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Stephen F. McDonough
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Stephen McDonough’s Answers

23 total

  • I'm filing for divorce but, out of spite, my ex won't sign the paperwork, can i get a court hearing w/o her signing?

    I'm filing for divorce, my ex is demanding $$ but we had nothing in our names together, she didn't even take my last name. We separated after 3 months of being married. Now I want to get married in Sept. but I dont know if I can because of her s...

    Stephen’s Answer

    For you to file for divorce, your spouse does not need to sign anything. Your fist step is to complete a complaint for divorce. The court next provides a summons which is then "served" upon your spouse. You cannot make the service yourself, but should hire a constable or sheriff to do this on your behalf. Next step is to return the certificate of service to the court.

    If you hire a lawyer to represent you, which not surprisingly I recommend, the attorney will take care of these things for you.

    Hopefully at some point in your case your spouse will realize it is better to try and negotiate a resolution to all of your issues.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Stephen McDonough
    Attorney/Mediator
    Medway/Attleboro
    www.divorcecollaborative.com
    (508) 533-3300

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  • Can my husband legally drop me from his health insurance even though we are not divorced we are just separated.

    The state of PA does not have legal separation. We have been separated for 2 1/2 years. My son and I were covered under his medical insurance but I just found out that he dropped me during his open enrollment. Since we have not legally divorced ye...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Hello:

    I do not practice in PA, so I am not sure of the answer to your question. IT is one of my favorite states however! In Massachusetts, this would not normally be allowed by the courts once a divorce has been filed, but you have not filed yet. Although you should meet with a lawyer, you could also consider calling the insurer directly and see what is required to be reinstated on the policy. I would also contact the state office that handles insurance and ask them what the rules are in PA for your situation.

    As a related matter, you should consider moving forward with your divorce. For one thing, it will help tie up any loose ends, and then you would have a divorce agreement setting forth the terms - including health insurance coverage and child support issues.

    Good luck with your case.

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  • I am the only member of an LLC in Massachusetts. My wife will file for divorce in a few months. I need to protect the business

    I am the only member of an LLC in MAss. My wife will file for divorce in a few months. Would adding another member to the LLC protect the business from my wife getting future earnings? My wife never drew a check from the LLC. I do not want DOR to ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Hello:

    Your business is an asset that is technically subject to division as part of the property settlement. As part of your case, the business should be valued. Sometimes an expert is used for this, or sometimes parties even agree on a value. As a single member LLC, there is a chance your business does not have much of a value, and although it may provide you with an income stream, it may not be worth much to a potential buyer. Of course, I don't know all of the details.

    Income is income, so it will be used to calculate child support. I would be very cautious in making any changes to the business, as your wife's lawyer will just look at your records going back a number of years and any moves you make now could possibly be seen as pre-divorce planning and have little effect on the final outcome of the case. It could also hurt your credibility with the court, if things get to that point.

    You should meet with a divorce lawyer to get some specific legal advice, as there are many issues that you will need to discuss.

    Good luck with your case.

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  • Obligation for step daughter

    15 years ago, i borrowed money from bank under my name to support my step daughter"s college education.i divorced my ex husband for 12 years already. can i still sue them to get my money back to support my own daughter college education? i already...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Hello:

    Based only upon the small amount of information you provided, I think your chances of recovering the funds you borrowed to help your step-daughter are slim. Of course, getting more detailed info about your case would be helpful in order to provide actual advice.

    You can still proceed with your child support contempt and modification case. Seems to me that this issue is completely separate from the money you gave to your step-daughter.

    Good luck with your case.

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  • Child Support open in three states

    my husband has open cases in three states by the mother of his daughter, his salary is deducted by order of a court of Connecticut, recently their assets were frozen by the court of Massachusset so it was that we knew of other cases and few days a...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Hello:

    This sounds like an involved situation. It is a bad idea to just ignore the child support payments, as the amount due will likely continue to accrue. There will also be some extra work involved just in figuring out exactly what the situation is in all 3 states, and then determining the best way to proceed.

    I would urge your husband to meet with a lawyer to start trying to unravel the situation before things get worse. Child support enforcement options are serious and range from attaching pay and assets, suspended licenses, and even possibly jail. Also, sounds like there are some custodial issues to address as well. Thus, I would certainly not ignore this situation! Best bet is to meet with a family law lawyer.

    Good luck.

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  • If I leave my home for one night will it be considered abandonment and will my wife be able to have me removed from the house?

    My wife and I are not on good terms but no one has started divorce proceedings. Someone in the house went through my jacket and took a piece of paper. I confronted my wife and daughter and no one would admit to it and my wife called the police o...

    Stephen’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Hello:

    If you leave your home for one night and then return it would not be abandonment, nor would that likely be a reason to have you removed from the house taken, by itself. In order to be removed from the house, your spouse would have to file a motion to have exclusive use and occupancy of the marital home if the situation is intolerable at home; or apply for a restraining order. Also, sometimes it just makes sense for one person to move out.

    Otherwise, I would suggest that if you are going to stay outside the home for a night, then you should leave a number where she can reach you if there is an emergency. A cell number should suffice.

    I am not sure how the piece of paper information relates to your question, and you probably have a number of other issues that you should discuss with an attorney.

    It is usually a good idea to meet with an experienced divorce lawyer early on in the process, then you can get some actual advice. It is difficult to answer this question without knowing more details, etc.

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  • How should I go about moving to another State before divorce has been filed? Is there anything my husband can do to stop me?

    i want to file for divorce from my husband of almost 2 years. We have a 5 month old son and our closest family if 45 min away in New Hampshire. I want to move there to be closer to my family and a stronger network of support. How should I go abo...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Hello:

    Not that I disagree with the other info provided, but have you considered asking your spouse if he would consider mediation? Mediation can be a very effective way to address parenting issues such as yours, and can lead to a workable solution that you both can live with. Of course, you will want to consider what is in the best interest of your son, which is the main principle used by the courts to decide child-related issues. Frequently, the thinking is that a child's interests are best served by having two involved, loving parents. Of course, this could be a possibility if under an hour away.

    Finally, keep in mind that mediation is oftentimes a less expensive option than a litigated case, and the less adversarial process can encourage better post-divorce parenting! Good luck with your case.

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  • I have been married for 7 years in massachusetts. My wife has a seperate retirement fund in her own name.

    This is an account that was initiated prior to our marriage through payroll deduction. There was a rather large deposit made into the account while we were co habitating in a mutually owned property prior to our getting married. This account has b...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Hello:

    Generally, any and all property is subject to division ins Massachusetts. Your question does not provide enough info to give a more detailed response. For instance, what was the source of the large deposit? Did you contribute any funds to the account? Your question leads me to believe that the retirement account may not be a qualified retirement plan, since you both used a portion of it for a vacation, which would would have likely resulted in a penalty and then the withdrawn funds would have been taxed as income.

    As you can see, you should really consider meeting with an experienced divorce lawyer in Norfolk County so that your question can be answered more specifically. Best of luck with your situation!

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  • Divorce

    He's a federal employee and naval reservist do I get any part of his pensions, if yes which ones or both? and what precentage and after how long of being married?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Retirement assets are generally subject to an equitable division at the time of divorce. The division of property in MA must be equitable, and it is not uncommon that retirement assets are equalized, but that depends on the circumstances of your case.

    Also, the length of your marriage can be a factor. If you were married a short time, then it would not be typical that you would receive substantial retirement assets. For a longer-term marriage, you may receive 50% of the retirement benefits, but whether you have any retirement benefits will of course be a factor.

    Handling retirement benefits, including pensions as you describe can be somewhat complicated. Pensions also require a more complex valuation, so you should meet with an experienced divorce lawyer to get specific advice for your situation.

    Good luck.

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  • Legal age in MA to refuse spending parental time with non-custodial parent.

    I have heard that at the age of 14, in MA, a child can decide if they wish to see a parent during court ordered parental time. Is this true?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Hello...

    Barring some type of significant issue with a parent, such as abuse for example, keep in mind that children do best when they have good relationships with BOTH parents. Although your child may not want to visit with one parent, it could be more beneficial in the long run to encourage the 14 year old to spend time with the "other parent."

    Also, I would suggest you encourage the child and perhaps both parents (not necessarily together) to meet with an experienced mental health professional in an attempt to strengthen the bond between the child and both parents.

    Good luck, and remember that without knowing all of the specifics, this info is just provided as general info, and not specific legal advice. You should consider meeting with a lawyer.

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