Massachusetts Divorce Cases / Domestic Violence
On this page we are compiling links to the full text of important Massachusetts Appellate Cases on Family Law and Divorce decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
These cases are for educational purpose only and should not be used for any official or legal purpose. Please consult official reports. Below you will be able to search for Massachusetts Appeals Court Slip Opinions and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Slip Opinions relating to Domestic Violence.
Domestic Violence Cases in Massachusetts
Fera v. Fera, 98 Mass. 155 (1867):
Heackock v. Heacock, 402 Mass. 21 (1988): The wife presented evidence as to personal injuries she sustained in an assault on her by her husband, the divorce judgment did not prevent the wife from claiming damages in tort for the injuries she had sustained in the assault. The judge in a divorce proceeding considered a number of factors in awarding alimony and dividing marital property, but did not make any findings of fact to support his judgment, it was not clear whether he resolved any issue relating to an assault on the wife by the husband and, consequently, the judgment did not preclude litigation of issues as to the assault raised in the wife's separate tort action in the Superior Court seeking damages for the injuries she sustained.
Lyster v. Lyster, 111 Mass. 327 (1873):
Reddington v. Reddington, 317 Mass. 760 (1945): The wife appealed the trial court's denial of her complaint for divorce. The wife sought divorce based on alleged cruel and abusive treatment by her husband. The trial judge made no finding regarding the cruel and abusive treatment, but did find that as a matter of public policy, the wife was not an innocent party entitled to a divorce. Although there was no finding of adultery, the judge noted that the wife had not been faithful to her marriage contract because she fell in love with another man. The court inferred that the husband was guilty of cruel and abusive treatment and determined the wife was entitled to a divorce. The court reasoned that the judge had to abide by the statute and could not exercise discretion based on their own ideas of public policy and divorce.
Yousif v. Yousif, 61 Mass. 411 (2008): Husband appeals a judgment entered by the Probate Court dismissing the wife's equity complaint. Evidence in divorce action was sufficient to support finding that fiduciary relationship existed between husband and wife, for purposes of determining whether trust created by husband, as to which he was trustee and which named his sister and children as beneficiaries, was created in violation of fiduciary duty owed to wife and thus void; there was evidence that husband did not allow wife to leave apartment while he was at work, that wife could not speak English, that husband brought home food that wife was to cook for him, that husband rationed laundry money, that wife was required to give an accounting of any money which husband gave her, that husband spent lavishly on himself while wife had little new clothing, and that husband physically and verbally abused wife.
Szymkowski v. Szymkowski, 57 Mass.App.Ct. 284 (2003): The case involves a mother, on behalf of her daughter, obtained a c. 209A restraining order against the father. The mother and father were divorced at the time, and shared legal custody of their 3 children, with primary physical custody to the mother. The events preceding the c. 209A restraining order was a five-day ski trip when the father took the youngest child, Brittany (who was 7 years old at the time) to Killington, Vermont. Over the five days, the father kicked Brittany in the back of her legs because she missed her mother; described frightening dreams to Brittany; threw an empty milk container at her; struck her twice under her chin because she irritated him; and he pinched her on the arm so hard that it left a mark. While the father has shown unacceptable parental behavior, his behavior did not cause Brittany fear of imminent serious physical harm. The c.209A restraining order was vacated.