Family Law

Co-​Parenting Challenges During the Pandemic

Currently, we anticipate another two months of shelter in place. That means at least two more months without daycare and help from sitters, two more months of the kids having marginal (if any) structured learning, and no word regarding what lies ahead for summer camp. What does this mean for co-parenting plans and dealing with our former spouses and partners? Here are three questions that continue to arise in our clients’ minds as we weather the pandemic: read more

Co-Parenting Considerations for April “Vacation”

There is little differentiation between weekends and weekdays in this remote-work, socially-distant world we’re living in. The “Boys of Summer” have not yet returned home to Fenway Park. The Boston Marathon has been postponed. Under these circumstances, it’s easy to forget that Massachusetts schools would traditionally be “on vacation” next week. For children in intact families, this may have little meaning or impact, but for children with separated or divorced parents this often is a week of great significance, as many parenting plans allocate the February school vacation week to one parent and the April school vacation to the other. In those situations, the February parent would have already enjoyed his or her school vacation time with the children, before the country shut down in mid-March. What happens now, in the midst of this pandemic?  Here are five key considerations. read more

Who will Take Care of Your Children If You Fall Ill To COVID-19

As we face the increasing spread of COVID-19, many parents are considering the possible impact of the pandemic on our abilities to care for our children, and how best to prepare. In Massachusetts, there are several options to appoint an alternative guardian in the event that we are temporarily or permanently unable to care for minors due to COVID-19 (or any other debilitating illness), or in the event of our deaths. A person may become a guardian of a minor by appointment by parent or guardian or upon appointment by the court. (G.L. c. 190B, § 5-201). Although the courts are currently closed, if a guardianship is needed due to an emergency, the court will typically hold a telephonic hearing and may appoint a temporary guardian. A parent or guardian may also appoint a temporary agent to whom he or she delegates his or her powers regarding the care, custody or property of a minor, in which case the appointment may continue for a period not exceeding 60 days. (G.L. c. 190B, § 5-103). read more

With All of This Uncertainty, What Can We Expect From the Courts?

Within ten days’ time, our personal and professional worlds have been turned upside-down, and many have questions such as, “What happens now to my court case?”. As we adjust to a new “normal” in our homes and our workplaces, the courts, too, are adjusting to their new normal.  Courts have issued orders to address COVID-19, ensuring that the wheels of justice do not come to a screeching halt, placing people’s rights in jeopardy. All court orders, from the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, and all Trial Courts can be found here. read more

Dealing With Support Obligations in the Event of Job Loss

As non-essential employees are asked to stay home and businesses temporarily close amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people are being laid off in record numbers. Some businesses will jump back to life when normalcy returns, while others will not survive. Many payors of alimony and child support are wondering how they will meet their support obligations, while many recipients of alimony and child support are worried about what happens if support stops coming or if their own income is lost. Here are five things you need to know: read more

Serving as Trustee During Turbulent Times

Trustees face unique vulnerability during this unprecedented health and economic crisis. Tasked with safeguarding trust assets, trustees must take decisive action in an unpredictable environment. Decisions made now will later be evaluated with the benefit of hindsight, and trustees face potential personal liability for mismanagement. It is critical that trustees prepare themselves by understanding their duties and the ever changing landscape in this uncertain time. read more

Navigating Custody Amid COVID-19

The care and custody of minor children between parties pursuant to court order can be challenging in regular times.  The onset of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and which has resulted in the declaration of a State of Emergency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, has made navigating custody decisions even more challenging for some. Below are five key questions to consider in light of the current situation. read more