Trying Divorce Cases in Massachusetts

Handle your next divorce case with confidence

  • Product Number: 2070219B00
  • Publication Date: 7/7/2023
  • Edition: 7th Edition 2023
  • Copyright: © 2023 MCLE, Inc.
  • Add to Favorites List

Choose Format:

Also Available:
See Table of Contents below to purchase individual chapters from this book. Your purchase includes the chapter's exhibits (if any). Pricing varies by page count. Member and new lawyer pricing available. Free for OnlinePass subscribers.
eChecklists and eForms
See Table of contents below to purchase individual checklists and forms from this book. Pricing varies by exhibit type. Member and new lawyer pricing available. Free for OnlinePass subscribers.
  • Product Description
  • Table of Contents
  • Editors & Authors
  • Product Description

    Product Description

    Divorce deconstructed! Here's a comprehensive treatment of the essential steps and considerations in handling your client's divorce. The straightforward approach that Trying Divorce Cases in Massachusetts takes makes it an indispensable addition to any family lawyer's practical reference library. Starting with the first steps in taking on a new client, it guides you through drafting the complaint or joint petition, drafting and arguing the early motions including temporary orders, understanding the complexities of the financial statement, digging for discovery and uncovering hidden income and assets that will change the playing field dramatically, getting your client a fair and equitable child support and alimony award. Learn to draft the parenting plan, use experts to your advantage at trial—and attend to modifications and other post-trial issues. A practice handbook in its most basic form, this book contains the combined practical wisdom of lawyers who are recognized experts in the field. You gain valuable tips on subtle areas of representing a client, such how to explain the law to a potential client so as to help manage expectations; how to critically assess a case before you sign the retainer agreement; critical document discovery you should have your client perform; tips on reaching a successful and lasting stipulation out of court—and much more.

    Recent updates:

    • Update: July 2023

      Dear Subscriber:

      Thank you for updating your library with the latest version of Trying Divorce Cases in Massachusetts. This newly revised publication brings updated resources within your immediate reach for fast, accurate, and practical answers to your questions in this highly challenging area of practice.

      Highlights from the 2023 edition include:

      • analysis of the Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Cavanagh v. Cavanagh, 490 Mass. 398 (2022), which addressed the calculation of alimony and child support as well as a number of other important issues in divorce practice;
      • important amendments to the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines that took effect in October 2021 addressing, for example, healthcare coverage, imputation and attribution of income, college expenses, and adjustments to the treatment of overtime and income from a secondary job;
      • ethics commentary discussing admonishments and other professional discipline in Board of Bar Overseers matters involving divorce practice;
      • guidance on e-filing and the use of electronic signatures in court papers;
      • an amendment to the Massachusetts General Laws bringing the state's taxation of payors and recipients of alimony in line with federal practice under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act;
      • standards for assessing a request to modify child support;
      • case law on international disputes over child custody;
      • updates on the handling of electronically stored information in discovery practice;
      • guidance on ensuring the timeliness of posttrial motions; and
      • clarification of the scope of motions filed under Rule 60(b)(6) (motions for relief from judgment).

      We trust you will find this updated version of Trying Divorce Cases in Massa-chusetts an invaluable resource for your practice.

      Very truly yours,

      John M. Lawlor, Esq. MCLE Publications Attorney

  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

    expand all
    Chapter 1 expand

    Client Intake

    Buy Chapter

    Checklist 1.1

    - Issues for Discussion in Divorce Proceedings Buy Form

    Exhibit 1A

    - Sample Client Data Intake Form Buy Form

    Exhibit 1B

    - Sample Retainer Agreement Buy Form

    Exhibit 1C

    - Shared Parenting Buy Form

    Exhibit 1D

    - Notice of Limited Appearance Buy Form

    Exhibit 1E

    - Notice of Withdrawal of Limited Appearance Buy Form
    Chapter 2 expand

    Assessing the Case

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 2A

    - Safety Planning for Lawyers Buy Form

    Exhibit 2B

    - Guide to Court-connected Alternative Dispute Resolution Services Buy Form

    Exhibit 2C

    - Limited Issues Settlement Conference Buy Form

    Exhibit 2D

    - Voluntary Request for Settlement Conference Buy Form

    Exhibit 2E

    - Settlement Conference Memorandum Buy Form

    Exhibit 2F

    - Joint Agreement to Participate in the Early Case Settlement Process Buy Form

    Exhibit 2G

    - Notice to Opt-Out of the Early Case Settlement Process Buy Form

    Exhibit 2H

    - Standing Order 2-17 Buy Form

    Exhibit 2I

    - Uniform Counsel Certification Form Buy Form
    Chapter 3 expand

    Goodbye Prospect, Hello Client: Initial Homework and the Next Steps

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 3A

    - Rule 410: Mandatory Self Disclosure Buy Form

    Exhibit 3B

    - Supp. Prob. Ct. R. 401 Buy Form

    Exhibit 3C

    - Short Form Financial Statement Buy Form

    Exhibit 3D

    - Long Form Financial Statement Buy Form

    Exhibit 3E

    - Schedule A—For Self-Employed Clients Buy Form

    Exhibit 3F

    - Schedule B—For Received Rental Income Buy Form

    Exhibit 3G

    - 201 C.M.R. § 17.00, Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth Buy Form
    Chapter 4 expand

    Drafting and Answering the Complaint for Divorce or Filing a Joint Petition for Divorce

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 4A

    - Complaint for Divorce Buy Form

    Exhibit 4B

    - Complaint for Divorce Pursuant to G.L. c. 208, § 1B Buy Form

    Exhibit 4C

    - Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody Proceedings Buy Form

    Exhibit 4D

    - Uniform Counsel Certification Form Buy Form

    Exhibit 4E

    - Statistical Form R-408, Certificate of Absolute Divorce Buy Form

    Exhibit 4F

    - Standing Order 1-06 Buy Form

    Exhibit 4G

    - Status Inquiry Form Buy Form

    Exhibit 4H

    - Joint Petition for Divorce Buy Form

    Exhibit 4I

    - Joint Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown Buy Form

    Exhibit 4J

    - Sample Separation Agreement Buy Form
    Chapter 5 expand

    Motion Practice for Temporary Orders

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 5A

    - Stipulation for Temporary Orders Buy Form

    Exhibit 5B

    - Joint Motion for Temporary Order Incorporating Stipulation of Parties Buy Form

    Exhibit 5C

    - [Proposed] Order Incorporating Stipulation of Parties Buy Form

    Exhibit 5D

    - [Omnibus] Motion for Temporary Order Buy Form

    Exhibit 5E

    - Affidavit in Support of Motion for Temporary Order Buy Form

    Exhibit 5F

    - Witness Subpoena Buy Form

    Exhibit 5G

    - Party Subpoena Buy Form

    Exhibit 5H

    - [Proposed] Order on Motion for Temporary Order Buy Form

    Exhibit 5I

    - In re: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Updated Order Authorizing Use of Electronic Signatures by Attorneys and Self-Represented Parties Buy Form

    Exhibit 5J

    - Probate and Family Court Standing Order 1-21: Court Operations Buy Form

    Exhibit 5K

    - Standing Order 4-20: Order Concerning Email Service in Cases Under Rule 5(b) of the Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure Buy Form

    Exhibit 5L

    - Certificate of Service/Notice of Marking Buy Form

    Exhibit 5M

    - Designing a Plan in the Best Interest of Your Child: Information You Should Consider Buy Form

    Exhibit 5N

    - Motion for Temporary Order of Alimony Buy Form

    Exhibit 5O

    - Motion for Counsel Fees Pendente Lite, Affidavit of Attorney, and Certificate of Attorney Buy Form

    Exhibit 5P

    - Motion for Short Order of Notice Buy Form

    Exhibit 5Q

    - Ex Parte Motion to Vacate Marital Home Buy Form

    Exhibit 5R

    - Ex Parte Motion for Domestic Relations Restraining Order Buy Form

    Exhibit 5S

    - Ex Parte Motion for Attachment Buy Form

    Exhibit 5T

    - Ex Parte Motion to Inspect Computers and Computer Hard Drives Buy Form
    Chapter 6 expand

    Preparing the Financial Statement: The Trap and the Tool

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 6A

    - Request for Financial Statement Buy Form

    Exhibit 6B

    - Instructions for Completing Prior Version Short Form Financial Statement Buy Form

    Exhibit 6C

    - Motion to Compel Filing of Financial Statement and for Sanctions Buy Form
    Chapter 7 expand

    Doing Your Digging: Discovery in Divorce Actions

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 7A

    - What Every Divorce Lawyer Needs to Know About Cryptocurrency Buy Form

    Exhibit 7B

    - Addendum to Request for Production of Documents: Facebook Buy Form

    Exhibit 7C

    - Addendum to Request for Production of Documents: LinkedIn Buy Form

    Exhibit 7D

    - Addendum to Request for Production of Documents: Cryptocurrency Buy Form

    Exhibit 7E

    - Probate and Family Court Scheduling Practice and Procedures Buy Form
    Chapter 8 expand

    Uncovering Hidden Assets and Income

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 8A

    - Client Questionnaire and Memo for Division of Property and Support Buy Form
    Chapter 9 expand

    Getting to Court Before the Trial: Case Management, Status Conferences, and Pretrial Hearings

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 9A

    - Probate and Family Court Scheduling Practices and Procedures Buy Form

    Exhibit 9B

    - Probate and Family Court Standing Order 4-20 Buy Form

    Exhibit 9C

    - Probate and Family Court Standing Order 1-21 Buy Form
    Chapter 10 expand

    Child Support and Alimony

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 10A

    - Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines (2021) Buy Form

    Exhibit 10B

    - Child Support Guidelines Worksheet Buy Form

    Exhibit 10C

    - Child Support Findings for Child Support and Post-Secondary Education Buy Form

    Exhibit 10D

    - DOR/CSE Tips for Family Lawyers Buy Form

    Exhibit 10E

    - Child Support Intake Form and Application for Full Child Support Services Buy Form

    Exhibit 10F

    - DOR/CSE Regional Offices Buy Form

    Exhibit 10G

    - Alimony Reform Act of 2011 Buy Form
    Chapter 11 expand

    Child Custody and the Parenting Plan

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 11A

    - Sample Complaint for Return of Child Buy Form

    Exhibit 11B

    - Sample Writ of Habeas Corpus for Children in Hague Abduction Case Buy Form

    Exhibit 11C

    - Statement on the Suspension of Standing Order 2-16 (Parent Education) Buy Form

    Exhibit 11D

    - Child Centered Residential Guidelines Buy Form

    Exhibit 11E

    - Meeting with the Custody Advisor Buy Form

    Exhibit 11F

    - Standing Order 1-05; Standards for Category F Guardians ad Litem/Investigators Buy Form

    Exhibit 11G

    - Standing Order 1-08; Standards for Category E Guardians ad Litem/Evaluators Buy Form

    Exhibit 11H

    - Petition for Grandparent(s) Visitation Buy Form

    Exhibit 11I

    - Model Third Party (Non-Parental) Contact Statute (text) Buy Form
    Chapter 12 expand

    Marital Separation Agreements

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 12A

    - Separation Agreement Buy Form
    Chapter 13 expand

    Effective Use of Experts

    Buy Chapter
    Chapter 14 expand

    Trying the Case

    Buy Chapter

    Checklist 14.1

    - Thirty Days Until Trial Checklist Buy Form

    Exhibit 14A

    - Civility Guidelines Buy Form

    Exhibit 14B

    - Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:24: Protection of Personal Identifying Information in Publicly Accessible Court Documents Buy Form
    Chapter 15 expand

    After the Trial

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 15A

    - Probate and Family Court Amended Standing Order 2-99: Procedures for Submission and Disposition of Certain Posthearing Motions Buy Form

    Exhibit 15B

    - Changing a Judgment or Temporary Order by Agreement: Checklist of Required Forms Buy Form

    Exhibit 15C

    - Complaint for Modification of Alimony Buy Form

    Exhibit 15D

    - Consent to Electronic Notification Form Buy Form

    Exhibit 15E

    - Sample Notice of Appeal Buy Form

    Exhibit 15F

    - Civil Appeal Entry Form Buy Form

    Exhibit 15G

    - Civil Appeal Docketing Statement Buy Form

    Exhibit 15H

    - Checklist for Preparing a Brief and Record Appendix Buy Form

    Exhibit 15I

    - Certificate of Compliance Buy Form
  • Editors & Authors