Family Law encompasses a vast range of legal issues that effect families of all types. All of the family law issues listed below are subject to the jurisdiction of the Probate and Family Court. Each and every family has unique circumstances which make the type of legal action necessary unique to each client. Some of the most common causes of action are listed below.
DIVORCE: The dissolution of a legal marriage. Massachusetts does not recognize 'common law marriages' or other types of unions between two people.
CUSTODY and VISITATION: Custody is a complicated matter; the courts use different factors to determine which variations are in the best interests of each child and family. Visitation is also decided based upon the best interests of the child, but can be very flexible based on the needs of the children and the circumstances of the parents.
CHILD SUPPORT: Massachusetts has adopted a system governing the support of unemancipated minors to insure that children have their needs met based on the resources of the parents. Often, child support can be modified based upon the changing circumstances of the parents as well.
CONTEMPT: When a person has violated an order of the court or an agreement of the parties by failing to abide by the terms of same, they might be in contempt. Filing a contempt action may help the court to enforce the agreement by bringing a party into compliance.
ALIMONY: Alimony is a form of spousal support that may be awarded when one party has a need and the other party has the ability to pay. Alimony laws changed significantly in 2013.
MODIFICATIONS: Many agreements incorporated into Judgments no longer meet the needs of the parties or their children. Modifications help parties to change their agreements in order to better meet the current needs of their families when there have been changes in circumstances that warrant a modification.
PRENUPTUAL AGREEMENTS: Often when people marry in their later years and they have complicated family trees, a prenuptual agreement can help them safeguard their resources for their own children. Prenuptual agreements are recognized in Massachusetts and used as a tool to understand how assets should be divided in the event of a divorce or death of one of the spouses.
ALTERNATIVE REPRODUCTION CONTRACTS: Many people avail themselves to different methods of creating families when traditional methods of reproduction fail to suffice. There are legal safeguards to make certain that alternative families are protected from future contests of unintended parental rights and/or enforcement of obligations.
ADOPTION: Even after the repeal of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), adoption continues to be an essential safeguard for same many sex-couples and step-parents.
CLAIM OF DE FACTO PARENTAGE: This equity based claim is for the protection of children who have developed parent-like bonds with people who are not legal parents to them.
Please contact our office should you wish to learn more about the topics listed above and how an attorney can help you decide if any of the above may be helpful to you or a family member.
FAMILY and DOMESTIC RELATIONS LAW
Monday - Friday
8:30am to 5:00pm
Additional office hours are available upon request.
Siri M. Goldberg, Esq.
345 Main Street, Suite 2N
Greenfield, MA 01301