Active Duty Military Parents and Child Support

child supportAre you divorced and have been called to active duty with the military? If so, there are several factors to consider when it comes to paying your child support. The Child Support Enforcement Division (CSE) works with active duty parents to ensure that the child support remains paid in full and on time.

A few aspects to be aware of include:

  • If you pay child support and the payments are withheld directly from your paycheck, the CSE can transfer the income withholding from your civilian employer to the Department of Defense (DFAS) so that your child support will be deducted from your military pay. There may be some delay before the income withholding at DFAS goes into effect.
  • Your monthly income may be greatly reduced after a call to military duty. The change in income may justify a change in the amount of the child support order. Only a court can modify the amount of your child support order; however DOR can assist you in asking the court for a reduction.
  • If you are currently ordered to provide health insurance coverage for your children, your call to military duty means your existing insurance coverage will end. However, you may enroll your children in the military health care coverage TRICARE.
  • Your call to active military duty may require you to obtain a valid passport prior to deployment. The State Department will refuse to issue or renew passports to parents who owe $2,500 or more in past-due child support.

If you are currently paying child support and have been called to active military duty, please call Patricia S. Fernandez & Associates with any questions or concerns. Our legal team is dedicated to helping you take the right actions in your child custody case and we thank you for your service.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Mediation

1. What happens during a Mediation?

Divorcing parties work with an impartial third party or Mediator to reach an agreement on the relevant issues regarding their divorce.

2. Are we good candidates for a Mediation?

If you and your spouse have reasonable expectations regarding important issues such as child custody, child support, alimony and asset division, you may be able to settle your divorce with the help of a mediator.

2. How many times will the Parties meet with the Mediator?

The Parties meet with the Mediator as often as needed to draft an agreement.

3. What are the Mediator’s responsibilities?

The Mediator educates the Parties on the law, informs the Parties about what other couples and the courts have done in similar circumstances, and assists them in drafting a Separation Agreement.

4. Is the agreement binding?

Agreements reached through Mediation are non-binding and cannot be enforced in court. However, after an agreement has been reached, the Parties may present the agreement to the Judge in Probate and Family Court, and it will be entered as a binding agreement.

5. Can I have my own attorney review the agreement?

Yes, both parties are given the opportunity to have the agreement reviewed by their own counsel.

6. What is the advantage of using a Mediator?

Mediation is less costly and time-consuming than litigation.  In addition, couples who use a mediator are more likely to maintain a civil post-divorce relationship.
If you are considering Mediation, please call Patricia S. Fernandez & Associates. Our legal team is dedicated to helping you choose the strategy that is right for you.

 

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Grounds for Divorce in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, most Complaints for Divorce and Joint Petitions for Divorce are filed on the grounds of Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage or “No-Fault”.  You may still file a Complaint for Divorce on the basis of grounds such as cruel and abusive treatment, or adultery, but this is not typical. An experienced Family Law attorney, such as Patricia S. Fernandez, can advise you as to whether filing on fault grounds is helpful to your case.

The following are recognized grounds for divorce in Massachusetts:

  • adultery
  • impotency
  • utter desertion continued for one year next prior to the filing of the complaint
  • gross and confirmed habits of intoxication caused by voluntary and excessive use of intoxicating liquor, opium, or other drugs
  • cruel and abusive treatment, or, if a spouse being of sufficient ability, grossly or wantonly and cruelly refuses or neglects to provide suitable support and maintenance for the other spouse
  • irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as provided in sections one A and B; provided, however, that a divorce shall be adjudged although both parties have cause, and no defense upon recrimination shall be entertained by the court

If you are considering divorce, please call Patricia S. Fernandez & Associates. Our legal team is dedicated to helping you choose the strategy that is right for you.

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