The Perfect Client is there to Help Themselves Through a Divorce

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Divorce is messy, overwhelming, scary, and hard. A qualified attorney can help clients navigate the process, but the most successful divorces occur when clients help themselves. Here are the things we strongly recommend to anyone facing or currently undergoing a divorce. We are certain it relieves the burden-both long and short term- of this major life event.


  1. Engage an attorney you trust, tell your attorney the truth about everything, and follow his/her instructions and recommendations.


  1. Understand that divorce is a process and does take time; buckle up for the ride and resist the urge to “just get it over with.”


  1. Leave your kids out of it—protect them, nurture their relationship with you and with your soon to be ex and take the high road in all respects—parent them first.


  1. Be reasonable. Spending $100 in legal fees to chase $50 is a waste of your time. Be willing to cut your losses where it is practical to do so. Don’t go to trial or fight endlessly over something for which you have a low likelihood of success.


  1. Decide what matters most, and negotiate your divorce agreement according to those priorities.


  1. Have reasonable expectations. In a good divorce, BOTH parties walk away unhappy. You will not get everything you want. Be prepared to compromise.


  1. Reach an agreement before appearing before a judge, if at all possible. Even a bad agreement is better than a good trial. You and your spouse, with the help of competent attorneys, are in the best position to negotiate a divorce agreement that is tailor made to your family. You will not have that luxury with a Judge.


  1. Be civil, and don’t burn your bridges. Ultimately the best thing for you, your soon to be ex and your children is for you and your soon to be ex to communicate and be able to deal civilly with one another. The investment you make in having a civil relationship will come back to you a hundred-fold in the future.  Don’t make anyone the bad guy—even if they deserve it. Civility is a huge investment in reaching resolution and staying out of Court both now, and in the future.

If you’re facing a divorce and in need of legal support, contact RFC today.


Debunking Myths: 5 Frustrating Realities About Divorce

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  1. There are no punitive damages. Not for extra-marital affairs, not for being the spouse seeking the divorce, and generally not for other conduct unless it has a significant impact on the health or finances of the parties or children.


  1. What goes around comes around. If you disparage your spouse to your children and to others in order to cause pain to your spouse, it is likely to cause significant long term pain to your children, and ultimately to you as well, causing wounds which may never heal. More about how to handle divorce with your children in Silver Linings, the book.


  1. Alimony is gender neutral. For the successful higher earning men and women of Massachusetts, you may pay alimony to your soon to be ex in a divorce.


  1. You can’t have it both ways. An equitable divorce in the eyes of the law may be one in which both parties walk away feeling unhappy.   For every benefit there is generally a corresponding burden. Your idea of “fair” may not comport with the Court’s view of fairness.


  1. You can’t “stop” a divorce. We have no fault divorce in Massachusetts.   If one spouse wants a divorce, a divorce will be granted, even over the objections of the other.

Family Law 101: Child Support in MA


At Ryan Faenza Carey, we support clients with very different factors that must be taken into consideration during family law matters, including divorce. In this post of a multi-part series, Attorney Kara Carey offers a quick download on how Massachusetts rules on child support, and how long parents are expected to provide it for their child(ren).

How long do I have to pay child support? Even if my child lives at college?

Until your child is emancipated. In Massachusetts, child support does not automatically terminate at age 18. In fact, it can continue until age 23. The Child Support Guidelines in Massachusetts offer a formula on how to determine child support payments. However, there is discretion amongst the judges in the amount to be paid for children in the 18 – 23 age bracket.

If a child joins the military or gets married, it is clear that the child support ends. If a child is under 21, but lives with a parent and is dependent on that parent, child support is likely to continue, but may be at a reduced level depending the child’s needs.

For child support to continue past 21, the child must be living with a parent at some point during the year, be dependent on that parent and be enrolled in an educational program. If a child is enrolled in an educational program, it is clear that child support does not end, but the amount paid towards tuition may offset the amount of the support payment. Divorced parents should anticipate that the court will require some contribution from both parents towards college costs; the amount depends on the financial circumstances of the parties.

The Court does not terminate support upon a child attending college for four years; if the child continues to be enrolled in an educational program (but not beyond an undergraduate degree), the support can continue until the child is 23.

Child support can vary based on age of children, financial status and ability for the parent to pay. If this could be a consideration in your divorce, contact us to see how we can help.