Amaral & Associates, P.C. - Divorce, Family Law
Serving Boston, Winthrop
& Surrounding Areas
Call Today For A Consultation
Phone: 617-539-1010

Posts Tagged knowledgeable divorce lawyer

‘Happy Valentine’s Day. I Want a Divorce.’

Valentine’s Day is approaching — and it turns out the weeks leading up to this most romantic of holidays also mark the highpoint of “divorce season.”

While there’s no national database tracking divorce filings, anecdotally, attorneys report that January and February tend to be the busiest months of the year in terms of divorce inquiries.

Why? In large part it’s a holiday hangover. A recent poll by my divorce mediation company, showed that one in 12 people (and one in eight women!) are considering divorce during the holidays. And as soon as the holidays are over, many make it their New Year’s resolution to begin again and start divorce proceedings.

I’ve worked in family law for 12 years and without fail, my phone starts ringing off the hook on January 2nd. Most start by asking for the lay of the land — they want to know their options.

Unfortunately, most people still think of divorce as the 1980s War of the Roses scenario, where each party hires the meanest pitbull of a lawyer they can find, spends thousands of dollars on legal fees and … Read More »



The Benefits of Mediating or Arbitrating Your Family Law Case

The Benefits of Mediating or Arbitrating Your Family Law CaseIn Massachusetts, divorce and Family Law cases are handled by the Probate and Family Court. Under Massachusetts, law, proceedings in the Probate and Family Court are public and can be observed by anyone. Additionally, almost all cases in the Probate and Family Court are scheduled to be heard at 8:30 a.m. (which can be as many as 75-100 cases scheduled to be heard that day), and then the judge calls all cases in whatever order he/she deems fit. This means, if your case is heard first, there can be over 100 people in the courtroom to listen to the issues pending in your case.

Additionally, the Probate and Family Court is notoriously backlogged. Thus, it can take a few months before a motion on your case is heard, and a few years before your case goes to trial.

Given the very sensitive nature of divorce and Family Law proceedings, many spouses and parents do not want their family issues presented and argued in … Read More »



Protecting Your Credit in a Divorce

It is not uncommon for married couples to have joint accounts, including joint credit cards. However, once married couples are involved in a divorce, they must decide how to apportion the credit card debt. At that time, each spouse should be looking to protect their credit as much as possible.

In Massachusetts, each spouse’s credit is effectively protected during the divorce through the automatic financial restraining order that is put into place at the beginning of the divorce through Supplemental Probate and Family Court Rule 411. That rule states:

The following restraining order shall remain in effect during the pendency of the action, unless it is modified by agreement of the parties or by further order of the court.

(1) Neither party shall sell, transfer, encumber, conceal, assign, remove or in any way dispose of any property, real or personal, belonging to or acquired by, either party, except: (a) as required for reasonable expenses of living; (b) in the ordinary and usual course of business; (c) in the ordinary and usual course of investing; (d) for payment of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in connection with the action; (e) written agreement of … Read More »



FAQ’s About Massachusetts Divorce Law

With the national divorce rate close to 50%, many spouses have questions about divorce and the legal process of divorce. Divorce laws from state to state. Here is a summary of Massachusetts divorce law and frequently asked questions about this topic.

Q: Is there a legal separation in Massachusetts?

A: There is no formal “legal separation” of a couple in Massachusetts. However, if a married couple is now living apart, either spouse may file a Complaint for Separate Support. In the complaint, the Plaintiff must allege one of the following: 1) the Defendant is not providing suitable support, without justifiable cause; 2) the Plaintiff has been deserted by the defendant; 3) the Plaintiff is actually living apart from the Defendant for justifiable cause; or 4) the Plaintiff has justifiable cause for living apart from the Defendant.

In the action, the spouse may seek the following relief: 1) establish that such living apart from the Defendant is for justifiable cause; 2) prohibit Defendant from imposing any restraint on Plaintiff’s personal liberty; 3) grant custody of the minor and unemancipated children; 4) order suitable amount of … Read More »



FINDING A GOOD DIVORCE LAWYER

Millions of men and women go through divorce proceedings every year and yet many give little thought to finding a lawyer that will best meet their needs.

While a good lawyer will lead you through the divorce quagmire and hopefully get you the best possible results, the wrong lawyer can create more problems and add to the nightmare of divorce. You owe it to yourself to spend significant time and effort looking for the right divorce lawyer.

Finding the best lawyer takes time and effort. But if you choose without proper care you may end up with a botched divorce that can leave you with financial and psychological wounds that take a long time to heal.

In order to pick the best lawyer you should learn about the divorce process, research available lawyers in your area and interview several, insist that the lawyer tell you what his strategy for your specific case will be and how long he believes the case will take. If you are satisfied with the plan, hire the lawyer and follow up regularly to make sure the … Read More »



Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act & Durational Limits

When the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act went into effect in 2012, it provided for a payor spouse to file a Complaint for Modification to reduce or terminate his or her alimony obligation based upon durational limits, as further explained below. Rather than allowing spouses to file all at once in 2012, modification for only durational limits are being phased in over the course of three years.

Under the Alimony Reform Act, all alimony orders existing prior to the enactment of the Alimony Reform Act, are considered “General Term Alimony” unless otherwise specified. “General Term Alimony” is defined as “the periodic payment of support to a recipient spouse who is economically dependent.” Under this type of alimony, a spouse’s alimony obligation lasts for a percentage of the length of the marriage.

• For marriages lasting 5 years or less, a spouse’s alimony obligation lasts 50% the number of months the parties were married.

• For marriages lasting more than 5 years, but less than 10 years, a spouse’s alimony obligation is 60% the number of months the parties were married.

• For … Read More »



Postnuptial Agreements

Dear Clients and Friends,

Properly executed pre-nuptial agreements have been enforceable for sometime in the state of Massachusetts. These agreements are entered into between the couple before they are married to protect assets each party had at the time of marriage. Here are Amaral & Associates, P.C., we prepare pre-nuptial agreements on a regular basis on behalf of our clients.

Post-nuptial agreements, however, are entered into after a couple is married. They were considered invalid in the United States at one time and the present case law in Massachusetts has been uncertain as to the current validity until recently. Based on a July 16, 2010 case, entitled Ansin v. Cravin-Ansin, a Mass. Supreme Judicial Court case, the court for the first time enforced a post-nuptial agreement. Therefore, it is now possible for a couple to remain married yet prepare an agreement regarding how their assets are to be divided in the event of a divorce. This agreement could be helpful for parties who are thinking of getting a divorce or are afraid of losing additional assets if the marriage were to be extended. By having an agreement in advance, neither party would … Read More »



Weighing Divorce Options

What is the role of stock options in negotiating a divorce settlement? Far from being an academic question, the answer can actually determine the ownership of hundreds of thousands of dollars generated by the sale of appreciated stock acquired through company stock options. By specifying in the divorce settlement exactly how stock options will be treated—even if no such stock options exist at the time of divorce—divorcing spouses can proactively minimize future problems.

When it comes to complex compensation packages, the importance of understanding the mechanics, purpose and nature of stock options should not be overlooked. The ability of divorcing couples and their advisors to properly determine the role a stock option plays is pivotal in both the division of marital assets and as a potential mechanism for calculating future support.

Unfortunately, stock options often go unnoticed during settlement negotiations. One reason is the nature of stock options themselves. Stock options give an employee the right to buy company stock in the future at today’s prices. Typically, an employee will have up to 10 years to exercise this right once the vesting … Read More »



11 Essential Tips to Create a Brighter Future After Divorce

The key to life after divorce is to follow a post-divorce plan. With so many things affecting your life during and after your divorce, a plan can bring a lot of comfort and needed stability to your life and help you to move more positively into the future. There will inevitably be many things that you cannot control as much as you would like to during this process, so it is important to take hold of those things which you can control and use them to surround yourself with calm during the storm. Just like your children will need predictability, comfort, and safety in order to function most efficiently and effectively, so too is it important to create such an environment for yourself as you embark on this new life after divorce

1. Is a divorce mediator for you? An experienced divorce mediator, who is also a lawyer, can help to keep the peace if you and your spouse are entering divorce on cordial terms and with similar goals for the future. By allowing the divorce process to take place in a collaborative instead of adversarial manner, you can … Read More »



Making the Most of Your First Meeting with a Divorce Lawyer

With the prospect of divorce comes a lot of unknown territory that is sure to make you uneasy. While you may think of meeting with a divorce lawyer as your “first step,” the preparation should actually begin before you walk into their office. There are many things you can do to make sure that this first step is as productive and useful as possible and that much of the uneasiness that comes along with divorce remains at bay.

Arrive early: Just like at the doctor’s office, there is usually preliminary paperwork that you will need to fill out prior to your first meeting. Information that is often needed on this paperwork includes: both parties’ full names, contact information, employment and income information, dates of birth, social security numbers, past addresses, as well as applicable information for your children. Prepare a list of questions: This is a very helpful way to prepare for your first meeting with a divorce lawyer. Once you walk into the lawyer’s office, more likely than not you will be overwhelmed with emotions and the prospect of what is to come. … Read More »



Download Our Divorce & Mediation Ebook click here

Request A Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
Yes I have read the disclaimer

Privacy Policy

[recaptcha]

Winthrop Office
246 Revere Street
Winthrop, MA 02152

Phone: 617-539-1010
Fax: 617-539-0505
Winthrop Law Office Map

Boston Office
63 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02110

Phone: 617-742-2020
Boston Law Office Map