In The News

Longtime Lowell law firm moves to N. Andover

By Dan O’Brien | Lowell Sun

LOWELL — A longtime family law firm has moved its offices from Gorham Street to North Andover.

After 20 years in Lowell, Berid & Schutzbank, LLC, recently made the move to 800 Turnpike St., Suite 304, in North Andover.

In a phone interview Monday, managing member Eric Schutzbank said the move was made to create a more centralized location for a client base that has extended to the North Shore and into southern New Hampshire, as well as for “balance of work-life issues.”

“I live here in North Andover, so this move allows me to work closer to home,” he said.

Schutzbank said the firm was originally formed in 1980 by his former partner, Maxa Berid. He joined the firm in 1995, working in Lowell until a month ago.

“I have a strong affinity and fondness for Lowell,” Schutzbank said, noting he had worked for a time with the National Park Service.

Berid retired from litigation in 2010, and as counsel earlier this year, leaving Schutzbank as the firm’s lone attorney. The only other employee is Alison Dorsey.

Berid & Schutzbank practices family law, including divorce, custody, removal, parenting issues, child support, grandparents’ rights, as well as criminal law, guardianships and elder issues.

Schutzbank, a family-law attorney and criminal-defense lawyer, is a former president of the Greater Lowell Bar Association.

Lawyers say alimony reform a long time coming

Alimony reform in Massachusetts is an issue that has been discussed for years. On March 1, 2012, a new alimony law went into effect that completely changes the law in Massachusetts. Under the old law, the Court had no authority to set durational limits for even the shortest of marriages. The new law establishes durational limits and establishes various classes of alimony. It also provides those paying under the old law the right to seek a modification or termination of alimony where appropriate.  Following is the article from the Lowell Sun in which I am quoted discussing the need for alimony reform.  You may also review the highlights of the new Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act.

By Lisa Redmond | Lowell Sun Times (original source)

BOSTON — Supporters call it a much-needed divorce.

When Gov. Deval Patrick signed the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Law last September, replacing the state’s antiquated law, the Massachusetts Bar Association described it as “landmark legislation” that will enact “fair and equitable alimony in Massachusetts.”

The new law, which went into effect March 1, includes a major change: Former spouses are no longer locked into a lifetime sentence of paying alimony.

Lowell divorce attorney Eric Schutzbank, of Berid-Schutzbank, described the new law as “absolutely necessary.”

He added, “The law is a good compromise that should enable those going through the difficult process of getting divorced to have a greater opportunity to negotiate an outcome they can be satisfied with as it pertains to alimony.”

Taking a page from the politicians’ playbook, the new law allows for “alimony term limits.” With alimony term limits, alimony from long-term marriages of more than 20 years will end at retirement age. [Read more…]

Attorney Schutzbank Named 2010 Massachusetts Rising Star by Super Lawyers

Berid & Schutzbank is proud to announce that Attorney Eric Schutzbank was recently named as a 2010 Massachusetts Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine. The Rising Star accommodation recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state, for those who are 40 years old or younger. Rising Star attorneys are selected based upon a variety of criteria including including experience, clients, peer review, judicial review, settlements, trials, verdicts, honors and awards, certifications, publications and other outstanding achievements.

You may view Attorney Schutzbank’s Super Lawyers profile.

Lowell Team Wins National Mock Trial Competition

The following is not legal advice. It is information concerning the steps involved in various legal matters. If you need legal advice about your specific case or situation, please contact us to set up a low cost consultation.

Lowell Team Wins National Mock Trial Competition

Berid & Schutzbank is proud to have assisted the Greater Lowell Law Explorers Mock Trial Team in the annual Learning for Life National Mock Trial Tournament. Berid & Schutzbank congratulates the team on taking first place at the tournament, recently held at the American University in Washington, D. C. on Saturday, July 25th.

[Read more…]

The Dissolution of Marriage – April 2007

The following is not legal advice. It is information concerning the steps involved in various legal matters. If you need legal advice about your specific case or situation, please contact us to set up a low cost consultation.

The Dissolution of a Marriage

In Massachusetts divorce is initiated either by the filing of a Joint Petition for Divorce (where the parties have reached a settlement in advance of filing) or by filing a Complaint for Divorce either claiming fault or no fault grounds. It is not necessary to show that your spouse has caused the divorce. Most divorces are filed on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown, commonly called no fault. While some divorces are contested, (no agreement) on issues of property, support, etc., few are actually contested on the grounds for the divorce itself. The grounds for the divorce do not necessarily determine how the property will be divided or how much support will be awarded, although under extreme circumstances, fault and wrongful conduct can have an impact on the final outcome.

The time it takes to complete a divorce, depends on how quickly both husband and wife can agree to how to handle custody of your children and child support, and the division of all of your property. If you can not agree and need to go to court to have a Judge decide the issues your divorce will take considerably longer then if, with the assistance of counsel or through mediation, reach an agreement prior to filing or in advance of any trial date. [Read more…]