The Lewis Leeper Blog

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    Massachusetts Property Division

    Massachusetts is currently an equitable property state. What this means is that property distribution will happen by what the Massachusetts divorce court considers to be fair. When it comes to dividing property during a divorce, the Massachusetts divorce court will consider the following factors: Length of marriage Conduct during the marriage Age Health Station Occupation Income Vocational skills Employability Estate Liabilities and needs Opportunities for future acquisition of assets and income

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    Massachusetts Alimony

    In divorce, the Massachusetts divorce court can order either party to pay alimony. Alimony, also referred to as maintenance or spousal support, is determined by the divorce court considering the following factors:  Length of marriage Conduct during the marriage  Age Health Station Occupation Income Vocation skills Employability Estate Liabilities and needs  

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    Parenting Plan: Get It Right The First Time

    Remember, you’re going to have to live with the provisions in your parenting plan for years and years to come- it’s important to get it right the first time. It is highly recommended you review the parenting plans available from ParentingPlan.net. Their Parenting Plan Kit includes ten (10) complete parenting plans, including Standard, Shared, Comprehensive Sole Custody, Military Service Plan, an Interstate / Long-Distance plan, a Supervised 4-Phase Visitation Plan, and several others. They’re available at a fraction of what an attorney would charge and are much more detailed than the “boilerplate” plans that most of them provide

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    Massachusetts Child Custody

    Massachusetts divorce courts determine child custody by the key legal standard of what’s in the best interest of the child. Typically, divorce courts like to assign joint child custody, if possible, so the child can continue a relationship with both parents after divorce. When determining child custody, the Massachusetts divorce court will consider: Happiness and welfare of the child If the child’s past or present living conditions affect physical, mental, moral or emotional health Abuse of alcohol or drugs Desertion of the child Parent’s ability to cooperate in matters concerning the child

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    Massachusetts Divorce Mediation

    If you’re heading for divorce that could potentially be amicable, you may want to start with a great mediator who is also a lawyer. If you’re not at war already, heading to an aggressive divorce lawyer out of fear will certainly start one. If you and your spouse have a working relationship, similar goals and no huge wedge issues up front, try an experienced mediator first. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and aggravation. Additionally, you are more likely to come out of it with the good parts of your relationship intact

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    Massachusetts Child Support Enforcement

    To make sure Massachusetts child support is paid, the state has several tactics and penalties for child support enforcement. After divorce, some parents miss child support payments or don’t make payments at all. To help protect childrens’ financial futures the state has a child support enforcement agency to enforce the collection of unpaid child support. Parents who don’t pay child support may face: Being held in contempt of court Withholding income Increase in child support obligation Liens on property Interception of federal and state tax refunds Credit reporting Suspension of driver’s, professional, trade or business licenses

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    Trust But Verify: Write everything down

    Do not assume either of you will remember or abide by the agreement no matter how friendly things are. Get it all in writing in a coherent plan and agreement so nobody ‘forgets’ or acts out. This is why a mediator who is also a lawyer is such a strong choice. Especially with issues of money and parenting, the more details are in writing the better. For example, if you live in the same area and are comfortable with the non-custodial spouse or co-parent visiting during non-visiting times or if you are agreeing to a degree of flexibility, write it […]

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    When the divorce is over

    Part of the relief of divorce is that you are no longer responsible for your partner’s insecurities, self hatred, mood swings, troubled relationships with his/her family, professional disappointments or any other problems you have had to live with during the marriage. It will also be the same for them. This means it’s finally and completely over, you are released and so are they.  Resist any urges you have to give or seek old patterns with your ex spouse and move on, start anew, rebuild your life.

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    Who Is Affected by Paternity Fraud?

    Some resources on paternity fraud go so far as to label it a type of domestic violence against men and children. Defrauded Man: The man indicated as the father, who has no actual biological ties to the child in question, can be financially and emotionally burdened by paternity fraud. If he’s ordered to pay child support, his financial means may be greatly diminished. The Child/Children: Effects of paternity fraud go beyond the potential emotional trauma of having the children’s identities shaken by learning that “father” isn’t actually related to them. Child victims of paternity fraud also face health risks from […]

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    Save your relationship after divorce

    Let your relationship transform. Burn the old and see what emerges. If your relationship is going to have any chance at re-emerging in a new, healthy form that allows you to be friends and strong parenting partners, you have to let it all go first. Who knows what you’ll keep or who you will become. Don’t feel betrayed if the other person withdraws or remains silent when you start a riff on how hard it is to blah blah blah. She/he is wisely trying to build new boundaries for the care and safety of your relationship. It may feel lousy […]

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