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Posts Tagged divorce tips

Do I Have To Give My Spouse Part Of My Business In Our Divorce?

asset division, business planning, divorce and assetsWhen spouses are going through a divorce, one thing that always must be addressed is property division. However, when one or both spouses own a business, or even have an interest in a business, property division can be much more complicated. A common question spouses ask is: Do I have to give my spouse part of my business in our divorce? In Massachusetts, the short answer is No, but the answer isn’t that simple.

 

Under the property division statute in Massachusetts, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 208, section 34, the Probate and Family Court must consider the following factors in dividing the marital estate:

 

length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties, the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income, and the amount and duration of alimony, if any, awarded under sections 48 to 55, inclusive. In fixing the nature and value of the property … Read More »



FAQ’s About Divorce in Massachusetts

Here are some common FAQ’s About Divorce in Massachusetts:

 

Q: Should I file first for divorce?

A: The answer to this question is largely a case-specific answer.

 

The determination of value of assets, which goes to the equitable division of marital assets pursuant to M.G.L. c. 208 §34, is determined from the date of marriage to the date the Defendant was served. Thus, if the plaintiff intends on acquiring substantial assets in the future, it could be beneficial to file for divorce prior to acquiring these assets.

 

Additionally, should the divorce case go to trial, the Plaintiff has the right to present their case first, along with the right of rebuttal after the Defendant has presented his/her side of the case. Being able to be the party to present his/her case first at trial can set the tone of the trial, and leave an impression on the judge.

 

However, divorce is also a very emotional and personal decision. If you believe that you are not emotionally ready to file for divorce, or that the marriage may still … Read More »



The Benefits of Settling Your Divorce or Family Law Case Outside of Court

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Probate and Family Court judges all have very large dockets and caseloads. Each judge tries to give an adequate amount of time to each case, but given the backlog within the courts, this is not … Read More »



Can I Modify My Separation Agreement?

Can I Modify My Separation Agreement?It is not uncommon for a spouse to want to modify certain provisions of his or her Separation Agreement after a divorce. As time goes on, circumstances will most certainly change for the former spouses. However it is important that spouses make any changes through the Probate and Family Court, and not through a private agreement, as private agreements are not enforceable through the courts.

 

Before a spouse can seek a modification in the court, he/she must first ascertain if the provision he/she wants modified can be modified. In Massachusetts, Separation Agreements either “merge” or survive”. When a separation agreement “merges” it means that all provisions in the agreement may be modified through a Complaint for Modification, upon a showing of a material change in circumstances. When a separation agreement “survives” it means it has its own independent legal significance, and can only be modified in the rarest of circumstances. The courts have stated that there must be “countervailing equities” to modify a surviving agreement. Although the term “countervailing equities” has not exactly been defined by the court, … Read More »



What You Should Know Before You File for Divorce In Massachusetts

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Divorce, word cloud concept on white background.

Divorce can be a confusing and complicated process. Negotiating your way through the court system can be difficult, particularly if you don’t have the assistance of an attorney to guide you through the system. Here are some facts and other things you should know about filing for divorce in Massachusetts.

 

A vast majority of divorces settle before trial. There are 2 ways to file for divorce in Massachusetts. The first is a joint petition, in which both spouses jointly file for the divorce. The other … 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 »



Getting divorced without breaking the bank

Break the bankJennifer Zoschak, a partner in the family law firm of Oswald & Zoschak in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, handled the divorce of a couple that had been married for more than 20 years. The wife-who she represented-earned 40 percent less than the husband, so Zoschak knew that alimony would likely be part of any settlement they reached in dissolving this long-term marriage.

The husband had other ideas and, through his attorney, fought for over a year against paying any kind of spousal support. With no resolution in sight, the case finally went to trial and the judge ultimately granted the wife permanent alimony. Total legal costs of this otherwise uncomplicated divorce: a whopping $300,000.

Whether rich or poor, young or old, a divorce can be devastating to both the heart and the wallet. Earlier this year, billionaire oil tycoon Harold Hamm made headlines when he wrote his ex-wife a check for $975 million as part of the settlement to end their 26-year marriage.

Of course, most couples aren’t dealing with the task of splitting billion-dollar fortunes. But even when the stakes are far lower, it’s not unheard of, say family law … Read More »



Protecting Your Pet in a Divorce

Despite pets being a loving and integral member of families, the law has not caught up with this view, and still sees pets as property. But because pets are such an integral part of families, during a divorce, it can be a “custody” battle over your pet that causes a lot of disagreement and friction.

In divorces, there is no law, or hard and fast rule as to who gets a pet after the divorce. Unlike child custody, where there are clear laws and factors for determining custody, pet custody law does not exist. Rather, since pets are considered property, it is left to the spouses to figure out what to do with the pet. This can include some sort of “custody” and “visitation” arrangement for your pet, or one spouse can get the pets outright.

One way to avoid a bitter fight over your pet in a divorce, is to have a prenuptial agreement (if you have your pet before you get married) or a postnuptial agreement (if you get your pet after you are married), and address in the agreement … Read More »



3 Reasons Your Spouse May Be Reluctant to Divorce – And What You Can Do About It

couple arguingLet’s get one thing straight right off the top…

If one of you wants a divorce, you are both getting a divorce. You don’t need your husband or wife to give you permission to divorce them.

But how you proceed and how difficult you make it on yourself and your children is up to both of you.

Now, we’re guessing you already know that you can get a divorce if you really want to. But you’re smart enough to recognize that if you force the issue, things may take a turn for the worse.

Fast.

The way your divorce kicks-off will set the tone for the rest of how the divorce unfolds as well as the future of your relationship as co-parents.

Certainly you are well within your rights to file with the courts and serve your reluctant spouse with divorce papers. That’s certainly one way to get things moving forward.

But if you have children and don’t want things to turn ugly, going in that direction may not be your best bet. … Read More »



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