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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 a number of factors in determining whether there is a need, including such things as disparity of income, length of
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Categories: Articles and Divorce FAQ's.

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 ex-wife can certainly file a Complaint for Modification, but she is unlikely to succeed in getting joint custody.  By the
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Categories: Articles and Divorce FAQ's.

I just got laid off. Can I request my ex provide additional support?

Additional Information: My ex-husband provides child support and alimony and I just got laid off from my job.  We live in the Greater Boston area and I won’t be able to make rent without additional support if I don’t find a job in the next month or so.  Is it possible to modify the provisions of a divorce in this type of situation?   What is the process and is it difficult? ATTORNEY ANSWER: You can seek a modification from the original order by filing a Complaint for Modification, which will have to be served upon your ex-spouse.  To be successful,
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Categories: Articles and Divorce FAQ's.

Ex has been in contempt of divorce decree for years.

Additional Information: My ex husband have been divorced for almost 6 years.  My daughter and I live in Wayland close to my parents and they have provided a lot of emotional and financial support as my ex has been in contempt of divorce decree for several years.  Now, I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do as my daughter is approaching 18 years of age, when she will be emancipated.  He recently started paying about 25% of the ordered child support and ignoring the rest saying “oh well, she’s almost 18.”  At this point, is there anything I can
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Categories: Articles and Divorce FAQ's.

Do I file contempt motion? My ex denied part of my visitation.

Additional Information: My ex-wife is denying me my second part of my summer visitation with the kids.  I live in Framingham, MA and a couple of days into my 14 day summer visitation she came to pick them up, did not return them and has not allowed me to speak with my kids.  What can I do? Do I file a complaint for contempt motion in Framingham District court? ATTORNEY ANSWER: You are right that you’re ex-wife is in contempt.  However, you will file a Complaint for Contempt and it will be filed in the Probate and Family Court in
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Categories: Articles and Divorce FAQ's.

We’re getting divorced, how are assets divided?

Additional Information: When my husband and I were engaged, I finished business school and as a graduation present my parents gave me $50K to start my own company.  We got married, bought a home in Ashland, and started a family right away.  I never started my business and the money has been in a savings account.  Now we are getting divorced and he thinks he is entitled to half of this asset.  I have a card from my parents saying how proud they are of me and that they are gifting me the money to pursue my dreams of having
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Categories: Articles and Divorce FAQ's.

What is the best way to handle the financial aspects of a divorce?

Additional Information: My husband moved out of our Southborough home almost 18 months ago.  We are on good terms with one another and have an agreed up on schedule for time with the kids. He currently pays for daycare for our youngest, but I think he should contribute more to kid-related expenses. ATTORNEY ANSWER: Your question is initially a very broad one.  However, you specifically mention that your husband moved out of your home about 1 ½ years ago and that, although he pays for daycare, you want him to contribute more to child related expenses. I would need additional
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Categories: Articles and Divorce FAQ's.

Divorcing couples may have to share property they acquire after they split up

Most people assume that a divorcing couple’s assets will be divided according to what they own at the time they separate. But in some cases, things that happen after a couple split up can affect what they’re entitled to in a divorce. Only an attorney with expertise in divorce law can determine exactly what you might be entitled to…so it’s important to tell your divorce attorney about anything that could affect the prospects of both you and your spouse down the road. Take the case of a man who was a 25% partner in a real estate project at the
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Categories: Articles and Divorce Articles.

Social Security and Military Benefits can be divided at divorce

Federal government benefits – such as from Social Security or the military – have their own rules, and those rules usually trump state law. So sometimes it’s unclear whether a state divorce court can divide up a federal payment. However, in several recent cases, it was determined that federal payments could be split at divorce. A military retiree’s health insurance benefits can be split at divorce, the Alaska Supreme Court decided. That’s because of a federal law called the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act. Under that law, military retirement pay can be either individual property or marital property, depending
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Categories: Articles and Divorce Articles.

What are the most commonly used fault grounds for divorce in Mass?

The most common fault ground for divorce in Massachusetts is Cruel and Abusive Treatment. You need to show that something your spouse knowingly did or didn’t do caused you harm or upset. Acts of physical abuse are cruel and abusive treatment. Sometimes certain forms of mental cruelty may be enough. You have to show it caused you physical harm, for example, your spouse’s drinking and staying out all night caused you headaches and stomach problems. Another common fault is Desertion. This means your spouse left the marital home voluntarily and without your forcing him/her to leave. He or she left,
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Categories: Articles and Divorce FAQ's.