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Scott A. Santos

Scott Santos’s Answers

15 total


  • In our divorce decree my ex wife had to pay some bills that were in my name.

    It's been 2 years and she has not payed them and they continue to go against my credit because they are in my name. What can I do to make her pay. These bills are listed in the divorce decree as her responsibility.

    Scott’s Answer

    You need to consult with an exprienced family law attorney and bring forth a Complanit for Contempt. Prior to meeting with an attorney, try to organize your records and information to show your attorney exactly which debts were supposed to be paid, and exactly how much the failure to pay these debts has cost you since the date they should have been paid. This will save your attorney time and save you money. As noted by some of the attorneys above, be mindful that you are still liable for these debts as far as your creditors are concerned.

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  • In mass how old can a child be to testify in family court that he doesn't want to see his father. Parents share custody.

    my boyfriend shares custody with his ex-girlfriend for their 10 year old boy. she has physical custody, he has him every weekend and also during the week if she has to work. she tried to take him away to Miami 4 years ago, lied to the judge but ju...

    Scott’s Answer

    The Courts discourage children testifying in custody matters. I have even heard a Judge state directly from the bench that he viewed asking children to testify in custody matters as a form of child abuse (this was involving a child of 13 or 14). A guardian ad litem appointment is the proper route to examine the children's desires or whether a child is being influenced. Keep in mind that for young children, even 10, a Court is not going to simply rubber-stamp what the child wants anyway. Children's desires often change at a whim from day to day, and they can easily be coerced. In most cases, the guardian ad litem will focus on whether one parent is improperty influencing the child, which seems to be what is happenning here. For more reading on the topic, I suggest DIVORCE POISON, by Richard Ades Warshak. The Court would likely give more weight to the guardian ad litem's report than anything that the child said. *For informational purposes only. Not legal advice. Consult a qualified family law attorney.

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  • I have sole legal/physical custody. Does my ex have to tell me where he lives?

    I have sole legal and physical custody of my children after an ugly custody battle. My ex just moved only mos after final judgement and did not tell me. My children told me. He has visitation - 1 day/week and every other weekend. I have asked ...

    Scott’s Answer

    You should consult a qualified family law attorney. Because your children are with your ex overnight, it should not be a problem getting the Court to force him to disclose his address to you. If he refuses telling the Court, he could risk losing the one night he has left. As for the red flags being raised, try to keep records of his threats, if any, such as emails. Unless he presses Court action about your "friend" there is not much you can do about his rambling paranoia, however. He would need some actual evidence if he ever brought the issue to Court. *Consult an attorney. This is for informational purposes only. Not legal advice.

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  • What do I need to do to take my son for the week?

    My current restraining order in probate court gave custody to my wife. There is no set visitation on the order only how my son is transferred from pick ups and drop offs. I have him 3 days a week. My planned vacation is coming up in a month and sh...

    Scott’s Answer

    Since the order doesn't allow for one week vacation visitations, you should explore the following options with a qualified divorce law attorney:

    1) In writing, politely request that your Wife agree to the week's vacation. If she does, you can file a Stipulation with the Court which will allow you to take the week with your son and after that week the visitation will continue like it always did. Even if she just says that you can take him, you should consider getting a Stipulation if you feel that she will change her mind at the last second.

    2) If she refuses, you can file a Complaint for Modification and then a Motion for Temporary Orders allowing the trip. Depending on how close the trip is, you may not have enough time because the Court process moves slowly.

    *For informational purposes only, not legal advice.

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  • Is it a good idea for the noncustodial parent to bring themselves in for child support modification?

    My husband just started a full time job. His child support order was based on income 3 years ago. We would like to have it modified instead of his son's mother making it look like he is trying to shrek his responsibilities.

    Scott’s Answer

    Generally an attorney is not going to advise you to volunteer to pay money that you are not yet ordered to be paying. If you want to avoid your Husband's ex making him "look bad," you can simply wait for her to mention increased child support and come to an agreement before a modification is actually filed. Another option would be simply telling his ex about the new job and saying that he wants to modify the child support accordingly to see if they can work out a deal for the new amount before anyone files a modification. No one has to file a modification as the first step.

    Since child support is based on guidelines, if your Husband agrees to pay the Child support guidelines based on his income at his new job, you should be able to come to an agreement and file the agreement together with the modification without much back and forth. You can get the Guidelines on the probate court websites. Consult a family law attorney. *For informational purposes only. Not legal advice.

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  • Do children pay taxes on money inherited from parents?

    When children receive money from sale of parent's home, life insurance policies, or annuities, are they subject to federal or state income taxes or any kind of gift tax?

    Scott’s Answer

    Generally, no. However, there may be a state estate tax due in MA on estates valued over $1,000,000. There is no Federal Estate tax for those dying in 2010. Under current law, starting in 2011, there will be Federal Estate tax for estates valued over $1,000,000. (If your parent died in 2009, there would be no Federal Estate tax due unless their estate was worth more than $3,500,000). Estate tax can be minimized and sometimes avoided by consulting a qualified estate planning attorney.

    Lastly, keep in mind that if your parents held an IRA or 401(k) and you were the beneficiary, you may have to withdraw that money in a certain number of years and pay income taxes on it (unless it was a Roth IRA). There are ways to only take minimal distributions on inherited IRAs, however they need to be set up by the account holder before they die, ideally. If your parent is already deceased, you may only have 5 years to withdraw the whole inherited IRA account, and you may pay regular income taxes on the withdrawals unless it is a Roth IRA.
    You should consult a CPA or estate attorney.
    *For informational purposes only. Not legal advice.

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  • I want a divorce but my husband won't leave the home. He doesn't financially contribute. How can I get him to leave?

    I want a divorce but my husband won't leave the home. He doesn't financially contribute. How can I get him to leave?

    Scott’s Answer

    If you file a Complaint for Divorce, you can then file a Motion for Temporary Orders asking the Court to force your Husband to vacate (leave) the home. You will need to show reasons, such as he creates a hostile environment in the home for yourself and/or the children if applicable. This is not necessarily limited to physical hostility. You will also have to show that he has the ability to arrange some kind of alternate housing for himself. You should be able to identify a different place he could stay to the Court, since it seems from your question that he has no financial ability to get a place of his own. You cannot make him do anything until you have filed a 1B Divorce, however. Filing a 1B Divorce gives you the ability to ask the Court for temporary orders.
    *For informational purposes only. Not legal advice.

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  • Property left to me in a will

    My grandparents left me a house when the passed away. They put the deed in my name only. my husband and i are getting a divorce. Is he entiled to any part of the house

    Scott’s Answer

    Attorney Cheong is correct. You should consult an attorney in your divorce. If you inherited it during the marriage, it is more likely that some portion may be included in the assets to be divided than if you inherited after you both separated. To assist your attorney, you should compile a list focusing on the following:

    1) when you received the property in relation to the marriage;

    2) the use of the property by yourself and/or your Husband during the marriage;

    3) the financial contributions, if any (payment of expenses, renovations, etc.) made to the house during the marriage. For example, was joint money or your Husband's money contributed to upkeep, etc.; and

    4) non-financial contributions (did your Husband help fix it up, maintain the house, etc.).

    The more your Husband contributed to the house, the stronger his claim will be if it was an asset of yours during the marriage. The Court has a massive amount of discretion, though, and anything is possible.

    Best of luck.

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  • Me and my husband are splitting up and he won't give me my cat. How do I go about getting my cat?

    I had the cat 8 years before we got together. She's definately my cat. Do I have to sue him for custody?

    Scott’s Answer

    Generally, the Court has zero patience for such a dispute. It definitely is not a "custody" issue. The pet is an item of personal property.

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  • My aunt died recently, leaving close to 1 million dollars in savings bonds as part of her estate. She had divorced her husband

    over 20 years ago (all bonds were purchased prior to the divorce) but never got around to taking his name off the bonds as co-owner or POD. All bonds still have his name under hers. There was no mention of the bonds in their divorce. The will c...

    Scott’s Answer

    Attorney Martel is correct. It sounds like these bonds are non-probate property. You should check any Agreement regarding your aunt's divorce judgment. Although it doesn't mention the bonds, there could be a blanket waiver in the boilerplate whereby her ex husband waived any and all interest in your Aunt's property not specifically mentioned and vice-versa. This may help you out somewhat.

    Definitely contact an attorney.

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