Preparing For Divorce Mediation

Divorce is always a painful process. Splitting assets for its cash value is often a difficult end to a relationship that did not work out. Emotions run high, even in an amicable divorce. Being prepared is the best way to ensure both parties receive their fair share of the marital assets and debts. Listing shared…

Details

Out of State Child Support Modification

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 on the South Shore, issues of state jurisdiction may come into play…

Details

Divorce Modification in Massachusetts

Once a divorce is finalized, the documents are filed with the courts for record keeping and enforcement purposes. However, life is unpredictable and circumstances can change over time. In Massachusetts, if a court order or judgment no longer suits the parties because circumstances have changed in a significantly since the order or judgment was issued,…

Details

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)…

Details

Prenuptial Agreements: What They Are And Who Needs One

Prenuptial agreements might have a bad reputation from tabloid accounts of celebrity divorces, but these important legal arrangements are for more than the rich and famous. Nor are prenuptial agreements a statement that a couple plans to divorce or otherwise wants an exit strategy. When done right, a prenuptial agreement can help a couple take…

Details

Don’t Fall Victim to Hidden Assets During Divorce

When it comes to divorce in Massachusetts, everything related to finances must be fully disclosed. This includes every single asset, purchased together or otherwise, as well as all accumulated debts. Each spouse is instructed to report known findings through a financial (statement) affidavit. The financial statement is signed under the pains and penalties of perjury and is one…

Details

Holiday Custody

The winter holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they are also a top contender for the most stressful time of the year. Regardless of family structure, holiday gatherings and visits can be contentious. Under the stress of cleaning and cooking and visiting in-laws, even close-knit nuclear families, amicably divorced co-parents,…

Details

When mediation may be your best option in divorce

Divorce, while never easy, does not have to be an acrimonious ordeal. For couples who wish to amicably end their marriages, there are a number of processes available that do not involve a combative mindset and are designed to minimize conflict in favor of compromise. One of the most common processes that aim for a…

Details

Child Custody in the Face of Infidelity

Massachusetts marriages end for a variety of reasons including but not limited to finances, work and stress. No matter the reason for the legal dissolution of a marriage, the ensuing divorce proceedings can range from amicable to hostile. A number of circumstances may add additional stress to the divorce process. Particularly, marriages that end due…

Details

My ex-spouse has asked to pick up our children, of whom we share custody, at a different time from that stated in our custody agreement. I’m fine with the change. Do we need to alter the agreement, or is a verbal agreement enough?

My ex-spouse has asked to pick up our children, of whom we share custody, at a different time from that stated in our custody agreement. I’m fine with the change. Do we need to alter the agreement, or is a verbal agreement enough? Practically, if this is a one-time, or two-time situation, a verbal agreement will suffice. If you…

Details

Worcester OUI DUI Defense Attorney

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE STOPPED BY POLICE FOR ALLEGEDLY OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL When you are a motorist being stopped by a police officer it is common to be nervous and anxious and it is also common to want to cooperate with the officer’s  instructions so that the unpleasant experience will…

Details

Massachusetts Divorce Modification

Once a divorce is finalized, the documents are filed with the courts. However, life is unpredictable and circumstances can change over time. In Massachusetts, if an earlier court order or judgment no longer suits the parties because circumstances have changed in a significant way since the order or judgment was issued, the court can “modify”…

Details

Child Custody Issues in Same-Sex Divorces

Massachusetts was a leader in its early recognition of same-sex marriages. Logic dictates that the Commonwealth will also have more experience with same-sex divorce and family law matters, including child custody and support issues in cases involving the dissolution of a same-sex marriage. Three Massachusetts cases do, in fact, reflect that experience. In a 2006…

Details

Child Custody in Massachusetts

Before you meet with an attorney to discuss your child custody situation, here are few pieces of information about child custody in Massachusetts that you’ll need to know in order to develop questions pertaining to your circumstances. Two primary forms of child custody in Massachusetts Physical custody determines where a child will live during certain…

Details

Ways to Discover Hidden Assets

Most people enter the divorce process believing their soon to be ex-spouse is honest. However, this is not always the situation. The fact is dishonesty is a common reason for seeking a divorce. Even if you have no reason to suspect your spouse is hiding assets and misrepresenting their finances, it is prudent to vet…

Details

Preparing For Divorce Mediation

Divorce is always a painful process. Splitting assets for its cash value is often a difficult end to a relationship that did not work out. Emotions run high, even in an amicable divorce. Being prepared is the best way to ensure both parties receive their fair share of the marital assets and debts. Listing shared…

Details

Divorce Mediation For Small Business Owners

Divorce is never easy, and it gets more complicated when a couple begins a successful business after their marriage. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state which means the business equity is held marital in nature even if only one person does the work. There are very few people who divorce and then are able to…

Details

Divorce Agreement Modification

Having the provisions of a judgment of divorce or modification modified under Massachusetts law is possible, based on the language of the Judgment and the circumstances bringing about the request for a modification. Before bringing your modification complaint to the court, you need to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. The first thing to realize…

Details

How Child Custody Is Determined Under Massachusetts Law

In Massachusetts, several factors are used to determine child custody between two parents seeking divorce or between unmarried couples who cannot come to custody terms following separation. Massachusetts law recognizes four different types of custody: Sole legal custody Shared legal custody Sole physical custody Shared physical custody In the first and third statuses, only one…

Details

Worcester Family Court – Child Support Case

In a recent Divorce Action at a Motion Hearing For Temporary Orders, I represented the husband. The wife sought child support for the parties two (2) children. In addition, wife sought the husband to pay all of one child’s tuition at Providence College for the remaining semester as well as alimony. The Husband was a…

Details

An Intro To Filing For Divorce In Massachusetts

Many couples start out in marriage with great hopes and expectations, only to end up in a relationship that unfortunately does not work. There are many steps in the divorce process in Massachusetts and just as many avenues to take depending on your situation. Here is a brief introduction to filing for divorce in Massachusetts…

Details

Massachusetts OUI Self Representation

Many people who receive a driving under the influence (DUI) or operating under the influence (OUI) charge, as it is known in Massachusetts, assume that the offense is relatively simple and thus believe they should represent themselves when the case comes to court. Each individual is entitled to do so. However, below are several facts…

Details

Child Support in Massachusetts

In the event of a divorce, one parent may be ordered by the court to pay child support. Under Massachusetts law, both parents are required to support their children—and this is true regardless of marital status (whether the parents are married, divorced, separated, or were never married). The parent the child lives with is termed…

Details

Three things about OUI/DUI you wish you had known sooner

If you’ve been pulled over and charged with OUI in Massachusetts, there are three things about Massachusetts OUI/DUI laws that you’ll wish you’d known sooner. Let’s start with some definitions. OUI means “operating under the influence” of alcohol, while DUI means “driving under the influence” of alcohol. While many states refer to drunk driving arrests…

Details

Who Has Child Custody When Parents Are Separated

Making the decision to separate from your spouse is difficult and often occurs over a lengthy period of time. During that time, it’s common for spouses to begin living in separate households. If the partners have children, this raises many questions about where and with who the children should live. Massachusetts law has put in…

Details

Divorce Modifications in the State of Massachusetts

When the terms of your divorce no longer fit your present circumstances, petitioning for divorce modification can help alter the terms accordingly. In the state of Massachusetts, overturning a divorce decree requires an appeal. This process is often drawn-out because one appellate court will need to overturn a lower court’s decision. These appeals are usually…

Details

The Divorce Process in Massachusetts

Posted by Michael Franklin Massachusetts family law covers the divorce process, which begins when one of the spouses actually files a legal petition, or “complaint,” which advises the court he, or she, wishes to end the marriage, and this petition is “served” on the other spouse. Legal requirements for divorce in Massachusetts (MA) can be…

Details

How To Get Started With Your Divorce

Posted by Michael Franklin Deciding to end a marriage is a difficult and stressful decision. But, the decision is only the first step in ending a marriage. Once you have decided that divorce is best for you and your spouse, the next step is finding an attorney. A law firm well-versed in Massachusetts law pertaining…

Details

Limited Assistance in Massachusetts

Posted by Michael Franklin – Limited Assistance Representation allows an attorney to assist a self-represented client with specific issues on a limited basis. This might include preparing or reviewing documents, appearing in court or giving legal advice, hence the term unbundled services. This type of limited representation, compensated or pro bono, permits the attorney to…

Details

Separation Agreements

Posted by Michael Franklin – Separation agreements allow you to outline specifically in a divorce what you agree to. Specifically, separation agreements resolve issues such as custody, child support, parenting time, alimony, medical and dental insurance, property and debt division, taxes, and name changes. What you put in the agreement is specific to the situation…

Details

Using a Forensic Accountant for Your Divorce

Posted by Michael Franklin – With the many complications involved in divorce–both financial and the stress it places on the individuals involved–the last thing one needs to deal with is the suspicion that the opposing spouse is hiding assets or unreported income during the legal process of dividing marital assets and debts. It is in…

Details

Step-Parent Adoption in Massachusetts

Posted by Michael Franklin – Massachusetts law allows step-parents to adopt their spouse’s child under certain circumstances through an independent adoption. The first step in the adoption process is to file a petition in probate court. If the non-custodial biological parent consents then the court will simply finalize the adoption if the step-parent is eligible…

Details

Child Custody and Visitation in Massachusetts

Posted by Michael Franklin – Divorce can be a stressful time. When children are involved, the experience can be even harder. Figuring out where the child or children will live often transitions into disagreements and arguments, particularly if both parents want sole custody of the children or if one parent feels like he or she…

Details

Massachusetts Law Used to Prosecute Online Harassment

Posted by Michael Franklin – Harassment online is becoming increasingly common, however many people don’t realize there are laws to protect victims and prosecute the offenders. Massachusetts General Law states that anyone who conducts continuing malicious behavior specific to another person that results in substantial emotional distress and alarm is guilty of criminal harassment. This…

Details

No January thaw for couples getting divorced

Attorney Michael Franklin was quoted in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette regarding the topic of couples waiting until the New Year to file for divorce. Following is an excerpt from this article: By Craig S. Semon | Telegram & Gazette When it comes to divorce filings in January, Worcester attorney Michael Mayer Franklin has witnessed…

Details

Massachusetts Law Regarding Divorce Modification

Posted by Michael Franklin Divorce agreements cover many details, including child custody, child support, property division, health insurance and many other specifics based on the details of a family’s life. The difficulty is that at the time a divorce agreement is ruled upon and issued, it’s impossible to foresee all future circumstances. Therefore, it’s often…

Details

Child Custody and Visitation Laws

Posted by Michael Franklin Divorce is rarely easy, and even less so when it comes to custody and visitation arrangements for children. In Massachusetts, the top priority of the courts is to determine arrangements that are “in the best interests of the child”, but that may not always be as straightforward as it seems. This…

Details

Domestic Violence Laws in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, domestic violence laws are designed to protect the following: people who are or have once been married individuals that have children together individuals that are related through marriage or by blood individuals who live together are have lived together, such as roommates The elements of the crime of Assault requires…

Details

Massachusetts Police and Field Sobriety Tests

By Michael Franklin Massachusetts Field Sobriety Tests are used by law enforcement officers to determine whether someone may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are several tests that may be administered however three tests are commonly used: 1.    Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). The officer will ask the suspect to follow an…

Details

The Annulment Process in Massachusetts

By Michael Franklin In Massachusetts, anyone who is no longer happy in their marriage can get a divorce for just about any reason. However, there are some cases where the marriage should not be legally recognized in the first place. In these situations, an annulment may be the best option. Understanding the annulment process in…

Details

Massachusetts Divorce Laws and Requirements

For those looking to pursue divorce in the state of Massachusetts there are some requirements that must be taken into consideration. The legal process of divorce can be complicated. Therefore, it is in the best interest of each individual to consider hiring an attorney who focuses on divorce and family law, even if the divorce…

Details

Massachusetts Child Support Law

Massachusetts has enacted new child support guidelines as of August 1, 2013. Child support is often ordered in custody cases to ensure the child is properly cared for by both parents. The two issues are considered separately, though. Whether you are the person who is supposed to pay support or you are owed the support,…

Details

Divorce and Protecting Your Business

By Michael Franklin As many business owners here in Massachusetts know, a marriage is not guaranteed to succeed. Some may last for decades before failing, others just a few years. But no matter how long the marriage existed, its demise can have a profound effect on a business – unless the business owner took steps…

Details

Massachusetts Alimony and Spousal Support Laws

By Michael Franklin One of the most common questions when going through a divorce is; how is spousal support determined? Spousal support also known as alimony can be difficult to understand. When you hear about divorces involving people who are rich and famous, alimony payments can be in the millions. However, what if you or…

Details

What You Need To Know Before Your Divorce

By Michael Franklin A divorce can be extremely stressful both emotionally and financially. If you are going through a divorce knowing how the law applies to you may ease this stress. Here are important areas of divorce law for Massachusetts residents: Property Division Mass. Gen Laws Chapter 208 Section 34 governs property division for a…

Details

Your divorce does not mean your parenting is over

By Michael Franklin Our children are an integral part of our lives and keeping them safe is what parenting is all about. Parenting together after divorce presents new challenges to an already difficult process, but navigating painful emotions to maintain a united front is an essential part of the job.  The bottom line is, kids feel…

Details

Victim in melee was shot

Teen charged in connection with case By Mike Elfland and Gary V. Murray –  Telegram & Gazette WORCESTER —  Reversing an earlier determination, police say the man who died in a melee at City Hall Wednesday suffered a fatal gunshot wound. In the hours after the man’s death, police said the man appeared to have suffered…

Details

Facebook may be involved in your divorce

Facebook is playing a role in as many as a fifth of all divorces in the U.S., according to a study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Facebook can come up in a divorce case in several ways. One is that marriages sometimes end because people have affairs with people they met – or…

Details

Wife shares in husband’s future partnership profits

A husband’s interest in a business partnership that produced a consistent stream of profits “counted” as marital property, and his wife can receive a share of his interest at divorce, the highest court in Massachusetts recently ruled. The husband was a partner in an investment advisory firm. Under the terms of the partnership, he received…

Details

Father’s child support is reduced by SSDI benefits

A father’s child support obligations could be reduced by the amount of his Social Security Disability Insurance payments that went directly to his children, the Vermont Supreme Court recently decided. The father had been ordered to pay $326 a month in child support when he and his wife divorced. Soon afterward, he went to prison…

Details

Local Printer Pushes For Alimony Fix

Reform measure gains traction with leaders on Beacon Hill By Matt Pilon | Worcester Business Journal Article Marlborough business owner Stephen Hitner’s first marriage ended in divorce 12 years ago. Since that time, his court-ordered alimony payments have been so restrictive that he’s been forced to borrow from his second wife’s credit line to keep…

Details