Verification- Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
- Last verified: 2/18/2014
- Current status is Active
- This attorney has no record of public discipline.
- This attorney has certified that he or she is covered by professional liability insurance.
Suffolk University Law School, J.D., 1995
Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A.
New Hampshire, 1996
Massachusetts Bar Association
Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council
New Hampshire Collaborative Law Council
Greater Lowell Bar Association
Mock Trial Committee of the Massachusetts Bar Association
About Eric Schutzbank
Eric Schutzbank is the firm’s managing member. He concentrates his practice in the areas of Domestic Relations, Criminal Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Civil Litigation. He has over fifteen years of experience practicing family and criminal law. He represents individual clients, is trained for mediation, and also practices Collaborative Law. Eric is also admitted to practice in New Hampshire, where his sole area of practice is in domestic relations matters. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1992 and his law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1995.
Attorney Schutzbank’s primary fields of practice include family law (divorce, custody, removal, parenting issues, child support, contempts and grandparents rights), criminal law, guardianships, elder issues. He also receives Guardian ad Litem appointments by the Courts and offers non-traditional family law services such as mediation and collaborative law. Attorney Schutzbank is dedicated to working with his clients to secure a result that meets their needs while providing sound counsel to ensure their goals are achievable.
Eric is very active in local and state bar associations, is committed to community service activities and has served on the boards of multiple nonprofit organizations. Attorney Schutzbank is an active member of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council. He is also a mock trial coach for Lowell Catholic High School and for the Greater Lowell Law Explorers. Attorney Schutzbank is a past President of the Greater Lowell Bar Association and past Chair on the Mock Trial Committee of the Massachusetts Bar Association. He still serves on that committee and has also previously served on the Marketing Committee for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society’s Hike for Discovery program.
Attorney Eric Schutzbank has affirmed the following reviews are authentic.
"I changed to Attorney Schutzbank from a previous lawyer. Finally it seemed that somebody was on my side. Till now he has handled my case through the pre-trial conference. I am extremely satisfied by his grasp of all the issues and by the manner in which he is dealing with the opposing counsel. Will update more when the case is done. The case was settled recently. I wanted to add to my previous comments about Attorney Schutzbank. I am totally and completely satisfied with the agreement that he worked very hard to get me. He was able to get me all that I had required which my previous attorney thought was impossible. Through out the process he was on top of the matters and seemed fully involved and invested in my case. He has great negotiating skills which made this agreement possible. He uses his time efficiently to minimize client expenses. I plan to retain him for my future requirements. I would definitely recommend Attorney Schutzbank to anyone."
"I had a great experience with attorney Schutzbank. I was referred to him through another attorney who did not practice in New Hampshire. I knew that after my first visit that he was the right attorney for the job."
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Legal Questions & Answers
It depends on how old your daughter is. If she is under age 17, she will be charged in the Juvenile Court. If she is 17, she will be charged as an adult in Lowell District Court. There are a wide range of possible consequences. Under the facts as you present them, it is likely that she would be looking at a dismissal upon payment of Court costs and any restitution. She could also receive pretrial probation (which is when a Defendant is placed on probation without any type of admission in Court and the case is subsequently dismissed if she complies with the terms of probation) or receive what is called a Continuance without a Finding in which she admits to sufficient facts to find her guilty but is not found guilty. If she complies with any probationary terms for the continuance period, the case is dismissed. Massachusetts law allows for more significant penalties such as a conviction or incarceration but those are extremely unlikely for a first offense for someone with no criminal record.
The answer is maybe. In terms of the divorce itself, if you are not getting an interest in the business, it would likely not be considered equitable for you to be responsible for the loan. The problem, however, is that the lender is not going to let you off the hook merely because you were divorced if you co-signed for the loan. Any settlement reached should include a provision that your wife has a set amount of time to remove you from the loan by either assuming the loan or obtaining a new loan to pay off or refinance the original loan.
It is unfortunate that you’re going through this situation. There are various grounds for an annulment in Massachusetts. The one ground that might fit your situation is fraud. You would have to show that the fraud went to the heart of the marriage. The fact that your husband did not tell you about his criminal background would not likely qualify as grounds for fraud under the law. Providing you with a fake name would likely meet those grounds. It is also possible that your marriage was not valid in the first place if he used a fake name on the marriage certificate. That being said, you should be aware that granting of the annulment would mean that you would need to then file a separate complaint (either for Patenrity if he did not sign the voluntary acknowledgment at the hospital or for child support) to obtain any support and custody orders. It would be less expensive to file for divorce so that child support, custody and any visitation he might seek can all be dealt with at the same time. You should consult with experienced family law attorney to find out more about your rights and obligations in this matter.
It is not as simple as merely refusing to press charges. Once the police forward the matter for prosecution, the named complaining witnesses no longer control the process. It is up to the District Attorney’s Office. Where both parties have been charged with an Assault, each of you may be able to assert your Fifth Amendment right to remain silient and not testify in Court. I would strongly urge you both to consult with your own attorneys who can best advise you whether or not you each have legitimate Fifth Amendment issues that can be asserted.
You can deny your daughter's request. In the event that her Father was to file a Complaint for Modification (change of court orders) and Removal (residency outside of Massachusetts), the Court could appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to investigate. That GAL would speak with your daughter and could take her preference into account. That being said, it is not her choice. The Court looks to the best interests of the child standard should such a matter come before it.
It is not difficult to get a divorce in Massachusetts. Usually, you file for divorce and can have your spouse served at their last known address. As you know that he moved from his last known address, you will have to accomplish service by Publication. This is a request to the Court to publish in a local newspaper the legal notice that you are seeking a divorce. If you have any knowledge of where your husband’s parents or siblings live, you might want to contact them to see if they have a means of contacting him as that would make it easier. As you have lived here for more than a year, you can file in Massachusetts. Once you have filed and served by publication, you will have to wait six months to request a hearing. At that hearing, so long as you have complied with service requirements, the Court will enter a Judgment of Divorce Nisi which will become final 90 days later. I would be happy to discuss the process further with you.
If your wife has never resided in Massachusetts, then you will need to meet the residency requirement (which is one year) before you can file an individual complaint for divorce. If both of you lived in Massachusetts as husband and wife, you would be able to file a complaint and then would need to have a constable or sheriff serve her in St. Louis. One possibility, is to have an attorney draft a Joint Petition for Divorce and Separation Agreement and mail such to her along with an Affidavit explaining that it would be a financial hardship for her to come to Massachusetts for the hearing. I suggest that you consult with an experienced family law attorney to accomplish this. For more information, please view my web site at berid-schutzbank.com. Good luck!
Once the child is born, you will be entitled to child support assuming he earns more than you and you are the primary custodial parent of the child. With respect to asset division, this is a short term marriage, so it is likely that the Court would look to put the parties in the financial situation they were in before the marriage (in other words you each keep what you have). That being said, if you need to move and he has more in assets and earnings, it is possible you could receive some money to assist with your move. Good luck and please visit my website more information regarding your pending divorce www.Berid-Schutzbank.com
Location Served Attorney Eric Schutzbank serves all of Middlesex County, Essex County, Worcester County, and the Merrimack Valley region including Andover, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Lawrence, Lowell, Methuen, North Andover, Pepperell, Tewksbury, Westford, and Wilmington, Massachusetts.