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Donald G. Criscuolo
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Donald Criscuolo’s Answers

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  • Questions about divorce mediation

    The judge has sent us to mediation and I don't know what to expect. The only issue that needs to be covered in mediation is time sharing for our children. I have several questions about this.. Would it be a good idea to get a lawyer for...

    Donald’s Answer

    In a general sense your are always better off having an attorney as your advocate. The other side will approach mediation differently if if have an attorney as opposed to not having an attorney. The mediator cannot legally give you legal advice and without an attorney you are put in a difficult position. As far as cost goes, if the only service requested is for the attorney to attend a mediation the cost should be less than the fee you already paid. If no agreement is reached and a trial becomes necessary then perhaps new fee arrangements will need to be made. You say the only issue is timesharing, but timesharing is a component of child suppoprt and therefore the child support will change when the timesharing changes. Lastly, if there is a sufficient disparity between the financial condition of your Husband and yourself, your Husband could be held responsibile for some or all of your attrney's fees.

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  • My husband moved out (We've been having irreconcilable differences).

    We have two kids together and my other two kids has his last name. I do not want child support. Another thing is my kids said he said he left for California but since I have no proof that he did I told the court I don't know where he is so I put o...

    Donald’s Answer

    Yes the court will still grant you a divorce. Regarding child suppoprt, you should serve him personally in California and assert that Floroida has jurisdiction over him because he previously maintained a matrimonial domicle in the State of Florida. That way the Florida court will have personal jurisdiction over him to award child support. The Court will not permit you to waive child support.

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  • Can alimony to a husband seeking divorce be waived by the court?

    my sister's husband filed for divorce in the State of Florida. married since 1994, 2 dependent kids. she earns 400k, twice his. The husband claims marriage is irretrievably broken. In my sister's opinion, the marriage has gone sour mainly due to a...

    Donald’s Answer

    If you mean can the Husband's alimony request be denied, the answer is yes but based upon the facts presented that may not be a likely result. If an agreement were reached and the agreement provided for a waiver of alimony then the court would almost certainly approve that because an adult may waive support if so inclined. What might induce the Husband to do so may be an unequal distribution of assets in his favor or other considerations. There are many factors in this equation. The marriage seems to be a long term (17 years or more) marriage and therefore there is a legal presumption of an award of permanent alimony. However there must be a need for such an award. If their life style was modest and if he earns enough to support himself in a similar lifestyle perhaps his alimony claim may be defeated that way. You should have your sister consult with an experienced family law attorney. The exposure to an award of perrmanent alimony is significant.

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  • After 18 years of marriage and no career, what percentage of my husband's salary can I expect as alimony? And for how long?

    We have almost $1 million worth of properties. How would that be divided?

    Donald’s Answer

    This is hard to answer without knowing more. Under Florida law specifically Fl. St. 61.08 because your marriage is greater than 17 years duration there is a legal presumption that any alimony would be permanent, assuming you have a need for alimony and he has an ability to pay. As far as the amount that depends on a lot of factors set forth in the statute. A very rough rule of thumb is sometimes about 30% on the low side and maybe 40 % on the higher side. But it could be less and it could be more. Is child suppoprt also involved? What is your employment history? If you receice 1/2 the assets, as you should , will those assets generate income? Call an experienced family law attorney for a free consultation.

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  • I'm I entitled to any portion of a settlement from a lawsuit if I get divorced? I've been married 12 years.

    There is a pending lawsuit coming up. I want to know if I get divorced, am I entitled to any portion of the settlement?

    Donald’s Answer

    This is a difficult question to answer without more information and even then it may be difficult to predict the ruling by a divorce judge. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled directly on point on this issue but the ruling is somewhat complicated. The short answer is if the damages recovered are for past lost wages during the marriage or medical bills incurred during the marriage that is a marital asset and therefore subject to distribution in a divorce. If the damages are for personal pain and suffering of the injured spouse or for future lost of earning capacity after the divorce, those damages are not a marital asset subject to distribution. If there is a settlement, it is sometimes difficlut to determine which portion of the recovery is for what type of damage.

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  • What is the most reasonable way to get divorced? I know it can be done on ones own but what to make sure it is due right.

    My wife and I separated on 12/27/2011 and my wife wants a divorce and is living in Spain. I want to complete this with out her having to come back to the USA. We both agree how to divide the assets and there are no children. We have completed mos...

    Donald’s Answer

    There is no reason why you could not retain counsel to assist you with this uncontested matter. Your lawyer would file the petition, prepare an agreement, help you with your financial affidavit, nortice the final hearing, prepare the final judgment and attend the final hearing with you. Your spouse would need to sign the agreement, file an answer which would merely admit all the allegations of the complaint and file her own financial affidavit. One lawyer could not represent both parties due to an inherent conflict, but that does not pose a problem. I am doing one of these right now for a couple one of whom lives locally and the other lives in the UK for a low cost flat fee.
    Feel free to contact me if you need help.

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  • My 'ex' was awarded the house in the divorce. He was supposed to refinance...he didn't. Now he wants to do a short sale.

    This was 4 yrs ago. He had 90 days to refinance but didn't. Now he has ruined the credit and has stopped making mortgage payments and wants to do a short sale. My name is still on the loan but if he had refinanced when he was supposed to I woul...

    Donald’s Answer

    You are in a tough position. You should have acted long ago and enforced his obligationto refinance after the initial 90 days passed. Now your credit is runied. If you fail to cooperate it will prolong your problems. If you do cooperate and a short sale is conducted you may be required to pay an income tax on a portion of the debt forgiven by the bank. There is a federal program to lessen that pain. There may be things you could file in family court. I would have to read your agreement before I could give you any further advice. Make sure you consult with a familt attoreny and perhaps an accountant on the tax issue.

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  • Dissloution of marriage Please help me

    Can i file a dissolution of marriage if my husband claims he is the father of my child but he did not sign the birth certifacate. This marriage can not wat so ever be saved he also has a child with some one else.

    Donald’s Answer

    Yes of course you may file an action seeking dissoultion of marriage. If he child was born during the mariage there is a legal presumtion that he is the father of the child even though he is refusing to sign the birth certificate. In your action there will be issues of "custody" or in legal terms timesharing and the payment of child support. You should consult with a family law attorney.

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  • I am US citizen & my spouse is UK citizen. I live in Florida and he lives in UK. What is way to serve him with divorce papers

    We have been separated for 10 years, and I want to serve him with uncontested divorce papers, can anyone tell me the easiest and least expensive way of going thru this process? We were married in Florida, where I currently reside. Thank you.

    Donald’s Answer

    If this divorce will be uncontested then I presume your spouse will cooperate. There is no need to formally serve your spouse. He can simply file an answer to your divorce papers from the UK. The case may proceed uncontested to a final hearing.

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  • I've been married for 8 years and am seeking alimony. I was told by a paralegal that I am not entitled.

    I live in Florida and we have one child together. He was abusive and I have a medical condition. Am I entitled to receive alimony or anything from him? The paralegal explained I would only be entitled if we were married for 10 years or more. Pleas...

    Donald’s Answer

    The paralegal is not correct. Merely because the duration of the marriage is less than 10 years does not disqualify you from alimony. I would need to know a lot more before I could tell you about your chances of receiving alimony and in what duration and amount. Feel free to contacte me to discuss this further.

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