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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 »



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 »



Divorcing During Your Golden Years

Recently there has been an uptick in divorces amongst Baby Boomers. Given that Baby Boomers are now in their 60’s, a divorce involving Baby Boomers, or any older couple, is known as a gray divorce.

Although a divorce for an older couple proceeds just like any other divorce does, there are certain factors that both spouses must consider and be aware of during their divorce if divorcing in your Golden Years.

First, if either spouse, or both spouses, are currently receiving Social Security, there are important regulations from the Social Security Administration, that the spouses should be aware of. Any widow or widower of a deceased spouse will receive that deceased spouse’s basic Social Security benefit amount when the widow or widower reaches full retirement age. This remains the case for divorced spouses who were married at least ten years. Thus, if a couple is married 10 years or more, and then one spouse dies, the surviving spouse will be entitled to receive the deceased spouse’s full social security benefits, as long as the … Read More »



Eight Essential Steps for Women Facing Divorce

From the time you were a little girl, you thought about your wedding day and dreamed about the happily ever after that would follow. Thus, when something changes, and divorce proceedings are initiated, it is hard to force yourself to come to terms with the reality of the situation and develop a plan of action to make sure your life can begin to move in a new and positive direction. The reality of the situation however, is that the steps you take before, during, and after your divorce, are going to redefine the rest of your life. And for this reason, just as all things in life that are worthwhile, your preparation for a divorce requires long term planning. Whether you are initiating divorce proceedings yourself, or were blindsided by a spouse who had an affair, the emotions involved may seem all-consuming. However, there are 8 essential steps a woman can take in order to make the transition into their future as smooth as possible.

1. Budget. Going through a divorce cannot only exhaust you emotionally, but financially as well. It is for this … Read More »



Using Cell Phones and Social Media in Divorce in Massachusetts

In this increasingly digital age, technology is being used as a sword in divorce and family law actions. More and more, spouses and parents are using text messages, Facebook profiles and messages, Twitter, and other social media as evidence in divorce and other family court proceedings. This media is being used to prove infidelity, undisclosed income by a spouse/parent, and many other issues that come up in a divorce or other family law actions.

Like many states, this is happening in the Probate and Family Court actions in Massachusetts. However, in order to introduce evidence from a text message or social media, the party offering the document into evidence must comply with the Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure and Massachusetts laws on evidence. This requires applying certain procedural technicalities to ensure the evidence is properly authenticated, and then allowed into evidence by the court.

One way of obtaining this information properly is by subpoenaing the mobile phone carrier or social networking site for the relevant records. However, to do this, you must properly comply with the Massachusetts Rules … Read More »



Grounds for Filing for Divorce in Massachusetts

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In Massachusetts there are several grounds upon which a spouse may file for divorce. There are two categories of grounds for divorce: 1) no-fault based grounds; and 2) fault-based grounds.

No Fault Based Grounds

In a no-fault based grounds for divorce, a spouse must just simply prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken as defined by M.G.L. c. 208 §1A or M.G.L. c. 208 §1B. Within these no-fault based grounds, there are two types of divorces for which a spouse can file.

If both parties agree to get divorced, they can jointly file for divorce through … Read More »



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