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Massachusetts Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Massachusetts on
Q: I was adopted at 15 years old do I have any legal claims against my biological mother's estate
Randy Bryan Ligh
Randy Bryan Ligh
answered on Jan 11, 2023

You very well may however some laws vary from state to state (jurisdiction to jurisdiction) and I would recommend that you contact a probate lawyer in your state to discuss this further. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My brother has filed for Informal probate of my Mom's Will without giving me a copy of the Will. Do I need a lawyer?

He is not trustworthy due to things he's done through the years. He is named as the PR in her Will only because he bullied her into it and is the oldest. I do know that she tried to make her Will specific and made sure that her estate would be divided equally between her four children

Joshua H. Bearce
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Joshua H. Bearce
answered on Dec 28, 2022

If your brother filed an informal probate, then he had to file a copy of your mother's Last Will and Testament. You can request to see a copy of your mother's estate case at the Probate and Family Court. This will allow you to see the Last Will and Testament and obtain a copy of it.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What kind of attorney(s) should i hire if i want to file a complaint in equity and sue in family court for contempt?

i am the child named in a judgment of divorce between parents and became a tenancy in common in properties with step-mother. i am now disabled and the sales will create financial complexities along with a host of difficulties. i have hired a real estate attorney & scheduled to meet soon but i... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Dec 1, 2022

Optimally you would hire a family law attorney with litigation experience.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: How long does a judge have to sign and file a judgement after a child support hearing in Massachusetts?

My court hearing for child support was 27 days ago yet I still haven’t received the judgement in the mail, neither have the courts or DOR.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Nov 22, 2022

It depends on the type of hearing. If it was a divorce trial where child support was just one of many issues, it would take a few (or more) months. If it was a hearing where DOR was seeking support on the other parent's behalf, it should be much quicker. It also depends on the county you are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Followup on my previous question, regarding my daughter trying to get custody or more visitation time.

She was granted attorneys fees of $5,000, but husband refuses to pay, charged with contempt, got an extension to pay, contempt charges filed again, pending. He was supposed to pay her a min amount for reestablishment, refused. She only gets sons on weekend, agreement is she has to take them to... Read more »

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

She needs to continue to pursue the Contempt and sounds like there are more issues where a Contempt may lie, so try to obtain counsel!!

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Parties agree to contribute to child's educational expenses ~according to their respective abilities at the time."

Ambiguous. Who decides ability? Can parent have a savings account or be concerned someone is going to say "S/He has money?" Child is 20 years old in college and is capable of supporting self but lives with one parent.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Oct 17, 2022

A child in college full-time is not considered to be emancipated and the duty to pay child support and make college contribution exists. Where there is an indefinite percentage or sum indicated there is likely a basis for court review in a Modification proceeding. The current Massachusetts child... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Spousal conflict on Adoption: Is Divorce the only solution?

We have been married for 15 years without kids. We tried IVF several times, but it did not work. Now my wife wants to go for adoption, but I am not interested. She is even willing to do it as a single mother. And I am opposed to it primarily because, we don’t know how things will turn out after... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller
answered on Oct 11, 2022

I am actually not sure whether your wife could adopt a child solely while you are married, but another lawyer with expertise in adoption may be able to answer that.

Regarding an agreement to waive child support, however, that is definitely not possible. The courts view child support as...
Read more »

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.

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