Family law encompasses a wide variety of domestic issues, including marriage; divorce; adoption; paternity; child custody and support; and reproductive rights .Whether you are a parent, child, single, or married，Chiang Law Firm can help.
We assist in situations like parents with juvenile issues, singles with cohabitation and prenuptial agreements before marriage, and spouses or ex-spouses.
You can adopt anybody younger than you are, as long as they are not your spouse, brother, sister, uncle or aunt. A child under 14 must have lived with you for at least 6 months (the court can waive this in some cases). Most adoptions are filed in the Probate and Family Court of the county where the adoptive parents live. In Massachusetts, private adoption, where the birth mother makes an arrangement with the adoptive parents, is not allowed. Instead, the adoption needs to meet certain conditions.
Alimony is the court-ordered payment of support from a spouse who has the ability to pay to a spouse in need of support for a period of time. Only people who are divorcing or are divorced can ask for and get alimony. The court will decide if any of the following types of alimony will be awarded.
The four different types of alimony are: a) General term alimony b) Rehabilitative alimony: c) Reimbursement alimony d)Transitional alimony:
When you get an annulment, the court declares that you were never legally married. It is not the same as a divorce, which ends a valid marriage. In an annulment, it is as if the marriage never happened. An annulment is not easier or faster to get than a divorce. In Massachusetts, there are very few reasons that you can get an annulment, and the court requires clear proof of the reason why you want the annulment.
4. Seeking an Initial Child Custody or Parenting Time Order
The court will always consider what is “in the best interest of the child” to make its decision. When parents are separating or when one parent is leaving an abusive relationship, the parents may disagree about issues regarding their child. When the child is under 18, one or both parents can ask the court to make decisions for them by seeking a court order for custody and parenting time. A court order can decide many things:
The parenting schedule, which will include details of how much time the child physically resides with each parent.
How the parents make important decisions for the child, which is called legal custody
5. Changing Your Child Custody or Parenting Time
A custody or parenting time arrangement can be changed (modified) by the court if the person wanting the change can show a significant change in circumstances since the judgment or temporary order was made and that the best interests of the children are not being met by the current arrangement.
6. Child Support
Child support is money paid by a parent to assist with the financial needs of a child when the parents no longer live together. The parent with whom the child lives most of the time is often referred to as the custodial parent. The other parent is often called the non-custodial parent. Generally, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent.
7. Changing Your Child Support and/or Medical Support
If the Court has made an order requiring that a parent pay child support, the only way to legally change that order is to go back to the court that entered the order. Changes are usually called “modifications.”
Divorce is the legal process for ending a marriage. In Massachusetts a divorce is categorized as “no-fault” or “fault,” and either of these can be contested or uncontested.“Contested” means that one person disagrees with the divorce or the terms of the divorce. “Uncontested” means that both people agree about everything they file.
There are seven "fault" grounds or reasons and also a "no fault" grounds. The "fault" grounds, as the name implies, mean that one person was considered at fault in causing the marriage to end. Most people file “no fault” divorce. A "no fault" divorce is a divorce in which the marriage is broken beyond repair but where neither spouse blames the other. In Massachusetts, the no fault divorce grounds is called "Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage." There are two kinds of "irretrievable breakdown" divorces. They are often referred to as "1A' and "1B", referring to the section of the law under which they are found, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208, sections 1A and1B.
Guardianship is a legal process that grants the guardian authority to care for, and to make decisions on behalf of, a child or an incapacitated person. An Incapacitated Person is a person with a clinically diagnosed condition that leaves them unable to make or communicate decisions affecting their physical health, safety, or self-care. In Massachusetts, a guardian must be appointed by the Probate and Family Court. Anyone interested in the Respondent's welfare may file a Petition for Guardianship. You do not become guardian automatically just because you are the parent of an incapacitated adult child.
10. Wills & Estates
Effective March 31, 2012, the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (“MUPC”) primarily governs probate proceedings. Not every estate needs to be probated. Whether an estate will have to be probated depends on how the decedent’s property is titled when he or she dies.
Typically, it is necessary to probate the decedent’s estate if you need to:
a) Establish the validity of the decedent’s will
b) Change title (ownership) to real estate or to personal property
c) Pay creditors of the decedent
d) Obtain the decedent’s medical records
e) File the decedent’s tax returns and pay taxes, when necessary