Jason V. Owens offers breaking news in advance of the MCLE Conference, including a new Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court and a new 2017 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet in June.
In advance of today’s annual MCLE Family Law Conference in Boston, where I will be speaking, we have some breaking news to share:
Hon. John D. Casey of the Norfolk Probate Court will be Named new Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts
Hon. John D. Casey, currently First Justice of the Norfolk Probate and Family Court, is about to be named Chief Justice for the state’s Massachusetts Probate and Family Court system. Casey is the third consecutive First Justice from the Norfolk court be named chief for the state, following on the heels of current Chief Justice Angela M. Ordoñez, and Trial Court chief Paula M. Carey, both of whom served as first justices at the Norfolk Probate and Family Court prior to taking state posts.
Since taking the bench in Norfolk, Casey has been widely and greatly admired among family law practitioners for his outstanding court room demeanor, professionalism and fairness. Casey is a fantastic choice for Chief Justice, but he will be sorely missed in Norfolk County, where he offered an anchor of stability and reliable jurisprudence amid a judicial lineup that has been marked by constant change in recent years due to judges retiring and being transferred, as documented by Attorney Keyes in her blogs on judicial news.
It is not clear who will replace Casey as First Justice in Norfolk, nor whether current Chief Justice Ordoñez will return to the bench, perhaps in Barnstable County following the retirement of Judge Scandurra. As always, we will bring you news as we learn it.
New 2017 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet Will be Effective on June 15, 2018
In the fall of 2017, we collaborated with several other members of the Massachusetts family law blogosphere to uncover and publicize a series of errors in the 2017 Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. In response to our coverage, the Trial Court announced in October of 2017 that it would be released a revised 2017 Child Support Guidelines worksheet that corrected the issues we identified.
Today’s panel at the MCLE Annual Family Law Conference, where I will be speaking at 2:15PM, will focus on the new worksheet, which we understand will have an official effective date on June 15, 2018. We hear that the new worksheet will be totally revamped, include fixes for the errors we identified last fall, and greatly streamline the calculation process for calculating child support in shared custody cases through a single worksheet.
We will follow up with more information about the new worksheet following the MCLE conference today.
UPDATE (5/21/18): Trial Court Issues Press Releases on Casey Appointment and New Guidelines Worksheet
Since announcing at the MCLE conference, the Trial Court has issued press releases on the appointment of Judge Casey as the new Chief of the Probate and Family Court, as well as the release of the new child support guidelines worksheet. The press release on Judge Casey included quote from Trial Court chief Paula Carey, praising Casey and stating "that Judge John Casey has the skills and leadership qualities to help reimagine the structure of the Probate and Family Court."
The Court's press release for the new Child Support Guidelines worksheet noted that the "amendments are a result of a Trial Court review conducted after issues were raised regarding the application of the adjustment factors for children 18 years of age or older, and the adjustment for child care, health care coverage, and dental/vision insurance costs when parents share financial responsibility and parenting time approximately equally."
About the Author: Jason V. Owens is a Massachusetts divorce lawyer and Massachusetts family law attorney for Lynch & Owens, located in Hingham and East Sandwich, Massachusetts.