Domestic Violence Laws in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, domestic violence laws include physical harm or the intent to physically harm, the infliction of fear of physical harm, and involuntary sexual relationship against a family or other household member. This crime is especially serious if the victim was violated by the suspect while a protective order was in place.

Definition of a household member:

  • people who are or have once been married
  • individuals that have children together
  • individuals that are related through marriage or by blood
  • individuals who live together are have lived together, such as roommates

Assault can range from actual physical harm or the intent to commit physical harm against another individual. This means that even a serious threat to commit physical harm can be considered assault. Simple assault is in itself a crime, but in Massachusetts, assault against a family or household member is considered a much more serious offense.

In addition, stalking can be considered domestic violence if it is proven that the suspect intended to cause bodily harm or inflict fear to a household member. Repeatedly calling, emailing, or attempting to contact an individual after it was made clear they want contact severed can be considered stalking. Stalking can turn to domestic violence if the victim has experienced severe emotional distress due to threats or the repeated attempts to make contact. [Read more...]

September 8, 2013 – “Talking About The Law” Radio Show

Attorney David Rubin hosts the radio show “Talking About The Law” and discusses what the Divorce Center does to provide professionals in financial planning, accounting, psychology and law to spouses going through a divorce or planning on doing so. Listen to David’s radio segment.

Excellent Legal Services

David provided me with excellent legal services throughout my case. He was available for me when I needed and when he was occupied he returned my calls or e-mails as soon as possible. I see David has possessing all the attributes of a good attorney such as experience, integrity, and implementing great strategic planning.

Susan F. – Marlborough, MA

The New MA. Child Support Guidelines – A Public Education Seminar

Sponsored by: The Divorce Center
The Divorce Center is an organization comprised of professionals (i.e. attorneys, mediators, social workers, financial planners etc.) who provide support and knowledge for those going through separation or divorce.

When: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Weston Public Library
Community Room
87 School Street
Weston, MA

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New Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines – August 1, 2013

The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines have been revised and went into effect on August 1, 2013.
You may read the official document:  Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines.
Here are some of the highlights:
1.    If you have two or more children, there will be a slight upward adjustment in the amount of child support paid.  The adjustment will remain the same for one child.
2.    Income will be attributed to a spouse if the court determines that the spouse could be employed, or is underemployed and could be earning more.
3.    Modification of a child support order will occur when there is a deviation between the child support order and what the level of child support should be under the new Child Support Guidelines.

Parenting your children through divorce

The bottom line is, kids feel healthiest when their parents get along and divorce does not make things easier. There are several things you can do as parents to help manage parenting through your divorce.

Breaking the News

Depending on age, discuss the process openly in your family.  If possible, include both parents in the discussion.  Emphasize that while the family is changing, it is not ending.  Divorce means that a marriage is over, it does not mean that a parent’s relationship to his or her child is over.  Your children should feel secure that both their parents love them and neither parent will leave their lives.  Make sure they understand that the divorce is not their fault, that there is nothing that they can or should do to change things.  Remember to answer their questions with as much care and honesty as possible.  They will probably have quite a few questions, and answering them, repeatedly if necessary, will help them regain the sense of security that they’ve lost.   [Read more...]

Massachusetts Alimony Law and how it could affect You

The Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act was signed into law in 2011 and became effective a little over a year ago. This law brought about sweeping new changes in the way alimony is awarded in the state, and many orders issued prior to its enactment could be modified as a result.

One of the biggest changes brought about by this act was the length of time a spouse may receive alimony. In the past, alimony was sometimes awarded for an indefinite period even when marriages lasted less than 20 years. The current law requires couples to have been legally married for at least 20 years before alimony will be awarded indefinitely. Those who were married less than that amount of time may receive spousal support for a period of time ranging from 50% to 80% of the number of months married depending on the length of the union.

Alimony may be suspended under certain conditions including if the recipient later remarries. If he or she cohabitates with another for a period of time that exceeds three months, a judge may also order alimony be suspended. In most instances, payments will automatically cease when the spouse who is ordered to pay reaches full retirement age. [Read more...]

Options Available When Getting Divorced

Last night The Divorce Center and the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council presented a joint program, entitled, Options Available When Getting Divorced, at the Watertown Public Library in Watertown, Massachusetts. Attorneys David Rubin, Miriam Kosowsky, Linda Sternberg, and Linda Cohan, a collaboratively-trained coach, explained the options that are available to individuals when they are getting divorced.

Attorney Rubin, a trial lawyer in Framingham, said that the best approach depends upon the facts of each case. In situations where there is physical or emotional abuse, litigation is probably the best course of action. The filing of a 209A restraining order, for instance, may result in the issuance of a Stay Away Order to the spouse who is abusing the other spouse or children and an Order to Vacate the Marital Home. The purpose of this is to protect the victim from irreparable harm if the abuse is not addressed immediately. Once the situation at home is stabilized, the parties can come to court again to obtain Temporary Orders to address other issues, such as Child Support, Parenting Plans, Health Insurance and other matters. [Read more...]

Getting Divorced: You Have Options!

Join The Divorce Center and Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council for this Free presentation “Getting Divorced: You Have Options!”

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM (EST)

Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main St
Watertown, MA 02472

Are you or a family member or friend thinking about getting divorced?  Are you a professional who comes in…

Register here: Event is free

The Divorce Center and Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council Present a Joint Program on the Options Available When Getting Divorced

Mediators, Divorce Attorneys and a Collaborative Coach Will Discuss the Options of Divorcing Through Either the Courts, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce

Newton, Mass. – November 13, 2012 – The Divorce Center, a non-profit organization of professionals from multiple disciplines providing support and education for people going through separation or divorce, is joining with the MetroWest Practice Group of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council to offer a seminar entitled “Getting Divorced: You Have Options!” The seminar will take place December 5, 2012 from 7:00 to 8:45 p.m. at the Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main Street, Watertown, MA.

A panel including a mediator, trial attorney, collaborative law attorney and a collaborative coach will discuss the different options available to divorcing couples. The presenters will explain the advantages and disadvantages of divorcing through the court process, through mediation or through collaborative divorce.

The presenters include:
•    Miriam Kosowsky, J.D., an attorney-mediator with Diane Neumann & Associates in Watertown;
•    David L. Rubin, Esq., a divorce and family law attorney with a practice in Framingham;
•    Linda Cohan, a collaboratively-trained coach with an executive coaching business in Boston;
•    Linda Sternberg, Esq., a collaborative attorney with a 30-year family law practice in Boston.

This seminar is offered free of charge.  For more information on “Getting Divorced: You Have Options!” and to register for the seminar, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4787959917#.

[Read more...]