Understanding the divorce process is important for anyone looking to end a marriage. At the law firm of Patrick M. Morris. Attorney at Law , we take the time to explain how to file for divorce, the technical procedures, answer client questions, and walk them through the legal process.
If you are interested in speaking to our experienced and skilled Cape Cod divorce process attorney, please contact us online or call 508-833-2622 today. We offer a free initial consultation to outline the process in detail and answer your questions.
Alimony is generally awarded in situations in which the marriage is long term, and there is a disparity in the incomes of the divorcing parties. The amount is based upon the ability to pay of the higher wage earner and the needs of the lower wage earner. The length of time alimony is paid can range from a few years to lifetime, depending upon the facts of the case. A new alimony law in Massachusetts went into effect on March 1, 2012. Attorney Morris would be happy to explain the new law to you.
Division Of Assets And Liabilities In Divorce
There is a presumption that divorcing parties will divide their assets and liabilities evenly. However, Massachusetts is an "equitable property" state, which means that the Judge may examine 14 different facts to determine the exact percentage each party receives from the joint marital estate. Once again, an experienced attorney can estimate and advise you as to the division of your estate.
A Summary Of The Divorce Process
In its simplest terms, a divorce is initiated with a divorce complaint or with a negotiated settlement between the parties (a 1A no-fault divorce). The 1B is the most common of these two methods. In a 1B, a divorce complaint and summons is served on the defendant spouse.
Generally, "motions for temporary orders" accompany the complaint. These are requests the"plaintiff" spouse is making to the Court. The Court realizes that a family in the process of splitting needs "order" to live on a temporary basis while the divorce is being settled. In most cases the Court will make orders on the following matters within three weeks of the filing of the divorce complaint:
- Legal custody
- Physical custody
- Child support
- Parenting time
- Living arrangements
- Continuation of health insurance
Following temporary orders the attorneys will work together to hopefully negotiate a fair settlement to allow the family to resume their lives. If a settlement is reached, and it is in the vast majority of cases, the terms are documented in a separation agreement (contract between the parties), which is then approved by the Court. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the Court will make the decisions for them after hearing all of the facts in a trial.
Contact A Cape Cod No-Fault Divorce Attorney
Once again it is important to realize that every divorce is different and it is best to consult an experienced divorce attorney to determine the best way to proceed.
If you have questions about the divorce process, filing a divorce complaint, child custody or support, or any other related legal matter, please contact a lawyer today. The first appointment at our Sandwich, Massachusetts, law firm is always complimentary.