How Is Spousal Support Determined In Massachusetts?

One of the most common questions when going through a divorce is about spousal support. Spousal support is often called alimony, and it is a word that many people hear but don’t quite understand. When you hear about divorces involving famous people, most often there are orders for large amounts of alimony. You may hear about alimony payments in the millions when a movie star divorces, or in cases of people who are very rich. But what if you or Continue Reading

I am liable for my wife’s student loan?

Additional Info: My wife and I are getting divorced.  She took out a loan so she could finish her degree at  Boston College.   She said she would use the degree to get a job, but she hasn’t finished the program so technically the “community” hasn’t benefited from her returning to school.  Will I be liable for half of the loan? Attorney Answer: You will likely not be liable for half the loan.  In fact, you may not be liable for Continue Reading

What are my rights during the divorce process?

Additional Info: My husband has moved out of our home in Natick and changed all the passwords to our bank accounts. Can he legally do this before we get divorced?   I am a stay at home mom.  How am I supposed to live and take care of the kids with no access to our financial accounts?  What do I do? Attorney Answer: If a complaint for divorce has already been filed with the Court, then there is a Rule 411 Continue Reading

Am I entitled to 50% of my wife’s inheritance?

Additional Info: I’ve supported my wife and family in Wellesley for 21 years. We are now going through a divorce and she just received an inheritance of over $500,000.  Am I entitled to 50%? Attorney Answer: A Court has a wide latitude of discretion and will consider several factors in determining what, if any, portion of an inheritance a divorcing spouse will receive.  An inheritance is a marital asset that is subject to equitable division, but it may not be Continue Reading

What can we do to get visitation or custody?

Additional Information: Our son, his girlfriend and their baby have been living with me in our Needham home. I took care of the baby while he was finishing high school.  He is now doing online college courses and taking care of the baby.  The baby’s mother has found a new boyfriend and took the baby and moved in with him. I called social services and they said the mom has custody until a court hearing, and we can’t even see Continue Reading

What rights does my daughter have when it comes to visitation?

Additional Info: I have been divorced for 8 years. My 16 year-old daughter doesn’t want to visit her dad 1 1/2 hrs away every other weekend.  We live in Sherborn and her dad now lives over an hour away.  She’s a teenager and has a busy sports schedule and social life.   What rights does my daughter have? Attorney Answer: It is hard to force a 16 year old to do anything.  Is there an alternative schedule that she will agree Continue Reading

How will my husband’s reckless behavior affect our divorce?

Additional Info: I thought getting married and having a child would make my husband more responsible.  We even moved from the city to a Boston Metrowest suburb, but he still goes out several nights a week with friends and comes back intoxicated.  Recently he was too hungover the next day to go to work, and missed a big client meeting and now his job is at risk. Attorney Answer: His immaturity will likely affect the negotiations of a settlement.  I Continue Reading

Can an order for child support be modified without going to court in MA?

Additional Info: My ex-wife and I agreed to lower child support payments.   Our youngest son is now in public school and we no longer have the pay the exorbitant daycare expense in Wayland. Can an order for child support be modified without going to court?  We modified the divorce agreement and both signed it and even had a neighbor sign as a witness.   Is what we did legally binding? Attorney Answer: You can agree to a lower child support payment Continue Reading

How does the new alimony law in MA affect me?

Additional info: I am getting a divorce. My wife is a neurological surgeon and has her own private practice in Framingham so she makes significantly more money than I do.   I know I will be entitled to alimony but could you please tell me how the new alimony law in MA and what I may receive? Attorney Answer: Even with the new alimony laws, alimony is still a function of “need vs. ability to pay”.  The Court will look at Continue Reading

Can my ex petition for joint custody after all these years?

Additional Information: I have been divorced almost 10 years now and was awarded sole custody of our now 16 year-old son.   My ex-wife has recently expressed an interest in now forming a relationship him.  My question is can my wife petition for a divorce modification for joint custody now?  My son and I live in the Natick area and she lives about 90 minutes away, so not sure how that would even work.  How should I proceed? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Your Continue Reading