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Wellesley Family Law Blog

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.

Divorces defined: 4 styles of divorce found in Massachusetts

Divorce can be a sensitive subject. When you get a divorce, you may feel threatened; you're losing the person you loved, losing assets and potentially having to lose time with your children. To understand the way a divorce works and the implications of an at-fault or no-fault divorce in Massachusetts, you need to know a few things.

First, divorce itself is simply the legal process allowing for the ending of a marriage. While all states have varying styles of divorces, Massachusetts has "no-fault" and "fault" divorces that can be uncontested or contested. To break these terms down, start with a no-fault divorce.

Get the responsibility you want with a paternity test

It's not always easy to determine who the father of a child is; sometimes, the mother won't want the DNA test completed or doesn't want to comply since she and the father aren't getting along or aren't dating or seeing each other. If that's what's happening in your case but you want to establish paternity, then you have every right to demand that the test is given. Seeking a court order to legally establish your fatherhood will allow you to be part of your child's life.

Once paternity is established, you'll have all the traditional rights of a parent. You can seek custody and visitation rights, and you'll also be responsible for caring for your child or paying child support. You may be able to work to limit the amount of support you pay, too, in exchange for seeing your child more often or taking on greater responsibilities.

Massachusetts gay marriages: You may not be entitled to a divorce

When same-sex couples get married in Massachusetts, they are extended the same rights as those who are not in same-sex relationships. While this works for those who stay in Massachusetts, it does pose the question of what happens to people who were legally married in Massachusetts, move and then want a divorce.

While a divorce is legal in Massachusetts, it isn't necessarily going to be in another state. This is the issue that has come up in St. Louis, Missouri. A Feb. 11 report discusses how a same-sex couple requested a divorce in St. Louis. The men were married in Iowa, where same-sex marriage is legal, so they likely didn't see the problem with requesting a divorce.

How does Massachusetts implement administrative enforcement?

In Massachusetts, those who don't pay their child support can be forced to do so through administrative enforcement. The Child Support Enforcement Division is responsible for collecting and enforcing child support and does so through a fully automated program. That means that anyone who is overdue in paying child support may be subject to the administrative collection actions.

The first thing the state does is to send a notice to the parents who haven't paid their support on time. If they are past due on a payment, the notice is sent to remind them of the amount due and includes information on interest and penalties that the parent may face. The parent is also notified about ways the department can collect the funds.

Patrick Dempsey's divorce: Wife requests child custody, alimony

A divorce is something no one in Massachusetts wants to have to go through, but sometimes marriages simply don't work out. When children are involved, child custody can be a contentious topic to speak on, and it can leave ex-husbands and wives fighting over their rights. In those cases, legal support can help you understand your rights and help you make the best decisions for your children and family.

If you follow celebrity news, then you know that even celebrities have to go through divorces sometimes. That's what's happening right now to Patrick Dempsey and his wife Jillian Fink. Best known for playing a doctor on the hit Grey's Anatomy, Dempsey is a well-known actor. He and his wife had been married for 15 years.

The difference between at- and no-fault divorces in Massachusetts

The State of Massachusetts has a specific set of terms that describes what a divorce is and is not. Overall, a divorce is actually a process for legally ending a marriage. Unlike some states, Massachusetts-based divorces can be cited as "fault" or "no-fault." There are a few key differences that you need to understand.

With an at-fault divorce, there are seven distinct grounds on which people can choose to divorce. These include adultery, desertion, cruel and abusive treatment, non-support, a prison sentence of five or more years, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication, or impotency. Any of these faults must be able to be proven by the person requesting the divorce. At-fault divorces tend to cost more and be more time-consuming than those that are no-fault divorces.

Get the compensation you need for support after a divorce

After going through a separation or divorce, you may think all the battles are over. Your child support arrangements are made, and custody has been determined. What happens when those determinations aren't upheld, and you end up losing out on child support or time with your child?

Family law arrangements are created in a legal setting, which means they must be followed by the parties involved in the case. If your ex is not following support arrangements or parenting plans that you have both agreed to, then it's time that you make sure he's held accountable.

Why child support guidelines are used in Massachusetts

Child support guidelines may make you feel uncomfortable during a divorce or child custody case, but they are there for good reason. While you may think some guidelines are too lenient or not lenient enough, these guidelines are there to protect your child from excessive stress and anxiety along with making sure the primary custodian has the money needed to support the child in question.

The main priority of these guidelines is to minimize the economic impact of a divorce or separation on the child's standard of living. Essentially, with the benefit of the funds, the mother or father, guardian or other party should be able to afford to care for the child to a similar standard as previously. Next, child support guidelines aim to promote joint parental responsibility when possible, at least when it comes to income.

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