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David S. Delugas

David Delugas’s Answers

51 total


  • I was divorced last year. Now it's tax time &I'm wondering, how much of what I'm paying is taxable and deductible on state & fed

    * Uncontested (no fault) Divorce *I have questions about who can raise, lower, or end pay amounts and dates *This is the entirety of the Uncontested Divorce Agreement signed on 4/21/2012 and final last July I, (husband’s name) do agree to con...

    David’s Answer

    I am hoping that the Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce a Georgia judge signed has more specifics than you listed. Child support is not deductible by the payor or income to the payee. The cost of the divorce is not likely deductible under any scenario. You could ask a tax advisor. If you are also asking about modification, modification can be agreed by your former spouse and you but it isn't effective unless approved by a judge (which means filing an action to modify). Consider booking a phone Session with me, the 99 Dollar Lawyer.

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  • I am a subcontractor who installed gutters for a GC on a property. He refuses to pay me.. What can I do?

    The GC has a contract with the *homeowner (*GC's Girlfriend and his residence) to replace gutters on her house. This was an insurance claim and Insurance paid the claim in at the time of the adjuster appointment. The GC provided me a work order ...

    David’s Answer

    Find out the time from the last work on the project in which to file a lien and, if within that time, do it. But, be sure also to sue within the time necessary to "perfect the lien" as the lien likely will expire if you don't. You may want to check with an Indiana attorney, but the homeowners his girlfriend and the GC you believe?) for the increase in value of their property and, possibly, fraud and collusion with the GC. If the GC has an ownership interest in the property, I think you may be in good shape. Consider filing a criminal complaint in which YOU only state the facts of what happened and let a law enforcement officer or a judge (magistrate perhaps) determine if any crime took place. Seems that if the homeowner took the position he was acting as the GC and not the homeowner and then took insurance money and contracted with you KNOWING he was not going to pay you and told you that you could not file a lien, sounds as if he intended not to pay you but contracted with you to do work and install materials. However, do not THREATEN to file criminal charges as a means to get paid. Either do it or not (threatening a criminal charge to get a civil result is often considered extortion). Act quickly. Problem with getting an attorney is the chances you spend more than you have at risk (one reason people too often don't pay small amount, believing the person getting shorted/screwed won't be able to afford or to justify hiring an attorney). Consider a Session for some direction (but not legal advice as I am not licensed in Indiana) with me, the 99 Dollar Lawyer.

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  • Uncontested, extremely friendly divorce with 1 child. No child support requested, must we put visitation info for each parent?

    My ex husband and I are on friendly terms. We agree on everything and no child support neccessary since we both have 50/50 custody and both see our son every day. Do we have to put what are visitations are in the divorce papers?

    David’s Answer

    I do not know what is required in CA, but the other attorneys' answers seem to indicate you are not required to have such terms. I must add (though I agree entirely with the two attorneys who answered) that, as parenting coordinator and as a guardian ad litem, please recognize that each week that passes, each year that passes, your child will have different needs, wants and interests that his father and you must handle. So thrilled that you are doing so on friendly terms. Things change, as is apparent from the divorce. Best to have specific terms and terms that provide a procedure for what to do when you two cannot agree on the major items such as health care (elective surgery, for example), education (skipping a grade or being held back a grade, overseas school trip), sports (soccer or football or football at all due to concussion concerns), and so many things that you just cannot even imagine arising, but will. As one or both of you have a significant other, remarry and/or have another child, you may find your interaction to be different. I hope you keep on such friendly terms and, once you prepare an exhaustive and detailed parenting plan, it goes in a drawer and never needs to come out as you two always work things out doing what is simply best for your child! Best to you! I am available for Sessions to coach, guide and direct parents in my role as a parenting coordinator (not attorney for those outside my state of license, Georgia) for only $79 during January.

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  • Divorce? first steps. Uncontested or Contested.No kids, no property, 4 yrs marriage,one car cosign.want to go in peace.

    will be paying for remainder of car ,will be paying her rent,furnitures/household stuff she keeps, temp alimony till judge finalizes divorce. Want to make things peaceful and help her. 1)Will that make things better when judge decides? 1.5)will t...

    David’s Answer

    Hire an attorney. At your income, you are going to be expected to do so. Given the short duration of your marriage and not having children and not acquiring property together during your marriage (hard to imagine nothing was purchased during your marriage), this ought to be straight forward and simple. Not being a Maryland attorney, I can provide direction, coaching and guidance, but not advice. I would not imagine her $40k income, not ceasing to work during the marriage, and able to support herself would provide any basis for alimony, before or after the divorce. If you can come to an agreement, with or without a mediator, perhaps, then you could do so (an attorney can advise you on the range of outcomes that would come from a contested divorce which might provide some parameters or guidance in terms of what would be reasonable terms for your agreement, but, still, it is your life and whatever terms seem good to you (and, to be an agreement, to her) are fine (some divorcing people become tight, others generous, and some in between). There is no prohibition on moving out and getting your own place, but the money is more of the basis for abandonment (given her income, no children, this is not likely, hard to imagine, to be an issue). Apparently, something makes you think she might go for a contested divorce, which brings negotiation skills into play. As a mediator, I can help coach you on approaching her with the terms you want without telling her what they are and inviting her to present you with what she wants. You remain in charge of the terms of any agreement you are proposing and of the course and direction of the case, paying heed to a skilled attorney (if you get one). Read up on the Sessions (limitations and terms) I offer for $79 during January.

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  • Rented car for spouse on my indiv card. car not return on time. I did not authorize add'l time. Am I liable for add'd charges

    add'l charges are creating hardship fo me

    David’s Answer

    Whether or not you signed a rental agreement, if the credit card used is one that your spouse has authority to use, then just as if she bought something you didn't specifically authorize, you remain liable (because you authorized her to use the card and the vendor/retailer providing goods or services isn't aware of and cannot be held to whatever agreement you may have had with your spouse such as "just for X days and not more.")

    This is not a view based on DE law (or the law that might apply based on the rental car agreement, where it was rented, or the credit card agreement to which you are a party, of course). I provide general guidance, help and direction, coaching when people need some help. I am available for such coaching Sessions. Check the website.

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  • DFCS terminated my rights on 2 children, currently has custody of my third, and I am pregnant again. Can they take it too?

    DFCS has already terminated my rights eight years ago on two of my kids. Three years ago, I got pregnant again, and moved to another state. That state took my new baby, but I worked the case plan and got the baby back. Six months later, I moved ba...

    David’s Answer

    Please consider staying in one place, doing your best to put your life in order, and caring for this child you are carrying. Better for you, better for your children (I am including the one currently in foster care as you might get that child back if you put your life in order). At least try.

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  • The company I hired to build a sunroom can't fix a leak in my roof. Can I walk away from contract?

    I hired a company in June to build a sunroom on top of my existing deck. They took forever to build it and the roof now leaks. They have had 5 opportunities to fix the leak and they can't do it. I no longer want the room as I fear it will alway...

    David’s Answer

    Not likely as there has been some improvement to your property and they have provided materials and labor. You may be able to hire another company to fix the leaks and any other deficiencies that the first company failed to remedy after being notified by you and then deduct what you have to pay to get it done "right" from what you owe the first company. That is called "cover" so that you are not stuck. But the first company, so long as it can show it added value, can sue to recover either on the contract (which you might have grounds to defend) and/or "quantum meruit" which means based on the value of what was added or provided.

    A practical solution would be to get an estimate or two from another company for repairing whatever needs to be fixed that would have this sunroom be as you expected it to be had the first company done it right. Then, approach the first company, and attempt to settle up with it that it (a) fix everything to your satisfaction by a certain date (independent inspection perhaps to verify) or (b) accepts a reduced price to allow you to pay one of the companies that gave you an estimate and a tad more perhaps for your trouble.

    Glad to discuss such practical solutions with you. I would not be providing legal advice, but using my mediator and business perspectives to help guide you to a resolution.

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  • Where can I find a good lawyer in the Cobb county area with expertise in divorcing a bipolar person?

    We have 2 children and I'm terribly worried about him having them for an extended period of time. He sleeps 11-23 hours (or is at least in bed that long) most days. He doesn't cook or clean. He doesn't work and failed out of school twice. He is se...

    David’s Answer

    I have lots of experience in Cobb County. That said, to refer you to someone else (making my response far more credible), consider Vic Hill, Marian Weeks, David Canale and Mary Stearns-Montgomery (all are at different firms). Each is skilled and, thankfully, honest.

    I would encourage you, for the long-term sake of your children, to consider long-term solutions to determine the present and future ability of their father to parent. He may be horrible at working, cooking or cleaning, but some parents without bipolar issues or any issues are, too, but are good parents. So long as your children are safe with him, then find ways for them to be with him sufficiently that they get their father as the long-term evidence is children without either parent (statistically speaking) fare poorly when compared to those who get both parents (a minimum of 35% of their time).

    I am glad to discuss these matters with you in a Session and without the prospect of your hiring me. If you want to discuss attorneys to whom you've been referred (by me and others) or even the approach of the attorney you hire, I am available days and evenings and on weekends. Only $79 during January. Go to my website for more information and the explanation as to why you can trust what I would tell you (hint: because I am not seeking to get hired and paid the big retainer).

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  • I need a pro bono attorney to modify my alimony then I can pay the attorney after I win the case and I will win.

    I have all the right reasons to have my alimony modified. I need help before I can get this done. Please help me. I am 63 years old and my alimony was stopped because my ex-spouse lied to the judge about me and my graduating from school. Dates on ...

    David’s Answer

    You should clarify your question to indicate that it is a modification of alimony you seek (as your comment to the other answer says). However, even so, attorneys in Georgia are not permitted to take a domestic/family law case on contingency (other than the collection of past due monies, as once past due, the reason for the indebtedness is no longer relevant to the ethics of the fee arrangement). However, you are ultimately responsible for the fees of your own attorney, though the judge might award you fees against your former spouse under certain circumstances.

    There are some situations where you can seek to set aside a judgment obtained through fraud (unmixed with your own negligence, so refuting his testimony at the earlier trial about your graduating from school, well, there is much to know about what happened at trial and why the judge ended your alimony may have been based on a combination of facts that the judge found to be true, not just your graduating from school).

    For example, if you are 63, perhaps your spouse is a similar age and he came in and testified about his reduced income or failing health. Perhaps you have been divorced for many years and the original alimony award was for a fixed period of time or any number of factors that could have contributed to the judge's decision. A modification can be attempted by the same party only once every 2 years, so you can bring a modification action IF there has been a material change of circumstances since the last hearing (if he was the one who filed to modify).

    A pro bono attorney, one who will not charge you is possible and would not be unethical, but most attorneys who do pro bono work (not being paid at all) prefer to handle other types of cases (and a pro bono attorney cannot agree to accept payment after the fact as that is not pro bono and is contingent, which is, as stated several times, not permitted).

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  • Soon to be ex -husband is in jail . Can I refuse to bring children to jail for visitations, and not pay for jail collect call?

    My ex will remain incarcerated for a long time. Jail is 2 hrs away , I don't have finances or time to make jail trips or accept collect calls., and children don't want , either. And my ex doesn't pay child support.

    David’s Answer

    I am sorry for your situation and for your children not having their father in their lives. The response from the other attorney is on-target as far as what you are required to do (without a court order requiring you to take the children there and/or accepting collect calls). For your long-term benefit and the children's long-term benefit, you should also consider what to do, if anything, to support their relationship with their father. You didn't say how long he is in for jail, just a "long time." I personally know of a man who was in jail most of the past 10 years whose two children have a relationship with him and, now that he is out, they are close to him and, overall, that is a good thing for these two children (a boy and a girl, both 10 years old). What is best for your children is up to you to figure out, but be aware that if children perceive that you were the reason (not their father being convicted of crimes) that they didn't have their father in their world during his incarceration, then they might resent you. On the other hand, if you take them to prison, they might resent having to give up their Saturday and not enjoy the travel or the time with their father. But do consider all of this and seek a support group of mothers whose children's fathers are incarcerated so that their experiences can help you forecast what may happen for you and your children, allowing you to make better decisions for them and for you. Good luck.

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