Massachusetts Legal Blog

Family Law and Divorce FAQ’s – Woburn MA

yeFamily Law and Divorce

 When seeking a divorce in Massachusetts, it is imperative that potential clients understand the laws that affect individual proceedings. It can be very difficult for some to think about legal matters, their future or even their own rights when they are in the midst of a divorce or any other family law matter. This is typically because divorce and family law matters often accompany a great deal of emotions, emotions that can vary widely depending on the circumstances. Because these issues are inherently emotional and potentially life altering, it is vital to secure skilled, knowledgeable and also compassionate legal representation and assistance.

Family law and divorce proceedings in Massachusetts can entail lengthy hearings, filing of numerous complex documents, interviews, and even trials that can be time consuming and stressful. The outcome of most every family law case and divorce case can greatly change a person’s life including: their finances, where they live, insurance coverage, the lives of their children, education prospects, retirement plans and many more aspects of daily life. It is necessary to have the involvement of legal counsel that not only understands what your best interests may be, but who also will work diligently to ensure your rights are protected.

Divorce Representation

Divorce can be an especially trying time for couples and families to navigate. It can be easy to let emotions guide the path and therefore, not protect yourself as you should. A skilled and experienced divorce attorney can help guide a client through the entire process because divorce isn’t just about the dissolution of a marriage; it is about the start of a new life and adaptation to many more changes than anyone expects. Some of the areas in which a divorce attorney can be vital in settling or fighting for include:

•    The validity or legality of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements
•    Determination of alimony rights, including the amount and for how long
•    Restraining order issues
•    Property division
•    Domestic partnership issues
•    Appeals of any divorce settlement

Property Division 

When it comes to property division in Massachusetts, a judge can divide both martial and separate property if they see fit. For instance, if one party has a savings account before the marriage, they may assume it is separate property and not included in property to be divided. However, if that person contributes to that account at all during the marriage, it can be included in a divorce property division settlement. Also in Massachusetts, one spouse must be a resident of Massachusetts for at least six months before filing for divorce in the state. This can affect couples who may have come to the state for a legal same-sex marriage but then left to live in their home state where same-sex marriage is not yet legal. The laws pertaining to same-sex marriage issues are constantly evolving; but as it stands currently, if they wish to divorce, one of the partners must be or become a Massachusetts resident for the necessary duration of time. Alimony in Massachusetts can be a complicated matter for some. The payments can vary depending on the length of the marriage, age and health of the spouse, employment or employability of a spouse and even the lifestyle standards that were in place during the marriage.

With so much at stake and so many life changing ramifications possible, a clear-headed and experienced divorce attorney can help ensure you don’t get taken advantage of or make emotional and potentially wrong decisions. With a skilled attorney involved, you will also have a clear idea of the costs and timeline concerning your divorce.

Family Laws

Family law can encompass a wide range of issues and can directly relate to the dissolution of a marriage. Family law cases can entail:

•    Paternity cases
•    Adoption
•    Child custody rulings
•    Child support rulings
•    Parenting plans

Having legal support and guidance pertaining to your family law case can help ensure the best results possible. When it comes to children’s issues, such as custody and support, everything must be done to ensure their best interests are adhered to and protected. In Massachusetts, paternity test can be either voluntary or involuntary, meaning an individual can be ordered to submit to a paternity test. Child support in Massachusetts is set according to a specific formula that is based on income and lifestyle. However, even after a specific amount is set, modifications may be needed. A modification can be due to changing insurance costs or needs, a move involving a parent and the extra costs of visitations, changing education cost and even a change in income for the paying parent. Other situations, such as a move overseas, may further complicate child support and child custody. This means you may need the resources and guidance of your family law attorney at various times throughout the years; which means it is especially vital that you rely on a trusted and knowledgeable professional you can fully trust.

When it comes to custody arrangements and issues, the family courts in Massachusetts work tirelessly to be sure the best interests of the child is adhered to. Massachusetts also heavily favors joint custody when it can be done to the benefit of everyone involved.

As any and all divorce issues and other family law issues arise, a compassionate attorney can be a partner that can help secure the best outcome for your unique situation. Regardless of how contentious the divorce or family law situation may be, the professionals at the Shapiro Law Group, PC can help you reach the resolution you desire.

By Anna Shapiro