Worcester County Family Attorney
Your Needs Are Our Priority
Family law cases are often complicated, and many families need an advocate during this emotional time. Whether you are filing for divorce, establishing a protective order, modifying child custody, or pursuing another legal matter, Ayvazian Law has the knowledge you need. Our firm has over a decade of experience helping families pursue legal action.
Call our Worcester County family lawyer at (508) 315-6244 for more information.
Divorce in Massachusetts
All states have their own rules for divorce, and Massachusetts is no different. From filing to property and child support, there are several key elements of the divorce process to keep in mind.
Types of Divorce
There are several ways to file for divorce in Massachusetts. Spouses can file a no-fault or fault-based divorce depending on their circumstances. No-fault divorces fall into two categories: 1A and 1B. These divorces do not require evidence to prove fault – instead, the court only needs to know that there are irreconcilable differences.
- 1A divorces are uncontested, meaning both spouses agree on all elements of their divorce settlement.
- 1B divorces are contested, meaning one or both spouses disagree on their divorce settlement. Spouses who file for a 1B no-fault divorce can change their case to a 1B if they reach a resolution before the divorce settlement is complete.
On the other hand, fault-based divorces rely on evidence and oversight from the court for resolution. In these cases, one or both spouses may want to hold the other accountable for misconduct during the marriage. However, the court will only recognize specific grounds for fault in a divorce case.
These grounds include:
- Documented alcohol or drug addiction
- A prison sentence of five or more years
Generally, these cases require more time and resources and often take a significant toll on the family. It is important to carefully consider your situation and consult a qualified legal professional before filing for divorce.
A significant part of the divorce process is asset division. Real estate, finances, investments, businesses, and other assets are subject to equitable division. This means that the court will evaluate each party’s circumstances and divide property to ensure that both spouses can maintain a standard of living.
The judge will consider:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, physical, and mental health of both spouses
- Each spouse’s income
- Each spouse’s financial needs
These factors, among others, are crucial to equitable division. Ultimately, the judge will determine a fair division of assets, but this may not mean splitting assets down the middle. In fact, if the judge finds that one spouse needs more financial support than the other, he or she will probably provide them with a greater share of the assets.
Once the judge has determined a fair division of property, he or she will decide whether to award alimony. While many divorce cases involve alimony or spousal maintenance, it is not a guaranteed factor in every divorce.
The following circumstances may affect alimony:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Each spouse’s income, skills, and employment
- Debts and potential financial needs
- Marital conduct
If one spouse has critical healthcare needs or requires further education for employment, the judge is more likely to award them alimony. Additionally, if one spouse used a significant amount of finances to fund an affair or addiction, or abandoned their spouse, the court will probably not award them alimony.
Unlike alimony, child support is the responsibility of both parents. The final support amount is based on the income of both parents and the number of children. While the court will pursue a fair support amount, it may not always be appropriate. As circumstances change, parents may need to adjust an existing child support order.
Services We Provide
Whether you need to file for divorce, modify a custody order, or another legal matter, Ayvazian Law can help.
Our firm offers a variety of legal services, including:
- Guardian ad litem
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Domestic violence and restraining orders
- Contempt or modifications
- And more
Ayvazian Law not only meets the needs of our clients, but we also work alongside them as partners every step of the way.
Schedule a consultation with our Worcester County family lawyer today.
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