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

Posts Tagged protecting assets in a divorce

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 »



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 »



Financial Planning For and During a Divorce

What are the legal fees of 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 … 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 »



Why You Should Review Your Estate Plan When You File for Divorce

Estate planningWhen going through a divorce, a spouse has enough legal problems to address that he/she may not want to also consider reviewing and updating his/her estate plan as well. However, because of the divorce, it is all the more important to review your estate plan at this time. Why? Because it is not uncommon for your soon-to-be ex-spouse to be the beneficiary of your estate, your health care agent under a Health Care Proxy, and/or your Attorney in Fact under a Power of Attorney.

 

There are 3 typical documents that are included in almost all estate plans: 1) Last Will and Testament; 2) Health Care Proxy; and 3) Power of Attorney. The Last Will and Testament outlines how your property and assets will be disposed of after you die. It is not uncommon for the spouse to be the primary or sole beneficiary. If you no longer want your soon-to-be ex-spouse a beneficiary of your estate, it is important to update your Last Will and Testament to remove him/her from your Will.

 

Similarly, a Health Care Proxy nominates someone who can make medical decisions on your behalf when you … Read More »



Handling Your Divorce Like an Air-Traffic Controller

compromiseThe stresses placed on divorcing couples, who are making decisions about custody, spousal support, equitable distribution and parenting plans are not unlike those of air-traffic controllers, who are trying to safely land multiple jumbo jets coming in on multiple runways. Perhaps these aren’t life or death decisions, but that depends entirely on your perspective!

I can’t take credit for this brilliant and so-directly-on-point analogy, but am borrowing it for the sake of this conversation. I hope it’s useful to anyone going through the divorce process today, or for those stuck in the seemingly never-ending post-divorce arguments that annoy, irritate and frustrate us.

We embark on the divorce journey for many reasons. For some, it’s a joint decision made, when it’s clear that the marriage isn’t working. For others, it was one spouse taking the initiative to raise the flag and take those first steps. Some go voluntarily into the process, and some go kicking and screaming, maintaining their status as “victim” in their broken fairytale. Regardless of how the travel plans were made, you are nevertheless taking this trip, and are forced to make many inter-related decisions that will ultimately affect your … Read More »



Divorce Can Mean a Trip Down the Economic Ladder for Women

crying womanDivorce can be a one-way ticket down the road to financial instability for many women, especially for those who are middle class or low-income.

It can mean a loss of work hours, more time (and expense) devoted to childcare and a cold slap in the face when it comes to finding a job or finishing an education.

While working-class women tend to be hit harder, not having a job, money or credit of their own is a challenge that can affect women of all socioeconomic brackets, said Bruce McClary, spokesman at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “In a lot of situations you have that career interrupted… It can be very messy in that situation because they have to start right from scratch.”

This was the situation Michelle Bornemann found herself in when she and her husband began divorce proceedings more than four years ago. The Long Island, New York resident, who has two children, had worked for a title insurance company before they were born but has been largely out of the work force since.

“I have nothing to show for a … Read More »



Managing High Asset Divorces in Massachusetts

high net worth

All divorces can be stressful and important to spouses facing a divorce. However, handling divorces with a high asset value has some additional inherent complexities that not all spouses, or even all attorneys, are aware of.

When addressing high asset divorces, there are complicated issues that have to be addressed within alimony, property division, taxes, life insurance, and even child support. In handling such divorces, it often requires the attorney to review a large volume of documentation, particularly financial documents. Because these documents can be highly technical, a knowledgeable divorce attorney typically takes a “team” approach to such divorces, and includes financial professionals in the management of such a divorce. These financial professionals can include a business appraiser, tax professional or accountant, financial planner, forensic economist, and/or certified divorce financial analyst (also known as a CDFA). It is important that your attorney already have a team in place that they have been working with for years.

These professionals can help your attorney work through some very complicated financial issues relating to the divorce, and oftentimes these professionals are also knowledgeable of the law associated with the financial aspects of … Read More »



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