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Showing posts from February, 2014

Practical Tips for Completing the Massachusetts Family Court Financial Statement

A financial statement is required in every divorce, paternity, and child support action in Massachusetts.   The financial statement is one of the most important papers that you will file with the Court.  A financial statement will be required every time you appear in Court when there is an issue relating to finances, and you must sign your financial statement under the pains and penalties of perjury that the information contained in the financial statement is complete, true, and accurate. In a divorce case, Massachusetts Supplemental Probate Court Rule 401 provides that, within 45 days after the date of service of the Summons, each party must serve on the other party a complete and accurate financial statement.  Rule 401 also allows the parties to make a request for financial statement as well. The form of the financial statement which each party must complete is dependent upon his or her income. A party whose income equals or exceeds $75,000.00 must complete the long form finan

Enforcing Parenting Agreements – What happens when the Plan Fails?

"I think a plan is just a list of things that don’t happen.” – Parker in The Way of the Gun Often when negotiating a parenting plan with clients, I point out that the actual written plan doesn’t dictate what happens.  It’s just a piece of paper.  Even when the court enforces the agreement that process takes time, effort, evidence, follow-up, and more time.  When both parents agree to guidelines for co-parenting that make sense to both of them, then they are more likely to end up with an actual plan that everyone buys into.   When parents can’t agree the result is typically a Judgment or Divorce Agreement that results in more litigation in the form of Modification actions, Contempt actions and Appeals. One such case was recently remanded to the trial court by the Massachusetts Appeals Court on a 1:28 decision.  The case involved a Complaint for Modification, Cross-Complaints for Contempt and Cross-Appeals.   While the issues being appealed are numerous, one issue in particular

What the Heck is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that is widely considered only for the tech-savvy and crazy libertarians .   At Kelsey & Trask, P.C. we've been accused of both of those, so why not own it! As of today, Kelsey & Trask, P.C. will be accepting Bitcoin as payment , in addition to cash, check and credit cards. If you're a Bitcoin user and a client of K&T, then you simply have one more option to pay your bill. If you don't know what the heck Bitcoin is, then we suggest you check out this recent video from Mashable: Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin in 2 Minutes We've previously written about the dangers and benefits of paying for your Divorce (or other legal services) with a credit card , and many of those concerns may also apply to your Bitcoin wallet.  The key (no pun intended) with any new technology is to understand it before you dive in.  But if you buy into the idea (okay, that pun was intended), then we're ready a

Will Pot Smoking affect a Custody Determination?

Unrolled Joint (Public Domain Image courtesy of Wikipedia) Medical Marijuana has been legalized in Massachusetts and   possession of one ounce or less, even for "recreational" use, has been decriminalized .  In addition, marijuana for recreational use has been legalized in two states in 2013, and more may be on the way . Traditionally, illegal use of marijuana by a parent could result in DCF involvement and would definitely be a factor considered by a family court if two parents were disputing custody in a divorce or paternity action.  Although many parents did not see "what the big deal was", judges would often test for marijuana use and restrict parenting time for parents that tested positive. Does the national shift towards legalization for both medicinal and recreational use mean that smoking pot should no longer be a factor in determining fitness for custody?   In an article written by  Henry Gornbein  when states began legalizing medicinal use, Henr