Areas of Divorce & Family Law
The children always come first. The first consideration of this office is the well-being and the protection of the children of the clients we represent in Divorce Cases. Our focus is to preserve as best as possible the relationship with parents and their children and to find innovative and creative methods of co-parenting where possible. Recognizing how and when you can be there for your children as they grow, develop, and change should be the first consideration in this time of upheaval.
Unfortunately, situations occur where due to physical or emotional abuse, use of illegal drugs, alcohol abuse, and other factors it becomes necessary to seek protection for our clients and our client’s children to achieve a stable environment for the children’s growth. You need an experienced lawyer familiar with the court’s use of Guardians Ad Litem, Parenting Coordinators, Psychologists, Therapist, and other professionals. Working with you this office will develop a plan for the necessary goals and development for you and your children.
It is always best when an amicable decision can be reached that allows both parents to be involved in their childrens’ future. Mahaney Law Office dedicates itself to achieving an amicable result while always remaining prepared to protect our client’s rights in court. Having an experienced trial attorney allows you to discuss settlement from a position of strength. The attorneys at Mahaney Law Office bring over 39 years each of experience to the table. (Case Studies Read More)
WHAT NOT TO EXPECT IN CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES
I Want Full Custody;
Generally, the courts seek to have both parents participate as fully as possible in their childrens’ lives by awarding joint legal and physical parenting rights. Unless there appears to be a serious physical or emotional danger posed to the children by one parent’s actions or activities, Full or Sole custody of the minor children of the marriage by one parent or the other is not likely.
Because He Is Not Paying Child Support I Don’t Have To Let Him See The Kids;
The issues of payment of child support and a parents’ rights to a relationship with their minor children are mutually exclusive. While the duty of a parent to pay support for their minor children will always be enforced by the courts, the right of a parent to a relationship with their minor child will not be dependent on the payment of court ordered support
If I Don’t Like The Orders I Will Just Move The Kids Back To My Home Town In Alaska;
Federal and state statutes make it a crime to permanently remove a child from their home without the permission of the court having jurisdiction in a divorce case
We Will Just Call The Kids At Trial As Witnesses And Ask Them What They Think;
The Probate and Family courts in Massachusetts are strongly against children of the marriage participating in court proceedings. The courts may appoint a minor child an attorney or assign a “Guardian Ad Litum” to investigate and speak for the child
The Kids Do Not Want To Do Visitation With The Other Parent Then I Won’t Make Them;
It is the responsibility of each parent having custody of a minor child to encourage and insist on the minor child participating in the parenting plan established by the court. A parent who does not do everything necessary to support this plan is subject to sanctions imposed by the court in a complaint for contempt
“Every case is unique. Every fact, facet and variation of the family make-up effects the results. The judge, the parties and the choice of attorneys all have an important effect on results. An experienced divorce attorney with a sound handle on all the facts can provide you with, not only professional advice but also an accurate opinion of the likely results in your case. Mahaney Law Office has that experience.”
Alimony & Spousal Support
Alimony or Spousal Support is based upon the concept of the need of one party to maintain their financial life-style and the ability of the paying party to provide support.
Massachusetts recently passed and enacted a statue reforming how alimony is handled in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This new act has added Sections 48 through 55 to Chapter 208. Some of the most significant portions of this Alimony Reform is the setting of durational limits for Spousal Support. No longer are all alimony orders indefinite in length. The length of the marriages defines the maximum term of the alimony.
Co-habitation of the recipient spouse can lead to suspension or termination of spousal support, if the recipient spouse maintains a common household for continuous period of at least three (3) months.
The first two hundred fifty thousand ($250,000.00) dollars of income used in the calculation of a child support order is exempt from use in calculating a spousal support order. Once issued, general term alimony orders shall terminate upon the payor spouse attaining full retirement age. The new Alimony statute changes everything. The alimony reform statute addresses issues raised by party seeking to modify a previous alimony order.
These issues require an experienced divorce lawyer versed in The Reform Act’s many sections as well as the broad discretion this new Statute gives to judges throughout the Commonwealth. You will need someone who understands the court system and who can protect your rights now and in the future. If you would like to discuss the new Alimony Reform Act and its effects on your unique situation, kindly contact Mahaney Law Office to talk to an attorney for a free consultation, where you will get the answers to your support questions.
WHAT NOT TO EXPECT IN SPOUSAL SUPPORT OR ALIMONY
My Friend Got “______” In His/Her Divorce So I Want That To;
It can’t be repeated often enough, EACH CLIENT’S CASE IS UNIQUE. The results obtained are not only dependent on the unique facts of each case, but also on the attitudes, experience and temperament of the parties, their attorneys and the judge presiding over the case. An experienced attorney can provide advice and guidance and an accurate opinion of the likely results in your case. Mahaney Law Office can provide such guidance.
Dividing the Marital Property
During the course of your divorce you will be required to provide your spouse and their counsel detailed financial information concerning your income and assets through a court required financial statement filing (Rule 401) and through mandatory discovery (Rule 410). This mandatory discovery includes three (3) years worth of Tax Returns, mortgage applications, three (3) years worth of bank account statements, documentation regarding health insurance, three (3) years worth of any investment accounts, and various other documents, all set forth in the rule. Massachusetts Law concerning property division seeks an equitable not necessarily an equal division of marital property. That means the court takes into account eighteen (18) factors enumerated under Chapter 208 Section 34 which include conduct of the parties during the marriage, length of marriage, and income potential of each party.
Property inherited by either spouse is generally treated differently by the courts. The most significant factor with inherited property being the time between which the inheritance was received and the Divorce Complaint was filed and whether or not the inherited asset continues to exist.
Litigation over property division can be expensive and should not be contemplated unless there are significant assets at stake. The sound and simple advice of an experienced divorce attorney can help resolve any disputes by negotiations and where and when necessary, litigate these issues successfully. Throughout the divorce process we work to set realistic expectations together with providing a prospective on the courts probable actions. At Mahaney Law Office we tell our clients what they need to hear not necessarily what want to hear thereby empowering them in making the correct decision throughout the process. We have the experience to understand those factors that court considers important in arriving at their decision on property division and significance of each of those factors.
We have the knowledge and the experience necessary to obtain expert testimony on matters of valuation whether business, real estate, or other assets. As always, we remain prepared to vigorously defend our client’s position before the court. If you have a question about marital assets and division of property or any issue concerning a divorce, please contact our office for a free no obligation consultation.
WHAT NOT TO EXPECT IN DIVISION OF ASSETS
I Bought It In My Name So It Is Mine;
Name in which title is held does not mean that you own 100%. Property purchased during marriage; bank and investment accounts acquired during the marriage; and contributions to retirement accounts made during the marriage will most likely be considered marital property subject to division in the final divorce judgment
We Have Been Legally Separated For Years;
There is no recognized state of “Legally Separated” in Massachusetts. Parties who have lived apart for years before seeking a divorce may find that they can, under the proper circumstances, protect property they have acquired during the separation, but this issue needs to be examined by an experienced attorney before assuming it will actually occur.
He/She Cheated On Me I Should Get Everything;
While the courts may consider the “Conduct of the Parties during the marriage” when awarding a division of the assets to each party, the courts, like the community they serve have become more “sophisticated” and less likely to apply strict moral values in the decision as to how much to award each party. While each case is factually unique, and such conduct may influence a judge’s ultimate decision making, it shouldn’t be relied upon as a major factor when making a decision, whether to take a case to trial or negotiate a settlement.
“It is important when choosing an attorney to represent your interest, that you choose one who recognizes that the interests of the client are best served by a process that seeks to keep fees and costs down while achieving the best results for the client. Mahaney Law Office appreciates that we have this obligation to every client, and pride ourselves in achieving that end in every case.”