Navigating Residency Requirements for Divorce in Massachusetts: How Sawin Law, P.C. Can Assist You Every Step of the Way

Residency Requirements for Divorce

Filing for divorce is a significant decision that comes with its own set of legal requirements. In Massachusetts, one such requirement is residency. To file for divorce in the state, you or your spouse must have lived in Massachusetts for at least one year before initiating the divorce process. Understanding these residency requirements and the potential exceptions for non-residents is essential for a smooth divorce process. With our expertise in Massachusetts divorce law, Sawin Law, P.C. can guide you through this complex process, regardless of your residency status.

Residency Requirements for Divorce in Massachusetts:

In Massachusetts, both fault and no-fault divorce cases require residency. Residency requirements stipulate that you or your spouse must have lived in Massachusetts continuously for at least one year before filing for divorce. This requirement ensures that Massachusetts courts have jurisdiction over the divorce case and can make legally binding decisions, safeguarding the rights and interests of both parties involved. By establishing this residency prerequisite, the legal system aims to provide a fair and equitable process for resolving marital disputes.

Exceptions for Non-Residents:

While residency requirements may seem restrictive, non-residents can still file for divorce in Massachusetts under specific circumstances. Non-residents may be eligible to pursue a divorce in Massachusetts if certain conditions are met. These conditions include:

  1. Adultery Committed in Massachusetts: If your spouse has committed adultery while in Massachusetts, you may be able to file for divorce in the state, regardless of your residency status.
  2. Cause of Divorce Occurring in Massachusetts: If the cause of the divorce occurred in Massachusetts, such as domestic violence or abandonment, non-residents may be able to initiate divorce proceedings in the state.
  3. Living Together as a Married Couple in Massachusetts: If you and your spouse have been living together as a married couple in Massachusetts when the cause of the divorce occurred, you may be eligible to file for divorce in the state, even if you are not a resident.

Why Working with Sawin Law, P.C. Matters:

Divorce can be overwhelming, particularly when considering residency requirements and legal complexities. Luckily, you can count on Sawin Law, P.C. Our team of experienced Massachusetts divorce lawyers offers invaluable guidance and support throughout the divorce process. Trust us for expert advice and seamless resolution of your divorce. Contact Sawin Law, P.C. today to address all your divorce needs efficiently and effectively.

Sawin Law, P.C. understands that each divorce case is unique, and they tailor their approach to meet the specific needs of their clients. Our team of experienced attorneys is well-versed in Massachusetts divorce laws and can help non-residents understand their eligibility and options for filing for divorce in the Commonwealth.

By working closely with a trusted and knowledgeable Massachusetts divorce attorney from Sawin Law, P.C., you can confidently navigate the complexities of residency requirements and other legal aspects. We will protect your rights and advocate for your best interests throughout the divorce proceedings.

Contact Sawin Law, P.C. today for a personalized consultation and take the first step towards a successful divorce resolution, regardless of residency status. Our experienced legal professionals will provide comprehensive guidance tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. With our compassionate approach and unwavering commitment, we will support you throughout the process, ensuring your rights are protected and your voice is heard. Trust Sawin Law, P.C. to navigate the complexities of divorce law and help you achieve a positive outcome.


Your Guide to Massachusetts Child Relocation Procedures

Child relocation procedures

With divorce often comes the need for parents to relocate them and their child for new job opportunities, better living situations, or to be closer to family. However, parents must understand that relocating with their children can be challenging. As a legally binding court ruling, custody and visitation agreements must be considered when considering a move. In many cases, this means obtaining permission from the child’s other parent or the court before relocating with them. Failing to do so can result in legal consequences and potential challenges to custody agreements. 

It is essential for parents going through a divorce or facing relocation to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney to ensure they are fully informed of their rights and responsibilities regarding relocating with their child. Our law firm can help you understand your rights and obligations with respect to relocation. We can also represent you in negotiations or court if necessary. We want what is best for our clients and their families and will work tirelessly to protect your rights.

If either you or your ex plans to move, which would, in turn, alter the terms of any agreements made during your divorce, the other parent must grant permission to relocate the child. It’s important to note that in some cases, the final divorce judgment may forbid either parent from taking the child outside a particular geographical area. 

If you’re considering relocating, most states require parents to provide written notification to a former spouse. This ensures that the other parent is given time to object to prevent altering the child’s relationship with them. If your proposed move severely impacts the amount of time they spend together, the other parent will likely not agree to it.

If you’re a parent considering relocating your child, follow the proper channels; if you don’t, you may be held in contempt of court and end up fined or jailed. If one parent objects to the relocation, a court hearing can be held to determine what’s best for the child. Always remember that the child’s best interests should come first when making relocation decisions.

Although the current custody agreement is crucial, the court will look at other factors when addressing relocation. The following for parents with shared or joint custody will be examined as part of a traditional best interests analysis.

  • If the child will have a better life due to moving, and if they will experience the same benefits as their parent from relocating.
  • If any negative impacts will come from changing the current visitation schedule.
  • If the child’s relationship with the parent who isn’t moving will be harmed.
  • If the child will experience any emotional, physical, or developmental issues because of the relocation.

When a parent with primary custody requests to relocate, the court will apply the “real advantage standard” in determining whether or not to grant permission. This means that the proposed relocation must offer a measurable improvement in the child’s quality of life. It must be determined that this benefit outweighs any detriment to the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent. The primary custodial parent is typically responsible for providing day-to-day physical and emotional care for the child, meaning their well-being is closely tied to their custodial parent. As such, the court recognizes that relocating may offer significant opportunities and advantages for both the custodial parent and child. However, it is important to carefully weigh these potential benefits against any negative impact on the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent and any practical barriers to maintaining an ongoing relationship. The real advantage standard sets a high bar for relocation requests while ensuring that the best interests of both parents and children are considered.

In certain circumstances, a child may be mature enough to share their own preferences regarding which parent they want to live with or if they desire relocation. The court may factor this into its decision-making process as long as it aligns with what is ultimately best for the child. However, it is important to remember that children are often influenced by outside pressures and may not always fully understand the situation. As such, the court must carefully consider all factors before determining whether or not to consider a child’s wishes during custody proceedings.

At Sawin Law, P.C., we understand the complexities of parenting in today’s world. Often, parents and their children face the difficult decision to relocate for better opportunities or to be closer to family. Our team of family law attorneys can help navigate the potential pitfalls that come with such a decision, especially when it involves a child and co-parenting arrangements. Contact our office today to discuss the merits of your case and how Sawin Law, P.C., can assist you in finding a resolution. We are dedicated to helping families create effective plans that work for all parties involved. Don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a consultation with our firm.

What to Do When Your Ex Refuses to Comply with Your Parenting Schedule: Contempt Proceedings


Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, but once you’ve reached agreements on child support and a parenting schedule, you hope to move forward smoothly. Unfortunately, some ex-spouses may refuse to comply with these legally binding agreements, causing frustration and stress. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s essential to understand your options. In Massachusetts, residents can file a complaint for contempt to address non-compliance with temporary orders and final judgments. This blog post will guide you through the process and highlight the importance of seeking legal assistance from Sawin Law, P.C.

Understanding Contempt Proceedings:

Contempt proceedings are crucial in Probate and Family Court litigation when one party fails to adhere to a court order. Whether it involves child support payments or denying visitation rights, anyone found violating a court order may be considered in contempt of court. Filing a complaint for contempt provides a legal pathway to address these violations and seek enforcement.

Initiating a Complaint for Contempt:

To initiate a complaint for contempt, you must file the necessary documents with the Probate and Family Court that issued the original court order. This includes submitting a Complaint for Contempt that outlines the specific violations. Once filed, the court clerk will provide a Contempt Summons, a court order informing the defendant of their required appearance in court. The defendant will then be served with the original summons by a deputy sheriff or constable.

Proof and Burden of Contempt:

In a contempt action, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, who must demonstrate that the defendant willfully violated the court order. This requires providing evidence of specific violations, such as missed visitations or failure to make child support payments. Building a strong case is crucial to ensure that the court understands the extent of the non-compliance and can take appropriate action.

Why Seek Legal Assistance:

Navigating contempt proceedings can be complex, and it’s crucial to have the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. Sawin Law, P.C. understands the intricacies of Massachusetts family law and has extensive experience handling contempt cases. Our team can help you gather evidence, build a compelling case, and represent your interests in court.

By working with our attorneys, you ensure that your rights are protected, and you have the best chance of receiving the enforcement or remedies you deserve. Seeking legal assistance is a proactive step towards resolving non-compliance issues and ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your child.

When faced with an ex-spouse who refuses to comply with your parenting schedule or other court-ordered agreements, it’s essential to take action. Filing a complaint for contempt allows you to address the violations and seek enforcement through the Probate and Family Court. However, understanding the process and presenting a solid case can only be challenging with legal assistance. Sawin Law, P.C. is ready to provide the guidance and support you need throughout the contempt proceedings. Contact us today to discuss your situation and protect your legal rights.

9 Must-Ask Questions When Hiring a Family Law Attorney in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Family Law Attorney

Finding the right family law attorney in Plymouth County is essential when dealing with sensitive legal matters that affect your family’s well-being. But how do you ensure you’re hiring the best attorney for your specific needs? To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of 10 must-ask questions when interviewing prospective family law attorneys in Massachusetts. By asking these questions, you can gauge their experience, track record, fees, and communication skills, among other essential factors.

What is your experience in family law?

Experience is crucial when it comes to family law matters. Inquire about the attorney’s years of practice and their specific expertise in areas relevant to your case, such as divorce, child custody, or adoption. Look for an attorney who has successfully handled cases similar to yours.

Can you provide references from past clients?

Requesting references allows you to gauge the attorney’s reputation and the satisfaction level of previous clients. Speaking with these references can provide valuable insights into the attorney’s communication style, professionalism, and overall effectiveness.

What is your track record in negotiating settlements and litigating in court?

Understanding the attorney’s success rate in negotiating settlements and litigating in court is essential. Ask about their approach to resolving disputes and whether they are open to alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or collaborative law.

What is your communication policy?

Open and effective communication between you and your attorney is key to a successful attorney-client relationship. Ask about their preferred method of communication, response times, and how often you can expect to receive updates on your case. Ensure that you feel comfortable with their communication style and accessibility.

How familiar are you with the local family law court system?

Familiarity with the local court system can be advantageous. Inquire about the attorney’s experience representing clients on the South Shore of Massachusetts in family courts and their knowledge of local judges and procedures. An attorney well-versed in the local legal landscape can navigate your case more effectively.

Will you handle my case personally or delegate it to another attorney or paralegal?

Knowing who will handle your case is crucial. Some attorneys may delegate specific tasks to paralegals or junior associates. Clarify who will be responsible for your case and ensure you are comfortable with their level of expertise and experience.

How do you approach client goals and expectations?

Understanding how an attorney approaches client goals and expectations can help you align your expectations with their legal strategy. Ask about their process for setting realistic objectives and managing clients’ expectations throughout the legal process.

Can you provide an estimate of the timeline for my case?

While it is challenging to predict exact timelines, an experienced attorney should be able to provide a rough estimate based on similar cases they have handled in the past. A general understanding of the timeline can assist in managing expectations and planning accordingly.

How do you prioritize the well-being of families during the legal process?

In family law matters, emotions often run high, and the well-being of families involved should be a priority. Ask how the attorney promotes amicable resolutions and supports the emotional needs of their clients throughout the legal process.

Sawin Law, P.C.: Your Trusted Family Law Partner

When considering these must-ask questions, Sawin Law, P.C. stands out as the perfect fit for your family law needs in Massachusetts. With years of experience in family law matters, our dedicated team of attorneys has a proven track record of success and a commitment to client satisfaction.

At Sawin Law, P.C., we understand family law cases’ emotional and legal complexities. Our attorneys have vast experience in divorce, child custody, adoption, and more, ensuring you receive knowledgeable and skilled representation tailored to your unique circumstances.

Communication is a top priority at Sawin Law, P.C. We strive to maintain open and transparent communication with our clients, providing timely updates and addressing concerns. Our compassionate approach ensures that you are supported throughout the legal process.

With a deep understanding of the local family court system, Sawin Law, P.C. is well-positioned to navigate your case effectively and advocate for your rights in Massachusetts courts. Trustworthy, professional, and committed to achieving favorable outcomes, Sawin Law, P.C. is the go-to choice for high-quality family law services.

In conclusion, hiring the right family law attorney is crucial for the success of your legal case. Asking the right questions can help you make an informed decision and ensure you have an experienced attorney by your side at every step. For all your family law needs in Massachusetts, look no further than Sawin Law, P.C. Our dedicated attorneys will provide personalized legal services to meet your needs and goals best. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

The Top 8 Mistakes to Avoid When Divorcing in Massachusetts

Marriage Validity

The divorce process can be overwhelming, stressful, and complex. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the many decisions that must be made and the many legal issues that must be handled. However, making mistakes during the process can lead to dire consequences that can impact your life for years. In this blog post, we will share the top 8 mistakes to avoid when divorcing in Massachusetts to help you navigate the divorce process smoothly.

Mistake #1: Not Providing All Information to Divorce Lawyer

Withholding information from your divorce lawyer can have significant consequences. It can negatively impact the outcome of your case and lead to legal issues, including perjury charges. Sharing any information relevant to your case with your lawyer is a good idea. Remember, your lawyer is always on your side, and any information you share with them will remain confidential.

Mistake #2: Hiding Financial Information

It is essential to disclose all financial information to ensure that both parties are informed and included in negotiations. Disclosure helps in setting an otherwise smooth path for future decisions.

Mistake #3: Relying On Verbal Agreements

Verbal agreements leave problems open for more problems. Significantly, all commitments are formalized with written agreements, ensuring no miscommunication, especially in the long term.

Mistake #4: Misunderstanding Custody Rights

Custody agreements can vary widely, depending on each family’s specific situation and needs. Understanding custody laws and regulations can help you make informed decisions safeguarding your interests. Conversely, not securing custody rights can have significant legal and emotional consequences and result in losing privileges.

Mistake #5: Minimizing Custody & Parenting Matters

Prioritizing child custody and parenting issues throughout the divorce process is critical. Failure to do so can severely impact your child’s well-being and create unnecessary emotional stress. Be mindful of their school activities, accommodate their needs, and arrange schedules in their favor.

Mistake #6: Forgetting Emails, Text Messages, & Records Can Be Tracked & Used Against You

Digital communication can be used against you in court proceedings, meaning you should be mindful of what you say in your digital conversations. Opening up to your soon-to-be ex using digital platforms may end up as incriminating evidence against you that can damage your overall case.

Mistake #7: Oversharing on Social Media

Privacy settings on social media make people believe their posts are only visible to their friends. It’s important to understand that these posts can be accessible to anyone, including your soon-to-be ex’s attorney. Misbehavior online can significantly challenge your case and negatively impact you.

Mistake #8: Being Disrespectful to Your Soon-to-Be Ex-Spouse

It’s important to remain respectful of your soon-to-be ex throughout the divorce process. Refraining from misbehavior, including verbal or physical abuse and manipulation, can help maintain a healthy relationship that supports a smooth divorce process. It may also benefit you with the court’s final verdict.

Divorce is stressful, but the top 8 mistakes outlined above can make it even more stressful. By avoiding these mistakes, you can streamline the process and achieve a more positive outcome. It’s crucial to remember that seeking professional help during the divorce process can help you avoid common mistakes and make informed decisions that will govern your future. Remember that the right mindset is critical in taking proactive steps toward an ideal outcome.

Before going through a major change in your life, reach out to Sawin Law, P.C. We specialize in divorce filings in Hingham and throughout Plymouth County. Trust that your case will be expertly handled at our firm. Call us at (781) 713-1212 to schedule a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation.