Questions Answered by Stewart Whaley

Q: Are there any Pro Bono Lawyers in Lonoke County or, any that will take a Divorce case based on contingency ?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Arkansas on
Answered on Feb 11, 2019
Stewart Whaley's answer
Can't do a contingency fee in Arkansas divorces. It will be difficult securing a pro bono divorce. If the parties agree to an uncontested divorce, you may find a reasonable, fixed-fee option.

Arkansas Rule 1.5(d) (d) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect:

(1) any fee in a domestic relations matter, the payment or amount of which is contingent upon the securing of a divorce or upon the amount of alimony or support, or property settlement in lieu...

Q: A judge court ordered the visitation, but my ex is not letting me see my kids on my weekend. Is this contempt?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Jan 6, 2019
Stewart Whaley's answer
She is violating the visitation order.

Visitation and child support are separate. That is, she had no right to stop visitation because you aren’t paying. Only the judge can modify the visitation.

She needs to go through the court/OCSE to address child support, not keep you from seeing the child. Since she’s withholding visitation, you would basically ask for a hearing to make her explain why she’s not in contempt for violating the court order.

Q: have court ordered visitations with my daughter's but their father has refused my visits for over 2 years. Help?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Stewart Whaley's answer
You need to ask for relief from the court that ordered the visitation.

He is violating an order from that court. For example, you could file a motion for contempt of court for not complying with the order.

Q: Can I file emergency custody in a different state then where my kids live

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Stewart Whaley's answer
You probably need to file in the state that granted temporary custody. Talk with a family lawyer about specific facts that might impact what you do next.

Q: Is it grounds for a insanity plea if I'm ordered to take a mental evaluation

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Dec 24, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Mental health evals are done all the time.

Re-read the prior answer, its a very good explanation. Pay special attention to the last two sentences.

"Winning" based on a mental evaluation isn't always the best outcome or a magic bullet.

Q: Is it illegal to give someone a phone against their parents will but for the phone to be a gift to the person.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Dec 23, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
illegal? No.

If the parents take it, what exactly would you want to happen?

If the child is being starved and mentally abused, why not use the phone to call DHS?

Q: I have back child support that I shouldn't have

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Dec 22, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Without real proof that the modification occurred, you are going to be held responsible for the support amount.

If the judge signed an order it should've been filed. if there was a hearing there may be a transcript.

Q: I reside in Arkansas & my estranged husband lives in New Mexico. Can I file for divorce in the state of Arkansas?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Arkansas on
Answered on Nov 20, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Yes, if you've lived in Arkansas for at least 60 days.

You've been separated long enough to have grounds for divorce.

If you can locate him and he will sign a waiver, things will move faster and smoother.

If he won't, you can serve him directly or by publication, if needed.

Q: I'm primary custodian & my 13 yo doesn't want to go to his dad's for c/o visitation anymore. Do I have to make him go?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Nov 7, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Yes, you have to make him go.

Ask the court to drug test dad (assuming you can pass one).

Petition the court for a modification of the custody/visitation order and stress the failed drug test.

Generally, courts don't like to stick kids in the middle of a parent-fight.

But with a 13 y/o and the facts alleged, a judge might want to hear directly from your son.

Q: If no custady is legally set can on parent legally pick up the kids from school and keep them without returning them

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Nov 6, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Where you married to him when the children were born or has he legally established paternity in another fashion (acknowledgement of paternity at birth, OCSE enforcement case, etc)?

He may have no parental rights in the first place.

In that case he would have the same right that I do. Zero.

If he is established as the legal father, file an action for custody/visitation. Hire an attorney for that.

Q: My daughter already lives with me and I still pay child support to her mom. Can I get full custody of her?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
There isn't enough information given.

What do you mean by "pay child support?"

If you are the legal father and paying support (through an OCSE paternity action, court ordered child support from a divorce, etc.) you need to determine your custody/visitation situation. Talk to an attorney.

If you have not been adjudicated the father, you have the same parental rights I have. None. Even if you are giving money to mom out of kindness, sense of duty, etc., it is not "child...

Q: If I was arrested for 2 klonopins 0.5 mg without a prescription what is my charge in arkansas

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Klonopin is a Schedule IV

5-64-419 (4)

A Schedule IV or Schedule V controlled substance with an aggregate weight, including an adulterant or diluent, of:

(A)(i) Less than twenty-eight grams (28g) upon conviction is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

However, if you've been convicted 4 times under 5-64-419 or 5-64-401, then it is a Class D Felony.

But, you'd probably know the statutue if that was the case.

Q: Is it legal for my husband to sign parental rights away of our infant son in Arkansas if we both agree?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
He doesn't understand the subject. If "signing away rights to avoid child support" was that simple, millions of dirtbags would do it.

It IS possible for a parent's child support obligation to terminate, but the situations are quite specific. For example, someone else adopting the child would terminate his duty of child support because he would no longer be a parent.

Contact an attorney.

Q: Fiancee never misses a CS payment, yet we can barely financially survive. What do we do?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 26, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
When child support was set, did dad make sure OCSE was aware of the older dependent?

Whether the mother has a job or not, dad still owes support for minor children.

Not an accountant, but grandmother can collect tax credit, IF she meets several tax code requirements.

Might be, might not.

A reviewing attorney will have a lot more information, look for issues you could be missing or don't realize are important.

Q: Can you force the non-custodial parent to have visitation time with the child?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 25, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
No, but you might consider looking into options like abandonment, termination of parental rights and any child support issues.

Also consider - what is the likelihood that a "forced" visitation would be positive for the child's development?

I can't imagine the captive, non-custodial parent would be in high spirits.

Q: What is going to happen at my Petetion to revoke my suspended sentence?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 24, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
You can be revoked for the arrest. Continuance is more likely with a lawyer.

Yes, a lawyer can make a difference at a revocation hearing. Negotiation skills (possible history between the attorney and the judge or prosecutor) and/or other options that can be "missed" by the state. A colleague had a recent case where he was the only person in the courthouse aware of Act 423. The court recessed while judge, prosecutor and attorney reviewed Act 423. The result: "he (attorney) is...

Q: I was coming out of a store and an officer was parked behind me and asked for my id. I reluctantly gave it to him

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 19, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Generally, probation conditions will include a waiver of search requirements and an officer can search you any time. It depends on your probation conditions and the facts of your case.

Q: If my ex contacts me first after she set a protection order what will happen. Will the case get dropped

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 14, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
No, the case will not get dropped because she contacted you.

Do not interact with her unless/until the order of protection is resolved (if there hasn't been a hearing) or until it expires, if it is already in place. Hard to tell exactly what the situation is by just reading the statement that was posted.

Q: I am the mother of three young boys. They've been staying with grandparents and they won't let me take them.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 2, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Contact local family law attorneys and/or legal aid (income-based qualification). Assuming ONLY the facts provided, you should be able to get an enforceable order to retrieve the kids. If you can't afford an attorney and legal aid doesn't take the case, there are resources online that explain filing the emergency petition on your own (pro se). However,I would hire an attorney to get this moving fast, done right the first time and because they may hire their own as soon as you start an action.

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