Providing Clarity And Guidance In An Uncertain Time

Encountering legal issues that can substantially affect your family and future can be overwhelming. At Manzi, Seccareccio & Merwin, P.C., we assist families across Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. We understand your many concerns when you face a divorce, matters affecting your children and more.

Read on for some of our most frequently asked questions on family law.

Are My Spouse And I Required To Disclose The Grounds For Our Divorce?

Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire are no-fault divorce states. This means that in cases where mutual differences led to the dissolution of your marriage, you only need to disclose an "irretrievable breakdown" of your marriage. Both states also allow for the disclosure of other grounds, including adultery, addiction, desertion and more.

Will I Receive Or Have To Pay Alimony?

Massachusetts awards alimony on a case-by-case basis, considering the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, the accustomed standard of living and more. Courts often award alimony on a temporary or rehabilitative basis, meant to give one spouse time to adapt. In cases where marriages lasted over 20 years, the court may award alimony on a permanent basis.

How Does The Court Decide On Child Custody?

In all legal matters concerning children, the court acts in their best interests. To determine child custody arrangements, including both physical and legal custody, the court considers:

  • The safety and well-being of the children
  • Their physical, emotional, educational needs and more
  • Maintaining stable parent-child relationships
  • Any history of substance abuse
  • The wishes of each parent and the children, if old enough

We can advise on the factors likely to be considered in your case.

Will I Be Able To Stay In My House?

Massachusetts law divides marital property according to equitable distribution guidelines. When you wish to stay in your home, we can advise on the likelihood of this as well as other considerations, such as potentially giving up one asset to retain another. Since your home may make up a substantial portion of your estate, we can advise based on what is in your best long-term interests.

Discuss Your Concerns With A Lawyer

We can answer your questions based on your unique situation. Get in touch with us by phone in Lowell at 978-703-8517 or in Woburn at 781-304-8864 to arrange a free initial consultation. Alternatively, send us an email.

We represent clients in Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury, Wilmington, Westford, Concord, Carlisle, Bedford and Nashua, New Hampshire.