Probate and Family Court Participates in Educational Forum
at Roxbury Community College
As part of the Probate and Family Court’s ongoing initiative to provide information to those people who are served by the Probate and Family Court, an educational forum was held on March 26, 2009 at Roxbury Community College. Over 50 young parents, as well as other interested individuals, received an overview of the Probate and Family Court and learned how and where to file paperwork with the court, how to present their case effectively, what is important in preparing a financial statement and what to bring with them to court to support their case. In addition, attendees gained judicial insight as to what judges consider important in making their decisions. Attendees were encouraged to consult with or hire a lawyer for at least part of their case if they were able. If they were unable to afford counsel, they were encouraged to come to the court for help and to seek advice from the “lawyer for the day” or legal services providers. Informational materials were provided for resources. Attendees also learned about child support and the new child support guidelines, as well as the role of the Department of Revenue in establishing and enforcing child support obligations. An interactive example of a child support guidelines worksheet was shown. The question and answer segment was lively and the panel was able to respond to many of the attendees’ inquiries.
The program was cooperatively developed by the Probate and Family Court and Attorney Carol Liebman, the Criminal Justice Coordinator at Roxbury Community College. The logistics of the program were ably coordinated by Attorney Liebman and Roxbury Community College. Chief Justice Paula Carey states, “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get out into the community and talk to the people that are directly affected by the Probate and Family Court. The program was well-received and I hope that we are able to do more forums like this. The participants on the panel were informative, helpful and generous with their time in helping to inform the public how to better navigate our system.”
The panel participants included Chief Justice Carey, Judge Angela Ordoñez and Patrick Yoyo of the Probate and Family Court, Marilyn Ray Smith of the Department of Revenue, and Marilynne Ryan of Ryan and Faenza.