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Pets are becoming major issue in divorce cases

Property division, financial support and child custody are all common issues that arise during Massachusetts divorce proceedings. However, pet custody and visitation is quickly becoming a frequent issue as well. According to The Humane Society of the United States, there are more than 179 million dogs and cats living in American homes as pets. Many pet owners have formed strong bonds with these pets and view them as another member of the family. That can cause intense disputes during divorce.

Changing a child's last name after a divorce

After going through a divorce in Massachusetts, a mother may wish to have her child's last name changed to her maiden name. As long as the child's father is still fulfilling his parental duties, many courts will not allow a child's last name to be changed after a divorce. However, there are some circumstances where a court will fulfill the mother's request for her child's last name to be changed.

How a divorce in Massachusetts could affect your taxes

Going through a divorce means that you have to make some decisions about alimony, the division of your marital assets and other related issues. In some cases the two of you will be able to agree on these matters, but if not, the court will make those determinations. One thing that you might not consider is how these decisions may affect your taxes. There are consequences for each financial transaction that you make, so it is essential to understand how your taxes could be affected.

What child support can be used for

Parents who are receiving child support in Massachusetts are obligated to use the funds they receive to pay for their child's expenses. Although the court normally does not ask custodial parents to prove how they are using the money, the parent would be required to do so if the child's basic needs were not being met.

Division of the marital home in divorce

Some Massachusetts residents who jointly own marital property may wonder what will happen if one spouse leaves and decides to buy another property. There may be problems associated with lenders who still view the property as jointly owned, even though the divorce decree gives it to the other spouse.

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.

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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