Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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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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Posts tagged "family law"

Review of Massachusetts' relocation law

There are many reasons why a single parent in the Springfield area may have to move either to another part of Massachusetts or even outside the state. Given that Massachusetts is relatively small in terms of land size and is close to a lot of other big cities in other states, it is, for instance, relatively easy to see how someone can find a new and better job opportunity that, while still geographically close to Springfield, is technically out-of-state.

Separate support cases in Massachusetts

Unlike other states, Massachusetts does not have a way for Springfield couples and other couples in this state to get a "legal separation," in which they would remain legally married but have their property divided and other family law issues resolved as if they were getting divorced. However, this state does allow a spouse to file a request for what is called "separate support." A case for separate support is a legal request for a court to order one spouse to support the other person via alimony or other payments. The order can also require that the parent to pay child support for the benefit of children in the case.

The tax consequences of alimony

When couples in Springfield, Massachusetts either divorce or get a legal separation, one topic that might be an issue is alimony, that is, an ongoing payment from one member of the couple to the other as a form of ongoing financial assistance that, in theory, the person receiving the money would have received had the parties continued to live together.

Who gets the engagement ring in a divorce?

An engagement ring is often the first physical symbol that a Massachusetts couple may share to demonstrate their intention to commit themselves together in marriage. Rings come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes bought from a store and sometimes shared in families as heirlooms. However, when a couple decides that their marriage is no longer workable and that they will need to divorce questions can arise regarding what will happen with the ring.

Divorce issues can be complicated and personal

At its most basic definition, a divorce is the legal end to the legal relationship known as marriage. When two people marry they agree to hold jointly certain rights and responsibilities, namely to maintain any financial obligations that they take on together, support any children that they have together and a multitude of others. In Massachusetts, individuals choose to marry each and every day.

Understanding property rights when a marriage ends

Often in marriage the partners to the couple consider each other's property things that they jointly own. This assumption can persist as long as the individuals live harmoniously and agree regarding the disposition of the items of personal and real property that they maintain. However, that assumption may quickly be called into question if the partners to the marriage decide that they want to divorce.

How can a prenuptial agreement affect my divorce?

A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, is a contract that individuals enter into prior to getting married. In the contract the parties may acknowledge their financial positions and may make determinations regarding the division of their money and property in the event that they later file for divorce. For some Massachusetts couples prenuptial agreements are a good way to protect children from prior marriages, maintain separate property from their spouses and streamline their divorce proceedings by having the money matters worked out in advance. To this end, a prenup may greatly impact how a person's property is divided and wealth is distributed at the time of their divorce.

Can I relocate out of state with my child?

Moving can be a big upheaval in the life of a Springfield family. Even when a family moves together with both parents supporting each other as they pick up their lives and plant new roots in an unfamiliar place, the changes that naturally happen from such an event can cause challenges for adults and children alike. When a parent plans to relocate with their child and such a move could upset the custodial arrangement they have with the child's other parent, the process can be much harder.

Summer holidays can cause scheduling problems in split families

After a Springfield couple has ended the marriage through divorce, the former partners may be prepared to begin their separate lives. They may feel as though the agreements and decisions that they made during the divorce will allow them to live independently of each other and pursue their unique interests without ever having to consult with the other again. While this can be the case for couples who divorce without sharing kids, divorced parties with children may find it hard to fully sever their lives from those of their ex-partners.

How do courts determine the 'best interests of a child'?

Throughout the court system in United States, including the courts in Massachusetts, one of the primary objectives is to protect any children involved in a divorce. The courts understand that a divorce has the potential to affect children, and it should come as no surprise to understand how or why.

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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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