998_Boston-City-Hall425570Attorney Jessica M. Walsh recently participated in a pilot program aimed at providing free legal advice to parents dealing with family law matters of any kind, regardless of whether they have actually filed a court case.  The Family Court Workshop is a joint initiative between the Honorable Judge Ordonez, Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court, the Office of the Probate and Family Court, community leaders, and volunteer lawyers.  The purpose of the workshop is to provide parents with general information on family law matters; to supply and assist in the completion of necessary court forms; to refer participants to legal referral services; and to make available written information on community programs and services that are available.

According to the Court’s Press Release,

“Mothers and fathers will learn the basics of family law, including:

  • How to prepare for court and present a case before a judge
  • Legal options for filing for and responding to a divorce action and a motion for temporary orders
  • Issues for unmarried parents: establishing paternity and filing a paternity action
  • Custody agreements and parenting arrangements
  • Identifying domestic violence and how to get help

The 90-minute workshops are divided by gender, with mothers attending separate workshops from fathers. One workshop for mothers and one for fathers is available every month from January to June, with the first workshop for mothers on January 16, and the first workshop for fathers on January 30.

The workshops will be held in Boston City Hall from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and are free to residents of Suffolk County, which include residents in the cities and towns of Boston, Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop.  No sign-up or pre-registration is required.  Child care will not be provided.  Questions may be directed to Evelyn Patsos, Esq., at evelyn.patsos@jud.state.ma.us.”

The Family Court Workshop, which is divided into separate sessions for mother and fathers, are held at Boston City Hall at 5:30pm on Thursdays on the following schedule:

Workshop dates for mothers: Workshop dates for fathers:
January 16 January 30
February 13 February 27
March 13 March 27
April 10 April 17
May 8 May 22
June 12 June 26

Jessica M. Walsh is an attorney at Vaughn-Martel Law, where she practices in the areas of domestic relations and civil litigation.

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