How do courts determine if relocation of a child to another state during a divorce is acceptable?

In situations where a custodial parent wishes to relocate with a child, the court will determine whether child custody relocation is in the best interests of the child. While a parent is free to relocate out of state themselves without the child or with the permission of the other parent to take the child, the state of Massachusetts requires a judge ruling regarding relocation contested by a parent. Depending on the current custody agreement, the judge has two different processes for determining if relocation is in the child’s best interest. For joint or shared custody the judge will take into
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I was leaving the construction site after a day’s work and was struck by falling debris causing injury. Do I have a workman’s comp claim?

Workers’ compensation is a benefit used by states to compensate employees of private and government employers when they are injured at work. In the state of Massachusetts, the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) oversees the workers’ compensation system. Workers’compensation insurance covers almost all employees in Massachusetts. You are entitled to file for workers compensation benefits if you suffer a work-related injury or illness, or are a dependent of a worker killed on the job. Employers are required to visibly display the name and address of its Workers’ Compensation insurer and policy information. To qualify for workers’ comp benefits, you must
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Does Massachusetts divide property equally between the spouses during a divorce?

Rather than divide marital property equally, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ family law code seeks to divide it equitably. Massachusetts defines “marital property” as any property—be it income, assets, real estate, or everyday items—that comes into possession of the couple or either of the spouses individually during the course of the marriage. This could include trade secrets, stock holdings, and artistic creations. For individuals of high net worth, or those who make their living by possessing valuable intellectual property, it is especially valuable to have a prenuptial agreement in place to keep this property separate from that held in common in
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My ex-spouse has asked to pick up our children, of whom we share custody, at a different time from that stated in our custody agreement. I’m fine with the change. Do we need to alter the agreement, or is a verbal agreement enough?

As an attorney, my answer is almost always going to be “get it in writing.” While you may have the most amicable divorce in the world, you never know what the future may hold. Contracts fill the gaps left when human trust fails. If this is a one-time, or two-time situation, a verbal agreement might suffice. Of course, without putting it in writing, if you agree to a “quick change,” you may find yourself agreeing to a years-long arrangement without intending to. Moreover, while it is hard to think about, custody agreements in part to protect children from the threat
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Does Massachusetts allow pain-and-suffering claims?

Massachusetts allows pain-and-suffering claims in some cases and up to a certain amount. Pain-and-suffering claims are “non-economic” in that they are not seeking to compensate for a price-tagged, financial loss caused either by damage to property or by high medical bills. The latter type are “economic” damages. In Massachusetts, pain-and-suffering claims must usually be filed alongside economic claims. In the case of car accidents, medical claims must exceed $2000 before a pain-and-suffering claim may also be filed. For car accidents, Massachusetts law also expects victims to rely on their own, or the at-fault party’s, insurance coverage before suing. Some states
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My neighbor’s dog was off-leash and bit me. What are the current laws regarding leashing your dog?

An aggressive dog is a menace to the neighborhood, and potentially a source of great legal trouble for the owner. In Massachusetts, a dog and its owner are not granted any leniency in terms of civil liability even if this is the first occasion on which the dog has bitten someone. Additionally, since Massachusetts is a “strict liability” state, even if a dog is restrained or an owner otherwise takes “reasonable precautions,” the owner is still at fault. If you plan on filing charges, or a lawsuit, be sure to take pictures of your injuries and bring documentation from your
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Slip and Fall on Autumn Leaves

The arrival of fall brings with it the pleasure of watching the leaves turn. Fall is famous in New England because of the many vibrant colors, from bright yellow through to deep violet, that nature treats us to as the days grow shorter. When leaves turn, though, they inevitably have to fall to the ground. Autumn invariably brings with it wet weather as well. Wet leaves, strewn along the sidewalks and streets, can pose a major risk of slips and falls. While winter’s ice and snow might get most of the attention for slip-and-fall injuries, a fall on wet leaves
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I am feeling fine after a minor car accident. Will skipping a doctor’s visit now hurt my chances of a personal injury settlement later?

From a purely health perspective, we would have to recommend that you get yourself checked out at a doctor. With the rush of adrenaline and nerves you experienced immediately after the accident, your body may have been suppressing pain as part of your ancient survival mechanisms. You may not realize you are injured until you have had a chance to calm down. Additionally, injuries, even serious ones, can take days to manifest themselves, or may not always have obvious symptoms. For your own health and safety, we would hope you go to a doctor immediately or shortly after a car
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Auto Accidents Insurance Claim Process: Dealing with Filing, Settlement and Massachusetts Laws

The auto accidents insurance claim process in Massachusetts has some state laws that can add certain protections to accident claims with injuries. Nevertheless, standard procedures are still there in how an insurance company generally deals with your accident, including during the investigation phase. Investigation After Filing Once you’ve filed an injury claim (which can be done online), your insurance company will first look to see if your accident is coverable based on your policy. They’ll also ask you for a copy of the police report so an investigation can start on who was to blame and who wasn’t. That usually
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Improving Your Workers Compensation Claim Process

Having a work injury is never something that either employees or employers expect on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, it is something that happens on occasion and it is important that both parties have certain steps that they take throughout the process. Both the employee and the employer can improve the way a workers compensation claim is handled, and here are some ways to do just that. Report it Immediately If you have been injured at work, the first thing that you should do is to report it to your supervisor and the HR department. Certain paperwork needs to be completed by
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