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Massachusetts Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my wife trade in her car that was owned outright for a lease; I believe she is liquidating assets. She has a lawyer,

She says she wants a divorce; but hasn’t served me yet. She makes roughly $40,000 more a year than me but has only $10,0000 in savings. I have substantially more money in the bank than her. We have always had separate accounts since marriage began 12 years ago and split bills evenly. She likes to... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Mar 25, 2020

It's good that you have kept separate finances throughout the marriage, but anything acquired during the marriage is generally considered to be part of the marital estate and subject to equitable division. That doesn't mean everything will be equally divided, just fairly divided based on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My ex had our daughters wisdom teeth removed without my knowledge. She went thru surgery and anesthesia.

Me ex and i have 2 kids (daughter 16, son 14). We were never married, we split up 14 years ago. We have 50/50 joint, physical and legal custody. My daughter had her wisdom removed over Feb vacation, unbeknownst to me. Only reason i found out is paperwork from my insurance. My ex is always hiding... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Mar 19, 2020

It really depends on the details of the parenting plan. If there is a set schedule that she isn't following, she can be found in contempt and you could be awarded some make-up time. It doesn't sound like physical custody is shared 50/50 currently. That may have been the intent when the plan was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Looking for help to have my daughter come spend time with me at my own house. My kids mother is making rumors about me.

I need help to get custody of my daughter her mother is unfit and has been prostituting for the last 3 years, she has sexual intentions with police officers. I need help to get my daughter away from all this nonsense. Please help

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 19, 2020

Is the child being neglected or abused? If so you need an emergency order and should engage counsel in your geographical area. Otherwise you should consider filing a Modification of your current custodial orders.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Health Care Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Will the Judge in Family Probate, still require me to take a drug test if I prove I'm being falsely accused?

My daughter's father is falsely accusing me of using drugs and/or improperly using drugs. He's requesting I take a hair follicle test but I have evidence to prove that. How would I go about filing for slander, disobeying court orders and being falsely accused? Also, I entered a modification to be... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 12, 2020

Usually random drug screens through the Court's probation department provider would be ordered where there is such an accusation. If you are willing to do so you can also ask the Court to have father so screened. The focus should be on establishing that you are not abusing drugs and are able to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I, a minor, marry someone without my parents consent?

I’m a 16yrs Brazilian who currently lives in Mass with my parents, they have a Student visa, who which I’m dependent. Since I came here, I came out as gay, and they never were really well receptive. I have a boyfriend, and a whole new life in here, me and my bf are fearing that my parents want... Read more »

Adan Vega
Adan Vega answered on Mar 4, 2020

You can not marry in Massachusetts without parental consent if under the age of 18. You should visit with an experienced immigration attorney and a family law attorney for specific guidance.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: How do i stop an order since we are now married?

Years ago i started my then boyfriend on CS for our 2 sons. We have since got back together and have been married. We have had 3 other children since the order started. He owes technically me back support but her provides everything for us to live. How do i stop this order?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Feb 10, 2020

You should contact DOR Child Support Enforcement Division and explain your situation. They will walk you through the steps you will need to take. In general, you will need to modify the child support order to terminate it, and as part of the process, you would waive the unpaid arrears balance. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: In Massachusetts, what powers to enforce the orders does a judge have on family related issues?

There is an order concerning visitations (drop offs and pick ups) for a non custodial parent. The custodial parent doesn't obey the order and the non-custodial parent files for contempt. The judge find the defendant (custodial parent) guilty. The custodial parent still disregards the order.... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Feb 3, 2020

In this situation, the judge could again find the custodial parent in contempt with some more severe consequences. That could be anything from awarding you attorney's fees (if you have an attorney) to ordering that you have additional parenting time.

It depends what you are seeking the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Who picks up and drops off and where will visits take place if not specified in the court order
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 16, 2020

If this is a Massachusetts case, then the usual is for the parent having visitation to pick up and drop off the child and visitation is not in the home of the child and other parent. However, there can be a wide variety of limitations and exceptions depending upon the parties' circumstances. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Will I have to pay child support because I make more than my ex?

So my ex and I have never been married and we have never gone to court for any child custody. I plan on taking him to court to do that but my biggest fear is that I’ll have to pay him for child support because I make more than him. Would I have to pay him for child support?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Dec 31, 2019

Not necessarily. Child support isn't solely based on income, the biggest factor is which parent has primary physical custody of the child. The child support guidelines also factor in other expenses paid on behalf of the child, like daycare or health insurance.

The way the child support...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: MGL 215 Section 2; appoint someone to be a special process server with law enforcement powers?

Out of curiosity. Does MGL 215 Section 2 appoint someone to be a special process server with law enforcement powers in Massachusetts?

Someone sent me a text/ picture showing he is authorized to serve any and all process, including arrest warrants under that law and given powers “to keep... Read more »

Kristen Greenwood
Kristen Greenwood answered on Dec 21, 2019

Although I have not seen the photograph you received, and I cannot comment on the authenticity of what you received, here is what the law that you inquired about says:

M.G.L. 215, Sec. 2 outlines Superior jurisdiction; presumption:

Probate courts shall be courts of superior and...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: What, if any, are the legal repercussions of a person rescinding on informal child support in Massachusetts?

After my ex and I split, we both agreed on an informal child support agreement. He'd continue giving me access to his vehicle and keep my phone on his cell phone plan. After a few personal disputes, he's threatening to take them back knowing it'll affect our kids, ie getting to drs appts and... Read more »

Scott F Bocchio
Scott F Bocchio answered on Dec 11, 2019

It almost always protects the children more if there is a formal child support agreement in place with the Court as it can be enforceable through the Department of Revenue.

It can also be arranged by the Court to take child support straight from his paycheck. This helps in matters where...
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 Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello I'm in a tough child custody situation. Falsely accused of neglect father took sole temp we had shared

I would like to know how and what I can do if I feel there is child alienation from father to me mother

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Nov 25, 2019

You can request that the Court appoint a Guardian ad litem to investigate whether the claims against you are legitimate or are alienation . The Court can order payment of the GAL's fee to the requesting party or order both parties to pay for the GAL. In indigency or low income situations the Court... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi, I'm trying to get a hold of my name change papers in Spokane, WA but they are sealed how do I go about it?

I live in Boston, MA but, I have no family to go to that could help me. I really need this document as I am trying to prove I am a citizen.

Amanda B Cook
Amanda B Cook answered on Nov 21, 2019

You need to hire an attorney in Spokane.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello, All of my children are over 19 and not in college, I have arrears from years ago (just interest now) and ex

has agreed to waive. How do we do this given I live in MA and he's currently residing in China teaching?

Anthony C. Adamopoulos
Anthony C. Adamopoulos answered on Sep 19, 2019

Your question says, “How do we do this”.

I am not sure what “this” is. Are you asking about the emancipations of your children or the formalizing of the arrearage release?

I will assume you are asking about the release. You and he can file a Joint Petition to Change a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Thank you for this service. I am one of 3 beneficiaries mentioned in an irrevocable trust. The others are "trustees".
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 27, 2019

Hello, Yes, I would need to review the instrument and are you indicating that you believe self-dealing is occurring with the co-trustee?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My spouse got physical custody of my daughter 10 yrs ago. My daughter wants to move in with me. Do I need a court order?

Daughter is 16 years old.

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

Hello, yes, you should file a Modification proceeding and a Motion for Temporary Orders seeking primary physical custody of the child and if granted, then you would be entitled to child support from the other spouse.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Massachusetts- Rights of the father to seek psychological help for his son, mom refuses. What can be done?

Step mother is being verbally and physically abused by the her oldest step son. Father wants to get him psychological help for these issues but the mother isn't cooperating. Child lives 3 hours away in another state. What are the father's rights to getting his son the help he needs?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 26, 2019

You have not stated the age of the child. If he is a minor and if father has joint legal custody then he can seek a Modification for Medical decision-making authority based upon mother's refusal to deal with the aggression . You would need a Petition for same and a Motion for Temporary Orders as it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law and Legal Malpractice for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I legally read a sealed court case if my mother has a copy of the case and grants me permission?

As a child I was part of a very intense custody battle. The case has since been sealed but my mother has a copy. Can I legally read the documents If I’m given permission by my mother to read the documents she possesses and the case pertains to me?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 24, 2019

Was there an impoundment order? The parties and their counsel

would have access to information in the file. The file is not public

so there should be no dissemination of the contents without a

vacating of the impoundment order. So if you have concerns then

you should...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Criminal Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Mother tells father of unborn child (3.5 months) to pay hotel bill until baby is born or he can’t see child. Extortion?

(Mass General law Chapter 265, Section 25 governs extortion.) ... Extortion is a criminal offense whereby an individual obtains property or money by any type of force and threats of 1) violence, 2) property damage, 3) harm to reputation, or 4) unfavorable government action.

Mother is... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 18, 2019

Putative father should rather than get into the nuances of whether there may be a criminal proceeding instead bring forward a Paternity action in the Probate Court where the child is born/living to establish paternity and seek visitation as well as child support orders.

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