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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34301
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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Hello, My son who is in the military in Leavenworth, Kansas

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My son who is in the military in Leavenworth, Kansas currently stationed in Cuba (GITMO).
His wife who lives in Leavenworth had affairs before he left for Cuba in July. They went to counseling to work it out. Two weeks after Greg was in Cuba, his military friends reported that she had parties and a man to sleep over. She didn't deny so Greg asked her to start divorce proceedings since he was in Cuba. His wife is currently engaged to marry in July.
Greg flew to our house this past week for his two week R&R. He is scheduled to fly back to Cuba this Friday to report to duty. His wife called him yesterday to report that the divorce papers were mailed and should be in Cuba. We called his lawyer and asked them to fax the paper to us today which they did.
Question - The papers state that Greg is ordered to pay $385 child support and $766 temporary maintenance beginning Dec 1 (tommorow) and the first of every month. How can he be expected to pay the $766 by tomorrow when he hasn't had a chance to talk to a lawyer and respond back with legal assistance? He currently has given her a total of $800.00 a month until things can be resolved.
Also...can you refer us to the best lawyer to support him as a "Dad". I was thinking perhaps someone with Cordell/Cordell. Does his lawyer need to be from Kansas? Does his lawyer have to be from Leavenworth?
Thank you for your assistance.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

What "lawyer" are you referring to? A JAG lawyer?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We probably should consult both a JAG lawyer and a public lawyer. We need the best we can get for him. He thought they could do an uncontested divorce, however, the papers we had faxed today had a lot of surprises in it dispite their verbal agreements. Her lawyer is Mr. Waters in Leavenworth, KS. We don't understand why the date effective is Dec 1 when we just got the papers faxed today?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
Yes, that is the primary question you have to answer up front...what type of divorce is this.

a divorce can either be contested or not contested.

Uncontested; Now the fastest, (and by far the least expensive) way to get a divorce is if you can agree on the terms. If you can agree on "who gets what" there is not a need for attorneys...this will cut the costs to a very small amount (court fees)

Contested; if you can not agree, this is a contested divorce. To proceed you need an attorney or need to act as your own attorney (very bad idea). Here the parties present evidence to the court on "who gets what" and the court decides. This take longer and involves attorney fees for both sides.

But if she has a lawyer, it sounds a LOT like a contested divorce.

Is there a court date set yet? In KS?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We need an lawyer for a contested divorce. The case is set for hearing 1/20/2011 at 8:30 a.m. in Levenworth. The problem is Greg is stationed in Cuba. The only time off he gets is the R&R he is taking right now which will be finished this Friday when he reports back to duty. He is scheduled to return back to the States in July 2011. How can he appear in court when he is in Cuba? It says otherwise the court will conduct a Case management Conference.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) can allow his lawyer to make a "special appearance" on his its certainly possible...particularly if they are still trying to do this "uncontested".

But it may not be in his best interest to do really comes down to what they can agree on. IF they agree...then great, his lawyer can make the special goes on.

BUT if they can NOT agree...then he may want to consider using the SCRA as a "shield" and invoking his right to a delay based on his deployment.

So again, this goes back to the question "can they agree on this"?

If she has her next wedding set this summer, and your son can demand a continuance under the SCRA, seems he has a bit of leverage. It may be he can use this to get the best result from the settlement.

As for the "surprises" in the court papers...yes, that is not uncommon...particularly one one side gets a lawyer. She can ask for what she wants...and your son can ask for what he wants...and they can pay their lawyers to fight this in front of the judge and let the judge decide...or more likely they will reach a settlement (again, after paying their lawyers).

As for the "order to pay"...if this is a court order to pay, then yes he needs to pay. You will know if its a court order if its signed by the judge or the clerk of the court.

If its not a court order to pay, he is not obliged to pay yet.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Okay, that is very helpful information. Do you all make lawyer recommendations. Anyone with the group that support's "dad's" in divorces. He has a three year old son.
Does he need to have a lawyer in Leavenworth, KS? or can he have someone in Kansas City? Do you have recommendations for Leavenworth, KS. I live in Augusta, Ga so trying to help him before he leaves back to Cuba on Friday.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
The rules of the site prohibit personal recommendations...but are you near the post? The legal assistance CAN give you a personal recommendation (or they could when I was last on that post, 4 years back). If he is not at the post, he can try and calling the post.

Worst case, he can find one here

He needs a KS lawyer. Does not matter as much where except it would be good to have one near the court location, wherever that is.

More than a "dad's" lawyer it would be VERY GOOD if he has a lawyer with experince not only in family law, but also in the FSPA (Former Spouse Protection Act) in case this issue comes up in the divorce. More info on FSPA here

Let me know if you have more questions...happy to help if I can

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Okay, one more question and I will click the Accept Answer ;)

Kirsten doesn't work, Greg is the only one supporting the family. He bought a house using only his money but put it in both of their names. Her boyfriend and his two children are living in the house with Kirsten while Greg is in Cuba. Is that even legal? Can he have him removed from the house?? It's still his house.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
How long have they been married for?

And Can I assume that her name is XXXXX XXXXX deed to the home? Or no?

Also, is there a mortgage on the home?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Married March 3, 2006. House is in both of their names. They purchased the house about two years ago on VA loan so there is a mortgage. He is paying the mortgage.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.

and sorry for the delay.

OK, home in both names...but he paid the entire "down"? I'm guessing no pre-nup agreement? Did the discuss what would happen to his "down" (downpayment) if they divorced?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes, he paid the entire down. You guest right... no pre-nup...just two young kids in their early twenties. I'm sure nothing was discussed about what would happen. Greg tends to think positively about everyone and is naive. He is getting a rude awakening right now but tends to still be very naive and has a very forgiving nature. He doesn't understand how the legal system can determine what happens to his pay check, etc. so I'm trying to help him.I will make sure he makes his payment tomorrow and he needs a good lawyer.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.

SO the fact he put the entire "downpayment" on the home with no agreement (pre-nuptial agreement) is not a great thing. But he still has some recourse. Since Kansas is an "equitable distribution" state, the marital property shall be divided in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is fair.

SO he has a good argument to that "stake" in the home.

The marriage is "short", relatively. But the FSPA could still come into play...again, if he plans to pay for a lawyer, get one that can explain the FSPA to you so you understand it...if they can, they should be good to go.

Back to the house. Since its in BOTH names, they both have the absolute right to "possess" the home (live in it) and she can have a guest. She could have 20 guests...and so could he. Not because they are married, but because she is on the title. It would be the same if the roles reversed (she out of state and he in KS with live in lover).

SO he has no legal grounds to "force" the boyfriend out. But back to the "equitable distribution" he can argue that since she gets this "free rent" during the next few months he should be credited in the settlement of the property.

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