Attack on Low Income Parents by Top Democrat Legislators in 2013

The average child support order in the state is around $200/month.  Yet, there are many parents with lower child support orders due to their low income levels.  The mandatory minimum child support order is $100/month.

Yet that did not stop certain top legislators, specifically Senator Peterson, Senator Morrell, and Representative Brossett from seeking to further penalize low income parents. Continue reading

On Louisiana Child Support spreadsheets and Hurricane Isaac

Well, I have not posted in six months.

We are still repairing the house after being flooded by Hurricane Isaac. Hope everybody is doing well.

We are learning/relearning more about insulation and sheetrock than we care to know. My daughter got very efficient at installing all of the insulation.

It is time to blow some of the cobwebs off and do a bit more posting.

The first question, is what changes do we need to make to the Louisiana Child Support Guidelines Spreadsheet. I am looking to update them and am seeking input on the changes that you would like to see with them.

sincerely yours,

Nicholas

Enforcement of Visitation Orders (s) … IN NEBRASKA

The other states are so far ahead of Louisiana when it comes to providing Online Legal Self-Help.

Take for example, Nebraska.  I was answering a question for someone from Nebraska about obtaining Legal Aide for the enforcement of visitation orders.

A quick google search took me to the Nebraska Online Legal Self-Help Center – a site maintained by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

They have a section specific for Family and Children issues.

In that section, for the Enforcement of Visitation, they have a number of court forms with instructions for how to complete them.  Here is that section of the page.

Enforcement of Visitation Order(s)

These instructions and forms are a product of the Nebraska Supreme Court Implementation Committee on Pro Se Litigation and are provided as a public service to people who want to do their own divorce cases. The Supreme Court does not represent that these instructions and forms will be appropriate in your case. Any questions you may have regarding the use of the instructions and forms should be directed to a lawyer. Although these instructions and forms were developed to assist people who want to do their own cases, the Supreme Court’s Implementation Committee on Pro Se Litigation urges everyone thinking of doing their own case to consider getting a lawyer to help.

WOW.  Forms on how to enforce the visitation and instructions on how to complete the forms.

You can’t find that in Louisiana. Continue reading

Insanity in California (SB 1476 of 2012)

Children have only two parents – one mom, one dad.

It is a function of biology.

It is a law of nature.

 

California, through SB1476, attacks this law of nature by seeking to authorize children having more than two parents.

This proposed law is insanity.

 

For more information, read his story From the Sacremento Be on the Miami Herald titled

California bill would let children have more than two parents


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/02/2878187/california-bill-would-let-child.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/02/2878187/california-bill-would-let-child.html#storylink=cpy

What happens when your attorney agrees to something you did not authorize?

Today reaffirmed to me that the most important thing in a custody dispute is to have a competent attorney not afraid to challenge a judge.

I want to repeat the above statement over and over and over.

I did not wake up one morning and decide that I was going to become an expert in family law.  I know what I know because my attorney years ago entered me into an agreement without my consent.  I recall throwing a fit in the hallway not realizing the judge was standing 5 feet from me.

I spent four years, about $100,000 and a United States Supreme Court writ to resolve the issue created by a careless agreement made without my permission.

 

Over and over and over again, Ladads gets involved with cases and over and over and over again we discern that the attorney made a decision without the consent of the client and that the attorney refused to file proper paperwork out of fear of “pissing off” the judge.  The excuse is always, “oh judge, I will get my client to agree, I will get him to understand”.  Judges are not gods; it is only the trial attorneys, through their inaction, that make judges believe that they are gods.  Hell, we “pray” to the court for relief…no wonder judges think they are gods.

I can say this without hesitation….never, never, never agree to be absent during any pre-trial conference. Always, always, always ensure that any conference with the judge is memorialized in some form or fashion.  Never, never, never let your attorney make a decision without your approval.  I can’t stand attorneys who take the whole “trust me, I am in charge” attitude.  Keep your client in the loop!!!!  Having said that however…..I didn’t say that you have to be in the middle of the verbal debate.  Be present…shut up……and let your attorney argue for you….but never be absent, always be aware of what is going on, and MAKE SURE your attorney explains to you what is going on.

Attorneys often make their living in front of the same judge.  If your attorney expresses fear about sticking up for you, strongly consider getting a new attorney.  A judge should respect an attorney who is willing to go to war for their client.  At the end of the day, the attorney should understand that representing their client is more important than the fall-out from pissing off their god.

To answer the question the title of this post presents, be prepared to throw yourself at the mercy of the court in hopes of undoing what your authorized representative got you into.

Parental Authority

I observed two family law attorneys discuss when an  unwed father is able to exercise parental authority. 

When a married woman has a child then by law both mommy and daddy have the exact legal authority over the child (well, actually Dad has more authority but I will save that for another discussion).  If they split up, they still exercise equal authority until a court says otherwise.  When an unwed mother has a child, by law, no father is placed on the birth certificate (unless Mom and dad both agree otherwise) and therefore Mom has all the legal authority.

I have always been taught that an unwed father can only assert parental authority over a child in two ways: 1) by court order; or 2) the mom consents to having the father placed on the birth certificate.

Two family law attorneys were arguing and one asserted that when a man signs an acknowledgement  of paternity then he has as much right to the child even without being placed on the birth certificate (remember, Mom still has to consent to Dad being on the birth certificate or Dad has to go get a court order).  Essentially, the attorney argued that once the Dad signs the acknowledgement then it was a matter of time before the birth certificate could be modified. 

Support Enforcement often requires the parents to sign an acknowledgment before collecting child support.  The Dad in turn has to take the acknowledgement to get a court order  to be placed on the birth certificate (because moms don’t usually agree to amendments to the BC because it gives the Dad parental authority).  GOING TO GET THE ORDER IS THE EXPENSIVE PART.  This is the primary reason why so many unwed fathers don’t get more rights because they have to go to court to force themselves onto the birth certificate. 

This is important because the attorney was suggesting that unwed fathers have equal rights to the child the moment that the acknowledgment is signed…..even without any further action in court.  Many women sign the acknowledgment thinking that is what they have to do to get child support without giving Dad parental authority.  Well, not according to at least one family law attorney.  He says signing the acknowledgment grants a Dad the same right as being on the birth certificate….interestng.  This would certainly be contrary to what virtually every unwed father is told when he is dragged into court for child support and told he has to adjudicate his legal rights to the child separately.  I have always preached that when you go to court for child support to make sure you get the judge to order that you be placed on the BC.  Though the attorney may be right, I think it is still safe to get added to the BC just in case.  A BC with my name as Dad sure looks a lot more solid than an acknowledgment. to lay persons (like cops, principals at a school, etc.)