Amaral & Associates, P.C. - Divorce, Family Law

Boston Family Law Blog


The Differences Between and Last Will and Testament and a Trust

Estate Planning Massachusetts, Estate Planning Mass., Estate Planning Suffolk County, Estate Planning Middlesex County, Estate Planning Essex County, Estate Planning Norfolk County, Estate Planning Boston, Estate Planning Winthrop, Estate Planning East Boston, Estate Planning Revere, Estate Planning Danvers, Estate Planning Lynnfield, Estate Planning Marblehead, Estate Planning Swampscott, Estate Planning Nahant, Estate Planning Peabody, Estate Planning Salem, Estate Planning Saugus, Estate Planning Arlington, Estate Planning Belmont, Estate Planning Burlington, Estate Planning Cambridge, Estate Planning Everett, Estate Planning Malden, Estate Planning Medford, Estate Planning Melrose, Estate Planning North Reading, Estate Planning Reading, Estate Planning Somerville, Estate Planning Stoneham, Estate Planning Wakefield, Estate Planning Watertown, Estate Planning Wilmington, Estate Planning Winchester, Estate Planning Woburn, Estate Planning Brookline, Estate Planning Braintree, Estate Planning Milton, Estate Planning Quincy, Estate Planning ChelseaNo one wants to think about dying, but it is something everyone must face. It is important to have an estate plan in place when you pass away. There are some common documents that everyone should have as part of their estate plan. This includes a Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, a Health Care … Read More »



Does My Spouse Have an Interest in My Business When We Divorce?

divorce and assets Divorce and business, divorce and business partnersIn a divorce, money can be one of the biggest issues spouses fight over. However, when one (or both) spouses own a business, this can be an even more complicated (and sometimes uglier) fight. A common question business owners ask when they are going through a divorce is whether their spouse has an interest in the business. The short answer is yes, but it’s not as straightforward as you think.

 

Under Massachusetts law, all assets owned by spouses, regardless of whether or not they are joint assets, are marital assets. This can include a family owned business, even if only one spouse has an interest in that business. That means the business is a marital asset that is subject to division in equitable distribution. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the non-business owner spouse will end up owning the business or having a financial stake in the business through the divorce. Massachusetts General Laws chapter 208, section 34 outlines factors the Probate and Family Court must consider in the division of marital assets. … Read More »



What Are the Differences Between an ARC Attorney, Guardian ad Litem and Parenting Coordinator?

In high conflict custody cases in Massachusetts, there are many experts that can become involved in your case to help with the conflict and pending issues. The most common experts are Guardians ad Litem, Parenting Coordinators, and ARC Attorneys. However, many parents often confuse these roles. This article will explain what each role is and the difference between these types of experts.

 

 

Guardian ad Litem

A Guardian ad Litem (also known as a GAL) is one of the most common experts in a high conflict custody case. A GAL is typically appointed by the court to investigate the pending issues in the case. A Guardian ad Litem is either a mental health professional that works with divorced or separated families, or a Family Law attorney.

 

Oftentimes, the GAL is asked to investigate the facts of the case and then make recommendations for legal custody, physical custody, and parenting time. A GAL is oftentimes also charged with investigating other issues that arise such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse. Ultimately, the GAL … Read More »



Can I Date While My Divorce Is Pending?

Divorce Massachusetts, Divorce Mass., Divorce Suffolk County, Divorce Middlesex County, Divorce Essex County, Divorce Norfolk County, Divorce Boston, Divorce Winthrop, Divorce East Boston, Divorce Revere, Divorce Danvers, Divorce Lynnfield, Divorce Marblehead, Divorce Swampscott, Divorce Nahant, Divorce Peabody, Divorce Salem, Divorce Saugus, Divorce Arlington, Divorce Belmont, Divorce Burlington, Divorce Cambridge, Divorce Everett, Divorce Malden, Divorce Medford, Divorce Melrose, Divorce North Reading, Divorce Reading, Divorce Somerville, Divorce Stoneham, Divorce Wakefield, Divorce Watertown, Divorce Wilmington, Divorce Winchester, Divorce Woburn, Divorce Brookline, Divorce Braintree, Divorce Milton, Divorce Quincy, Divorce Chelsea, dating and divorceIt is not uncommon once a marriage is over for spouses to start looking at the dating scene again, even while their divorce is still pending. One of the most common questions divorce attorneys are asked is whether a spouse can date while their divorce is still pending. Well the short answer is: Yes!

 

However, the longer answer requires considering the financial aspect of a divorce as well as custody and parenting issues. On the financial side of a divorce, there are two primary parts of a divorce: property division and support. In … Read More »



Health Insurance Coverage After a Divorce

Health Insurance DivorceIt is not uncommon during a marriage for one spouse to be the primary policyholder of a medical insurance plan and the rest of the family to be covered under that one plan. Typically, the plan is offered through that spouse’s employer. However, when spouses file for divorce, the question arises as to how will the other spouse, and also the children, be covered by medical insurance.

 

In Massachusetts, there are laws that require the policyholder spouse to continue to provide coverage to the children, and also to the other spouse, so long as coverage to the other spouse is available. In the common situation where an insurance policy is provided through a group plan offered by the policyholder’s employer, then pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws chapter 175, Section 110I, and Massachusetts General Laws chapter 176G, Section 5A, the policyholder spouse must continue this coverage, unless there is what is known as a “triggering event.” A triggering event is something that would cause a person to no longer be eligible for coverage under a specific medical insurance policy. With … Read More »



How to Ask Your Soon to be Spouse for a Pre-nup

For many people, falling in love and preparing for marriage is a process that is so wonderful that they lose sight of the harsh reality that anything can happen and marriages often end. Therefore, the idea of a Pre-Nup is many times not spoken of, as it implies that there is a possibility that the soon to be marriage could potentially result in divorce one day. If you have assets, it is in your best interest to have a Pre-Nup prepared, but initiating a conversation with your spouse regarding the same is not always easy. The following are a few tips to assist you in asking your spouse for a Pre-Nup, while decreasing the chances of bringing turbulence to your relationship:

Bring it up in the Beginning

If possible, at the beginning of any relationship, make it known that you intend to sign a Pre-Nup with whomever you marry. Your soon to be spouse will be aware and prepared for the conversation, eliminating any shock or personal concerns that you doubt the marriage will last.

Use Good Timing

If you are already … Read More »



Sound Reasons Why You Should Mediate Your Divorce.

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I have been a divorce attorney for over 25 years and a divorce mediator for almost as long. When a potential client asks me whether they should mediate their divorce or whether they should just get their own attorney and file for a contested divorce, I tell them the following. A contested divorce can last well over a year. In fact, in Massachusetts, the tracking order assigned to your contested divorce is for fourteen (14) months. Which means that the life span of a contested divorce can be as much as 14 months. During this time frame, the parties will exchange financial documents, attend numerous hearings on temporary orders in court, have a pre-trial hearing followed up by status conferences and then a trial if your case does not settle. All of this discovery and all of the court hearings and meetings or phone call with your attorney will cost you money in legal fees both to you and your spouse. A divorce attorney can make 10-20 times more in legal fees on a contested case then they can on a … Read More »



The Legal Status of Parent Coordinators in Massachusetts- An Update

Parenting coordinator Massachusetts

In 2014 we blogged about the legal status of Parent Coordinators in Massachusetts. The article was written just after the Supreme Judicial Court decided the case of Bower v. Bournay-Bower. However, since that decision came down in September 2014, a lot has changed.

 

For those who do not know what a Parenting Coordinator is, a Parenting Coordinator is a trained attorney or mental health professional who has a background in child custody and parenting time disputes assist parents to resolve and reach agreement concerning disagreements about co-parenting, custody, and the parenting schedule.

 

Parent Coordinators are commonly used in child custody and parenting matters in Massachusetts to facilitate resolving disputes between parents on issues relating children of divorce and children born out of wedlock. The Parent Coordinator typically acts as a referee to rule on any disputes, or works more like a mediator to help the parents negotiate and resolve any dispute. Using Parent Coordinators can be an effective tool in assisting parents in avoiding lengthy litigation in the Probate and Family Court to resolve custody and parenting … Read More »



5 Essential Tips for Financial Planning After Divorce

divorce financesDivorce is about severing ties and starting over, at the same time. Having a financial plan can help secure your future and give you peace of mind, but this process isn’t without its challenges.

Related: ‘I’m Getting Divorced, and My Spouse Owns Part of My Company’

“You have to reassess everything,” says chartered financial analyst Robert Stammers, director of investor education for the CFA Institute. “Everything you do is built on a set of future goals, and these change when you get divorced. Your future goals aren’t going to be the same; they’re no longer in connection with someone else.”

While untangling your marital finances, then, think about how to fund the divorce along with your new life.

As Laura Pilz, financial advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, says, “One of the fundamental financial planning rules is that oftentimes, when people get divorced, they think they’re entitled to the life they’ve been living. What ‘divorce’ means is that you’ll get a life that’s 50/50. You’re not guaranteed that you’ll maintain the lifestyle that you’ve become accustomed to.”

Separating emotions from financial decisions makes for smarter choices, too. “Marriage is about love, … Read More »



Creating New Holiday Traditions for Children After a Divorce

holiday’s and break ups, parenting plans, parenting Massachusetts, parentchildren and divorce, Christmas after divorce, co parenting after divorce, divorce and kids, divorce with children, holidays and divorce, holidays and breakups

Divorce is difficult for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for children. Once parents decide to divorce, the children then have to face the reality of their parents no longer living under the same roof. This is a difficult transition for almost all children, but it can be especially difficult at the holidays. Parents should stress to their children that it is okay to enjoy the holidays during this difficult time—at both parent’s homes.

 

But to help children transition to this new structure of the family, parents should consider developing new traditions that the family as a whole did not do before. This can be something very small, such as selecting a Christmas tree from a specific place, or baking holiday cookies with your children, or something bigger, such as a nice vacation.

 

On the same hand, though, parents should also try to maintain some consistency. If there … Read More »



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