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Alimony Reform Does Not Apply Retroactively

Massachusetts completely reformed its alimony laws as of March 1, 2012.  Since then, there has been a lot of uncertainty when it comes to how the new law is applied to old cases and existing cases.  One of the main questions is whether or not the law would apply retroactively to parties with completed cases with alimony.  The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC)…

How is Alimony Different from Separate Support?

Separate support is a term that we use to describe all types of monetary support mandated by the court.

Temporary Alimony not the same as Permanent Alimony

A recent Supreme Judicial Court case opined on the question of whether alimony issued pursuant to a Temporary Order of the court during the pendency of a divorce credits against the duration of alimony at the conclusion of the divorce when there is a permanent alimony order.  The answer by the SJC is “no”. The SJC in Holmes v. Holmes made one…

Massachusetts Divorce and the Military

Members of the military and their families face a unique set of challenges in their service to our country.  They may be forced to uproot their lives repeatedly as a service member is moved from base to base stateside, and spouses/parents may spend long periods of time away from their family due to overseas deployments.  These unique challenges affect the family not…

How is “Separate Support” different from a legal separation in Massachusetts?

Separate Support is an action that you can file in Probate and Family Court whereby you’re not asking for a Judge to dissolve, end or suspend your marriage, but rather, simply ask that your spouse continue to provide financial support for the family.  The act of filing and getting a Separate Support judgment does not alter the terms, rights and responsibilities that…

Can the value of my professional degree be divided in a divorce?

People who have professional or post-graduate degrees often asks the question about the value or worth of their professional degree such as PhD, JD, MD, accounting degree, etc. The facts of each person’s case determines the answer to this question and it also depends on whether you’re asking from the point of view of a property division or issues surrounding alimony and…

I know my spouse lied on his Financial Statement to the Court, what can I do?

Here in Massachusetts, whenever there is an issue having to do with money in the Probate and Family Courts, the Court requires the parties to each fill out a comprehensive financial statement.  The Financial Statements asks for your income, assets, expenses and liabilities.  It also requires you to be totally honest and truthful in your disclosure. So what happens if you know…

How long does it take to get a hearing date in court in Massachusetts?

The length of time to get a hearing date in Probate and Family Court depends on a few factors.  It depends on: Who your judge is What type of hearing you’re requesting What county court your case is located Each judge in Probate and Family Court controls their own calendar.  So depending on the judge’s availability is when you can get a…

Navigating the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court System

There are many different types of courts in Massachusetts.  Most people confuse the different types and thinks that any court can handle any type of issue.  Courts are divided by geographical areas that they service and also by subject matter that they can handle. The Probate and Family Court system only handles issues with family law, divorce, custody, probate and will contests….

How Much Would Alimony Be in Massachusetts?

Unlike Child Support, which needs to be paid in any case where there are children, not every divorce results in the payment of alimony, also known as spousal support.  In order to be eligible for alimony, three things must be true: 1) the person requesting alimony must be able to show that he or she needs alimony to support a lifestyle similar to…