Divorced, But Still Living Together?
For most couples, divorce is emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially draining. All you want is to get away from your soon-to-be-ex-spouse…However, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way and that’s where a judge and the legal system come in. In this age of Internet rumors and urban legends, it’s hard to believe that some of…Read More
Indian High Court Grants Divorce in Unconsummated Marriage
In India, divorce law holds that couples seeking a divorce must spend a minimum of one year living separately before a divorce can be granted, but a recent case has highlighted a particularly interesting exception to this rule. Although they had not been living apart for one year, Indian couple Deepak and Aswathy challenged the…Read More
Case Law Updates from Family Mediation Quarterly, April 2014
Temporary Alimony Doesn’t Count. In the most significant case concerning the Alimony Reform Act, the SJC determined that the period during which temporary alimony is paid during the pendency of a divorce proceeding pursuant to G.L. c. 208 s. 17 is not included in the calculation of the maximum presumptive duration of general term alimony. …Read More
Appeals Court Overturns Joint Legal Custody Award
It’s not often that the Appeals Court overturns a Probate Court judgment of joint legal custody, which is why this case caught my attention. The Probate judge acknowledged that there was great conflict between the parties but found they “were not totally incapable of maintaining a cooperative relationship.” The conflict, according to the judge, was…Read More
Fleshing Out Best Interest Standard
A recent SJC opinion made headlines by finding that a California registered domestic partnership was equivalent to a marriage, and that the biological mother and her “partner” were both parents to the child born during their partnership through in vitro fertilization. The case, too, contains an excellent review of the standards of primary physical custody…Read More
Is Income Equalization Dead?
The Probate Court equalized the incomes of two parents with a child support order. On the father’s appeal, the Appeals Court affirmed. On further appellate review, the SJC vacated the support award, holding that “income equalization is inconsistent with principles that inform child support orders in the Commonwealth.” Such orders, said the SJC, should not…Read More
The Bott Case: Mediation, Public Perception, and the Unauthorized Practice of Law
This quarter, rather than a case review, I want to focus on the recent Supreme Judicial Court opinion, Matter of Bott, 462 Mass. 430 (2012) which has attracted wide attention in the local mediation community. Because of its potential ramifications, many of us have been anticipating this case with great interest and even a certain…Read More