Family Law Attorney In Massachusetts
As a family law attorney in Massachusetts, our office represents clients in various matters that arise when spouses or parents separate, divorce, or have disputes regarding child custody, child support, and distribution of property.
Snook Law Office Helps Family Law Clients Move Forward
We understand that family law cases vary greatly depending on the relationship of the parents, the length of a marriage, the age of the children, and each individuals’ goals moving forward. And, whether you are going through a divorce or managing changes with your children, Attorney Douglas Snook recognizes the extreme emotions that family law matters generate. He approaches each client with empathy, understanding, and regard for their rights and circumstances.
Our office handles the difficult legal issues that arise in family law on a daily basis. We are available to help you with:
child support, and
any other domestic matters.
Attorney Snook can assure you that in retaining our office, you will receive dedicated and zealous representation so that you can move forward.
Snook Law Office Family Attorney Services
If the parents of a minor child separate or divorce, the court must decide who will be the primary custodian, or whether parents will share custody. Despite what many may think, the law does not necessarily favor joint physical and legal custody, where both parties have equal say on matters affecting the child’s health, education, and welfare. In most cases, the children will primarily reside at one parent’s home.
Our family attorney can you understand your rights as a parent and the possible consequences of an unfavorable judgment in a child custody case.
Both parents have an equal obligation to support their children. However, the custodial parent is presumed to be contributing significantly more.
In Massachusetts, child support is generally determined through statutory guidelines. However, you or the court may deviate from those guidelines if circumstances support it. Child support is generally based on both parents’ income, disposable income, the number of children, tax status, and expenses required for the child’s needs and activities. In contested child support cases, these factors will be argued by the parties.
Learn more about how child support is calculated in Massachusetts:
Spousal Maintenance or Alimony
In longer marriages, a spouse may seek maintenance or alimony from the other. This is especially likely if that spouse sacrificed a career or school to support the other’s career, or where there is a material disparity in the parties’ income, assets, education, and capacity to earn.
Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, which means that the marital property, real and personal, and debts may NOT be divided on a 50-50 basis, but rather on the equities and circumstances of the parties.
In determining the fair distribution of the marital property, courts will consider factors such as the duration of the marriage; the contribution each spouse made to the acquisition, preservation, and appreciation in the value of the marital assets; their age, health, and occupation; their individual earning capacity; and personal needs.
Premarital agreements, commonly referred to as prenuptial agreements, detail how the parties’ assets and debts will be divided if they dissolve the marriage, including whether spousal maintenance will be paid. These agreements require full disclosure of both spouses’ assets and financial situation.
These and many other legal issues may arise in the course of a contested divorce. If retained, our family attorney, Doug K. Snook, will guide you through the divorce process from service to signing.
Family attorneys are often called upon to help clients with criminal matters related to their family law case. In domestic violence cases, a spouse or domestic partner can seek a protective order from the court prohibiting the other source or domestic partner from any contact with them. Protective orders can be obtained where a person’s or child’s safety, health, or welfare is at risk.
If the circumstances require it, we will help our clients obtain a protective order.
Other Family Law Matters
Other matters that our office handles are adoptions, the rights of grandparents, tax issues, and inheritance rights.