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Marta Philpott Chadwick

Marta Chadwick’s Answers

15 total


  • Am I entitled to half of our marriage assets?

    We've been married 4 years. My wife make 4x what I do. All of my check always went into household bills as well as $30,000 from a previous house sale. She bought our current house herself right before we were married, then when married, she put ...

    Marta’s Answer

    You may be. Massachusetts is an equitable division state, not equal division. This means that the split is not automatically 50/50. Factors such as length of the marriage, contribution to the marital assets, and any children will come into play. You will likely need to consult with an attorney to determine all of your rights in this situation. Best of luck.

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  • How can a court tell you they are not going to terminate you child support order, at your request??

    The custodial parent has requested to terminate child support, but the judge seeing the case said no, plus the D.O.R. wouldn't terminate oon their end either. How can they do that, can we go around this (especially w/o going to court+I now reside ...

    Marta’s Answer

    Things to consider also include whether or not the custodial parent is on state aid. If that is the case, the DOR will collect the money to reimburse them for payments made to the custodial parent. As a matter of public policy, courts believe that both parents have an obligation to support their children, thus if the parents are not living together, the non-custodial parent will have to continue to make some monetary contribution to the care and well-being of the child.

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  • MA restraining order with attached custody

    i was recently issued a 209a against my son's mother & i was awarded custody of my son on the same order. She (prior to order) took off and left MASS to North carolina with my son. The Sheriff & local police in NC are refusing to serve the orde...

    Marta’s Answer

    If NC is refusing to enforce the order, then you may want to go to the probate court and file an emergency order for custody. Explain the entire situation and bring all documents relating to the 209A order you got from the district court. If you decide to hire an attorney, they may be able to help you enforce the 209A order in NC. Good luck.

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  • Do you recommend the use of an Attorney for a Contempt Motion in Mass.when there is a Separation Agreement in place?

    Do you recomment the use of an Attorney for a Contempt Motion in a divorce when there is a Separation Agreement in place?

    Marta’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Foley, it depends on the issue. If it is a child support issue and the DOR is part of the case, they may be able to assist you. If it is a contempt on another part of the agreement, you may need counsel to help you. At a minimum, you would probably want to consult an attorney to discuss the issue. Best of luck to you.

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  • What if my spouse changes their mind or doesn't show up at trial for an agreed upon contested divorce?

    The date and time has been set and proper paperwork has been filled out.There are no children and no arguments over property or finances. Could a lawyer be retained without my knowledge, and what do I if this has happened? Am I, in fact, o...

    Marta’s Answer

    If your spouse retains an attorney, that attorney should notify you prior to the court hearing. My question is how you filed the divorce, was it a joint petition, (also called a 1A divorce)?

    If it was, then you both need to be at the hearing for the divorce to enter that day. If your spouse does not show up, then the court cannot enter the divorce (if a joint petition) and you would probably have to refile under what is called a 1B.

    If you have a court date and have filed everything, and have not heard from an attorney that is representing your spouse, you should appear at the hearing and see what happens. If the court cannot enter the divorce because your spouse fails to show (and all paperwork is in order, showing you spouse was aware of the hearing and properly served all paperwork), then you should talk to an attorney about how to refile.

    Now, if it was filed under a 1B and all proper notice was given to your spouse, the court can enter a judgment of divorce, even if they do not show up. If you are unsure which scenario fits your case, I would suggest talking to an attorney before the court date.

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  • I want to get a divorce and my husband not. I don't have the financial strenght to do it. He threatens to keep our daughter.

    I am 23 years old, got married @19 due to pregnancy and was "forced" by lies and minipulation . I have tried for 4 years but it doesn't work. We stay on a farm with all his family. His brother keeps on taking our stuff. My husband and his brother...

    Marta’s Answer

    It sounds like you could really use some support. Do you have any family or friends you can talk to? You absolutely have rights to certain things as a result of the marriage. It sounds like your husband and his brother are trying to control you by making you think you have no options but to stay in the marriage. You have options and rights, and should speak to a professional about those options. As far as custody of your daughter goes, the court looks at what is in the best interest of the child to decide who should be the primary parent. Although you have not indicated there is any physical abuse, it does sound like a controlling relationship. I would suggest you contact your local domestic violence agency to talk about your situation and find someone in your area to offer you support and refer you to a professional who can help you leave the relationship safely and protect your rights. If you do not know your local agency, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline to talk to someone. 1-800-799-SAFE or www.ndvh.org. Best of luck to you.

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  • I have had sole custody of my children for 4 yrs. in that time, the mother now wants sole custody, can she get that?

    She's had a past record while they were in her care, (or rather lack of,) with susbstance abuse, neglect and allowance of child abuse by her partner, she has no job , lives out of state and has only written a card to them 2 yrs. ago. She now has a...

    Marta’s Answer

    Do you have a current order giving you custody of the children? Where did she file for custody? If the children have been living with you in the state of Massachusetts, then that would be the proper place for any litigation to take place. I would suggest meeting with an attorney as soon as possible to review the paperwork that has been filed so that you may properly respond. You want to make sure that the case is litigated in the right state. As to her getting sole custody, if the case is heard in MA, the court will look at what is in the best interest of the children. You will want to get as much documentation about her past behavior, and everthing documenting the fact you have cared for them over the last 4 years. Also, any information you have about her not paying child support and her contact with the kids during this time will be helpful.

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  • My ex and I have a 16month old girl, he is in custody for DV, Is it possible to try for full custody of our daughter?

    In 2007 he was arrested for 4th degree assault on me, we found out that we were pregnant then and I left him to raise my daughter. He has had time with her and so far I have not even questioned that he has harmed her or will harm her. He is in cus...

    Marta’s Answer

    First, I would want to know if you are married, or were married. If not, is there an order for custody in place? In many states, when a court decides what is best for the child, domestic violence is often considered an important factor. You should call your local domestic violence program to talk about what your legal rights are in regards to your daughter. If they do not have an attorney on staff, they may be able to refer you to one in your area who understands the dynamics of domestic violence and the laws regarding custody in WA. You should also talk to the advocate/attorney about your safety and that of your daughter when he does get out of jail.

    If you do not know the number for your local domestic violence program, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for more information about services in your area. 1-800-799-SAFE.

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  • How can we (my husband and i) get the charge of domestic assualt dropped.

    We got into an verbal arguement is then got a little physical. he was try to leave mad and i was trying to stop him. he pinched my finger in the keys and ingition.i holler stop and did not so i bit him on the arm and he let go. then he came at me ...

    Marta’s Answer

    At this point, neither you or your husband have the option to "drop the charges". It is up to the prosecutor to decide what to do with both cases. I would suggest you speak with a qualified attorney in your area to talk about the charges pending against you, and also about anything involving your child. Many times, the police are required to call social services when a child is involved in a domestic violence incident. You may have to deal with the social services department as well. Best of luck to you.

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  • What are the gun possession/ oper/ purch rights for someone under a 1 year restraining order for domestic assault in NY/ NJ/ PA?

    i have recently learned of multiple women assaulted by the same male in recent years; one is now attempting legal action against him. the male has been under at least one other assault related 1yr restraining order in the past by at least one ot...

    Marta’s Answer

    Below you will find the information regarding possession of a gun while under a restraining order and if someone has been convicted of misdemeanor DV charges. Essentially, the person should NOT legally have a gun. I would suggest that you speak to an advocate/attorney experienced in DV to assess the risk this man poses to potential victims.

    Possession of Firearm While Subject to Order of Protection, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8)
    It is illegal for a person to possess a firearm while subject to a court order restraining such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner. The protection order must have been issued following an evidentiary hearing in which the defendant had notice and an opportunity to appear. The protection order must also include a specific finding that the defendant represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the victim, or must include an explicit prohibition against the use of force that would reasonably be expected to cause injury. The statutory language of Section 922(g)(8), in addition to the language of Section 2262, provides additional justification for review of a jurisdiction's protection order form to determine if they conform with the federal requirements. Again, refer any questions about the applicability of this statute to the United States Attorney's Office in that district.

    Possession of Firearm After Conviction of Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9)
    As of September 30, 1996, it is illegal to possess a firearm after conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. This prohibition applies to persons convicted of such misdemeanors at any time, even if the conviction occurred prior to the new law's effective date. A qualifying misdemeanor domestic violence crime must have as an element the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon. For example, a conviction for a misdemeanor violation of a protection order will not qualify, even if the violation was committed by a violent act, if the statute does not require the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon. The U. S. Attorney's Office can determine which misdemeanor convictions qualify.

    In addition, the statute contains due process requirements regarding counsel and jury trials. Absent compliance with these due process requirements, the misdemeanor conviction will not qualify as a domestic violence conviction for purposes of Section 922(g)(9). Moreover, a person may be able to possess a firearm if the conviction has been expunged or set aside.

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