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Melissa Marie Denton

Melissa Denton’s Answers

520 total


  • Can the custodial parent refuse to take their child back into their home, for any reason?

    My husbands ex wife sent their 16 year old son to live with us for a while because she was having problems with him at her house. He has stated several times to his mother that he wants to go home. We have talked to her on the phone and told her ...

    Melissa’s Answer

    It makes sense to me for the father to file a Petition to Change a Parenting Plan at the court in Spokane. This would be much easier if he hires a good family law attorney. Be sure he files a certified copy of the final parenting order from Idaho with is petition. Then he can ask for a parenting plan that reflects the current reality, orders time with the mother if that is best for the child and orders her to pay child support. I sure am sorry that this 16 year old boy is having to go through this rejection from his mother. That is so hard.

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  • If I write and sign a statement saying I don't need a certain amount of money from my husband, is that a legal and binding?

    I recently left my husband who is in the military. I have not started any legal proceedings, but he was informed by the military he will have to pay $919.50 a month for me and our child. I do not want nor necessarily need that much, since I still ...

    Melissa’s Answer

    If he pays the 919.50 and you put it into the joint account, I can't see how that hurts him. It does not make sense to me for you to sign the document since this other way preserves your rights for the future in case you need it. I think it is unwise to sign the document and it can effect your child's right to support, at least temporarily, if you don't rush into court immediately if problems arise. Good luck working out a reasonable way through this tough time.

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  • What can I do if the father of my child wants to fight for custody?

    So my daughter is almost 3 years old and her dad has never been in the picture. He recently came to talk with my parents and said he want a paternity test and to change her last name and have custody of her. When he has never helped me or seen her...

    Melissa’s Answer

    A lot of the time, the person who sounds off like this is just talking and takes no action. I think it makes sense to research to find the right lawyer that you will want to meet with for advice if he actually follows through on any of his threats. Then recheck and google that lawyer to be sure they are a really good family law attorney before you make and go to and pay for the appointment. If you think that your daughter should get to know her father, it makes sense to discuss the issue in a civil way with him and let him have visits, but make sure you have a written (email is best) agreement about when such visits happen. Changing her last name at this point seems unlikely to me, but that would be up to the court if he asks for it. You have every right to disagree with that request.

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  • How do I get my ex husband to leave my home? It was put in my divorce papers he was to leave.

    It is my home and it was in my divorce papers he was to leave. What can I do?

    Melissa’s Answer

    I expect that you can call law enforcement and report that he is trespassing and that you request their assistance with removing him from your home. Have a copy of your divorce papers to show them.

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  • Do I have any legal recourse? Contempt of court?

    My divorce was finalized, per mediation in 2013. My ex had representation, I did not. I was awarded a distribution of my ex's retirement per QDRO's. There are three. However, in trying to get the information as to where I send the QDRO's, etc. my ...

    Melissa’s Answer

    The remedy to undo a final court order based upon a mutual mistake is a CR 60 motion which must be brought within a year of the order having been entered. If it is true that your ex does not have an interest in a retirement and if it is also true that he knew that he did not have this interest when you relied on an agreement that included getting a share of it, than the CR 60 motion could be based upon fraud and could be brought more than a year after the decree of dissolution of marriage was entered. You are right that you need a lawyer in Washington to help with this. I can't tell if it is a good idea to pursue it or not. Find an excellent family law attorney who regularly practices in the county where the decree was entered and consult with them. Good luck.

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  • What is my right to property values in common law or committed intimate relationships.

    She purchased home 8 years ago for us. We have been together for 13years. I am primary resident as she only stays at house 3 days a week due to job in another country. We are now considering selling and splitting, I want to know what I am entitl...

    Melissa’s Answer

    If the money that she paid toward the down payment was not earned by one or both of you during the time you were in a family like relationship, then it would likely be considered her separate property and she would have a good chance of the court ordering that she gets it back before the two of you share the rest of the proceeds from sale. If the down payment came from money earned during the committed intimate relationship, then it is more fair to share all of the proceeds from sale. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through the end of your relationship and I hope you find happiness in your future.

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  • What is considered emotional abuse in a marriage and how can I prove it?

    My husband has stated that he only married me because he wanted a "Stepford wife" and that he never had any feelings of love, respect, affection, or passion for me. He has said things to me like, "If you really loved me, all you would care about i...

    Melissa’s Answer

    I am so sorry to hear that you had such a negative and unloving experience in your marriage. Although this has been really tough, maybe it is a good thing to learn about your rights and your options.

    When people divorce, emotional abuse is not relevant to the financial decisions that the court will make in dividing the assets and debts of the marriage. No one has to prove anything about abuse in order to get a divorce in Washington State.

    With respect to your daughter, the law says that the decisions about which parent will spend time with her when are to be made based upon the best interest of the child standard. It might become relevant for the court that the child's father was so very unkind to his wife, but there will just about always be two sides to the story and the court sometimes sees that disagreements between adults while they were in a marriage that was wrong for them are not reasons to impair a parent's constitutional right to be a parent. Hopefully, you and your husband would agree to a parenting plan that is best for your baby and move on with your lives in a more positive way.

    My best wishes to you for dealing with this very difficult situation.

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  • What if I cant afford the filing fee? Is the court supposed to mail the order to me?

    I live in Oregon. Have a case in Thurston Co Family Court.What is the procedure for an out of state person obtaining an ex parte hearing?

    Melissa’s Answer

    When you live far away from the court where your case is, it is a really good idea to have a lawyer represent you, if at all possible. There are very limited reasons why someone would need an ex parte hearing and if you represent yourself, you would typically need to be present for such a hearing. If you absolutely can't afford to get a lawyer's advice or representation, you might be able to get an appointment with the courthouse facilitator who helps self represented parties make sure that their paperwork is in order.

    Good luck with this situation.

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  • Can I file for uncontested divorce if my spouse will not sign?

    A third party gave the divorce paperwork to my spouse and he said he wouldn't sign. I had to get a temporary protection order on him. The judge extended the order 5 weeks and added a no stalking warning as well. Within the 5 weeks I am to file for...

    Melissa’s Answer

    You can file for divorce without needing to get your spouse's signature to do so. I strongly recommended meeting with a really good divorce lawyer before you file to get an idea of what would be wise to put in your divorce papers. You will need to have the divorce papers properly served upon your ex. good luck and please stay safe.

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  • What do I do when a hearing is continued?

    I was served notice to appear against a claim of contempt. My ex claims that because one child turned 18, I could not claim our other child on my 2015 tax return per the child support agreement. However, the older child still fully meets the 6 req...

    Melissa’s Answer

    For contempt to be found against you, the other party must prove that you violated the order in bad faith. From your description of the facts and what happened, it seems unlikely that your act was in bad faith because you had legitimate reasons to take the exemption and to think that the other parent still would claim the older child. I recommend emphasizing the issue of the requirement for a finding of bad faith to the court.

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