child support

Underemployed Husband At Time Of Divorce

Representing the Wife.   The parties were married for over 22 years at the commencement of the action and had two children, ages 15 and 11, with special needs.  The matter was tried.  The court found that the Husband dissipated marital assets including retirement funds and was underemployed at the time of the divorce.  The Husband demonstrated little if any interest in the children.  The Wife received a substantially greater share of the marital estate and was granted sole legal and physical custody of the minor children, after trial.

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Complaint for Modification of Child Support

Representing the former Wife, in opposition to the Husband’s complaint, seeking to reduce child support.   During the course of the proceeding, it was learned that Husband represented by way of affidavit in a collateral proceeding that his gross monthly income was substantially higher than as represented on his rule 401 financial statements.   Mother through counsel conducted discovery, seeking former Husband’s business records, which Husband failed to produce after being ordered to do so by the Court.  Mother filed a motion to dismiss for failure to comply with the Court’s discovery orders and for attorney fees, which was allowed.

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Common Myths in Massachusetts Family Law Every Parent Should Know

When it comes to divorcing and family law, things get complicated quickly. It’s essential to know your rights regarding your children. Presented here are some common myths every parent should be made aware of during divorce or custody proceedings. Myth: A parent’s failure to pay child support can result in the parent being kept from seeing the children Only a judge can determine visitation rights. If a parent fails to pay child support, the other parent is not automatically given the right to withhold visitation. The Court’s orders for visitation cannot be ignored simply because the child support account is two months or even two years delinquent. Myth: If a parent doesn’t agree with the court orders, they can move the kids out of state Once an action involving custody of children (divorce, domestic abuse, guardianship, etc.) is filed in Massachusetts, neither party can remove a child from the state without permission from the other parent or a judge. This act of moving a child out of state without permission can result in criminal charges. A modification with a compelling reason to move with the children, such as once-in-a-lifetime education, family, or work opportunity, must be filed to remove children from the state legally. Myth: He/She cheated on me, so I should get everything Infidelity is grounds for divorce in Massachusetts, however, in a divorce, a judge must consider many factors in making a decision, including all conduct of the parties during the entire marriage, good and bad. It is

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Post-Divorce Custody and Child Support Modification

Representing the former husband.  The parties were married for 22 years.   At the time of the divorce and in all proceedings thereafter, Father was represented by Attorney Gabriel. The parties had four children.  The Father was ordered to pay a substantial amount of weekly child support to the Mother.  A permanent alimony waiver was negotiated through the divorce action, whereby Mother received an additional sum from the Father’s share of the proceeds from the sale of the martial home and forever waived alimony.  After the divorce, Father filed a modification seeking a change in custody of two of the parties’ four children.   The matter went to trial. Father was successful and his child support obligation was reduced.   Thereafter, Father filed a second complaint for modification seeking custody of the parties’ two youngest children.  The matter proceeded to trial.  Father’ complaint for modification was successful. Father’s child support obligation was terminated and Mother was ordered to pay child support to Father.

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Child Support Guidelines – What are they? How have they changed?

In Massachusetts, the Commonwealth uses Child Support Guidelines to estimate the correct amount of child support to be paid. The amount of support is determined by a set of factors outlined in the Child Support Guidelines and by applying the applicable factors to a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet is calculated to reflect the amount of money for the benefit of the children that the custodial parent (who the children reside with primarily) will receive from the non-custodial parent. When there is a joint custodial arrangement the worksheet is calculated by having each parent as the recipient and subtracting the difference between the two outcomes. The factors that the guidelines consider are things such as, each parents’ income, the costs for health insurance, the costs for child care, and any other relevant costs. The court can also order the payment of college expense and extracurricular activities. On Friday, September 15, 2017, the Commonwealth will be implementing new Child Support Guidelines. The changes were made by a task force after careful review and consideration of the increased costs associated with raising a child in Massachusetts. Key changes that were made to the guidelines are as follows: 1) Minimum support increased from the 2002 standard of $18.46 per week to $25.00 per week due to an increase in the overall cost of living in Massachusetts since 2002. 2) Actual time spent parenting is not determinative of Child Support. The new guidelines are based on only two scenarios, joint custody and one parent

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Unusual fathers’ rights case makes national headlines

When it comes to child support enforcement, the players often fall along stereotypical lines. You have the beleaguered single mother, fighting the get the courts to force the deadbeat father to pay for the needs of his children. The story has become so ingrained in our collective belief about child support that any exception to this scenario garners media attention in Massachusetts and elsewhere. One recent case offers an unusual take on fathers’ rights, and has many debating the current state of child support law. A man recently faced a judge to defend against the charge of having unpaid child support. However, the man offered DNA test results that proved him not to be the father of the child in question. However, he still emerged from the courtroom owing child support to a woman who had deceived him for the past 13 years. At the time of the child’s birth, the man’s girlfriend claimed that he was the child’s father. Although he had doubts at the time, he signed the baby’s birth certificate. As a result, a judge is holding him to that promise, and has ordered that he pay toward the $23,000 in back support owed. However, he will be allowed to do so at a rate of $1 per month, interest free. At that rate, he will be able to fulfill his obligation in as little as 1,917 years. As this fathers’ rights case demonstrates, family court judges hear a wide range of cases, not all of which

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Warning: Facebook rants may affect alimony and child support

Social media, Facebook in particular, has become an integrated part of the lives of many Massachusetts residents. Some of us have become so accustomed to sharing our lives online that we update and post almost automatically, with very little thought given to what could happen to that information once it is out of our hands. However, when it comes to issues surrounding one’s divorce, posting is not the best policy, and can actually have serious ramifications for issues such as child support and alimony. Even if you think that your former partner does not or cannot see your Facebook activity, this is not the place to air your grievances about the marriage or divorce. If you make comments online that can be proven false, such as claiming that your ex is not meeting his or her child support obligations, the other party can sue you for libel. Also consider the long-term ramifications; if you post negative things about the other spouse and he or she loses a job because of it, their ability to pay child support or alimony could be severely limited, and they could approach the court to ask for a reduced amount. Another thing to remember is that Facebook is forever. What you write, can almost always be recovered and brought to the attention of a court, even if you have erased it from your news feed. That heightens the risk that a child may one day read the negative things you said about the other parent.

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Legal separation may avoid tax consequences, but brings high risk

Many Massachusetts couples find it challenging to know the best approach to ending a marriage. Some couples opt to enter into a legal separation while they determine whether or not to work on saving their marriage. Others move directly to a divorce filing. Each option has its pros and cons, but savvy couples will carefully weigh the financial implications of both choices before moving forward. While a legal separation may help a couple avoid some of the tax consequences of divorce, it can also leave both parties open to a high level of financial risk. A legal separation is a court-approved separation of two spouses, with the responsibilities of each spouse clearly laid out as a part of the agreement. The parties remain legally married, and one advantage of such an arrangement is that the spouses can continue to share benefits such as health insurance. They can also continue to enjoy tax benefits, inheritance rights and access to jointly owned properties. However, there is a degree of risk associated with legal separation, because spouses can also continue to spend jointly owned savings and enter into contracts, leaving open the possibility for a significantly reduced net worth before divorce papers are filed. Many experts advise against legal separation, pointing out that the opportunity to enjoy certain benefits is far outweighed by the risks inherent in remaining legally tethered while the marriage is in a state of flux. For example, if the legal separation outlines a spousal support or child support payment,

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