My Kid is in College! When Can I Quit Paying Child Support?

Many parents reason that they should be able to stop paying child support when a child turns eighteen, finishes high school, or begins a job or college. In Massachusetts, G.L. c. 208, § 28 limits the support orders for these older children, but provides that the court may still order support for children aged 18-20 […]

Responsibility to Protect Children from Abusive Co-Parents

Massachusetts law allows parents many rights in raising their children. However, parents also have responsibilities, including protecting children from abusive co-parents. This was illustrated by a recent Appeals Court case. In Adoption of Cecily, a mother’s parental rights were terminated after she was found to have left her child with the child’s father, knowing that […]

Modifications of Child Support Orders More Easily Available Under New Standard

No material or substantial change in circumstances is now required to seek modification of a child support order!

Attribution of Income to an Unemployed Spouse at Divorce

In assigning child support and alimony, Massachusetts courts may “attribute” or “impute” income to a voluntarily unemployed or underemployed divorcing party. The imputed income is based on what that spouse could be earning, considering education, job history, experience, and local job opportunities.

New Alimony Law Now in Effect!

As of March 1, 2013, many people who have been paying alimony are eligible for a reduction or termination of their alimony obligations. Retirees and those with marriages of five years or less are most likely to receive modifications at this time, while others will become eligible in subsequent years. These reductions are the result […]

Can property awarded to one spouse at the time of divorce, later be considered a source of income in determining spouses’ child support or alimony obligations?

At divorce, Massachusetts equitably divide marital assets and liabilities between the parties. G.L. c. 208, § 34. Child support and alimony calculations are then based, in part, on the incomes of the parties. Should income from assets assigned at divorce later be considered in determining child support and alimony?

MA Court Awards Alimony & Divides Marital Assets & Liabilities After Seven Week Marriage

A recent Massachusetts Appeals Court decision upheld both the division of assets and an award of alimony where a husband and wife had been married only seven weeks before separating. See T.E. v. A.O, Mass. App. Ct. 11-P-246, (2012).

Determining the “Best Interests of the Child” in Massachusetts Custody and Out-of-State Removal Actions

Judges in Massachusetts must make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. How does a judge decide what will be in the best interests of your child?

Child Custody and Moving Out of State

A July 2012 Massachusetts Appeals Court decision, Murphy v. Murphy (No. 11-P-103) emphasized the importance of a “physical custody” designation when a divorced or divorcing parent seeks to move out of state with a child.