Answers For Your Family Law & Divorce Questions
Q: When should I consult a Boston family law attorney?
A: The best time to consult a Massachusetts family lawyer is when you are considering taking an action, such as divorce or child custody, or when you have been served with court papers regarding a family law matter. The sooner you have legal representation, the sooner you’ll have someone fighting for your interests.
Q: I got married in another state. Can I get a divorce in Massachusetts?
A: In order to be eligible for a divorce in Massachusetts, you and your spouse must live in the Commonwealth; you must have been a resident of Massachusetts for one year prior to filing a divorce; or you live here and the cause of the divorce occurred in Massachusetts.
Q: My spouse and I want to live apart before we decide whether or not to get divorced. Do we need to file court papers?
A. You can live separately without notifying the court. However, any agreements you and your spouse make, even if in writing and notarized, are not legally enforceable. It may also be in your best interest to meet with an attorney so you understand your rights going forward, and it can lay the groundwork for a smoother process should you ultimately decide to divorce.
Q: Can I write my own separation agreement?
A: Separation agreements are technical. They have immediate and future financial implications and can impact the lives of your children. It’s best to retain a Boston family law attorney to create your separation agreement.
Q: How much child support will I have to pay?
A: The court uses written guidelines to determine child support amounts. Typically, income, parenting time, health insurance and other factors are taken into consideration and a formula is used to arrive at a monthly payment.
Q: How long do I have to pay child support?
A. The court determines the age at which your child stops receiving support. If your child is between 18 and 21 years old and lives with their other parent, you may be required to continue paying support even after they turn 18. If they are in college, you might be required to pay child support until they graduate or turn 23, whichever comes first.
Q: Do I still have to pay spousal support if my ex gets married again?
A: Unless your divorce agreement indicates that spousal support continues after remarriage, alimony stops when the recipient is remarried.
Q: If a father isn’t listed on my baby’s birth certificate, can I still file a case to establish paternity?
A: Yes. The father may be required to do paternity testing, which is very easy, and then the court will adjudicate him the Father.