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Many areas of the human experience overlap with FAMILY LAW –selling the marital home during a divorce requires experience in REAL ESTATE LAW. BUSINESS ISSUES frequently arise in DIVORCE when one spouse or both are business owners or when, post-divorce, the client wants to start her own business. If that new business involves hiring employees or independent contractors, it is imperative your lawyer is knowledgeable in this critical distinction in BUSINESS LAW. If these employees are Independent contractors are artists, musicians, actors or filmmakers, you will need your attorney to pivot with professional and intellectual ease. DIVORCING PARENTS many have a SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD or a PARENT WITH ALZHEIMERS; A DIVORCING COUPLE WHERE ONE SPOUSE NEEDS A NURSING HOME are situations that need both a FAMILY LAWYER and the knowledge of GUARDIANSHIP and ELDER CARE. DIVORCING COUPLES need new WILLS and the advice and skill of an ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY.

Your FAMILY LAWYER must be able to identify these situations and integrate them into the recommendations he or she gives to you. Your FAMILY LAWYER must know if and when it is necessary to bring in another attorney who specializes in one of these fields of law. The more your FAMILY LAW can build you a TEAM, the better and more COST-EFFECTIVE your divorce and post-divorce plans will go and you will not be faced with addressing the adjunct issues after your central proceeding concludes. Those plans will already and seamlessly be in place for you.

Your FAMILY LAWYER should be able to recognize these needs and incorporate them into your proceeding, bring in the best attorneys for you if she herself cannot do the work, and build you a team of solid professionals who will be there for you, earn your trust and respect your resources.


You find yourself in an extremely stressful situation: your favorite aunt Harriet who lives in Acton, and with whom you have always been close, can no longer care for herself. She is making poor decisions with her money; she’s missing her doctor’s appointments; she’s forgetting her daily medications and her house is disorganized to a point that even the cleaning crew you’ve hired can’t help. Further, she is spending time with “Tim”, a man you just don’t like or trust. Your brother, Frank, who lives in Rhode Island, doesn’t see a problem; he accuses you of just wanting to protect your inheritance –but you notice he’s gotten awfully chummy with Tim.

The initial effort to obtain court appointment as a Guardian or Conservator may be so daunting that you hesitate. You are also afraid of causing bad blood within your family. This is the time to call an FAMILY LAW attorney with a broad understanding of all aspects of FAMILY LIFE. There are emotions, facts, and law to consider. It is not enough to find an attorney who will empathize but do little to develop and execute a practical plan. It is also unsatisfying to work with an attorney who will file papers in an appropriate manner and do his or her job in court –but without the passion that you know underlies your situation.

Guardianship disputes can be like child custody battles. Both take place in the Family and Probate courts where experienced Family Law litigators who know the Judges and who either have experience in guardianship cases or who can bring in another attorney who does –may be your best choice for this type of case.

Your case is in litigation and you must be secure in the fact that your attorney, who has competently prepared and filed the appropriate pleadings, can now effectively, does the following when standing in the courtroom:


An excellent, experienced litigator does not present your story to the judge and hope the Judge agrees that your version is more sympathetic or compelling than the one told by your opponent. In reality, that is not the method by which you stand the best chance of prevailing in the Probate + Family Court. However satisfying it may be to hear your attorney explain to the judge all the gory details and “he said/”she said” you are not doing much to secure your future with that type of argument.

The more emotional a case –long-term divorces, child custody battles, guardianship disputes between family members are among the most difficult, stressful and emotional –the more focused and result-oriented your lawyer’s strategy must be.


The Ward is the individual under Guardianship. The Probate + Family Court’s appointment of a Guardian indicates that the Ward is someone who, for physical or mental reasons, is considered incapable of managing his or her own affairs, either financial or personal or both.

The Guardian is appointed by the Probate + Family Court to manage the Ward’s person (making personal and especially health decisions) and/or estate (assets and income). It is imperative that you work with your attorney to ask for exactly what you believe is in the best interests of the Ward and upon receiving your appointment, review the precise language of the court’s authorization.

A Conservator is authorized by the Probate + Family Court to manage only the ward’s estate (assets and income). The Conservator does not have authority to make health or related personal decisions for the ward.
For more information on this complex area handled by the Probate + Family Courts, please contact McCaig Law Offices. Rose Ellen McCaig will listen to your story, ask the right questions and help you develop the right plan of action for your particular situation.

At McCaig Law Offices, we have over 20 years of experience concentrating in FAMILY LAW, which Attorney Rose Ellen McCaig considers to be an overarching field that must encompasses expertise and the ability to pivot between all areas of the law that affect the FAMILY.

If your particular matter involves any of these areas not usually listed under FAMILY LAW OR DOMESTIC RELATIONS, please consider a consultation with Attorney Rose Ellen McCaig. If she cannot assist you with certain aspects of your case, she will build a team for you from the many professionals with whom she has developed solid and trusting relationships over her many years in practice. Rather than finding yourself in a situation where one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, where work may be repeated by two different firms –your bills increasing as a result, MLO will manage a team and you will receive one clear billing statement with no surprises.

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