Family Law

Family Law 

Separation of married couples is complicated, stressful and has significant life consequences.

Norwood, Massachusetts Thomas A. Karp is a  Family Law attorney helping and representing all clients with divorce, uncontested, contested, alimony, child support, asset division, post divorce modifications, contempt actions and paternity cases.  Attorney Karp  is established and excellently qualified with over 38 years experience in negotiation, settlement and trials of Family Law matters.  In Family Law matters, emotions often run high and it is important to have an experienced attorney by your side to advocate for you.  Attorney Karp also has significant experience representing clients in other matters before the Probate and Family Court, including, marital property division, separate support actions, and restraining orders.  Legal representation by Attorney Karp is provided in all counties, including Bristol, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk.

The key to a successful divorce is knowledge.  Information, investigation and knowledge about your family, the children’s needs, you, your spouse, and finances are all very important factors  leading to an appropriate result.  Attorney Karp uses the best financial experts in understanding your financial affairs, taxes, valuations and pensions.

Attorney Karp can achieve results for you in uncontested or contested matters, motion hearings, trial and  in all phases of divorce modifications, custody of children, alimony, child support, contempt’s and restraining orders.

To begin, here is Attorney Karp’s Top  Ten:

1.     No charge initial consultation or first meeting usually one-half hour.

2.    Help you with examination of the entire marital and financial relationship.  This is the beginning of a negotiated  settlement,  preparation  for trial and  court intervention.

3.    Advice on matters of urgent concern, Alimony, Custody, Children Support, Safety, Education, and  Welfare.

4.    Mandatory disclosure of records including taxes, bank accounts, income, loans and debts.

5.    Temporary Motions to protect the status quo is very important as these build  the foundation of the divorce case.

6.    Attending a Family Service conference and negotiations with help of a family service officer.

7.    Separation Agreements in your best interest

8.    Review and define the  issues the parties disagree upon.

9.    Trial considerations together with selection and preparation  of witnesses and experts

10.   Guardian Ad Litem investigation as ordered by the court


What is a prenuptial contract?   An agreement is made before parties are married to determine their marital and divorce rights in the event of a future breakdown of the marriage.  The law requires the contract be fair and reasonable with full disclosure by both parties.  It is advisable to obtain legal counsel to help with this type of an agreement.

Divorce (marriage dissolution)  

When?   A divorce is the  dissolution of a marriage.  You must decide if you are ready for this next step by obtaining a divorce.  Ask yourself is my marriage really over?  You must be legally married before you can obtain a divorce.  The party seeking a divorce must have lived in Massachusetts for at least 1 year before the filing of  a divorce complaint.

Where?   You may file a divorce complaint in the county Probate and Family Court where the parties last lived together, or in the county where either one now resides.  You may consider with counsels advice,  filing a complaint, a cross complaint for divorce or a counterclaim for divorce.  The first to file the complaint is important at time of trial.

Can I get divorced without a fault ground being alleged?   Yes.  Fault grounds are certain allegations of conduct such as cruel and abusive treatment, desertion, adultery, and gross and confirm habits of intoxication.   However a divorce can be obtained if you allege and prove “no fault” irreconcilable differences.  No Fault Divorce means you and your spouse consider the marriage to be dissolved and it is  irretrievably broken down without possibility of reconciliation.

I want a legal separation?     If for whatever reason you can not get a divorce you may obtain separate support or what is known as a legal separation.   You will be able to obtain all the rights and protections afforded you in a divorce action such as not living together, children’s support, division of assets and custody of children.  However be aware you may not dissolve the marriage.

Can I get alimony and a division of the marital assets?    How will I support myself?   Alimony is support or maintenance of a spouse.  Either husband or wife may be entitled to alimony.  The determination of alimony is made based upon many factors including the length of the marriage and the needs of the spouse.  Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 section 34 and 53(a) provides a framework for setting alimony amounts and for the equitable division of marital assets.  Massachusetts Family Law does not subscribe to “Community Property rights”.  An equitable division of property is required although  often times the courts find an equal division is also an equitable division.   A judge will decide the merits of your case not a jury.  Your lawyer can assist you in the examination and evaluation of each and every asset working towards a fair division.

 Can I afford to receive alimony?   Alimony is tax deductible to the payor spouse and income tax includible to the payee spouse.  This means there will be a tax impact which you and your counsel must examine.

What is to become of my children during the divorce?    It will take extra care to assist children during the divorce process.  Support, visitation and custody of the children certainly will affect them. Typically parents are able to work out their children’s custody and visitation arrangements but if you can not then a motion must be filed in court to resolve the matter.   Depending on their ages a guardian may be appointed by the court to investigate matters to determine what is in the children s best interest.

Do I have to go to trial or can the matter be settled with a settlement agreement?  Almost all divorce cases do settle.  The way to obtain a judgment of divorce is through the trial process in court before a judge not a jury.  A stipulation or settlement of some or all of the divorce issues, alimony, child support, custody, property division, marital assets pensions,  will mean those are uncontested.  If the entire case does not settle then a trial will become necessary.  A trial should be about what is equitable and fair not based on your emotions.

Please let Attorney Karp  know how  he can help by representing you.  Call with questions and to speak with Attorney Karp  to set up a no charge  initial consultation.

 Thomas A. Karp 

Telephone 781-762-7875