If you are in the middle of a divorce, paternity, child support, or custody action, are seeking a better parenting plan, or are on either side of a termination of parental rights or abuse prevention order in Plymouth County, the Plymouth County Probate and Family Court will have jurisdiction over your matter.
The court oversees all domestic relations matters in Abington, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Lakeville, Marion, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Middleboro, Norwell, Pembroke, Plympton, Rochester, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham, West Bridgewater, Whitman, and surrounding areas.
Divorce Law Is Applied Locally in Plymouth County
Divorce, paternity, custody, child support, alimony, and the laws of property division are the same everywhere in Massachusetts, but Plymouth County handles cases a little differently. Each judge has his or her own customs, policies and procedures. For that reason, it is very important that you get good information from an experienced divorce attorney who practices day-in and day-out in Plymouth County.
Learn About the Judge Assigned to Your Case
The family court judges assigned to the Plymouth Division of the Probate and Family Court Department are most often:
- First Justice Catherine P. Sabaitis, who handles cases with docket numbers ending in 75-99, and hears motions on Wednesdays;
- Judge James V. Menno, who handles cases with docket numbers ending in 50-74, and hears motions on Tuesdays;
- Judge Lisa A. Roberts, who handles cases with docket numbers ending in 25-49, and hears motions on Mondays; and
- The Honorable Justice Edward G. Boyle, who handles cases with docket numbers ending in 00-24, and hears motions on Thursdays.
Additionally, as of 2012, Judge Patrick W. Stanton will also be hearing cases in Plymouth County.
Based on which judge is assigned your case, your matter will be heard at one of the following courthouses:
Brockton: 215 Main Street, Brockton or Plymouth: 52 Obery Street, Plymouth
No matter which court or which judge you are before, all papers and pleadings must be filed in Plymouth; Brockton is deemed a separate satellite session of the court.
Do Not Represent Yourself. Hire a Local Attorney.
Plymouth Courtrooms are Not the Place to Experiment.
If you are involved in a legal matter, you should hire a local lawyer - one who is familiar with both the Plymouth and the Brockton courts - not to mention one who has appeared before the judges listed above. Think about it: a local domestic relations attorney on the South Shore that truly concentrates in the local family court arena will have more first-hand knowledge about each of the judges than a lawyer from a different place.
What to Expect at the Plymouth Probate and Family Court
Courthouses are overburdened with massive caseloads, chronic staff shortages, and grave security issues. With over half of marriages ending in divorce, the overly-congested courts cannot adequately address each individual problem. Accordingly, no matter which judge is assigned to your case, and whether your case is being heard in Brockton or basic disputes and motion sessions are heard first in the probation department.
If you cannot immediately settle all the disputed issues between you and your spouse, at least the two of you will know which points remain contested, which ones are either uncontested, and whether the two of you want to take your chances and go before a judge. Even a slight improvement in the number of disagreements between you and your spouse should be viewed as a good sign - after all, for each point the two of you can resolve between you is one less point that risks the bloodbath of a court hearing, family confidences made public, relatives forced to choose sides, and even loss of longtime friendships.
Child Support Hearings in Plymouth County
Every child has the legal right to receive financial support from his or her parents, whether the parents are separated, divorced or were never married. The amount of child support is based on income from whatever source derived including, but not limited to, the compensation for services, wages, pensions, business income, rents, royalties, dividends, interest, capital gains, alimony, and annuities.
The lawyers from Massachusetts Family Law Group assist parents in establishing paternity, child support orders, health insurance orders, collecting past-due child support, and asking the court to modify child support orders when circumstances change.
Plymouth Child Support Modification Lawyers
Only the court can change the amount of your child support order, and the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines is used to determine the amount of said order. The Guidelines considers factors such as both parents' income, the ability to earn income, the number and ages of the children, and the cost of health care coverage for the children.
Massachusetts Child Support Enforcement Attorney
When a parent owes past due child support, our attorneys seek levies upon the obligor's bank accounts, income tax refunds, worker's compensation, unemployment compensation, and future paychecks. Additionally, we may attempt to file reports with the credit report agencies.
FREE Divorce or Child Custody Appointment
With Our Plymouth Family Law Firm
The main South Shore office of the Massachusetts Family Law Group is in Plymouth - just off Exit 5 from Route 3 - and we have satellite offices in Brockton, Marshfield, and Middleborough.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, call (800) 763-1030 or contact us online. We meet with clients 7 days a week, and each of our attorneys carries a Blackberry which avails us to answer your questions by phone or e-mail anytime - not just during office hours.