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October 2015 Archives

2015 Snapshot of the Military Lifestyle

Military.jpgMilitary families are much like their civilian neighbors. Many need dual incomes to meet their financial goals; are concerned about pay and benefits; worry about childcare and education; and want to establish roots and contribute to their community's well-being. However, the unique demands of military service result in exceptional issues and challenges for service members and their families.

Tips on Surviving Financial Infidelity During a Massachusetts Divorce

Couple fighting over money.pngDivorce can result from many things, but financial reasons are chief among the reasons. Most people have made purchases outside your agreed upon budget then lied to hide the evidence or made purchases without clarifying just how much the totals came to. Making decisions to put you and your spouse at financial risk can create trust problems that could ultimately lead to divorce down the road.

infographic: How Important are Dads After Divorce?

A common misconception is that the only "happy families" are two parents, still married and living together under one roof. However, each family is unique and it's completely possible to be divorced and raise happy, well-rounded and healthy children.

Divorce and Term Life Insurance: Avoid These Common Mistakes!

Most divorce agreements in Massachusetts require that one divorced spouse, usually the oneLife Insurance 3.jpg paying child support or alimony, maintain a certain amount of life insurance on themselves to protect the financial future of their former spouse should they die before their financial obligations terminate. But like many provisions, such as dividing retirement funds or selling the house, fulfilling the terms of the agreement happens after the divorce is already final. What if you discover that your former spouse can not get life insurance because of his health or that the policy has lapsed? Since you can't go back and renegotiate the property settlement, you could be out of luck.

Remember the Children When Drafting a Parenting Plan in Massachusetts

Children and calendar.jpgWhen a couple files for divorce in Massachusetts, the process is almost always an emotional one. Though there's property that must be divided and accounts that need to be split. But, when it comes to your children, the issues of custody and a parenting plan can be difficult for both spouses.

Infograph: What are Your Chances of Getting Divorced?

Infograph - Risk factors that effect divorce.pngShould you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a free one hour no obligation consultation.

The Importance of Accurate Financial Statements

The Massachusetts Domestic Relations Rules requires that a current Financial Statement must be filed whenever the financial condition of a party is relevant or is an issue to be considered by the Court, which as you might imagine covers the overwhelming majority of cases, including divorce, separation, child custody, parenting plans, child support, alimony, and contempt. This document includes detailed information about a wide range of financial issues, including income, expenses, assets, and debts. 

Dissipation of Marital Assets During a Massachusetts Divorce

It's sad, but some people behave badly when going through a divorce. Considering there are often so many emotions, hurt feelings, disappointments, and anger that are often wrapped in a divorce, it isn't uncommon for a husband or wife to act out and start spending or wasting money in an attempt to hurt the other party. In other cases, marital funds often get wasted on affairs, substance abuse, or on spending sprees, and that money must later be accounted for during the divorce proceedings. 

Crafting an Effective Parenting Plan

If you are going through a Massachusetts divorce that involves child custody or parenting issues, one of the most important things you will have to deal with is creating a parenting plan that is in the children's best interest. The process can be emotional and combative, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Parenting plans are as varied as the families they are intended to serve, and a creative attorney can help craft one to serve your family's specific needs. A parenting plan is a written document that lays out the schedule that each parent will spend time with the children. Parenting plans can be lengthy and detailed or short and vague. They can go into depth on rotating school schedules, summer plans and holiday visits or they can leave these issues to be worked out later by the parties. However, there are important distinctions and pro's and con's to all of these approaches that should be considered before agreeing to a plan. The degree of difficulty in agreeing on a parenting plan will depend on the facts of your specific case. If your case is hostile or if your relationship with the other parent has soured, it can be difficult to put aside your personal opinions and focus on the needs of your children. Though it may be very hard, it's crucial to do what you can to put your anger aside and focus on the kids. Having both parties work together, with the assistance of experienced attorneys, to craft a parenting plan is almost always the best option for parents and their children, as this approach spares the expense and uncertainty that comes when leaving custody and parenting issues for a judge to decide. If you and the other parent are able to put your issues aside and reach an agreement regarding the children's custody and parenting schedule, what happens next? Though reaching agreement is critically important, no parenting plan is final until a judge approves it. Fortunately, judges approve the overwhelming majority of parenting plans, whether they include sole custody, joint custody, or anything in between. The main thing is to ensure that the plan reflects the best interest of the child, as that is always the court's main concern and primary consideration. So long as that hurdle is cleared, the parenting plan will likely be approved. 

May a Spouse Empty a Bank Account During a Massachusetts Divorce

It's a common worry for those in the midst of a Massachusetts divorce to wake up one day to discover that your spouse has cleaned out your joint bank account. This could leave you with no money to pay your household expenses, buy food, provide for your children, or pay your attorney.

How to Prepare for Your First Meeting with a Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer

After the searching is done and you've finally settled on someone to serve as your Massachusetts family law attorney, you will eventually need to set a time for your first meeting. Though many people show up to these meetings with nothing and without doing any preparation, there are things you can do to get ready for meeting with a divorce lawyer and ensuring that you get the most bang for your buck. The following are some things to consider bringing with you to help guarantee that you get the most out of your first meeting.

Medical Decisions for Minors After Divorce in Massachusetts

Treatment for medical conditions often means making choices, including decisions made by parents for a child's treatment. When you're dealing with your child's medical issues, you may not want to add legal issues into the mix. When parents are divorced, making these choices can create legal problems and conflicts. Knowing how to manage medical care issues for your child while avoiding conflicts with your ex-spouse and keeping your child healthy and safe is paramount.

Law Offices of Renee Lazar
4308 Thompson Farm
Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 978-844-4095
Fax: 781-687-5807
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