Category Archives: Massachusetts law

Proposed Bill to Allow Pre 2012 Alimony Orders to Terminate at Retirement

Massachusetts Representative John Fernandes recently (February 19, 2016) filed House Bill HD4546 which if enacted would now allow alimony orders which were entered into prior to 2012 to terminate upon the Federal Age of Retirement per Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 Section 49.

This proposed bill is in direct response to what many believed to be a surprising ruling by the Massachusetts SJC in Chin v. Merriot, which held that alimony orders made prior to enactment in 2012 could not terminate upon the payor reaching the full federal age of retirement.

The Bill would also clarify issues related to cohabitation making the existence of cohabitation a material change of circumstances opening for doors to a modification of the payor’s obligation.

It should be interesting to see where this goes.  The Bill appears to have a fair amount of support.

Child Support is Becoming More Complex

I used to tell my clients that child support was a straight forward issue.  Prior to the August 2013 Child Support Guidelines, I believed that it was.  If one parent had primary custody of the child/ren then to determine income, simply input the data into the child support calculator and whatever the number was, would… Continue Reading

New Child Support Guidelines Effective Today

Today, August, 1, 2013, Massachusetts rolled out new Child Support Guidelines, affecting any parent who pays or receives child support.  The new Guidelines can be viewed at http://www.mass.gov/courts/childsupport/2013-child-support-guidelines.pdf.  I also find it useful to review the red lined version (http://www.mass.gov/courts/childsupport/2012-task-force-recommendations-redlined-against-2009-child-support-guidelines.pdf) so that you can clearly see the differences between the new and old guidelines. The… Continue Reading

Your first meeting with your divorce lawyer

For most people the first step they take in getting divorced is contacting a divorce lawyer. A lot has been written on how to choose a lawyer. This article assumes that you already have chosen a lawyer who you think you will be satisfied with. There is a fair amount of anxiety surrounding that first… Continue Reading

Filling out your financial statement

One of the more annoying tasks for someone going through a Massachusetts divorce is to have to deal with the financial statement required by the Court. It is typical that in any divorce this form will be redone more than once, because it is required to be current each time there is an important event… Continue Reading

When should I file for divorce?

New clients often ask the question, “When should I file for divorce?” This seems like a simple question, that should have a simple answer. But it does not. The reason is that every case is different. Here are some reason to file quickly and some reasons to wait. Which of them apply to you? REASONS… Continue Reading

Six Months of experience under the new alimony reform law

We now have been working with the new alimony law for almost six months. What have we learned? Here are my thoughts: The new alimony law has resulted in a sea change. The notion of lifetime alimony in Massachusetts has gone the way of the Dodo bird. Interestingly, the wave of new modifications based upon… Continue Reading

Ask yourself these seven questions before hiring your divorce lawyer.

Your experience with your lawyer will be one of the most important variables that will determine how you feel when your divorce is over. And, to be sure, unlike a chronic illness, your divorce will, at some point be over. There are many things to consider before hiring a lawyer such as experience, education, and training,… Continue Reading

Getting divorced? Should you change your Will?

I am frequently asked by clients if he/she can change a Last Will and Testament during a divorce proceeding. I have had trouble finding any controlling legal authority on this, so I think the decision about whether to do it is up to you. If you have a Will that gives all your property to… Continue Reading

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