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Donald G. Criscuolo
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Donald Criscuolo’s Answers

72 total


  • If married in California for 9 years and then move to Florida and become residents, what state has jurisdiction for divorce

    In calif you have to be married 10 to have long term marriage ---- what will happen if we're now residents of Florida?

    Donald’s Answer

    If both of you left California and both of you are now Florida residents and have been here for at least 6 months, then Florida would have jurisdiction of the subject mattter because you have your matrimonial domicle here. The court also has jusirdiction over your persons because you both reside here. If someone files in California it would be subject to dismissal. As far as the duration of the marriage, a"long term" marriage in Florida is 17 years or more. I do not know if your are potentially seeking alimony or will potentailly be paying alimony. My web site has a good discussion of alimony and all the different kinds and factors. Despite the distinction of a long term marriage, in appropriate circumstances the court could order permanent alimony for a marriage of less than 17 years and the court could decline to award permanent alimony even if the marriage were more than 17 years. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney.

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  • Is there any way to totally eliminate alimony? My divorce settlement is modifiable. Right now, I do not have the money to pay.

    I used to earn 100K when I agreed to pay my ex-wife $1000.00 in alimony. It was a long term marriage (18) years. The problem is that I earn only 25K a year, and I have child support payments to make, about $600.00 a month. Can the court...

    Donald’s Answer

    If you are correct that your divorce settlement is modifiable, then yes you have the right to file a supplemental petition seeking to revise downward the aliomny award. Sometimes in divorce settlements the parites agree that the aliomny is non-modifiable. If that did not occur in your case, then you sould proceed immediately and file your action. You can obtain a retro-active modification but only back to the date of filing not back to when your income changed. Therefore every time an alimony payment comes due and you still have not filed you will not be able to modify that payment. You should consult with an experienced familt law attorney.

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  • Can I file my taxes married but separated? I have been separated from my husband since September 2013.

    My husband of 21 years no longer lives in our home. We have two children ages 17 soon to be 18 (March 2014) and a 13 year old. I am currently living in our home with my children and would like to know if I can file my taxes married but separated. ...

    Donald’s Answer

    This is more of a tax question than a legal one. The answer is yes any married person could choose to file married but seperate. That is not a good tax status to have but depending on a lot of other factors, one that you might want to consider. As far as who get to claim the children that could be a legal questuon once a divorce is filed. If you both claim them the IRS would probably audit you both and then a court order designating who gets to claim the children would control. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney for your divorce issues.

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  • Can my husband request that I buy him out of our home upon divorce? We owe more than what our home is worth.

    My husband & I have been separated since September 2013 and will proceed with divorce sometime this year after 21 years of marriage and two children ages 17 & 13. I am currently living in our home with my children since he moved out in September....

    Donald’s Answer

    Of course he can ask. You should probably say no thanks. I need to know more facts but it sounds like you could ask for exclusive use and occupany of the home as an incident of child support or spousal support or both. The court has the authority to grant such a request. It not like he he prejudiced because there is no equity that he is foregoing in the short term. You should consult iwth a lawyer for further analysis of this and the other issues that will be presented in your divorce.

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  • My mother in law bought us a home in 2012 cash. She quit claimed it to my husband, who quit claimed it to me.

    I am considering getting a divorce. My husband thinks that i'm not entitled to the home- not even half only the repairs that we done(I paid like 20-30,000 to fix the home). Am I at least entitled to 1/2?

    Donald’s Answer

    I would like to know facts but you could take the position that the home is 100% yours. He Quit Claimed it to you. He might call that a gift and then claim 50%. He would be hard pressed to claim a 100% interet. If that was an agreement between the two of you that the house would be all yours the court could enforce such an agreement. You need to consult with an experienced family law attorney.

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  • How much of a decrease in my income will justify going back to court for a decrease in alimony?

    I have had a drastic drop in income from a business i own and can not keep up with alimony payment. i have been divorced for 18 months. I spoke with one attorney who said there still may not be enough to justify the reduction. it is very frustrat...

    Donald’s Answer

    The is no actual formula or percentage stated in the statute. The change must be "material". That may change form case to case but it seems that a change of $200,000.00 per year would most likely qualify. There is a need for urgency because the effective date of any downward modified alimony cannotr be before the date of the filing of your pleading. So if you delay for many months or years and pay the alimony by borrowing or depleating assets you will not be able to re-coup those payments. You should consult with a qualified family lawyer.

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  • How do I stop my ex wife from pocketing the mortgage payment the judge ordered me to send to her to pay the mortgage.

    The divorce judge ordered me to send the mortgage payment to my ex to pay the mortgage. In 3 years she has not made one payment. I double pay. This mortgage to keep my kids in the house. She refuses to work, and uses the mortgage payment as he...

    Donald’s Answer

    Perhaps you should make out the check directly to the mortgage company with a reference to the account number. Your ex will not be able to cash the check. If she does not send it in, you will know by inquiring online and can then file an appripriate motion to enforce or for the entry of an order permitting you to pay the mortgage directly. You also seem to have the right to file a motion to recoup those double payment that you made. Why have you waited so long? You should consult iwht a qualified family lawyer.

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  • Married 16 years with no children. We have agreed to file for divorce or legal separation. I am self employed in the hotel bus.

    My concern is my assets. I feel I need a aggressive attorney that's fair to both parties but wont allow my X or her attorney to put me in to bankruptcy. We have discussed options and had verbal agreements but I believe my wife is getting advise f...

    Donald’s Answer

    Have consults with attorney's until you find one you are confortable with. Many, myself included , give free consults. You have to like the attorney and the attorney has to like you. Sometimes after speaking to a prospectice client I would not represent them. There needs to be a chemisrty there. Good luck.

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  • I got married overseas and came to the US 25 years ago. I am divorcing my husband, would the same law apply towards my divorce?

    After 25 years of struggling and trying to keep my marriage for the sake of my children , I am at the end of the rope and have decided to find happiness. I would like to know if the same law would apply towards my divorce if I didn't get married i...

    Donald’s Answer

    If you file your divorce action in Florida, Florida law would apply, unless you have a written agreeement to apply the law of some other jurisdiction. That would sometimes be present in a Pre- Nuptial Agreement. I assume that your Husband lives in Florida. It does not sound like there is a Pre Nuptial agreement beteween you and your spouse. As far as alimony goes I would need to know more facts, but in general your marriage is a "long term " marriage under Florida law and therefore if you can establsh a need for alimony and you can establish that your Husband has the ability to pay alimony, then yes you could recieve alimony. You should consult with an expereinced family law attorney for help in dissolving such a long term marriage.

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  • The judge give me 10 days to file a Quit claim deed of my property to my ex-husband, how do I have to count this time?

    If I do not give/sign him this quit claim deed what could happen? because I want to appeal the final order and not ask for re-hearing of final order.

    Donald’s Answer

    The way the days are counted is the next calandar day after the date of the order is day number one. If the 10th day is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday then the last day would be the next working day. You have the right to ask the judge for a stay of his order of you intend to appeal. The judge may grant that. If he does not, then you have the right to ask the appellate court for an immediate review of the denial of stay. All of this is rather sophisticated litagation. Also the opposing party has the right to ask the court pursuant to the applicable rule to enetr a order which would act as the instrument of conveyance which is another way to get title out of your name. That is what I would have done if I were the lawyer for the other side. Also the judge could appoint someone, over your objection, to act on your behalf to sign the deed. Lastly the court could perhaps use its contempt power to find you in contempt for violation of its order. That depends on other factors. I have no clue as to the merits of the judge's order because no details were supplied. Your will probably need a good family law/appellate attorney to help you through all of this.

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