Skip to main content
Vanessa J. Gorden
Avvo
Pro

Vanessa Gorden’s Answers

254 total


  • Can my ex try to charge me for her legal bill?

    I am starting a custody modification with my son. I am trying to get more time with him than I have. I have every other weekend fri to sunday and I am trying to extend that to Monday as well as lean towards splitting the summer time in half. I wil...

    Vanessa’s Answer

    Your ex can request that you pay her attorney's fees, yes. However, whether that request is successful will depend on many factors, including whether you are filing a legitimate lawsuit that meets the requirements for modifying parenting time, whether you have the ability to pay and she does not, etc.

    I would note, although you have not asked, that doing a modification pro se is very ill advised. This is because there are no Supreme Court pro se forms or guidance for how to accomplish the process and it is very important to be fact-specific as well as know your judge's policies . If you cannot afford full representation, consider at least a Limited Scope Representation attorney to assist/coach you through the process. Best wishes.

    See question 
  • What factors will weigh most heavily in determining childs best interest for school?

    I was served with request for modification of child support. We both agreed we would be modifying based on father having more overnights but he is using the fact that i moved out of state & stating he did not agree which he did to this temporary m...

    Vanessa’s Answer

    This question is going to be extremely fact-specific and mostly determined by the judge who is assigned to your case. However, most NE schools will not allow you to enroll in their district without providing a NE address. If you have the ability to move to the district immediately, I would advise you to do so. If you have bent the rules to obtain the enrollment, that may concern the judge. Overall, your best advice would be to consult with a local attorney confidentially about the specifics of your case, including your judge. Best wishes!

    See question 
  • What will happen now that Ive declined a drug test request from dhhs when they came to house responding to an "anonYmous tip?"

    When they initially sd.they came on a report of too many cats in home(live in country) after talking and looking around, they seemed satisfied. The 2 dhhs gals asked to talk privately with my 14yr old(who is on probation and we've had struggles w/...

    Vanessa’s Answer

    What happens next will be your DHHS investigating caseworker will go back to her office and complete a safety checklist to determine whether the report they received was unfounded or substantiated by her own observations. Simply refusing a drug test is not enough, but may be significant if they found other concerns (persons in the home acting erratically, home in unsanitary condition, reports of abuse/neglect/domestic violence, etc.). If there is not enough they will mark it unfounded and you will get a letter to that effect from them later. If they had significant enough concerns, they will send a "Request to File" to the County Attorney who will review it for whether it is provable (51% more likely true than not) in juvenile court. Even if this is filed, you will have the opportunity to have an attorney (court appointed if you cannot afford one) and to have a defense at a hearing called an adjudication. If the issue is with your child potentially violating probation, that will be a separate matter handled by his or her juvenile probation officer. Best wishes to you and your family.

    See question 
  • What are my legal rights when my husbands wants to "dissolve" the marriage?

    We have only been married 2 years. He served me papers June 24. We've been in our home for less than a year. The home is mortgage in his name. My name is on the title. We do not have children together. In the state of Omaha Nebraska what are my ri...

    Vanessa’s Answer

    The only way to know your specific best and worst outcomes is for you to consult with an attorney and provide all of the very specific facts of your situation and answer the attorney's questions. S/he can then give you an outline of your rights and responsibliities under the law. In general, Nebraska is a "no fault" state, which means neither party has to prove fault on the part of the other to obtain a divorce. Nebraska is also generally a "community property" state, meaning you each are entitled to half of the assets of the marital estate and you each are responsible for half the debts of the marital estate. The marital estate is anything acquired or incurred during the time you have been marrried. There are other factors that can affect divisions, however, and you will need to at least talk with an attorney to know your rights. There is no legal method to compel marriage counseling or further efforts to reconcile if one spouse does not wish to do so, so it is important that you seek legal counsel if your spouse has filed, as there are several time limits you need to know. Best wishes as you navigate this process.

    See question 
  • Daughter in Law gave temp guardianship to other grandparents

    Daughter in law gave temp guardianship to other grandparents after our son went to job corp. He does not know. They are legally still married. We are having to fight to have visitation. What, if any, avenues do we have to gain regular visits?

    Vanessa’s Answer

    To intervene or file for grandparent visitation, there would need to be a divorce or paternity action or guardianship case on file with the Court. Your son can file for divorce and then you can intervene to ask for grandparent visits or even custody. Alternatively, your son can ask that you be allowed to exercise his parenting time if he cannot due to Job Corps. There is no ongoing "temporary guardianship" in Nebraska. She may have done an informal (not through courts) "Temporary Delegation of Parental Powers" which is revocable at any time and cannot last longer than 6 months. That paper does not supersede your son's parental rights. If a guardianship through the Courts has been filed, you can intervene in that for grandparent visits as well. You should consult with an attorney confidentially about the specific facts of your situation to get the best advice. Best wishes to you and your family!

    See question 
  • I am a full time dental student planning to file for divorce from my husband of 11 months and am wondering if i can afford it.

    I purchased my home 3 years prior to getting married. I am a full time student with about 100K in student loan debt and very little savings. I plan to file for divorce from my husband. We have no children. He has a small business which generates ...

    Vanessa’s Answer

    You can start the process on your own using the Nebraska Supreme Court pro se forms located here:

    https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/self-help/7230/filing-divorce-nebraska-no-children-and-no-disputed-property

    However, since you do have some issues of premarital property, real property, debts, and a business, you will need to consult with a lawyer and have a lawyer help with the Property Settlement Agreement and Decree of Dissolution, even if you and your spouse agree on everything (to be sure the documents are drafted correctly).

    See question 
  • How can I obtain custody of my grandson. I have had temporary custody since he was 8 months old. He's going to be 3 in September

    His father is incarcerated. His mother has no means to support him and has signed a temporary custody agreement. I want to obtain full custody due to the fact that his mother has not tried to better herself and still has no means of support.

    Vanessa’s Answer

    You can do a guardianship for a minor. Under Nebraska law, there is no "temporary custody" that lasts for longer than 6 months. A parent can delegate their parental powers for six months at a time. After 6 months, a new document must be signed again. You will need to visit with an experienced local attorney to discuss your particular facts and situation and options for guardianship or even adoption. Best wishes to you and your grandson!

    See question 
  • What can I do about my ex mother in-law calling cops and cps every other week

    I have primary custody of my kids and for over a year I've been call on to cps and in the last two weeks I've had the cops called saying I'm not feeding and hitting my kids but I'm not and every time cops come they find nothing they say they are s...

    Vanessa’s Answer

    Typically reports of child neglect/abuse are confidential. If you can prove who is doing this, you could request a harassment protection order (but proof may be very hard to obtain since the law heavily protects reporters). Lincoln police are very good at their jobs - at some point, they will stop responding to every little complaint if they continue to be unfounded. Best wishes to you and your children.

    See question 
  • Will a judge order a NCP to do all activities the CP signs the children up for on the NCP parenting time without mutual consent?

    I am the non-custodial parent and the custodial parent believes activities are more important than parenting time, even if that parenting time is not his/hers. He has asked the courts to mandate me to do all activities he/she signs the children up...

    Vanessa’s Answer

    Look at your Parenting Plan to see if this is addressed. I am unclear from your question whether this is a modification action or a contempt action. To modify, the requesting party needs to prove a material and substantial change in circumstances. For a contempt action, the requesting party would need to show the other parent is willfully disobeying the current court orders. Judges vary on the degree of importance they place on children's activities. However, the Court is required to balance your rights as a parent against the child's best interests (in the Court's view). Your best advice will come from visiting confidentially with a local attorney who understands how your judge views these cases and who can review what your documents require of you. Best wishes to you and your family!

    See question 
  • Separate accounts, how to split funds?

    I'll be pursuing a divorce from my husband. We've been married almost 6 years, and this is our 5th separation, the 2nd time he has abandoned the marriage. We have no children and got married in NE. After our 2nd separation in 2012, we got separ...

    Vanessa’s Answer

    All divorces in Nebraska are "no fault" - which means you do not have to prove fault to have a dissolution granted. Also, Nebraska is generally a community property state - both of you are entitled to half of the assets acquired during marriage, regardless of whose name is on the account, titles, deeds, etc. You also both are obligated to pay for the debts incurred during the marriage regardless of whose name is on them. To obtain the best advice and move forward, you will need to talk confidentially with an attorney about the specifics of your situation and that attorney can give more targeted advice. But the Court has an obligation to divide the marital estate equitably (which means fairly to both of you). Best wishes to you and your family as you navigate through this process.

    See question