What Constitutes a Valid Marriage?

It is axiomatic that in order to get a divorce, a couple must first establish that they are married, an essential if typically easy first step in the process that we as practitioners probably take for granted in most cases. However, establishing that a marriage has been properly solemnized (in a legally recognizable manner) is …read more

E.K. v. S.C.: A New Family Law Removal Inquiry Established by the Appeals Court

Heads Up In E.K. v. S.C., 97 Mass. App. Ct. 403 (2020), the Appeals Court established a new removal inquiry that applies when an out-of-state, non-custodial parent seeks custody of a child living in Massachusetts and requests permission to move the child to the state where that parent resides. Previously, case law had addressed only …read more

The Appeals Court Has it Right Regarding Self-Adjusting Support Orders

William and Chouteau Levine’s March 28, 2016 Opinion Piece seems to suggest support for and the value of self-adjusting support orders in family law cases. In support for their position they reference the case of Stanton-Abbott v. Stanton-Abbott, 372 Mass. 814 (1977); suggest a chilling effect on negotiated resolutions as a result of limiting the …read more

Counterpoint re: Alimony Reform and Cohabitation

Maureen McBrien’s opinion piece in Lawyers Weekly of April 30, 2012 was interesting to read as a perspective of an attorney facing a new issue in the area of family law. It is important that the changes in the Alimony Law, which went into effect March 1, 2012 be highlighted, and that dialogue ensue with …read more

The “Double-Dipping” Concept in Business Valuation for Divorce Purposes

Among the issues frequently considered in divorce cases is the value to be assigned to a spouse’s business interest for asset division purposes pursuant to M.G.L. c. 208, §34. While business valuation experts often value such interests for asset division purposes, the “double dipping” concept that necessarily flows from such valuation methodologies can sometimes create …read more

Pitfalls of the new Massachusetts alimony law: Recomputation and alimony fixed as child support

March 1, 2012 was the effective date of the Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth. The provisions are contained in Sections 48 through 55 of Chapter 208 of the General Laws of Massachusetts. Four different types of alimony are identified under the new law: General Term Alimony, which may be terminated based on durational limitations …read more

Child Support Orders in High Income Cases – Searching for Guidelines

Our Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) “are not meant to apply where the combined annual gross income of the parties exceeds $250,000.00.  In cases where income exceeds this limit, the court should consider the award of support at the $250,000.00 level as the minimum presumptive order.  Additional amounts of child support may be awarded in …read more