What You Should Know before Filing for Divorce in Massachusetts

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CHILD SUPPORT:
In determining the amount of the child support obligation, the court shall apply the child support guidelines, with the rebuttable presumption that the amount of the order which would result from the application of the guidelines is the appropriate amount of child support to be ordered. The court may deviate from the guidelines if the amount ordered would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances.

Such a deviation must include the specific facts of the case which justify departure from the guidelines; and that such departure is consistent with the best interests of the child.

Support may continue for a child who has attained age eighteen but who has not attained age twenty-one and who is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance. The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education for any child who has attained age twenty-one but who has not attained age twenty-three, if such child is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance due to the enrollment of such child in an educational program, excluding educational costs beyond an undergraduate degree. [Based on the General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 208-28]
PREMARITAL AGREEMENT:
At any time before marriage, the parties may make a written contract providing that, after the marriage is solemnized, the whole or any designated part of the real or personal property or any right of action, of which either party may be seized or possessed at the time of the marriage, shall remain or become the property of the husband or wife, according to the terms of the contract.

[Based on the General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 209-25]
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