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Massachusetts Divorce Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: I owe back child support, will my stimulus go directly to my ex wife? I ask because that's what hoping for
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 3, 2020

I would think it would go directly to the MDOR to reduce your outstanding Child Support arrears.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Emails accepted as proof of service of divorce process? Weekends/holidays counted in time required for response?

On Dec 17, plaintiff's divorce atty emailed copy of divorce/separate support summons & track assignment notice served on defendant by MGL c. 223A, stated to be considered sufficient since defendant lives in Louisiana; certified letter sent by plaintiff's atty but def. did not see email until after... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 1, 2020

Whatever happened before the Alternate Service by Publication was ordered is not relevant. The Answer to the Complaint should be promptly filed once notice of the Complaint is received by you. You may be eligible for legal services from a local legal aid organization. Bear in mind that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I send a counterclaim to divorce complaint to my spouse's attorney or to the (Massachusetts) court, or both?

I am not able to afford an attorney and am having difficulty in figuring out who to send the counterclaim to.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 31, 2020

The Court gets the original and the spouse's Attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a question regarding enforcing an item in my separation agreement.

Our agreement was that I’d stay on my ex’s health insurance until I had the option of employer provided insurance somewhere. I had recently been laid off when we got divorced. I’m currently doing contract work so I still have no employer insurance option. My ex just got laid off today and his... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 20, 2020

Your Separation Agreement would need to be reviewed before this could be answered responsibly. During the COVID emergency you would likely need to scan the agreement to any attorney you contact.

1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I get half of paid vacation/sick days saved up during our 33 year marrage, Post divorce?

Divorced 2 years ago in Massachusetts through a mediator, split everyting 50/50. He's was a State worker who just retired early, and I found out he is getting 6 months of paid vacation/sick days. What are the odds of me getting half of that if I file for myself at the courthouse with no lawyer ( I... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 24, 2020

You actually need counsel to review the Separation Agreement's terms. Usually property division in divorce is a complete resolution . There could be setting aside for fraud if you had no reason to be aware of this financial asset, but this is complicated and time is sensitive.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: In MA, divorce laws changed to eliminate alimony payments after a time period. What else was affected by the law change?

I was married in 1980. We were separated in 1995 and divorced in 1998. The divorce decree called for alimony and child-support as well as health insurance and education expenses for our 3 children.

Some time after the divorce law changes my ex-husband stopped paying alimony and health... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 18, 2020

Unless your separation agreement or divorce judgment as a result of trial specified a termination date for alimony and medical coverage and that no Modification proceeding was necessary, then there should have been a Modification Petition filed by ex-husband and an adjudication in favor of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: In Massachusetts can my wife find out if I have a safe deposit box in a bank?
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 3, 2020

If there is a Divorce petition or Complaint you will still need to make a full disclosure of income and assets and indebtedness .

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Our MA divorce court date was 11-30. Can we file taxes as single?

One lawyer says that due to the nisi period, we have to file married or married/separately. The other and my ex's tax guy says we file single. Which is correct?

D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn answered on Feb 1, 2020

Your marital Status is determined as of year end. If you're divorce was finalized by the issuance of a decree on 11.30.19 you would file Single for the year assuming no dependents and you did not remarry prior to the end of the year (yes, I've seen it).

Don't take tax advice from a lawyer...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: In Mass there is a 90 Nisi before a divorce is final. Can one marry another country before the nisi is permanent?

Basically, can one get married out of Massachusetts if the Nisi is not permanent in Massachusetts.

And if a marriage did take place & it is not considered legal, is there any legal documentation to provide stating such a fact for yes or no?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 31, 2020

First of all there is a 90 day nisi period following a divorce judgment, so that if there was a 1A Joint Petition approved by the Court and not a 1B Complaint for Divorce, there would be an additional 30 days from the approval order before the Divorce becomes absolute. When the divorce is absolute... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: My college child has moved back in with me mother moved out of state do I still have to pay child support
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 31, 2019

It sounds like you will need a Modification in order to terminate the child support to mother. Are you still living in the original state where your orders issued from? If so, then the Court still has jurisdiction over the child support. If the "college" child is over 18 but not yet 21, not in full... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Have 19 year old in college going for modification was paying for two one aged out. I pay more for college is this all

Looked at from judge

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 30, 2019

There is a college contribution based upon UMass in state resident rates, so, for example, if you are paying over the anticipated maximum amount for the child in college, the weekly child support could be revisited by the Court in a Modification. You should contact your divorce attorney or a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi I’m divorced two boys one turning 23 this month does my payment get cut in half ?
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 27, 2019

If the older child turned 23 the Child Support Guidelines for the one child -who I am assuming is a minor or at least is unemancipated-would need to be calculated for a Modification Petition, it is not an automatic divide by 2 situation. You should meet with a divorce practitioner who can discuss... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I married in PR get divorced in Springfield, MA. I will like to know if divorced is recognized and valid for immigration
Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Dec 21, 2019

Any legal divorce granted by a court with proper jurisdiction over the parties in the US should be recognized for immigration purposes.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My ex wife’s mortgage is in my name, if she stops paying the mortgage will it hurt my credit?

She’s responsible for all costs associated with the home per the divorce decree. I have a perfect credit score and I really don’t want this to screw things up. She hasn’t paid it in 2 months. I’m really not sure how to go about this.

Timothy E. Angley
Timothy E. Angley answered on Dec 10, 2019

Short answer: Yes, it will hurt your credit. If your name is on the mortgage and it is being reported to the credit agencies, then as soon as that mortgage is reported as late that will be a ding on your credit. You can dispute your responsibility for the expenses with the agencies, but until... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My child support was 289.00 a week, we made an agreement to bring it down to 180.00 a week.Can she go back and raise it
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Nov 25, 2019

If there is a material change in circumstances of the parties or child, yes, there may be further modifications.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: I am planning to file for divorce is there any way to protect what little assets I have? Physical abuse involved

Reside in MA 4 teenage kids full time 2 biological, 2 stepchildren

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 31, 2019

You should assemble as many financial records as possible and make copies- the more documents you have, the better and will save money and time on the proceeding. Start working on your Financial Statement as well. Since there are step children you should know what the status is of child support for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: My daughters therapist filed a 51a against my ex.for severe emotional abuse.do i still have to let her go on visits?

This is court ordered visitation but today the therapist said no visit tomorrow and filed the 51a.she is terrified because he knows she is getting lawyer and he will be vicious with her..he is treating her like he did me

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 28, 2019

You would need to ASAP file an Emergency Motion and Affidavit seeking Modification of any existing Orders or also a Modification Complaint if there is a Judgment, detailing that the child's therapist has filed an abuse 51a and recommends no visitation in the child's best interests.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: My ex's attorney does not respond when I followed up on the status of our divorce case

We got married in Philadelphia and my ex also lives there now. I moved to Boston, MA after separation. My ex hired an attorney in Philadelphia and filed a divorce with court stamped date of 10/22/18 and we were separated since 7/18/18. It has been a year since he filed the divorce but I have not... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 23, 2019

You can check with the Court Clerk in the Philadelphia Court on the status of the case with the docket number assigned to the case which should be on the document you had received and you can usually obtain copies from the Clerk of the docket and other documents- there may be/probably is a fee.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: My ex husband died last month owin 8,000 in back child support. He owned the house with his brother which will be sold.

We all lived in MA & The house is in MA. My ex husband and i have 2 children who are 17 and next of kin for his assets which were under 25,000, there was no will. His brother is now sole owner of home but is going through a divorce and house will be sold. Can i put in a claim through the house for... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 15, 2019

You should hire a probate practitioner as there is a specific way to perfect a claim against an estate that must be followed . Was his brother a joint tenant of the real estate? If not then he may not be the sole owner.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello! I just received an answer but have a question about the answer... (Thank you btw)

This is the answer: The Court Order would normally state who is responsible for payment for the therapy services. If it is silent then it would be treated like other medical services.

I don't know what 'silent' means?

TIA!!!!

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 7, 2019

"Silent" means if the Order does not so state.

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