What does it mean to be “Held in Contempt” by the court?

Contempt is a tool used by Probate and Family Courts to enforce parties to comply with Court Orders. This gives the Court power to enforce Orders and/or Judgments issued during divorce, custody and other Probate & Family Court proceedings. Being “Held in Contempt” means that a Court has made a finding that you violated a Court Order or Judgment. Someone who violates or disobeys a court order risks being held in contempt by the court. This includes failing to pay alimony or child support or refusal to comply with a parenting schedule ordered by the court. It can also include
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COURT GRANTS ORDER TO SEND NOTICE OF “ANANIAS RIGHTS’ TO OUI DEFENDANTS

On February 1, 2021, Judge Robert A. Brennan granted a joint Motion to Disseminate” filed by the Commonwealth and the Defense in the case of Commonwealth v. Ananias. In 2017, Judge Brennan had issued a ruling in Ananias that temporarily suspended the admissibility of all breath tests using the Draeger Alcotest 9510 machine administered between June 2011 and April 18, 2019. Judge Brennan held that there was a presumptive unreliability of these specific breath tests and held them inadmissible until the Commonwealth met certain conditions (which were met in 2019). In the latest Order, the Court granted a request to
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Massachusetts Estate Planning: What to Do When Your Healthcare Proxy Cannot Be Relied Upon

The Best-Laid Plans You did it. You did what so many of your friends and family members have not, what you yourself dragged your feet on for years longer than you should have. You made arrangements for your estate, appointed a healthcare proxy, and relaxed, knowing that your family and doctors will have a clear idea of your wishes even when you are no longer able to communicate those wishes. And then you hit a snag: your designated healthcare proxy no longer can, or no longer will, carry out your wishes for your medical care and end-of-life treatment. Perhaps your
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Both spouses can share in gift from husband’s family

A recent South Dakota case makes clear that a gift to a married couple from one spouse’s family will count as a gift to both of them in the event of a divorce, even if the benefactor later claims he or she intended otherwise The case revolved around South Dakota land that had been in Dennis Ryland’s family since 1878, when his great-grandfather homesteaded it. Ryland had only one child, who had moved away from South Dakota and had no interest in coming back to farm the land. In 2006, when the farm was worth nearly $2 million, Ryland decided
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Ex-wife can ‘claw back’ millions in hidden assets

When marriages go bad, feelings can be raw, making it tempting to want to hide assets to punish your soon-to-be ex. But if you get caught, the consequences can be severe, as a recent case shows us. The couple in the case, Robert and Janet Foisie, decided to divorce in 2010. They went to mediation, where they agreed to fully disclose and equally divide their assets. Robert also allegedly told Janet during mediation that he had no “offshore assets.” A year later, after both spouses had allegedly fully disclosed their assets in a Connecticut family court, they executed a divorce
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Who carries the burden of proof in a criminal case?

The phrase ‘burden of proof’ refers to which party—the defense or prosecution—is responsible for providing evidence of a crime. In most court cases, the party filing the claim carries the burden of proof. In a criminal case, this generally falls to the prosecution. The burden of proof refers to the process of proving elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof does not refer to proving guilt or innocence. Criminal cases do not require defendants to prove innocence. However, while the prosecution carries the burden of proof, they do not have to prove guilt to the
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Mom can’t move kids away without consent of court

A mother who wanted to move her kids 90 minutes from their father, who shared joint custody, couldn’t do so without the court reviewing the children’s best interests, a South Carolina appeals court recently ruled. The couple divorced in June 2014 and had joint legal custody and joint week-to-week physical custody of their two children. Neither parent paid child support, although the mother, who apparently earned more money, provided medical insurance and childcare costs. The order also barred either parent from having their children overnight in the presence of members of the opposite sex. A year after the divorce the
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When to Modify Your Divorce Agreement

How long has it been since you terminated your marriage? Have your circumstances changed since then? While your divorce may last forever, your divorce agreement can change over time. There are many reasons to consider modifying your divorce agreement. Some examples include: a significant change in income that will impact child support or alimony payments a job change requiring a move needs of aging children the remarriage of the party awarded the alimony Child Support Modifications With regard to child support, you can request to modify your original order. Regardless of changing circumstances, under the child support guidelines, you are currently entitled
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Court OK’s prenup-turned-post-nup

Prenuptial agreements are a useful way for a soon-to-be-married couple to protect assets they are bringing into a marriage. Essentially, these are contracts that lay out exactly what each spouse is entitled to (and obligated to) in the event of a divorce. If you and your soon-to-be-spouse are considering such an agreement, be sure to work with an attorney who can make sure it’s properly executed. Otherwise it may not be enforced, as nearly happened in a recent Michigan case. In that case, Carla Skaates and her husband Nathan Kayser lived together for before getting married. Skaates had a dental
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COVID-era divorce solutions could outlive pandemic

The Covid-19 crisis has impacted every aspect of life, including divorce. With courthouses closed to the public, divorcing couples have had to contend with technology solutions like Zoom for hearings and trials. This has made what’s already a challenging process even harder as participants deal with bad connectivity and sound, background distractions and getting documents to a judge that can usually be handed over in person. Nonetheless, Zoom and similar tech solutions have improved the process in certain ways that may outlive the virus. Zoom and similar tech solutions have improved the process in certain ways that may outlive the
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