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Family Law Archives

Massachusetts Alimony Settlement Cannot Be Reopened Because of a Subsequent Clarification of the Law

Sometimes a case is in progress during or shortly after a change in the law, when its application and interpretation are still uncertain. In such cases, the parties may prefer to settle rather than risk an unpredictable result. In the recent case of Demarco v. Demarco, the parties chose to reach a settlement related to spousal support rather than complete the trial. The record suggests that the judge encouraged settlement based upon an assumption about how the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 would apply to the case, but a subsequent opinion by the Supreme Judicial Court made that assumption erroneous. 

Arbitration in Massachusetts Probate and Family Court

Mediation and arbitration are often less expensive and less stressful alternatives to litigation in family law matters. The parties must agree to submit to alternative dispute resolution, however. When agreeing to one of these alternatives, the parties should understand what the agreement entails and whether the decision is subject to judicial review. 

Massachusetts Appeals Court Includes Income in Child Support Calculation Despite Mother's Waiver of Interest

file000950486984-300x225.jpgChild support in Massachusetts is determined using the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. There is a rebuttable presumption that the guidelines apply to all child support cases, whether they are establishing a new order or modifying an order that is already in place. Massachusetts law requires that child support orders be modified if there is an inconsistency between a current child support order and the amount that would result from the application of the guidelines. G.L. c. 208, § 28. The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently considered whether a mother's waiver of interest in income from vested restricted stock units prevented that income from being included in the child support calculation in Hoegan v. Hoegan.

Massachusetts Appeals Court Denies Mother's Request to Move Children to California

In Massachusetts, a custodial parent may not remove a minor child from the Commonwealth without the child's consent if the child is old enough to give it. If the child is too young to provide consent, the custodial parent may not remove the child without the consent of the other parent, unless the court orders otherwise "upon cause shown." G.L. c. 208, § 30. airplane-flying-1431418-639x433-300x204.jpg

Division of Future Book Royalties in Massachusetts Divorces

It is common for a person to sacrifice to support a spouse who is pursuing an education or developing a career. Unfortunately, if the marriage falls apart after the spouse becomes successful, the divorce can become very contentious. The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently decided a case involving the division of property, including the contractual rights to future payments resulting from a best-selling novel written by the wife.books.jpg

Massachusetts Does Not Require Notice of Adoption to Sperm Donor

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently considered whether notice of an adoption petition must go to a known sperm donor. In this recent case, a married same-sex couple sought to adopt their son to ensure recognition of their parentage outside of theCommonwealth.

Child Support Modification Standard Clarified And Simplified

Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts clarified the standard for a parent to get a child support order modified. In Morales v. Morales, the SJC held that a divorced parent does not have to prove a substantial change in circumstances in order to modify a child support order.

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