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Worcester Family Law Blog

Child custody needs are different for every family

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to custody situations. Every family has unique needs that will have to be addressed when determining or modifying child custody orders. For this reason, parents in Massachusetts have several options available to them when figuring out custody arrangements that will be in their best interests.

Recently a woman came forward to share her story about dealing with child custody. In the beginning, she felt that her receiving full custody of her two daughters would be best for everyone, so that is what she was granted. Later, though, her circumstances changed and she realized she needed the children's father to take on a more active role. Eventually, she agreed to modify the custody order, allowing for a shared parenting arrangement.

Surviving a military divorce

Regardless of where one lives or what one's personal circumstances are, divorce is difficult. There is no easy way around it. For those in Massachusetts who are dealing with a military divorce in particular, surviving the process may feel nearly impossible. However, with help, getting through it as swiftly and smoothly as possible can be a reality.

Military divorce is a whole different ball game -- so to speak. There are things that these couples and families deal with that do not often affect civilian families. Deployments, for one, can make the divorce process last even longer than is normally anticipated. Getting organized and having all necessary documents and records readily available can certainly help move the process along even when deployments arise.

Massachusetts property division: fighting over pets in divorce

There are numerous couples in Massachusetts who enjoy joint pet ownership. Unfortunately, when divorce enters into the picture, deciding what to do with an animal can cause quite a few problems. In fact, fighting over pets is actually a fairly common theme in divorce cases.

At the end of the day, according to the state, pets are considered property. Animals acquired during a marriage are considered shared property and subject to the rules of property division during the divorce process. A judge will often look at various factors, such as children, income and living space, when determining who will get to keep the pet.

Massachusetts child custody: Dealing with a relocation request

For one reason or another, one might have to relocate. After all, change simply is a part of life. For parents in Massachusetts who have current child custody orders, how will the need to move affect standing custody arrangements?

Child custody orders are granted based upon the current situations of the parents at the time of the requests. However, circumstances do often change. For this reason, custody orders may be modified so that changes may be accommodated. Of course, the parent requesting the modification will have to show that any changes to an order will serve the best interests of any children involved.

Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines: Paying support Q and A

Regardless of where one lives, when dealing with a child support order, it is completely normal to have questions. The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines have been put in place to address many concerns of both custodial and non-custodial parents. This column will briefly touch on a few questions facing those who have been ordered to pay child support.

One common question is: How is the amount of child support determined? Massachusetts uses a percentage system when figuring out how much one is to pay in child support. A certain percentage of income is ordered based on the number of children for whom one must provide and one's monthly income.

Timing matters when filing for divorce

When one is ready to get out of his or her marriage, the urge to pull the trigger right away can be pretty strong. However, mistakes may be made when rushing to get it done. Whether one lives in Massachusetts or elsewhere, timing and strategic planning matter when it comes to filing for divorce.

There are numerous things to think about and many questions that may arise when filing for divorce. Will one need a separation agreement? Is it necessary to have papers official served to one's spouse? These are just a few concerns, but both are certainly issues that can affect the divorce process.

How long might a divorce take to complete?

When going through the divorce process, it is understandable that each spouse may want to get it over with as swiftly and smoothly as possible. The truth of the matter is that every divorce is different. Some couples in Massachusetts and elsewhere may be able to get through divorce rather quickly, while other couples may find that the process takes a substantial amount of time to complete.

There is a certain process that is generally followed when filing for divorce. It typically starts with at least one spouse filing for divorce. In this legal complaint, the filing spouse may give details as to what he or she wants to achieve in the divorce, such as a financial settlement and custody -- among various other things. Once the petition is completed, it will be filed with the court and the other spouse will be given the opportunity to respond.

Military divorce is in a category of its own

One would think that a divorce is a divorce, plain and simple. The truth is, those in Massachusetts or elsewhere who are divorcing military members deal with things that are not typically seen in civilian marriages. Military divorce simply is in a category all of its own.

The military divorce rate typically hovers around 3 percent. That may not seem like a huge number, but for the size of the armed forces, divorce affects quite a few families. Military couples often marry at young ages and have to try and cope with long separations and major injuries. These things simply make married life more difficult and stressful on these couples.

Dealing with an underwater mortgage in divorce?

Getting a divorce is a pretty stressful thing. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made, and some will affect one's financial standing when the divorce is all said and done. Dealing with an underwater mortgage is a very real concern for many divorcing couples in Massachusetts. Luckily, there are options available in such situations.

The marital home is often the biggest asset a couple might have between them. Unfortunately, this is not always a good thing. When a couple owes more on their home than it is worth, it can make deciding what to do with the property during divorce rather difficult.

Massachusetts considering changing child custody laws

Massachusetts is one of many states that is considering changing child custody laws. As it currently stands, child custody laws tend to favor mothers' rights as opposed to fathers' rights. This is something that many fathers in the state have expressed concerns about and would like to see addressed.

Currently, child custody laws give greater weight to mothers being the primary caregivers in the home. However, times have certainly changed, and this is no longer the case. More women are working and more fathers are taking on bigger roles in the home.

Martindales disclaimer = * AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.

Superlawyer's disclaimer = "Attorney John (Jay) L. Roncone III. was selected for inclusion in the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Massachusetts Super Lawyers. Only five percent of lawyers in the state were selected."

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