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Lawyer question...(11 posts)

Lawyer question...BikeViking
Aug 16, 2002 2:37 AM
I know to consult a real lawyer before doing anything, but I just want to get a feel for something.

My ex were divorced and she was awarded custody and part of my military retirement in State A. SHe now lives in State B. I live in State C. WHen I was looking into compelling my daughter to come for summer visitation, there was nothing State A could do because the ex lived in State B. My State A lawyer said they could issue a summons, but as long as the ex never went back to State A, there was no legal recourse in State A. State B lawyers said our divorce paperwork could only be transferred to the state by my ex, as I am not a resident and I didn't live there. State C obviously had no play in this matter.

That being said...if I continue paying child support (which I should and I have NO problem with doing) BUT withhold her "theft" of my retirement (I'll not go into the details, but this was not a thought I considered until recently). As long as I never entered State A (divorce state) or State B (ex residence state), are there any legal mechanisms she could use in State C (or any other state) to enforce the "theft" from my retirement check? There was a distinct lack of state concern for my visitation and I am thinking it should be the same for this matter

THis seems pretty callous, but one doesn't go to a gunfight with a knife...

Thanks in advance...
re: Lawyer question...MJ
Aug 16, 2002 2:54 AM
not qualified in your jurisdiction - but there are ways and means of enforcing awards/judgments/etc across state and national boundaries

a common sense approach may indicate that admin. bungling will result in nothing ever being realistically done about any decision you might make contrary to the court award

you may be morally 'right' but you would certainly be technically in breach of the court order (and therefore the law) which could have implications in any future legal dealings you may have (including insurance renewals etc. - moral hazard) and any statements, affirmations or releases you may make - furthermore, you may breach relevant military codes of conduct

go see a lawyer who specilaises in these matters
pretty much agree (how about that?) nmDougSloan
Aug 16, 2002 6:06 AM
I am surprised at State A's responsejtolleson
Aug 16, 2002 7:16 AM
family law is funky in that courts have jurisdiction over the "relationship" (or termination thereof), not the people. So, that State A issued the original decree regarding maintenance and visitation, the State A court retains the authority to modify it, issue sanctions against the parties, etc. Even if the order later needed to be domesticated for enforcement purposes (assuming your ex didn't voluntarily comply), State A should have addressed the matter. This is generally the standard in any state that has adopted the UMDA and I don't know any state that hasn't.
re: Lawyer question...ColnagoFE
Aug 16, 2002 7:40 AM
no advice, but probably not a good idea to post stuff like this on a public forum or the ex's lawyer could presumably use it against you.
re: Lawyer question...Turtleherder
Aug 16, 2002 7:57 AM
I also agree with MJ. As to the question of enforcement of your visitation you can submit yourself to the jurisdication of state B by having the foreign decree or judgment transfered to that state for enforcement purposes. Most states have enacted the Uniform Child-custody Jurisdication and Enforcement Act which states that generally the state where the child has resided for the last 6 months is the state that has jurisdication. The visitation provisions of your order relate to custody and you can use this act to enforce your order. Speak with an attorney in your area about this specific act.
re: Lawyer question...BikeViking at home
Aug 16, 2002 11:21 AM
THanks all...I am just exploring my options at this point and the lack of enforcement in one area (visitation) and the potential enforcement in another area (divorce awards) was intriguing to me.

I would NEVER make a decision like this without proper legal counsel.
article worth readingMJ
Aug 19, 2002 12:21 AM
article worth readingBikeViking at home
Aug 19, 2002 2:58 PM
My objection is her receiving what I consider an unlawful portionof my retirement. I have never, no will I ever have a problem paying my child support.

However, I am REALLY looking forward to my kids reaching the age of 19! :o)


re: your child support paymentStarliner
Aug 20, 2002 8:06 AM
how can you be sure your ex-wife is spending this money on your daughter's care
re: your child support paymentBikeViking
Aug 20, 2002 4:42 PM
I can't be...I am fairly sure that she is spending it on the kids, but I know that, to a certain extent, I am helping subsidize the ex as well. Nothing I can do about that, but that is why I am interested in seeing how I could get out of paying her ANYof my retirement check.