Massachusetts Family Law Questions & Answers

Q: Unmarried and separated with three kids. As a single mother, what are my rights an what can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Answered on Apr 10, 2019
Joshua H Bearce's answer
You can file three Complaints for Custody-Support-Parenting Time in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court. You can seek to waive the filing fees if you have a low income. After you have filed, I would suggest filing a motion for temporary orders to obtain an award of child support from the children's father, as well as the establishment of a parenting plan. I suggest you speak with an attorney who specializes in family law to discuss your options further. Good luck.

Q: I have my daughter full time, he father comes once a week for 1 hr visit.. im going to mexico for a week and he knows

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Apr 4, 2019
Meghan L Howard's answer
If you and Father were never married and there is no court order stating otherwise, you have legal and physical custody of your daughter and can take her on vacation with you without issue.

Q: Hi, can I remove my ungrateful, estranged 18 year old son from my healthcare plan?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Health Care Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Apr 4, 2019
Meghan L Howard's answer
It depends. If you have a divorce agreement or court order that states you shall keep him on your health insurance so long as he is eligible, you would not be able to remove him without court approval.

Q: If you have supervised visits with a minor child and the mother and father had words. Does the mother have the right to

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Apr 2, 2019
Joshua H Bearce's answer
No. The Mother does not have the right to prevent you from having parenting time with the child simply because the two of you had an argument. If the Mother wants to modify the current parenting plan, she needs to obtain a court order. Otherwise, you can file a Complaint for Contempt if she continues to prevent you from having your parenting time with the child. I suggest you speak with an attorney who specializes in family law/child custody to discuss your options further. Good luck.

Q: Ex-Husband is angry that I introduced my boyfriend to the kids. (He is not a danger to my kids and the kids like him.)

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Apr 2, 2019
Joshua H Bearce's answer
If your boyfriend has no prior history which would make it unsafe for the children to be around him, then the fact that you introduced him to the children will not constitute a material and substantial change in circumstances warranting any modification of your parenting plan. I suggest you speak with an attorney who specializes in family law and/or child custody to discuss your options further. Good luck.

Q: My full story is below.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 21, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
It depends upon how the beneficiary desigination reads-does it list the 3 persons as joint tenants with the right of survivorship? Or as beneficiaries in common or does it list further contingent beneficiairies.

Q: Ex-Husband is angry because a boyfriend was introduced to the kids. He is now threatening me via continual texts etc.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
If the relationship is stable with your boyfriend and he is a suitable individual, it is ok to introduce him to your children. Sometimes there is an objection as to the boyfriend due to details about his past or present which may raise legitimate concerns, but you have not indicated that he has any issues. Also, sometimes there is a situation where the children and boyfriend do not interact well or the children are having problems adjusting to changes since the divorce and could include your...

Q: can custody be changed before a court hearing if all parties agree?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 7, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Unless there is some concern about whether the child's safety or well-being would be affected adversely by implementing an agreement for custody prior to the hearing date, it is generally acceptable. Sometimes, in fact, it is a wise idea to try on the new living arrangement for size to see how things work for the parties and the child so that if things do not work out the issue can be addressed on the Court date.

Q: My husband died in 2010. In MA, what forms do I use to start the probate process now? All for death after '12

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Answered on Feb 26, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
The form set is for Formal Probate and the documentation to file is the same as for post March 31, 2012 deaths although the law on who is an heir or devisee is different.

Q: Recently seperated from sons father, I will be looking for place. do I have the legal right to just move my son with me?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
You have not stated whether there was any Order of the Probate Court involved so far, so it is difficult to answer satisfactorily except that if there are no current Court Orders then with the mother of a child born of unmarried parents presumptively mother has sole legal and physical custody. However, the facts as to whether father has been actively caring for the child and the parties have been living together make a claim by father for joint legal custody a strong possibility and moving...

Q: Both parents have been court ordered to use Our Family Wizard. One parent refuses. What do I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 28, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
The other parent appears to be in violation of a Court Order and you can file a Contempt Complaint in order to obtain action from the Court that will address the non-compliance in terms of its effects on the child's bet interests. If you have counsel and there is a contempt finding against the other parent the Court would also order your counsel fees to be paid.

Q: What are the steps and requirements needed to terminate my son's father's parental rights in Massachusetts?

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 17, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
If you were divorced did you have a reference to custody and visitation in the agreement or in the Judgment post trial? If this is an unmarried parents Judgment of paternity or custody and support, then the issue of what custody there is would be addressed in that agreement and Judgment. You would need to file a Modification Petition and seek an Emergency Order to have the Court enter orders terminating/suspending visitation, and ,if applicable, legal custody and if father is trying to see...

Q: stepparent's obligation for child support if it's not in divorce decree. (In MA)

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 10, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
If the child is adopted by you then the child support guidelines level of support would apply and child support orders can be sought regardless of whether visitation occurs.

Q: Unable to see our great granddaughters. Father is not responding to our calls to see them.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 3, 2019
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.'s answer
You may seek visitation rights via court filings. Why are the parents not letting you see the kids? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AliEsq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, WA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business &...

Q: What type of lawyer am I looking for?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Libel & Slander and Sexual Harassment for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 3, 2019
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.'s answer
You may have a case for breach of contract for the loans. As for the allegations of infidelity, you may want to contact the other woman via counsel. As for allegations of child endangerment of some sort, it depends on the facts. And do you need a restraining order for some reason? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors,...

Q: I am a high school student looking for some information about your career considering I was thinking about going into

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 3, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
I have my own law firm so I am not on a salary and the advancement is dictated by what I will and won't do. My hours are basically a 40 hour week although sometimes more or less depending upon what I am working on and deadlines to complete work. I am a Probate and Family Law attorney and I also litigate contested matters so I interact with the public and the Court system. Income can be uneven and that is a caution for anyone going into their own business. You may want to try working for a...

Q: No asset Ch. 7 discharge in 2008 and two years later ordered to pay legal fees of ex spouse for services provided before

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
You will have to reopen bankruptcy and add the lawyers a creditor. He should have been listed as a creditor in the original filing even though the amount owed may have not been liquidated at the time.

Q: I requested a Judicial Review in regarding arrears. Can DOR take $ from my chck while this is still under review

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 23, 2018
Joshua H Bearce's answer
Yes. There is a court order in place to withhold money from your paycheck for purposes of the payment of child support. The father has 30 days to file an answer to your complaint after he is served with a copy of the complaint. You will not get a default judgment from the court if he does not respond to your answer. However, if he does not appear for scheduled court hearings etc., you can request a default judgment from the court. I suggest you speak with an attorney who specializes in...

Q: What are our chances of my husband adopting my son as his legal stepchild. As well as what are the steps we need to take

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 17, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
If there are no issues involving the step father there are no chances working against you and then quite possibly biological father would be willing to consent to the adoption. You can still proceed with the adoption petition if he does not consent but it would be a longer time frame, and judging from the facts presented there is no involvement with the child and he may also have fitness issues.

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