Author Archives: Howard

“Lawyer of the Year” for Collaborative Family Law in the Boston Area

So I woke up this morning to find the Best Lawyers insert in the Globe. I am”Lawyer of the Year” for Collaborative Family Law in the Boston Area. Better than being left out of the publication altogether (which happened several times because I ignored their emails). If anyone besides my family and co-workers notices this award, or notices this post, please let me know.

I am cynical about these publications, because I question a methodology that purports to evaluate so many lawyers free of charge. I think we all know this is just an opportunity to hit lawyers for advertising fees. It is nice to be recognized because my family always scours the publication. Best Lawyers is one of the most reputable and sober of these services and they do claim that the results are based upon peer review. So better to “Win” than not. I don’t think this is the first time for me, and I assume I have won, because others have “voted” for me. Grateful for your vote.

I would like to congratulate all the dedicated Collaborative lawyers and Collaborative professionals who have caused this movement to grow and thrive. The essence of Collaborative Law is that none of us can accomplish anything without each other. the members of the collaborative community around the world are my favorite people.

2018 will be the last year alimony will be tax deductible. What’s to be done?

After months of uncertainty and differences between the House and Senate versions we now have a final decision on how the new tax law will deal with alimony. The tax deduction for alimony is unchanged until January 1, 2019. After that alimony will no longer be tax deductible. An agreement or judgment providing for alimony… Continue Reading

No more alimony deduction? How can that be.

Just finished reading the morning paper about all the lobbying to change the new tax proposal. There was no talk about saving the deductibility of alimony. I was unaware until the draft bill came out that eliminating the alimony deduction was being proposed. This will be catastrophic for families dependent on receiving alimony or unallocated… Continue Reading

Thinking outside the box about mediation

Clients and family law attorneys are by now very familiar with using mediation as a technique to settle divorce cases. What is less well understood is that there are a myriad of ways to use mediators to make litigation of divorce cases more efficient and streamlined without giving up the right to have their trial… Continue Reading

Award Winning Book on Collaborative Practice

Proud to announce my participation as one of the co-authors of this award winning book on Collaborative Practice published by Massachusetts Continuing Education (MCLE NEW ENGLAND). Thanks to all of the co-authors who participated and to MCLE for their help. The International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) has announced that Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education… Continue Reading

Merger vs. Survival of divorce agreements in Massachusetts

Separation Agreements either “merge” or “survive” a Judgment of Divorce. When a separation agreement is merged into a Judgment of Divorce, its terms are incorporated into the judgment and are modifiable by the court, because the court always has the power, in the proper situation to revise or modify its own Judgment. A ‘merged separation… Continue Reading

Definition of income under the Massachusetts child support guidelines

The latest version of the Massachusetts child support guidelines contains a long list of items that are to be considered income for purposes of the guidelines. Most people, including lawyers are surprised when they see what is included. It makes no difference if the IRS thinks its taxable income.  There is a catch-all category for… 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