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Deborah B Miller

Deborah Miller’s Answers

16 total


  • I purchased my home prior to marriage/my name alone. Now that I'm divorcing after 9 years is my spouse entitled to any equity?

    I purchased my home for $200k and put down 80K. Took a 20 year mortgage for 120k. I owe $46k on my mortgage. I had the house appraised and at the time I was married the it was valued at $220k and $260k at the time of separation. My spouse only tra...

    Deborah’s Answer

    You ask what he is entitled to, so I'll mention that in addition to concerns about equitable distribution (generally meaning who gets how much & what marital debt and equity/property), there are also issues of who has the right to live in the home/possibly one of you exclusively possessing the home during the time the divorce action is pending, and the effect it may have on support and custody issues.

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  • How do I obtain a trust from my great grandmother?

    my great grandmother died n left money in a trust for all the children of the family. I know I had to be 18 years old to get it and when I asked my grandpop about it he told me it was long gone (we don't have a good relationship) . Two of my siste...

    Deborah’s Answer

    Although I am not certain of all details, my initial thought is for you as a beneficiary to ask the Trustee file an accounting as to the Trust. If the accounting does not seem to be correct and you are a beneficiary, then you would be able to file objections to the account. You may be permitted to take discovery and then a court would rule on your objections, which may include determining who, if anyone, owes money to you as a beneficiary.

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  • Do I qualify for a Protection From Abuse Order or a Restraining Order against my son's girlfriend in Pennsylvania?

    Every time me and my 36-year-old son have a disagreement, he gets his 22-year-old girlfriend to text and call my phone with threatening text messages and voice mails, then she also gets her relatives to do it as well. I have changed my number many...

    Deborah’s Answer

    I would file a police report to document the conduct.

    The above is not to be taken as legal advice. You should hire an attorney for a legal consultation.

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  • My father is a beneficiary of a trust. He is no longer receiving much income but the trust is growing. What are his options.

    Ever since a large bank merger/takeover, the trust seems to have shifted from generating income to building equity. His income has been reduced from $45K per year down to $17K yet the trust has grown by $300K in the past year. When he calls the ba...

    Deborah’s Answer

    I agree with the prior responses that trust documents should be reviewed, and, meet with an attorney. The attorney may also request information from the trustee. If that does not yield sufficient answers, and it is advisable in the circumstances of this case, your dad or you if you are his power of attorney or court appointed guardian, may consider asking the court for an accounting to explore the details of thos trust administration.

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  • My spouse dumped me in July 2011 and we have ceased living as husband and wife after that.

    He abandoned me emotionally, sexually and financially. We remain in the same apartment as roommates because I do not have the financial resource to move out on my own. Despite dumping me, my spouse has never filed for divorce, though we are now ...

    Deborah’s Answer

    You can file for spousal support without a divorce complaint, or for alimony pendente lite--assistance during the pendency of your divorce proceedings as part of the divorce complaint. You can also include a request for other financial rights, such as equitable distribution of debts and assets, and alimony in the divorce complaint. Before taking any of these steps, however, you must consult with an attorney.

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  • In the state of Pennsylvania, can I get granted a divorce if my husband does not come to court?

    Also my spouse dumped me in 2011 and we ceased to live as husband and wife after that. We live separate lives and he doesn't support me. Since that was two years ago, can I make a petition for divorce without his signature even though we still li...

    Deborah’s Answer

    It is possible to obtain a divorce without either party ever appearing in court. If you and your spouse have been living separate and apart, even if in the same apartment for two full years and your marriage is irretrievably broken, you have grounds for a divorce to be finalized. If either of you raises additional issues, such as equitable distribution of debts and assets, the divorce typically cannot be finalized until the additional economic issues are resolved. I recommend you consult an attorney to explore the best way for to proceed in light of your circumstances.

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  • If my husband wont talk to me about getting a divorce what are my opions

    He keeps avoiding the subject by leaving the house

    Deborah’s Answer

    No consent is necessary to file for or obtain a divorce, although consent usually makes things much easier, less expensive and faster. If you want a divorce and Husband does not want to participate, you will just have to take advantage of the law where you can and take the initiative to push any outstanding issues through the court system. I recommend you consult with an attorney to get an understanding of your rights and obligations in connection with a divorce.

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  • If a husband dies and there are children from a previous marriage, what assets is wife entitled to in PA. Can she stay in home.

    Both husband and wife have grown children from previous marriages. They are in their 80s. Wife has no assets and no house of her own and would need to stay in house.

    Deborah’s Answer

    It seems Wife's main concern is retain her right to reside in the home after Husband dies. Assuming that is the case, I would recommend Wife consult with an attorney to learn her rights in the areas of family and estates law based on her circumstances. One of a number of things that might be recommended basd on Wife's circumstances and preferences, may be to ask Husband if he will either re-title the home in both names, called tenants by the entireties, or secure rights for Wife to stay in his home after his death and for as long as Wife wishes to remain in the home. Husband may also agree to set aside funds from his estate for taxes, mortgage and maintenance to enable Wife to remain in the home, or he may require that she pay those costs in order to retain a right to stay. Again, Wife's first step should be to consult with an attorney to see what route is best for her.

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  • Can I ask for No Third Party Interference in my custody order? And what does No Third Party Interference Entails?

    What is No Third party interference in child custody? Why might a judge put this into a custody order. My child's father allows his girlfriend to interfere into everything concerning our child. It is making our co-parent relationship more complic...

    Deborah’s Answer

    Without knowing all facts and details, it seems like a reference to Legal Custody--the right to make decision as to school, medical and other significant matters. In the case of shared legal custody, only the parents have the right to make those decisions. In the case of interference in more minor matters, it could affect allocation of physical custody, and be cause for a petition to modify custody to structure physicial custody so that the third party has less ability to interfere.

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  • Would I be in contempt of court if I refuse to exchange custody with baby's father's girlfriend?

    My child's father want his girlfriend to meet me to pick up our son from me. He is unable to meet me. His girlfriend has been hostile towards me in the past and so has he. I do not feel comfortable giving my son to her and I think dad should pick...

    Deborah’s Answer

    Obviously, I don't know all of the facts or what the hostility is in this situation. In general, my view is that dad can designate a responsible adult for pick up. If there is an issue about hostility from the father and/or the person doing the pick up, you could address it through a petition to modify the custody order. One of the 16 listed factors in the custody law for evaluating what is in the best interest of your son is the attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent--if the hostile woman is a part of that.

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