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Questions Answered by Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Mississippi on
Q: My mother has guardianship of my children and wants and is willing to give custody back to me. She lives in Neshoba.

My mother has guardianship of my children and wants and is willing to give custody back to me. She lives in Neshoba County. Our Court has been handled in Simpson County because that is where me and my ex-husband resided when we got a divorce and that is where the child custody started. But, my... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Sep 18, 2021

No. You must go back to the Court that issued the guardianship order to make any changes to it.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Elder Law for Mississippi on
Q: What type of lawyer specialty would held a client who had a 'Visiting Angles' caregiver steal from them?

Incident occured in Hattisburg, MS.

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Sep 17, 2021

Any Mississippi lawyer can help you with this issue; however, if you are alleging that someone stole from you or a family member, the thing to do would be to contact law enforcement to file a complaint with them so that an investigation and arrest can be completed. If you are looking to recoup the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: Can I change the name the child support case is in from my mother to me as I'm now over 18 and not living with her?

My mother has been getting child support for me for years. My father still has quite a bit of back pay remaining. I no longer live with my mother, am over 18. She still has the card that the child support money is deposited on and is using it for her own needs. Even when I was living with her she... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Sep 17, 2021

I cannot tell you that it is impossible to do what you are asking; however, I can tell you that I have not seen it happen in the 20+ years that I have been practicing. MDHS is going to assume that your mother used her funds to support you during your minority; therefore, the arrearage amount is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Mississippi on
Q: Need to know ballpark of the % of income/guide (MS) usually used to determine divorce settlement to know what’s next.

I know there is no standard guide in Mississippi hence the question, but surely there’s an average the court often uses here. Has proposed amt, if is way off I hire Atty if not I don’t need to.

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Sep 17, 2021

Division of assets in a divorce action in Mississippi is governed by caselaw such as Ferguson v. Ferguson. You will not find an average percentage used to divide assets. The Court takes into account such things as when and how the property was acquired, who maintained the property, how was the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: Can you be criminally charged by a debt collector if your card declines when they try to pull it?

Debt collection agency pulled from my account several times, and then called to tell me that there would be a bench warrant issued against me should the card decline again.

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Aug 7, 2021

Not unless you are attempting to use someone else’s card without permission.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: I just received a "Probable Cause Citation" on Friday letting me know that “someone” is charging me with, "Impersonating

I just received a "Probable Cause Citation" on Friday letting me know that “someone” is charging me with, "Impersonating Another Person On Internet". I do have a 3-4 clues/suspects of who “I think” is charging me of this, but don’t know for sure.

How do I find... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Aug 7, 2021

I’m not sure what you are referring to as a “probable cause citation.” Go to the court that is handling the citation (probably justice or municipal court) and ask to see the file so that you can make copies. The affidavit will be in the file.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: If I have temporary custody over my child. Can I be taken off of child support ?
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Aug 4, 2021

Yes. If you have temporary physical custody of your child by virtue of a court order, you can be taken off child support. The temporary order should order that, but if it does not, contact your DHS case worker and provide her with a copy of the order showing that you have temporary physical... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Mississippi on
Q: My wife and I are split up. She got in a fight with a girl and the next morning she files a police report saying I hit h

Her and put a restraining order on me. And while I was at work her and the police came to my mom's and forced her to give her my kids. Now she won't let me see my kids. What do I do.

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Aug 1, 2021

You should have a hearing on the restraining order, and if you can prove that you did not assault her, the order will be lifted. Other than that, I would file for divorce immediately, ask for a temporary hearing, and fight for custody of your children.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: I have been told by two different lawyers, today, that hindering prosecution is a felony in Mississippi,

and is not eligible for expungement. This clearly says it's a misdemeanor. I'm very confused. Can you tell me which it is?

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 29, 2021

Hindering prosecution is a felony in Mississippi; however, it is not one of the listed felonies ineligible for expunction once certain elements have been met. You must have paid all fines, assessments, and restitution ordered. You must have served all of the time ordered. Five years must have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: Talking to a juror after my trial

If I was found not guilty in a trial can I contact a member of my jury to ask questions about how they came to not quilty?

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 27, 2021

Why would you want to do that? It is sometimes better to leave well enough alone. It can be viewed as harassment or an attempt to intimidate.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Mississippi on
Q: If I suspect my neighbor picked up my dog and has kept her - what can I do ? Can I take them to court
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 25, 2021

Yes, you can take them to court. You can contact law enforcement to file criminal charges and/or file a civil action.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: I’m court ordered through DHS to get $160 but I barely get it. If I closed the case & used a lawyer could I get more?

He has like 5 other child support cases but his oldest two kids are grown. My child is 10. He feels like as long as I have him on child support through dhs he doesn’t have to do anything else so he wants me to close my case so that the arrearage won’t add up. He keeps changing jobs and... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 24, 2021

First, if you drop the case with DHS, the arrearage will continue to accrue. Second, generally, child support is based on a net income figure for the paying parent and any previously court-ordered child support, not the number of children he has. If his older children have emancipated, they cannot... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: Is alimony and child support awarded by the court in Mississippi a public record?

I have a step daughter whom was married and divorced over three years ago to a prominent doctor. They had three children all minors born from the marriage. I continue to support her as she said she receives zero alimony or child support from the ex husband. I have gone by her word in this matter.... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 20, 2021

The court records are open to the public. Go to the chancery court in the county where the divorce was entered. Give they clerk her name and her ex’s name and ask to see the file. The final Order will be there.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: Using forensic interviews in a trial

What if I was waiting trial and have trials in 2 different counties for the same charges of lustful touching, the police used the forensic interviews to determine what, where and how many times I would be charged for. I've had my trial in 1 County that was 1 charge but judge allowed the other... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 14, 2021

If the other witnesses have given testimony regarding their individual allegations and the versions are inconsistent, your lawyer can use the different statements to impeach the witness to show that they are lying or are telling different stories as to what happened.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: Using witnesses from another trial in another county.

Ok say you have 1 charge of lustful touching in one county set for trial and 3 counts for 2 different people making same iallegations and 1 is in both counties. Would the 2 from the other county be allowed to be witness saying what their allegations are in the county where there is just 1 count?... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 14, 2021

The answer to your question is maybe. It depends on whether or not your attorney objects to the witnesses and whether or not you are talking about uncharged conduct, charges that have not gone to trial yet, or charges for which you have been previously convicted. The ultimate decision is for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: Support emancipation ends in 4 months. (MS) Should I began the process of termination now. Who do I contact to start it.
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 14, 2021

If the emancipation is due to the child reaching the age of 21, there is really nothing for you to do. If the child support is being taken out via a withholding order and/or DHS is collecting the money each month, you may want to contact that agency to ensure that they are aware that the child is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: How can my boyfriend get his back child support dropped if his children are 34 and 31years old?
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 12, 2021

Your boyfriend is probably paying off an arrearage in child support. Child support in Mississippi becomes vested once due and cannot be forgiven. However, the courts can give credits against the debt. If it is an arrearage, then he is basically on the hook until it is paid off.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: If im found not guilty of lustful touching what are the steps to getting my record expunged and how fast can that happen
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 12, 2021

A conviction cannot be expunged until five years after the completion of any sentence, probation, and fines.

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