Separate Support

An action for separate support is different from a divorce. It does not dissolve the marriage. It is an action which addresses one spouse’s ability to provide support and maintenance for the other spouse, including child support. One of three grounds must be alleged and proven for this action: (1) the spouse has failed to provide support for the other spouse; (2) the spouse has deserted the other spouse; or (3) there is justifiable cause for living apart whether or not the spouses are actually living apart. A complaint can be brought by a spouse, a guardian, or the Department of Revenue if a family receives public assistance. An action can be brought under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 32 or 32F.

An action for separate support cannot be brought if another action is pending for annulment, separate support or divorce. A divorce action can be filed subsequent to an action for separate support and any order in the divorce will replace the separate support order. A separate support action under Chapter 32 can address not only support, but custody issues pertaining to the children. When an order is made for support, the court must determine if health insurance is available at a reasonable cost for the spouse or child for whom the support is ordered. An action under Chapter 32F, can be filed with the probate and family court or the district court. If the action has been filed with the district court, it can be transferred to the probate and family court.

When the court makes an order of support under Section 32 per the statute, it will consider the income, assets, number of persons to be supported, expenses of the parties, marriage or remarriage of the spouse to be supported, among other factors. However, child support guidelines are now widely utilized in determining support orders.


Is There a Difference Between Divorce and Family Law Cases?
What most people think of as a family law case is a divorce case. Divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, is a legal proceeding to terminate the marriage. The case is filed with the Probate and Family Court in Massachusetts in the county where one party resides. However, if one of the parties still resides in the county where the parties last lived together, the case must be filed in that county. If the grounds for divorce occurred outside of Massachusetts, you must reside in Massachusetts for one year prior to filing. If the grounds occurred in Massachusetts, you or your spouse must reside in Massachusetts and there is no time requirement.
Am I Entitled to Social Security Disability?
Social Security Title II Disability provides disabled workers with monthly benefits and Medicare coverage after receiving SSDI benefits for 24 months. In order to be found disabled, you must be unable to work due to your disability which has lasted or can be expected to last for twelve continuous months. Generally, in order to be found disabled, you must have worked 5 out of the 10 years prior to the date you became disabled. Social Security breaks a year down into four quarters. In 2013, you have worked a full quarter credit if you earned $1,160 of income. If you have earned $4,640, you have earned four credits for the year even if all of your earnings were earned in one month.
Do I Need an Estate Plan?
Estate Planning is the very important process everyone should go through in order to be prepared for one's inevitable, and sometimes unexpected, death. Most of us are fortunate enough to have families that we would like to take care of and friends that we would like to remember with a gift upon our passing. What you own and what your familial obligations are will help determine what kind of estate plan you should have. An estate plan is a gift to your family. Between probate and taxes, your family may spend lots of time and money that could have been saved by an effective estate plan. Your survivors will have a much easier time both emotionally and financially if there is an estate plan in place before your demise.

Client Reviews

I engaged Attorney Fiore for my divorce. My ex-spouse hired a big (in name only) Boston law firm that thought they could pressure us with various discovery requests, non-standard positions and they were also unresponsive for over 20 months. Attorney Fiore appropriately advised me through this...

Client, Keith

Susan is an amazing lawyer! I can honestly say I am very lucky and blessed to have her as my lawyer! I have been going through a lot with my son's father in court. Susan is very knowledgeable about law practices and very honest about how something may…

Client, Kayla

There are a lot of testimonials here about how difficult peoples divorce was and how Attorney Fiore assisted them through that difficult time in their life. I have no doubt they are true. In my case I was fortunate to have Attorney Fiore help me…

Client, Ray

If I had a ballot for Massachusetts Attorney of the Year, Attorney Susan Fiore would get my vote! I retained Attorney Fiore to help me navigate the legal system and explore an uncontested resolution to a divorce/child support modification…

Client, Gregg

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