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November 2014 Archives

Adoption fraud in Massachusetts

Adoption gives many Massachusetts residents the opportunity to raise and care for children as if they were their own, but the emotional nature of the adoption process provides fertile ground for those seeking to profit through deception and fraud. Adoption fraud or wrongful adoption occurs when individuals or adoption agencies profit financially through illegal acts or misrepresentation during the adoption process.

Massachusetts child support guidelines

Rather than a set percentage, the amount of child support paid by a non-custodial parent in Massachusetts is determined on a case-by-case basis. Courts use a set of guidelines in determining this amount, many of which relate to the income of each parent. The purpose of the guidelines is to provide for the best interests of the child while recognizing the parents' financial situations as well as monetary and non-monetary contributions to the child's welfare.

How is paternity established in Massachusetts?

In the state of Massachusetts, establishing paternity is an important process when a child is born out of wedlock. Paternity must be officially established and recorded before a court can decide on issues like child support payments, custody and visitation. Fortunately, there is a well-defined process in the state for establishing paternity. The child's parents simply need to file the appropriate paperwork with either the clerk in the city where the child was born or the registrar of vital records.

The types of child custody orders in Massachusetts

As is the case in other states, there are two types of child custody arrangements that a Massachusetts court could order when parents end their marriage. The types are legal and physical custody, and such arrangements might be ordered as part of a divorce settlement that is accepted by the court or through a litigated divorce.

When can alimony be terminated?

Massachusetts residents who are going through divorce may wish to learn more about how rehabilitative alimony works. The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to allow an individual some time to go to school or re-establish a career. It most cases, a spouse will receive rehabilitative alimony for five years or less. However, alimony payments may be terminated early in certain circumstances.

What is the process of becoming an adoptive parent?

Massachusetts residents interested in becoming adoptive parents need to follow certain steps that are designed to ensure that their home is a safe placement for the child. Adoptive parents must be at least 18 years of age before they can begin the adoption process.

Who is allowed to adopt in Massachusetts?

There are various reasons for deciding to adopt a child, and eligibility of prospective parents is an important issue as the process is considered. Massachusetts does not allow private adoptions, and thus the process will be overseen by the Probate and Family Court. In order to proceed with an adoption, prospective parents must meet certain requirements.

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