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Middlesex County Divorce Law Blog

A modern witch hunt in Massachusetts or a story of child custody?

The saga of Justina Pelletier's daughter and where she needs to be living has been an ongoing saga for a year.

The parents of the 15-year-old girl feel she has been imprisoned by the Boston Children's Hospital long enough. She has been there over a year after having been diagnosed with a rare mental disorder. Due to treatment disputes between parents and medical administrators, the teenager has not been able to go home with her parents, where she feels she belongs.

Monitoring your money and beneficiaries in Massachusetts

It's been a decade since Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Now, 10 years later, gay couples can marry in 17 states. The same federal guidelines in place for heterosexual couples apply to same-sex couples on the issues of money management and planning for your final wishes. Critical points to keep in mind involve financial planning, property division, and designating beneficiaries.

When managing your money, it is wise to review those individuals you have designated as recipients of your wealth and assets. Many of us forget to update this information. Unfortunately, it can get complicated especially for a person who has remarried.

Child support case in Massachusetts gains notoriety

Child support is usually an issue that comes up in a divorce. Just when we thought we had heard everything about this issue, along comes a teenager who tried to sue her parents in court for child support and tuition.

The teenager had previously gained notoriety for attempting sue her parents to emancipate herself. According to her parents, she disagreed with dating and other home restrictions the parents had imposed upon her. She later moved in with a friend, whose father was an attorney ready to help her with her case.

Commonwealth proposes no sex until divorce is finalized

From the state that brought us witch hunts, Puritanical traditions and Paul Revere's Ride, one would expect nothing less from Massachusetts than a proposed bill prohibiting sex in the home on the couple's property during a divorce.

The new bill was introduced in the early part of 2013 by a leading state senator and one of his constituents. While currently under review, it already has generated controversy. Critics claim politics should stay out of the bedroom. Supporters agree that the bill is designed to protect children in the home during the divorce process.

Mediation versus divorce court in Massachussetts

When a couple falls in love and gets married, they think about the vows they take and what they mean. But these days, statistics show that about 50 percent of all marriages do not make it. The U.S. Census Bureau revealed in 2009 that Massachusetts had over 1,000 divorces a month, almost 13,000 in a year's time.

High-asset divorce can be especially traumatic, but perhaps the most humiliating is the confrontations that can take place in court in front of a judge to nail down child support, alimony, and who gets what. More and more couples are considering mediation as a way to work out the messy details of a dissolution of marriage.

Keeping your business safe during a Massachusetts divorce

A divorce is probably not something that you planned on facing when you first got married, but the fact of the matter is that half of the marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. That means that it is a real possibility for any couple, regardless of how things started. For those who own their own businesses, a divorce can be incredibly damaging.

The problem with owning a business is that it will probably be counted as one of your major assets. The business' wealth is your wealth. If everything that you and your spouse own is being split in half -- the money in your bank accounts, for instance, or even your home -- the business will be split as well. In many cases, both spouses do not both want ownership. This means that the company may have to be sold and the proceeds split or that one spouse will need to buy out the other spouse's share of the business. Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done to protect the company.

Who knows best in child custody?The state or parents?

A recent case of child custody in nearby Connecticut underscores the plight of the rights of parents vs. the responsibilities of the state child protection judgments.

A case in the news surrounds the custody of a minor child who has been removed from her parents for her own protection. Controversy rages over who has the more significant right in knowing what is in the best interests of a child: the state or her parents.

Attorney general makes landmark marriage equality announcement

Attorney General Eric Holder announced landmark changes to the way the federal government treats married lesbian and gay couples. He mentioned that every US courthouse would adhere to this ruling.

The changes will mean that the federal government will treat married lesbian and gay couples the same as heterosexual couples when they do things like file for bankruptcy, testify in court or visit family in prison.

Allegations of child mistreatment may affect custody disputes

Massachusetts is just one state in which mistreatment of children occurs. Sadly, many of these cases go unreported, and this colors the validity of the statistics. In light of recent allegations against a reputable Hollywood director, many have begun to question the credibility of the accuser. Some studies involving child custody cases seem to suggest that children may be telling tales encouraged by parents seeking sole custody.

These reports suggest there should not be a blanket idea to "believe the survivor and condemn the alleged perpetrator." Any innocent child subject to inappropriate treatment is heinous, but, if the information is fabricated, it may be detrimental to the system of justice.

2014 MassEquality celebrates anniversary of same sex marriage

MassEquality 2014 has been counting the days until its flagship event, the Icon Awards, at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, will take place at the end of the month. The festivities will be kicked off with a special meal prepared by Chef Tiffani Faison in celebration of the achievements of MassEquality in the state of Massachusetts, the first state to celebrate the end of sex discrimination in the state and pave the way for marriage equality for same-sex marriages. The awards will also highlight pro-LGBT champions in the state house in efforts to end youth bullying, promote protection for transgender people in the workplace, increase HIV/AIDS awareness, improve healthcare access and lobby for equal pay for equal work, including minimum wage rulings, and expansion to other benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

Some special icons will be honored at the festivities. State Speaker Robert DeLeo will receive the Political Icon award for his leadership and effort to pass the Transgender Equal Rights Bills and the issue of LGBTQ homeless problems surrounding youths, ongoing promotion of anti-LGBTQ bullying, survivors of sexual abuse, and matters of HIV/AIDS.

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Novick & Meyers
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