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Edward Gauthier’s Answers

20 total


  • How can I change an agreement on taxes exemption?

    I got divorced a year ago and for some weird reason when we were doing our separation agreement I agreed to claim my baby girl one year and he another year. By that time he was giving me $88 a week for child support but now he's only giving $67. I...

    Edward’s Answer

    If you and he can agree to make the change, you can file a Stipulation of Modification with the court. If you cannot agree, you will have to file a Complaint for Modification (which is a lawsuit, essentially) asking the court to change the agreement. if you cannot come to an agreement, you will have to prove to the court that there has been a "material change of circumstances" since your divorce agreement entitling you to make the change.

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  • What are some ways to resolve disputes after divorce without going to probate court, filing a contempt order, etc?

    My exhusband and I attended one mediation session to settle a dispute about the logistics of an asset division (post-divorce). I want to carry out the terms of the agreement, but do not want to ignore good business practices in the process. The ...

    Edward’s Answer

    Post-judgment mediation is non-binding unless you agree that it is binding. Assuming your divorce judgment is final, it can only be amended by filing a Stipulation of Modification (agreed) or a Complaint for Modification (not agreed). If you cannot agree to a modification, you will have to show that there has been a "material change of circumstances" since the judgment entered, Binding arbitration is probably less expensive than each of you hiring your own attorneys but he needn't agree to it and without filing a Complaint, there is no way to force it upon him.

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  • How do i actually answer a 1B divorce complaint in Mass? What am i answering to? Is there a form i should use?

    What does this answer entail?

    Edward’s Answer

    How you answer a divorce complaint depends on a number of factors including the relief your spouse is seeking. If he or she is simply seeking a divorce and an equitable division of property, your answer can be very simple. But if there are more complicated issues, you need to be careful. Normally, you can handle a "no contest" divorce on your own but if there are property issues or children involved, you would benefit from at least consulting with a lawyer.

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  • Can I withhold alimony until my spouse pays me money owed?

    Included in my divorce settlement my spouse was supposed to pay me a sum of money immediately following our QDRO distribution. The QDRO paid out a couple of months ago and my spouse is withholding the amount she owes me claiming she has questions ...

    Edward’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Terms of a divorce judgment stand alone. You cannot violate one term simply because your ex violates another. For example, you can't withhold visitation because your ex isn't paying child support and vice versa. Your best bet is to live up to the agreement as written (you will look like the bigger man in court) and if your ex doesn't, file a Complaint for Contempt with the Probate and Family Court.

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  • Ask for leave to file for personal bankruptcy?

    Credit card collections agency won default judgement against me in district court. I've not filed any motions in federal or district court. Can I file a motion for leave to declare bankruptcy at the payment hearing scheduled for 30 days after judg...

    Edward’s Answer

    You don't have to ask permission or seek leave to file for bankruptcy. If you file, all collection actions, including your lawsuits, are "stayed" meaning put on hold so long as your bankruptcy case is pending. Once you get your bankruptcy discharge, the lawsuits will have to be dismissed because you will no longer be liable for the debt.

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  • Can I file bankruptcy?

    I cosigned with my girlfriend on a car loan for $20,000 in 04/14. We broke up, she signed as owner so she took it. Only one payment has been made. I cant afford it as im on unemployment. I just bought a used car. Can I file bankruptcy over the car...

    Edward’s Answer

    When you file for bankruptcy, you must include a list of all your creditors. Assuming you qualify, you will get a discharge of not only your car loan but credit cards as well. Your ex will be solely responsible to pay the loan if you get the debt discharged.

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  • Any way I can force her to pay as she promised?

    My now ex always promised my daughter and I to pay for her undergraduate college but in the divorce decree it says she'll only pay half and even worse only half of a state school cost even though she was in her 3rd year at BU at the time.When I qu...

    Edward’s Answer

    That is not "the standard way that the lawyers write things up ." Unfortunately, a divorce judgment cannot be modified just because she has made some promises. If you want to modify the judgment, you will have to file a Complaint for Modification with the Worcester Probate and Family Court. You will have to show a "change of circumstances" warranting modification. If there was a genuine mistake made in the drafting of the agreement, you may be able to petition the court to revisit the divorce judgment. But that revisiting must be done soon after the judgment enters so don't waste time.

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  • Marital assets of approximately $1.2M including real estate need to be divided. How much can I expect in settlement?

    Divorcing husband of 21 years after finding out he is a sex addict and has been hiring prostitutes for over 3 years. Have 2 children ages 17 and 14 who prefer to live with me in the family home.

    Edward’s Answer

    There are many factors courts consider when "equitably" dividing martial assets including, but not limited to, length of the marriage, needs of the spouses, contributions to the marital home, conduct of the parties during the marriage. Your children are likely old enough to choose where they live and your husband will have to pay child support consistent with Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines until your children are 18 or later if they are in college and dependent upon you for support. As for assets, given a 21 year marriage, the property will likely be split anywhere from 50/50 to 60/40 unless there are unique circumstances like serious health issues, incapacity, or inability to work. There is also the issue of alimony if you or your husband was primarily dependent upon the other for support during the marriage.

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  • What do I do.?

    MY Wife and I have been separated for six months .she tryed couple times to come back but I am not taking that chance again .Anyways one day she came to the house ,it started to get out of control,that I had to call the police to remove her out of...

    Edward’s Answer

    You must show up or a warrant will issue for your arrest. When you get to court, find her attorney. Tell him or her that you don't want to testify. You don't have to testify because a husband cannot be compelled to testify against his wife in a case like yours. If there are no other witnesses, the case will be dismissed. If there are other witnesses, you can ask the court to dismiss the case by signing an accord and satisfaction.

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  • Do I have any options if i am in the middle of divorce and my lawyer is leaving for another job and can't represent me any more

    Already paid him 15k

    Edward’s Answer

    Your lawyer must return any "unearned" fee promptly upon request and must give you your file as well, without cost to you. You should get a new lawyer ASAP. Your lawyer should file a notice of withdrawal with the court as well as a motion to stay proceedings (if there are any important hearings coming up) until you are able to secure a new lawyer.

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