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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June 2015 Archives

Duties of a guardian toward a child with special needs

Guardianship of a minor child will be awarded to a relative in most cases, or an unrelated person or even a government agency in cases where the biological parents are unable to care for the child. A child who needs guardianship might have special needs due to an intellectual disability that leaves the child unable to make decisions or makes decision-making a challenge. A guardianship for a special needs child might be awarded even after the child has attained the age of majority, which is 18-years-old under Massachusetts law.

More grandparents get child custody during heroin epidemic

As most Massachusetts residents know, family courts are inclined to award child custody to a biological parent of a minor child when a family is split apart by divorce. In some cases, however, the best interests of a child lie elsewhere and not with the biological parents. Many times, third parties, such as grandparents and even distant relatives, family friends or even government agencies, are better options for awarding child custody. In all of these cases a parent has been deemed unfit by a family court, usually because of drug addiction, child abuse, mental incapacity or incarceration.

Modifying alimony agreements in Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents who are planning to divorce often worry about the amount of alimony, also known as spousal support, that they might have to pay from their total income per month. In some cases, either spouse who has been ordered by the court to pay alimony will strive to make some major changes to the alimony agreement in order to make the payments more easily.

What penalties do parents face for delinquent child support?

Divorce can have many negative effects on families, but one of the worst comes from the failure of a non-custodial parent of a minor child to pay court-ordered child support. Under Massachusetts law, payments must be regular, paid on time and in the full amount. The majority of non-custodial parents meet this obligation, but for those who do not the state can enact penalties in a variety of ways. For continual and persistent violations, criminal charges may apply, but one of the most common and effective civil punishments is the addition of penalty interest on unpaid child support payments.

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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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