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Monika U. Holzer Sacks

Monika Sacks’s Answers

30 total

  • How do I get my name taken off the mortgage?

    My ex husband and I have been divorced since December of 2007. He lives in our condo with his new wife and makes all of the mortgage payments. Our divorce decree states that I'm not responsible for any part of the mortgage but yet my name still ha...

    Monika’s Answer

    I am going to assume that you have attempted to discuss this with your former husband and have encouraged him to remove your name from the mortgage. If you have not, please do so. If it is difficult for your to speak with each other, suggest that you meet with a mediator to have this discussion.

    You need to know that signing a quit claim deed will only remove your name from the title to the house. It will not remove your name from the mortgage. The mortgage was created when you and he signed a contract with a mortgage company. The contract needs to be changed in order to remove your name.

    If he is not willing to voluntarily refinance the mortgage or assume the mortgage, look at your Judgment of Divorce or Settlement Agreement. Does it specifically say that he has to refinance or assume the mortgage or remove your name from the mortgage? Does it give him a specific time frame in which to accomplish this? If no, you may have to wait until he refinances the condo or sells it.

    If yes, you can file a motion asking the court to enforce the Judgment and require him to remove you from the mortgage within a certain time period.

    These days many homes are worth less than the amount owed on them. If that is the case, he may not be eligible to refinance the home. He can approach the mortgage company about renegotiating the loan for an amount that equals the amount owed on the mortgage. As part of this process, the mortgage company can agree to substitute his new wife for you on the mortgage. There may be documents that you have to sign agreeing to the renegotiation. Make sure that you have someone review them to be certain that you are not recommitting to the same mortgage.

    In the event that the Judgment is silent on the requiring him to refinance or assume the mortgage, you still may be eligible to purchase a home of your own, without having this mortgage counted toward your debt. Under Fannie Mae guidelines, if your former husband has been making payments on the mortgage for at least 12 months, then the mortgage company to which you are applying should not count the former home against you. There are also new HUD guidelines that state if your Judgment says that your former husband will hold you harmless from the mortgage on the condo, that this debt should not be counted against you if you apply for a mortgage.

    Despite these protections available under federal law, you do not wish to worry about the old mortgage, in the event your former husband does not make all the payments, or defaults. You want to protect your credit. Short of having a requirement in your Judgment or Settlement Agreement, there is no way to force him to remove you name.

    However, if there is something that he would like from you in the future, you may consider using the refinance as a bargaining chip.

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  • I have been waiting almost 3 years,to get my share of my ex-husband`s Roth account.

    I do have a legal-aid lawyer,who as no time to finish what she started.I feel like I`m on a back burner,not important anymore. She told me to hire lawyer,to do the Roth, she did the pension.I`m on SS with limited income,I think she should finis...

    Monika’s Answer

    You should be able to transfer a portion or all of the Roth IRA by going to the bank/institution that issued the IRA. Ask for the papers to transfer a portion of it to you. Fill out the papers. Ask your ex-husband to sign the papers, you sign and submit them back to the institution.

    I don't know whether you want to open your own Roth IRA account to receive the transfer or ask for a payment. You should first find out whether there is a penalty for you cashing the Roth IRA and then decide. The institution that holds the IRA will probably be happy to open an account for you. Otherwise, if you want the money transferred to another institution, like your bank,you might ask your bank to help. They may have the documents to arrange the transfer and can give you directions on filing it out and getting your ex-husband's signature.

    If he won't sign the transfer documents, you may have to file a motion in court asking the Judge to order him to sign them or order your ex-husband to pay you a comparable amount from another source.

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  • I am waiting on my divorce papers, my ex husband says my boyfriend is not to go to our kids school functions.legally can he stop

    my question is...can my ex husband do anything legally to stop my boyfriend from attending school functions for mine and my ex's boyfriend and i are going to be married in a few lawyer says the ex can do that true

    Monika’s Answer

    You should follow your lawyer's advice. Some judges will limit third parties from interacting with children especially until the divorce is final. Your lawyer should know what your local judge would say.

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  • Can I get divorced even if i cant find him.

    My husband and i have been married 10 years, but only together for 9 years. I cant find him, can i still get divorce

    Monika’s Answer

    The Court wants personal jurisdiction over your husband, if that is possible. Therefore, you need to make an effort to find him. For example, contact his family, call his employer, check with his friends. If you have done all the things that might lead you to him, then there is a procedure for notice by publication. You need to petition the court for permission to use this procedure and you will need to detail all the efforts you have made to find him.

    If the Court is satisfied that you have exhausted all means to locate him, then the Court can order that a notice be published in a newspaper telling him that you have filed for divorce and that he must file an answer by a certain date or you will file a default.

    The procedure isn't used often. You will probably need an attorney to assist you. But first, try everything you can to find out where he can be located.

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  • Ex wife, child entitled to social security and pension?

    i am planning to marry someone that has been divorced for 15 years if something should happen to him would his first wife or his child 30 years old, be entitled to his social security and his pension?

    Monika’s Answer

    This is question has several parts. Social security: It depends on a lot of factors. His child should not be eligible to draw on any part of it. However, his ex-wife might, depending on whether he and she were married for 10 years or more. Also, has his ex-wife remarried? If they had been married over 10 years and she has not remarried, then she may be entitled to claim against his social security account. But that should not reduce his entitlement to social security. Whether you are entitled to draw on his account if something happens depends also on whether you were married at least one year at the time of his death, and whether your social security account would pay you more than drawing on his account. The Social Security Administration website has quite a lot of information regarding your question. I suggest you go on-line and check it out. Otherwise, if you want a lawyer to look this over, I suggest you confer with a lawyer who works with social security benefits.

    Pension: This depends on whether he shared a portion of his pension with his ex-wife in their Judgment of Divorce and whether a QDRO was accepted by his employer. If the answer to both questions is yes, then his ex-wife (if living) will receive a portion of his pension. If he is already receiving his pension payments, he probably already knows how much she is receiving and how much is left to him. As his spouse, you should be entitled to survivor benefits if he elects this payment option when he starts to draw his pension. If he is in pay status, meaning he is already receiving payments, he can tell you whether he elected to receive the payments with a survivorship option - meaning a spouse will continue to receive payments for the rest of her life, or whether he selected no survivorship option, meaning the payments end at his death. If he is not yet in pay status, you need to talk with him about what elections he will be making when he does retire. Usually, the survivor payments are less than the amount the employee receives. It depends on the pension plan. Some pay the spouse between 60 -70% if the amount received by the employee while he was living.

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  • I live in Michigan. How to I serve papers to Spouse in Northern Ireland?

    We got married in MI. We split up and he went home to Northern Ireland. He wants a divorce as much as I do. I got all papers from now I'm stuck and don't know how to serve him or if he needs to be and it says it needs to be notor...

    Monika’s Answer

    In order for Michigan to obtain jurisdiction over your spouse, you need to be able to prove that he received the documents that you filed for the divorce. You should have a summons, complaint and perhaps an order for mediation (depending on which judge you were assigned). If he is as eager as you to get a divorce, send him the documents. On the back of the summons, near the bottom of the form, is an acknowledgment of service. He should sign that and indicate the time and date that he received the documents. He should mail that back to you. Make a copy for your file. File the original with Court Services. The acknowledgment does not need to be notarized.

    However, if there is a chance that he may contest that it was really him who signed the acknowledgment, then I suggest you call the sheriff in the town where he lives in Ireland. Find out whether the Sheriff can have him served. There is another section on the back of the summons where the process server will swear that he served him and when. The process server will want to be compensated for the time and mileage and postage back to you. Duplicate the form when you receive it (copy for your records) and file the original.

    Wait 28 days. If your husband has not filed an answer, you should default him. See your on-line service for directions

    Or, you can draft the Judgment of Divorce and send that to him. Ask him to sign it. If he signs it, you should let him know when you are scheduling the time for providing testimony.

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  • Going through a divorce process. The car I drive has only my spouse's name on it while we are both listed on the loan.

    He refuses to turn over the title to my name so that i can refinance the loan and remove his name off of it and get the monthly pymt lowered to that I can afford. I had continued making payment on it since he has stopped in an attempt to ruin my ...

    Monika’s Answer

    Since you are still in the divorce process, I suggest you file a motion with the judge and ask the judge to either have your husband make the car payments for you or to turn over the title of the vehicle to you.

    Getting a refinance on a car can be difficult. Check with the current lien holder and find out whether they will refinance in your name alone. If you belong to a credit union or have a bank that you like to work with, you might check with them if they will allow you to finance the car and pay off the current debt.

    If they won't, you might need to sell the car.

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  • Not my legal name listed on divorce

    if my legal name was not on the divorce decree or the record of divorce is the divorce valid. if it is not what would we have to do to validate the divorce?

    Monika’s Answer

    I assume that you want the divorce and you want to be sure that your legal name is on the divorce documents. The easiest way to proceed is to contact your spouse and ask him/her to agree to correct your name. Then prepare an order to correct name on Divorce Judgment. The order should say that the name of _____________ shall be corrected to be _________________________. The Judgment of Divorce and all other orders are hereby corrected to show the corrected name. Also file an amended Record of Divorce with the corrected name. In the future, if you have any post judgement orders, be sure to use the corrected name. If you have an attorney, that person can draft the order and may have some other ideas.

    If your former spouse will not agree to change the documents, then I suggest you file a motion with the judge assigned to your case. In the motion, state the problem. Ask the judge to enter an order correcting your name and to accept an amended record of divorce.

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  • What are my legal options regarding my grandson and his paternal grandmother. she is no blood relation as his father is adopted

    my daughter was killed in a car accident in which her husband was designated as the driver. for the sake of my grandson i have remained on somewhat good terms with my former son-in-law. he remarried and had 2 other children and his ex-wife (they...

    Monika’s Answer

    Adopted children are equivalent, legally, to biological children.

    It sounds as though your grandson is attached to Nana. You need to be respectful of that. What is not clear is his attachment to you. You are his grandmother, despite having lost his mother. In Michigan, your rights under these circumstances depend on the nature of the relationship that you have with your grandson. I suggest that you access your relationship with him in terms of how often you see him, how much time you spend with him, and your relationship with your former son-in-law. I suggest that you continue to keep in touch and be supportive of both your former son-in-law and your grandson. Offer to assist in his upbringing as much as your time and circumstances permit. Perhaps offer to relieve some of Nana's work in caring for your grandson, so that he has less opportunity to be in her car.

    Family mediation would be a good way to determine the responsibilities that each of the adults should have in raising your grandchild. What is not clear is whether your former son-in-law's ex-wife adopted your grandson. If not, her legal connection (in Michigan) would have ended at the divorce. Therefore, her mother (Nana) has not claim on the child. However, if your former son-in-law has continued to rely on Nana, it may signal that he needs help in caring for the child and this woman has been willing to provide it. You may have a claim in court, depending on your connection with the child. You need to check with an lawyer in your jurisdiction. Or you may consider submitting this case to mediation or collaborative practice to help all the adults figure out what this child needs and how you will all contribute to meeting the needs. Since you evidently love this child and care about his safety, offer to help in his care and "relieve" Nana's burden. This will free her up to take care of her own needs and assure the child that his needs can be met.

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  • Family legal advice concerning my grandmother

    My grandmother is 87 years old and lives with my aunt. My aunt won't let me see my grandmother. Do I have any legal rights. My aunt and I got in a fight. So she was making me make an appointment to see my grandmother. Now she wants me to sit dow...

    Monika’s Answer

    Elder Law Mediation might be the best vehicle for helping to work out this dispute. Your Grandmother and you have a right to see each other. Your aunt does not have the right to disturb this. However, it's important to determine what concerns your aunt has in restricting your visitation rights with your grandmother. Also, does your grandmother wish to spend time with you? What are the parameters of your spending time with your grandmother. The key is getting all of your concerns on the table and determining how best to resolve the disputes between you.

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