Farias Family Law, P.C: The Complete MA Divorce Firm

Divorce is a new beginning - a renewed opportunity for hope, happiness, and growth. Financial security is a key piece of the foundation for this next chapter in your life. And if children are involved, you need an arrangement with them that will put them in the best position to thrive and to have a deep and meaningful relationship with you. We craft solutions to ensure that your immediate needs are met and that you are also well-positioned long-term.

We provide to those navigating family law issues the education, guidance, and highest-quality representation they need to smoothly and efficiently navigate the process, while maximizing their chances of attaining their goals and effectively preparing them for the next chapter of life. We provide education and connect clients with professionals who can tend to their specific needs. Our approach involves the highest degree of empathy and ethics. And we’re dedicated to continuous improvement in order to consistently deliver elite value. We aggressively pursue our client’s goals while bringing calm to the family law storm.

We offer representation in all areas of family law, including divorce, property division, alimony, modifications, contempt, child custody, child visitation, child support, uncontested divorces, prenuptial agreements, and all other related domestic issues. This firm will fight to get you the best results while making the experience for you as smooth as possible.

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Serving Throughout Bristol County, Plymouth County & Norfolk County

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Why Download this book?

You can influence the outcome of your divorce, and reading this book gives you the information you need to give yourself the best chance of a good outcome. Divorce should be a positive and liberating experience. It marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life—a fresh start. However, your financial future is on the line as well as your relationship with your children if you have any. Will you just “go with the flow” and hope things work out or would you rather gain the knowledge and take the steps necessary to improve your chances of meeting you divorce goals? If you want to take action, this book is the best place to start: a concise informative guide that gives you the tools you need to end your divorce in the best position possible.


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What Our Clients Say About Us

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Cristina Carrier

I have used different attorneys in the past but none of them like Bill. He actually cared and understood my personal situation And did everything in his power to get us what our family needed. He is quick to respond and very easy to get ahold of. Bill went above and beyond for me and did everything he could to get the job done well and cost effective for us. I would highly recommend him to anyone.

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Jessica Mason

I had a great experience using Bill as my attorney. He is very personable and caring; much more down to Earth than most attorneys I have spoken with. Bill is very easy to talk to; this was a very frustrating time for me and he helped keep me at ease. Bill always responds to questions in a timely manner and will communicate through email to help keep costs down. Bill does a fabulous job representing his clients in the court room and I always felt confident after our time in front of the judge. I recommend Bill to anyone needing an attorney.

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Rob

I highly recommend attorney Bill Farias to anyone needing divorce services. Bill is professional, fair and trustworthy. He always returns calls and answers all your questions. He's defiantly the attorney you want on your side. Bottom line, he's the guy to call.

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Theresa Fratamico

I hired Bill because of a post divorce child support matter. Bill has to be one of the most assertive and intelligent attorneys I have had the pleasure of working with. He prioritized my children's best interests and worked aggressively and fervently from start to finish. Bill advocated for me and provided me with the best legal representation. He demonstrated integrity yet exuded unrelenting determination in obtaining a victorious outcome. I cannot be more pleased with my results. Thank you, Bill!!

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Frequently Asked Questions In Divorce

Gather as much financial information about your spouse as possible (paystubs, bank statements, tax returns, mortgage info, retirement and investment account info, etc.), keep a log of significant events that you may need to accurately recount later, and consult an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. Some preparation and putting a reliable plan in place now can save you money and aggravation later.

There’s a range of anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years depending on whether the divorce is contested and the complexity of the issues. An uncontested divorce is processed relatively quickly because there are no contested issues, so the case consists only of filing the necessary documents and having the divorce approved a few weeks later by a judge. A contested divorce on the other hand may be resolved within a few weeks if the parties come to an agreement, but it also may take much longer if contested issues require several hearings or a trial.

A complaint is filed, the other party is served with a summons and a copy of the complaint, and the case begins. If an issue requires immediate attention (i.e. child custody/visitation/support or alimony), the parties may go to court for temporary orders. During the next phase, information - usually financial - is exchanged between the parties and there are negotiations. If the case is resolved, an agreement is signed and the divorce finalized. If any issues are unresolved, the case proceeds to trial.

If someone refuses to sign divorce papers, the case continues until it eventually becomes time for the court to issue an order or a judgement. No one is forced to sign a divorce agreement. However, absent an agreement, the judge after considering evidence on the contested issues, will decide the issues.

Immediately contact an attorney. You have 20 days to respond to the complaint with your position on the divorce and to make requests yourself - the document to file is called an answer and counterclaim. Although this deadline can be extended under certain circumstances, it’s best to act quickly. By the time you receive a divorce summons, you probably should’ve already contacted an attorney, but if you haven’t, you should certainly act quickly once you’re served to ensure you respond in a timely manner and begin to plan your strategy.

This decision could mean the difference between walking away from a marriage with a favorable arrangement and financial stability or struggling for years to come. Use the internet to research attorneys: their reviews, qualifications, and past client experiences. Ask people you trust for recommendations. And hire an attorney that focuses on divorce practice.

If you and your spouse have an agreement on how to divide the financial obligations, you can proceed accordingly. However, if there’s an issue of responsibility for any of the bills, your attorney would file a motion for temporary orders, which results in a hearing at which the judge determines financial responsibility and issues an order. This temporary order remains in effect until either it’s changed by agreement of the parties or a subsequent court order or the divorce is finalized.

You must formally request to resume your former name on a document filed with the court during your divorce case, usually the complaint for divorce or the answer/counterclaim. At the final divorce hearing, it’s advisable to politely remind the judge to allow your request. After your divorce is approved, you’ll receive a divorce nisi document indicating that the court allowed you to resume your former name. Finally, once you have that document, you must apply to Social Security for the name change.

There’s an “equitable distribution” of the marital assets in divorce, which essentially means the property must be divided fairly. This includes real estate, retirement accounts and other investments, cash, businesses, and everything else the parties own. Age, income, health, assets, and contributions to the marriage are some of the factors the court considers in division. The longer the marriage, and the more equal the contributions from the parties - including non-economic contributions like home-making and child-rearing - the more likely it is that the property will be divided equally.

It depends. Inherited property is technically subject to division in MA because ALL property that either party owns at the time of divorce is part of the “marital pot.” However, the party inheriting the property may get a credit for it, depending on the circumstances. For example, if the property was inherited before the marriage and it was kept separately, the recipient has a better chance of keeping all of it. Similarly, if the property was inherited at the tail end of the marriage, close to or after the time of filing for divorce, there’s also a higher probability that the recipient will keep all of it. Generally, the longer the marriage and the more intertwined the inheritance became with the marital finances, the more likely it is to be subject to division.

It depends on how other property is divided and whether there are any support payments being made by the party keeping the business. The business will likely be considered “marital property,” and is subject to division - or in most cases a buyout. However, if the income to the party from that business is used in setting child support and/or alimony, the business is less likely to also be used in property division.

There’s an “equitable distribution” of the marital assets in divorce, which essentially means the property must be divided fairly. This includes real estate, retirement accounts and other investments, cash, businesses, and everything else the parties own. Age, income, health, assets, and contributions to the marriage are some of the factors the court considers in division. The longer the marriage, and the more equal the contributions from the parties - including non-economic contributions like home-making and child-rearing - the more likely it is that the property will be divided equally.

It depends. Inherited property is technically subject to division in MA because ALL property that either party owns at the time of divorce is part of the “marital pot.” However, the party inheriting the property may get a credit for it, depending on the circumstances. For example, if the property was inherited before the marriage and it was kept separately, the recipient has a better chance of keeping all of it. Similarly, if the property was inherited at the tail end of the marriage, close to or after the time of filing for divorce, there’s also a higher probability that the recipient will keep all of it. Generally, the longer the marriage and the more intertwined the inheritance became with the marital finances, the more likely it is to be subject to division.

A pension is considered marital property and is therefore subject to division. The longer the marriage and the more value the pension accrued during the marriage, the more likely it is that the ex spouse will be entitled to a portion of it.

Retirement funds, like all marital property, is subject to division in MA. The principle that determines how the funds are divided is called “equitable distribution,” which essentially means the court aims to divide the properly “fairly,” which does not necessarily mean equally. In some cases, the marital property is divided equally, but in others, one party is awarded more than the other. There are a number of factors involved in the property division analysis. Once it’s determined how the retirement moneys will be divided, the money in a 401K or IRA for example is usually transferred by rolling it over into an account for the other spouse. If it’s a pension, documents called Qualified Domestic Relations Orders are processed to legally grant the recipient spouse a right to a certain percentage of the pension when it’s eventually paid out.

Recent Cases

Issue: Father’s Rights / Relocation

Case Details: Mother had been primary caretaker of the children throughout their lives. Attorney Farias represented Father, who was breadwinner. Mother put a restraining order on father alleging abuse of herself and the children and left MA with the children to live in another state. Attorney Farias argued the move was not in children’s best interest, and was only for mother’s benefit of living with a new boyfriend. After hearing, the judge ordered that the children must be returned to MA and visitation was established with Father. After a subsequent hearing, Father was granted sole legal and physical custody of the children.

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What Happens to My Business in Divorce?

Will you lose your business? Will you have to sell it? Few issues in divorce have a greater financial impact than what happens to a business owned by a divorcee.

Dividing a 401(k) and Other Retirement Assets in Divorce

You’re divorcing because you need a new beginning. However, you must also keep the end in mind. How will retirement look for you financially? How much money will you have to live on? Your divorce can have a significant impact on these questions.

Contact Farias Family Law, P.C: The Complete MA Divorce Firm

Serving Throughout Bristol County, Plymouth County & Norfolk County