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January 2016 Archives

Child Custody Mediation Mistakes to Avoid in Massachusetts

Child custody.jpgChild custody mediation during divorce proceedings is an attempt at coming to a resolution of differences regarding the custody and time sharing of your child/children together, with both parents working out an agreement that is acceptable to both. Left unresolved at this stage your only option will be a court based child custody evaluation, which will bring in a number of external factors that could go against you and may not be in your control.

How to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Children Prior to Divorce Proceedings in Massachusetts

Dad and children.jpgThe end of a marriage can be very difficult for children.  This article addresses issues related the legal and physical custody of the children, oftentimes referred to the "best interests test."

How Will My Criminal History Impact My Divorce?

Alcoholics annonymous.jpgPeople from all walks of life have criminal records. Some people have had a DUI. Others have had convictions for assault or theft. When these people get divorced, many of them wonder how their criminal record will impact their dissolution proceedings. Unfortunately, for purposes of this blog post the answer has to be that it depends. There are many circumstances that can impact how much weight and consideration the court will give a previous violation of the law when deciding on family law issues. Here are a few ways that your criminal record may affect your family law proceedings. As with all legal issues on this blog, it is best to speak with an attorney that knows the details of your case about how your criminal record may impact your dissolution proceedings.

Benefits of Divorce Mediation in Massachusetts

Mediate.jpgMediation is a process where a neutral professional facilitates the communication between two parties in order to help them reach a mutually acceptable resolution of a dispute. Mediation is used in many types of legal disputes, but can be especially valuable in the context of family law, more specifically divorce. Aside from the usefulness of the process itself, there are many benefits of mediation that are often overlooked.

Divorce After a Long-Term Marriage in Massachusetts

Elderly woman.jpgDivorce after a long-term marriage can be especially difficult. Families, finances, housing, and emotions have likely become well enmeshed after twenty or more years of marriage. The procedure to end a long-term marriage is the same as the procedure to end a short or medium-term marriage, but there are certain issues that become especially important in long-term marriages.

How to Handle Vacation Parenting Time After Divorce in Massachusetts

Summer vacation.pngParents are sometimes surprised about how vacation provisions are drafted into Massachusetts parenting plans. The term "vacation" within the parenting plan can be a bit misleading. In reality, instead of drafting vacation time to be used exclusively for traveling (meaning reserved for use when one parent will actually be leaving town with the kids), many family law attorneys draft the parenting plan section titled "Vacation" to be for providing each (or if circumstances require, only one parent) uninterrupted time with the children. In essence, this uninterrupted time is a break from the usual rotation of the parenting plan. A parent's uninterrupted time with the parent's children can be a time to travel with children, plan uninterrupted activities spanning a week or more, or just spend lots of extra time together. The vacation schedule is an important part of the Massachusetts parenting plan, and it should be carefully considered.

How to Protect Yourself if Former Spouse Refuses to Pay Debts in Massachusetts

Credit Card.jpgAfter a divorce in Massachusetts, most people feel relieved and ready to move on with their lives. Unfortunately, in some instances the divorce decree is not the end of their dealings with their former spouse. Of course this is true for people who have children together but even former spouses that do not share children may be bound through their shared debts. While a property division as part of the divorce decree may assign marital debts to one party or the other, this assignment does not impact the agreement the spouses already made with the credit card company, mortgage company, or other financing institution to be jointly and severally liable for any remaining debt. This means the creditor could still come after the party that was not assigned a debt if the assigned party does not pay. There are a few ways to help reduce the chance that these liabilities will continue to wreak havoc on your life and your credit). This article discusses some of the most commonly used protections. One option is to have spouses pay off jointly held debt as part of their divorce. The divorce decree can order that property be sold and proceeds from a sale go to paying off jointly held debt. If credit cards or other debts are paid off and closed, the party on the card, but not ordered to pay the debt, will not have to worry about whether a payment is made.

How to Create a Comfortable Second Home for Your Children After Divorce in Massachusetts

Bedroom.jpgThe importance of keeping the children's interests at heart and the best ways to handle communication with children is often emphasized through the divorce process. No matter how old the children may be, they react to their parents' divorce in different ways. What happens to the children after the divorce process is completed? One parent may be moving out of the family home and starting new in a different place and, in some cases, the family home may be sold and everyone will move.

Divorce and the Discovery Process in Massachusetts

credibility.jpgDuring a Massachusetts Divorce a divorcing spouse will have the ability to ask questions (through interrogatories or depositions), request documents, and ask for admissions from the other party (and third parties); this process is called the discovery process. Here are five areas that divorcing people should focus their attention on during the discovery process.

Do You Have to Change Your Name When You Get Divorced in Massachusetts?

Name-Change.pngMany things change for a person who gets divorced: marital status, financial situation, and relationships with children to name a few. Another thing that might change is the person's last name. While in comparison to moving, having less time with kids, and having to divide most of your assets, changing a last name might not seem like a big deal, for many people actually faced with the situation, it is.

What to Consider Before Introducing Your Kids to Your New Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Family 4.jpgWhen people end their romantic relationship with their children's other parent, they often feel as though they will never want to have a romantic relationship ever again. The reality is, after the emotional pain and adjustment period is over, most people do decide to date. Some choose to date seriously and look for another committed relationship, while other unmarried parents decide to date casually. No matter what your intentions are in your dating life, it is important that you consider if and when you will introduce your new significant other to your children. Here are some strategies that might help you decide if, when, and how to introduce your kids to a new love interest:

Major Social Security Changes Hit Divorcees Hard

Denied social security.jpgThe biggest Social Security changes in 30 years are in effect immediately and directly impact all divorcing people in the U.S.
Social Security rules for claiming benefits, especially spousal benefits, have been dramatically changed by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which was signed November 2, 2015. These changes became effective immediately, and everyone is scrambling to understand them.
social security.

Thinking of Divorcing? Some Financial First Steps

Nest Egg.jpgThe process of deciding whether to seek a divorce can be a long and difficult one. There are many emotional and financial calculations that go into making this decision, and many couples wrestle with the issue for a considerable amount of time before feeling confident with their conclusion. Taking the necessary time to know that your decision is the right one is important. Once you've finally reached a place where you believe that divorce is imminent, there are some important financial steps you should take to help put you in the best position possible.

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