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Constance Brunt’s Answers

27 total

  • Non custodial parent moving

    Recently my daughter's mother and I went through the process of a custody and support agreement. The mother lives in Luzerne county and I have lived there but work in Bloomsburg. I have recently moved to Danville, PA to decrease gas costs on drivi...

    Constance’s Answer

    Without seeing the custody agreement, it is not possible to comment on whether its specific provisions would prohibit you from moving or from taking your daughter to your new home for your partial custody periods. As a general rule, however, the relocation of the parent with the type of partial custody arrangement that you describe would not necessarily require court approval or a change in the schedule. The court's approval of a relocation is required when the custodial parent intends to change the child's primary residence. There is a possibility that your arrangement may need to be adjusted somewhat if your move creates travel and transportation issues or if it specifically requires that your periods of custody be exercised in a particular location. If the mother is refusing to allow you to exercise your periods of custody, but has also not herself asked the court to change the schedule, she may be in contempt of the court's order. I suggest that you contact an attorney in your area who handles custody matters for specific advice about how to handle this issue.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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  • Can I have the parental rights of my 6 year old son's father terminated. He hasn't been allowed contact with him since 11/2004?

    Can I terminate the parental rights of an absent father who hasn't been allowed contact with the minor child since 11/2004?

    Constance’s Answer

    It may be possible for your to terminate the father's rights if he has had no contact with the child for more than 6 months, has not paid support, and has otherwise failed to meet parental obligations. But this is generally only permitted in connection with an adoption by a step-parent. If there is no step-parent who will step into the role of the parent through an adoption, it is the policy of the law not to terminate the parental rights and obligations of one of the parents, leaving the child with only one parent. You should contact an attorney in your are who handles adoptions for more specific information.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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  • Divorced Over 15 Yrs + House Under Both Names?

    My ex husband and I have been divorced for over fifteen years but our house was left under both of our names. He hasn't lived in the house since the divorce nor has he payed any taxes on the house, etc... I have payed them all. Also, when we were ...

    Constance’s Answer

    Generally, once a divorce is final, both parties lose their rights to seek equitable distribution of assets by the divorce court. It is possible, however, in your case that the issue of asset distribution was preserved for later action by the court. You should seek advice from an attorney in your area to have him/her review your divorce paperwork.

    If the divorce decree did not preserve equitable distribution for later action by the court, you would be required to seek a "partition" of the property, in which you could claim credit for the payments of taxes and other expenses that you have paid. When spouses are divorced, the nature of the legal ownership of real estate changes to a tenancy in common rather than a tenancy by the entireties. That exposes you to the possibility of a judgment being entered against your ex-husband's share of the property, which could result in the house being sold at sheriff's sale to satisfy that judgment. This situation should not be ignored any longer.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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  • 3 year marriage, impending divorce. Should I expect to pay alimony? How much?

    I live in PA. I make about 55K/year, she about 30K. I bought the house prior to marriage & it's in my name, we have no other shared assets or children. The decision for divorce is mutual. I also paid off about 5K of her debt while we were toge...

    Constance’s Answer

    While the attitude toward alimony varies from county to county, in Central PA, it is not likely that you would pay any alimony after divorce. Your wife might have a claim to share in the value of your pre-marital home, however, if there has been an increase in its value since the date of marriage.

    I would suggest that you contact an attorney in your area to discuss your case in order to get advice about these issues, since it is difficult to predict what might occur based on such limited facts.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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  • What if a spouse refuses to sign divorce papers in the state of PA? What recourse does one have?

    Filed for divorce over a year ago; husband refuses to sign divorce papers. How can I get away from him?

    Constance’s Answer

    In PA, a no-fault divorce can be obtained without the consent of the other party once the parties have been separated for 2 years. Separation can be found even when the parties continue to reside in the same house under certain circumstances, and the filing of a divorce complaint is presumed to start a separation. If there are economic claims involved for property distribution, post-divorce alimony or payment of counsel fees and expenses of litigation, those issues can be submitted to a divorce master in a hearing.

    Unfortunately, if you have not been separated for the 2-year period and do not have any of the traditional fault grounds for a divorce (e.g., adultery, physical cruelty, etc.), you cannot force the other person to consent to the divorce. Depending on your circumstances, however, you may have some strategies available to give your spouse incentive to agree to the divorce, including for example a claim for spousal support. You should discuss your options with your attorney.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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  • How can I get some type of settlement from my husband?

    I originally filed for divorce, but husband didn't want to comply. I also tried to reconcile, but he was having an affair. He tries to live here part time and with her part time. He will not move anything out of house. He wants the house, all his...

    Constance’s Answer

    Since your husband appears not to have any incentive to proceed with a divorce and may actually be trying to just wear you down so that you leave with nothing, you will need to retain an attorney to file for divorce again or to pursue your claims for distribution of marital property, alimony, and any other economic relief. Although I do not know enough about your case to know whether you would be successful, the Divorce Code also allows one party to seek exclusive possession of the marital residence to exclude the other party while the divorce proceedings are pending. If you don't seek counsel, your husband may be able to continue the current situation indefinitely.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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  • Division of property after Birufication?

    I desperately need help and councel on how to force a divorced spouse after a granted birufication to respond to their attorney and mine to complete division of assets. My ex- spouse will not answer any calls from their atty nor mine and it has be...

    Constance’s Answer

    It is not possible to give you a specific recommendation about what action to take without knowing all of the details of your case. Since it appears that you have an attorney, you should discuss your options with him/her. Given that the divorce decree has been entered, however, you certainly have the ability to obtain the scheduling of a hearing to distribute the property and to resolve any other economic issues. While you may be trying to settle the case, the other party clearly has no incentive to negotiate with you when there is no court date scheduled. If the other person will not respond to requests for documents and information needed to prove your claims, he/she could be sanctioned by the Court after the proper procedures have been followed. Your attorney can help you decide the most appropriate strategy given his/her complete knowledge of the case.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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  • I am separated for over six months. my wife still has access to my bank accounts. how can i prevent her from taking funds out?

    My bank account has been cleaned out by my wife whom I have been separated from for the last six months. What can I do to prevent this from happening again and is there any legal steps I can take to get my money back?

    Constance’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Aguilar that you should close the account and open a new one in your name only. You can transfer all remaining funds to that new account and should make sure before closing the account that you have changed any direct deposit of paychecks or other funds, as well as any automatic withdrawals that you may have set up .

    You may be able to seek reimbursement of any funds she has withdrawn that were deposited by you after you separated. That would have to be addressed through a divorce proceeding, though, because she was authorized to withdraw the funds as far as the bank was concerned. If the funds were in the account prior to your separation, there is a strong likelihood that they were "marital property" on which she would have a claim. You can ask the court to consider any marital funds that she withdrew as a part of her equitable distribution when all of your marital assets and debts are distributed in the divorce.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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  • My husband is cheating and wont leave can i kick him out and change the locks and not have to let him back in.

    I have 5 children. My husband dosent pay bills buy food and on top of that has a girlfriend. Can I kick him out and not have to let him back? Right now he is waiting for her housing to come through so he can move with her. I want him out please help!

    Constance’s Answer

    If your home is owned or rented in joint names, you are not able to exclude him from the property by changing the locks. Unfortunately, if that is the case, he has as much right to live there as you do. The only way that a joint owner or lessee of a property can be excluded is by court order. You should consult with a family law attorney in your area to explore whether you have have any basis for seeking such an order and whether your local courts would be likely to grant it.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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  • My wife and i own a house together in PA. she wants a divorce, and i want to know where i stand in terms of our joint property

    my wife and i own a house together in PA, although the house is in her name. we bought the house 8 months after we were married, and i pay the mortgage. she was unfaithful to me and now she wants a divorce, and expects me to move out of our house,...

    Constance’s Answer

    Generally, any property that is purchased between the date of marriage and the date of separation is marital property that the court will equitably divide between the parties, regardless of whose name is on the title. Given the limited facts in your question, it would appear that this home is marital property to which you have a claim. If you contributed funds for the purchase, if the mortgage is also in your name, or if you can show the use of marital funds (including income earned by either party during the marriage) to pay the mortgage payments or improve the property, your claim would be even clearer.

    Because you indicate that the property is in her name only, she may try to exclude you from the house. Depending on the policies of the police in your area, they may decline to get involved if she does this, and you may need to file a petition in the court for protection and continued ability to reside there. If she wants a divorce and you are willing to consent, you may be able to come to an agreement about all of your property issues without going to court. I invite you to review the article titled "How Can I Divorce Without Going to Court" on my Avvo profile or to visit my website link below for more information on various other options. In any event, you would be best served by contacting a family law attorney for advice about your specific situation.

    This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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