The Lewis Leeper Blog

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    What happens with Unpaid Debt in our divorce?

    Even if your divorce decree assigns certain joint debts to your spouse, you may still be responsible for those debts. If one spouse fails to pay off debts, the creditor can still bring legal action against the other spouse for the full amount of the debts. You may then choose to file a contempt action against your former spouse for violating your divorce decree and seeking reimbursement for any amounts you have paid. In most states, you will also be entitled to your divorce attorneys’ fees. Learn about protecting yourself financially from your spouse’s debt by speaking with a local […]

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    Which Should Come First, Bankruptcy or Divorce?

    Legally, married couples in Massachusetts can file bankruptcy jointly, while divorced couples can’t. Couples who are considering bankruptcy often find it financially advantageous to file for bankruptcy protection before divorcing. However, changes to the bankruptcy laws in 2005 made it more difficult for people above a certain income level to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some couples might find themselves unable to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, whereas one spouse alone might be able to do so after the divorce.

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    Can I represent myself in my divorce?

    Under Massachusetts law you have the right to appear on your own behalf in a courtroom in any legal matter including divorce. However, proceeding “pro se” (literally, “for yourself”) in getting your divorce is advisable only under certain circumstances. If you and your spouse have custody disputes, if you are married and paternity of any of the children is in question, if you want support (alimony) from him/her or if there is any marital property which hasn’t already been satisfactorily divided, you are advised to hire an attorney to represent you. If the case is complicated, you do not know […]

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    How much will my divorce cost?

    There is a fee to file a divorce in Massachusetts, and to get a summons. As of 2004, the filing fee is $200.00, plus a $15.00 surcharge, and a summons costs $1.00. Notifying your spouse, called service of process, can cost around $30.00 or more if he/she lives far away. Attorney fees will vary and you will need to discuss these fees with the divorce attorney you select. If you’re considering divorce, contact our firm to schedule a initial consultation to learn your options.

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    Once I file for divorce with the court, how long is it before I get a trial date?

    Each divorce case is unique and the answer to this question depends on many factors such as: which grounds you are using; how rapidly or slowly you are able to complete each step in the process; how long it takes to find and serve your spouse; if your spouse’s address is unknown, serving him/her will take longer; how complete and accurate your papers are; how busy and back logged the court is; whether your spouse contests or disagrees any part of the divorce; and whether there are temporary orders or negotiations in process. There is generally a twenty day waiting […]

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    When should I go to court for my divorce?

    Going to court too quickly can often create more litigation in your divorce. In making your decision to live apart, to divorce or to contest certain issues, weigh the price you will pay with your time, emotional pain and money. Each divorce case is unique. When children are involved, your relationship with your spouse does not end with the separation or divorce. You probably, but not necessarily, will continue to have contact with him/her regarding support, visitation, and other parental responsibilities. You both will be grandparents of your children’s children. If it is appropriate in your situation, for the sake […]

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    How do I start the divorce process?

    You file the Complaint for Divorce and other documents at the court. If there is an Affidavit of Indigency, the clerk will approve it and stamp it, and give you a copy. You will also get a Domestic Relations Summons. Arrange for the sheriff to give a copy of the complaint to the spouse. When the sheriff does this, it is called “service of process,” meaning that the sheriff has served the papers to the spouse. Before trial, either party may request that the court make temporary orders, for example concerning custody, child support, or visitation. Either party must request […]

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    What are the requirements for filing a divorce in Massachusetts?

    You may file for divorce in Massachusetts if:    you have lived here for a year, or  the conduct that is the reason for divorce occurred in Massachusetts and you lived as a married couple in Massachusetts, regardless of where your spouse now lives, or even if his/her address is unknown.  You file a divorce in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court in the county where you and your spouse last lived together if either of you still lives in that county. If neither of you lives in the county where you last lived together, you may file in the […]

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    Can the court modify a separation agreement without the parties asking for it in a divorce

    My ex is suppose to pay for college, what if he doesn’t? The court has the power to modify certain portions of separation agreements that are merged into the separation agreement and to which the court has continued jurisdiction over, however someone needs to make a motion to the court and show a reason. Hope this helps. take care. Our  Natick divorce attorneys serve the Boston, Massachusetts, area from offices in downtown Boston, and the Boston Metrowest offices in Framingham and Dover. Our clients come to us from communities such as Acton, Arlington, Ashland, Braintree, Cambridge, Canton, Concord, Dedham, Dover, […]

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    I read online that my husband can be forced to pay my legal

    something called motion pendente lite for fees, can i give a lawyer half and get the other half from my husband? I am really worried about having to file on Monday. In some cases you may retain an attorney under the new limited appearance rules and he or she can file the divorce, along with a motion for temporary orders using the money that you have, then if you need more money or the attny needs more money he or she can file a motion for legal fees if necessary. It sounds like you have enough to retain a good […]

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