Monthly Archives: July 2019

Is Shared Physical Custody Possible?

There has been a growing trend in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts in the philosophy that parents should, barring certain circumstances, have shared physical custody of their minor children.  In this firm, we have seen a trend of parents who ask for what’s “fair” or “half of the time”.  However, a parenting plan is dynamic and may not always appear to be equal.  Custody is possible to share but whether it’s in the best interest of the child(ren) is determined by the parties or ultimately the Court.

Physical custody is defined by where the children reside and who is responsible for making the day-to-day decisions regarding the children. Traditionally in a divorce, it was automatically presumed the mother was the primary caretaker of the children during the relationship/marriage and therefore, she was awarded primary physical custody of the children.  In Paternity cases, (where the parties are unmarried) under the law, it still is presumed to be the Mother.

With that said, times are changing.  Women are working and becoming more and more financially independent.  With that, father’s rights have come to the forefront and courts have started to analyze the question, “why not?”.  If we have two working, capable, and loving parents – who both work, rely on others for various caretaking tasks and chores, what’s the tie breaker?  We see that there are more dual-income families, there has been a real shift in a shared parenting plans.  Children perform better when parents can continue their relationship post-divorce.  Clearly, this is not the same husband/wife relationship but the relationship should evolve to a co-parenting relationship.  This is what is required to have a successful shared physical custody plan.  The Courts have seen an increase in shared […]

Minimum Wage Increase/ Retail Sunday Pay

In addition to Paid Family and Medical Leave, the act signed by Governor Baker on June 28, 2018, the act also increases the minimum wage in Massachusetts and eliminates the Premium Pay for retail establishments on Sundays.

By the year 2023 the basic Massachusetts minimum wage will be $15.00 an hour and the tipped minimum wage will be $6.75 per hour, a dramatic increase from the current amounts of $11.00 an hour and $4.35 per hours. These amounts will not increase over night but will rather gradually increase beginning in January 2020.

January 1, 2020 = $12.75 per hour; $4.95 per hour (tipped);
January 1, 2021 = $13.50 per hour; $5.55 per hour (tipped);
January 1, 2022 = $14.25 per hour; $6.15 per hour (tipped); and
January 1, 2023 = $15.00 per hours; $6.75 per hour (tipped)

As a form of compromise for the increase in minimum wage and paid family medical leave, the act also will affect employees of retail establishments by gradually eliminating the “time and half” payment of wages on Sundays.

January 1, 2019 = 1.4 x the employee’s regular rate of pay;
January 1, 2020 = 1.3 times the employee’s regular rate of pay;
January 1, 2021 = 1.2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay;
January 1, 2022 = 1.1 times the employee’s regular rate of pay; and
January 1, 2023 = Employees regular rate of pay

The new changes to law will not affect an employee’s ability to refuse to work on Sundays as previously allowed. The prohibitions against discrimination and retaliation regarding an employee’s right to refuse to work on Sundays will remain in full force and effect.

Authored by Eric B. Langfield, Esq.