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Massachusetts Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law, International Law, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can an International Student get Emancipation in the United States?

I am a 16 year old from Pakistan in the US under a student visa. I study at MIT and currently live on campus in Boston, MA. Can I get Emancipated as my home country Pakistan doesn't have defined laws for emancipation? I have a full time job and I also Invest in Stocks and Shares. I also want... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jun 3, 2024

As a 16-year-old international student from Pakistan on a student visa, getting emancipated in the United States can be challenging. Emancipation laws vary by state, and in Massachusetts, where you are studying at MIT, minors can petition for emancipation under certain conditions. You must... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence, Family Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a single parent gain citizenship for themselves and their child without the other parent being involved due to dv?

Fleeing a violent and dangerous situation. A mother and daughter coming to the US would like citizenship and to become legal citizens. They are concerned as the father may not allow. Do they need to prove the DV situation or can they seek asylum?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 17, 2024

In situations involving domestic violence (DV), a single parent may be able to gain citizenship for themselves and their child without the other parent's involvement. However, the process and requirements can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the country they are seeking asylum... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is a Irrevocable trust legally obligated to pay income taxes on monetary cash gifts it receives ?

Id like to know:

Are Irrevocable trusts legally responsible to pay income taxes on any monetary cash gifts they receive within a single calendar year or is such money gifts the trusts acquire, exempt from any taxation requirements ?

(fyi: In this particular situation the money gifts... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 27, 2024

In the United States, irrevocable trusts are generally not required to pay income taxes on monetary gifts they receive, as long as the gifts are within the annual gift tax exclusion limit. For the tax year 2024, the annual gift tax exclusion is $18,000 per recipient from each donor. This means that... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is a Irrevocable trust legally obligated to pay income taxes on monetary cash gifts it receives ?

Id like to know:

Are Irrevocable trusts legally responsible to pay income taxes on any monetary cash gifts they receive within a single calendar year or is such money gifts the trusts acquire, exempt from any taxation requirements ?

(fyi: In this particular situation the money gifts... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Apr 26, 2024

At the federal level gifts are not taxable to the recipient. The gift giver might owe gift tax but that is highly unlikely to apply to such small amounts. Some states might have lower gift tax exemptions but, again, even those would be unlikely to impact such small gift amounts.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can money be gifted to a irrevocable trust ?

I have 3 questions:

1) Can money be gifted to a irrevocable trust?

If so

2) Is their a maximum amount allowed to be gifted in a certain period e.g like yearly etc?

3) Can a trustee and beneficiary to the same trust also gift money to the same trust?

Thank you

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 12, 2024

Yes, money can be gifted to an irrevocable trust. However, there are some important considerations and limitations:

1. Gift tax exemption: As of 2024, an individual can gift up to $18,000 per recipient per year without triggering the need to file a gift tax return or pay gift taxes. This is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: If I flee d.v. from my husband and leave the home with our son can he call the police on me for kidnapping?

I do have photos of marks and bruises from assaults

over the last few months emailed secretly to a 2nd account but it's escalating and I'm scared for our safety but he's threatening me with police and has threatened my life if I leave with our sob

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Apr 9, 2024

Your husband could definitely call the police, the question is what the police would do. I would suggest applying for an abuse prevention order, which can be done at the District Court or Probate and Family Court, or you can go to a police station to file a report there and they will assist you by... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law, Adoption and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How can I change my sons date of birth on his birth certificate and citizenship papers. He was adopted from Haiti.

we have since received an new birth certificate from vital records in Haiti? Thank you

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 8, 2024

Official documents like birth certificates and citizenship papers are legal records, and altering them is considered forgery, which is a serious crime.

If your son was adopted from Haiti and you have received a new, official birth certificate from the proper authorities in Haiti, then that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Immigration Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Good Morning, I’m an Asian transwoman that just moved in Boston. Are there any divorce lawyers that can help me?

My husband, well, soon-to-be ex-husband has been bullying ever since we moved here but I guess because i loved him, and I wanted to continue to fulfill my vow, i just let it go past me. Now, after i got back home after he banished me, because i feel like he’s having an affair, when i pointed out... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 29, 2024

Good morning, I'm truly sorry to hear about the challenges you're facing. It's important to find a divorce lawyer who is experienced in handling complex cases, especially those involving immigration matters. Boston has numerous legal resources and firms that can provide the support... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: Can dcf ask a caretaker(guardian) for releases for Dr.s, when allegations/case were on the parent?

My daughter got a case open with dcf. During that time I went and got temp guardianship and now have full guardianship for past 7 months. Each month dcf has something new they want in order to close (my daughters) case. Which my daughter is no longer around. They now are asking me to sign releases... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 24, 2024

Based on the information provided, it does not seem reasonable for DCF to require you as the guardian to sign releases for your medical records or other private information. Some key points:

- The allegations and original case were against your daughter's parent, not against you as the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights, Health Care Law and Nursing Home Abuse for Massachusetts on
Q: Steps on how to move my mom back to the states from Puerto Rico after just living there for two years ?

My mom moved two years ago to take care of her mom. A month ago my grandmother had a stroke. And her siblings have told us that my mom herself is not doing well. My mom’s family has Alzheimer’s in her family. My sisters and I have been trying to get her paper work and ID to get her back, her... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 24, 2024

To move your mom back to the states from Puerto Rico, especially under these complex circumstances, it's crucial to approach the situation methodically. First, gather all necessary documents that prove your relationship to your mom, such as birth certificates and any legal documents pertaining... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law, Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How are assets split in a marriage between a H1-b visa holder and their H-4 dependent?

Hi there,

I am an Indian Citizen living in the US on an H1-B visa. I plan on marrying my childhood sweetheart (an Indian citizen) and bringing her over on a H-4 visa.

In case we decide to get a divorce in the future, how will our assets be split?

1. What happens to my and my... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 27, 2024

In the event of a divorce in the United States, the division of assets can vary significantly depending on the state where the divorce proceedings take place. Most states follow either community property or equitable distribution principles. In community property states, assets acquired during the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I fight false allegations made against me by DCF? I didn't get a fair hearing to challenge their false allegation

I would like to share that my son was born on July 11th and the involvement of DCF started when I discovered the mother's drug use during her pregnancy. Due to my daily work commitments, DCF worker Michelle Fraiser asked if I could take immediate custody of my son, to which I agreed but... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 26, 2024

In your situation, fighting false allegations made by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Massachusetts requires a proactive and informed approach. First, ensure that you have a clear understanding of the specific allegations against you. This information is crucial for forming an... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I bought my home in 2019.Refinanced 2021 and added BF to all aspects of loan.i have equity. what is he entitled to?

prior to him signing i had already gained $160k of equity. If we were to sell is he only entitled to what was gained from Refinance till now?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jan 22, 2024

He was added to the Deed as a title holder either as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant most likely and would have the right to seek a Partition of his undivided interest and the portion of equity he contributed to would be either determined by agreement of the parties or through Court... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I bought my home in 2019.Refinanced 2021 and added BF to all aspects of loan.i have equity. what is he entitled to?

prior to him signing i had already gained $160k of equity. If we were to sell is he only entitled to what was gained from Refinance till now?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 22, 2024

What was your agreement with your BF when he signed the loan documents in 2021? Did you convey title to him or did he merely sign the new mortgage? What, if anything, did he pay you for an interest in the property? Has he paid any mortgage payments, contributed to the upkeep and maintenance of the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is my boyfriend legally obligated to provide my name and address to opposing counsel during his divorce?

What are my rights for privacy? His divorce is in the RI courts. He filed for an irreconcilable differences divorce and our relationship has nothing to do with the divorce. His wife is looking for reasons to tip the table in her favor in regard to splitting assets.

Phil A. Taylor
Phil A. Taylor
answered on Jan 15, 2024

If the divorce is in RI, that is where the question should be asked. Presuming that the standard as to what your BF needs to provide his wife when asked are the same, then yes, his wife's attorney is entitled to know your name and how to contact you. You may be able to lead his wife to the... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My siblings and I recently inherited our parents’ house after they died. One of my brothers wants to purchase the house.

If the house is appraised at $450,000, does my brother pay me and my other sibling ⅓ each ($150,000) or ½ each ($225,000)? Since he will be owning the house and could turn around and sell it at any time, does he also get a portion (1/3) of its value? Is that getting two bites of the proverbial... View More

Phil A. Taylor
Phil A. Taylor
answered on Jan 15, 2024

If you and your siblings each now own a 1/3 interest in the property and one sibling wants to purchase your interest and the interest of the other sibling, then the sibling would pay 2/3 of the fair market value (give or take depending on how the other costs, savings are addressed). The sibling... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Immigration Law, Personal Injury and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Greetings. My name is Mikael 34 years old.I've been victim of domestic violence. Can i file for citizenship?

We've been in a relationship for almost 5 years I have videos of the abuse and after we break up she and her brother stated that if i ever go back to my country they will get me killed.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 8, 2024

Mikael, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Experiencing domestic violence is a serious matter, and it's important to know that there are legal protections available to you.

Regarding your citizenship query, being a victim of domestic violence does not automatically qualify...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Divorce vs anullment?

Me and My partner both agree to file for an anullment. We meet one of the criterias that is required for filing anullment. There are no kids involved,, we only been married for 3 months. We both have no property and no assets nothing to share. How long will it take for us to get an anullment? Will... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 1, 2024

Annulment and divorce are legal processes that address the end of a marriage. An annulment is a legal declaration that a marriage is considered void or never valid from the beginning. In your case, if you meet the criteria for annulment and both parties agree, it might be a viable option.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: We can no longer care for our adult disabled son need someone to be guardian need help
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 14, 2023

If you're in a situation where you can no longer care for your adult disabled son and are seeking a guardian, the first step is to understand the legal process for guardianship in Massachusetts. Guardianship involves a court appointing an individual or organization to make decisions for an... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my spouse sell the house without my consent? Only his name is on the deed, he bought the house after we got married

He bought the house after we got married in Massachusetts. My name is not on the deed.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Dec 9, 2023

If a divorce has been filed, he would be prohibited from selling the property without your agreement or an order of the court based on the automatic restraining order (Rule 411). It would be a good idea to file for divorce ASAP if you haven't yet, you could ask the court to prevent him from... View More

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