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This project will assess your understanding of family law principles and legal drafting technique. You will be researching the law of Massachusetts. Divorce complaints can be located on the Massachusetts Court System website at http://www.mass.gov/courts/forms/pfc/pfc-forms-gen.html#4.

Once you have determined which complaint to use, download it. Do not type the information in the online form and save as a pdf; the complaint must be submitted as a Word document.

Fact Scenario

Divorce Complaint — Patty Bean

Patty Bean scheduled an appointment to file for divorce. The summary of the client interview is below:

David Bean (40) and Patty Bean (38) were married on April 5, 10 years ago, in Boston, Massachusetts. Both were born and raised in Massachusetts. Immediately after their marriage, they purchased a home located at 123 West Golf Road, Boston, MA, 12345. They have two children, David and Patricia. David Bean Jr. was born on June 5, 2 years after their marriage. Patricia Bean was born 3 years after David Jr., on July 1. Their children have lived in the marital residence since their births. David Jr., is currently enrolled at the local elementary school and is part of a private baseball league. Parents must purchase all uniforms, baseball equipment, and baseball summer camp held every year. Patricia attends a local day care and will start kindergarten next year.

David is a successful architect and Patty is an assistant principal at a local public school. Both have worked during the marriage. None have ever served in the military. There is no history of violence. This is the first marriage for Patty and David. They have never filed for divorce and have never separated before, until approximately a month ago. Patty remains in the marital residence, but David has moved to 456 East Lark Street, Boston, MA 12345 where he lives with his parents.

Patty and David had a good marriage until about a year ago when Patty received a job offer to be a high school principal at a local high school in Westerly, Rhode Island with a 15% salary increase. She needed to certify as a teacher in the state of Rhode Island, but was allowed to prepare for the certification examination when she settled into her new role as a principal. Westerly is over 100 miles away from their current residence. David, however, refused to relocate to Rhode Island. He stated he would not move and that the children would stay with him. Patty did not want to leave without the children and therefore, turned down the job offer. The marriage quickly deteriorated. The couple argued constantly and in the presence of the children.

Two months ago, Patty received the same offer again to be a high school principal at a high school in Westerly, Rhode Island. There was a substantial salary increase and benefits that included a pension plan, short- and long-term disability, and medical and dental insurance for her and her family. Once again, David refused to relocate. Therefore, Patty is filing for divorce. She believes her marriage to be irretrievably broken.

Patty accepted the job and will be relocating soon, but not immediately. She is hoping she can resolve the divorce before the start of the new term. She plans on relocating with the children, but David is opposed to the children moving with her. She wants to relocate with the children to Rhode Island and wants ultimate decision making authority in the children’s education. She is open to a reasonable and flexible parenting schedule with David, as David is a wonderful father. She anticipates custody and the parenting schedule to be contested by David. Therefore, she is willing to transfer her interest in the marital residence to David.

Research the law in Massachusetts in regards to:

  1. Grounds for divorce
  2. Property distribution theory
  3. Spousal support available
  4. Child custody
  5. Child support

Draft a Complaint for Divorce on behalf of Patty Bean as the plaintiff and David Bean as the defendant. After you have determined which complaint you should file from http://www.mass.gov/courts/forms/pfc/pfc-forms-gen.html#4, download the appropriate document from Course Documents. Do not type the information in the online form and save as a pdf; the complaint must be submitted as a Word document. The complaint must include any relevant facts provided above. Please do not add any facts. However, you can use effective words to better articulate the allegations made by Patty.

After you have reviewed, proofread, and corrected your Assignment, please upload the Assignment into the applicable Dropbox. If you experience any difficulties with the Dropbox, please email your Assignment to the instructor before the deadline and contact student tech support as well. Remember, your textbook can be a great resource for your Assignment.

In addition to fulfilling the specifics of the Assignment, a successful complaint must also meet the following criteria:

  • Viewpoint and purpose should be clearly established and sustained
  • Assignment should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.).
  • Writing should be well ordered, logical, and unified , as well as original and insightful
  • Your work should display superior content, organization, style, and mechanics
  • Appropriate citation style should be followed

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