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Category Archives: Court Decisions

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Every Child Deserves Representation in a Contested Adoption

Posted in Court Decisions, Parenting, Children & Divorce

In my previous post on Adopting a Stepchild, I explained the steps to go through for an uncontested adoption. Many adoptions are very simple and straightforward. However, in situations where there are disagreements about what is best for a child or a parent’s rights are being terminated, the courts must become further involved. The news… Continue Reading

A Closer Look at the Supreme Court’s Same Sex Marriage Ruling

Posted in Court Decisions, Gay Marriage and Divorce

With the announcement of last week’s Supreme Court decision, proponents of same sex marriage rejoiced and Facebook became much more colorful. After a weekend of celebrating the new-found rights of my gay and lesbian friends, neighbors and colleagues, I sat down today to read all 103 pages of the majority decision and dissenting opinions, including… Continue Reading

SJC Decision Regarding Parent Coordinators: What You Need to Know

Posted in Court Decisions, Parenting, Children & Divorce

I was in my office last week when I heard shrieks of joy coming from down the hall. (We really should have a bell or something we ring for a big win – this yelling is so unprofessional.) My colleagues Sue Stenger, Francine Gardikas, Laura Studen, Robin Lynch Nardone and Andrea Dunbar had just gotten the SJC decision on the… Continue Reading

The International Divorce and Hague Convention Maze

Posted in Alimony and Child Custody, Court Decisions, International Divorce and Parenting, Parenting, Children & Divorce

Hi there, One of the most horrifying things to happen in a divorce is to have the other parent take your child, go to another country and refuse to return. The Hague Convention is the international law that governs this type of kidnapping. Not all countries are signatories to the Hague Convention. There are also vast differences… Continue Reading

First SJC Clarification of the New Alimony Reform Act

Posted in Alimony and Child Custody, Court Decisions

Hi there, With the coming of spring comes a fresh interpretation of some relatively new legislation that has been closely watched by attorneys around Massachusetts. Any new law will require interpretation by the courts, going up through the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), before lawyers are sure of how the ambiguities in any new law will… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Declares DOMA Unconstitutional: What You Need to Know

Posted in Court Decisions, Gay Marriage and Divorce

Hi there, What an exciting week!  I’m pleased to share the following alert regarding DOMA that my colleagues Lisa Cukier, Christine Fletcher and Peter Zupcofska put together today for clients and friends of our firm.  As we celebrate the fall of DOMA there are still lots of legal issues facing gay and lesbian couples in… Continue Reading

DOMA is Gone!

Posted in Court Decisions, Gay Marriage and Divorce

Today the Supreme Court of the Unites States struck down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  The ruling will make a huge difference for gay couples in states where same-sex is legal, but all states will still retain their right to regulate marriage laws. My colleagues and I are monitoring the coverage of today’s… Continue Reading

Applying for Social Security Survivor’s Benefits During the DOMA Appeal

Posted in Court Decisions, Finances and Divorce, Gay Marriage and Divorce

Hi there, The Supreme Court announces today whether or not they are going to take up a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in a case arising out of Social Security benefits. As promised, here is a different point of view to last week’s post.  This one is authored by my partner Lisa Cukier, one… Continue Reading

Involuntary Abortion

Posted in Court Decisions

Hi there, A really shocking guardianship case was overturned by the Appeals Court last week.  This kind of sad family problem can come up in divorce cases more frequently than in the general population  because parents with disabled children are statistically more likely to divorce.  My very able colleagues, Lisa Cukier and Tiffany Howard, kindly agreed… Continue Reading

Divorce Valuation Rules Reaffirmed

Posted in Court Decisions

Hi there, Today the Massachusetts Appeals Court (the second highest court in the state) overturned a divorce judgment in the Caveney case dealing with valuation of interests in closely held businesses.  In the process they clarified the standard to be used for divorce purposes in valuations. Before the Bernier case in 2007, valuations of closely… Continue Reading