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Thank you for your question and I look forward to working on your answer. Also, it is important to know that I can only respond to your post and the information contained in it, as I do not know what you know, unless you describe it fully. Also, because you are at this site, you are asking me the question because you want the legal facts, as I see them, even if unfavorable to your situation from a legal perspective. Also, due to site tech reasons, oftentimes I am initially only able to see the first part of your post, so I apologize in advance if I ask a redundant question.
That being said, if you would like me to work on an answer for you, and in order to better assist you, could you please clarify for me:
1. Do you have a current custody, visitation and child support order?
2. If so, is he up to date on child support?
I look forward to getting to work on this for you. Hang in there!
S. Joy, Legal Expert
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Unfortunately, the child support desires prior to 8/7/09 likely won't be awarded because you never sought a Court Order, therefore there is no 'back support' owed. It sounds like you have a pendente lite order of child support. It is pretty low for 2 teenage son's, and if that arose from his income level (low?) as of 8/09, once his inheritance comes through, if it hasn't already, you can certainly see to have child support increased based on his new wealth.
However, you will not be able to claim any of that inheritance in any sort of distribution of marital assets, as he is correct that in MA it is not marital in nature. It is separate property. However, that does not mean it can not be considered for child support purposes or even Spousal Support. When seeking modification of child support, make sure to have HEALTH CARE for the children included - I don't know why it wasn't in August - were you working then and providing it through work before getting laid off?. Also, if you have disparate educations and training levels, such that you can't compete with him/his level of working income, consider asking for spousal support, at least of a temporary nature, to allow you to get additional training or schooling to improve your income prospects for the future. If you are both about even, that likely will not be something you would seek.
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Hi, will or no will doesn't matter - inheritance is separate property and you can not touch it. Also, if the will doesn't turn up, you will be out of luck most assuredly, because the court can only go by a will that is submitted. You need to find that will! You'd be surprised how many people don't have wills despite some assets. You questions are now turning towards estate law, although originally about YOUR right to this in the divorcee. If you can prove there is a will, perhaps get a lawyer involved and the other lawyer may suddenly "find" his copy if there was one, you may have some course here. For instance, you say the lawyer 'misplaced' it - that in itself would probably constitutue legal malpractice. Don't give him the heads up yet, because if you don't have evidence that he even KEPT the original, it won't be helpful, because there would not be an obligation to have kept it, if the testator kept it. Speak to a local lawyer first, an estate lawyer, about proving the lawyer lost it or claims to have lost it......sometimes the threat of the lawsuit tying everything up may be enough incentive for dad to split the moneys now, avoiding investigation, etc.
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