Header graphic for print

Massachusetts Divorce Law Monitor

What you never thought you'd need to know about divorce

Ha! Are You Ready for the Holidays?

Posted in Holidays, Parenting, Children & Divorce

Hi there,

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday.

Christmas presents beneath a Christmas tree

Presents for your kids can be under the tree in no time with a little coordination!

Even though Christmas décor has been up for weeks, I’m just beginning to coordinate Christmas shopping for my grandkids with their parents and their other grandparents. It’s an organizational hassle in an intact family, and far more complicated in a separated or divorced family. In past years I’ve posted about how to divide the holidays, and also about how to coordinate parenting time using apps like Google Calendar and My Family Wizard. Continue Reading

Updates on Alimony Law

Posted in Alimony and Child Custody, Court Decisions

Hi there,

I have a few updates on what is happening in three cases that are testing the limits of the Alimony Reform Act.

Much of the press and the writings about the act have been positive. This is partly driven by fathers rights organizations and organizations like Mass Alimony Reform. They are supported by some of the most prominent practitioners in family law in Massachusetts who have written briefs supporting a very broad interpretation of the law.

gavel

It may be months before a decision is reached.

I am not an advocate of the draconian choices propounded by the proponents of the act. It seems eminently fair that alimony should be tied to the length of the marriage. It is murkier, however when the case involves a long term marriage with a post-retirement divorce and alimony judgement and the payer’s request to end alimony as a result of the Alimony Reform Act. There are innumerable cases in the Probate and Family Court awaiting determination of just this issue. Three cases which were decided by the Probate Courts have been taken by the Supreme Judicial Court (hereinafter the SJC) for decision. The cases are Chester Chin vs. Edith E Merriot, Roberta Rodman vs. George Rodman, and Joseph W. Doktor vs. Dorothy A. Doktor. Having read the briefs on the cases on appeal I think that the proponents of a strict interpretation of the statute to be the most convincing. Particularly clear and straightforward is the brief written by Edith Merriot’s counsel, Leslie Powers.

Continue Reading

Gay Marriage now Legal in Majority of States

Posted in Court Decisions, Gay Marriage and Divorce

Hi there,

I hope you all are enjoying this gorgeous fall morning. I’ve been sneaking peaks at the SCOTUS law blog to see what was going to happen with all the pending gay marriage appeals. Today is the day the Supreme Court was going to announce the cases it will be hearing this year.

I’m happy to share that today the Supreme Court denied certiorari on ALL of the gay marriage cases. (That’s lawyer speak for “refused to hear.”) In effect this means that the lower court rulings, all of which allowed gay marriage, stand.

Happy Monday!

Best,
Nancy