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Meredith McKell Graff
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Meredith Graff’s Answers

69 total


  • Can I amend something that was a mixup in my divorce agreement?

    When my ex husband and I filed an uncontested divorce 2 years ago, there was a mistake - we both had cars by the same manufacturer, but the agreement indicates he got the car I took and vice versa. Is there any way to get this amended? We both liv...

    Meredith’s Answer

    If he is willing to sign the Amended Decree, it is not a problem at all.

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  • Can an illegal immigrant living in Florida divorce a spouse in Mexico? Are there any benefits to obtaing divorce papers here"

    If the persons intent is to obtain legal status in the U.S., would having U,S, divorce papers help or hinder the application process in the future?

    Meredith’s Answer

    I don't think it makes any difference. Please consult with an immigration attorney in Florida to be sure. From a family law standpoint, I don't think it matters.

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  • How do I write a divorce decree with language to ensure that my husband removes my name from the mortgage?

    My soon-to-be ex is attempting to save our upside-down home and go on the mortgage by himself. I don't believe this is possible, and want to make sure the proper language is written in the divorce decree that if he can't, then he must short-sale. ...

    Meredith’s Answer

    If your spouse is unable to refinance, he will not be able to remove your name from the debt and the court cannot order the mortgage holder to do so. The financial institution is not a party to the divorce and the court has no authority to order it to do anything. If your spouse does not qualify for a refinance, you are a joint obligor and there is nothing you can do about it but take him back to court if he fails to pay and the financial institution goes after you.

    Make sure there is a "hold harmless" clause in the divorce decree. Talk to a lawyer to get the right language for this and include it!

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  • Under what circumstances can non professional supervision turn into professional supervision?

    My 4 year old daughter is having non professional supervision with her mom but is not being supervised properly by the supervisors because they are not around when they claim to be. There's allegations of mental health and DV against her.

    Meredith’s Answer

    This may be an issue that needs to be raised with the court which ordered the supervision.

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  • How can a man fight back against unbelievably unfair divorce judgments that will keep him in the poorhouse unti lhis death?

    After the kids left the nest the wife took to gambling, racking up debt on his credit cards. While he was at work she would sign his name on new card offers and rack up more gambling debt. She did not ever work. It came to around $100,000. The ju...

    Meredith’s Answer

    This sounds really unfair from your perspective. Know that there are other perspectives which may view the decision as fair. Nevertheless, it sounds like the decision was already made by the court. Now you need to figure out how to live with it.

    Decide you are going to learn whatever you can from this. Good or bad. Be alert for insights. Let go of your anger. Don't be a victim or you will stay stuck in negativeland. Make a list of everything that is good in your life right now. List what you do have. Focus on the positive. Seek out counseling to help you rid yourself of anger and depression.

    Not all legal decisions are fair. I know; I have lived this. The most important thing you can do is decide not to be bitter, angry, a victim, revengeful. It only hurts you. Do what you can do. Take each day as it comes. Change what you can, let go of the rest.

    This is not intended to be "woo-woo" New Age advice. It is self-preservation. Take care of yourself. Don't spend the rest of your life chained to this story. Find a new, positive story for yourself. Let this be a catalyst for change. You are not too old to have a new beginning that is good. Look for it, find it. Enjoy the rest of your life with it.

    Best wishes and hugs,
    Meredith :-)

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  • What is the penalty for non payment of child support amounting to over $100,000?

    My ex took off with the kids from Ohio (where the custody agreement was finalized) to California. I haven't known where they were and now there is the amount of $111,000 on my credit report. If I get arrested will they take me to CA? Can I get ...

    Meredith’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    First, you need to find the child support order that was entered by the court that contains the authority to assess you this large sum of past due child support. Are you aware of this order? Did you sign it or have an attorney sign it on your behalf? Or, was it entered by the court without your knowledge? First talk to an Ohio attorney because it sounds like the original order was entered in Ohio. That attorney may be able to make payment arrangements for you with the child support enforcement department for the state. This is very important because there is uniform child support enforcement by every state and you could be arrested and be put in jail if you do not address this issue.

    Know that child support and the parenting plan are not related, in that, just because you haven't seen the children does not mean you don't owe child support if you are the obligor to pay child support to the other parent. There are other remedies, such as contempt of the parenting plan, if you were entitled to parenting time, along with a possible requirement for notice by the custodial parent before moving out of the school district.

    This all assumes the other parent is the custodial parent. If you were the custodial parent, you may have a case for parental kidnapping. It is imperative that you talk to an attorney as soon as possible about your situation and bring all the court documents regarding this case with you when you meet with the attorney. Best wishes!

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  • I have been separated for 2 years in March,not legally separated.Are funds from recent auto injury settlement marital property?

    We have had separate bank accounts since the separation.

    Meredith’s Answer

    It depends what the settlement money was for. If it was lost wages, it could be marital property. If it was for "pain and suffering," it might not be considered to be marital by the court. If it was to reimburse you for medical bills, and a marital joint account paid the medical bills, then the court would probably consider the money due to be reimbursed to the joint account.

    You should consult with a Colorado attorney who practices family law and personal injury so you have all the best information from one source.

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  • DIVORCE

    AMERICAN MAN IS MARRIED ON EUROPIAN WOMAN, THEY ARE MARRIED 1,2 YEARS. SHE DOES NOT HAVE STATUS. BECOUS THEY DID NOT SEND ANY PAPER in ImmIGRATION, ROR GET STATUS. NOW IF HE WANTS DIVORSE, CAN SHE GET STATUS DURING DIVORCE PROCESS.

    Meredith’s Answer

    It is not likely because the American man would have to file a form stating that he is willing to financially support the European woman once she obtains her green card. If they are divorcing, the man is probably not interested in financially supporting the woman for immigration purposes. I can't tell if you mean they have been married 12 years, 1.2 years, or 1-2 years. Depending on the length of marriage, and other factors about which you will need to speak with a New Jersey attorney , the court may or may not award spousal maintenance. However, the court is not likely to order the husband to financially support the woman for immigration purposes after the divorce when the couple failed to file for her permanent residency under a husband/wife petition while they were happily married. Call Robin Wernick at 732-583-3636 ext.16, for New Jersey legal advice.

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  • Does he still owe me child support.

    I had child custody from 1995 to 1997. Our ex abuser got custody without me knowing. he still owes me child support. Does he still have to pay child support to me?

    Meredith’s Answer

    Call the Department of Social and Health Services-Child Support Division. The phone number is in the blue state government pages in your phone book or online. They can tell you if there is an outstanding amount owed to you by the other party. If there is, you will need to talk to an attorney about how to go about getting a court judgment against the other party and then how to enforce the judgment once you get it.

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  • Custody

    i have a friend who is 14 years old. and she is trying to have someone else get full custody of her. how does she do this???????

    Meredith’s Answer

    It is not likely to happen unless her parents consent to "nonparental custody," that is, custody by a non-parent. The person wanting to be the nonparental custodian will have to prove to the court that both parents are unfit. If your friend just doesn't like the rules in her parents' house, does not mean they are unfit. If her home situation is dangerous to her, she should call Child Protective Services and they will take it from there.

    When your friend is sixteen, if she is able to keep up her grades in school and work a job that pays enough to support herself, she can apply to the court for emancipation--which means she will be legally responsible for herself.

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