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Middlesex County Divorce Law Blog

The changes to alimony in Massachusetts

Some people have speculated that alimony, as it has been traditionally understood, could be coming to an end. They point to recent reforms that were made to the laws in Massachusetts as evidence of this change.

Before the reforms, alimony could be permanent. This meant that some people got married for just a little while -- maybe just a few years -- and then had to spend far more time making alimony payments. The reforms got rid of this and set up a new formula to be used in determining how much would have to be paid and for how long.

When child custody and visitation isn't easily agreed upon

Ideally, divorcing parents agree on child custody, parenting plans and visitation. Unfortunately, that ideal situation doesn't always occur. As a result, many child custody and visitation cases are battled out in court, with a judge making the final determinations.

Because child custody can be such an acrimonious issue, it is necessary to have someone on your side who is not so emotionally vested. An experienced family law attorney can provide advice and guidance to you as you work to do what is best for your child or children.

How to make the divorce process easier

Middlesex County, Massachusetts, couples contemplating divorce may be uneasy about how the proceedings will play out. From issues such as child custody and support to property division and alimony, this area of family law can be quite complex. This is why we want to provide the quality representation you need during your divorce.

Child custody can be one of the most contentious areas of a divorce. Ideally, parents can agree on custody and visitation; however, when that is not the case, you want a legal team that can litigate for what you believe is in your child's best interests. We also represent clients on paternity issues.

Can alimony payments be modified in Massachusetts?

Alimony in Massachusetts is ordered by the court in a divorce based upon a number of factors. Those might include how long a couple has been married, the individual incomes of each spouse and whether one spouse stayed at home to take care of the children. In some cases, it may be necessary for the court to review the original order of alimony because of a difference in circumstances with one or both of the ex-spouses.

According to Chapter 208, Section 37 of the Massachusetts Session Laws, either party may bring an action for a revision in judgment of alimony. The judge can change the amount of the alimony or otherwise alter the order. This can be done even for alimony orders that are from a foreign jurisdiction if it is determined that the jurisdiction did not have the authority over both parties to issue the alimony order.

Is there a gender-based psychological side to property division?

When two people are divorced Massachusetts, property division may quickly become the most important thing on their minds. They need to find a way to split up their assets and wealth that works fairly, though the law does not give distinct guidelines to say who is entitled to what. Since couples may have bought things jointly or forgotten who owned certain things, they have to come to an agreement or work through the court system to find one.

One interesting thing to look at is a report detailing how men and women may approach this a bit differently.

Myths abound about the child custody negotiation process

There is a lot of misinformation floating around on the Internet and in social circles about the nature of child custody agreements in Massachusetts. Chances are that you have heard one of these rumors, cautioning you not to get your hopes up because you might lose out big in your own custody battle. The fact is that many Massachusetts residents make poor decisions based on incorrect information about child custody. Avoid that fate by following along as we debunk common custody myths.

First, many families believe that mothers will always win custody battles. Decades ago, mothers did have a custody advantage because they were seen as the primary caregivers to the children. However, with changing social and financial norms in the U.S., a growing number of fathers are receiving physical custody of their children. State laws are also designed to provide an equitable division of child custody.

Alimony reform forges ahead in Massachusetts and other states

Controversy takes many forms in the discussions of marriages and divorce. Child custody is sacred, as well as spousal support. Alimony reform is on the minds of many now since a recent beloved personality took his own life due to depression.

Speculation was fodder for talk shows. One columnist from a newspaper in New England blamed alimony. She maintains his death could have been prevented if not for ex-wives sniffing around the table to make off with the prime rib and leave the master to his scraps. It was reported that $30,000 monthly went to each of the spouses and their children. It would not be the first star or high profile celebrity who lamented his financial trouble, falling into bankruptcy or an equally unpleasant state.

Florida considers Massachusetts' lead to lift ban on gay marriage

The lawmakers who voted in Massachusetts ten years ago to legalize same-sex marriage probably had no idea the cauldron they were opening. Since that time, many states in the country have followed suit, including the highest court of the land in the Sunshine state. The state of Florida's Supreme Court is determining whether the ban on same sax marriage is constitutional.

Much along the lines of what prompted Massachusetts a decade ago, the decision involves a majority number of judges from the state's District of Appeal who urged the Supreme Court of the state to settle a most important public issue.

Gay spouse sues state for discrimination of his civil rights

A tragic turn of events has resulted in a lawsuit against a state to the south of Massachusetts. Given the circumstances, it might as well be another planet.

A same-sex couple married in Massachusetts three years ago. The union was perfectly legal, as Massachusetts allowed gay couples to get married and get divorced. In this case, the couple went back to their state of residence, Alabama, where one partner was later killed in a fatal automobile accident.

No expiration date on divorce, adult children suffer, too

Divorce statistics, like many things in life, are depressing. While divorce strikes about half of all marriages in the U.S., we frequently think about the well-being of young children. Statistics show that fifty percent of children of divorced parents will deal with it before they turn 18.

Lesser known information deals with those who suffer the trauma of divorcing parents as adults. Given the fact that "grey divorce" is on the rise, adult children are now thrown into the maelstrom of divorce.

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Novick & Meyers
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3 Courthouse Lane, Unit 6
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Phone: (978) 256-4500
Fax: (978) 459-1700
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