Katie Calo is a practically-minded advocate, focusing on all aspects of family law, often on behalf of high-net-worth clients in Worcester, throughout central Massachusetts and MetroWest who are facing difficult divorce litigation, child custody matters and domestic relations disputes. Katie helps clients embroiled in stressful, high-conflict cases, from initial consultation through resolution, as she describes it, “to ensure the most swift and amicable result possible, whether through litigation or mediation.”
Her clients are typically self-employed business people, relying on Katie to represent them in the probate, family and district courts. Her extensive experience includes:
- Restraining orders and harassment orders
- Guardianships of minors, disabled individuals and elders, including those involving the rights of grandparents
- Substantial, complicated asset divisions, typically involving executive compensation support issues
- Child custody disputes involving domestic violence, child re-unification issues and Guardian ad Litem investigations
- Domestic relations issues effecting LGBTQ individuals
- Out-of-state, multi-jurisdictional cases involving support, custody and guardianship
Katie regularly appears in probate and district courts on behalf of her clients. She has extensive court experience, having worked in family and probate law for 10 years, which included a term as a law clerk to the justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Department in Worcester, Norfolk, and Bristol counties. “My understanding of mental health issues and the law makes me even more helpful to clients,” she adds. While empathetic and collegial, she’s not daunted by going to court and advocating on behalf of her clients or by collaborating with forensic accountants and other outside experts, when necessary.
As part of her work at Bowditch, Katie is co-editor of the firm’s The Case for Inclusion blog.
While attending the New England School of Law, Katie interned for the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee, an independent state agency of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that helps people with mental disabilities protect their rights and obtain appropriate services. She also participated in the law school’s Mental Health Law Clinic program and tutored in its Charles Hamilton Houston Enrichment Program. In addition, Katie worked at two prior law firms handling family law cases.
Although admittedly not very good at golf, Katie notes that “I like to play because it gets me out of the office and often proves to be a good networking opportunity.” As for the book club she attends with some of her high school girlfriends, she says, “We do not have a theme. It just became a good way to make sure we all see each other on a regular basis.” Katie also runs the WCBA softball team.
- Community Legal Aid 2020 Pro Bono Honor Roll
- Co-Chair, Worcester County Bar Association Probate & Family Bench Bar Committee
- Member, Executive Committee, Worcester County Bar Association
- Program Committee Member, The Bridge of Central Massachusetts
- Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
- Co-Chair, Worcester County Bar Association Family Law Section
- Board Member, The Bridge of Central Massachusetts
- Co-Chair, Worcester County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
- J.D., magna cum laude, New England School of Law
- B.S., magna cum laude, Endicott College
Divorce with contested custody
Katie’s client – a father involved in a high-conflict custody dispute – needed help when the court-appointed Guardian ad Litem’s report recommended shared custody of the couple’s minor children. While shared custody is usually preferred, Katie’s client did not believe it was in his children’s best interests. “We went to trial in Worcester Probate Court,” Katie explained, “where we were able to demonstrate to the judge that shared custody was not appropriate.” Katie successfully argued that the Guardian ad Litem‘s recommendation for shared custody was not supported by the evidence, and her client was awarded sole physical custody.
Defending a client’s ability to travel internationally under a shared custody agreement
When a couple, an immigrant parent who moved to the U.S. and a U.S. citizen, were divorcing, the other parent sought to completely restrict the ability of Katie’s client to travel internationally with their children, including to her home country. “The opposing side called an expert to testify on international law,” Katie noted, “who tried to introduce a report and testimony about my client’s character, both of which I precluded.” Katie tried the case and, with the expert neutralized, received a judgment that would ultimately allow her client to travel abroad with the children.
- Obtained dismissal of an equity complaint, which sought to modify a post-adoption agreement. This dismissal solidified Katie’s client’s role as the child’s parents and prevented other family members from infringing on their constitutional rights to make decisions for their child.
- Resolved a highly litigious divorce matter involving complex issues of custody/parenting time, as well as a division of property involving corporate entities and both commercial and residential real estate.
- After months of litigation, Katie negotiated a settlement for her client, which allowed for consistent visits with his elderly mother. The agreement also included multiple provisions intended to allow for financial transparency. With a final agreement in place, any violations can and will be enforced through the Court.