New alimony laws are in effect in Massachusetts. The length of general term alimony depends on factors that include the length of the marriage, and it will almost always end when the party paying alimony retires. The court, however, can adjust or alter the criteria for alimony as it deems appropriate. We thoroughly understand these new laws and will review the particular circumstances of your situation to get you the best results.
Massachusetts law does not allow a minor child to decide which parent he or she will live. In a child custody dispute, Massachusetts law gives the judge the discretion to consider which parent the minor child prefers to live with. When deciding custody, the judge will consider a wide range of factors regarding the minor child’s welfare; not just his or her preference. As the child gets older a judge is likely to attach a great deal of weight to an adolescent’s expression of preference, while an eight-year-olds preference may not be as compelling. The probate and family court determines which parent should be awarded custody of a minor child based upon that child’s “best interests” and which parent will best promote the child’s best interests. However, there is no specific definition of the “best interests” standard. It is up to the court to determine what constitutes a child’s “best interests” on a case by case basis and the law grants the court a significant level of discretion in deciding what factors to consider as part of the child’s best interests. We understand this standard, and can navigate you through the difficult process confidently.
Generally, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the primary custodial parent and is based on the income of the parties under a formula called the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. If there is a shared physical custodial arrangement, the amount of child support may require a different formula. In general terms, child support will be ordered for children up to the age of 18. Once a child is over 18, there is more discretion by the court as to the level of support, especially if parents are also contributing toward college expenses. We understand these Guidelines and be sure that you receive or pay a fair amount of support for your children to continue to live in a healthy environment.
When you are in the process of divorce and children are involved, one of the most important thing is the custody and parenting time with your beloved child(ren). ` Children benefit greatly from having both parents actively involved in their lives. Our attorney’s have a wealth of experience in this field and will work with you to work out a plan that will be acceptable by the Court and in line with the best interest of the child or children.
Division of Assets
Property division in a divorce is most important to have experienced representation who understand statutory and case law. When dealing with Massachusetts law, the judge has significant discretion in determining what property is “marital property” for a fair division which is the equitable distribution of property, including debts. If you have complex marital assets, such as family-owned business, trust assets, pensions, this is where you need an experienced and skilled attorney who can make a difference in your financial standing when you walk away from the divorce.
We bring a wealth of experience to resolve family disputes. We have represented clients throughout Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts in divorce and other family law related matters for over 30 years. Our attorneys have extensive experience in all aspects of litigation, including handling motion sessions, evidentiary hearings, contempt proceedings, pretrial conferences and trials.