Family Law Services
The Law Offices of Jacob D. Geller, LLC handles numerous areas of family law. Legal disputes between family members can be exceptionally stressful because of the emotional and financial interests at stake. When two people who have spent years building a life together decide to go their separate ways, anger and self-interest can pave the way to bitter fights over money, property, and children. The consequences of a divorce can affect parties and children for many years to come.
At the Boston Law Offices of Jacob D. Geller, LLC, you will find our family law attorneys ready to guide you through this challenging process and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome. We’ll take the time to thoroughly understand your goals and answer any questions before moving forward with legal action. If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, or are already going through one, contact us at 781-462-1346 or online to schedule a consultation for legal advice in family law.
Our family law lawyers currently provide services in the following areas of family law:
In Massachusetts, you have the legal right to a divorce, for any reason. The difficult part of divorce proceedings is protecting your financial and parental interests. This is where you need an experienced lawyer. Our family law firm will advocate on your behalf to reach a fair resolution to these issues and others.
Family Law and Immigration
Our other specialty at our family law officeis is immigration, so we understand how family law, including divorce, and immigration fit together. We also understand what U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services considers a proper divorce and proper marriage. We can help you solve any potential issues regarding your marriage and your immigration process so that you do not receive any unpleasant surprises. Immigration is a sensitive area; unlike other areas that may be fixed with time, incorrect handling of divorces and immigration cases can have serious consequences. Our attorneys understand this, and will be able to help you properly manage both your immigration and divorce cases.
Alimony (or spousal support) is money paid by one spouse to the other. This is usually paid where the income of the two spouses is drastically unbalanced, with one spouse earning far more than the other. In the past, alimony could be unending and disastrous for the party ordered to pay for it. In March 2012, the Massachusetts legislature passed the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act. This changed a great deal regarding the payment of alimony, putting hard limits on the duration of alimony in most cases, as well as making provisions for shorter marriages.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
In Massachusetts, alternative dispute resolution, like mediation, is the preferred method of resolving family matter disputes. Many family law matters can be solved more quickly and more efficiently outside the court room. We, as attorneys, are required under law to both advise our clients about alternative dispute resolution and attempt to resolve cases outside the courtroom. Unfortunately, quite often there are issues in family law cases that cannot be resolved without a trial or judge’s decision. Our attorneys will advocate on your behalf to make sure your family law matter is handled in the quickest and most efficient manner possible.
Child Custody & Visitation
Massachusetts courts decide child custody and visitation issues with one overriding goal in mind: “the best interests of the children”. In many divorces, spouses let the anger they feel towards each other carry over to fights about the children. Judges will try to analyze the specifics of your family’s situation to come up with a plan that will benefit the child the most. However, it is always preferable that our clients, as parents, try to come to an agreement. As child custody lawyers, we will be steadfast in our efforts to negotiate a settlement that meets the needs of you and your children.
Child support payments in this state are based on the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, which uses a standard formula to determine how much you or your spouse will have to pay. The goals of the guidelines are to minimize the financial impact of the divorce on the child’s standard of living, allocate responsibility for child support payments based on the income of each spouse, as well as other objectives. Family law child support guidelines have recently changed, and it is important to understand how those changes may affect your payments.
Modifications to Agreements
Many people seek to modify agreements related to child custody, child support, or alimony. To get a modification order from a judge in Massachusetts, you have to show “changed circumstances” since the last time you were in court. Changed circumstances can include job loss, promotion, moving away from the area, changes in the needs of a child, among other things. Our modification lawyers can examine the facts of your situation and present compelling legal arguments on your behalf to the court.
If your ex-spouse is not complying with an order from a Massachusetts Court, a contempt order may be appropriate. Our attorneys can file a Complaint for Contempt on your behalf, which will result in the issue going before a judge. The judge has a number of options available if she determines that the obligor (the person required to make payments) isn’t following a court order. If the judge finds the contempt egregious, she can incarcerate the defendant until the defendant complies with the order or she can give the defendant a brief amount of time to comply. Having an attorney for this process is highly recommended because of the high stakes involved. It’s important to have someone on your side who can effectively argue the relevant facts and law.
Prenuptial agreements, also known as premarital agreements or prenups, can be a powerful tool for protecting the assets you’ve accumulated prior to and during the marriage. These are contracts executed before marriage that govern how to handle monetary issues if the marriage ends in divorce. These agreements aren’t necessary in every case, but they can be very helpful in a number of situations. This includes bringing significant assets to the marriage or protecting the inheritance rights of children. If you are looking to secure your assets prior to marriage, we can help create a prenuptial that’s tailored to your particular needs.
Our lawyers can produce cohabitation agreements for couples who are living together but not looking to get married. You can have many of the protections of a marriage without being married. These include mechanisms for dealing with real estate and payment of household expenses. Please note that cohabitation agreements are contractual in nature and are not subject to the same protections as marriage.
Domestic Violence / Restraining Orders
If you are the victim of domestic violence, stalking, or harassment, our lawyers can get you the help you need. We can help you obtain temporary restraining orders, so you can focus on taking care of your family.