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Karen M. Buckley
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Karen Buckley’s Answers

183 total


  • Trying to prep for worst case scenario though I'd like to go for custody of my children. But what is the worst the court can do?

    Preparing for a divorce, 4 1/2 year marriage 2 biological children, 5 & 6, 3 step children house that I came into the marriage with significantly higher income.

    Karen’s Answer

    There aren't enough facts for an answer. Unless you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement-which would be best for all concerned-the Court will make decisions regarding the parenting plan, including legal custody and how much time the kids spend with each parent, what support will be paid and by whom, who will provide health insurance, as well as the division of property. I urge you to consult with an experienced family law attorney who will be able to discuss the various options for resolving your divorce, as well as how the facts of your particular case may impact any outcome. Best of luck to you.

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  • Is cost of living considered in deviating from child support guidelines?

    I am living in Boston and my ex wife is living in Western Massachusetts with a far lower cost of living. I am not of low income, however, in my mind this seems to be causing a disparity in our living situations. Can this be considered in child su...

    Karen’s Answer

    It may. Counsel would need to provide the Court with specific evidence that would support the findings that are required when the Court deviates from the Child Support Guidelines. Any costs associated with your parenting time may also be considered by the Court. You should have an experienced family law attorney assist you, as the evidence must be presented properly to have the Court consider it. Best of luck to you.

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  • How can I initiate a divorce with her in MA? Do you have any lawyer that I can talk to regarding Muslim marriage divorce.

    Hello, this is related to Muslim Marriage divorce in USA. I am a 36yr old male working under H1B visa in MA. My wife lives with me in H4 dependent visa. I want to divorce her because she is becoming too dangerous to live with. She has some ment...

    Karen’s Answer

    If you are domiciled in MA, then you can file here, particularly since you have lived here together as husband & wife & if the cause of the breakdown of the marriage occurred here. Understand that divorce in MA is a civil matter. & will be determined by MA laws. You may need to consult an imam to determine if other steps need to be taken for a divorce to be recognized by your religion. Additionally, if you divorce your wife, she will most likely have to return to Bangladesh. Best of luck to you.

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  • What can I do? How or where can I get help? (see brief details below, there is much more prior to what is written)

    I signed over full custody of my daughter and temporarily gave up my visitation with her. The judge wouldn't agree to me not paying child support, so I signed the court order to pay the back owed support to my ex-wife ($2400), which was originally...

    Karen’s Answer

    A Court will not allow a parent to avoid their child support obligation by agreeing to not contact the child-support & parenting time are two different things. Additionally, Additionally, what your ex signed is not enforceable because 1. It wasn't approved by the Court and 2. Again, you can't avoid support by agreeing not to see your child. You should go see the lawyer for the day in Essex Co. Probate and Family Court for help on how to draft a response to the pleading filed by your ex. Best of luck.

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  • Is it blackmail?

    Hello, My situation is a bit sticky so here is some background information. I do have a permanent 209a in place for myself and son. Approx a year ago The bio father wanted custody/visits but never contacted the child in 12 years/ never has met...

    Karen’s Answer

    You situation is complex & it is not really suited to a short answer here. I do agree with the other attorneys who have answered about the need to get an attorney-both for the paternity case and the civil matter brought against you, and the slim ethics of using a civil suit to gain an advantage.
    Best of luck to you.

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  • Can I get my child support order modified if I have another child on the way with my fiancé?

    I am currently paying almost $1,000 a month to my ex in child support for my 14 year old son. My fiancé and I are expecting a baby in the next couple of months and I'm worried about our finances and how we'll afford everything with such a large a...

    Karen’s Answer

    The fact that you have another child on the way is not a basis, in and of itself, to modify the child support order. The law is you have additional children knowing what your existing obligations are. If your income has gone down involuntarily or the mother's income has increased, there might be a reason to modify the existing order.
    Best of luck to you.

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  • Divorce

    I'm getting divorced. I have a child from a previous realtionship, my husband had an account with his name and hers. The account is just direct deposits of child support money from her dad. If she is not part of the divorce what do I file to get ...

    Karen’s Answer

    I agree with others that although the account is technically part of the division of assets, it sounds like you have strong evidence that the funds came from your daughter's father as regular child support. Your attorney should make the argument that the account is solely for the benefit of your daughter and should not be divided. Depending on how the account is titled, it is most likely fairly easy to have you substituted on the account for your husband. If the action has already started, you will need a written agreement between you & your husband or an Order of the Court allowing you to change the account title. You should consult with an attorney to discuss this in detail. best of luck to you.

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  • Can I bring down the amount of child support owed if I had full custody of my child?

    I owe back child support for my child because the mother collected public assistance over a five year span, however I had full custody of my son 4 out of the 5 years. He lived with me and his grandmother and I supported him financially. Would I st...

    Karen’s Answer

    The issue is was the custody and support orders ever changed? IF not, and the child still lives with you, you should file a modification now. The Court is not supposed to retroactively change a support order prior to the date of service. You may be able to seek some relief on equitable grounds, but it could be a hard case, since you never sought to change the original order. Best of luck to you.

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  • Can I be faulted for strictly following the current custody order I have with the court?

    I know this question may be silly to many but I ask because the other parent often makes me feel like the bad guy for doing so. I am understanding of being reasonably late or having to make a slight adjustment here and there because life happens....

    Karen’s Answer

    Given the conflict and other issues present in your situation, it is appropriate to adhere to the existing Order. As you noted, it keeps things clear and predictable. Additionally, if the existing Order requires supervised parenting time, you should absolutely follow that provision. You are responsible for ensuring your child is safe when with the other parent, and supervised parenting time provides a level of comfort that the child will be protected from harm. Best of luck to you.

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  • Is it legal for a mother to sign away guardianship without getting permission from the father?

    The mother has been recently diagnosed with postpartum depression, and while being treated she has signed guardianship over to her mother. She is not married to the child's father, and he was not consulted prior to guardianship being signed over. ...

    Karen’s Answer

    It depends if the father signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity and/or is named on the birth certificate. Father should file a complaint under MGL c. 209C for parenting time & legal custody, together with a Motion for Temporary Orders. Additionally, since he is aware of the guardianship action, Father should file a Motion objecting to the guardianship proceeding. Father should be aware however, that the law gives Mother sole legal custody, and Father will have the burden to show that joint legal custody is in the child's best interest. Father should also be prepared to show how he will be able to take of the child.

    Best of luck to you.

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