Going to Court

When you need the force of the law to create change

Torsos of two men having a discussion; one standing and talking with his hands and the other sitting on a bed


Yes, out-of-court settlement is best; but some situations demand immediate court action:

  • Your spouse says she wants custody of the children and moves with them out of state.
  • You begin seeing large charges on your credit card
  • Your spouse refuses to see that divorce is inevitable and necessary
  • When arguing in front of the children just has to stop

Filing a divorce complaint puts in motion protection for you and your family.  It doesn’t just “draw a line in the sand.”  Court intervention brings real and immediate relief when it’s needed.

Take the example of arguing parents.  Arguments are inevitable in divorce.  But when things get heated in front of the children, you are damaging them.  Filing a motion (request) with the court to issue an order while the divorce is pending (a temporary order) can restore sanity – and protect the children.

After a divorce is filed and a summons issued and served on the opposing spouse, an R. 411 restraining order comes into effect.  This court rule restrains both parties from spending down assets, canceling health insurance policies, and generally just acting out of spite. The existence of the restraining order forces each spouse to behave rationally while the terms of the divorce can be worked out.

Tired-looking woman sitting on a concrete wall

Abuse Prevention
Restraining Orders

When you need protection from domestic violence or harassment, you need a staunch legal advocate who will get your partner to stay away. 

On the other side of the equation, restraining orders can be misused to cut off an innocent partner from contact with children or access to the home.   

Restraining orders may be easy to  obtain, but they can also be difficult to keep.   Most orders are in effect initially for just 72 hours.  A further hearing is then ordered, where the “restrained” party comes forward to argue that the restraining order must be lifted.  That’s when it’s most important to have an attorney to advise and represent you. 

Father hugging and kissing a smiling daughter in a kitchen

Modification & Contempt of Judgments

Even the best divorce agreements can’t address every future situation. Kids grow up, jobs change, spouses move on.  Suddenly what used to work, doesn’t any more.  

Child support needs to adjust to these changing circumstances.  The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines are updated each year – most recently in 2021 – to reflect increases in cost of living.  The Guidelines are the default way of calculating child support – you can access a self-calculating worksheet here.

Parenting plans often need adjustment to fit the needs of children and parents.  When two parents can’t make those adjustments on their own, court intervention can help bring them to the bargaining table, or impose a solution that’s in the “best interests of the child.”  

Changing – or interpreting – a divorce or custody agreement requires legal advice and careful attention. We will help you determine whether you need to file a complaint for contempt or change a court’s judgment, and support you every step of the way if that course of action is deemed necessary.

This stuff is difficult and complicated.

We’re here to help.