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Massachusetts Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My step mother had contacted me 3 years after my dads passing for myself and my sister to sign to make her executer

When my dad passed away 3 years ago he had no assets including house cars or property. She had randomly reached out tonight asking us to sign and make her executer of his “estate”. How should we proceed?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Sep 2, 2022

First of all , was he a resident of Massachusetts? If so ,Is it a Late and Limited Petition? Because a regular estate post 3 years is not available. The Late and LImited Petition is just that- a filing to determine title to assets inasmuch as the 3 years post date of death has passed.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Juvenile Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I let my 17 year old son go from Massachusetts to North Carolina to visit his father his father agreed to bring him home

now his father is telling me he's no longer going to let him come home what are my rights I've been raising him for the last 17 years and his father owes over $100,000 in child support in Massachusetts what can I do to get my son back legally?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Aug 1, 2022

If you are the primary custodial parent he is in Contempt and a Contempt Complaint should be filed in the Court where your custodial orders were established ASAP with a Motion and Affidavit for Emergency hearing to have the child brought back to Massachusetts also potentially has also violated... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a probation officer from probate court take away court ordered visitation?

I volunteered for a probation officer to investigate my custody dispute currently I'm court. I currently have visitation that is ordered from the judge. I take random urines and there was a problem with the system and it reported I didn't have a urine and the probation officer said I did... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jul 26, 2022

It sounds like something is amiss and you should have legal representation in this important matter which you have tried to handle pro se to your detriment. You may seek a hair follicle examination via Motion citing the information you have given in this question, but your ability to navigate the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: How can I retrieve money from bank that is in my deceased brothers name, No wife or kids. I'm it. No death certificate

I am left from my family. My brother never married or had children. He passed in 2011. A bank in Boston has money of his. How can I retrieve it?

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

You will need to follow the process for a Voluntary Statement filing in the Probate Court for the County where your brother was living and you will also need to obtain his death certificate which the funeral home can help you with and you can also contact the town where he died .

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 Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: If a parent has lost all custody due to a restraining order, is that parent responsible for their half of child costs

Parent has lost all custody due to a restraining order being pulled against her and her boyfriend by myself, on behalf of our child. In our modified agreement/judgment prior to the restraining order, she was responsible for half of the cost of childcare, medical bills (I pay for insurance by my own... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on May 9, 2022

The Financial Orders are still existing and are in effect unless modified or vacated which they apparently have not been. The failure to comply entitles you to bring a Contempt action.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Elder Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Have a question about my elderly mother

She was living with my sister and my sister was a domestic violence victim,he is in jail. She,my mom, has dementia,but if am the guardian of my mom can I tell elderly serviceI want my mom with my sister?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on May 2, 2022

A guardian can make decisions in the incapacitated person's best interests and there seems to be an issue of sister's husband being a domestic abuser which could subject your mother to potential violence if I am reading your question correctly. Inasmuch as elder abuse could be claimed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a summons have to be served in person?

Can a summons be left inside a mailbox while you are not home. The summons says it was hand delivered and the other attorney certified she hand delivered it to me. This is in the state of Massachusetts.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Apr 29, 2022

So a summons for a divorce complaint is distinctive from other summonses and you have not specified the item service was attempted of. Once a case has been commenced notice can be served at the party's last known address.

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 Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I file for child support for my 18 year old high school student with severe mental illness

My daughter has lived with me full time for 4 years. My ex had sole custody of her legally. He hardly gave me any financial support. Since she has turned 18 he refused to help with her. She is still in high school and has a severe mental illness. I have tried taking him to court about a year ago... Read more »

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

So the child has not graduated from high school and may have special needs also. There should be child support in accordance with the child support guidelines and you may need to once the child has completed high school seek contribution for the child's continued care via equity petition... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: have full custody of 2 of my children, they have been staying with their father for last 60 day, does he pay me still

have full custody of 2 of my children, they have been staying with their father for last 60 day, does he pay me still

Per judge on 3/18 and DCF I still have 100% custody nothing ever changed

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

Until the order or Judgment is modified by the Court it is still in effect.

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: My Dcf worker said that in order to close my Dcf case, they have to verify with my Children’s doctors and school.

Every visit he has tried to get me to sign a release of information. Today he asked for verbal consent. Every single time I said no. I want to keep Dcf separate with all entities and don’t want my Children’s doctors or school to know about their Dcf case. Is this true? They have to speak with... Read more »

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

Schools and doctors have mandated reporter requirements if abuse or neglect is suspected. The DCF is the agency to whom they would report concerns . The DCF would investigate whether there is a supported claim and take action accordingly. Lack of cooperation usually does not reflect well.

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 Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can wife’s ex-husband just stop paying child support and decide what he’s going to pay? In MA

He said he’s going to stop paying for 21 year old who is going in to her 5th year of full time college. She still resides with us and we pay a 99% of her expenses. He said he’s going to cut child support in half because the have two children. He said he went to lawyer and because he has two new... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Mar 2, 2022

The ex-husband can't unilaterally make changes to child support, no matter the reason. It can only be done via a court order. That court order could be the result of a written agreement by the parties to make changes or from a judge after a hearing, but the ex would be in contempt if he just... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I get help writing a proper pre-trial memorandum & a lawyer to attend a scheduled pre-trial date with me?

I just need someone to hear me out, please. I need help.

Anthony C. Adamopoulos
Anthony C. Adamopoulos
answered on Feb 7, 2022

Use an LAR attorney. Below is a full explanation of how it works. It gives you an opportunity to hire an attorney for just one or two things. Check it out at:

https://divorcingoptions.com/Handouts/Limited_Representation_PDF_Handout_Version.pdf

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Do i need a discovery if I am representing myself in family court?

I am trying to gain full legal and physical custody of my two kids but will be representing myself with the documents I have.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jan 18, 2022

You are not required to conduct discovery, but it is advisable in order to obtain information which may be evidence at the trial of this matter.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can an unmarried mother of two children request retroactive child support when initially filing for child support?

Seeking retroactive child support back to the date the kids and I moved out. (4-5 years ago). We were never married and he is the father- on the birth certificate of both children.

This is a new child support request. We previously had a verbal agreement for weekly payments that he has not... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Jan 11, 2022

Usually, a retroactive order can only go back as far as the date the opposing party was served with the complaint for child support. If there has never been an order previously, you may have the ability to argue for retroactive support back to the child's date of birth, but it would depend if... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to provide information to my child’s father if he hasn’t been in their life for over 6years?

My child’s father has not been in their life for over 6years. During that time I have had them full time with no help from him in any way. He does not pay any child support. He does call about once a month. Recently he has been asking for their information everything from school/medical records... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Dec 31, 2021

There sounds like a lack of relationship over a lengthy period of time and the Court is sensitive to the effect of father's suddenly attempting to regain contact where there had been no regularity. Asking for contact information about other people is indeed odd and really not your information... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: asking for my daughter who is in a bad situation in a marriage with a 2 year old and cannot afford a lawyer

not sure if this question got through previously but my daughter is in a very emotionally abusive situation with a husband of almost 6 years that has complete control over all assets and resources and has a young girlfriend that he stays with during the week in another part of MA. Since everything... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Dec 23, 2021

There are pro bono attorneys such as through the Volunteer Lawyers project of the Boston Bar Association and the major law schools have law clinics which may be a route. She has obvioulsy rights not to be abused and there would be child support orders for the child. If this is a brief marriage... Read more »

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