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Debra Nessa Caligiuri
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Debra Caligiuri’s Answers

5 total

  • Should she try to sit down and work out a deal, or go to the court appointed mediator?

    My friend is going through a messy divorce. She has 4 kids, and her husband has kicked her out of her home. She has a place to stay within the same county, but in a different school district. He is an abusive and neglectful father, and she has bee...

    Debra’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    It sounds like your friend is dealing with a bully who will not be satisfied unless he "wins." I would not recommend sitting down with him prior to the court's scheduled mediation. Instead, she should fully prepare for the mediation and consult with a professional who can help her to do so. In California family court, the child custody mediation is an integral part of the process which will set the foundation for the Court's custody orders. Your friend should go into the mediation prepared to present her ideas for a parenting schedule and demonstrate a true interest in what's best for her children. Any concerns with the other parent need to be supported by documented evidence ---verbal attacking the other parent or focusing on issues without support will be viewed as petty by the mediator.
    If she and her husband don't come to an agreement, the mediator makes a recommendation to the Court and this carries heavy weight with the Judge in most situations. So, your friend should shift her focus from her husband and concentrate on her kids and the upcoming mediation date. A parent does not want to be seen as withholding the children from the other parent. However, in a case where one party is taking unilateral aggressive steps to eliminate you, it is not advisable to give up custody without court orders. She should maintain custody of the children until the mediator or Judge provides input and structure for successfully and safely sharing the children.

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  • I'm going through a divorce. My husband purchased a piece of land before we were married, which he plans on currently keeping

    But there was a verbal agreement between myself and him that although the land would be under his name, we would both be owners. I was saving my income/credit for a possible purchase down the road which never happened. We never put anything in wri...

    Debra’s Answer

    There is a strong presumption that the land is separate, as it was purchased prior to marriage and the title is one name alone. Is your husband's name the only one on the loan as well? However, the community would own an interest in the land, due to the fact that payments were made during the marriage, from you or your husband's earned income during the marriage. I say "would have an interest", as the value of that interest is arrived at through a mathematical formula, and is limited by several factors, including the equity value at the time you are dividing the property. If there is no value, and the amount of principal pay down during the marriage was zero, the community has no value. This is not much of a loss at this time, because the land itself is worthless. If you are negotiating your divorce settlement, remind your husband what he promised you, and use that promise to help you get something of value in the divorce.

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  • My ex said i had a drug problem she took me to court an the original visitation agreement was changed.

    I was only given 2 hrs on wednesday and 2 hrs everyother satturday and sunday it will have been 3 months since our last court date. I have completed everything court ordered ive been sober 70 days and we go back to court in 2 weeks can I expect to...

    Debra’s Answer

    You need to provide official documentation of your successful completion of the steps the Court ordered you to take. If you can, provide your most recent "clean" test. The burden will be on you, to prove you can stay clean and sober. The Court may want to give your daughter time to build back up to the original visitation schedule. So long as you remain on path of sobriety, and prove a reliable, dependable parent, you will be fine. As far as your ex's father, you want to keep the focus first on your relationship with your daughter; only introduce the subject of the grandfather after you've established your own credibility with the Court, and only if you have documented evidence of the grandfather's current drug use. Congratulations on 70 days of sobriety -- keep up the good work.

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  • How do I protect myself and assests now, if he wants a divorce?

    married with child for 2 years. I work full-time, paid for home, boat, and all the bills. Husband is a stay home dad. did not do a prenuptual before I got married

    Debra’s Answer

    Your first task is to obtain credible legal and financial information which addresses your specific concerns. Chances are, if you've only been married for 2 years, at least some of your assets were acquired prior to the marriage, or with funds you earned prior to the marriage. If this is the case, you have separate property which your spouse has no interest in. It's important to gather your documentation, showing how title is held, when assets were acquired, etc. With the correct legal information, you can protect your separate property. It's also important to establish yourself as a reliable and concerned parent. Your husband's lifestyle will have to change considerably after the divorce; he will most likely need to return to work. Your child is going to need you both, and you have a many years ahead of you to raise your child together. If you all have not tried marriage counseling, do that first. If divorce is inevitable, explore mediation, as an alternative to fighting it out in Court..

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  • My wifes ex husband is not paying on there old house and we cant get 1 bcuz of it. is bankrupcy our only route?

    My wifes ex husband was awarded the house 5 yrs ago. he has since been in and out of foreclosure. It has tanked her credit score so bad we cannot by a house, is bankruptcy our only option or are there other avenues we can take to get a house?

    Debra’s Answer

    You need to read the Judgment from your wife's divorce and talk with the prospective lenders. Unfortunately, this is a common problem, and sometimes not anticipated at the time of the divorce. First, check the divorce papers --- was Husband ordered to remove Wife's name from the loan, through an assumption or refinance? If so, the credit report needs correcting to reflect this. If not, do the Court papers say that Husband is fully responsible for payment of the loan? Is your spouse held free and harmless from liability, or is she protected further with a full indemnification by Husband? Many lenders review the divorce papers with you, and will treat your credit score differently if the ex-spouse took full responsibility for payment on the loan.

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