Hanover Family Lawyer
Whether you require assistance establishing a prenuptial agreement, are going through a divorce, are facing challenges concerning alimony, or have questions regarding child custody, our Hanover family lawyers can provide skilled representation every step of the way. Massachusetts family law can be confusing and challenging to navigate without experienced legal assistance. Our extraordinary legal team has over 25 combined years of exclusive family law experience, so we know how to handle various kinds of issues you may be facing in your family life.
Getting a Divorce in Hanover
The state of Massachusetts acknowledges fault and no-fault divorces. Under “no-fault” divorces, a couple may mutually choose to dissolve their marriage because it has “irretrievably broken down.” What that essentially means is that you’re both admitting that for one reason or another – maybe as simply as you are just not compatible – you just shouldn’t be married any longer. In some of these cases, a couple may be able to agree on the terms in their final divorce judgment with minimal court intervention. In other situations, the couple may argue about different terms of their divorce.
When one spouse decides to file for divorce based on fault, they must prove specific reasons for wanting to dissolve their marriage to obtain a fault-based divorce judgment. A spouse’s infidelity or incarceration are some reasons cited in fault-based divorces. Regardless of your divorce situation, our dedicated family law attorneys in Hanover can determine how to pursue your case based on why you are choosing to dissolve your marriage.
Although you may blame your spouse for needing the divorce, obtaining a fault-based divorce is not as easy as it sounds and usually requires that the case go through a trial as most people will not agree that they are to blame. This means obtaining a fault-based divorce can be much more expensive in relation to your attorney fees. It’s possible to file for both a fault-based divorce citing an alternative use of irretrievable breakdown in case you are able to settle your case and you do not want to go through trial. Filing with the fault grounds would reserve your right to be able to continue to seek the divorce on those grounds if your case does go to trial.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are two fundamental types of marital agreements. A couple may wish to draft a prenup before they get married to protect their assets and identify the property that the couple will own together and what may constitute separate property. This is often done when one or both Parties already have children prior to getting married whom they want to protect financially in the future regardless of the upcoming marriage.
If a couple is already married and wishes to create an agreement to preserve their assets and establish a plan of action in the event of divorce, a postnuptial agreement also may be beneficial. In the state of Massachusetts, a divorcing couple’s property and assets are divided equitably within a divorce. However, this does not mean that the assets granted to each party will be completely equal. The judge may consider a multitude of factors when determining property division issues, including how long the couple was married, the actions of each party while the couple was married, and each party’s income capacity. Marital agreements are an important issue in family law because they could protect someone’s property and assets in the event of marriage dissolution.
For example, we had a client who entered into a marriage with close to $4,000,000.00 in property while her soon-to-be spouse had next to nothing. The Parties entered into a prenuptial agreement just a few days before they got married where the soon-to-be Husband waived any and all rights to her property and to any alimony requests. At the time of divorce almost 20 years later, the Husband decided to fight the prenuptial agreement because he wanted alimony and an interest in her property. We represented the Wife during the trial, which ended with the prenuptial agreement being held as valid. If she had not had that prenuptial agreement, she may have had to pay out millions of dollars within the divorce.
Getting Help with Child Custody from a Family Attorney
One of the most important takeaways regarding custody and child support is that the judge has the final say on the terms that go into any final order. Physical custody determines where a child may live, while legal custody gives a parent the right to make significant life decisions for the child.
There are many variations on how custody could be laid out. For instance, both parents may share legal and physical custody, or one parent could be given sole legal custody while the other has sole physical custody. When the two parents are working together, the custody arrangements can get fairly creative. We mediated a divorce where the Parties decided to retain the marital home, keeping the children in the home, and then the Parties rented an apartment where they “nested” with the children.
This means that when one parent would live with the children in the marital home, the other would live in the apartment and then they would switch off the next week. We’ve also dealth with cases where one parent only has supervised parenting time with strict parameters to ensure the child’s safety while helping the child maintain some level of relationship with their other parent. There’s no one right way to set up your parenting schedule. What is best is a plan that works out best for your children and the two parents. When you cannot agree, a judge will decide for you. Most judges will admit that if they have to decide, neither Party is usually very happy with the outcome, but sometimes, it’s necessary.
Our attorneys in Hanover can review your specific family case involving your children and determine what terms the court may impose.
Depending on the financial position of each spouse, the court may grant one party alimony. Alimony is a payment from one spouse to the other to help him or her support him or herself financially during and/or after the divorce. The court will consider a number of factors when deciding whether an alimony award should be granted, including how long a couple was married, whether fault was alleged in the divorce, the economic situation of each spouse, and the present and future economic requirements of each party when deciding whether alimony is appropriate.
Many challenges may come up when a couple is discussing spousal support. It is important to have a skilled legal representative by your side who can protect your best interests when determining alimony.
Talk with Our Hanover Family Attorneys About Your Case
When you have a family law issue, such as divorce, custody, or one of the other various situations that fall under the category, it is so important to have an attorney who focuses his or her entire practice on family law. Just as you likely would not go to a general practitioner to perform your brain surgery, you want someone who has the dedication and experience necessary to guide you through your family law issue.
O’Connor Family Law can help you with whatever matter you are facing when it comes to family law. We understand that these cases can be particularly tumultuous and emotional as they involve the wellbeing of you and your loved ones for years to come. You don’t have to go through this process alone. Our caring and compassionate Hanover family lawyers are here to help. If you have legal questions or need help with your case, contact us today.