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Mark Twombly Lee

Mark Lee’s Answers

108 total


  • I filed for guardianship of my granddaughter if dcf goes for custody will the court check for other cases, will I be notified

    My granddaughter has lived with me since march my daughter could not handle raising her i don't have legal custody, i let my son take her to his girlfriends mother's house, where he was living. A domestic with my son, girlfriend and mother happene...

    Mark’s Answer

    If you have not already applied for a temporary guardianship on the underlying petition, I would get into court on Monday and file on an emergency basis that you wish to take custody so DCF does not move forward on a Care and Protection petition. You need to give notice to DCF if they are already involved. If you have custody of the child and they have no protective concerns with you, they will cease their efforts. Being a guardian and being considered for foster placement are two different things. Get the temporary guardianship and keep jurisdiction of the matter in the Probate court.

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  • Could someone please clarify "use and occupancy" definition?

    MA divorce judgment states "...shall obtain exclusive use and occupancy of the marital home..." It further states "...a roommate shall be permitted to help pay costs of the residence..." I inferred from this that my ex must reside at the marital...

    Mark’s Answer

    I presume you still own this property with your ex. and it was necessary to define which one of you could exclusively inhabit the dwelling free of the interference of the other. That is essentially what the term means. It is usually followed with an obligation to make timely payments of the carrying costs/expenses of the home.

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  • Should I ask for spousal support Or for child support? (Massachusetts)

    I am planning to file for sep. support (not divorce at this time) and move out of the home with my son who has special needs. My lawyer calculates that child support would be almost $1000/mo. I live in MA and qualify for only alimony Or child su...

    Mark’s Answer

    In Massachusetts if the non-custodial spouse make under 200k a year and all of that income is being used for purposes of calculating child support, you most likely will not receive "spousal support" or alimony under a separate support case. As child support is tax free and alimony is not, it behooves you for the allocation to be made to child support. If your son is going to continue to live with you but attend school out of the home, that does not mean necessarily mean child support would be eliminated or lessened. If you and your husband are actually living separate and apart for justifiable cause, the court is going to look at what your needs are and what you reasonably need to meet them.

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  • My ex wife wants to move 30 minutes away in the same state, Can she?

    I share Joint legal custody of my kids. They have grew up in my town since birth and have gone through school here. She now wants to move 30 minutes away. I have my kids for a biweekly visit for 3 hours which 1 hour and 10 minutes will be spent on...

    Mark’s Answer

    The quick answer is, of course she can. Thirty minutes away within the same state does not trigger the sort of quasi removal status the court considered in the Altomare case. Your approach should be to file a complaint for modification pleading that the children's best interests are not served by the move and that custody should remain with you in the own community or in the alternative, that the current parenting plan - with you doing all of the transportation, will not result in quality time for the kids with you from the new location and a new parenting plan needs to be devised. Transportation costs are specific grounds to deviate from the guidelines and those should be plead as well.

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  • Should I let my kids see their dad after he seen them in 6 years?

    My children's father has not seen them in 6 years and has planned a trip for this Friday with his girlfriend and new baby. I have been granted full custody and he has visitation rights which should be made with at least 2 weeks notice and agreeabl...

    Mark’s Answer

    Six years and he wants the kids to meet two strangers while they see him? You are totally within your rights to protect them by putting some limits on the contact: day visit, certainly no overnight with new people at a hotel. It would be ideal if he could do something one on one with them before he introduces them to his new wife and their half sibling.

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  • Can I refinance now that we have a separation agreement signed?

    We have decided to get divorced and my husband and I have agreed pretty much on everything. We met with a mediator and had a separation agreement written up and we signed the document. There are no children involved but one of my sick parents live...

    Mark’s Answer

    Please get the agreement entered in court. I have had clients with bitter experiences who began performing the terms of a signed mediated agreement only to have the other spouse revoke their approval - and the court exclude the agreement from evidence as the product of settlement negotiations. If you live in Worcester County, you should be able to hire counsel who can help you walk it in, or visit the clerk's office, explain the situation and get an early date. Nothing is final until it is accepted in court.

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  • Can I, as a step mom of a 16 yr old, legally take her on vacation out of state without her father joining us?

    My biological daughter is in a pageant in Las Vegas. I am going to support her and my step daughter, who's 16, would also like to come. My husband is unable to get the time off from work so I am going with my mother and my sister. My step daughter...

    Mark’s Answer

    I assume from the fact pattern that your husband is the custodial parent; His separation agreement most likely does not address this fact pattern specifically - this is not a vacation or school trip; but if the trip occurs on his parenting time and does not interfere with the other parent's time she cannot prevent you or hold him in contempt. He has the ability to place the child with other responsible adults during his parenting time.

    If there is any question of the other parent holding your husband in contempt, file a complaint for modification seeking court approval with a motion for temporary orders. Attend the hearing with the hotel and flight itinerary information and let the other parent try to expound on her sincerely felt good reasons for denying her daughter a trip to Vegas to watch a pageant. She might drop it before the hearing date when she figures out how she is going to appear others.

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  • My ex is trying to control everything

    My ex was calling my home in a harassing way. My current wife changed our phone number to alleviate this problem. My ex wife was informed about this. She is saying i am not allowing her access to my kids. I have a cell phone, and even though i don...

    Mark’s Answer

    The fact that Mom can email, text and face time the kids puts her head and shoulders above most of the parents I work with who would simply like a phone call returned. I infer from your description you are a non-custodial parent. If the kids at least text her or face time her once a day - maybe around bed time, she is going to have to accept that and move on. You do not have to have a dedicate MOM-LINE at your house. Good luck.

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  • Will I have to pay alimony or assist my soon to be ex wife in any way

    My soon to be ex wife is disabled and collecting disability. We are currently looking to find separate housing as we proceed to get divorced.

    Mark’s Answer

    Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 208, section 34 and several sections thereafter break out alimony and the ability of the court to assign property or income from one spouse to another as alimony. Alimony is determined by the needs of one party and the ability of the other to pay and there are now durational limits on the amount of time one would pay an alimony order for couples married less than twenty years. With all of that said, your question is much too general to provide any assurance or definite answer to your question. What you make a week, what your wife receives a month in benefits - from all sources, what she can receive without being disqualified from those benefits, and how long you have been married is a good place to start.

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  • My exgirlfriend, mother of my daughter changed my visitation schedule which allows me less time and no sleeptpovers.

    I work for a corrections dept. and work a 4 on 2 off work schedule. For the last 18 months or so I have had my daughter on my 2 days off. I drop her off on Monday and she hands me a new schedule which does not include any sleepovers or 2 days in a...

    Mark’s Answer

    You need to file a complaint for Modification stating no parenting order was entered with your child support order and that since that date you and Mom have agreed to the parenting plan you actually did ( state what it is) and that on whatever date she unilaterally altered contrary to the best interest of your child and that you want to return to the status quo an establish holiday and vacation parenting times, ect.

    You should also complete an affidavit stating what the parenting plan was, when it began and when it terminated and what your work schedule is.

    Your fact pattern is not uncommon. Get into court and reestablish what the status quo was.

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