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Showing posts from April, 2019

Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines on your iPhone

In 2017 and 2018 the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines were updated twice, resulting in a new worksheet calculation that encompasses numerous changes from the prior iteration (2013).  Here are some useful resources explaining the changes:

8 Changes in the 2017 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines

2018 Child Support Guidelines Update: Fixing the Table B Problem

2018 Child Support Guidelines Update: Fixing the Double Counting of Health Care and Child Care Credits

While understanding how the calculation works is important, sometimes all we need is the ability to run a number of sample calculations quickly.  For that purpose you can use the court's pdf worksheet available here, or one of these useful tools:

2018 MA Child Support Calculator iPhone App





this calculator is also available in a suite of calculators called:

MA Divorce Calculators iPhone App




and we also have a free online calculator that works in any web-browser:

2018 Massachusetts Child Support Calculator Online

Social Security Benefits in Divorce

In Divorce nothing is as simple as it may seem at first. This is just one of the reasons it's vitally important to obtain good financial and legal advice during the divorce process. Social Security is an example of how something that seems simple can actually be a very complicated discussion in divorce. Consider the question:

Can Social Security benefits be transferred or divided as part of a divorce?

The simple answer is no.

The more complicated answer is that while the benefit itself cannot be transferred, Social Security does provide for benefits for divorced spouses in certain circumstances, and many courts have also ruled that the amount of a Social Security benefit can affect other determinations. For example, in Massachusetts the case of Mahoney v. Mahoney, held that the court could consider the Social Security benefit owed to the husband in that case when determining the equitable division of the wife's retirement benefit.

In Mahoney, the trial Judge awarded the wife…

How long is a marriage? Balistreri v. Balistreri

How long is a marriage? It’s a seemingly straightforward question, but divorce and alimony laws over the years, and the complexities created by overuse of the courts, have complicated the issue. The Balistreri case, which came down from the Massachusetts Appeals Court on June 29, 2018, clarifies the question somewhat.

The alimony statute defines the length of a marriage as “the number of months from the date of the legal marriage to the date of service of a complaint or petition for divorce or separate support.” M.G.L. c. 208 §48. Balistreri addresses situations where there may be more than one complaint for divorce or separate support floating around. This may be because of hastiness to go to court before other options have been explored, which then lead to a resolution of an issue, so that the complaint is abandoned and does not result in a judgment. It may also be because parties may first file a complaint for separate support before following through with a complaint for divorce.�…