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What Are the Differences Between an ARC Attorney, Guardian ad Litem and Parenting Coordinator?

In high conflict custody cases in Massachusetts, there are many experts that can become involved in your case to help with the conflict and pending issues. The most common experts are Guardians ad Litem, Parenting Coordinators, and ARC Attorneys. However, many parents often confuse these roles. This article will explain what each role is and the difference between these types of experts.

 

 

Guardian ad Litem

A Guardian ad Litem (also known as a GAL) is one of the most common experts in a high conflict custody case. A GAL is typically appointed by the court to investigate the pending issues in the case. A Guardian ad Litem is either a mental health professional that works with divorced or separated families, or a Family Law attorney.

 

Oftentimes, the GAL is asked to investigate the facts of the case and then make recommendations for legal custody, physical custody, and parenting time. A GAL is oftentimes also charged with investigating other issues that arise such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse. Ultimately, the GAL … Read More »



How to Ask Your Soon to be Spouse for a Pre-nup

For many people, falling in love and preparing for marriage is a process that is so wonderful that they lose sight of the harsh reality that anything can happen and marriages often end. Therefore, the idea of a Pre-Nup is many times not spoken of, as it implies that there is a possibility that the soon to be marriage could potentially result in divorce one day. If you have assets, it is in your best interest to have a Pre-Nup prepared, but initiating a conversation with your spouse regarding the same is not always easy. The following are a few tips to assist you in asking your spouse for a Pre-Nup, while decreasing the chances of bringing turbulence to your relationship:

Bring it up in the Beginning

If possible, at the beginning of any relationship, make it known that you intend to sign a Pre-Nup with whomever you marry. Your soon to be spouse will be aware and prepared for the conversation, eliminating any shock or personal concerns that you doubt the marriage will last.

Use Good Timing

If you are already … Read More »



The Legal Status of Parent Coordinators in Massachusetts- An Update

Parenting coordinator Massachusetts

In 2014 we blogged about the legal status of Parent Coordinators in Massachusetts. The article was written just after the Supreme Judicial Court decided the case of Bower v. Bournay-Bower. However, since that decision came down in September 2014, a lot has changed.

 

For those who do not know what a Parenting Coordinator is, a Parenting Coordinator is a trained attorney or mental health professional who has a background in child custody and parenting time disputes assist parents to resolve and reach agreement concerning disagreements about co-parenting, custody, and the parenting schedule.

 

Parent Coordinators are commonly used in child custody and parenting matters in Massachusetts to facilitate resolving disputes between parents on issues relating children of divorce and children born out of wedlock. The Parent Coordinator typically acts as a referee to rule on any disputes, or works more like a mediator to help the parents negotiate and resolve any dispute. Using Parent Coordinators can be an effective tool in assisting parents in avoiding lengthy litigation in the Probate and Family Court to resolve custody and parenting … Read More »



Creating New Holiday Traditions for Children After a Divorce

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Divorce is difficult for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for children. Once parents decide to divorce, the children then have to face the reality of their parents no longer living under the same roof. This is a difficult transition for almost all children, but it can be especially difficult at the holidays. Parents should stress to their children that it is okay to enjoy the holidays during this difficult time—at both parent’s homes.

 

But to help children transition to this new structure of the family, parents should consider developing new traditions that the family as a whole did not do before. This can be something very small, such as selecting a Christmas tree from a specific place, or baking holiday cookies with your children, or something bigger, such as a nice vacation.

 

On the same hand, though, parents should also try to maintain some consistency. If there … Read More »



Mediating Your Prenuptial Agreement

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Types of Child Custody in Massachusetts

Child Custody Massachusetts, Child Custody Mass., Child Custody Suffolk County, Child Custody Middlesex County, Child Custody Essex County, Child Custody Norfolk County, Child Custody Boston, Child Custody Winthrop, Child Custody East Boston, Child Custody Revere, Child Custody Danvers, Child Custody Lynnfield, Child Custody Marblehead, Child Custody Swampscott, Child Custody Nahant, Child Custody Peabody, Child Custody Salem, Child Custody Saugus, Child Custody Arlington, Child Custody Belmont, Child Custody Burlington, Child Custody Cambridge, Child Custody Everett, Child Custody Malden, Child Custody Medford, Child Custody Melrose, Child Custody North Reading, Child Custody Reading, Child Custody Somerville, Child Custody Stoneham, Child Custody Wakefield, Child Custody Watertown, Child Custody Wilmington, Child Custody Winchester, Child Custody Woburn, Child Custody Brookline, Child Custody Braintree, Child Custody Milton, Child Custody Quincy, Child Custody ChelseaIn Massachusetts, like most other states, there are two types of child custody. The first is legal custody and the other is physical custody.

 

Legal custody is the “decision making” custody. The parent or parents who have legal custody of a child have the authority to make decisions regarding the child’s care and upbringing, such as … Read More »



When Can a Parent Receive a Retroactive Credit on Child Support?

Child Support Massachusetts, Child Support Mass., Child Support Suffolk County, Child Support Middlesex County, Child Support Essex County, Child Support Norfolk County, Child Support Boston, Child Support Winthrop, Child Support East Boston, Child Support Revere, Child Support Danvers, Child Support Lynnfield, Child Support Marblehead, Child Support Swampscott, Child Support Nahant, Child Support Peabody, Child Support Salem, Child Support Saugus, Child Support Arlington, Child Support Belmont, Child Support Burlington, Child Support Cambridge, Child Support Everett, Child Support Malden, Child Support Medford, Child Support Melrose, Child Support North Reading, Child Support Reading, Child Support Somerville, Child Support Stoneham, Child Support Wakefield, Child Support Watertown, Child Support Wilmington, Child Support Winchester, Child Support Woburn, Child Support Brookline, Child Support Braintree, Child Support Milton, Child Support Quincy, Child Support Chelsea, Child Support Modification Massachusetts, Child Support Modification Mass., Child Support Modification Suffolk County, Child Support Modification Middlesex County, Child Support Modification Essex County, Child Support Modification Norfolk County, Child Support Modification Boston, Child Support Modification Winthrop, Child Support Modification East Boston, Child Support Modification Revere, Child Support Modification Danvers, Child Support Modification Lynnfield, Child Support Modification Marblehead, Child Support Modification Swampscott, Child Support Modification Nahant, Child Support Modification Peabody, … <a href= Read More »



The New 2017 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines: What’s New? What’s the Same?

Child Support Massachusetts, Child Support Mass., Child Support Suffolk County, Child Support Middlesex County, Child Support Essex County, Child Support Norfolk County, Child Support Boston, Child Support Winthrop, Child Support East Boston, Child Support Revere, Child Support Danvers, Child Support Lynnfield, Child Support Marblehead, Child Support Swampscott, Child Support Nahant, Child Support Peabody, Child Support Salem, Child Support Saugus, Child Support Arlington, Child Support Belmont, Child Support Burlington, Child Support Cambridge, Child Support Everett, Child Support Malden, Child Support Medford, Child Support Melrose, Child Support North Reading, Child Support Reading, Child Support Somerville, Child Support Stoneham, Child Support Wakefield, Child Support Watertown, Child Support Wilmington, Child Support Winchester, Child Support Woburn, Child Support Brookline, Child Support Braintree, Child Support Milton, Child Support Quincy, Child Support ChelseaThe Trial Court of Massachusetts issued new Child Support Guidelines, which took effect last week on September 15th. There are many changes to the new Guidelines, but also a lot of things stayed the same. This article will explain the changes to the new Guidelines, but what also stayed the same compared to the 2013 Child Support … Read More »



Can Alimony Last Past the Scheduled Termination Date?

Alimony Massachusetts, Alimony Mass., Alimony Suffolk County, Alimony Middlesex County, Alimony Essex County, Alimony Norfolk County, Alimony Boston, Alimony Winthrop, Alimony East Boston, Alimony Revere, Alimony Danvers, Alimony Lynnfield, Alimony Marblehead, Alimony Swampscott, Alimony Nahant, Alimony Peabody, Alimony Salem, Alimony Saugus, Alimony Arlington, Alimony Belmont, Alimony Burlington, Alimony Cambridge, Alimony Everett, Alimony Malden, Alimony Medford, Alimony Melrose, Alimony North Reading, Alimony Reading, Alimony Somerville, Alimony Stoneham, Alimony Wakefield, Alimony Watertown, Alimony Wilmington, Alimony Winchester, Alimony Woburn, Alimony Brookline, Alimony Braintree, Alimony Milton, Alimony Quincy, Alimony Chelsea, alimony modification, , alimony reform act, alimony termination, When the Alimony Reform Act was enacted in 2011, it provided for set termination dates of General Term Alimony, which is the most common type of alimony in Massachusetts. Under the statute, M.G.L. c. 208 §49(b), General Term Alimony will terminate after a certain period of time, depending on how long a couple was married. The termination date is calculated as follows:

 

Length of Marriage How Long Will Alimony Last 0-5 years No more than 50% of the total number of months from the date of marriage … Read More »



The Benefits of Engaging a Parenting Coordinator

The Benefits of Engaging a Parenting CoordinatorA Parent Coordinator is a Family Law Attorney or mental health professional who works with families relating to child custody and parenting time, whereby the Parent Coordinator assists parents to resolve and reach agreement concerning disagreements about co-parenting, custody, and the parenting schedule. Parent Coordinators are commonly used in child custody and parenting matters in Massachusetts as a way to resolve disputes without going to court. The Parent Coordinator typically acts as a referee to rule on any disputes, or works more like a mediator to help the parents negotiate and resolve any dispute.

 

Some parents look at Parent Coordinators as someone who is a referee and quasi-judge who decides which parent “wins” or “loses” specific disputes regarding co-parenting. Rather, a parenting coordinator is more like a mediator, who helps both parents work through a dispute and come to a relatively amicable resolution without the need for going back to court. This reduces the time needed to resolve the dispute (since it can be done privately and out of court), and can help preserve the … Read More »



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