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Sheila O'Connor Allen

Sheila Allen’s Answers

7 total

  • Void Divorce Judgment Rendered, but how to stop it from being Entered?

    I discovered that the trial court does not have jurisdiction over the case. Judge proceeded to trial anyway over my repeated objections before and during trial, and my non-participation at trial although present. Judge made announced his ruling ...

    Sheila’s Answer

    I agree that the Judgment has to be final in order to appeal. However, are you SURE that the court lacks jurisdiction. Be careful - obviously the court disagrees with you. Why do you believe that jurisdiction lies elsewhere ?
    Also, was this a decision by an Associate Judge?
    If so, you have a few days after the Judgment is signed, to ask for a trial de novo from the referring court (the District Court Judge who occupies the bench in that Court; cases may be referred to an Associate Judge or !V-D Assoc Judge for decision; you can ask for the referring court to hear the case again - a brand new trial.)
    Again, be sure that your conclusion regarding juriisdiction is correct.

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  • Does he have the right?

    The father of my son is tryin to take him away from me. He says he has visitation because he pays childsupport, but we never went to custody court. He comes around only when he feels like seeing him. He shows up at my family and friends homes wit...

    Sheila’s Answer

    If you have child support ordered, then there is a visitation plan.

    I assume that the Office of the Attorney General did your child support order.
    Look at your copy (or, better yet, go to the court clerk and get a copy, or go to the Office of the AG & get a copy).
    The Office of the Attorney General normally does Standard Possession Orders.
    Please get a full copy of your orders - the Standard Possession Orders are attached, and there is language within your order which states : Possession and Access (this is visitation) according to the Standard Possession Orders, attached hereto and incorporated herein.

    It is unlikely that you have an order for child support, without visitation orders (unless your order came from CPS, which is unlikely).

    Please get a copy of your orders and review them thoroughly.
    Good Luck,
    Sheila Allen

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  • Child support

    My husband wants to fight for joint custody and will not comprise on the days that i set up for him. Its not suprising that he doing it to not pay child support. Do he still have to pay child support even though we have joint custody? Where can i ...

    Sheila’s Answer

    The Office of the Attorney General will handle your child support issue for free.
    They are slow, but they will do a thorough and cost-free job.

    A Judge can take into consideration the amount of time each parent has the child, and deviate from guideline accordingly. The OAG always charges (usually the man) for child support, no matter what the time-share arrangement is (unfortunately).

    Good Luck.

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  • Do I have to pay 50% of the dental costs if the custodial parent isnt taking the children to the dentist for yearly checkups?

    I am the non custodial parent responsible for medical in our Divorce Decree. From winter 2008- winter 2010, I carried the children on my dental insurance plan. Looking over my records my ex has not taken the children to the dentist for free checku...

    Sheila’s Answer

    The Office of the Attorney General has interpreted the Family Code as requiring health care coverage only - they do not require dental care in their orders, and their policy is supposedly to only enforce the 50% co-share of medical expenses only, not dental expenses.

    Your Divorce Decree is the governing document. What does it say about dental ?
    Does it only state 'medical' expenses ?

    The morally correct thing is to pay 50% of the unreimbursed costs of dental care.
    The legal requirement will depend on the actual wording of your Judgment, and the interpretation of the Judge who has jurisdiction over your specific cause.

    Most Judges would expect parents to cooperate with dental expenses 50/50, in my opinion.
    Good luck.

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  • Discovery motion to enforce child support

    Im currently paying 800 per month child support and 500 toward arrears. Have been for years. Back in jan 2009 lost my job for 6 months, paid what I could and then found another job 5 months later and started paying correct amount for last 14 month...

    Sheila’s Answer

    Regarding the discovery - answer all questions and provide all docs that are REASONABLE.
    If you can't locate something, then state: I cannot locate these documents.

    The attorney filed a Contempt action (Enforcement of Child Support) against you. One of the defenses to non-payment is that you did not have the money to pay the c/s.
    The attorney will 'prove-up' that you did have the means to pay c/s, if you state you spent money on other expenses during the period when you failed to pay 100% of child support due.

    Note: This Contempt filing is a quasi-criminal charge: the Judge can sentence you to: up to six months jail time. It is a serious charge, and many Judges will jail quickly.

    The law regarding Contempt of C/S changed in 2010 - if you pay the arrears, in full, by the time you get to court, the Judge cannot sentence you - the Contempt charge should be non-suited (dismissed).
    It is advisable that you have an attorney. If you are working, it is unlikely the Judge will appoint one for you (again, there is potential jail time involved in this filing).
    It would be better to borrow from another source (who can't jail you for non-payment), and use the money to pay off your child support arrears.
    Some sympathetic Judges will just do a Judgment of Arrears (the amt of c/s unpaid), and order a monthly amount to be paid (as with the $500 you are paying). However, if you've spent money on car payments, vacations, credit cards, etc, the Judge may jail you.

    Good luck.

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  • How can I get my son's father to take a dna test so I can receive child support?

    My son is 13 yrs old. His dad skipped twn b4 he was born. Got a hold of him 4 yrs ago. He requested dna test. Attorney general had me and my son go dwn and do our dna test. We complied but when it was dads turn he never showed. Now they say they c...

    Sheila’s Answer

    Don't accept the answer you received from the Attorney General's Office.
    Call them and ask to speak with an Ombudsman - that person will take your complaint and will check on why your case has not progressed.
    There is a federal locator service with allows the State to find Dad, by his Social Security number. Also, if Dad is in the military, there should be no problem locating and serving Dad.
    Be aware: The OAG normally asks for four years of retroactive child support.
    However, the Family Code allows you to ask for child support from birth, if Dad was aware that he was the father.
    Good luck. Keep calling, if you do not receive satisfaction from the OAG. If the Ombudsman does not help, call your Representative (Todd Hunter, or Scott, or ?) - they will intercede on your behalf.
    It helps if you put your request in writing & state it calmly but definitely. The OAG has a web site (google oag), as do your representatives.

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  • My ex's parenting time was suspended because of meth. When she's done witht the testing does she need to file something in court

    When she completes her drug testing, does she need to file something in court to get her parenting time again? She has a supervised parenting time. Or does she get her parenting time right away when she completes the drug test?

    Sheila’s Answer

    What did the Court state when they suspended visitation ?
    Was your ex ordered to enroll in a drug rehab program ?
    Is there a requirement for follicle testing or urine analysis ?
    The Court may order supervised visitation at a paid provider's location or a trusted family member's home (common with drug-abusing parents).
    Did CPS (Child Protective Services) suspend her visitation ? If so, your ex will have to comply with their requirements, and she may be at risk of having her parental rights terminated if she doesn't comply.

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