Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
Local 413-315-5518
Toll Free 877-622-6089

Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

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April 2015 Archives

Modifying an existing alimony plan in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, divorced spouses who pay or receive alimony may ask for changes in the alimony amount or payment period. An alimony modification can be requested by one or both spouses, and the filing should be done in the same family court that presided over the divorce proceedings.

Understanding Massachusetts shared custody

Massachusetts society is most concerned about children when parents divorce, and rightly so. The impacts are lifelong and affect what kinds of relationships children later develop with other people. One of the most important decisions in any divorce is which parent gets custody and which one pays child support. If parents cannot reach an agreement on their own, a family court will decide what is in the best interests of the child. The court can award sole legal custody to one parent or shared legal custody to both. In extreme cases, when neither parent is deemed fit, a court can even give custody to a third person.

Helping clients understand child support law in Massachusetts

Couples who are contesting their divorce in Massachusetts may find child support to be one of their major concerns. Generally, the non-custodial parent pay the child support amount that covers the expenses for the basic, educational and medical needs of the child. The amount is decided by a court after considering the incomes of both parents. The child support money is usually paid through the Department of Revenue, and the amount is directly deducted from the non-custodial parent's income source.

Role of a GAL investigator in Massachusetts child custody cases

Massachusetts divorce and child custody are complex issues. Family courts in Springfield may appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) investigator to investigate the matters involved in the legal custody of a child after a couple has filed for divorce. The GAL investigator is responsible for looking into the matters that involve the best interests of the child, including custody and visitation rights, parental or guardianship rights or anything that may impact the judgment by the court.

What is the process for divorce in Massachusetts?

Couples in Springfield, Massachusetts, heading for a divorce should be aware of certain necessary procedures. In Massachusetts, a divorce is generally categorized as "fault" or "no fault." If one spouse is filing for a divorce, it is mandatory to inform the other spouse. A copy of the complaint, a notice and a domestic relations summons is typically sent to or served on the other spouse for informational purposes.

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Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
1380 Main Street, Suite 302
Springfield, MA 01103

Toll Free: 877-622-6089
Phone: 413-315-5518
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