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Divorce, Family Law, and Mediation Services
Our attorneys can assist you with a variety of Massachusetts divorce and family law issues:
There are two types of divorce in Massachusetts. A contested divorce is a divorce where the parties are unable to agree on issues such as child custody, child support, parenting time, alimony, health insurance, and the division of marital assets. A contested divorce in Massachusetts requires that one party serve the other party with a complaint for divorce. Once this happens the parties will usually attend a hearing for temporary orders. The temporary orders can address issues such as child support and parenting time until the case is resolved through an agreement or trial. The parties will be required to attend several hearings to try to resolve the case and to inform the judge what the unresolved issues in the case are. If the parties are unable to agree on all of the issues, then they will be required to have a trial. After the trial, the judge will make a decision regarding all unresolved issues.
An uncontested divorce is a divorce where the parties are able to agree on all of the issues and are simply seeking an attorney to draft their documents and represent them in court. An uncontested divorce in Massachusetts does not require the divorcing parties to go into court on multiple occasions. The parties are only required to attend a short hearing in front of a judge before their divorce becomes final. An uncontested divorce is the easiest and least expensive way to get divorced in Massachusetts.
Divorce Mediation is an option for some couples who are unable to agree on the issues in their divorce, however, they would rather resolve their Massachusetts divorce with a mediator as opposed to in court. Our mediators can assist you at any stage of your case, whether or not you are already represented by an attorney. Mediation can help to resolve issues such as parenting time, child custody, alimony, and the division of marital assets. Mediation has proven to be a successful way to resolve divorce cases in Massachusetts. The parties who participate in mediation are generally happier with the result because they participated in creating their own separation agreement.
Child Custody, Parenting Time, and Child Support
Custody and child support of minor children is a very important issue. In Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts, there are two types of custody, legal and physical. Legal custody deals with major decisions regarding the child. Legal custody is generally shared unless it can be proven that shared legal custody is not in the best interest of the child. Physical custody deals with where the child resides the majority of the time. Physical custody can be shared, but only if it is shown to be in the best interest of the child. If a parent does not have shared physical custody of his or her child, then the parties will have to create a parenting plan or visitation schedule. Our attorneys can assist you in creating a parenting plan and schedule that works best for the parties and the children involved. In Massachusetts, the Probate and Family Court uses the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines when determining child support. Our attorneys can assist you in completing the appropriate paperwork and help you with child support issues.
After a case has been resolved in court, there may be a change in circumstance that requires the parties to modify their agreement. Massachusetts Probate and Family courts require that there be a material change in circumstances in order for a modification to be filed. Some of the cases that can be modified are child support, custody, and alimony. Please contact our Massachusetts divorce and family law attorneys to find out if your case can be modified.
Our offices handle all types of Massachusetts adoptions, including Massachusetts same-sex adoptions, Massachusetts private adoptions, and the Department of Children and Family adoptions. Our attorneys’ favorite cases are adoptions because it is such a happy time in a family’s life. Contact our Massachusetts family law attorneys now to get the paperwork started for your adoption.
Although we don’t like to think our marriages will end in divorce, the reality is that almost half of the marriages don’t work out. It is important that you protect your assets prior to getting married. If you own property, make considerably more than your partner, own a business, or are expecting an inheritance you should consider a Massachusetts Prenuptial Agreement. Contact our experienced family law attorneys to determine if you need a Prenuptial Agreement.
Wills and Trusts
It is essential that you have a will drafted as soon as possible, especially if you have children. A will in Massachusetts allows you to designate who will receive your property and take care of your children if something unexpected happens. A trust can be an important tool to protect your assets, the assets of children, or the assets of elderly parents. Contact our office today to set up an appointment to draft your will or trust.
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