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Lisa J Smith
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Lisa Smith’s Answers

4 total

  • I am currently going through a divorce, my wife signed and cashed a check made out in my name? Isn't it forgery and illegal.

    My wife had an insurance check mailed to her made out to me, deposited the check in our joint account, transfered the check as soon as it cleared to her personal account. She illegally signed my name to the check. I would never have known if I d...

    Lisa’s Answer

    Your question raises several divorce related questions. One is whether your wife can transfer funds from your joint account into her personal account. The answer is that it depends on whether you and your wife have a temporary order which describes who can access the joint account and for what purpose. If you don’t have a temporary order in place, then both of you can use the account for reasonable expenses. You, now, may wonder whether can you compel your wife to return the amount of the check to you? The answer again depends on the purpose of the check. Was this a medical insurance reimbursement for a payment she made? Or one that you made? Also, there is a question of timing. Is it worth it to go to court now to seek her immediate reimbursement? Or should you wait until there are other issues to resolve and bring this up? I would suggest that you speak with your attorney about how to approach this situation. You will need to explore your potential outstanding future liabilities and whether should you have a temporary order in place? This may be an issue which should be resolved with litigation or it might be one which can be resolved through a conversation between attorneys. Divorce is an emotionally painful process, as you well know, and it can be hard to sort these matters out on your own. A good lawyer will help you through this.

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  • What type of 'proof' do I need for a "cruel and abusive treatment" fault divorce?

    I will file for Massachusetts fault divorce; namely "cruel and abusive treatment". I have read that I must prove this abuse in court. I feel it is technically impossible to prove, though possible to explain through documents. In my case it is...

    Lisa’s Answer

    I agree with several of the previous responses that you should seek legal advice on how to best think through whether filing a grounds-based divorce would be advantageous for you. I, also, would suggest you consider contacting a program that helps victims of domestic violence. These programs can help you think through safety planning at many stages of the process from preparing to leave to after-divorce matters. While you have to be careful to protect your legal rights, you must do so in a safe manner.

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  • Divorce now or wait?

    Married 5 yrs ( Together 10 ) I have proof that he's been seeing/paying an excort service weekly. I know the alimony laws ( 10 yrs of marriage ) So, should I suck it up & wait 5 more yrs to get alimony? I'm a homemaker w/ little to no income.

    Lisa’s Answer

    There are many factors to consider when determining for how long you may get alimony. It is imperative you speak with an attorney to careful consider your options. For example, you should explore whether the five years previous to your marriage will be tacked onto the length of your marriage. If you lived together and your financial interdependence was consistent with the new law you might already have a 10 year marriage, for alimony purposes, right now.

    That being said, 10 years is not a magic number. According to the new alimony law, General Alimony presumptively ends upon a formula which is different depending on the length of your marriage. The formula changes for each five years of marriage.

    Also, I would suggest discussing with your lawyer other types of alimony, such as Rehabilitative Alimony which could potential extend the duration of alimony. Finally, I would like to suggest to you that you consider an approach to resolving this issue which is called Collaborative Law. It protects your privacy and helps you both explore your respective needs and interests.

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  • I am in the process of divorce and want to know how the new Massachussetts divorce law effects me

    I am 60 years old and have been married for thirty-five and a half years. For most of those years I have been a fulltime wife and mother. I worked to help put my husband through 2 years of college and 3 years of Harvard Law School. When I did w...

    Lisa’s Answer

    You are asking a question which may appear to be simple, yet is complicated, and so I agree with others that you should seek legal counsel. When you meet with an attorney, I would assume that your attorney would review with you several options and considerations related to this question. I am assuming that when you say the “new Massachusetts divorce law” you are referring to the new alimony statute which was effective on March 1, 2012. The new alimony statute creates presumptions for when alimony will end. So, let’s look at your situation. (1) Will it end because of the length of your marriage? You were married for more than 20 years, therefore general term alimony may be “indefinite.” (2) Will it end because of your husband’s age? All alimony awards presumptively end upon the payor’s (your husband) reaching his “full retirement age.” For purposes of this law, your husband’s full retirement age is when he is eligible to receive full Social Security retirement benefits. You didn’t indicate his age, so I assume that he is close to your age and therefore, his full retirement age would be 66 years old. Therefore, alimony would presumptively end in about 6 years. (3) Can you overcome the presumption and receive alimony after your husband is 66 years old? Maybe. The law says that the court can deviate from duration when considering certain factors. You should explore these factors with your attorney. (4) It there any other way to protect your financial future? Probably. The court may take into account your husband’s potential future stream of income and compare it to yours. You may be able to receive a larger portion of the assets from your marriage to protect your financial future. (5) Finally, I would like to suggest to you that you and your husband consider an approach to resolving this issue which is called Collaborative Law. It protects your privacy and helps you both explore your respective needs and interests.

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