The Lewis Leeper Blog

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    A material change in circumstances

    Eric Wettstein v. Sahara Fathi, 11-P-774 The Appeals Court supported the Probate Court judge’s decision that Father’s move to Florida constituted a material change in circumstances as a matter of law.  Father’s move made adherence to the original parenting schedule impossible.  On Father’s complaint for modification, Mother appealed the judgment as to the visitation schedule and trips abroad.  While Mother has sole legal and physical custody, the Appeals Court also upheld the decision permitting overnight visitation to occur in a hotel or at friends’ houses because father lived out of state.  The Appeals Court also upheld the decision requiring each […]

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    Appeals Court vacates the Probate Court’s judgment of contempt

    Michael S. Molina v. Maria I. Tatakis, 11-P-841 The Appeals Court vacates the Probate Court’s judgment of contempt, which found the ex-Wife in contempt for failing to turn over certain tax forms to the ex-Husband.  The Parties were divorced in Connecticut, but both moved to Massachusetts after the divorce.  Under the original divorce agreement, Husband’s child support obligation included $307 per week, plus medical insurance and 70% of unreimbursed medical and daycare expenses.  It further required the Wife to provide certain tax documents if the Husband was current on his “child support obligation.”  By his own admission, he was $4,000 […]

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    Appeal of supplemental judgment of divorce issuing

    Nelida Gold v. Steven Gold, 11-P-112 The Wife appeals a supplemental judgment of divorce issuing, among other things, child support to be paid to the Husband in the amount of $170 per week and alimony to be paid to the Wife in the amount of $170 per week.  After trial, the judge found that the parties enjoyed an upper middle class station in life as the Wife was a flight attendant and the Husband owned 17% in a family insurance agency.  The Husband has legal and physical custody of the minor child.  However, the Appeals Court determined that the child […]

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    The inclusion of capital gains income

    Alfred W. Wasson v. Silvia M. Wasson, 81 Mass.App.Ct. 574 (2012) The case was remanded to the Probate Court on the issue of whether the inclusion of capital gains income as presumptively required by the Guidelines results in an increasing support obligation that is unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances.  On his Complaint for Modification, the plaintiff was successful in modifying his child support obligation and his health insurance obligation (by agreement on the first day of trial).  After trial, he was also successful in recovering $21,855 of his requested $39,097 for legal fees based on the judge’s finding that, […]

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    Complaint for modification of child support

    Morales v. Morales, 10-P-2122 October 17, 2011 Wife’s complaint for modification of child support, filed a year after the divorce decree, was dismissed when she failed to show that Husband’s $34.80 per week raise was a material and substantial change in circumstances.  The Wife relied upon G.L. 208, §28, which provides in part for a modification of child support if there is an inconsistency between the amount of an existing order and the amount that would result from application of the Guidelines.  The Appeals Court affirmed the long-standing standard derived from statute and case law that in modifying alimony and […]

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    Complaint for divorce modification to terminate alimony and insurance obligations

    Ostroff v. Ostroff, 10-P-1782 October 24, 2011 A sixty-five year-old emergency room physician retired after a long career in the ER, which ended due to severe back and neck problems and a failing memory.  At trial on a complaint for modification to terminate his $500 per week alimony and medical and life insurance obligations, the probate and family court judge determined that plaintiff’s retirement was voluntary.  Plaintiff’s ex-wife offered no evidence on the issue of retirement at trial.  The trial judge ordered that alimony be reduced to $250 per week; his obligation to maintain medical insurance be terminated; and life […]

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    209A order against the defendant

    Uliano v. Tartarian, 10-P-1980 October 25, 2011 After a seven month dating relationship and two incidents of physical violence, the plaintiff obtained a 209A order against the defendant. The defendant subsequently broke into plaintiff’s home and was incarcerated for violation of the restraining order. Thereafter, the defendant was present at the hearing and the restraining order was extended. Contrary to the defendant’s position, the record supported the judge’s determination that the plaintiff’s fear was reasonable and his due process claim failed. Our Boston divorce attorneys handle 209A orders and related divorce matters throughout the Greater Boston and Boston Metrowest region […]

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