(Closed) Need legal help please

posted 5 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
Member
2552 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I don’t know about your situation particularly but I work as a legal assistant and cannot even count the number of times a court clerk has given me incorrect information. If it’s not too much of a hassle or cost if I were in your position, knowing what I know about our court clerks in CA, I wouldn’t chance it…. 

Post # 5
Member
9143 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Go talk to a family law paralegal or attorney. Ask whether ADA applies.

Post # 7
Member
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Sounds like you can just pay the full cost of a plane ticket put her on the plane and be done with it. Is that correct? But can’t afford it? Maybe sacrifice some time with your child and he will be more willing to pay for the ticket?

try also submitting your correspondence to the father is writing that way there is a record of it, so you have that if you need to go to court.

Post # 9
Member
3689 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I’d go with what your professor says and ignore the court clerk Because he’s an attorney and had to get a license to dispense legal advice in your state.  

Post # 10
Member
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@kris325:  i think I’ve seen young children on overseas flights. they are escorted by the flight attendants. Maybe 4 is below the age cutoff for that type of program?

Post # 12
Member
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Hi Kris, I’m very sorry you are going through a challenging circumstance with your child’s father and balancing your work/academic life on top of that.  

I am licensed to practice law in PA and have mediated many family court disputes like yours in New England.  Without advising you (I am not familiar with SC or FL’s state specific laws nor am I licensed to practice there) I can definitely give you a few thoughts and resource suggestions.

First off, your instinct (and that of other commenters in this thread) is right about the court clerk. Clerks are very limited to providing legal information (giving forms, giving names of cases, giving public records) but they are not allowed to provide legal advice (telling you how a case applies to your situation, giving you answers that involve legal advice, interpreting the law). Although it is possible that the clerk gave you information that is correct, I would not accept it as accurate or definitive, and it may even consitute an unauthorized practice of law which is a totally separate issue.

Next, and this is the mediator in me speaking, I would try to find a non-legal solution to your situation. From what you described it sounds like in general you and your child’s father have agreed to split the costs of travel. Because of your child’s age, your transportation circumstances, and your child’s father’s insistence on driving, I think it is entirely reasonable to offer to pay for half of the gas if dad agrees to drive the entire way. I do understand that your economic circumstances might not allow that possibility, but it sounded to me like you were hoping not to involve the courts so this is one way to do that. It’s worth a shot to discuss this option with your father’s child (and preferably reduce it to writing in an email or text so that you have some evidence of the offer). Of course, your child’s father might be uncooperative but it’s still important to try to work together to reach an agreeable resolution.

Given that you already spoke with your family law professor, it sounds like you know what you should do in order to protect your rights, which is to file a petition to modify. Because SC has jurisdiction over the court order I am not sure whether a FL petition to modify is enforceable in SC. Still, I would follow your law professor’s advice and acquire those documents from the clerk just in case to file the petition pro se, on your own behalf. There should be no reason for the clerk to give you trouble.

Finally to answer your last question about including a name change in the modification, and again given your financial circumstances, I would suggest you seek out other options for obtaining state specific legal advice.  Some options might include a local law school’s family law clinic or mediation clinic, pro bono legal aid or legal services in FL (your local bar association should be able to refer you to local legal aid), or a mediation referral in family court if that court offers court appointed mediator services (some states have this, but not all).

Good luck, chin up, and props to you for working hard to reach your goals.

 

Post # 13
Member
9143 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Americans with Disabilities.

Post # 16
Member
9143 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

You may not qualify as disabled for assistance but you may qualify for ADA accommodations because it defines a disability in a much broader sense.  Why would this be relevant?  If you cannot drive because of a medical disability (seizures; which is actually what I figured it was) then the court cannot hold it against you regarding transportation so long as you are able to provide the transportation necessary for your child to attend school, go to doctor’s appointments, etc…  However, you may also still be responsible for paying for or arranging transportation for your child to visit her father.  That’s why I said to see a family law paralegal or attorney in your area.

I will say that in my area judges do not like it when parents argue over transportation; it seems really petty.  As a child of divorced parents myself, knowing that my parents fought over picking me up and dropping me off made me feel like a burden to them.

I personally would make him file for the modification.  He probably wants you to file so you have to pay the filing fees to reopen the case.  No thanks.  If he wants the modification then he needs to file for it.  But do not take this as legal advice because I don’t know what your particular state’s laws are regarding child support nor do I know how your judges view modifications

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