Wednesday, December 10, 2014
QUESTION: My husband of 18 years abandoned me and my 16 yr old son 11 months ago, leaving us homeless without any funds. How can I get an order for child support and spousal support? He is working, but he says he is not giving us any money and he refuses to provide me any information on his employment, medical insurance, etc. When should my son and I receive any money from him, if at all? Can we get back support from the day he left?
MY ANSWER: You should try to find an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent yourself as soon as possible, and if unable to retain one, go to the Superior Court's self-help clinic for assistance by a volunteer attorney to file and get a divorce case and an Order to Show Cause for child custody, spousal support, and attorney's fees served on your husband. Regarding "back support, you cannot get child support retroactive to a date prior to the date you file your divorce case, and you cannot get spousal support retroactive to a date prior to the date you file your Request for Order seeking spousal support. There is no more time to lose. File and serve a divorce case and a Request for Order for Child and Spousal Support, without delay. The Court sets hearings on Requests for Orders between 1 and 3 months after filing. You should receive an Order for Child and Spousal Support approximately ten days after the hearing.
QUESTION: My ex and I currently have joint physical/legal custody of our 3 children. Recently, he beat our son, leaving a huge bruise on his upper leg and a smaller bruise. I reported and they arrested him for battery. We went to court and they are sending him to SCAN classes and if he doesn't attend by his deadline, he will be charged. In light of that, I am filing for sole custody. What are my chances? In addition, he is muslim and I am not. The children are free in my home to choose their own faith when they are old enough while they are NOT allowed to so in his home. Can I argue their right to freedom of religion?
MY ANSWER: You have a fairly good case, but you would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you. You could report your ex's conduct and your son's injury to Child Protective Services, which would propel the case away from the Family Law Court and into Dependency Court, and when commenced, those proceedings would freeze all activity regarding your son in the Family Law case. Your husband's violence is not to be condoned, and even though the criminal case is temporarily on hold while he is going to SCAN classes, Child Protective Services can move quickly to protect your son - and likely all your children. The religion issue would not be dealt with in Dependency Court, but should be brought up in the Family Law case.