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Leominster Legal Issues Blog

How is Massachusetts law different regarding legal separation?

When considering separating from your partner, you may have to make the difficult decision of a legal separation versus a divorce. In Massachusetts, however, you may be facing different standards than the commonly accepted concepts of separation or divorce. So just how is Massachusetts different regarding legal separation?

The primary difference is that Massachusetts does not have legal separations at all, according to Mass.gov. Instead Massachusetts has a number of options for divorce, but there is no separate legal state of being separated but still married. Instead, Massachusetts falls back on the default assumption that it is legal to live apart from your spouse, so in essence by the simple act of moving into separate households you and your spouse are legally separated.

What types of alimony can you receive in a Massachusetts divorce?

While undergoing a divorce is never pleasant, when you have to bring up the alimony discussion then divorce proceedings can turn downright ugly. When facing alimony proceedings in Massachusetts court, it can help to understand exactly how alimony works. This includes understanding what type of alimony you can receive. Did you know Massachusetts has four different types of alimony?

As described on Mass.gov, the types of alimony you can receive are general term alimony, reimbursement alimony, rehabilitative alimony and transitional alimony. General term alimony and transitional alimony may be the most familiar. With general term alimony, the recipient is granted monthly payments based on the fact that you were financially dependent on your spouse. The length of time for the payments depends on the length of the marriage. Transitional alimony, on the other hand, is a short-term arrangement involving a limited number of payments or a single lump sum to help the recipient settle into a new life.

What happens to your house in a Massachusetts divorce?

There are many issues that come up when you start considering divorce. Many parents find themselves worrying about the impact of the separation on their children. It's also common to worry about how the courts will divide your assets. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement or have agreed with your spouse on terms for dividing your property, chances are that the court will make those decisions on your behalf.

It can be nerve-wracking to have no way of predicting the exact outcome of the asset division process. After all, while you can familiarize yourself with the way the state handles divorce cases, each divorce has its own unique set of circumstances that will determine the outcome. When it comes to major assets, like your marital home, it's only natural to wonder how the courts will handle dividing such a critical asset.

What is contested vs. uncontested divorce?

If you are facing the unfortunate prospect of divorcing from your spouse, one daunting reality of divorce is negotiating the legalities of separating not just your relationship, but your assets, lives, and parenting responsibilities. Part of this involves filing appropriate papers and taking your case before Massachusetts courts, but did you know that before you do that you must first determine the type of divorce you will file for?

A number of factors impact the type of divorce you will file, but one of the first determinations to make is whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. According to Mass.gov, a contested divorce involves one party in the divorce disagreeing with the divorce terms or with the divorce itself. An uncontested divorce means that both parties involved agree to the divorce and are willingly filing for legal separation.

Is it possible to terminate a guardianship?

If you have been appointed a legal guardian or have taken on a guardianship of an incapacitated person, you may wish to end that guardianship due to extenuating circumstances beyond your control or a problem with the guardianship relationship. Is it possible to voluntarily terminate a guardianship under Massachusetts law, and if so, how?

Mass.gov provides information on when and how guardianships can change depending on the type of guardianships. Your guardianship may be a standard or permanent guardianship; the type of guardianship will impact both the reasons for guardianship termination and the forms required to petition for removal of guardianship. With a standard guardianship, the guardian may either be removed by the court or one may submit a request to resign. The person who submits the request for removal may be the incapacitated person, or a person concerned about the welfare of the incapacitated person.

What is a no-fault 1A divorce?

After a reluctant decision, you and your partner have decided to divorce. But no matter the reasons that drove you apart, you mutually agree that you would rather negotiate your divorce terms amicably between the two of you rather than face down with lawyers and judges deciding the terms by their standards. Under Massachusetts law, do you have the right to define the terms of your own divorce?

As long as both parties are in agreement and state that agreement in writing, Mass.gov says yes. This situation is referred to as a "no-fault 1A divorce," and occurs when both parties in a divorce have settled on agreeable terms regarding parenting, child support and custody, alimony and division of marital assets without the need to pursue mandatory legal recompense under Massachusetts divorce law.

Does same-sex divorce fall under standard divorce law?

Although you may never wish to think of separating from your same-sex partner after a joyful Massachusetts marriage, there may come a time when it is best to part ways. But under state and federal law, are same-sex divorces handled differently than opposite-sex divorces, or do they fall under standard legal jurisdiction? What do you need to know when divorcing in the state of Massachusetts?

The defining case that answers that question is the Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges. This was the landmark case that declared that all 50 U.S. states must acknowledge and perform same-sex marriages under the same legal framework as opposite-sex marriages, granting all rights and responsibilities inherent. While this may seem to only cover the right to marry, one part of the right to marry is the right to divorce. That right to a divorce through due process under the law is also extended to same-sex spouses, so yes, legally your same-sex divorce is the same as opposite-sex divorce.

Defining repetitive stress injuries

Under the Massachusetts Workers Compensation Act, employers are obligated to provide benefits and coverage for illnesses that happened in or because of the workplace, whether those injuries are temporary or lead to permanent disability. One such type of injury is repetitive stress injuries, in which accumulated strain over time can lead to permanent physical or mental damage to the worker. Repetitive stress injuries are also sometimes called repetitive strain injuries.

Identifying repetitive stress injuries can be difficult at first, because the effects are cumulative. For instance, operating a lever in a factory may not cause any harm if it is only done on occasion. If a worker operates that same lever multiple times a day every day for the duration of their employment, over time the continuous and repetitive motion may cause undue and lasting harm to joints and tendons in the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders.

What to expect after a serious dog bite attack in Massachusetts

People love to say that a dog is man's best friend. That can be true in many cases. A well-trained and properly cared for dog can be a source of companionship, protection and even medical intervention for those with disabilities, like blindness or diabetes. Unfortunately, dogs can also be incredibly dangerous, particularly to small children.

It only takes a second for a dog to go from adorable pet to vicious biter. Some dogs will bite or attack over the smallest provocation, such as another human hugging their owner. Other dogs may have experienced abuse in their upbringing or have some kind of neurological defect that makes them liable to suddenly "snap" without reason.

Substance abuse and child custody cases

When initiating a divorce claim, you may experience a great deal of fear, pain and loss when facing separation from a spouse with drug or alcohol abuse problems. In particular, while their substance abuse issues may have merit in pursuing grounds for divorce, they may also have an effect on custody cases involving any children you had together. You may be afraid to leave your child with your former spouse in the case of joint custody, even temporary joint custody while trial proceedings take place. Here at the law office of Antonioni and Antonioni, we understand the difficulties, stress, and fear inherent in trying to protect your child while ensuring a successful divorce case.

Under Section 31 of Massachusetts divorce law, divorce courts do take into account any substance abuse involved on the part of both parents, both past and current. A prior history of drug or alcohol abuse or a current habit can have a significant impact on a judge's decision regarding both temporary custody prior to hearings and final custody agreements once the divorce is finalized. If one parent is considered a danger due to substance abuse and the habits surrounding it, they may be deemed a threat to the child(ren) and could be denied custody on those grounds.

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