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Massachusetts Family Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: One hundred and twenty characters is a tweet, not a legal question. See below.

I was married in 2000. My daughter ws born in 2002. I was divorced in 2007.

We have joint legal custody. I have sole physical custody. My ex pays me child support.

We were each going to pay for half of college--tuition, room, and board.

Since my daughter is going to be... Read more »

Tracy Galloway
Tracy Galloway answered on Aug 5, 2020

No. But your child support payment should not be decreased, as is now the standard for when a child reaches the age of 18.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My mom has had my child living with her for 3 years she's 5, I have maintained custody of her, how do I get her back?

My mother has had her for 3 years because I was homeless for a time of 9 months and didn't want to take my young child to a shelter so I gave her to my mother but maintained custody of her. My mother limits my contact to almost nothing with my child and the little contact I do have with her is... Read more »

Tracy Galloway
Tracy Galloway answered on Aug 1, 2020

If your mother has no legal authority at present, if you try to simply “take” your daughter back, she may try to go to court to get temporary guardianship anyhow. Do you have any contact with your daughter’s pediatrician? Since you have legal custody of your daughter you should be included as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My little brothers father and my mom got a divorce and he doesn’t live with us anymore. Can he record us when he visits?

Before he was removed from our home he had “nanny” cams, and would frequently use his phone to record us in our home. At first I was told it’s like a nanny cam and was okay. Now that he lives with us can he still come into my house and record us with his gopro? I do not want to be recorded... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 28, 2020

Recordings are not permitted without consent of the recorded person in Massachusetts. Your mother is authorized to inform him it is unacceptable behavior and may need to address this behavior which is likely being prompted by his father via a Modification of the terms of visitation and possibly... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I need permission from SO’s ex to have a child depending on stipulations in their custody arrangement

They have an agreement that neither party can make a decision in regards to their child without first speaking to other parent and developing an agreement. As having a sibling would effect their child does he and I trying for a child fall under that agreement

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

This is not a typical construction of a decision concerning the child's health and education and recreation. Does your stipulation discuss this question of additional children ? I've never seen this coming up! It sounds like an intrusion and could well be a violation of public policy that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Ok so how do I go about moving we both want to make some type of agreement and it’s legal custody
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 20, 2020

Depending upon what Petition the joint legal custody was ordered temporarily or finally adjudicated, either a settlement agreement called a Stipulation to be entered as a Judgment if it was a temporary order or if the joint legal custody was a permanent Judgment then by a Joint Modification... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi I want to move to another state and me and the father have joint custody but the child lives with me...

But he doesn’t pay his child support and he have tattoo shop

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

Whether or not he pays his child support will not affect the custodial issue nor the removal issue, but it does not reflect well on him and is a part of the whole set of circumstances the Court uses to evaluate the removal petition. Is this joint physical or joint legal custody you are referring... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What are my options at virtual mediation? Child wants to stay with me and it is much safer here anyway.

High-conflict divorce and custody dispute, with ex having a lifelong history of mental illness diagnoses and treatments. Divorce and custody arrangement finalized in a previous state of residence where she still resides. Child is currently with me in MA and has been since the start of the pandemic.... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 16, 2020

Because the child has not been living in Massachusetts for at least 6 months, our Probate Courts do not yet have jurisdiction over custody and visitation as the former state of residence still is the home state until then. However, if there is a safety concern about the child going to the other... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Divorce, Employment Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What can I do to recover damages? Anything?

My now ex wife worked with me in my business. She ended up having an affair with one of our employees. During her deposition she did not admit to a relationship with the employee but as soon as our divorce was final he moved in and made it public through social media. She has posted damaging... Read more »

Tanesha R Wright
Tanesha R Wright answered on Jun 14, 2020

As counsel has already stated if she's making defamatory statements about your business that is an issue outside your divorce. However, I do think there are issues you could address in your divorce on other matters. First, would be a potential modification if you are unable to make payments... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: hello, I got divorce in CT. post divorce got a bench warrant (miscommunication), its resolved, will i pass my BC ?

I received a contract to teach in a private high school in MA, I have no criminal history, no traffic offense, but I am worried my post divorce issue will showcase me as a person i am not. Can my Background Check CORI shows the post divorce Bench warrant ( even though it has been resolved) and... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 11, 2020

If there is any problem, then you should engage counsel to represent you to have the record rectified.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Constitutional Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: How would I go about filing a lawsuit for parental alienation against my daughter's father and his wife?

Also, how would I find out if my daughter has a lawyer? Any information you can give is greatly appreciated. What steps should I take? I haven't seen her since February when we had a wonderful relationship. I already proved drug allegations to be false in court. They are making false... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 4, 2020

Is there a Modification petition pending? Has your visitation been limited by any Court Order? If not you may file a Modification Complaint of your own if the circumstances have changed materailly since your prior orders. You could check the docket on line to see whether counsel for the child was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Ex and I live in different states. I have custody, he gets visitation rights. Can I move to a different state with kids?

I moved away from him with our two kids 5 years ago. ( TN to MA ) He got a lawyer and we went to mediation, I ended with custody and he gets visitation rights that I have to pay for. ( plane tickets ) I now want to move in with my boyfriend of 4 years, but it’s to a different state ( FL ). Can... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Jun 1, 2020

Good question. It really depends on the agreement that you came to with your ex when you moved away. If there is any restriction about moving to any state other than TN, then obviously it would be an issue.

Realistically, there should be no impact on your ex if you are paying for the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: For parents with joint legal and one parent having sole temporary physical custody (previously 50/50)

Can a parent with physical but joint legal withhold information regarding health of child

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 6, 2020

Yes, The name of the provider should be provided to the other parent.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a quitclaim deed (signed after divorce) take precedence over a divorce agreement in MA?

Divorced 12/2012, X signed quitclaim deed giving me sole ownership of home in 9/2013, mortgage is in my name alone. Child is now 23 and X is demanding I sell the house and give him half. Child support was paid via payment to mortgage company to reduce monthly chasing for payment. Does the... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 28, 2020

That is really hard to say without knowing the specifics of the Separation Agreement that was signed as part of the divorce or divorce judgment if it was decided by a judge. It isn't all that uncommon for one spouse to stay in the home until the kids finish school and then the house sold at... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can the courts force me to visit my child? I pay support fully and on time, but I absolutely refuse to visit.

At this point I’m considering a restraining order against my ex, we agreed that I didn’t have to visit as long as I paid support. But she started trying to force me to visit, she shows up at my house with the kid occasionally. Last time I called the police and they made her leave but she’s... Read more »

Kelley Anne Joseph
Kelley Anne Joseph answered on Apr 25, 2020

While I practice in Florida, not Mass., in most states, courts cannot “force” a parent, against his or her will, to spend time with a child, but many can sanction a parent for their refusal, in some way, as forcing you seems contrary to the child’s best interest. Further, the court can... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I’m wondering if there is a way to waive back child support that the other parent is willing to waive?

The other party has agreed to waive a certain amount of child support in out case. Just wondering what the steps are?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 22, 2020

If your question involves the MDOR then you and the other party need to contact the MDOR attorney or office involved with your case and indicate that there is going to be an Affidavit of No Arrears executed and request this be processed.

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3 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I have joint custody of my son and his father and step mom are keeping him from me.

.i would like to know if theres anything I can do other than court such as calling the police to do a welfare check on my child,get dcf involved,or report for kidnapping?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 22, 2020

It really depends on the custody order that is in place and why they are withholding visits. Parenting time and custody arrangements are supposed to be honored despite other quarantine restrictions so that alone isn't a valid reason to deny visits. If you are concerned about the child's... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I file for parenting time by mail?
Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 20, 2020

You can download the forms you need from the mass.gov site (search for 209C). There are a few more steps to the process if you are not on the birth certificate which would entail establishing paternity through a DNA test.

Whichever situation you are in, all the forms need to be completed...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: When modifying Spousal Support is it reasonable to include child support as an expense?
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 14, 2020

Your Rule 401 Financial Statement filed with the Court should report all payments and expenses.

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... 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... Read more »

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