How Fast Can I Get A Divorce If I Can’t Locate My Spouse?

Respectfully, you seem to be a bit confused about the process involved in the dissolution of a marriage.  Lets start with: you cannot get a divorce if you cannot locate the other party. To begin the divorce process you must file a Complaint for Divorce with a court of competent jurisdiction (in Massachusetts, a Probate & […]

What is a “Motion” and How Do You File One in the Family Court?

The question was put to me: What do I say on the motion form provided by the court when it asks “Motion For ______________”? I’m going to assume you are a layperson (nonlawyer) trying to file something in court “pro se”–that is, on your own and without a lawyer.  A bit of civil procedure rules […]

Can I back out of divorce/separation agreement?

An agreement isn’t binding until a judge signs and enters it. If you find, after consideration and possibly advice of independent counsel, that the terms and conditions enclosed in the Agreement are not tolerable or include things you feel you can not live with, then do not passively allow it to happen to you.  Once […]

What affect, if any, to giving birth in another state for custodial purposes?

Where a child is born is very significant, in terms of what state has jurisdiction over the child, esp if an interstate custody dispute should arise. Pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Enforcement laws, where the child is born and lives for the first six months of it’s life is the state that has jurisdiction […]

Can my lawyer quit?

Unlike a criminal defense attorney, a lawyer in a civil action, such as divorce or personal injury, can “quit” with or without consent of the client, especially if the case has not been filed with a court yet.  After the case is file and pending before a court, the lawyer must file a notice to […]

Can both spouses file for temporary orders in Massachusetts? And what happens if both spouses request the same order?

Either party can file any motions it deems necessary and appropriate to advance its case; that includes motions for temporary orders. If both parties file timely motions for temporary orders, the court will hear both sides the same day. (Your lawyer  or the clerk of the court will tell you about how to notice the […]

How can I get rid of a DV Restraining Order?

In MA, the process of “vacating” (using the legal term) or modifying a 209A Abuse Prevention Order, i.e a Restraining Order or “RO”, depends on a number of factors: (a) which court issued the RO (b) whether you are the victim/complainant or the defendant (c) whether there was an arrest and criminal charges were filed […]

I received a summon for a divorce, but nothing has happened since. What am I supposed to do?

The first thing you have to do is serve and file an Answer to the Complaint.  This should be done within 20 days of service of the summon and complaint.  If the time to answer has passed, you or an attorney can request an extension of time to answer.  failure to answer to the complaint […]

What can my sister do? I think she has been defrauded of her shares in my mother’s estate.

Under your facts, your niece made promises of future financial and personal services to your sister in exchange for your sister presently gifting her share of your mother’s estate to the niece.  The promises were never kept and your sister is left with nothing. Your sister’s problem is that all of these promises were verbal, and your […]

As part of divorce, I agreed to pay half of college costs for kids. However, last year I declared bankruptcy Am I at all protected?

Your legal remedy is go file a Complaint for Modification of the Divorce Agreement immediately. Only the court can determine if you are absolved of this legal/contractual responsibility due to the bankruptcy.  However, you should know  that when filing a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy petition, an automatic stay provided by Bankruptcy Code section 362(a) […]