My son and daughter-in-law are divorcing. As a grandmother do I have visitation rights?

Grandparents do have legal rights, however, regarding visitation, may require a court order under Massachusetts law. In the event the grandparents and parents can come to an agreement regarding visitation, court intervention is not required. When no such agreement can be made, there are certain situations grandparents may be granted a court order allowing visitations. Under Massachusetts law, grandparents have the right to ask a court for visitation if the parents were married and then divorced; the parents are still married, but they live apart, and there is a court order about the separation; or one or both parents are
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I’ve only been married for 2 weeks, am I eligible for an annulment?

In the state of Massachusetts, a court granted annulment means your marriage never legally happened. Each state’s legislative code sets specific guidelines for what constitutes an annullable marriage. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t annul a marriage based on a short duration. Massachusetts outlines seven specific grounds for annulment. In Massachusetts, annulments require your marriage to be either void or voidable. There are three void marriage grounds: consanguinity, having a blood relation such as brother and sister or first cousins; affinity, meaning you’re related by marriage to your spouse; and bigamy which refers to either you or your spouse is
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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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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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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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