The medicaid laws are complex and strict, so you need an attorney with experience in this area. Some possibilities to protect assets for a spouse remaining outside of the nursing home as well as a special needs child have been created by Congress. However, taking advantage of these possibilities must be done correctly or your father may be disqualified for medicaid when he needs it.
Planning ahead of time is crucial so get yourself a good elder law attorney!
A fault based divorce is more expensive than a no fault. You should be able to discuss this with an attorney during a free consultation - many attorneys in my area, myself included, give them. If you know where he lives now, you may serve him and get the process started. If he refuses to give you a divorce, you might have to wait the two year period for a no fault without consent of the other party, but it will save you a lot of money.
One concern that you should have is whether your MSA has categorized any payments as alimony. If it has, then you will be liable for the taxes. If not, then it may appear to the IRS as a transfer of property between spouses, which is not taxable. If the payment is one lump sum, then it would also appear to be a property transfer. If the payments are to be made over a number of years, the IRS may consider it to be alimony, and therefore taxable. You should discuss the details of your...
I hate to simply say, hire a lawyer, but that is what you need to do if you are asking this question. This is such a general question, it is like you are asking to be taught custody law from A-Z as well as how to present a case. Since your children are important to you (or you wouldn't be putting yourself through this), retaining an attorney makes sense.
The reason why I am writing this is that custody cases are very fact specific and require an understanding of what is relevant to the...
Your mother sounds like she is "judgment-proof." The company may win a judgment against her, but they won't be able to collect anything because no assets exist. Will her pension be garnished? You do not give enough information to answer. A consultation with an attorney who can look over the pension papers of your mother and discuss her government benefits in detail would be worth the few hundred that it would probably cost you.
You have not specified the exact custody schedule, but in general, if you have custody time and are not ordered to turn your child over to the other parent, you are not in contempt of court. The order has to specify the times that each parent has the child, including holidays.
When you say "wouldn't let you," do you mean that he counseled you not to appear? If so, he should have given an explanation and told you what would happen.
The legal fees are not uncommon. You attorney has to appear before the court on your behalf for different issues. I understand your concern that he is making the work that he is doing. I would get a second opinion on the issues from another attorney. Only by sitting down with, and showing the paperwork to, another attorney, can you get...
Based upon what you have stated you can prove, my guess is that you would get sole physical custody and that the father would get supervised visitation. As with many cases like this, I suggest that you get an attorney to make sure that the court gets the facts straight. Threats about taking the child aside, do you believe he would want any serious parenting time? Most likely someone like this would not even show up at a hearing.
Spousal support is owed so long as you are spouses. If alimony is necessary in your case, you will get credit for the number of years of spousal support that you have paid. Also, if she is receiving support and tries to drag out the divorce, you may motion the court to end it. These are issues to raise with an attorney.