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Massachusetts Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Could I lose custody of my child from a previous marriage because of a restraining order against my current spouse

I had filed a restraining order against my wife which was dissolved at the 10 day hearing. Since then my wife and I are working on our relationship. We are both in individual counseling and we are now both in couples counseling to try to mend our relationship and family. My dilemma is with my... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 15, 2020

So it appears that your wife has demonstrated concerning conduct sufficient for you to obtain a restraining order. You have not stated whether the child was present during the precipitating incident and the child's safety and well-being and best interests are paramount. Your wife's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: I'm looking for legal help for my divorce.

I have a complicated situation with a seven year old, don't have job, and my husband doesn't want the divorce we have been separated for 4 years. I was hoping you could help me and point me in the right direction.

Thank you in advance,

Maria

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

So, depending upon your financial circumstances the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association may be able to assist you. If your husband has income and assets which are sufficient, the Probate Court can order him to pay toward your counsel fees.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I stop my ex from starting a large expense cost (braces) until we agree on a payment plan with the orthodontist?

My teen recently went to live with my ex (the teen's choice) but we both have 50/50 legal. We share uninsured medicals and I technically would have to reimburse him in 30 days. He makes a lot more money than me, has a two income family, and plans on making a lump sum payment. He won't... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 5, 2020

So, was there a recent Modification of Custody and Support? If you just agreed to this division and did not list orthodontia as an extraordinary expense to be agreed upon this murkies up the waters. It can be considered an extraordinary or unnecessary expense by some Judges. Are you sure you cannot... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Can parent/guardian permanently house 33 year old daughter with epilepsy/autism?

One Parent/co-Guardian versus state - ward age 33 history of seizures/autistic characteristics. Temporarily living with me per COVID; would like her living with me permanently. State wants me to forfeit my guardianship; says it's the only way. Can you clarify or suggest alternatives?

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

This sounds like a DDS issue and not a guardianship issue per se.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: If my mom is in jail can a friend of mine get guardianship of me

I am 16 my mom left me in the care of a relative without birth certificate or social security card and I have been out of school for a year and am currently living with a friend who is filing for guardianship and feel unsafe goin back to my mom. How long will this process take and can or will they... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 21, 2020

If the Court finds the petitioner for guardianship to be suitable and in your best interest after first having the petitioner appointed temporarily usually there would then be a trial date for appointment of a permanent guardian for you until age 18. Sometimes the parent(s) assent to temporary or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can your child support payments be lowered if you have another child with new spouse?(Massachusetts)
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 28, 2020

It can be used as a defense to the request for an increase in child support but not to lower an existing child support order.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Why doesn't MA take parental alienation seriously?

I have exhausted all options I could think to do. Modifications, motions, emergency motions, DCF reports, attempted to have a GAL appointed, ARC attorney only telling court her wishes. Nobody sees an issue with this. A good relationship to a nonexistent one. The hate and anger coming from my child... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 27, 2020

Not sure what you are trying to do at this point. If counseling is ordered then you should comply with the Court's Order. Is there a review hearing date? If so you will need to report that counseling has not gone well and are concerned that there should be separate individual counseling for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi need help with Child custody for my daughter

Hi, I need with a child custody for my daughter Rosalie. She is 7. Her father just served me papers for custody and parenting visits. I'm planning on moving out of state and i want to do things legally. I also want to do what the best interest of my daughter. Her dad doesn't pay child... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 27, 2020

There is a Public on-line Probate & Family Court docket search you can do to check the status of your case Its unclear what your case was- divorce, paternity, etc. Was the MDOR /CSE involved in obtaining child support orders? if yes, then follow up with the MDOR. If not, you can seek an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: What to do when a custody issue isn't taken seriously by the court?

Simple. My daughter and I had a great relationship 6 months ago to absolutely nothing. The court has a mountain of evidence proving emotional and psychologically abuse.

The ARC attorney is only sharing my daughter's wishes. I filed motions, emergency motions, contempt actions as well... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 26, 2020

Has your case gone to trial or is it at the temporary orders stage? Temporary orders can be changed as circumstances change ,so although there is an Interlocutory appeal process generally cases are appealed that have gone to Judgment and there are rules of procedure that must be promptly followed... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I need to attend the meeting before the pretrial conference? MA probate.

Custody battle. I am filing on terms of parental alienation, emotional and physiological abuse. There's a pre trial conference but the other parties lawyer emailed me stating the court requires a meeting beforehand. I don't feel comfortable speaking in this meeting with just myself and... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Aug 10, 2020

The pretrial order you received from the court should explain exactly what you need to do and when. Some judges require the parties to meet at least a week or two before the hearing. If you decline to meet the other party's attorney will likely bring that to the court's attention. This... Read more »

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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 »

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