I am a single mother with a three-year-old daughter. I went to court last year to get child support, and it was court ordered that I get $200 a month from her father. The first five months, I got the money. Last June, he stopped paying, even though he has a job. He owes me over $2,000. He has visitation every other weekend but doesn't come to see her. Is there any way I can pursue this further? Any websites to go to? Any feedback would be appreciated. -- Roslyn from Hartford, Conn.
Just like every other state, Connecticut has a court specifically designed to help people like you. This website has all the information about collection of back child support in the court system http://www.jud.ct.gov/childsupport/faqeng.htm. I suggest you call the number for the Child Support Call Center and start there. The visitation issue is separate. Unfortunately for your daughter, her father has no appreciation for having a relationship with his child. That is too bad for both of them.
Over a decade ago, I was in the process of divorcing my first wife because of extramarital affairs, and during the divorce, I tried to have it out with my ex-best friend who she was sleeping with. I was very angry not only because of the discovery of the affair but also because of a terminated pregnancy that I had discovered was his and not mine. In the end, I got myself into a whole lot of trouble with the law, placing several threatening phone calls to him. In the state of Florida, my calls were prosecuted as stalking charges, and in the end, my lawyer pled the felony stalking down to a misdemeanor, and I served one week in jail and two years probation. How can I clean up this ugly record? I am the farthest thing from a "stalker," but that label still hangs over me to this day. I was told that I could not expunge this violation because it was a felony to begin with. Is this true? If so, what are my options to clean up my record for future employment. And help would be greatly appreciated. I love reading your articles in my local newspaper. -- Arron from Gainesville, Fla.
Thank you for being a fan of the column. Your case is an example of how one difficult period in your life can impact the rest of it. According to the Dept. of Law Enforcement website, there is a process for determining eligibility for expunging or sealing your record. It lists stalking as an offense that cannot be sealed if you were found guilty or pled no contest to the charge. Here is the link to the process http://bit.ly/XjS8LK. You did not tell me what specific misdemeanor you pled to. Florida law says that you cannot seal your record, even if adjudication was withheld. My advice is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can answer your questions and tell you exactly where you stand.
How do I resolve a verbal violation issue? I was authorized to maintain and trade securities for my sister-in-law's account through a brokerage firm. A verbal, face-to-face agreement was to pay me 2 percent on profit only. I managed to generate a gain of $50,000; however, because of some declines on some unsold securities, she refused to pay me my commission. In order to keep the family relation, I lowered my commission to 1 percent, but she wanted to have the entire percentage waived. Even though I explained that unsold securities are not a loss until sold, she would not accept my statement. Thank you kindly for your consideration. -- Pierre from Allentown, Pa.
My advice on any important contractual issues is to never, ever, do anything verbally. You are in this position because you have no written proof that this agreement was made. I understand why your sister-in-law said no to you. Why should she say yes? Doing business with family is also a dangerous thing. If you have a business disagreement, it certainly will spill over into your family life. That can cause you long-lasting grief with your relations. Is the money worth the aggravation? I don't think so. Consider getting out of this agreement to manage this account and waive the fee.
(Jackie Glass is a lawyer and former district court judge from Las Vegas, Nev. Submit your legal questions to Jackie by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter at @theJudgeGlass. This column is being provided for informational purposes only. It may not be relied upon by you as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.)