Child Support Modification Case

Father sought a modification of his child support based upon a termination of his employment. The matter was presented to the judge and the judge was not initially going to reduce Father’s support citing that he had sufficient funds in his retirement account to pay for same. The Father’s counsel, Attorney Monique Lamb successfully convinced the court that it was not proper to expect Father to liquidate a retirement account and pay the severe penalty and tax for the withdrawal. Father’s child support was reduced on a temporary order.

Father's Child Support Was Reduced

Primary Physical Custody

The Parties have three children and the Father was seeking custody of one of the children. The Father had started to undermine the Mother with this particular child, in that, if the Mother brought the child to school, the Father would subsequently pick the child up and release the child from school early. This became a pattern of undermining the Mother by the Father and when the Judge reviewed the detailed affidavit of Mother regarding these incidents, the Judge ordered that the Mother should have primary physical custody.

Primary Custody Awarded to Mother

Alimony Appeal

The Husband argued that since the new Alimony Reform Act had defined the length of marriage as the date of marriage to the date of service of the summons on the complaint for divorce. That this definition not only applied in the context of determining the length of time one would pay alimony but that this also applied to the division of assets, i.e. when assets were valued and divided. Consequently the Husband attempted to secure his entire salary for one year (almost $90K) during the pending divorce by depositing same into an account in his own name. However the parties continued to reside in the marital home and the Wife used marital assets to pay the expenses of the marital home during this same time period. The Wife’s position, to which the Appeals Court agreed, was that the length of the marriage for division of assets remains the date of marriage to date of divorce and that the Alimony Reform Act did not change that standard.

Wife Received 1/2 of the $90k with Interest

Child Support Increase

Salem, Massachusetts: In Essex Family Court to establish temporary orders during the pending divorce. The Father provided a financial statement and pay stub that did not include any overtime. The Mother through counsel, who was Attorney Monique B. Lamb, provided a pay stub for Father that demonstrated his significant over-time income for the majority of the prior year. The family court Judge saw both documents and both versions of the Massachusetts child support guidelines. The Judge made her decision which was in accordance with the pay stub and income that the Mother provided for the Father. This resulted in an increased child support order of almost $200 per week than what the Father was proposing.

Child Support Increased by $800 a Month

Interstate Paternity

The Parties were never married. They had three children who had lived primarily with Mother and Father had not seen the children in several years due to Mother who had absconded with the children to another country. Now that Mother and children were in the United States, Father sought and successfully obtained a regular parenting schedule with the children, even though he lived in New York. (Middlesex County)

Father Obtained Regular Parenting Schedule

Paternity Action

Father obtained joint legal and physical custody of his minor child, who was less than 2 years old. Mother and Father were never married. Father initiated a complaint to establish his parenting time. The probation department attempted to resolve the entire case at the hearing on Father’s motion for temporary orders, wherein Father objected and was heard before the Court. By not pre-maturely resolving the case, the Father was able to successfully obtain joint legal and physical custody of his young child. In paternity actions, since the parties were not married, the Mother automatically has sole legal and physical custody and thus it was a significant hurdle for Father to obtain both joint legal and physical custody. (Suffolk County)

Father Obtained Joint Legal & Physical Custody

Parenting Time

Successfully obtained parenting time for a de facto parent in an underlying equity case in Massachusetts. The alleged father had always been involved with the minor child over several years visiting with the child, providing in a financial manner for the child by paying for activities and necessities for the child. The guardian of the child had stopped contact which led to the filing of the equity complaint and the establishment of parenting time for this de facto parent. (Essex County)

De Facto Parent Obtained Parenting Time

Division of Marital Assets

The former husband took the position that since the Alimony Reform Act of 2012 defined the length of marriage as date of marriage to date of service of the summons, that marital assets should be divided in the same manner. Historically assets were valued and divided as of the date of divorce. The former husband appealed the decision of the trial court which followed the historical view of asset division and rejected his assertion that assets should be valued and divided as of the date of service on the divorce summons. The Appeals Court ruled in favor of my Client on this issue and upheld the trial court decision. Thus it has been established that the date of division of marital assets remains the date of divorce and that the Alimony Reform Legislation of 2012 did not redefine the length of the marriage for purposes of the division of marital assets. (Essex County)

Court Decision Upheld

Increase in Child Suport

Our client received significant increase in child support after trial despite child residing at college for the majority of the year. Increased child support was retroactive to date of service on Client’s modification.

Significant Child Support Increase

Unsupervised Parenting Time

Our client received order for unsupervised parenting time and order for significant support after hearing wherein it was alleged that the Client either abused alcohol or prescription medicines and the independent evidence did not support the allegations alleged by the other parent.

Order Successfully Received

Pre-Marital Assets

Client obtained favorable divorce judgment wherein the Client was awarded all pre-marital assets and the spouse was awarded assets with little present value as that was all the spouse brought to marriage. Client received favorable settlement despite difficulty in evaluating the spouse’s business interest. Client received a disproportionate division of the ascertainable assets to compensate for the difficulty in evaluating precisely the spouse’s business interest.

Favorable Settlement Received

Reimbursement of Expenses

The Parties divorce judgment provided a clear mechanism for which one party who incurred an expense was to be reimbursed for said expenses that were to be shared equally by the parties. The former husband failed to comply with said procedure and thus after hearing on the merits the former wife was not found in contempt and not responsible for the payment of said uninsured expense. The new standard of review in order to be found in contempt is clear and convincing evidence. This is a higher standard than what was previously used of preponderance of the evidence. My Client’s success in this matter fell in the successful argument of counsel that the former husband could not meet his burden of proof due to his failure to comply with the conditions set forth in the divorce agreement for reimbursement. (Essex County)

Successful Ruling in Client's Favor