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Philip W. Mason

Philip Mason’s Answers

2,034 total


  • Can I tell the judge that my children's father willfully got fired from work to reduce child support payments?

    My children's father recently filed for child support modification due to unemployment. Because of his unemployment both my children lost their private health insurance and most of their therapeutic services had to end abruptly. My children have...

    Philip’s Answer

    You should definitely bring evidence that he has voluntarily reduced his income. In fact, you should plead it in your answer to the complaint. If you can show that his earnings have been reduced of his own volition, the court may well attribute wages for the purposes of determining child support.
    If his child support is lowered and he returns to work you can quickly file for a new modification to increase child support.
    If you can cover your children’s health insurance at a reasonable cost through your employer, you should consider doing it. The child support calculator will give you a credit for the cost.

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  • My divorce will be 1year final in 8/2016.Our agreement was incorp.but not merged.I was and still am disabled during our entire

    20+yrs of marriage.She ran everything,finances,etc. while I took care of household and kids.I never had my own atty.,something the judge knew but allowed my wife to claim that her atty. represented both of us because IMO, it was the judges last ca...

    Philip’s Answer

    You can ask for relief of judgment under rule 60 if you can show that there was in fact fraud. Most attorneys will provide And initial in for interview for free and give you a good idea of the strength of your case

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  • Child Support Modification in Massachusetts

    ExWife is looking to make a child support modification based on the fact I changed employers. I don't have an issue disclosing my income, but she has never been forthcoming with her income. For example, she is self-employed and has a General Pa...

    Philip’s Answer

    Most courts will accept a tax return if it includes an IRS schedule “C” since it fairly represents what would be stated on financial statement - schedule “A.” While you could file a motion compelling her to produce a schedule “A,” there would be little benefit towards your goal of establishing her income for purposes of a child support determination. What you need to show is her net income after the deduction of business expenses. The schedule “C” should provide that information, however, she may be able to obfuscate her real earnings in several ways. Most notably, by 1) listing personal expenses as business expenses and 2) failing to distribute all income from the partnership. To determine if she is misclassifying personal expenses as business expenses you should seek the advice of a forensic accountant. To determine if she is leaving earnings in the partnership you will need to subpoena the partnership financial records and have them reviewed.

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  • Can the mothers parents of my son take him overnight when I have sole and physical custody

    I have sole and physical custody pf my son due to my wifes neglect and drug abuse my sons mothers parents want to have him over night we aredivorced

    Philip’s Answer

    If you have a court order giving you sole physical and legal custody, it is your call. However, if mother has visitation she can share her time with her parents. Finally, if the maternal grandparents have had a substantial relationship with the child they have standing to file a Complaint for Grandparent visitation.

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  • How is a house divided in a divorce?

    I've been married to my husband for 19 years. We have 4 children......3 are over 21 and the other is 14. We have decided to divorce for many reasons. We have a house with a 30 year mortgage on it. We still have about 10 years left on the mortgage...

    Philip’s Answer

    The short answer is yes. If you can’t agree as to who will take over the marital home (assuming both of you have the ability to refinance the house), then the judge will likely order the sale of the house. You may delay the sale of the house until the child(ren) are emancipated, if they are residing with the custodial parent and they remain in the marital home. You should be aware that the marital home is only one of the assets which make up the marital estate and the division of assets by the court attempts to divide the assets equitably and fairly (presumptively 50/50 split but is rebuttable). That does not mean every asset is divide equally, but that each party walks away with a fair share of the assets. That leaves a lot of room to negotiate the distribution – something may be more important to one party than to the other and off-sets can be identified.

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  • How can my husband get custody of his daughter

    my husband is trying to get custody of his eldest daughter and she isn't biologically his but he sign the birth certificate there's been an issue with sexual abuse with his eldest daughter and also neglect so she was removed from the home his ex...

    Philip’s Answer

    Your narrative doesn’t provide enough information to give a substantive answer, but let me point out some of the issues and make an interim suggestion. First, the fact that your husband is not the biological father is irrelevant if he is on the birth certificate, the child was conceived while he was still married to the mother, and his rights have never been severed through a court adjudication (how do you know he is not the biological father). His rights are further affirmed if he has been involved in the child’s life and contributed child support. Second, the maternal grandparents are the child’s grandparents and the fact that the mother was adopted is of no significance. The important factor is that the child cannot remain in the home for fear of neglect or abuse and someone has to take responsibility for the child’s wellbeing. That could mean the state of Massachusetts (DCF), your husband, the maternal grandparents, or another suitable third party. Your husband should be the first option because he has a constitutional right to parent his child.
    The question is, and I can’t answer because lack of information, which court has current jurisdiction in this matter? Which court can he assert his rights? Is it in Juvenile Court, or Probate and Family Court, or both?
    If it is in Juvenile Court because DCF removed the child, then your husband should have standing and should have a right to a hearing and to an attorney (if he can’t afford one) – he should be the first to be considered for temporary custody during the pendency of the Care and Protection action. If it is in Probate and Family Court, it is likely a Guardianship petition and again he has standing and the right to an attorney.
    You need to clarify what type of case you are dealing with and in which court you must assert your rights. I suggest that you begin your inquiry by visiting the Court Service Center located on the first floor of the Worcester Judicial Center on Main Street. The cannot provide legal advice, but can review your file and explain the procedure for participating in the adjudication.

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  • How do I determine if my termination at age 62 was the result of age or even health related as I am battling cancer?

    at my annual review I was told my position is being eliminated. I don't believe that. I am 62 and am battling cancer. the workplace stripped accrued time off benefits from my benefits account with no valid explanation other than telling me I wasn...

    Philip’s Answer

    You certainly seem to have grounds for being suspicious, but more information is needed to determine if you have a viable claim. It would be worth your while to consult with an employment attorney - first consultations are usually free, and if a case is identified and many will work on a contingency or statutory attorney fees.

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  • What happens to temporary orders if the plaintiff withdraws their motion

    Child support modification was filed, then heard with temporary motion to change custody. Judge ruled on CS Mod inline with temp change of custody. At pretrial conference Plaintiff withdraws motion. Does the CS revert to what it was prior to the C...

    Philip’s Answer

    If you mean that the Complaint for Modification was dismissed on plaintiff's motion, then all temporary orders issued during the pendency of the action dissipate with the judgment of dismissal.

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  • Notice for Hearing.

    If you request hearing for a motion; and it's not exparte, isn't the service requirement 14 days for notice of opposition?

    Philip’s Answer

    Notice must seven days for in hand service and ten days for service via mail.

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  • Do I owe last month's rent to a ex roommate

    So my ex roommate was my girlfriend and once we broke up she wanted to separate herself from everything. She broke the lease and had me sign her off the lease with me promising to pay her, her share of what the rental management company known as A...

    Philip’s Answer

    Sounds like “mutual mistake” which should provide you with a legitimate defense if she sues you in small claims for breach of contract. Given, that she wants you to sign a new contract clarifying the terms of your previous contract, I suspect she recognizes the weakness of her case and it is doubtful that she will pursue the matter.

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