Legal Question in Family Law in Massachusetts

Mediator filed our paperwork (no court date yet) in which the agreement had me buying husband a car up to 70K in lieu of alimony but due to updside down mortgage I can not get him the $$. Can the mediator file and addendum to what the house is worth vs owed. Agreement had Home Valued 345K & Owed 233K. Based on the bank through the Hm Eq process I was advised that the house is valued $165K=denied equity loan. husband forcing me to take the pre59 1/2 from my 401K which I don't want to because of the penalties involved. Will the mediator be able to adjust the agreement? We live in Mass and married 6 years and agreement has 50-50 in selling/equity in the house. Selling=homeless for me. Married 6 years and husband has not worked nor has he collected unemployment and has not contributed financial to the marriage. Deed in both names (did quickclaim to add his name in 2007) but (2) mortgages are in my name only.

Asked on 8/29/13, 8:49 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

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I suggest you do one of two things, contact the mediator and inform him that the settlement was based on a mistake and in fact the home appraised for less than its current debt and there was a mistake in the valuation.

Assuming the court would allow your soon to be ex to continue to be unemployed without children to take care of and no disability, the maximum period of his alimonry would be 43 months unless he qualifiies for rehabilitative alimony and I doubt he would.

If you earn $1,500 per week the alimony would be according to the MA worksheet betwen $425 and $525 per week and that assumes he has no income.

I would suggest you contact the Mediator to see what can be done as the settlement was based on a factual mistake.

I would also try another bank and see if they get a different appraisal. What is the assessed value of the property? who determined the value to be $345K.

I do not think he can compel you take the money from your 401K. You could transfer $70K to an IRA for him and let him take it out as a penalty or as a disabuility payment as well.

However, I strongly suggest you get an attorney ASAP.

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Answered on 8/29/13, 9:04 am

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