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Topics - HelpingHands

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Dear Socrateaser / Conflict of Interest?
« on: Sep 11, 2006, 08:12:57 PM »
Va Appeals Case. Mother in Va. Father & child reside in TN.
Mother and Father have joint custody, Father awarded Primary Residential Custody, Mother has Visitation Schedule. Mother filed appeal. Paperwork received today states: XXXX court is the court from which this case is appealed. This case is scheduled in the XXX court at the address shown above on Oct. xx 2006.  for the following purpose:

"Scheduling a date on which this case will be tried you must be present and ready to set this case at the hearing"

Signed by the Circuit Clerk

CC: to the parties, the GAL for the child and the attorney's name the other party listed when filing the original motion to appeal.

1. The attorney the other party listed is partners with an attorney I once had a phone consultation re: ongoing  child/ visitation/ custody issues involving same parties  in 2004 or perhaps 2005. Is that a conflict of interest?

2. If that's considered a conflict of interest, how can it be brought to the judge's attention that counsel is partners with an attorney that has provided a consulation regarding this same child previously and may have access to confidential information and that I want to prevent that attorney from being involved in this case?

3. Will it make a difference to try to get the attorney dismissed for conflict of interests??

4. What exactly does ' be prepared to set this case at the hearing' mean?  

5. Should we  bring evidence of the child's current school attendance, progress reports, counseling dates, etc to show that an appeal would NOT be in the child's best interest, as she is already established and doing well in her environment?

6. Should we bring ALL OLD evidence to this date to counteract opposing parties argument to why the appeal request should be granted and set for trial?

7. If I can not find an attorney (nobody wants to take a case at this level) to represent me in this case- in time, can I request a continuance in order to try to find legal representation, IF they allow the appeals to go through?

8. The law states that the parties can submit oral argument, can the GAL give her own ORAL arguments/ motions to the court re: the appeals request on behalf of the child, since she is representing the child and the child's best interests and is ordered to be present during the hearing as well?

9 Can we ask for the fees associated with the LAST case and this case when/if the judge denies her appeals request?

Thank you.

Dear Socrateaser / Appeal Filed
« on: Sep 05, 2006, 10:25:07 AM »
Appeal was filed. An Attorney's name is listed, however the court's clerk didn't CC: a copy to an attorney, so I believe there is no attorney actually retained currently. The circuit clerk CC'd the parties and the GAL inthe case only.

The Appellant's mother filled out the paperwork and had the appellant sign it.

The GAL still represents the Child in the case.

Case is in VA, Child now resides and attends school in TN. Court hearing to set trial date isn't until Mid October.  Child will already have established school schedule, adapted to routines, etc.

1. The paper simply states :

I, the undersigned, note my appeal of the final dispositional order of this court to the cicuit court of this county or city. (custody and visitation are checked)

My case is scheduled to be called for setting of trial date on  X October, 2006 @ am.
  I promise to appear before the circuit court of this jurisdiction at the date and time shown. To the best of my knowledge, I expect the time requirements for this hearing to be ...... (nothing filled in) hours.
signed by the appellent.
attorney for appellee:  hand written  attorneys name.

Q: Is this just to determine whether the case is appeal worthy or is it definitely going to be set for trial on THAT day? Will there be evidence heard on THAT day?

2.With the GAL's reccomendation to the court to reverse custody(as it is), the mother's damaging testimony and the child's estabilshed routines out of state, what's the likelihood the judge would reverse the decision and continue with the appeals process?

3. Reading Virginia's law, I am confused. It appears that the law allows for a whole new trial on appeal, from the beginning as if brand new evidence. Is that correct interpretation of the law? If not, please explain.

4. If it's going to be a brand new trial, I will assume we will need to reintroduce evidence, correct? Also, can you introduce new witnesses as well?

5. Can we submit additional information that has happened SINCE the last court hearing, such as additional contempt(not releasing child as the judge ordered, not giving child her belongings, etc)?

6. How do you get a transcript of the original hearing without an attorney?

Thank you :)

Dear Socrateaser / Primary Physical Custody
« on: Aug 27, 2006, 03:00:16 PM »
ProSe Trial ended with Joint custody(still) but with  Primary Physical Custody reversed and granted to Father out of State! Finally! Mom admitted in open court that she frequented poolhalls w/ minor and took the minor into the Bar in question, as well as giving other very damaging testimony. The GAL(guardian ad Litem) recommended the reversal of physical custody at the conclusion of the testimonies- through an oral report to the court.

1. Mother said she would appeal the decision, of course. What's the likelihood she would even find counsel to file an appeal on a case where the child is already enrolled in school out of state, the mother was found in contempt for violating the visitation orders and the court found a material change in circumstance?

2. In an appeals process, what happens? Does the entire case need to be reheard as if brand new, or does the appellant need to present legit evidence FIRST as to why the decision shouldn't have been granted to begin with?

Thank you!

Dear Socrateaser / Motion to Amend
« on: Jul 28, 2006, 02:09:21 AM »
Settlement agreement reached and ordered 8/05.  Joint custody, mother having primary residential father having specific visitations and phone contact.  

mom filed to amend custody/visitation order 3/06
dad files show causes for contempt 4/06
preliminary hearing 5/06- GAL appointed, case set for trial after mom admitted to at least the one contempt charge.

Mom states that she is dropping the charges against dad. Mom's motion wanted visitations stopped or supervised only, because she claims child doesn't brush her teeth daily, eats junk food, blah blah blah in dad's home. Dad filed for contempt for not allowing phone contact and trying to prevent pick up to begin visitations by removing child from school early.  Child informs dad that mom took her to a pool hall, later found out it was a BAR while in mom's custody just days after the preliminary hearing.

Trial is set for the end of August 06 . Contempt charges will stick, there's physical proof that mom took child out of school and that she denies phone contact and interupts calls. Child confirmed with GAL the phone issues. Didn't know about the bar issue at the time of GAL meeting while in dad's care.

1) Since mom already has a motion to amend custody/visitation filed and set for trial, can dad file motion to amend custody/visitation to be heard at the Trial with  the other motions/show causes based on new information/discovery not known until now?

1a- Can mom actually withdrawl her motions, or does she have to appear in court and tell the judge, she wishes to not persue her case?
(wondering if she is just blowing smoke to avoid the GAL meeting)

2) When filing the motion to amend, what terminology would best be used to describe the bar incident? (neglect, poor judgement?)

3)Do you beleive  mom's repeated pattern of filing court papers, settling then refiling and frustrating the court order, along with the current contempt charges combined with the bar incident- be enough to modify the court order to father having primary residential custody?

4)What evidence would be necessary(or admissable) in proving that the child was in fact in the bar, besides hearsay that she accurately descibed the inside and pointed out the location?Would she have to testify(7 yrs old)

5) Mom is continuing to contempt herself on other unaddressed issues. Is it advisable to file those along with the motion to amend or will it appear to be nitpicky  to add addtional charges?

This is a virginia case. If you need more specifics I can provide them. Thank you.

General Issues / Moving
« on: Feb 22, 2007, 06:06:28 AM »
Bringing this over from Soc's board.

Mom moved and didn't provide required 30 day's notice last month. She never provided a written notice at all. And only informed my wife  about 2 wks  after she had already moved. She has failed to inform me that she will not be exercising scheduled weekend visitations either(2 of them) as required by the order.

We are a family of 7, going from a cramped 3 br apartment into a 3000+ sq ft house. I paid the first month's rent and deposit over the weekend(you don't find this deal everyday and when it's offered up, you have to jump on it)

Mom is a habitual paper filer within the court system. For the past 7 1/2 yrs she has done everything but what she was supposed to be doing re: court orders, yet she would file papers annually against me to terminate my parental rights, supervised visitations, ect. for NO reason whatsoever.

Mother gets child for Spring Break(in two weeks). We'll meet half way for drop off and pick up. Besides missing time from work it will cost $$ for the trips... that's money I don't have to spend, in addition to paying rent for 2 places, as well as utilities and moving costs. And another trip for Easter Weekend.

Logic would say just stay the extra month, but reality is I am supporting my family with no additional outside help(ie: child support) and have already paid for the new place. Rambling here... could just move things that are not needed right away and move the bulk of furniture after the 30th day. Hmmm

Visitation Issues / Order of protection/harrassment experience?
« on: Jul 15, 2007, 05:37:42 AM »
poster removed contents.

Visitation Issues / Visitation plan requests
« on: May 24, 2007, 09:39:05 AM »
AS a Sole custodial parent, do you have a right to ask for an itinerary of plans to travel out of state?

Here's the situation: Mom has made threats to 'just go ahead and kidnap dd". She has diagnosed short term memory loss.

She plans a trip from Va to Texas over the summer, supposedly driving the entire distance. Her new husband's license is suspended, though on visitations he has driven with our daughter in the vehicle.

What I would like from her is:

Name and complete address and phone number where she will be staying while in TX.
Dates of travel including dates she will be IN TX
Mode of transportation, flight numbers, airlines, vehicle, who's driving etc

Where she will be staying while not in TX. (she's moved 3 times since Last November)

Now it may seem overboard, but she can not remember 5 mins from the next sometimes. For our daughter's safety I would like an itinerary so if something happens I will know where to begin to look. As well as if she decides to play games and keep our daughter in TX.

My attorney sent a letter stating that that concluded his representation on this case.(case is closed) So I can not seek advice from him.

Any advice from someone who has been there??


Visitation Issues / NCP no show
« on: Mar 11, 2007, 06:54:02 AM »
This is a little lengthy.

Mother is NCP, living out of state(approx 465 miles one way). She was awarded a very generous visitation schedule in December after she appealed a case in August.

You may recall that she was entitled to all 3 day weekends from school(like MLK, President's Day, Memorial, etc) She did not show or call for MLK or President's Day weekends as the order states she is supposed to notify me at least 2 days in advance if she is NOT going to exercise those visitations.

Well, this past week she told my wife that she won't be able to come down for Spring Break, talked about her grandmother needing to be hospitalized, then later in the same conversation said to my wife " you all are bringing her up for Spring Break, right?" Uh, no. You're not? No, the only time he has to bring her anywhere, it's HALFWAY and that's ONLY during holidays and for summer visitation". Well needless to say she was a bit pissed, said that her attorney told her that we'd have to bring her all the way to her always(that was the August order, which she appealed and now has to do all the driving or meet half way per the Final Order in December). She then spoke with our daugther and told her she was going to try her hardest to get her, but daddy has to bring her all the way up there.

The court order states we meet half way for all holiday and summer visitation. Any weekend visitation is the sole responsiblity of the mother.

Spring Break is neither a holiday, summer or weekend. I did put in a call to my attorney, where the secretary stated she read the order to say MOM had to pick her up all the way unless it was a holiday, or summer visitation where we'd meet at the 1/2 way point. Haven't heard back from the attorney yet.

I tried to call the mother on Friday, she didn't return the call. The reason I tried to call her was to let her know that because of our move, the child had to be pulled from school(letter sent home demanding the immediate withdraw from school if not in the school district) and now the new district's Spring Break will be the following week, instead of this week.

 Now what? Mom didn't show for this Spring Break yesterday. Should I send a letter giving the information for the new School and alert her that she has a second chance at taking a Spring Break? I just don't want this turned on me somehow(she's good at twisting facts) into: I planned to be there on the 10th, but since they moved- they messed up all my plans and I wasn't able to get my daughter' when in fact it's " i already said I wasn't going to go get her, and expected them to do all the driving, when that didn't work, I decided not to take Spring Break with my daughter' And even with another chance, I still can not take her because I already planned it for the weekend before. I can see it now being my fault somehow.

She didn't call on Thursday like she usually does, she didn't return a call Friday, didn't call yesterday and usually calls on Sunday. Do I tell her over the phone all of this if she calls tonight or wait till I speak to my attorney(hopefully) tomorrow? It was my intention to keep my daughter in her school until the end of the year, but the school district wouldn't allow that.  Court order doesn't say anything about me having to notify her of anything, but does state it is mom's responsibility to check with local school authorities to determine the last day of school to plan the visitation for the summer break.  What a mess. WWYD?

Visitation Issues / NCP no show
« on: Jan 14, 2007, 07:02:31 AM »
What do you do when the NCP doesn't show?

She was to have notified me at least 2 days in advance that she wasn't going to exercise her visitation per the court order. She was a no call, no show. She did however call later in the evening, from home- but never mentioned the visitation at all to my wife or child, she just asked to speak with our child.

This is a new order requiring her to travel long distance to my home for weekend visitations she's wishing to exercise.

Do I write a letter to her (cc'd attys, court) asking to be informed as per the court order next time? How do you word something like that?


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