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Wellesley Family Law Blog

Proving contempt: Getting the child support you deserve

You deserve the child support that a court awarded to you, and if that child support isn't being paid, you don't need to sit back and wait for it indefinitely. Having to wait for this support may not affect you financially, but that's no reason not to seek it out. The support is meant to help your child get the things he or she needs, whether or not that money is necessary in his or her daily life. It's up to you to make sure the child support money goes toward your child's needs.

When child support isn't paid, the parent who isn't paying is in contempt of court. What that means is that he is willfully violating a court order, which is against the law. Anyone who disregards a court order can be punished by the authorities. Some examples of contempt include failing to pay child or spousal support, refusing to return your child after visitation or failing to make an effort to let you see your child for reasonable amounts of time.

How to get your child support payments modified

If you need to have your child support payments modified, you typically can by following a child support modification process through the courts or by making an agreement with your ex-spouse. If you can't support the amount of money you're expected to pay, it's important to act quickly to get your modification set into action; if you don't, you could start owing back child support, which can be expensive.

If you know your circumstances are going to change or if they do suddenly due to injury, job loss or other situations, then you need to inform the court. Try to make an agreement with the other parent of your child, asking to modify the amount you owe. If you can agree to a new agreement, even if it's just until you can afford the old payments again, then this will help keep you out of court.

Grandparents: Assistance and aide in Massachusetts growing

As a grandparent, you want to know that the law is on your side if you ever need to take care of your grandchildren. You need support, and you need to protect the little ones you love. Across the United States, there are around 2.5 million grandparents taking care of their grandchildren as their own for varying reasons. Sometimes, their parents are unwell; other times they're in the military. In certain cases a parent may be in jail or be addicted to drugs, prompting grandparents to step in and take of their children's offspring.

In Massachusetts, there are over 28,000 children with primary caregivers who are their grandparents, the U.S. Census reports. One thing that is important to these people is, of course, the ability to gain custody of their grandchildren in often difficult situations.

Get DNA proof to determine your responsibilities to a child

As a potential father of a child, you want to be sure that the child is yours. You can be absolutely certain if you have a DNA test, but if your ex-partner or current partner doesn't want to allow the test, then you may have to get the test ordered by the courts.

As someone who wants to establish paternity, you have several rights. You have the right to request the DNA test, and if you have enough evidence to support the request, it may be granted. You can also affirm that you're the father of the child voluntarily if you choose to, which won't require you to provide a DNA test's results.

Husband to be served divorce papers over Facebook

You know that if you want to seek a divorce, divorce papers must be served. In Massachusetts, it doesn't matter who's fault the divorce is, the paperwork still needs to be signed, and a partner could choose to refuse to do so for a period of time. Is that fair? What if you can't find your ex to serve the paperwork? If this ruling holds, you may be able to use Facebook in the future.

This very question came up recently and hit national news when a judge decided that it was legal to serve legal documents through Facebook. In the woman's case, she got married in 2009 and wanted to get a divorce from the man. The problem was that the woman couldn't find her husband to serve him divorce papers.

How can I establish my parenthood over my child?

If you've never married to your child's other parent, then you could have dozens of questions about your rights as a parent to your child. Here are some common questions about paternity and how you can acknowledge that you're the father to your newborn, or growing, child.

First of all, start at the beginning of your child's life. If you weren't married to the mother of the child, then you won't automatically be listed as the father of your child. What do you need to do? In most cases, you need to file a document called a Stipulation for Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage. By doing so, you'll be volunteering to take on the responsibility of being the child's father. It takes 60 days for this form to pass through the court, and at that point, it's legally binding.

Support your child with appropriate child support payments

When you think of child support, what do you imagine it is for? If you see the money going toward your child's home, health and happiness, then you understand the very basis of what this money is meant to be used for. During a divorce, determining child support and how much one person should receive or owe can be contentious, but when all is said and done, this money is for the continued welfare of your children.

Massachusetts is similar to many other states in that child support payment amounts are based on preset amounts. This can be determined by the amount of money you earn and the amount the other parent earns. The number of children you have together will be considered, and medical insurance costs will have to be identified and added to the cost. Of course, if you have joint custody, this could affect the amount of child support paid as much as it would if one person has sole custody.

New law grants unpaid maternity or paternity leave

In Massachusetts, men who are becoming new parents have just had a law passed that can help them spend time with their newborns. Instead of just women getting maternity leave, fathers will now be able to get unpaid paternity leave, too.

This doesn't just apply in cases where a man is married or having his own child. In fact, even those adopting a child can get unpaid time off to spend with their new child. This law begins to take effect on April 7, 2015.

What are the Massachusetts laws on post-nuptial agreements?

A post-nuptial agreement is generally a good idea for those who want to protect their assets during a marriage. A post-nuptial agreement is signed after you're already married, so both parties should be well aware of the assets and debts of the other person. A post-nuptial agreement can be of help during a divorce, because it will determine how those debts and assets are split.

Each state in the United States has different laws surrounding divorce. Massachusetts has several specific laws that may help you through your divorce case, as long as you understand what they mean. For instance, in 2010, a law was created following a post-nuptial agreement-based case. The law now stands that post-nuptial agreements can be enforced, but the judge needs to be wary.

How do you know if you've gotten all your child support?

As a parent with primary custody of your child in Massachusetts, it's important to make sure that you're getting the child support you need and deserve. Child support is awarded so you can give your child everything he or she needs despite not having both parents in the home. If you're not receiving it, then the other parent is committing a crime.

To determine if you're receiving all your child support payments, you need to do a few things. First, remember that you may get several deposits or checks of varying amounts. It doesn't matter how the other person pays, as long as you get the full amount you're due by the due date. So, to determine if you've received enough child support, follow these steps.

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