Welcome to my Boston metro and Massachusetts website about all things divorce related.
I help people through bad family situations and to rebuild their lives. My hope with this site is to provide useful information to people who might be considering divorce in the Boston area and who needs help navigating the process.
There will be new posts underneath this one on a regular basis so check back often or subscribe via a RSS reader via the Subscribe link at the upper left hand corner. You will also find useful free resources located on the navigation menu right above, along with a short bio about me and a list of questions I’ve answered for people who might be in a similar situation as yourself. Also above, you will see a tab to calculate child support (coming soon).
Feel free to check out My Other Blogs where I talk about wills and trusts, prenuptial agreements and bankruptcy issues. Lastly, you might want to know about the basics of divorce by exploring the selected posts on Divorce Basics on the right hand side.
If you have questions or issues that this site cannot answer, feel free to contact me, either at the number listed on the left or using the Contact Me tab above.
Up until today, whenever someone filed for a Modification of Child Support, the standard of review that a court looks at is if there had been a “material and substantial change in circumstances” between the old child support order and the application of the Child Support Guidelines. Today, Massachusett’s Supreme Judicial Court issued a binding opinion that clearly says that the standard is NOT a “material and substantial change in circumstances.”
The new standard is simply if there is an “inconsistent” amount between the old child support order and the application of the Child Support Guidelines. This is a big sea change because it has the possibility of opening the flood gates for litigating child support. The new standard is a much more liberal standard and a lower standard in getting a modification.
The SJC did not however, pull the new “inconsistency” standard out of thin air. The SJC found that the child support statute as passed by the legislature uses the “inconsistency” standard while the Child Support Guidelines (which is promulgated by the Trial Courts) uses the “material and substantial change in circumstances” standard. In such a case where there is conflicting rules, then the statute passed by the legislature must prevail.
In my opinion, the SJC knew full well that lowering the standard of review for Modification cases might open the Probate and Family Courts to a rush of Modification claims. I believe the SJC, through this opinion, is asking the legislature to modify the statute so that it no longer uses the “inconsistency” standard but make it fall in line with the Child Support Guidelines.
For the full text of the opinion, Morales v. Morales, SJ 11104.
Our favorite children’s educational show, Sesame Street, has released a toolkit for parents and kids to explore the issue of divorce in the family.
The website has videos that you can watch with your children and it also has guides for you to read to help you respond to your children’s common questions about divorce. And of course, it has songs and singalongs for children to fully assimilate the information that is fun for them and helps them understand without adding trauma.
You might hear your lawyer often refer to opposing counsel in court as “brother” or “sister”. This does not mean they are biologically brothers and sisters. It is polite and customary for lawyers to address fellow members of the bar as brothers or sisters of the bar. It is done out of respect rather than a formal rule.
So the next time you hear your attorney say that, do not think they are doing you a disservice because they’re related to opposing counsel. It’s just being nice.