Child Support Modification When One Parent Resides in a Different State

Child Support and Out-of-State Issues Whether one parent is living just over the Massachusetts border in New Hampshire but still commutes to Boston every day, or whether the one parent is living on the West Coast while the children live with the other in the Merrimack Valley, issues of state jurisdiction may come into play when seeking to modify a Massachusetts child support judgment or temporary order. Changing Circumstances, Modifying Orders In Massachusetts, child support is governed either by temporary orders or by final judgements. Temporary orders govern the terms of child support while there is still open legal action
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How To Protect Your Children During a Divorce

Children are more intuitive than we give them credit. Divorce takes a toll on every member of the family, but it’s essential to make sure the children understand that the end of your marriage is not the end of the parent-child relationship. Have an Open Discussion Before sitting down with your child to announce the divorce, make a plan with your ex. Let the kids know what is going on with an open discussion as a family. This isn’t always easy when two parents are struggling to communicate, but the children will be comforted by having the family unit together.
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Essex and Middlesex County Probate & Family Court tests ‘virtual registry’

The Probate & Family Court is testing the use of videoconferencing for registry assistance to the general public. The Essex and Middlesex Probate & Family Court registers’ offices have begun using Zoom videoconferencing to operate virtual registries. The program creates a virtual registry for Probate & Family Court matters using a Zoom videoconference meeting link that operates during normal business hours – Monday through Friday, from 8am – 4:30pm. when a host from a register’s office is logged in. In Essex and Middlesex, users who enter the virtual registry are placed in a waiting room until the host admits individuals
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Court Rules Involuntary Non-disparaging Clauses Unconstitutional

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), on a case of direct appellate review, recently ruled (May 7, 2020) that involuntary nondisparaging clauses are an “impermissible restraint on speech.” Shak v. Shak, SJC-2748. These types of clauses are frequently used to prevent spouses from discussing their cases on social media. The Court held: “As important as it is to protect a child from the emotional and psychological harm that might follow from one parent’s use of vulgar or disparaging words about the other, merely reciting that interest is not enough to satisfy the heavy burden of restricting speech.” This is a
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Modification of Child Support due to job loss and COVID-19

Times Are Tough The spread of COVID-19 has thrown the certainties of life into disarray. Unfortunately, this uncertainty has had a devastating impact on both the stock market and the everyday commerce that sustains the economy. Freelancers, drivers, hotel, restaurant workers and many others now find themselves physically or legally barred from working. The layoffs aren’t limited to service workers; even people employed in fields who are able to work remotely from home might find themselves laid-off or furloughed as businesses reduce their payrolls in a bid to cut costs during these challenging times. With almost twenty million people unemployed,
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Divorcing During COVID-19

When your relationship is already strained, living under quarantine conditions can quickly shed light on a troubled marriage. Whether you’ve been contemplating divorce for a while or the stress of recent events has become the straw to break the camel’s back, so to speak, our law firm can help you understand the divorce process and your options. During these unprecedented times, we are all taking a look at our lives and examining our relationships. Perhaps the tiny cracks in your relationship have turned into irreparable gaping holes. With a newfound outlook on how we see our futures, some couples may decide to
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Staying Safe and Saying NO to Domestic Abuse During COVID-19

Strict stay-at-home orders implemented for safety have placed abuse victims directly in harm’s way. Safety measures recommended to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic have led to a rise in domestic abuse. For many, this is not a surprise as domestic violence goes up whenever families spend more time together. With families in quarantine and isolation worldwide, stress-levels are at an all-time high. The uncertainty of the future can increase anxiety for many. Coupled with unemployment and financial stress, tension among households is sure to rise. With the children at home all day, empty refrigerators, low bank funds, and
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Co-parenting in the Face of Coronavirus

Amid the spread of COVID-19, we are all facing unprecedented times. As this pandemic continues, regulations regarding safe practices change daily. One thing on the mind of parents sharing custody is whether or not their court order is enforceable. Rest assured, custody and parenting time Orders are in effect and continue to be enforceable during this period of time. Court-ordered arrangements remain obligatory and should be followed accordingly unless doing so places the a child at unnecessary risk. Any parent planning to use the pandemic as a reason to deny access to another parent can expect the courts to come
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The Massachusetts Divorce Process: Know Your Options

The decision to file for divorce is never easy. When the determination has been made, it’s essential to understand the process, which varies by state. To begin the divorce process in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, here are a few things to consider. To file for divorce in Massachusetts, one of the following must apply: (1) you have lived in the state for one year, or (2) the reason the marriage ended happened in Massachusetts, and you have lived in Massachusetts as a couple. You have several options available when it comes to legally dissolving your marriage: mediation, collaborative law, and
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Don’t Be Blindsided By The Division of Marital Property in Your Divorce

Many people fail to realize divorce requires more than simply signing a few documents. If you’re divorcing in Massachusetts, don’t be blindsided by the many decisions you’re about to face regarding the division of your marital property. Not all property is valued or taxed in the same way; therefore, the process can be long and confusing without the help of a knowledgeable attorney at your side. It’s important to consider that even though different financial accounts are valued at the same amount, the account owner may receive different withdraw amounts. This is because withdrawals will not be taxed in the
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