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September 2014 Archives

Determining the paternity of a child

In Massachusetts, unmarried parents can sign an agreement that establishes the identity of the legal father if both parties agree or if either party asks the court to do so. The easiest way is for the parties to sign a form, called the voluntary acknowledgement of parentage. No court action is needed, and they can complete the documents at the hospital, through their city or town clerk, or at the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. In the latter location, the process can be conducted via mail. At the hospital, the parents will not need to pay, but there is a fee associated with filing the paperwork in the other two situations. However, if either parent is uncertain about whom the biological father is, they should ask the court for a paternity test.

Custody agreements, what family courts look for

When a couple with children ends their marriage, a court works to ensure that the best interests of any children will be met. Parents in Massachusetts can come to a custody agreement on their own, and a judge will view a plan and either make changes or enter an order in accordance with the plan when finding no problems.

Divorcing couples may benefit from a forensic accountant

Massachusetts individuals undertaking a high-asset divorce may benefit from having a forensic accountant on their legal team. The most common legal issues revolve around property division and debts, and a forensic accountant could help in ensuring that assets are properly valued and that the property division process runs smoothly.

How child support is determined in Massachusetts

Child support payments are court-ordered financial support that parents are obligated to provide to assist with the costs of raising a child. According to state law, all children are entitled to this financial support from their parents, even if their parents are divorced or were never married. In Massachusetts, child support obligations usually end when a child reaches 18 years of age, though it may be extended if the child is still in school, disabled and under guardianship or enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program.

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