Divorce Questions

We’re getting divorced and grandparents want visitation too.

Additional Information:

My husband and I are getting divorced after an 8 year marriage. We’ve agreed to try to keep a sense of normalcy for our 3 young children, so they will live most of the time with me in our home in Sherborn but we haven’t yet come to an agreement about when they will stay with their dad and both sets of grandparents want to see the kids too. Is this something that can get written into the divorce agreement?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Yes, although it isn’t typical to provide for grandparent visitation in a Separation Agreement, if you can agree on it then you can include it.  Visitation scheduled can be as detailed and specific as necessary.  [Read more...]

I’d like to buy a house. Can I get additional support from my ex?

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Can the provisions of a divorce be changed after finalization?  My ex and I have been divorced for almost 6 years, and I’d like to buy a home in Framingham for myself and our kids and would like additional support from my ex. What is the process and is it difficult?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

You can always petition the court to modify child related provisions of the Separation Agreement post-divorce upon a change in circumstances by filing a Complaint for Modification.  In your case, your ex-husband’s income would need to have increased since the divorce, resulting in a higher child support order, in order to prevail on a Complaint for Modification. [Read more...]

We were divorcing amicably but now his lawyer is stating negative things about me.

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I am in the middle of a divorce and my husband and I are on amicable terms for the most part. We agreed on joint custody of our 5 year old daughter, and that I’d stay in our Wayland home with her.   His lawyer recently sent me papers but stated quite a few things that my spouse is saying he never said. Including things like I am mentally cruel, and neglectful of duty. I am going to hire a divorce attorney soon but was wondering does it seems like his lawyer is setting it up to ask for sole custody, should I do the same?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Your lawyer will file an answer to the Complaint for Divorce to address the claims made by your Husband’s attorney.  Some attorneys include more than what their client is asking for in the Complaint for Divorce to cover all bases.  That will not prohibit you and your husband to agreeing to something different.  [Read more...]

When we divorce, will I be liable for half of my ex-wife’s recent school loan?

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My wife and I are getting divorced.  She took out a loan so she could go back to school, get a job and contribute to the mortgage payments on our Sherborn home.  She hasn’t finished the program so technically the “community” hasn’t benefited from her going to school.  Will I be liable for half of the loan?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

All liabilities, including school loans, will be either be divided or assigned to one party.  The court considers a number of factors including the nature of the loan (i.e. whether it was a joint loan, or a loan used for joint or individual expenses).  You will not necessarily be responsible for half of the loan.  [Read more...]

Do I need to wait for the divorce to be final to create a new will?

Additional Information:

My husband and I are getting divorced. We have pretty much figured out how to handle the finances, custody and parenting schedule, and I got the house in Ashland, so now I’m thinking about how to go about creating a new will, and other new documents such as power of attorney.  My husband had taken care of all that and I want to have all these matters squared away.  Do I need to wait for the divorce to be final to start working on these documents?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Yes.  Once the divorce is final, it is always wise to revisit your estate plan.  You should consider having a new will, health care proxy, and power of attorney prepared.    [Read more...]

Will my husband be entitled to half of our house downpayment that was gifted to me when we divorce?

Additional Information:

When my husband and I got married, instead of a having a lavish wedding, my parents gave me money (about $35K) to put towards the down payment on our Natick house that we bought together.  I am now in the early stages of filing for a divorce, will my husband get half of that money?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

It largely depends on the length of the marriage.  If your marriage was short term (less than 5 years), then typically the money lent by your parents for the down payment on the house would belong to you.  If the marriage was mid term or long term, then it is more discretionary, as these funds have been woven into the fabric of the marriage.  [Read more...]

What are requirements for an annulment in MA?

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I was just married in Milford, MA and now realize it was a mistake. What are requirements for getting an annulment in Massachusetts?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

An action to anul a marriage can be brought in the probate court if the validity of a marriage is doubted.  The statutory grounds include incest and bigamy, and do not include mistake, although you could obtain an annulment for fraud, impotency, duress or for other reasons.  If the marriage is valid, then the remedy is to obtain a divorce.

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Can a judge order my husband to sell his stock to pay our mortgage?

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My husband and I live in the Boston Metrowest area and are currently 3 months behind on our mortgage payments and have been separated for 6 months. My husband is refusing to cash in $70K in stock to help pay the monthly mortgage. Can a judge order him to sell his stock?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

The Judge will usually determine what assets are in the marital estate.  If the stock is part of the marital estate the judge could order him to sell the stock.

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Can we remain separated indefinitely or do we eventually have to divorce in MA?

Additional Information:

I left my husband a couple of years ago and moved out of state (I’m in IL now but we were married in MA). When I moved, we just wanted time apart. It wasn’t a legal separation, just a verbal. We haven’t talked in a long time and I’m not on his health care or anything or vice versa, but I wondered if leaving the marriage constituted abandonment or something like that.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

MA is a “no fault” divorce state, so the grounds for divorce are “irretrievable breakdown”.  If your husband still resides in MA and you last lived together in MA, MA would have jurisdiction.  If you both live out of state and are no longer MA residents, then MA does not have jurisdiction. In MA, you can remain separated indefinitely.

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Do a husband and wife both have to be present to file a joint petition for an uncontested divorce in Massachusetts?

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Do we have to go together or can we go separately?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

You both do not need to be present to file the documents, but you both need to be present for the hearing.

[Read more...]