Family Law & Probate Attorneys
in Fall River, Massachusetts
Whether you’re entering into or dissolving a marriage, we know it’s a challenging and stressful time in your life. We understand your situation, and having a thoughtful and knowledgeable family law attorney on your side will help you rest easier. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have a reputation for protecting a wealthy partner’s assets, but there are a few reasons couples of all economic backgrounds may want one.
Pre- and postnuptial agreements are simply contracts drawn up, respectively, before or after a marriage to specify each person’s property rights should the marriage end. You may have children from a prior marriage and own property you want to pass down. If no children are involved, the agreement can clarify each person’s financial roles and responsibilities during marriage. Another purpose these contracts serve is to avoid arguments during a divorce and protect yourself from your partner’s debts.
When no prenuptial or postnuptial contract exists, the state will swoop in and determine ownership. If you don’t agree with the current Massachusetts marital property, divorce, or probate laws, we will help you draft an agreement you and your spouse are comfortable signing.
Getting divorced is emotionally draining, and worrying about the legal process adds additional stress. We will guide you through each step of the process by first determining what kind of divorce you’re getting.
In Massachusetts, you can file for 1A divorce, an uncontested divorce. These divorces require a written divorce settlement agreement between you and your spouse. It will detail the asset division, alimony, child support, and child custody, if applicable.
A 1B divorce is a contested divorce that involves lengthy and costly legal procedures. No matter which type of divorce you are filing, our law firm is ready to handle the paperwork and advise you of the next steps.
Alimony or spousal support is not always awarded in Massachusetts. Under state law, judges have a list of factors to consider before granting alimony to a spouse. The laws are quite intricate, and you need an attorney with an extensive understanding to help you secure the best financial outcome.
The same is true when it comes to dividing property. How do you know what is marital property and which assets are separate? What is the monetary value of each asset? We can answer these questions for you as we devise a strategy to resolve the matter.
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Child custody and child support can be a source of contention during a divorce. In cases where the parents can’t come to an amicable agreement regarding custody and visitation, the court makes the decision. Each parent’s relationship with the child is examined to determine the best situation based on their needs.
Both parents are responsible for providing financial support for their children. There are guidelines for Massachusetts courts to follow when calculating a child support award. However, judges can adjust if the child has special needs or extraordinary expenses. It’s important to know that there are rules to address deadbeat parents who voluntarily become unemployed or underemployed specifically. If you find yourself with a soon-to-be former spouse or ex-spouse trying to avoid paying the proper amount, we can help correct the situation.
Taking care of wills, trusts, and estate planning after the death of a loved one is another high-stress period. Probate is another area we are well-equipped to handle. We will gather the paperwork needed to prove the will’s validity, confirm the executor or administrator of the estate, and all of the other legal procedures that must take place before the remaining property is distributed according to the decedent’s wishes.
In Massachusetts, not all of the decedent’s property is part of the probate process. Jointly owned property, payouts from insurance policies or retirement accounts that name a beneficiary, or property held in trust by the decedent is given to the appropriate party.
When there is a will, the person named as executor has legal priority and handles the property transfers. If there was no will, the surviving spouse has legal priority. But, if there’s no spouse, the priority goes to the decedent’s heirs.
If you live in Fall River, Massachusetts, or the nearby areas of Bristol County, Plymouth County, New Bedford, Taunton, or Wareham, we are ready to serve your family law and probate needs.
We here at Coastal Legal Affiliates, P.C. are trustworthy and knowledgeable attorneys who fully understand the sensitive nature of your situation. We will handle your matters with discretion and honesty, always keeping you informed of the details of your case. Call us today if you’re in Fall River, Bristol or Plymouth County, New Bedford, Taunton, or Wareham, Massachusetts.