Family Law Support For Individuals Throughout Central Massachusetts and Metro West

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Answers To Common Divorce Questions

Divorces can be emotional. My goal as your Massachusetts family law attorney is to provide compassion while ensuring your legal rights and interests are protected during the dissolution of your marriage. Here are the answers to a few questions that clients ask me during their divorce.

Massachusetts Divorce FAQ

How Long Will It Take For My Divorce Be Finalized?

The time for your divorce to be finalized depends on what type of divorce you are going through. If it is being litigated (contested), it usually will take longer than a mediated (uncontested) divorce.

Contested divorces:

  • If you cannot agree to asset division, child custody, visitation or financial rights and obligations, your case will in all likelihood be decided by a judge through the litigation process. Divorces with significant issues can take 14 months or longer. Divorces with fewer issues may move through the courts more quickly.

Uncontested divorces:

  • If you and your spouse can agree on property/asset distribution, child custody and child or spousal support, you may be able to reach a divorce settlement outside of the courtroom. Some uncontested divorces can become final within 120 days of the filing date.

Do I Get To Keep All Property That Is In My Name During A Divorce?

Massachusetts allows an equitable distribution of property. Most of the property acquired in the marriage is part of the marital estate, regardless of how it is titled. The courts will try to distribute property in a “fair” way, but that does not mean it will be equal. If a former couple cannot agree on distribution, a judge or arbitrator will divide debt and property.

My Spouse Is Asking For Complete Custody Of Our Child. What Can I Do To Fight For Joint Custody?

The court will not grant sole custody just because one party is demanding it. If you have legal or personal issues that affect this decision, my legal counsel can help. I will work with you to demonstrate your fitness as a parent.

Some issues we can help you overcome include:

  • Abuse/neglect
  • Drug or alcohol issues
  • Mental health issues

How Will My Retirement Funds Be Divided In My Divorce?

Retirement account distribution requires a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to be finalized during a divorce. If you and your spouse have established how the funds of your accounts will be distributed, you will still need the QDRO to execute the distribution with the plan administrators. If you have already received your divorce decree and do not have a QDRO, I can help you ensure this important asset is divided legally and that you do not have any difficulties, regardless of whether you are providing or receiving your spouse’s retirement benefits.

I Am Happy To Address Any Of Your Divorce Questions

All divorces are unique, and questions always come up. With my 25 years working as a family lawyer, I have helped clients through a variety of family law issues. Contact my office via my contact page or call 508-422-7192.