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November 2014 Archives

Reasons to challenge paternity in Massachusetts

Families may benefit greatly by knowing the identity of a child's father. Determining paternity grants them access to the medical and genetic history of the father, allowing them to learn about any medical conditions or diseases that the child could inherit. It may also mean that the father has the right to be involved in raising the child, helping to provide for the child's needs. However, sometimes a man is wrongfully labeled the biological father, and he could file a suit to challenge paternity.

Courts consider several factors in marital property division

Massachusetts law provides some specific guidelines for the court's consideration regarding property division in a divorce proceeding. Since Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, the court is charged with facilitating a settlement that is deemed fair to both parties. This approach differs from a community property division in that "fair" may not necessarily mean "equal."

Fathers' rights and shared custody

Massachusetts fathers who are going through a divorce may have the mistaken belief that courts favor women in making custody decisions. While this may have been true in the past, the law specifically prohibits courts from assigning custody to one parent over the other based on the parent's gender. Instead, courts are to put the child's best interests first and they consider a number of relevant factors in making the custody orders.

Can alimony payments be terminated

Massachusetts law does make provisions to terminate spousal support. If a spouse who is receiving support remarries or either spouse dies, the support will stop. However, the spouse making payments may be required to get a life insurance policy that will provide support after the paying spouse passes on. The length of the marriage may also play a role in determining when support payments may terminate.

How does a DNA test work?

Massachusetts residents may know that paternity testing is able to establish the father's identity with a substantial degree of reliability. By matching the child's DNA to that of the father, it allows parents and children to have resolution on this issue.