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Donald Lloyd Pitman
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Donald Pitman’s Answers

49 total


  • High conflict short term parenting course in Ma?

    Looking for a high - conflict short term parenting course in metro Boston area-. 2-4 weeks long?

    Donald’s Answer

    Yes, there is a class, but it isn't short and must be authorized by the Court. The CAFES program is out of West Roxbury and can be of assistance. However, it is 9 weeks long and the Court must order the parties to take the class.

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  • Likelihood of a judge allowing 50/50 physical & legal custody of 14 y/o when the parents live across the street from each other?

    My ex filed for child support (after 7 years of us being split up) and wants sole physical custody but will share legal custody. I want to propose to the judge that my son spend one week here, one week there and split everything 50/50. She has bee...

    Donald’s Answer

    I would absolutely suggest speaking with an attorney. Every judge is different in the Essex Probate & Family Court, but you will need to codify what you are doing and, more importantly, get a process in place to allow you to make modification of what is going on. A Guardian ad Litem may be required to support your argument that your son needs additional time with you or if she is interfering in the relationship.

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  • How much can I say in court to defend myself in a contempt charge?

    The father has not been there for his child such as not helping to buy her needs like crib swing car seat stroller etc. Can I bring things like that up in court because he continues now when he is around his daughter. She is 17 months old doesn't...

    Donald’s Answer

    While you do need more information regarding the contempt you have pending, you should be prepared to argue only what is set forth in the Complaint for Contempt. The judge will not be interested in hearing things he or she considers extraneous and will only weaken your argument. Just bring up what the father was supposed to do and then talk about how he failed to do it. Good luck.

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  • Discovery deadline is August 9, pretrial date August 21. Current lawyer is MIA. Too late to get another lawyer?

    Child support case where agreement says cs ends at 19 unless going to school. Child not going to school and now 20. I need to end this. Yes, I know current law says 21, 23 if in school. Can't take the 1 day, 2 week, 2 month makeup artist classes b...

    Donald’s Answer

    You haven't stated what court your case is in. We'd be happy to assist as well. Please check out our website for additional information.

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  • Can my ex-wife put restrictions on when I move in with a woman in my divorce papers?

    My ex-wife has added a clause to our divorce papers stating I cannot move in with a woman until after a year of dating claiming it's for the well being of our child. Is this legal? Do I have a solid case to fight this?

    Donald’s Answer

    I would agree completely with the prior response. Unless there is some danger to your child, a court will not likely put any restrictions on who you are with or any contact between your child and any new partner. Although this is fact specific, I would strongly suggest pushing back on this and see what happens; there is nothing to be gained by giving in at this point. You may want to consider a limitation for overnight visits for a short period; however, this is very fact specific. I would suggest contacting an attorney to discuss this issue. Many law firms - such as mine - offer a free consultation to assist you in your case.

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  • Is it possible to quash a motion to compel sale of a house in Massachusetts Family & Probate Court?

    My husband's attorney has filed a motion to compel me to sell my home. We are in the middle of a nasty divorce proceeding that looks like it will go to trial. Is it possible to quash that motion?

    Donald’s Answer

    This is a question that is very fact and judge dependent. The judge has the authority to preserve the marital assets so if you are not paying the mortgage on your home and are facing foreclosure, you could be required to sell the house. However, many judges take the position that the marital home should not be sold on the basis of a motion unless there is a danger to the house being lost in foreclosure or there is a risk of damage to the marital estate. You should definitely hire an attorney to represent your interests both in the motion hearing and at the trial. Many law firms, such as mine, offer a free consultation to see what would be in your best interests.

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  • Piano/family law question

    We are in the middle of mediation and I forgot to ask, what happens to a Steinway Piano that was my grandmother's?

    Donald’s Answer

    I completely agree with Attorney Lewis' answer. You should bring any documentation you have regarding the value of the piano and how you obtained it. Also, the length of your marriage may help you finally prove ownership in the end. You may want to consult with an attorney to assist you through the mediation process.

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  • Legal separation or Divorce

    Which should I do? if i don't know what to do, is one more expensive?

    Donald’s Answer

    The term "legal separation" has no court-enforceable meaning in Massachusetts. You could file for a "Complaint for Separate Support", which allows for the basic terms of a divorce but you remain married to your spouse. Many parties do this if there are religious reasons for not going through a divorce as one example. A divorce will completely sever the relationship between you and your ex-spouse, and will allow for the allocation of your assets, etc. While there is no way to predict what will be less expensive, a divorce or a Complaint for Separate Support will allow court enforcement of your agreements. If you do not go through a court and something goes wrong between you and your former spouse, you have no way to get enforcement of the agreement you made. You should definitely contact an attorney to discuss your options.

    Don

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  • RE: child support, what qualifies as a material change in circumstance, to amed a support order?

    He is giving very little in child support, and asking me to sign a mutual waiver of alimony.

    Donald’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Levine-Piro. The waiver of alimony is very fact specific and is based on a number of factors, including the length of your marriage, whether child support is being paid and your overall economic circumstances. Child support is based on your income, the costs for medical, dental and vision insurance, child care costs and any other support orders paid. You should contact an attorney to discuss your rights...

    Don Pitman

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  • Re: child support: what qualifies as a material change in circumstance for there to be an amendment in a support order?

    Does an increase in salary of either party warrant a change in circumstance? What about a change in who is paying the health insurance (switching from the child support payor to the recipient)? Does bonus money ever qualifiy in a support order? ...

    Donald’s Answer

    The law in Massachusetts changed on this in March so that any change - no matter how small - is sufficient to trigger a change in child support if the amount of child support would change. Bonus money should count but only if, as, and when it is received. You should definitely contact an attorney to explain your rights to you.

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