New Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines (2021): Big Changes, Little Changes, Typos & some Unexpected Results
Skylark Law
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1y ago
Every four years, per federal mandate, the Massachusetts Probate & Family Court revisits the Child Support Guidelines through the work of a Task Force appointed by the Chief Justice.  The 2021 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines were recently posted.  They take effect on October 4, 2021.   For a full comparison of all the tracked changes between the 2018 and 2021 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines you can download a pdf showing the changes here. The 2021 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines Worksheet While the court has not yet provided a worksheet that ..read more
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Imagine there's no Court, It isn't Hard to do
Skylark Law
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1y ago
In the last year there have been times due to the COVID-19 pandemic when the court was closed or significantly delayed.  Even now, more than a year after the lockdowns started, we are experiencing long delays in obtaining court dates.   @thatmediator Imagine there’s no weapons, how would we find peace? ##mediation ##mediatorsoftiktok ♬ Imagine (Originally Performed by John Lennon) - Piano Karaoke Version - Sing2Piano Fortunately, we have an answer for what to do if there is no court. You're not simply on your own, and in fact there are lots of ways to resolve conflict outside of ..read more
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The Most Important Thing when Dividing Retirement in Divorce (& 4 Traps if You're not Informed)
Skylark Law
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1y ago
In many divorce cases retirement accounts are the biggest, or at least one of the biggest, assets.  Because of that, it is imperative to understand the options for transferring and dividing retirement assets in a way that maximizes the benefits and minimizes taxes.  Informed Consent is the Most Important Thing when Dividing Retirement in Divorce You don't want to make significant financial decisions about your future without understanding the financial consequences.  Retirement accounts are complicated, vary greatly in their requirements & plan details, and can result in s ..read more
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Should I Tell my Spouse in a Divorce that I'm Working with a Lawyer?
Skylark Law
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2y ago
Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash Divorce is complicated and one of the challenges is the push and pull between transparency and protecting oneself.  Individuals in a divorce often want to hide information that they are worried will concern their soon-to-be ex-spouse or in some way potentially disadvantage them in court or in a settlement process.  The choice of whether to be transparent about any choice, including the choice to hire a lawyer, has to be weighed against the pros and cons of that decision. As a mediator, I favor erring on the side of transparency.  If ..read more
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Are divorce lawyers doing harm?
Skylark Law
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2y ago
While the Hippocratic Oath is no longer required for doctors, we often hear the principle attributed to that ancient Greek oath for healers to "first, do no harm."  The translation is actually closer to "I will do no harm or injustice to them," but the sentiment is clear.  When trying to help someone, your first obligation is to not make things worse.   Today, I attended the third in a series of public forums held by the Child Support Guidelines Task Force giving people the opportunity to comment on what should change in the 2018 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines.&nbs ..read more
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Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines News - Part 2
Skylark Law
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2y ago
Since we first posted about the upcoming update to the 2020-2021 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines Task force there have been a few additional updates: On December 15, 2020, the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation submitted comments from members on potential child support guidelines updates. While the comment period for submitting written comments closed on December 15, 2020, there are upcoming public forums and we're sharing the full notice with you below: NOTICE OF PUBLIC FORUMS CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES TASK FORCE SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT Overview: Federal law and regulations re ..read more
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Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines News
Skylark Law
by
2y ago
Every four years, per federal requirements, the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines must be reviewed.  To that end, the Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey has announced the formation of the 2020-2021 Massachusetts Trial Court Child Support Guidelines Task Force. The Task Force is seeking public comment regarding the current Child Support Guidelines.  Written comments may be submitted to the Task Force at: childsupport@jud.state.ma.us by December 15, 2020. While we're awaiting the new guidelines, the court has finally updated their existing interactive worksheet to be more a ..read more
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Justice App - a Resource worth Downloading
Skylark Law
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2y ago
Skylark's online Massachsuetts Child Support Calculator  was recently added as a resource on JusticeApp - a free downloadable resource from co-founders Damian Turco and Melina Munoz Turco.  This is the future of how clients will find reliable information, professionals and resources and we're pleased to be included. A Message from the Co-Founders: JusticeApp is a free mobile app designed to help people with legal problems manage their cases through the court system. The app doesn’t aim to create solutions for every legal problem.  Rather, it aggregates credible resources ..read more
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Collaborative in a time of COVID
Skylark Law
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2y ago
by Beth Aarons When a former family law colleague of mine told me about Collaborative Law Process sometime around 2008, conceptually it sounded much like a series of traditional four-way meetings, but with a therapist present.  As a fledgling dispute resolution process, I saw no harm in adding this skill set to my professional tool kit to bolster the transition of my practice out of litigation and into dispute resolution. It was not until several years after I had taken the Introduction to Collaborative Law training that I experienced the actual magic of Collaborative Law Process.  ..read more
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2020 U.S. Presidential Platforms - What do they say about Families?
Skylark Law
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2y ago
In 2016 we shared what each presidential platform stated about families and given the upcoming election we want to update our post with the latest information.  There are significant differences between the presidential candidates, and their platforms explain some of the vehemence with which many defend or attack the 2020 candidates.  Since this blog focuses primarily on the impact of the law on families and family conflict, we will concentrate on only one portion of the presidential platforms: How does each 2020 U.S. Presidential Platform address families in America? While in 2016 w ..read more
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