Massachusetts Divorce Lawyers
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It is important to hire a divorce lawyer who can best understand your divorce case. Before you choose the divorce attorney to represent you during the divorce trials, you should have several professional meetings with the attorney to discuss all the issues related to your divorce case. It is important to let the attorney know about your concerns related to divorce. The Massachusetts divorce lawyers would have a great understanding about divorce related laws, but it important for them to clearly understand their client's case and the major concerns of their clients.
Role of Massachusetts divorce lawyer during the divorce proceedings
- Invest some time to find a good lawyer whom you can trust
- With the help of the lawyer, explore options like reaching a settlement through a mediator or temporary separation
- If these issue cannot be solved by the couple, then the divorce goes to court
- The spouse who files a request for divorce in the court is called as the plaintiff. A copy of papers is submitted, generally in person, to the other spouse, who is called as the defendant
- Within 20 days time, the defendant must reply in writing
- After the response is received by the court, the pretrial period of the case begins and this may extend for months
- During the pretrial period, if the two parties reach a mutual settlement, then the case does not go to trial
- During the discovery or pretrial period, both parties collect all relevant facts and documents and prepare the arguments. Each party has a right to review other spouse's information
- Discovery consists of requests for documents like economical records, deposition or oral questioning outside the courtroom, and interrogatories or questions which the opposite side has to compulsorily answer in writing
- The lawyers present some motions or requests to the judge, which may or may not be granted
- A GAL (Guardian Ad Litem) may be appointed by the court and his duty is to determine the best results for the children. He may interview the children and parents and then issue a recommendation pertaining to visitation and child custody
- Usually, a plethora of cases are settled outside the court. If this does not happen, a trial has to be placed before the judge. Every party has to present proof to support their case as well as testimony by witness. The judge studies the case and several days later, issues a decision
Essential preparation steps before meeting the Massachusetts divorce lawyer
- In this state, the couple has many options like litigation, collaborative law, and mediation. It is essential that the couple exposes themselves to these options
- When a spouse approaches a lawyer, the lawyer asks regarding the marriage and the circumstances which led to divorce. So, it is essential to start writing about these facts and sorting them out so that they can be explained distinctly
- Gather financial documents like auto payments, mortgages, credit card statements, salary stubs, tax returns, bank statements etc.
- Gather legal documents like children's birth certificates, passports, immigration records, marriage certificate etc.
- The above mentioned documents must be secured in a safety deposit box or kept at your workplace or at the home of a trusted friend or relative
- Freeze or close the existing joint accounts, credit cards, and credit lines. It is vital to ensure that you would not be responsible for new debts or charges incurred by your partner
- Avoid signing any papers without consulting a lawyer
Grounds of divorce handled by Massachusetts divorce lawyers
- Irretrievable breakdown of marriage: In the no-fault divorce, the marriage is broken because of irreconcilable differences between the couple, but neither of the spouses wants to blame each other
The acceptable fault grounds in Massachusetts are as follows
- Cruelty or abuse
- Abandonment for at least a year
- Drug abuse or alcohol addiction
- Inability to support the basic needs of the spouse and children
The Massachusetts divorce lawyers are expected to keep themselves updated about new rules and regulation made related to divorce. Even though the divorce attorney would have solved several divorce cases successfully. But it is important for them to pay attention to every client's case and provided them required correct guidance as per the complexity of the client's divorce case. It is essential for the lawyer and the client to discuss the case at every stage of the divorce proceedings.