SEPARATION v. DIVORCE

Dissolution of a marriage can only happen through a divorce decree issued by a Court of competent jurisdiction. However, many states issue "legal separation", "conversion divorce"or "separate support" judgments-- which fall short of a divorce but still address certain marital situations. A legal separation and separate support are types of applications to the court to recognize that … Continue reading SEPARATION v. DIVORCE

Can I Protect My Pension From My Soon-to-be Ex?

Massachusetts has taken the position that ALL assets of the parties (individual and marital) are put on the table for distribution at time of divorce. Many states honor "separate property" doctrine at time of divorce--that is property the parties' owned before marriage or in their name only -- but Massachusetts does not.  So, any pension … Continue reading Can I Protect My Pension From My Soon-to-be Ex?

Can a Separation Agreement be changed after Judgment?

It is unclear what you are referring to when you say "Separation Agreement". MA does not recognize legal separations;it does however allow for actions for Separate Support. Agreements for separate support address only the custody and financial needs of the (custodial) spouse and the children (they do not address distribution of marital assets). Unlike in … Continue reading Can a Separation Agreement be changed after Judgment?

MATTA LAW reaches new benchmark

MATTA LAW'S Attorney, Estela Matta, has reached a benchmark of over one thousand of YOUR legal questions answered. More than 750 unaffiliated attorneys have concurred and agreed with the legal content, quality and particularized information provided by Attorney Matta in answer to your individual legal concerns. Keeps your questions coming! When your case matters--call Matta Law.  A proven record of … Continue reading MATTA LAW reaches new benchmark

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 … Continue reading Can I back out of divorce/separation agreement?

How to Find Your Spouse’s Hidden Assets.

What ever happened to that collection of priceless sports memorabilia? What did she do with all the expensive jewelry you gave her over the years?  Are you shocked that your soon-to-be-Ex's Sworn Financial Disclosure Statement didn't mention that 2nd IRA you know he has? Divorcing spouses in all states can use powerful legal tools, called “discovery,” to help them … Continue reading How to Find Your Spouse’s Hidden Assets.

Can My Husband & I Just Agree How We’ll Divide Our Property?

Verbal agreements between the parties are totally unenforceable in law. You must memorialize an agreement in writing and file it with the appropriate court. Any Settlement Agreement between the parties is subject to approval of the court.  In addition to certain statutory requirements, the Agreement must be "fair", not entered into under duress and each … Continue reading Can My Husband & I Just Agree How We’ll Divide Our Property?

Does a legal separation freeze assets and debts at the time of filing?

The short answer is: NO There are big difference between divorce and "separation". MA does not have a provision for legal separation---only for Separate Support. Which means if you want to stay married but live apart, support orders can be entered which can include child custody and child support as well other provisions. However, the … Continue reading Does a legal separation freeze assets and debts at the time of filing?

My husband has lied three consecutive times on his financial. What can I do about the under-reporting of income and assets?

Spouses that lie or under-report income are not uncommon in Divorce and Child Support proceedings. You have to bring whatever evidence you have of the under-reporting to the court's attention. You should file a motion for further financial disclosure, which opens the door for a discussion of his finances in court. You can also use … Continue reading My husband has lied three consecutive times on his financial. What can I do about the under-reporting of income and assets?

My husband wants to separate. What do I do before he leaves to protect myself?

Massachusetts does not have a comprehensive system for legal separation. There is one statute relating to legal separation in Massachusetts: it is the “Separate Support” statute, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 209, Section 33. The statute only addresses the issue of SUPPORT in a Massachusetts legal separation, and does not address property division or other issues … Continue reading My husband wants to separate. What do I do before he leaves to protect myself?