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5 Myths of Massachusetts Family Law Debunked


While divorce is unfortunately a fairly common occurrence, many people make wrong decisions or are misled because of various myths surrounding family law issues.

At Davis Law Group, we are committed to providing transparent information to people seeking a divorce so that they can make well-considered and informed choices. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation if you are contemplating a divorce or dealing with other family law issues.

In this post, leading Massachusetts divorce attorney Jay Davis debunks five major myths related to family law.

Legal Separation Myth: “We’ve been legally separated for a long time.”

In Massachusetts, there is no concept of “legal separation.” You and your spouse may have been living apart for years, but that does not mean you are “legally separated.” However, you can file a Separate Support lawsuit in order to get support for you or your children. This lawsuit also keeps your spouse from putting any limits on your personal freedom under the state law. But remember that only a judgment of divorce will legally end the marriage, whereas with a judgment of separate support, the marriage does not end.

If you are considering a divorce or separation, or you are already separated, it is best to consult with family law attorney Jay Davis at Davis Law Group for the right legal advice. Give us a call at (617) 752-6216 or write to us online.

Child Custody Myth: “The divorce happened due to my ex’s fault, so I should get sole child custody.”

While Massachusetts recognizes several grounds for filing a fault divorce, it’s not necessary that the judge will decide child custody on that basis. The standard followed in a Massachusetts family court for determining custody matters is the “best interests of the child.” According to the law, the judge will base the decision on the child’s needs and welfare.

One parent will not have a greater right to child custody merely because the divorce occurred due to the other parent’s fault. But the court will take into account factors such as the child’s relation with each parent, whether one or both parents have a history of child neglect or abuse, drug addiction, and physical, mental, and moral fitness, among other things.

Child Support Myth: “The co-parent’s failure to pay child support means I can stop them from meeting the child.”

In Massachusetts, the court’s orders related to custody, parenting plan, and visitation cannot be disregarded merely because your ex-spouse is falling behind in child support payments. The law operates on the premise that “two wrongs do not make a right.”

Therefore, if your ex-spouse is delinquent with regard to child support payments, you should promptly consult with divorce attorney Jay Davis in Massachusetts for the appropriate legal course of action to enforce payments.

Spousal Support Myth: “Alimony will only be awarded to the female spouse.”

Many male spouses are under the misconception that the courts in Massachusetts will award spousal support only to their ex-wife. In reality, the law in the state does not discriminate on the basis of gender when it comes to requesting or receiving alimony in a divorce. All you need to show is that you have a legitimate need for financial support, and your ex-spouse is in a position to pay it.

The court will consider a number of factors while determining whether spouse support is required, and what should be the type, amount, and duration of such support. But whether the recipient of spousal support is a male or female is not a matter of consideration.

Property Division Myth: “The ownership of the property is in my name, so I will get to keep it in a divorce.”

In Massachusetts, just because you bought the house, car, jewelry, or another asset under your name after marriage does not mean that you will get 100% ownership of that property during a divorce. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court has the power to divide the marital property in a way that it finds to be fair and just. Of course, this may not be the case if you have a valid prenuptial agreement in place.

But any assets you purchased before marriage or received in inheritance after marriage (subject to conditions) may be treated as a separate property and you may get to keep it at the time of property division.

Choose Davis Law Group in Massachusetts to Protect Your Rights in a Divorce

“Knowledge is power,” is a time-tested adage that applies to many profound situations in life, including a divorce. The dedicated legal team at Davis Law Group in Massachusetts, led by top-rated family law attorney Jay Davis can empower you with the right knowledge and understanding of legal facts related to your divorce and other family law matters. We are happy to provide you with a free and confidential consultation. To request an appointment, call us at (617) 752-6216 or send us a message online.

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