Divorce law in Massachusetts has the purpose of dissolving or terminating a marriage with the good of both parties to that marriage in mind, and should be entered into with competent divorce or separation counsel so that your legal rights and protections can be addressed. Custody rights, child support, spousal support, visitation schedules, parental rights, property division, and protection of your assets, even protection of your retirement account are some of the issues that must be addressed.
A divorce can be contested or uncontested. However even an amicable divorce or a legal separation agreement, drafted by the divorcing parties themselves, may omit information that affects their rights and costs each of them for years to come. Separation agreements are contracts that people who are intending to divorce enter into to determine property division, allocation of debt, payment of alimony and child support, and all the other rights, responsibilities, and terms of a divorce. Since this is a legal, binding document, careful attention to detail is necessary when negotiating and drafting separation agreements. Many such mistakes can be avoided with competent and knowledgeable legal advice.
Our attorneys have experience and expertise in the laws that affect you at this critical time, and know the rights and the protections that are built into divorce and separation law. Contact the Danvers Law Offices and speak to Attorney Leslie B. Salter, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Attorney Teresa M. Harkins La Vita, email@example.com, to discuss the variety of approaches to divorce, including litigation, collaborative divorce, divorce mediation and Limited Assistance Representation.
Child custody law refers to the legal and physical custody of a minor, and is determined by considering the best interests of a child and the circumstances of each case. A minor can be any child up to the age of twenty-three (23) depending on your circumstances. It is a separate issue from that of child support. It may affect where you live, the hours you work, or even with whom you associate.
The court may order sole or joint legal and/or physical custody. Parenting plans are typical in divorce to establish when each of a child's parents will spend time with a child, both during the week and on weekends as well as for vacations and holidays. Each parenting plan is unique and based on the particular needs of the parents and their child. You and your child, or children, have legal rights and protections that are built into child custody law. Competent child custody counsel can help you determine what is best for you and your child or children; protect your rights regarding visitation and involvement in your child’s life.
Asset division can be complex and contentious. Assets may include real and/or personal property, retirement plans, etc. that are acquired during the course of a marriage. It is also possible that separately held property may have increased in value during the marriage and that increase may also be considered marital property.
If both parties agree to their asset or property distribution, you may have an agreement drawn up by your lawyer which will assure you that your assets will be distributed in the manner of your choice. If asset division is contested, you may need your attorney to file a temporary injunction to prevent the disappearance or conversion of property prior to the court’s distribution of assets.
The lawyers at Danvers Law Offices know the rights and the protections that are built into asset division laws. Contact us www.danverslawyer.com.
Child Support is usually paid from one party to another in a divorce or paternity matter. Child support is calculated according to the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines and is based on the income of each parent. Child support is usually not a one-time determination. As your financial circumstances change, it frequently becomes necessary to petition the court for modification in the child support arrangements. The awarding of sole or joint physical custody will affect the calculated amount due for child support.
Competent legal advice is important to you and your child or children as there are many variables such as payment of health insurance premiums, private tutoring, schooling or needed counseling for your child or children. It is also important to consider tax benefits and penalties for different child support options which should be addressed when child support amounts are calculated.
Attorney Leslie B. Salter, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Attorney Teresa M. Harkins La Vita, email@example.com, at the Danvers Law Offices have the experience to assist you in determining your rights and protections that the built into child support law. Contact the Danvers Law Offices for a free consultation.
ALIMONY (SPOUSAL SUPPORT)
Spousal support may be awarded by the court if a party can show that they are dependent on their spouse and that their spouse is, or currently was, supporting them. An award of alimony is based on the needs of the recipient spouse and the ability of the paying spouse to pay, among other factors, such as: marital misconduct, the duration of the marriage, relative earnings (and estimated earning capacity of the parties), the ages and physical, mental and emotional condition of the parties. Attorney Leslie B. Salter and Attorney Teresa M. Harkins La Vita are versant in the new alimony reform laws and how these laws affect Massachusetts families.
In addition, it frequently becomes necessary to petition the court for modification in spousal support arrangements as financial circumstances change. Competent legal advice is important so that your legal rights are protected when spousal support amounts are calculated.
Attorney Leslie B. Salter, Attorney Teresa M. Harkins La Vita and the attorneys at Danvers Law Offices understand the financial repercussions of divorce, separation and spousal support issues and have the experience needed to handle spousal support laws to protect your interests. Contact us at www.danverslawyer.com.
PRENUPTIAL (PREMARITAL) AGREEMENTS
People who are intending to marry may want to enter into a Premarital Agreement before their marriage ceremony. Often the people who enter into a prenuptial agreement will agree to property division, support, or a variety of other issues, in the event that the marriage ends in divorce.
Attorney Leslie B. Salter, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Attorney Teresa M. Harkins La Vita, email@example.com, at the Danvers Law Offices have the experience to assist you protecting your assets prior to a marriage. Contact the Danvers Law Offices for a free consultation.
Complaints for Contempt can be brought by a party after a Judge has entered an Order or Judgment in your family law matter when the opposing party does not comply with the Judge's orders.
Complaints for Modification can also be brought by a party after a Judge has entered an Order or Judgment in your family law matter. To be successful on a complaint for modification, the moving party must prove a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties since the last Order or Judgment was entered.
The lawyers at Danvers Law Offices know how to help clients through important post-divorce actions. Contact us www.danverslawyer.com.
Paternity is an action to determine the father of a child born of never-married parents. The paternity of a child can be determined by agreement of the parties or through a Court proceeding. In a paternity action, the Judge may make orders regarding child support, provision of health insurance, child custody, visitation and a parenting plan, among other matters.
Contact Attorney Leslie B. Salter, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Attorney Teresa M. Harkins La Vita, email@example.com, at the Danvers Law Offices for a free consultation regarding your paternity matter today.
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