Divorce Litigation FAQs
- What are the benefits of having an Attorney represent me in my divorce?
- I was told Massachusetts is an equitable division state, what does that mean?
- In a Massachusetts divorce, how much and for how long is child support required?
- In a Massachusetts divorce, under what financial circumstances and for how long is alimony paid and received?
- In a Massachusetts divorce case, what are the options concerning the marital home?
- In a contested divorce in Massachusetts, what are the basic steps and court events I can expect?
The duration of child support is regulated by statute as well. Generally, children have a right to be supported by their parents until age 18 if emancipated, which means they are self-sufficient and working, not dependent on the parents, are in the military or married. Child support will continue until the child attains the age of 21 if the child is residing with one of the parents and is principally dependent on the parents, or lastly child support will continue until the child attains the age of 23 and is in college or it will terminate if they graduate college sooner. Special needs children will continue to be supported as the court orders.
Whatever option is selected, it is important to get an accurate fair market value of the home now by either a Real Estate Broker or Bank Appraiser.
Upon commencement of the action and service, an automatic restraining order goes into effect to prevent dissipation of assets or increase of debts. However, ordinary expenses and fees for professionals are allowed.
The party being served by the complaint will then have the opportunity to answer the complaint and prepare a counterclaim with that person’s basic information, grounds for divorce and likewise request orders of the court.
What may follow next are motions for temporary orders for payments, custody and visitation which may be agreed or brought before the court for resolution. Since a trial would not be scheduled for several months these temporary orders are thought to get the parties through until the divorce trial.
During this time, discovery (an exchange of information) will take place between the parties. This involves court ordered mandatory discovery, permissible discovery, and depositions.
The next point will be for the parties to prepare a pretrial memorandum and conduct a 4-way meeting to discuss settlement or at least to see which issues might be agreed to.
Next, the court will hold a pretrial conference where the parties and their attorneys will present in written form the basic case and issues that would need to be tried. The court may comment on these issues, suggest how the issues maybe settled, send the matter to a court appointed mediator/conciliator or simply schedule the matter for trial.
Should there be no mediated settlement or agreement of the parties, the case will eventually be tried before the court; judgment rendered, appealed and so on.
This is a somewhat simplistic overview and there may be many more court visits and court intervention during this process.
Baron Law & Mediation, LLP
Divorce Litigation Attorneys
800 Turnpike Street, Suite 300
North Andover, MA 01845