Massachusetts Family Law

Massachusetts laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute Massachusetts Domestic Relations
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period. Fault based and no-fault
3. Equitable distribution or community property Equitable Distribution
a. Methods of apportionment
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA
b. Property distribution factors
4. Legal separation? Temporary Separation
a. Waiting period/Separation period 6 Months
5. Is mediation required
6. Forms used Massachusetts Family Court Forms
7. Alimony guidelines and factors Alimony
Alimony formula
a. Types
b. Term Limits part ii, title iii, chapter 208, section 49 (b)
Cohabitation Mass General Laws Ch 208 section 49(d)
c. Imputing income
d. Change in circumstances
e. Ceases on retirement "Section 20-3-170 or MASS. GEN. LAWS ch. 208, § 49(f)(2) or H.B. 3617, 187th General Court (Mass. 2011) (enacted)    There are various approaches to what should occur when the obligor reaches retirement age. In Massachusetts, an alimony obligation automatically terminates when the obligor reaches the full age of retirement, but the law provides two exceptions.44 One exception allows the court to set a different alimony termination date for good cause shown.45 A bill which is currently before the legislature would add a provision that states that good cause may be shown when a divorce occurs within 10 years of the obligor’s full retirement age and the marriage was longer than 20 years.46 The proposed amendment would allow the court to order continued alimony if the obligor continues to work under these circumstances.47 Massachusetts’s second exception provides courts with discretion to grant an extension of existing alimony for good cause shown, so long as when granting an extension, the court enters written findings of a material change in circumstances and reasons for the extension that are supported by clear and convincing evidence"
Impute income on early retirement
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary
f. Definition of income
8. Child support factors and guidelines Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines
9. Child support calculator Massachusetts Child Support Calculator
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed?
11. Valuation
a. Valuation date Complaint
b. Goodwill divisibility Personal goodwill is not divisible.  Enterprise goodwill is divisible. - Goldman v. Goldman, 28 Mass. App. Ct. 603, 554 N.E.2d 860 (1990)
c. Standard of value Fair Value
d. Discounts
e. Shareholder/partner agreements
 12. Double dip  Impermissable double dip, not issue because personal goodwill not divisible
 a. Stock options  
 b. Retirement accounts  Delassio v. Delassio, 570 N.E.2d 139 (Mass. 1991); Croak v. Bergeron, 856 N.E.2d 900 (Mass. App. Ct. 2006)
 c. Child support
 13. Key cases  Key cases
 14. Premarital agreements  
 15. Common law  


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