What Is Child Support and how is it determined by the court in Massachusetts.

Both parents are legally obligated to provide for their children. If the parents separate, this expectation is continued through the process of child support. At the dissolution of their relationship, typically the child or children shall reside primarily with one parent and the other parent shall have parenting time with the child/children. The understanding is that with whom the child primarily resides, otherwise known as the custodial parent, will provide support through paying for the child’s daily care, while the other parent, the non-custodial parent, will continue support through monthly payments directed to the custodial parent. It is important to
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Reasons to Have a Postnuptial Agreement

Though most people have heard about a prenuptial agreement, not many have heard about postnupital agreements. These agreements, also called post-marriage agreements, are exactly what they sound like. They are made by a couple after marriage. Similar to prenuptial agreements, they are made to protect both parties in the event of divorce. These agreements spell out how everything will get divided if the marriage ends. Included should be information about, not only your assets, but also your debts. Postnuptial agreements are also helpful if a couple wants to amend their prenuptial agreement. If one or both of the parties decide
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How Social Media Can Impact a Divorce

Before Facebook launched to the public in 2006, most people had never heard the term “social media.” Only internet nerds and computer geeks knew much about it. Fast forward to today and social networking is a large part of many people’s lives. It includes not only posting and sharing on Facebook but also on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and other internet platforms. Social media is changing how people communicate and interact with each other. It is even impacting divorce. Divorce lawyers began encountering evidence garnered from social media websites about six or seven years ago. Now they see it regularly,
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Parenting Time and Visitation Agreements

When parents separate or divorce, children are often caught in the middle. Parents struggle over custody and scheduling parenting time. Each of the participants have rights when making these important decisions. It can’t be forgotten that any agreements involving children must be in the children’s best interest. Massachusetts courts have upheld this assumption. Couples have children both in and out of wedlock. Many of these relationships don’t last. Children need to continue to have a relationship with both parents despite the difficulties parents may have with each other. Massachusetts General Law (MGL) Chapter 208 provides guideline for children born to
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Massachusetts Spousal Support Facts

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is court-ordered financial support paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce. It is a contentious issue, sometimes even more so than child custody or asset division. Massachusetts has four kinds of alimony, and the amount of support awarded depends on a number of factors. Either party can ask for alimony, but if awarded, the spouse who has the lower-income is usually the person who receives it. Types of Alimony Rehabilitative Alimony – The court awards this kind of alimony to help a spouse become financially independent. It might pay for more
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Massachusetts Alimony Law

Going through a divorce is never an exciting time. Most often it comes with much heartache or filled with bitterness. One of the hardest topics of a divorce is the issue of alimony and spousal support in Family Law. Alimony is when a judge orders one spouse to pay another spouse a specific amount of money every month, for a certain amount of time. The length of the marriage is a significant factor when determining the amount of alimony one can expect to receive. “According to the Massachusetts Alimony Calculator, under the current Massachusetts law if the marriage lasts five
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Getting a Divorce and Think Your Spouse is Hiding Income?

Unfortunately, divorce is a fact of life. Unsettling and even frightening, it often brings out the worst in people. This includes one spouse hiding income from the other in an attempt to keep it for himself and lessen his spouse’s settlement amount. Although penalties are in place to prevent this kind of unethical behavior, it still happens fairly frequently, particularly in marriages with a complex financial picture. The more sources of income, investment accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, et cetera that a couple has, the easier it is for one spouse to hide money from the other. So how do
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Parenting Schedules and Virtual Visitation

When interacting with a child or children becomes difficult for a parent because of distance, virtual visitation could help families stay connected. Here is some information those in Massachusetts might like to know about electronic visitation. If a non-custodial parent is entitled to visitation rights, then virtual visitation rights might be an option too. These rights are not meant to replace real world interaction but can supplement parenting time when in-person meetings are not possible. Arrangements for virtual communication might be agreed on by parents as part of a parenting plan or ordered by a judge in a child custody
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How are Alimony and Spousal Support Calculated?

During the divorce, the court might order one party to pay alimony (spousal support) to the other.   A judge looks at each case individually and uses a number of factors to determine if one party deserve support or not. Both men and women can request support, but it is not a guarantee for either spouse. When considering Massachusetts family law and deciding whether to award alimony, as well as in what amount and for what duration, the court considers: •    The marriage length •    Each party’s behavior during the marriage •    Each party’s age and health •    Each party’s income
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Who Gets The House In A Massachusetts Divorce

Going through a divorce is challenging, unsettling and even frightening. Having to divide property only adds to the stress.  A family law question that most divorcing couples ask is who gets the house?  It is often the largest asset that a couple has and can easily become a point of serious contention during divorce proceedings. While some states recognize the idea of community property, in which both spouses own all property jointly and split it down the middle in a divorce, Massachusetts does not.  Instead, the Commonwealth is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that asset distribution must be fair but not
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