When faced with the difficult choices in a family law matter, you can trust Attorney Walckner to help you make the right decisions for you and your family. He offers practical advice and seeks out creative solutions to the complicated issues that are often a part of the process. He will thoroughly review your personal situation, concerns, and hopes for the future and develop a sound strategy to help you achieve your goals.
Family law matters are often difficult and emotional. Attorney Walckner strives to reduce stress and resolve issues efficiently without unnecessary costs. In developing a solution, he provides clients with options and an accurate understanding of domestic relations so you can make the best possible choices for your family.
When you are considering divorce, it is normal to have a lot of questions. You need an attorney that will provide answers. Attorney Walckner will make sure you understand the law and your options so you make informed decisions.
Attorney Walckner can assist with all stages of your divorce – from negotiation and initial court filings to settlement and trials, including:
Alimony/Temp Spousal Support
Alimony is a court order requiring payment of money from one spouse to another in cases where the recipient spouse needs support. During the pendency of a divorce, the equivalent of alimony may be awarded on a temporary basis; this is referred to as “temporary spousal support.”
The Alimony Reform Act (the “Act”) of 2012 alimony rules in several ways.
The Act delineated different types of alimony: (a) General Term, (b) Rehabilitative, (c) Reimbursement, and (d) Transitional.
When the amount and duration of alimony must be conducted.
What mandatory factors the court must consider in an award of alimony.
The award of alimony may have long-standing financial implications. Knowing whether your case triggers alimony laws and what type of alimony to seek requires a firm understanding of the applicable statutes, tax considerations, and your goals.
Determining Child Custody
Child custody is your right and responsibility as a parent to care for your child. It is usually discussed in conjunction with visitation or parenting time. However, visitation is a separate issue that addresses when you will spend time with your child.
Most of the time, child custody is determined by agreement of the parents. However, when the parents cannot agree, the court will make a decision based on the “best interest of the child” standard. Best interests of the child is not a determination of who is the better parent. Instead, it is an assessment of what parenting arrangement will provide the best environment for the child.
The court looks at many factors to decide what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. The primary focus is the health, safety, and well-being of the child. There is no exact definition for best interest of the child. The court has the discretion to consider all relevant information related to the ability of each parent to care for your child. You need a knowledgeable child custody lawyer to advocate on your behalf and present information to the court about what is in the best interest of your child.
Types of Child Custody in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, there are two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Both types can either be shared by the parents or one parent can have sole custody.
Physical custody refers to where the child lives and which parent has the authority to make day-to-day decisions concerning the child. Sole physical custody is typically granted when the child primarily lives with one parent. The other parent may be granted reasonable visitation. Shared physical custody is granted when the child splits his or her time equally between both parents’ homes.
Legal custody refers to the authority to make major decisions concerning the child. Some of these decisions include educational matters, medical care, and religious development. Joint legal custody is the preferred arrangement, and typically, special circumstances must be present before the court will grant sole legal custody.
Absent a substantial change in circumstances that warrants modification of child custody, your child custody arrangement will remain in effect for years. Having a child custody lawyer advocate on behalf of you and your child is often necessary to achieve an appropriate child custody arrangement.
Massachusetts has a developed scheme for determining child support. The amount of child support is based on a mathematical formula, called the Child Support Guidelines, which compares the financial position of the parents.
However, determining an appropriate amount of child support is not a matter of simply of entering numbers into the formula. There are discretionary issues the court may consider and unique situations that may warrant deviation from the Child Support Guidelines.
Child support orders typically remain in effect for years. It is important to fight for a fair amount of child support. Attorney Walckner will work with you to achieve an appropriate and sustainable amount of child support.
Comprehensive Child Support Services
Attorney Walckner works to protect your rights during all stages of your child support case. He can assist you in establishing your initial child support order as well as post-judgment actions, including:
Increasing Child Support
As your child grows, his or her needs may change and the expenses associated with raising your child may increase. Or over time, the other parent may change jobs or earn increased pay. If you believe you should be receiving more child support, the Attorney Walckner can assist you with your Complaint for Modification.
Lowering Child Support
If you are having difficulty making your child support payments, it is important that you contact Attorney Walckner. You may be able to decrease your child support payments before you fall behind. However, it is not just unemployment and salary reductions that may justify a decrease in child support. If you believe you should be paying less child support, contact Attorney Walckner for a modification evaluation.
Enforcement of Child Support Orders
If the other parent is not complying with the child support order, Attorney Walckner can assist you with your Complaint for Contempt to protect the financial rights of your children. Examples of noncompliance including failing to pay on time, failing to pay in full, or not making payments at all. Age 18 and Through College
Massachusetts has a tiered system under which child support may end at difference ages depending on your child’s circumstances. If you have a child who will be graduating from high school soon, contact Attorney Walckner for an evaluation regarding continued child support.
Walckner Law Office
Attorney James Walckner
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