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Showing posts from February, 2012

Divorcing an Incapacitated Spouse: How a Guardianship and Conservatorship Can Help

It can be necessary in some divorce proceedings to include a guardian and conservator if one or both of the spouses are unable to manage their personal affairs and property because of a clinically diagnosed impairment. This goes beyond the common complaint of divorcing couples, "My husband/wife is terrible with money!" It goes to whether a spouse has the actual ability to understand the management of his or her personal affairs and finances. When one or both spouses are lacking this level of understanding, a judge in a divorce case will want to see that neither spouse is being taken advantage of in the divorce process, and a guardian and conservator is one way to install a safeguard. Because both guardians and conservators have authority over the incapacitated spouse, subject to any limitations as set forth by the court, both can (and both are required, assuming that there is marital property) sign a divorce agreement binding the individual. If a guardian and conserv

Divorce and Renewal Spa BootCamp Weekend for Women

Once in a while we post events on this blog that are organized by other professionals whom we respect.  Below you will find information on a spa weekend for divorcing women, organized by Family Law Attorney Paula H. Noe, and Psychotherapist and Divorce Coach Betsy Ross. It sounds interesting but it leaves me wondering if I can successfully convince my wife that I need to organize a Golf Weekend for Divorcing Men. Even if that never happens, there certainly is some value to finding alternative ways to help both men and women find healthy ways to deal with the stress of divorce and learn how best to manage that stress in the future.  To that end here is the invitation forwarded by Betsy Ross for their program: DIVORCE AND RENEWAL SPA BOOTCAMP WEEKEND FOR WOMEN April 21-22, 2012 Norwich Inn and Spa Norwich, CT See The weekend will provide an opportunity for women who are RECOVERING FROM DIVORCE or STRUGGLING THROUGH DIVORCE or THINKING AB

What County do I File my Divorce in?

Map Courtesy of   In Massachusetts, the county that you file your Joint Petition for Divorce or your  Complaint for Divorce in is controlled by M.G.L. c. 208 s 6 . Assuming that Massachusetts has jurisdiction to hear your case (which we explain in this previous post ), you should file in the probate court in the county where either you or your spouse lives, unless one of you still resides in the county where you last lived together, in which case you should file in that county. To figure out how that standard applies in your case, answer these questions to figure out where you should file: Question 1:  Do you or your spouse still live in the county where you last lived together?  If Yes, then file in that county.  If no, then continue to Question 2. Question 2:   Do you both live in Massachusetts?  If Yes, then you can file in either the county where you live, or the county where your spouse lives.  If no, then continue to Question 3. Questio

Signs of a Cheating Spouse Infographic

In the wake of Valentine's Day perhaps you're wondering if you're the only one that your significant other bought a gift for. To help you answer that question a network of Private Investigators has put together an Infographic based on a survey of their members. Please don't take it too seriously: Courtesy of: Kelsey & Trask, P.C. provides this graphic for informational purposes only. We do not endorse nor claim endorsement from the source site or organization. Kelsey & Trask, P.C. is not responsible for any information contained therein, unless indicated specifically on that site.

Best Valentine's Day Gift: A Court Ordered Trip to Red Lobster

NBC Miami is reporting that a Judge in Florida has ordered a husband to take his wife on a date .  The Judge ruled that a fight between the couple over the man forgetting his wife's birthday did not result in serious enough violence to warrant further court action.  Although, the Judge indicated he would not normally treat domestic violence so light-heartedly he categorized the incident in this case as "very very minor".  The wife can be heard in the full video indicating that she wants her husband to come home. After inquiring of the wife what she likes to do and where she likes to eat, he ordered the husband to buy flowers, a card, get dressed up and take his wife to Red Lobster and bowling afterwards.  He was not ordered to let her win.  The Huffington Post's coverage of the order is available below:

What Should I Expect at My Divorce Pre-Trial Conference?

Many of our divorce clients wonder what will happen at the Pre-Trial Conference. Most divorce cases actually settle at or shortly after their Pre-Trial Conference, so it is important to understand what the process actually entails before it begins. Prior to your court date for the Pre-Trial Conference, both parties and their respective attorneys, if any, will be required to meet in person at what is called a "four-way conference." The purpose of this is to encourage discussion about possible settlement prior to the Pre-Trial Conference, so that the process of resolving issues might have begun before the case gets in front of a judge. There is no testimony at a Pre-Trial Conference. If represented by an attorney, parties will not generally be asked to speak, although some judges have been known to ask the parties a few questions directly. Each party will be required to file with the court a memorandum summarizing the procedural history and positions on disputed issues

It's a Mad, Mad World: Uncomfortable Praise for the Evolution of Divorce Law in the United States

Mad Men Season 3 Episode Photos Mad Men Season 3 Episode Photos Photo Gallery Don Draper (Jon Hamm) in Episode 13 One of television's most popular shows, Mad Men (season five premieres on March 25 on AMC), is set in the early to mid 1960s New York, and features the troubled marriage and eventual divorce of two of its main characters. The show has earned praise for its efforts to remain historically accurate, and as such, gives divorce practitioners a chance to view the dissolution of a marriage as if it were in a time capsule. The show's main character, Don Draper, is a professionally successful advertising executive with a lifestyle which includes a serious drinking problem and many extra-marital affairs. His wife, Betty, had been a model, but stopped working to care for their children after their oldest was born. After discovering one of Don's affairs, and finding out that he was actually living under someone else's name, and that he had previously been

Implications for Firearms Owners Served with 209A Restraining Orders

Immediately upon being served with a 209A restraining order, M.G.L. c. 209A § 3B requires that the subject of the order surrender their License to Carry Firearms and/or Firearms Identification Card, all “firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns and ammunition which he then controls, owns or possesses.” Law enforcement officers, upon service of the restraining order, shall immediately confiscate all licenses, firearms and ammunition. Note that the requirement to surrender all firearms and licenses must be made immediately upon service of the order, even if you intend to oppose the issuance of the order at a subsequent hearing. What happens to the seized firearms? Weapons seized as a result of a restraining order by the police may only be thereafter transferred to a licensed dealer by the police department. The police department may not release the firearms back to you (even should the order be ultimately vacated); nor may they release the firearms to any licensed individual –

A Mental Health Public Service Announcement

A lot of the work that we do is representing individuals as they transition through difficult periods of their lives. Whether in the context of a guardianship, bankruptcy, divorce, child support, or child custody proceeding, the process can often be emotionally taxing. While we do our best to remain aware of therapeutic jurisprudence , our court system often falls short of the needs of individuals struggling to deal with the emotional toll of the process. We often work with individuals who are struggling to cope with the process, and encourage them to seek the support of friends, relatives, and/or a therapist. When it comes to your well-being, leaning on the support of others can assist in navigating a trying legal process. In short, don't be afraid to ask for help with your emotional needs while your attorney helps with your legal needs.

Post-Divorce Problems: Who has to pay for College?

In Massachusetts, the court has the authority to order divorced parents to contribute something to their children’s college education expenses.  Usually the court won’t deal with this at trial unless the children are almost of age to attend college, but most agreements will address the issue in some way. When it comes to the payment of college education expenses, the specific language that your Separation Agreement contains is very important. Many agreements require parents to contribute in proportion to their incomes and abilities at the time the college bill becomes due. However, if your agreement states that you are to share equally, then that could require you to contribute one half of the cost. How educational costs are defined by the agreement could differ greatly and the specific language of your Separation Agreement will be key to determining exactly what you are required to pay. And if you are required to pay a specific amount and you don't you could be liable for Con

Probate and Family Court Funding Crisis in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Bar Association posted the below video to raise awareness about the problems of not properly funding the judicial branch in Massachusetts.  The Probate and Family Courts specifically have been hard hit, and were recently forced to reduce their hours .   As discussed in the video, any law-abiding citizen can end up in the Probate & Family Courts for necessary family matters such as probating a family member's estate or obtaining a guardianship to protect an elderly relative.  When these cases can't be heard in a timely manner, the system is failing the public.  As the saying goes: justice delayed is justice denied. "As the House of Representatives and then the Senate begin their budget debates in April and May respectively, you, as a member of the public or legal community, can make a difference, by reaching out to your state senators and representatives to reiterate the importance ensuring a full funded judicial system. Visit http://www.massbar.