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Adoption Process | Permanency Mediation

Dusten Brown and his wife agree with Matt and Melanie Capobianco to use mediation to determine the best interests of daughter Veronica.  Even though the two couples are fighting over custody of Veronica, they agree on one thing, mediation.

After the biological mother placed the child for adoption, Veronica was placed with a South Carolina couple who raised her until she was two.  Prior to finalizing the adoption process, the biological father, a member of the Cherokee Nation, came forward.  He has cared for Veronica since 2011.

The case has been litigated in the state courts and tribal courts.  The U.S. Supreme Court determined the Indian Child Welfare Act did not apply.  The matter remains unresolved.  The South Carolina court gave custody to the Capobiancos and the Cherokee Nation court gave custody to Mr. Brown.

Hopefully by coming together in mediation the interested adults can utilize a child-centered approach to develop a permanent plan that provides for Veronica’s best interest.

Permanency mediation is a specific type of mediation utilized in adoption cases.  Mediators at Parker Mediation have completed specialized training and are experienced in permanency mediation.

Contact our case manager if you have questions about permanency mediation, the adoption process or need help in a child custody dispute.  508 795 0200

 

 

Case Manager Yvonne Perry

508 795 0200

 

Joyeuses fêtes! – Happy Holidays!

 

Merry Solstice!  We hope you enjoyed the Festival of Lights and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lori Caravalho Joins Parker Mediation

Lori Caravalho is the newest member to join the team at Parker Mediation. She previously served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”) in Worcester County, Massachusetts. At CASA, she became a supervisor and trainer before moving on to other mediation work with families and children. Lori provided Permanency Mediation services for Children’s Services of Roxbury, Inc., Massachusetts Families for Kids (“MFFK”). She is a talented and experienced mediator.
Lori Caravalho earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Worcester State University. She is a Court Investigator for the Worcester County Juvenile Court and has years of experience working within the court systems. Her experience working with families in transition enables her to guide folks through the divorce mediation process with ease. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with Lori or learn more about divorce mediation, call us today at 508 795 0200.

Special Provisions for Cases Involving Children

Traditional litigation is embracing some of the core aspects and advantages of the mediation process.  The Probate and Family Court recently issued standing order 1-10 “Special Provisions for Cases Involving Children,” which becomes effective May 5, 2010.  The pilot project in Hampshire County provides for a child-focused procedural model to develop parenting plans.   It will encourage and facilitate non-adversarial parenting planning.  The child-focused model will provide opportunities for parents to obtain information about the adverse effects hostile litigation may have on children.  The process will explore and create a problem-solving atmosphere in which parents are encouraged to experiment with parenting plans and determine the best solutions for their children and the parents.

Parker Mediation: Massachusetts Family Mediators

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We’re Celebrating 10 Years of Success in 2010!

In honor of this achievement we are asking current and former clients to send us comments about their experience in mediation. We want to hear from you. Log on to our website and contact us. We will kick off our celebration in January 2010 by posting highlights from our customers.

For the past ten years Parker Mediation has developed a competitive advantage in creating well designed divorce settlements. We are driven to ensure that every mediation experience is satisfying. We will listen to your comments, and your suggestions will be our inspiration, to not only act differently, but think differently.

To all our clients, thank you for allowing Parker Mediation to guide you. Helping you to succeed has been our winning strategy.

[Read more...]

Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines

New Massachusetts child support guidelines went into effect January 1, 2009. The changes to the child support guidelines are intended to simplify the support obligations of both parents. The rationale for the new guidelines was based upon societal changes that recognize the participation of both parents in their children’s lives. The guidelines are meant to benefit the children and families, particularly assisting as parents reorganize their relationships and finances.

The Massachusetts child support guidelines provide a calculated child support order based upon the income of both parents, and in consideration that both parents support their children. The calculated figure provides guidelines for cases establishing or modifying child support. There is a rebuttable presumption that the amount applies, but judges do retain the authority to exercise judicial discretion in making child support orders.

Several principles apply in determining child support in Massachusetts. The guidelines are designed to maintain the standard of living for the child, encourage joint parental responsibility for the children, recognize non-monetary contributions and involvement of both parents, and to ensure health care coverage for the children.

Parenting time is precious; children should enjoy the maximum parenting time possible with both parents. The new guidelines are based upon the children spending approximately 2/3 of the time with one parent (Recipient) and 1/3 of the time with the other parent (payor). When there is approximately equal parenting time the child support guidelines can be used twice to calculate whether there should be a child support order. This requires the guidelines to be calculated a second time reversing the roles of recipient and payor. Calculating the difference between the two figures yields the child support amount.

The guidelines are intended to consider reasonable child care costs and the costs for health insurance, including dental and vision insurance. The recipient is responsible for the first $250.00 of routine uninsured medical and dental expenses, and uninsured expenses above that amount are shared by the parties. Other child related expenses may by allocated to the parties on a case-by-case basis, including extra curricular activities, such as dance, sports or music lessons, private school tuition, summer camps, and post-secondary education.

The new Massachusetts child support guidelines recognize that circumstances may change and incorporates the authority to review the guidelines every three years, or sooner if there is a material change in circumstance. The new child support guidelines provide a presumptive application of the child support calculated using the new formula, but deviations from the guideline may be made by agreement of the parties approved by the court. For parents engaged in mediation, this means that you are in control of how you wish to support your children post divorce or separation.

The family and divorce mediators in the Worcester, MA office of Parker Mediation serve the Central Massachusetts and Boston metro-west communities such as Clinton, Framingham, Fitchburg, Leominster, Marlborough, Millbury, Shrewsbury, Sutton, Westborough and Worcester, Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts Alimony is Spousal Support

Don’t be afraid of the “A” word, spousal support is a topic that must be considered in every divorce. When there is economic disparity in wages earned by each spouse, alimony is a tool to assist the financial restructuring of the family. Alimony is gender neutral, it is not punitive, and it is flexible. Alimony may be used for short term or long term arrangements and is dependent upon the needs of the recipient spouse and the financial ability of the payor spouse. Alimony often works in synergy with child support, so it is important to consult financial advisors to determine the tax consequences of an alimony order. This is also true in cases where no children are involved.

Alimony is discretionary, there is no simple formula to make a predictable determination of what a court might order. Under Massachusetts law the court shall consider: the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties, the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income, the nature and value of the property to be so assigned, the present and future needs of any dependent children of the marriage; and the court may also consider: the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates and the contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit, in making an alimony order.

Your mediator will guide you through a critical analysis of the facts of your individual case. In mediation you remain in charge and you and your spouse will determine whether alimony is appropriate, what amount is fair and for how long alimony will continue. Breaking down the family finances and developing a plan to meet the future needs of the reorganized family will determine whether alimony is a tool that will help meet those future financial obligations.

The Worcester, MA divorce lawyers and family mediators at Parker Mediation serve the Central Massachusetts and Boston metro-west communities such as Clinton, Framingham, Fitchburg, Leominster, Marlborough, Millbury, Shrewsbury, Sutton, Westborough and Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Cape Cod divorce lawyer and family mediators at Parker Mediation serve the local communities of Barnstable, Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis, Mashpee, Provincetown and the entire Cape and the Islands.

Massachusetts Divorce Mediation: Child Dependency Exemption Tax Benefits

Parties involved in Massachusetts divorce mediation may wish to consider how to allocate the child dependency exemption to maximize the overall benefit to the family and take the greatest tax benefit possible.

The IRS released regulations in 2008 suggesting that state courts may not allocate child dependency exemptions, verifying that a state court may not force a custodial parent to give up a federal right. However a custodial parent may voluntarily consent to allocate the child dependency exemption to the other parent. In that case, IRS Form 8332 may be used to release the exemption. Many parents agree to review how to allocate the tax dependency exemption annually, by calculating the potential benefit on their own, or in consultation with a financial advisor or accountant. Working together often puts more money in the parties’ pockets.

If you have questions about child dependency tax exemptions in Massachusetts, call our family law and divorce mediators at Parker Mediation for a consultation.

The Worcester, MA divorce lawyers and family mediators at Parker Mediation serve the Central Massachusetts and Boston metro-west communities such as Clinton, Framingham, Fitchburg, Leominster, Marlborough, Millbury, Shrewsbury, Sutton, Westborough and Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Cape Cod divorce lawyer and family mediators at Parker Mediation serve the local communities of Barnstable, Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis, Mashpee, Provincetown and the entire Cape and the Islands.

Worcester, MA Divorce Lawyer & Family Mediator

Worcester, MA Divorce Lawyer & Family Mediation:

Massachusetts Mediatior
Larri Parker Worcester Divorce Lawyer & Mediator

Parker Mediation provides Massachusetts families an effective and affordable divorce resolution model.

Our experienced divorce lawyers and mediators are dedicated to advancing the use of effective and highly successful mediation techniques to help advance an amicable resolution in a timely manner.

With nearly ten years of mediation experience in Massachusetts, our trained family law attorney mediators protect your legal and financial interests while managing conflict to a mutually acceptable resolution for all parties.

An effective mediation process by a trained and experienced Massachusetts mediator is the most affordable, timely and emotionally balanced method of bringing conflict to a mutually beneficial resolution.

The family and divorce mediators in the Worcester, MA office of Parker Mediation serve the Central Massachusetts and Boston metro-west communities such as Clinton, Framingham, Fitchburg, Leominster, Marlborough, Millbury, Shrewsbury, Sutton, Westborough and Worcester, Massachusetts.