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Mark Twombly Lee

Mark Lee’s Answers

109 total


  • Wanting to move out of state

    I want to move out of state with my kids and the father of one of children is now wanting to file for joint custody to try to prevent me from moving. I am planning on moving in with my fiance to a 3 bedroom house and have had job offers as well. I...

    Mark’s Answer

    M.G.L. c. 208, section 30 states: A minor child of divorced ( or unmarried ) parents who is a native of or has resided five years within this commonwealth and over whose custody and maintenance a probate court has jurisdiction shall not, if of suitable age to signify his consent, be removed out of this commonwealth without such consent, or, if under that age, without the consent of both parents, unless the court upon cause shown otherwise orders. You need to file a complaint for modification or the prior judgment giving you custody of the child in question requesting authority to move to the state. Case law indicates that the non-custodial parent cannot file for "joint custody" on the basis of you wanting to move - that is not sufficient grounds. If you are moving to state next to Massachusetts, you should be able to file for temporary orders and permission to get the move done - then you need to work on the parenting plan times and exchange places. Good luck.

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  • Does she have to be out by March 26th (30 days) or March 31st (end of month) before we can go to housing court to file?

    We have a tenant at will that was providing cleaning/cooking for a free room in our house. We caught her stealing and want her to move out, but she refuses to leave. She is no longer providing any services or paying any rent. We served her 30 ...

    Mark’s Answer

    If there is no written agreement or no monthly rent due on a certain date you may have an up hill battle proving "month to month" tenancy which is normally terminated by a thirty day notice. Be wary of M.G.L. c 186 § 12, which provides in pertinent part: "Estates at will may be determined by either party by three months' notice in writing for that purpose given to the other party; and, if the rent reserved is payable at periods less than three months, the time of such notice shall be sufficient if it is equal to the interval between the days of payment or thirty days, whichever is longer…"

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  • Do I have the right to stop paying his electric bill?

    Renting apt. with boyfriend for past 10 years, boyfriend just passed away in Nov. I stayed in apt., boyfriend thought something was wrong, electric bill too high. He was on a budget because his age., 78, I had elect. put in my name. Long story sho...

    Mark’s Answer

    In quickly reading this, I believe your Landlord has your apartment paying for all the utilities for the entire house which is a big no-no. The Department of Public Utilities has established procedures, 220 C.M.R. §29.00, which allow electric and gas companies to credit tenants and bill owners of residential rental property for past utility service improperly billed to tenant customers. You may wish to file a grievance with them for the landlord getting his utilities paid on your bill without a written agreement with you.
    Your landlord may require that you pay for common area lighting, but 105 C.M.R. 410.254 requires that your landlord may do so only if (1) the building contains fewer than four units; (2) there is a written agreement stating that you are responsible for payment of your unit’s electric service, to which the common area lighting is wired; and (3) the landlord informs the occupants of the other units that you are paying for the lights in the common area.

    Under the State Sanitary Code, 105 C.M.R. §410.180 (water), §410.190 (hot water), §410.201 (heating fuel)), and §410.354(A)-(C) (electricity and gas), the owner (or landlord) of rental housing is required to provide (and pay for) these essential utilities, unless there are separate meters for each unit and a written rental agreement that provides for payment by the occupant.

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  • What is faster gaining permanent custody or adopting?

    4 yr old granddaughter with me (nana) for 4yrs.Parents agree to to give up custidy

    Mark’s Answer

    You cannot acquire permanent custody of a child under a guardianship of a minor if either of the parents are alive and have potential at some point to become fit. Your only option in gaining permanent custody is to adopt. The process is easy if both parents are willing to sign a notarized "surrender" of the child under M.G.L. c. 210, sec. 2 in connection with your petition to adopt. You will need to complete a home study - which if the child has been living with you for four years should be a breeze. Get those surrenders before circumstances change. Good luck.

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  • What do I have to do to obtain the disciplinary records or copies...do I need a written request? Who would I submit it to if so?

    My 5 year old son has been having MAJOR behavior problems in school, which have bled through to his mothers house, she has physical, shared legal. Its getting alarming as he is physically assaulting his principal/teacher. Yet no matter how much ...

    Mark’s Answer

    Could you clarify: Is your five year old acting up in daycare or an actual school? They have not called DCF due in part to the child's age. If anyone ends up harmed by the behavior or there is no corrective action at home ( by both parents), DCF might get the call. Mom might be less than forthcoming about the problem because she doesn't want a judgment dropped on her parenting. If you present the problem in terms of how you are both going to both approach the school, present a united front, get their input and take corrective action with your son together, she might open up a little and work with you.

    Its important that you are perceived by the daycare or school as someone who is responsive to problems and follows up on whatever the recommendations are from the care providers with action. This is not their first angry young man and they probably have some good advice on how to nip this in the bud. If your written phrase, " Leading to the question....... "alludes to anything about you seeking custody of your son over these reports, I do not see it in these facts as presented.

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  • In MA, if you have filed divorce complaint individually, can you withdraw by yourself or u need assent from other party as well

    In MA, if you have filed divorce complaint individually, can you withdraw by yourself or u need assent from other party as well

    Mark’s Answer

    If the Complaint has been filed and served but no responsive pleading has been filed, you can also voluntarily dismiss the complaint. There is a form for this in the clerk's office that you can fill out and file.

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  • What do I need to do to try to vacate the restraining order?

    I live in the Midwest and my ex-wife lives in Massachusetts with our kids and her new husband. Back in 2008 during a phone conversation between her husband in Massachusetts and me here in the Midwest, I said some things during an argument about v...

    Mark’s Answer

    The existence of a restraining order shouldn't prohibit the Probate and Family Court from amending the restraining order and entering orders regarding your lawful contact with your children. Presumably, your children are old enough for email and phone contact at this point and you can work out your own arrangements with them for in-state and intra-state visits. If you paid a lawyer a retainer, the lawyer must bill the retainer before he can keep any money. Have you ever inquired on your bill? Finally, search AVVO for highly rated attorney who can file the appropriate paperwork for you; what you seek is by NO MEANS impossible to get unless your leaving important facts out of your scenario.

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  • How can i stop this from happening . It seems like she just wants to harass us based on absolutely nothing.

    Had 51a filed by social worker at hospital last year based on history only. It was closed with no finding of neglect almost immediately. 14 months later the same social worker just filed another one saying i dont know how you two have been the las...

    Mark’s Answer

    Time Out: You just had a baby. Your not complaining about a DCF social worker - your complaining because a nurse in labor and delivery/ or the hospital social worker called the Department incident to the birth of your daughter. What kind of shape did you arrive in? Is the baby healthy? Nurses and Social Workers in Hospitals are not in desperate need of additional work and without more your question, If the 51A was filed based on your known history with the hospital and your clean, should be screened out with nothing more.

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  • Can you legally move out the house without getting into trouble or made to go back home

    We live in the state of Massachusetts and my niece is 17 years old and she wants to move out of her grandmothers house who has legal custody of her the 17year old wants to move down anuts but is afraid that she's going to get into trouble. We just...

    Mark’s Answer

    Minors aged fourteen and over can nominate their own guardians. The question is not fact specific as to whether or not Grandmother has guardianship.....if there is no guardianship petition, the Aunt can start the process (guardianship of a minor) with the 17 year olds nomination.

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  • I am wondering the custodial parent has to provide clothing during visitation weekends?

    I am the custodial parent, both legal and physical. Her dad has parenting time every other weekend. I have always provided the clothing, however he is no longer washing the clothing and some are being returned stained. I want to give my daughter a...

    Mark’s Answer

    In my practice, I call this clothes wars. Send her over with some clothes, ask her to leave some clothes at Daddies. I presume he is paying support and as a custodial parent, you have the primary obligation to provide clothes. Do what you can to mitigate your understandable annoyance. As she gets older, having the right clothes with her at all times will bring back the suitcase.

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