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If the cause of the divorce occurred outside of Massachusetts, the plaintiff must reside in Massachusetts for at least one year prior to the filing of the action. If the cause of the divorce occurred within Massachusetts, at least one of the parties must be a Massachusetts resident. Where the cause of action occurred and […]

Massachusetts is not an automatic 50/50 state. The court looks at a variety of different factors; in terms of deciding how the property assets and liabilities are divided. It is called an Equitable Distribution State or Equitable Division State where there are different factors based on the length of the marriage; health of the parties; […]

The DCF 51A/51B Investigation is supposed to be completed within 15 working days after the intake. However, in reality that does not always occur.  DCF has to make a determination whether the allegations are supported or unsupported or a substantiated concern.  If it is supported that means that there is a reasonable cause to believe […]

What ends up happening is there is going to be a DCF worker assigned to look into the 51A report and they are supposed to provide a Notice of Response letter that will state the child’s name, the allegations, the parent or caregiver associated with the allegation and signed by the DCF worker appointed to […]

The DCF screener based on the allegation will either screened in or screened out the allegation after consulting with an intake supervisor.  If the case is screened out, this means that DCF is not doing an investigation and there is a good chance that a parent or a client does not know about intake. If […]

Massachusetts law requires mandated reporters to immediately make an oral report to DCF when, in their professional capacity, they have reasonable cause to believe that a child under the age of 18 is suffering from abuse or neglect. Mandated reporters must also submit a written report to DCF within 48 hours. Examples of mandated reporters can […]

There is still a lot of different issues going on between states at the time of writing this blog.  I have a case where Massachusetts closes the cases out because the mother moved to Rhode Island and then the Rhode Island DCF closed the case out because the father got custody in Massachusetts.  It is […]

The “MA DCF Assessment” is a process by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (MA DCF). It is when the Department evaluates a family to see if they should be connected to services based on the family’s problems. DCF should start assessments only for families who they believe to need their help. DCF will not begin an […]

That is strongly advised against doing so. You can not unilaterally stop paying child support without either the court approving it or without an agreement between the parents.  It is filed with the court and incorporated into a judgment.

If a court finds by the weight of evidence, that applying the Child Support Guidelines would either not meet the needs of the child or it would be inappropriate or unjust to apply the Child Support Guidelines the court will order deviation. It is though one that has to be written finding why the court […]