Getting You Through Your Divorce
As you go through the divorce process, your questions will change. At first, you may be more concerned with immediate issues: Who gets to stay at the house until the divorce is finalized? Where will the kids live for now?
As we move forward, your questions may shift focus to the future: How will you make ends meet for you and your child? Will you get a fair property settlement considering how much you put into your house?
At the Law Office of Maryjo A. Hart, we take pride in being there to answer all of your questions throughout your divorce case. You will know where you stand and you will know where you're going. We'll get you there.
Divorce is More Than Just Divorce
Divorce actually encompasses a variety of connected issues that all need to be resolved:
- Child Custody and Visitations
- Child Support and Alimony
- Property division
We can handle all of these issues gracefully, while pursuing an outcome that meets your needs.
Uncontested Divorce and Contested Divorce
Most people would prefer an uncontested divorce. They would prefer to have their case resolved without the cost, time and stress of fighting the matter out in court. For most, an uncontested divorce is not realistic due to the conflicts at the heart of the dispute.
While we will pursue uncontested divorce, and can provide mediation or arbitration services as alternative dispute resolution options, we have the experience to handle even the most challenging contested divorce cases.
Child Custody & Visitation
Divorce and Your Children
One concern front and center in divorce cases is how it will impact the lives of the children involved.
You want to do what is best for your children. So do the courts. In fact, that's the goal of everyone involved. Unfortunately, everyone has a slightly different idea of what exactly is best for your children.
When you choose the Law Office of Maryjo A. Hart in Northborough, Massachusetts, I will take the time to learn about you and your children. We will discuss what you believe is best for your child, we will offer honest guidance and we will take the steps necessary to get positive child custody and visitation arrangements.
Types of Child Custody
There are two types of child custody, and each pertains to a different aspect of a child's life:
Physical custody: This is the type of custody that addresses where the child will reside. Physical custody may be split between parents.
Legal custody: This is the type of custody that addresses the decisions that need to be made for the child. It outlines who has the right to make decisions about medical care, schooling and other important aspects of the child's life.
Joint Child Custody and Sole Child Custody
Both types of custody can be divided in a variety of different ways. The courts tend to favor joint custody, also known as shared custody. This means duties are split between both parents.
Shared physical custody and shared legal custody does not mean that duties are split equally, but that both parents have some level of involvement.
Sole custody is something the courts prefer not to order unless necessary. This means that all of the duties are placed in the hands of one parent. The other parent may still have visitation rights, but other rights are minimal.
We are ready to help you determine what custody arrangements make the most sense for you.
Child Support & Alimony
Divorce and Financial Support
During a marriage, finances become intertwined. One of the most challenging aspects of the divorce process is not only untangling finances, but seeing that you and your child come out of it with what you need to move forward.
At the Law Office of Maryjo A. Hart, we understand how to provide you with strong guidance about child support and alimony.
Determining Child Support
In most cases, child support is actually one of the simplest aspects of a divorce. There are clear guidelines that are used to determine the amount of child support, based on factors such as the income of each parent. In some cases, deviation from these guidelines is necessary, but this is rare.
One other factor that is taken into consideration when determining child support is child custody arrangements. While legal custody plays a role, a judge will consider how the parents have divided physical custody. For example, a parent with sole physical custody of the child is likely to receive higher support payments than a parent who shares joint physical custody with the other parent.
Alimony, which is often referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support, is much more complex than child support. There are no simple guidelines that can be followed.
Alimony is based partly on income, partly on the length of marriage, partly on standard of living and other factors. Our attorneys have the understanding of the law to handle this challenging aspect of a divorce in a confident and correct manner.
Call us for an initial consult.