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modification

Motion to Dismiss Husband’s Complaint for Modification of Custody

Representing former Wife.  Husband filed action concerning care and custody of minor child three years earlier.   Wife previously moved out of state with court permission.   Father failed to prosecute action.  Mother filed a motion to dismiss Father’s complaint under the Massachusetts Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (Chapter 209B §7) and Forum non conveniens (M.G.L. Chapter 223A § 5).   Mother alleged that the action was no longer properly before the Massachusetts, despite having been brought at a time when the parties were living in Massachusetts.  Mother alleged that such an action should proceed in the child’s home state.  The court agreed and the matter was dismissed.

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Complaint for Modification of Custody

Representing the former wife (Mother) in a post-divorce complaint for modification, seeking to modify existing judgment granting husband (Father) joint legal custody and parenting time with two minor children of the marriage.     Mother alleged that Father was abusive, suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues.  Mother alleged that Father was incapable of safely caring for the children.  Extensive cross examination of court appointed guardian ad litem.  Result in Mother’s favor.  Mother granted sole legal and physical custody of the children after trial. Father granted restricted supervised parenting time with professional supervisor at Father’s sole expenses.

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Complaint for Modification

Representing husband.  Defending against former wife’s Complaint for Modification, seeking sole legal custody and supervised restricted parenting for former husband.  The parties had minor children.  The court appointed a guardian ad litem with authority to make recommendations to the court regarding the care and custody of the minor children.   The matter went to trial which lasted 8 days.  The guardian ad litem (GAL) was strongly in favor of the wife’s position.  Father’s parenting time was severely restricted during the pendency of the action.  Extensive cross examination of the GAL, resulting in severely diminished credibility.  At the conclusion of the trial Father’s parenting time and legal custody were restored to pre modification status.

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Private eyes get involved in Massachusetts alimony cases

For Massachusetts residents who are receiving alimony checks, it may be a good idea to look around your surroundings a little bit closer. Someone may be watching you. Interestingly enough, your behavior could have an impact on the status of the alimony payments you currently receive. In the past, alimony payments could be stopped when the ex-spouse who received payments was remarried. However, with shifting societal attitudes toward marriage and relationships, many unmarried couples live with each other and some couples never intend to get married. This, in turn, could cause problems for ex-spouses who are ordered to pay alimony to their former spouses who may be living with another partner without the intent to marry. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill into law that included provision that says that if the former spouse who is receiving alimony is proved to be living with another adult, a family court judge has the option to decrease, suspend or end alimony payments. However, when the governor signed this bill in late 2011, he probably had no idea that the new law would create a boom for private investigators. Because of the rules, those who believe their alimony payments are unfair have the ability to hire a private investigator to determine their former spouse’s relationship status. At the moment, there is a lot of discussion as to whether or not these practices are ethical. Yet there is currently nothing that makes the use of private investigators in alimony disputes illegal, so courts

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