Here is my Q&A with citybizlist where I offer some advice on how using skills from mediation can help you get through quarantine and social isolation.
As most of you know, the probate and family law courts in Massachusetts are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How can you resolve your matter during this crisis.
1. If its an emergency, your matter may be able to be heard telephonically. But those are rare, as I understand it. What you and I think is an emergency may not be one for the court. Domestic Violence Restraining orders may qualify as an emergency. A financial issue, including a modification of support based on a loss of job, may not.
2. You should consider mediation. The mediators here at Fields and Dennis can help you resolve your dispute using remote videoconferencing.
3. Since mediation isn’t binding, you may want to consider submitting a matter to arbitration which is binding. With arbitration, the parties can select an arbitrator, present the case to him/her by submitting papers and remote videoconferencing. I have acted as arbitrator and am certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
4. With both mediation and arbitration, the parties decide what the issues are: maybe it’s the whole case, or maybe its just parenting time during the current pandemic. You might just need mediation or arbitration as a stopgap to get you through til the courts are fully operational again.
5. Whatever your needs, please feel free to give us a call at Fields and Dennis. Our number is 781.489.6776.
An interview with David Kessler about what we are feeling right now…
Kessler: Yes, and we’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.
Who pays back student loans after divorce depends on your states’ laws. Most likely if you took out the student loans prior to marriage and they are in your name you are responsible for paying. Student loans that you and your spouse took out while you are married can get confusing.
Many couples will find this pandemic extremely disruptive to their marriages. However, Experts across the world believe that marriages can be strengthened through new coping skills.
If you were still married at the end of 2018 that check will be considered part of your marital property and will be subject to division as part of the divorce. If you have children that additional $500 check will also be subject to the divorce terms. Certified public accountant Dean Owen gives you more on this subject…
Media reports from various cities across China have seen divorce rates surge after couples begin to emerge after weeks of government lockdowns. It is also clear that domestic violence had also seen big increases. This trend is an ominous warning for couples and families in the U.S. who are still in the early stages of quarantining at home.
The constantly changing landscape of co-parenting during coronavirus. What happens now during the pandemic? What if a parent gets too sick? Or a child gets infected? “It’s just awkwardly, incredibly daunting now.”
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FIELDS AND DENNIS LLP
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Wellesley, MA 02481 USA
The Boston metro family law, divorce and estate planning attorneys at the law firm of Fields and Dennis LLP are based in the Newton Wellesley area and serve the city of Newton: Auburndale, Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre, Newton Corner, Newton Upper Falls, Newton Lower Falls, Nonantum, Oak Hill, Waban and West Newton and town of Wellesley: Babson Park, Wellesley Hills, Wellesley Square Fields and Dennis also serves many clients in the Greater Boston and Massachusetts region including Ashland, Dover, Holliston, Medfield, Needham, Sherborn, Westwood, and all of Massachusetts.
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