Common Myths in Massachusetts Family Law Every Parent Should Know

When it comes to divorcing and family law, things get complicated quickly. It’s essential to know your rights regarding your children. Presented here are some common myths every parent should be made aware of during divorce or custody proceedings. Myth: A parent’s failure to pay child support can result in the parent being kept from seeing the children Only a judge can determine visitation rights. If a parent fails to pay child support, the other parent is not automatically given the right to withhold visitation. The Court’s orders for visitation cannot be ignored simply because the child support account is
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Mistakes to Avoid During Alimony Negotiations

As a Massachusetts resident going through a divorce, you’re not alone. No matter your reason for divorce, one of the most contentious issues that arise in any divorce is the subject of alimony. Alimony payments—also known in some states as “spousal support” or “maintenance” is the legal obligation that a supporting spouse pay to the supported spouse. Massachusetts courts generally award alimony to the lower-earning spouse so that spouse can maintain a reasonable standard of living during and after divorce. In the commonwealth of Massachusetts, several types of alimony can be awarded. They are called rehabilitative, reimbursement, transitional, and general
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Holiday Custody

The winter holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they are also a top contender for the most stressful time of the year. Regardless of family structure, holiday gatherings and visits can be contentious. Under the stress of cleaning and cooking and visiting in-laws, even close-knit nuclear families, amicably divorced co-parents, or happily mixed step-families might experience some tension and conflict around this time of the year. Given the stress of preparing for holidays, and the emotions invested in family celebrations, it is more important than ever for there to be good channels of communication about
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Is it legal to videotape my spouse behaving badly (verbal or physical abuse, infidelity, etc) as evidence in a divorce case?

As thoughts turn towards divorce, tempers can flare and people may behave in ways they normally would not be proud of, even in a relatively amicable situation. Of course, the bad behavior of a spouse—ranging from neglect of household duties to infidelity to abusive actions—may well have begun long before the divorce, and may well be the reason for it. In seeking a favorable divorce settlement, one that compensates you for violations of the marriage contract and shields you from your spouse’s ongoing bad behavior, you will want to have evidence to bolster your claims. In a world of smart
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Child Custody in the Face of Infidelity

Massachusetts marriages end for a variety of reasons. From financial to work-related or even stress-related reasons, many marriages all over the country end in divorce. No matter the reason for the legal dissolution of a marriage, the ensuing divorce proceedings can range from amicable to hostile. A number of circumstances may add additional stress to the divorce process. Particularly, marriages that end due to infidelity. This situation can result in increased pressure, and lead to exponential duress if there are children involved. If you’re concerned that infidelity during your marriage or a new partner acquired during a separation might impact
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I was married and last lived in Massachusetts with my spouse but do not live in Massachusetts now, can I get divorced in Massachusetts?

While marriage laws are based on where the parties are at the time of marriage, divorce is based on where the parties live at the time of divorce. The answer to this question depends on how long you’ve resided outside of Massachusetts. While most states require you to be a resident before you may file divorce papers, the required length of residency varies per state. In most cases, it’s at least a minimum of six months. To file for divorce in the state of Massachusetts, one of the following must apply: You, or your estranged spouse, have lived in the
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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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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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Massachusetts Family Law and Child Support

If you have ever had to deal with Family Law in the state of Massachusetts, you know that it can be a bit confusing. This is rather frustrating when not knowing your rights and not knowing how to get through the laws can mean the difference between keeping your kids and losing them. Sometimes what’s at stake is somehow even more important than the custody of your kids. Sometimes what’s at stake is making sure you can put food on the table for your kids. If you have won custody already and are expecting child support that isn’t coming, there are a
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Family Law and modifying the terms of a divorce

Divorce settlements aren’t always permanent. You might need to return to court post divorce for a variety of reasons. But keep in mind that you may only return to court for a divorce modification if you or your ex-spouse have a change of circumstances to warrant further legal proceedings. If you move to a different area, or if your job changes, these are valid reasons to contact your attorney to discuss modifying the original agreement.  These are only a few of the possible life changes you or your ex might have that a court would consider acceptable reasons for modifying
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