Questions Answered by Joe Lewis

Q: What are my options if I'm taken to court for back child support after 11 years

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Maine on
Answered on Jul 31, 2018
Joe Lewis' answer
Hi there.

Tough situation, of course, but there is good news and bad news for you.

The good news is that the courts will only look back over the past six years, not the full 11. The other good news is that many payments you made to her toward support of your second child (clothing, education, medical bills, etc.) can be credited as back support that was actually paid. More good news is that you won't have to pay it all at once. Finally, the court has a lot of discretion as...

Q: My husband and I just moved from NC to Maine. We have lived in Maine two weeks. Where do I file for legal separation?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Maine on
Answered on Mar 5, 2018
Joe Lewis' answer
Actually, there is no 6-month minimum for a judicial separation as there is with divorce. The only requirement other than being married is that you plan on living apart or have already lived apart for 60 consecutive days. The other differences between divorce and legal separation are pretty nuanced. You should ask a family lawyer directly!

If you want to straight-up get divorced, you will have better luck with NC, but even that might not really work if you both now live here in ME.

Q: My wife and I have an amicable agreement regarding marital property and money. Do we still have to fill out form 43?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Divorce for Maine on
Answered on Jan 22, 2018
Joe Lewis' answer
Not necessarily. There is a form on the court's website called "Certificate in Lieu of Financial Statement" that enables you both to tell the court that there is no need to fill out the FM-043 form because you agree on all the financial issues.

Congratulations on getting this done amicably!

- Joe

Q: Grandfather died,left everything to my deceased father. My cousin wants me to sign a non-compete form. Why?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Jan 22, 2018
Joe Lewis' answer
You totally have something to do with it ... if you want to inherit the crappy home trailer and anything else that might be in your grandfather's estate. Based strictly on what you are sharing here for information, it seems like you (and any of your siblings) are in line to inherit your father's share of the estate.

There is no such thing as a non-compete form in Maine probate law, so I don't know what that's all about. I do believe, however, that your cousin and your grandfather's...

Q: What should you do when you know that your ex has lied/omitted financial information on a child support affidavit ?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Maine on
Answered on Dec 26, 2017
Joe Lewis' answer
Hi there.

The only financial information on the child support affidavit that always matters is gross income. The definition of gross income is a hotly litigated issue in a lot of child support cases. The relevant statute can be found here: (subsection 5)

Other financial information can also come into play in a child support case because Maine law allows for a deviation from guideline child support...

Q: My dog bit my wife when I had my children and the Mom is refusing my visitation because of it. What can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maine on
Answered on Dec 18, 2017
Joe Lewis' answer
As always, if you have court-ordered rights to visitation and your co-parent is getting in the way of that happening, you can simply take her back to court on a motion to enforce or a motion for contempt. If this is a persistent thing, or part of a larger co-parenting problem, you may wish to consider getting a new order by way of a motion to modify.

That said, it sounds like your children's mom is pretty freaked out by an incident that directly involves your children's environment. I...

Q: what do I need to do to change custody from shared to sole when the other parent has agreed to sign off in Maine?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Maine on
Answered on Nov 2, 2017
Joe Lewis' answer

Assuming that the shared custody order was a Maine order, you and your child's father should be able to file a stipulated motion to modify that order to reflect your desired change to sole parental rights and responsibilities. It is important to provide the court with a draft order for signature that indicates that no hearing is necessary because the two of you agree.

The issue of what to do about child support will need to be addressed as well. If asked, the court will...

Q: My 16 year old daughter hates my rules and wants to live with her dad. Will I have to pay him child support now

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Maine on
Answered on Aug 17, 2017
Joe Lewis' answer
The only way to modify a child support obligation is via a motion to modify child support. Even if your daughter is living with her father, his court order remains in place, and the obligation will be enforceable.

Q: I am 17 and pregnant and I live with my parents. Who is the legal guardian of my baby once they are born?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Maine on
Answered on Jun 28, 2017
Joe Lewis' answer
Congratulations to you!

When your baby is born, you will be the legal guardian of your baby.

Do your best and have fun!

- Joe

Q: My mother died and I am her only son. She lived with her boyfriend who was her p.o.a due to her illness. Do i get inheri

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Maine on
Answered on Jun 12, 2017
Joe Lewis' answer
I'm very sorry for your loss.

Now that your mother is dead, the power of attorney that her boyfriend had is no longer in effect.

There are a lot of variables to consider when trying to figure out what happens to her estate generally, and you should definitely contact a probate attorney to have that conversation.

The life insurance policy will have beneficiary information: it could be you, it could the boyfriend, it could be both of you or some person or organization...

Q: Demanding money to sign quit claim deed extortion?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Maine on
Answered on Jun 12, 2017
Joe Lewis' answer
Well, it probably isn't extortion, a word that has a precise legal meaning, but it does sound kind of rude.

Contempt won't work against you if you've already paid off the loan. In other words, you've done what you were told to do, albeit too slowly. On the other hand, if she has been ordered by the court to quit claim some real estate to you and she hasn't yet done it, she is probably at risk of a contempt motion going in her direction.

You might be able to successfully gain...

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