitchell
Avvo
Pro

Joanna Mitchell’s Answers

1,058 total


  • How can I change my daughters last name, to mine, with out bio dads approval?

    I made a huge mistake of giving my daughter her bio dads last name. He left us 2 weeks after she was born, and already has a new baby..and now a fiancee. He only sees our daughter on Saturdays for a few hours (when he doesn't cancel) she is 2.5 yr...

    Joanna’s Answer

    I agree with the others. If he will not consent, then you will have to Petition the court to change her name. The key to getting the Petition granted will not be showing how her having a different last name effects you, but rather how changing her last name would be in the child's best interest.

    See question 
  • In a no fault divorce state, can a judge order you to go through marriage counseling?

    I have moved on with my life, and I am happy with my significant other. My ex seems to be stuck in the past. My biggest fear is having to go through marriage counseling. I dont want to go back to him and I am adament about it. Will a judge force m...

    Joanna’s Answer

    I respectfully disagree with some of the other answers. In over 15 years of practice, I have ONLY seen marriage counseling ordered when both parties agree to it. Otherwise, it is considered an unconstitutional violation of privacy.

    See question 
  • Should I show in person??

    I've file for contempt because my kids mother has not been paying child's support. I live over 500 miles away and don't really have the extra money to travel. If I appear by telephone do my chances of proving my case get thinner? Do u advise I sh...

    Joanna’s Answer

    If appearing in person would constitute a hardship, you can hire a local attorney who can appear in person for you and file a motion to permit you to appear by phone. That way the evidence can be properly submitted. As for proving she isn't paying, that is difficult to say without knowing how the payments are to be made. If they are processed through the Florida State Disbursement Unit, then you just need to get a print out and file it in the Court file so that it is there for the Judge to review if you are going to appear by phone. You really should consult with an attorney though, if possible, in order to best determine your options.

    See question 
  • I have a paternity case going on orlando, fl and nothing has happened in it for a year, is there a deadline to do something?

    basically i am the petitioner, i hired alwyer the other side hired a lawyer and then both of us ran out of money, so nothing has been filed in the case for about a year. I just got my tax refund, and am looking to restart the case. I thought the...

    Joanna’s Answer

    If the case is still active and has not yet been dismissed for lack of prosecution, then you need to move quickly so that you don't have to start all over again. The case will not proceed on its own. Things need to be filed so that hearing dates, mediation dates and/or Trial dates can be set. And, of course, there may be documentation needed prior to those dates occurring in order to properly prepare for the court dates. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

    See question 
  • How can I request the results for a psychological evaluation?

    DCFS ordered a pyschological evaluation on the father and I know as mentioned in court that there was a referal for medication but he wanted to keep his diagnosis private. The case closed and I never saw the results I am now filing for divorce and...

    Joanna’s Answer

    You can also file a request to produce the evaluation on the father and if he refuses to provide it, file a motion to get a court order and/or to get him to sign a release due to the fact that the evaluation contains relevant information. I agree though that hiring an attorney to assist you in the process would be the best course of action.

    See question 
  • Can an 8 yr old boy and a 6 yr old boy, brothers. .share a room with an adult not related to them??

    My 2 sons are sharing a room with my ex wife's roommate. I am concerned with the stuff they say when they are visiting my house on the. weekends

    Joanna’s Answer

    I agree with the others and would additionally add that depending on what your sons are saying, you may need to get DCF involved, as they could actually visit the house and interview the children and roommate. However, prior to doing this, I would consult with an attorney who can best advise you on your potential options after learning more facts about the situation.

    See question 
  • Can I hire a lawyer just for a hearing?

    Im not sure if this is silly but is it possible to hire a lawyer just for a hearing? To speak on my behalf? I have a dissolution of marriage and I have done all the filing and am confident I can handle all the filing, serving and such but when it...

    Joanna’s Answer

    There is a thing called hiring an attorney for a "Limited Appearance" which would be specifically for one purpose, such as attending one hearing. However, as stated, it would still take much preparation to be sufficiently prepared, and this presumes that you have compiled all of the necessary admissible evidence. Many attorneys offer free consultations. For you to best determine how to proceed, you should contact an attorney and consult with them regarding the facts of your case, what evidence you have, etc. etc. Only then, would they be able to determine if perhaps a "Limited Appearance" would be sufficient in your matter.

    See question 
  • What does this mean exactly?

    I filed a petition for child support in August of 2015. On the Clerk of Courts website it showed that there had been a motion to dismiss the case in April. Now, I just received a letter with a court date that says something about a motion to dismi...

    Joanna’s Answer

    Without actually reviewing the documents and what has been filed in your case, it really isn't possible to give you a good answer to your question. I agree that you should have your case reviewed by a competent attorney, along with the documents that you've received, so that you can best determine how to proceed. And, absolutely do not miss any court hearings!

    See question 
  • In a paternity action will the status qou the judge sets during a temporary timesharing hearing normally become final?

    What the judge decides at a motion for timesharing and he rules one parent should have majority time is this usually setting the status qou and he is almost guaranteed to make the same ruling in a trial for final judgment?

    Joanna’s Answer

    If new evidence is presented at the final hearing that was not presented at the temporary hearing, then the Judge may possibly change the temporary ruling. And, sometimes things are "temporary" to see how they work and then may need to be changed if they are not working. Without knowing more facts though, it is really impossible to answer your question.

    See question 
  • Contempt

    How long does it take for a judge to deny or accept a motion for contempt?

    Joanna’s Answer

    Normally, the Judge will either grant or deny the motion for contempt at the Hearing. If you have filed the motion but not yet scheduled the Hearing to have the motion heard, then it will just sit in the court file. You have to call the judicial assistant for the judge and coordinate hearing time with the other side.

    See question