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

Posts Tagged divorce attorney Revere

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 … Read More »



Financial Planning For and During a Divorce

financial planning divorce

A divorce brings about many changes in a person’s life. One of the most significant changes is the financial impact of a divorce. Spouses go from having a combined household with (usually) two separate incomes, to living apart, and supporting themselves on their own. If you are contemplating a divorce, or have already filed for divorce, there are different actions you can take to plan for your own financial future after a divorce.

 

Create a Budget:

Review your household expenses to see what your weekly/monthly expenses come out to. In addition to including the usual expenses (i.e. mortgage/rent, utilities, heat, cable TV, telephone, groceries, clothing, etc.), don’t forget to include other typical expenses, such as uninsured medical expenses, motor vehicle expenses, child care, vacation and entertainment, education costs for yourself and your children.

Once you have your budget, look at what your income is, and what it is likely to be at the end of the divorce. Don’t forget to factor in any alimony and/or child support that you may be paying or receiving.

Based upon … Read More »



‘Happy Valentine’s Day. I Want a Divorce.’

Valentine’s Day is approaching — and it turns out the weeks leading up to this most romantic of holidays also mark the highpoint of “divorce season.”

While there’s no national database tracking divorce filings, anecdotally, attorneys report that January and February tend to be the busiest months of the year in terms of divorce inquiries.

Why? In large part it’s a holiday hangover. A recent poll by my divorce mediation company, showed that one in 12 people (and one in eight women!) are considering divorce during the holidays. And as soon as the holidays are over, many make it their New Year’s resolution to begin again and start divorce proceedings.

I’ve worked in family law for 12 years and without fail, my phone starts ringing off the hook on January 2nd. Most start by asking for the lay of the land — they want to know their options.

Unfortunately, most people still think of divorce as the 1980s War of the Roses scenario, where each party hires the meanest pitbull of a lawyer they can find, spends thousands of dollars on legal fees and … Read More »



How Much Alimony Will I Get?

In any divorce, a common question divorce attorneys get is “Will I get alimony, and if so, how much?” In Massachusetts this is determined under the Alimony Reform Act of 2011, which is codified at Massachusetts General Laws c. 208 §§48-54. Under the Alimony Reform Act, there are 4 different categories/types of alimony: 1) General Term Alimony; 2) Rehabilitative Alimony; 3) Reimbursement Alimony; and 4) Transitional Alimony.

alimony

Under Massachusetts law, the Probate and Family Court must consider several factors to determine: a) whether either spouse is entitled to alimony; b) what type of alimony a spouse is entitled to; and c) how much alimony is a spouse entitled to. These factors are:

 

the length of the marriage; age of the parties; health of the parties; income, employment and employability of both parties, including employability through reasonable diligence and additional training, if necessary; economic and non-economic contribution of both parties to the marriage; marital lifestyle; ability of each party to maintain the marital lifestyle; lost economic opportunity as a result of the marriage; and such other factors as the court considers relevant and material.

 

Although many of these factors are … Read More »



Protecting Your Credit in a Divorce

It is not uncommon for married couples to have joint accounts, including joint credit cards. However, once married couples are involved in a divorce, they must decide how to apportion the credit card debt. At that time, each spouse should be looking to protect their credit as much as possible.

In Massachusetts, each spouse’s credit is effectively protected during the divorce through the automatic financial restraining order that is put into place at the beginning of the divorce through Supplemental Probate and Family Court Rule 411. That rule states:

The following restraining order shall remain in effect during the pendency of the action, unless it is modified by agreement of the parties or by further order of the court.

(1) Neither party shall sell, transfer, encumber, conceal, assign, remove or in any way dispose of any property, real or personal, belonging to or acquired by, either party, except: (a) as required for reasonable expenses of living; (b) in the ordinary and usual course of business; (c) in the ordinary and usual course of investing; (d) for payment of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in connection with the action; (e) written agreement of … Read More »



FAQ’s About Massachusetts Divorce Law

With the national divorce rate close to 50%, many spouses have questions about divorce and the legal process of divorce. Divorce laws from state to state. Here is a summary of Massachusetts divorce law and frequently asked questions about this topic.

Q: Is there a legal separation in Massachusetts?

A: There is no formal “legal separation” of a couple in Massachusetts. However, if a married couple is now living apart, either spouse may file a Complaint for Separate Support. In the complaint, the Plaintiff must allege one of the following: 1) the Defendant is not providing suitable support, without justifiable cause; 2) the Plaintiff has been deserted by the defendant; 3) the Plaintiff is actually living apart from the Defendant for justifiable cause; or 4) the Plaintiff has justifiable cause for living apart from the Defendant.

In the action, the spouse may seek the following relief: 1) establish that such living apart from the Defendant is for justifiable cause; 2) prohibit Defendant from imposing any restraint on Plaintiff’s personal liberty; 3) grant custody of the minor and unemancipated children; 4) order suitable amount of … Read More »



FINDING A GOOD DIVORCE LAWYER

Millions of men and women go through divorce proceedings every year and yet many give little thought to finding a lawyer that will best meet their needs.

While a good lawyer will lead you through the divorce quagmire and hopefully get you the best possible results, the wrong lawyer can create more problems and add to the nightmare of divorce. You owe it to yourself to spend significant time and effort looking for the right divorce lawyer.

Finding the best lawyer takes time and effort. But if you choose without proper care you may end up with a botched divorce that can leave you with financial and psychological wounds that take a long time to heal.

In order to pick the best lawyer you should learn about the divorce process, research available lawyers in your area and interview several, insist that the lawyer tell you what his strategy for your specific case will be and how long he believes the case will take. If you are satisfied with the plan, hire the lawyer and follow up regularly to make sure the … Read More »



11 Essential Tips to Create a Brighter Future After Divorce

The key to life after divorce is to follow a post-divorce plan. With so many things affecting your life during and after your divorce, a plan can bring a lot of comfort and needed stability to your life and help you to move more positively into the future. There will inevitably be many things that you cannot control as much as you would like to during this process, so it is important to take hold of those things which you can control and use them to surround yourself with calm during the storm. Just like your children will need predictability, comfort, and safety in order to function most efficiently and effectively, so too is it important to create such an environment for yourself as you embark on this new life after divorce

1. Is a divorce mediator for you? An experienced divorce mediator, who is also a lawyer, can help to keep the peace if you and your spouse are entering divorce on cordial terms and with similar goals for the future. By allowing the divorce process to take place in a collaborative instead of adversarial manner, you can … Read More »



Making the Most of Your First Meeting with a Divorce Lawyer

With the prospect of divorce comes a lot of unknown territory that is sure to make you uneasy. While you may think of meeting with a divorce lawyer as your “first step,” the preparation should actually begin before you walk into their office. There are many things you can do to make sure that this first step is as productive and useful as possible and that much of the uneasiness that comes along with divorce remains at bay.

Arrive early: Just like at the doctor’s office, there is usually preliminary paperwork that you will need to fill out prior to your first meeting. Information that is often needed on this paperwork includes: both parties’ full names, contact information, employment and income information, dates of birth, social security numbers, past addresses, as well as applicable information for your children. Prepare a list of questions: This is a very helpful way to prepare for your first meeting with a divorce lawyer. Once you walk into the lawyer’s office, more likely than not you will be overwhelmed with emotions and the prospect of what is to come. … Read More »



Divorce Your Spouse, Divorce Your Facebook

Facebook could make your relationship or break your relationship.

Social networking is not only responsible for an alarming increase in divorces which begin with an online chatting with a college classmate, old or new friend, but it is also an unraveled leader for online evidence that would later be used to prove one’s fault. Nowadays, it is rare where there is no evidence of Internet based material in a contested divorce case. Facebook has been the couple’s worst nightmare in a divorce proceeding. Two thirds of the lawyers surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2010 cited Facebook as the “primary source of evidence” in divorce cases. Your words, pictures and videos can all become evidence that subject to discovery by the opposing party. It is noted that photos and videos harvested on the social media also include those posted by family members, friends and co-workers on their own personal pages. These materials are used not just for divorce matters but other related legal battles, such as child custody.

For example, videos of drug or alcohol abuse may harm divorce or child … Read More »



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