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Robert A Stolzberg

Robert Stolzberg’s Answers

409 total


  • Spousal support modification

    What would be some of the circumstances that could change spousal support? I live in MA and was divorced a year ago. I was the primary caretaker of our 3 children. He got Just about everything. I couldn't afford an attorney. I can't get a job ...

    Robert’s Answer

    You are in a very tough situation, and you need a lawyer. The first thing I'd need to know is if your agreement is modifiable under its own terms. If it is, the basic rule for alimony is that there must be a meaningful change in circumstances. That could be financial (he just won the lottery), health ( you have gotten a debilitating disease), or something else. The basic rule for child support, if your children are under 23, is the best interests of the child. No one can give you a meaningful answer without much more information; most divorce lawyers will see you for free for a half hour or so to get the basic information and could then tell you your chances of getting a modification as well as whether they could get an order telling your ex to pay your legal fees.

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  • If a recipient of alimony is purchasing a home with a parent are they still entitled to receive alimony from their ex in MA?

    I am paying my ex $1000. a month for 5 years and just found out she is purchasing a home with her mother, does that fall under the definition of cohabitation?

    Robert’s Answer

    The statute (ALM GL ch. 208, § 49) provides:

    "(d) General term alimony shall be suspended, reduced or terminated upon the cohabitation of the recipient spouse when the payor shows that the recipient spouse has maintained a common household, as defined in this subsection, with another person for a continuous period of at least 3 months.(1) Persons are deemed to maintain a common household when they share a primary residence together with or without others. In determining whether the recipient is maintaining a common household, the court may consider any of the following factors:(i) oral or written statements or representations made to third parties regarding the relationship of the persons;
    (ii) the economic interdependence of the couple or economic dependence of 1 person on the other;
    (iii) the persons engaging in conduct and collaborative roles in furtherance of their life together;
    (iv) the benefit in the life of either or both of the persons from their relationship;
    (v) the community reputation of the persons as a couple; or
    (vi) other relevant and material factors"

    I don't think that a mother and daughter would be viewed as a couple so I think you have almost no chance of convincing a court that the statute applies. You might want to consult a qualified attorney to see if you can modify the order (assuming that you did not waive that right in an agreement) for some other reason.

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  • Ex-wife looking for more alimony after she quit her job. Can she do this?

    During our marriage my ex-wife worked two part time jobs. I have been paying her alimony for years. She recently left one of the jobs and now thinks it is my responsibility to pay her more alimony, to make up the deficit. Can she petition for m...

    Robert’s Answer

    There are many variables, among them whether the alimony was court imposed or per an agreement. In general, courts will impute income to a person who has voluntarily and without good reason diminished his or her income. In addition, if court imposed, you might have a case for modification under the recent changes to the statutes.

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  • Massachusetts DCF neglect case TPR affirmed in the appellate court

    Is there any way to reopen an DCF case after the adoption has gone through six years ago?. I was told if you can prove "fraud" happened. Is this true? If not what are the requirements?

    Robert’s Answer

    Unless you have incredibly strong evidence of fraud, and probably unfitness of the adoptive parents, the chances are close to zero that a court would uproot a child from the only family s/he has known for at least six years. Do you think that would be in the child's best interest? If not, if you love the child, don't do it even if you think there is a chance of success.

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  • What is the process to appeal a Decision on a Complaint for Modification?

    The judge cited factually incorrect reasons for considerably reducing my child support and alimony....such as citing I pay $3,000 per month for rent....I don't....I pay $2,000 for a three bedroom which is a reasonable rent. Also cited I was unwi...

    Robert’s Answer

    If you filed a timely motion under Rule 50(b), 52(b), or 59, your 30 day window to appeal does not start to run until the trial judge rules on your motion. If not, file your notice of appeal asap. You could also make a Rule 60 motion and the judge might use that as an opportunity to correct his errors.

    As noted, appeals are much more technical than trials, and you should strongly consider getting qualified legal assistance.

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  • Am i able to submit another modification for alimony?

    dec 2013 had a trial for an ongoing contmp since09 for cs medical expns &college this came after a capias since July 13 for the defnts neglince to appear. In may 14 my son became emancptd college grad. I waited till July to file a mod for alimon...

    Robert’s Answer

    From your very unclear inquiry, it sounds like you are able to file for a modification. I think you need more than a lawyer for the day; make an appointment with a qualified domestic relations attorney, bring all your paperwork with you, and determine with him or her your best plan of attack (or defense).

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  • Which court should go first? What should I expect next?How many day do I have to respond to his Appeal?Didn't received his brief

    I filed a motion in the superior court early April for reconsideration from the Plenary hearings and court scheduled a court day at the end of May. I didn't hear anything from my EX or respond to my motion. Early May I got an Appellate Court app...

    Robert’s Answer

    Depending on the nature of your motion, the "appeal" might have been a nullity. If you reject my colleagues advice to hire a comepetant appellate attorney, contact the trial court clerk to try to get your motion re-instated.

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  • Are trail court transcripts needed for petition for INTERLOCUTORY review of judgment of divorce nisi?

    Please answer yes or no, thanks!

    Robert’s Answer

    A decree nisi is considered a final order, so it appears that you are talking about a normal appeal, not an interlocutory appeal. Make sure you file your notice of appeal within 30 days of the entry of judgment and then follow the rest of the procedural and substantive hoops required. appeals are quite technical. If the court's error is significant, you should strongly consider hiring a qualified appellate attorney.

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  • Federal Representation Personal Injury and Civil Rights

    Self Represented Crime Victim seeking attorney recommendations for Federal Court in Boston. Personal Injury and civil rights involving Federal Employee Misconduct.

    Robert’s Answer

    Search AVVO for an attorney who has expertise in federal courts, personal injury and civil rights.

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  • I must submit a legal brief. Is this the correct format?

    I appealed a speeding ticket to the Appellate Court and must submit a legal brief. I went to the Massachusetts Court's self help website and found a guide for Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure, which describes how a legal brief must be co...

    Robert’s Answer

    It looks like you have the formatting part down pretty well, though don't forget to follow the length and font rules as well.

    However, the hard part of appeals is not formatting; it is making a compelling legal argument showing why the verdict below was the result of legal error. It is a very rare layman who can do this effectively. In fact, many lawyers won't handle their own appeals but will refer them to lawyers who have appellate experience.

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