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Adam J Brittle

Adam Brittle’s Answers

6 total

  • I was order to return guns in my divorce settlement. I never had the guns and don't now, what should I do.

    I was order to return four guns to my wife in a divorce settlement I have never had the guns, In fact my wife knows her drug addict son stole two of them several years ago. She did not want to report them stolen to keep her son out of more trouble...

    Adam’s Answer

    As has already been stated here, you cannot return what you do not possess. You should submit a sworn statement (affidavit) to this effect into court (i.e. I do not possess these firearms and do not know where they are). An attorney should help you with this if you do not know how.

    Perhaps of equal concern is the idea that firearms registered to you are no longer in your possession or control. If these weapons are subsequently used in a crime or other incident, you may find yourself under scrutiny. Bottom line: lost/stolen firearms should be reported. This report can also be used to demonstrate to the court that you do not have the weapons any longer. Again, in a case like this I would strongly recommend consulting with an attorney with whom you can discuss any circumstances that may put you at legal risk in this circumstance. Best of luck.

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  • What is the likelihood that I will be forced to pay my spouse's legal fees in family law when they make 3 times my income?

    After ongoing attempts at negotiating and settling with my spouse out of court, I have had an epiphany. As there has been no relationship established between my spouse and my 6 year old, I have been advised by several legal minds that out-of-stat...

    Adam’s Answer

    The short answer is "yes, they *could* be awarded." However, an award against you based strictly on the facts posed appears unlikely.

    As stated by other attorneys on this forum, awards of attorney fees are generally the exception rather than the rule. Judges tend to use them to address behavior that is unusually unreasonable, costs the court or parties additional money, or that is frivolous/bad faith. The other circumstance judges tend to award attorney fees is where it would be equitable to do so. (i.e. neurosurgeon husband ordered to pay for fees for unemployed wife who was forced to hire attorney by borrowing from family).

    I generally tell clients that, so long as they act in good faith and take reasonable positions under the law, the chances of being hit with attorney fees tends to be quite low. Sometimes, as it sounds in your case, a lawyer will use the threat to bully an unrepresented party into accepting an offer. In addition to being poor legal form, it also tends to broadcast a weak position (why make threats if you have the law on your side?).

    Incidentally, if your spouse is taking an unreasonable position with regards to moving a child out of state, s/he may actually be putting him/herself at risk of being hit with attorney fees. Also beware that if you intend to seek attorney fees at the conclusion of the case, you *must* file something prior to trial that indicates that you intend to do so. Presumably your lawyer has done this already. Best of luck!

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  • Got remarried and found out my previous divorce never got finale from the first marriage?

    Can my first wife press charges against me even though I did get remarried years later thinking i was divorced from her? Yes I did get remarried but I am now divorce from second wife and now going through the process of divorce with first wife af...

    Adam’s Answer

    Though I do not practice in AR, I suspect that the failure of your first divorce to be finalized means that your second divorce was never valid in the first place. It sounds as though that issue has been resolved. Given the present circumstances, it seems highly unlikely that a prosecutor would choose to pursue charges now.

    You should approach an AR lawyer regarding the bigamy laws in your state, but many states have "mental states" associated with the crime of bigamy. That is, you have to attempt to marry another person why you know that you are already married to another person. Since you believed your divorce had been finalized, that may very well provide a defense under the law. Again, you should ask an Arkansas attorney about what the bigamy law says specifically in your state.

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  • Does the ex husbands responsibilty of 50% of uninsured medical expenses, as stated in the original divorce decree, change to 0 ?

    The divorce decree states he is responsible for 50% of all medical and dental costs not covered by the insurance. He filed a modification to the parenting time a year ago as well as a modification to the child support around the same time. The sta...

    Adam’s Answer

    I agree with the other answers on this board. It absolutely depends on the specific wording of your modification. Generally a "modification" only modifies those portions of the underlying judgment which it specifically addresses. For instance, a modification may address the amount of child support without mentioning anything else in the previous judgment. This does not mean that all the other portions of the previous judgment are non-operative.

    In your case, because he left everything related to medical expenses blank, it sounds as though it did not modify the original judgment (as to that section). However, this is *definitely* a circumstance where you should have an attorney read both the original judgment and modification carefully, in full. Without seeing these documents, I don't think that anybody on this board will be able to give you a more conclusive answer. Best of luck.

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  • The parenting plan document the judge signed doesn't match what was agreed on in court.

    We went to court little over a month ago with my ex wife, regarding parenting time. During the court hearing, we agreed on most things including summer break. When we received the signed document a few weeks later, it didn't include the agreed u...

    Adam’s Answer

    The answer to this question is largely based upon the facts of your case, which are not entirely clear from your question. If the judge made an oral ruling at trial, the judgment arising from the hearing should have reflected the terms of the judge's ruling.

    By the same token, sometimes people will make a "settlement on the record" whereby they agree to terms in open court. The court proceeding is generally recorded, and the judge will ask the parties if they agree to the terms of the settlement. Such a settlement can include things like parenting time agreements. Again, any subsequent judgment should reflect that agreement.

    As counsel has already pointed out in this post, I am unclear who drafted the "signed document" you refer to. If it was drafted inaccurately, the audio recorded record of the agreement should be brought to the court's attention so that the judgment can be corrected. As also pointed out, ORCP 71 provides a mechanism to do this. Depending on the facts of your case, other options may also be available. Regardless, this is a situation that you almost certainly will want to get the assistance of an attorney to review the facts to find the most streamlined solution to getting the matter (hopefully) fixed. Best of luck.

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  • Is it ever too late to retreive my household items and personals that were granted in the final divorce decree?

    It took two long years before our divorce was finalized. I moved out quickly because of the restraining order I had filed prior to my ex filing for the dissolution. After papers were finalized by the judge, I contacted my ex to pick up my belong...

    Adam’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    In addition to suggestions from other counsel on this board, another option that is available is to contact an attorney for purposes of obtaining what is called a Writ of Assistance. If you have a judgement that awards you items, you are entitled to them. However, unless the person is going to give your belongings up voluntarily, the court can order a police officer to assist in retrieving the items. Be prepared to explain, as other counsel have indicated, why you have waited so long to retrieve them. While you may have a right to retrieve the items, a judge may be somewhat reluctant to sign a Writ based upon a judgment from so long ago. It cannot hurt to ask.

    Some counties have forms for a Writ of Assistance. However, you would probably be best served by finding a reputable attorney in your county to assist you with filling them out. Given the length of time, you will probably want to make the supporting affidavit fairly comprehensive explaining the circumstances. Best of luck.

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