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Massachusetts Divorce Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: How is the actual duration of marriage duration calculated?

How is the actual duration of marriage duration calculated?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Sep 21, 2022

Unfortunately, it depends. For purposes of alimony, the duration of marriage is calculated as the date of marriage through the date of service of the Complaint for Divorce. So, if your ex-spouse filed on March 19, 2021, it would be whatever date after that you were actually served with the divorce... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: I got served divorce papers an never responded. Never new when court was he got awarded everything. Can it be changed?

He never told me when court was never knew. He got the house an full custody. He never told me. I found out I was legally divorced because I got kicked off his insurance. Can anything be changed with my property?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Sep 12, 2022

Why did you not respond? Were you in the hospital the entire time??

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Are the spouses of the divorce permitted to cancel the case prior to the final trial or select the broker?

In this case, both lawyers decided to sell the property (house), and select the broker. They agreed to give the spouses 5% of the house value to get an apartment and keep the remainder in escrow until the case is finalized because the spouses disagree on the percentage split. Will the escrow... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Sep 6, 2022

You would need to notify your counsel that this deal may not be viable due to the lack of income for an apartment and you have not stated what State you are in so the laws of that State are applicable with regard to child support and alimony.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I deny my wife's request for an increase in child support since we are still married and do not have a court order?

I am married, but have been separated from my wife for 15 years. We have two children together, so I have been paying child support per a verbal agreement between my wife & I. She has raised my payments many times over the years any time her rent increased. Now, both children are over 18 and... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Aug 30, 2022

You are not under any Court Order and there is no proceeding pending in any Court correct? Then everything you have done is voluntary and the longer you stay married the more complicated your divorce get!!! If you die then she is your heir!!! Get a lawyer contact pro bono law school programs.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: During separation, Is my soon to be ex able to cash/deposit the proceeds from the sale of our home without my consent.

My wife of 30 years and I are getting a divorce. Mediation broke down and we are currently selling our house. She wants more than 50%. Without a mediation agreement in place, is she able to deposit or cash the check without my signature? I live out of state? I hope to have a mediation agreement in... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Aug 22, 2022

You and wife were living in Massachusetts correct? This is what I am assuming. Are you on the Deed? If there is no divorce complaint on file with the Probate Court, the closing attorney would make the check payable to the title holder. Your filing and serving a divorce complaint and summons on your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi am trying to find legal counseling for divorce
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Aug 4, 2022

It would be helpful if you were to indicate what county you and spouse have been living in.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I go about getting an expedited contempt hearing?

My ex has primary custody of our kids. They live in filth and squalor, sleeping in beds with moldy food, used tampons, etc. I have video and photographic evidence, along with my ex admitting to the conditions in text messages, asking me to help clean, and stating, "I can't put all my time... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jul 13, 2022

It does sound like neglect from your description of the children's living situation and the DCF can be contacted to investigate. They will know a divorce is pending and that you are a party. Is this a new distinguishable state of affairs in the household ? One of the questions that will be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Do both parties have to be present when notarizing the divorce paperwork? Can it be done separately?

I want to get my signature notarized then mail the paperwork to my ex and have her do it separately. Is this possible or must we both do it together simultaneously?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on May 25, 2022

Yes, this works. You don't need to be in the same room as wife and can use different notaries.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: What does judgment of dismissal means after filing a joint petition for divorce.
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on May 19, 2022

Your Joint Petition did not successfully go forward when heard by the Judge, hence no divorce . You should engage divorce counsel to see what was deficient or inequitable about your Separation Agreement attempt. Perhaps there was also deficiency in the documentation , e.g, Financial Statements or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi I have been married for 6 years and i was wondering if i qualify for alimony.
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on May 18, 2022

Any alimony would be for 60% of the period of the marriage, so for about 43 months but the issue is ability to pay and income differential and you have not stated whether there ae any children as child support is the first consideration and effects alimony. There are also types of alimony to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: If I have property in Puerto Rico, will it be part of division in divorce filing, if you have jurisdiction in PR?

I live w/ my son in MA and my husband lives in PR, in our property. Can I get a divorce in MA, which doesn't include the property in Puerto Rico. How long can the divorce process take?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on May 4, 2022

Has husband lived in Massachusetts at all? If he never had any contacts with Massachusetts it would probably be better to contact a domestic relations practitioner there.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Family Law and Personal Injury for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello I'm searching for answers to questions relating to divorce, disability and what constitutes neglect or a crime

I'm disabled

Epipsy, PTSD and severe panic disorder.

After a four year criminal harassment court battle with our former duplex neighbor who was found guilty my husband who witnessed the trauma and it's damage that blew through my life. He himself after vacating our home... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Apr 28, 2022

It sounds like you need the Probate Court's intervention in the form of Temporary Orders concerning exclusivity of possession of the home and orders concerning preservation of the asset if it is a home owned by the parties and spousal support and return of the liquidated marital funds - you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Is my ex husband responsible for child support from the time of the order or from the time DOR gets involved?

We got an order back in January. I had no idea that I had to apply for services through the DOR, I thought they just kind of did their thing. Now I finally have the DOR involved, but they said they’re only responsible from now on. Does he still owe from the 14 weeks since the order was made? Or... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Apr 19, 2022

Yes, he owes the 14 weeks during which he neither paid MDOR nor you. You may use the MDOR to proceed with a Contempt to enforce the back child support order/calculate the arrears. You will need to complete their application for same.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I need my ex to sign the divorce papers?

I live in mass. I have believed I was divorced from my ex for 10 years. Papers were filled out and apparently we missed the final hearing or it went to her and she neglected to tell me.. Well now I want it done and she won’t sign papers again.. Can I just go in front of judge and explain this?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Apr 19, 2022

Your recourse is to have a divorce complaint filed in the appropriate jurisdiction and venue and the process of divorce commenced. If the other party does not agree to a proposed separation agreement you do not have an uncontested Massachusetts 1A Joint Petition. You should have counsel as you are... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: I understand Massachusetts is an equity state when it comes to divorce. Mediation has not worked after several sessions.

I am strongly weighing my decision to go to court. After doing some research online i found this example.

Now let's take another example where a young couple in their 20's gets married. They started the marriage also with next to nothing and they're married for 20 years and... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Mar 23, 2022

So, there are no guarantees as the Court makes the statutory findings concerning property division which also includes ability to acquire future capital and income differential is a factor in alimony awards. You have not stated the ages of the children as child support is also involved if they are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a woman put the last name of a man she is not married to on her child's birth certificate if she is still married?

My male relative (D) is having a child with a woman (S) who is separated from her husband (K) but still legally married. Can D legally put his last name on the child's birth certificate even though S and K have not finalized their divorce?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Mar 3, 2022

The presumption is that the child is born of the marriage, but the parties can agree that the child is not of the parties along with the biological father. The prospect of paying for a child not his own is usually an inducement to cooperation by husband, but what is bio father's willingness...

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: My husband lives in Texas and I live in Massachusetts. The original intent was he was coming back.

Many things have transpired to get him back to texas( he was born there)

Once there we realized many secrets linked to his dad who has since died.

We are done. Best place to file

I am on disability living with my 83 y.o. parents

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Feb 23, 2022

If he lived in Massachusetts prior to moving to Texas and you have been living here in Massachusetts, the County for the city or town where you ( and he ) were living would be where the divorce would be filed.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Military Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I apply for benefits and support to move out of the marital home with the kids before I file for divorce?

I am financially dependent on my husband. I want to leave. I have $500 SSDI a month. He is military active duty but stationed close by. We have two minor children.

Philip D. Cave
PREMIUM
Philip D. Cave
answered on Feb 22, 2022

If he is military, he is required by military law to "support his dependents."

Should you move out and you do not have a signed separation agreement, the military mandates that he must pay you a portion of his pay and allowances as support for you and the children pending the...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Need to file for divorce wife committed adultery and marriage can't go forward currently I'm not employed and in need of

legal services,

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Feb 15, 2022

Divorce includes analysis of various statutory factors for support and property and debt division. Length of marriage, ages of the parties whether there are children and their ages, the extent and source of assets, comparative income and ability to earn and acquire future capital are among the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Wife filed for divorce in 2019. What to do to finalize divorce? Husband pays child support for 2 kids

My friends wife filed for divorce, 1B. For covid reason, all hearings were postponed. They had only one zoom hearing 6.06.2021. Judge's decision was for them to get agreement and to provide a paper how they both are going to care of kids. Judge gave them 30 days. Until now wife did not respond... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jan 20, 2022

If the children are unemancipated or minors then there would be child support anyway. The real point is you want to conclude your divorce. You have not stated what type of hearing you had via Zoom. It could have been a pretrial conference and perhaps a trial date is next. Really you seem to need... Read more »

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