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June 2017 Archives

Who Should Be Paying the Bills During a Massachusetts Divorce?

You and your soon-to-be-ex spouse may still be under the same roof inDebt 2.jpg Massachusetts, or you might have already separated or found temporary arrangements apart from one another. Regardless of your current living situation, your regular monthly bills are still coming in. How do you know who should be paying the household bills during your divorce? If you own a home, you'll surely have utility bills including cable and Internet as well as mortgage and car payments to make. There are probably also credit card and loan statements, car, life and health insurance costs, and many other bills. No matter your current relationship with your spouse, determining who pays what might be confusing at first.

Infographic: Tenant: Tips On Preventing Burglary in Massachusetts

The best way to protect against a burglary in Massachusetts is to be well-informed. That starts with learning the who, what, when, where, why, and how of burglaries, so tenants can better understand what they are up against. Landlords should take action by familiarizing your tenants with common security mistakes to avoid, and by implementing simple do-it-yourself tips and tricks for burglar-proofing your properties.

U.S. Supreme Court Prohibits Indemnity Waivers For VA Disability Payments

On May 15, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Howell v. Howell,Military 25.jpg prohibiting states from ordering indemnity when a servicemember waived a portion of military retirement in return for VA disability payments.

Massachusetts Landlords Can Expedite Tenant Evictions

When Massachusets tenants engage in illegal activities, it is logical that landlords want toApartment.jpg immediately remove them from the premises to protect their property and the safety of other tenants. Even in these cases, however, landlords must go to court and follow a specific legal process.

Infographic: Screen Time vs. Lean Time: Tips For Divorced Massachusetts Parents

Research shows that kids ages 8-18 now spend, on average, a whopping 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day, 4.5 of which are spent watching TV. Over a year, that adds up to 114 full days watching a screen for fun. That's just the time they spend in front of a screen for entertainment. It doesn't include the time they spend on the computer at school for educational purposes or at home for homework.

Ways To Get Ready For Retirement If You're Over 50 and Divorcing in Massachusetts

When you reach your 50s and newly divorced in Massachusetts a shiver of fear runs down your spine because youSaving for Retirement.jpg haven't saved for retirement yet, don't panic. Though you can't expect to match someone who started planning in their 30s, your cause is far from lost.

Massachusetts Landlords: Avoid These Traps When Evicting Your Tenant!

The first step in evicting any Massachusetts tenant is issuing a notice to quit whichTenancy Agreement.jpg is a legal document formally notifying the tenant that his tenancy is being terminated for a particular reason and giving him the date upon which he must move out. There are very specific rules as to how the notice must be drafted, what it must say, and how it must be delivered. Any mistakes in providing a proper notice to quit can torpedo your eviction case before you even see a judge.

Where to Find Hidden Assets in a Massachusetts Divorce

Sadly, a Massachusetts divorce often involves lies and deception. Although theHidden assets.png parties in a Massachusetts divorce action are obligated to make full and complete disclosures of their assets and liabilities, it is not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to hide marital property. By hiding assets, one of the parties may attempt to keep those assets from being equitably distributed and reduce the amount of child support and alimony they would otherwise be required to pay.

Massachusetts Landlords Get Useful Tenant Screening Tool

Massachusetts has expanded online court docket information forSearch.jpg all district courts and housing courts in Massachusetts including records on evictions, small claims, civil, and supplementary process (collection actions) cases. The website is It is free to use.

Who Pays the Credit Card Debt After a Massachusetts Divorce?

Many people worry about their Massachusetts divorce and credit card debtCredit cards.jpgspecifically how that debt is divided following a Massachusetts divorce and they fear being held responsible for the wild spending of their spouse. The general rule in an equitable division state like Massachusetts is that debts incurred during the marriage for marital purposes is marital debt, regardless of whether it's listed jointly or in only one spouse's name.

What Immigrants Should Know if Divorcing in Massachusetts

Immigration issues have long occupied the thoughts of Massachusett's family lawImmigration.jpg attorneys. When clients are immigrants or have immigrant spouses who aren't U.S. citizens, they may face some unexpected hurdles as they navigate the court system.

Service, Emotional Support, and Assistance Animals: Rights Under Massachusetts Fair Housing Laws

Landlords in Massachusetts may be obligated to modify their "no pets" policies toDog 2.jpg allow a resident to keep an animal that does not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of "service animal." This post will clarify the status of other types of animals that may assist individuals with disabilities, such as emotional support/companion animals, and their status under Massachusetts Fair Housing laws.

How to Calculate Retirement Pay For Reserve Component Members in Massachusetts

The current Reserve Component (RC) retirement is based on a combination ofMilitary Female.jpg satisfactory years and points achieved each year. An RC member (that is, a member of the National Guard or Reserves) earns 15 points each year for participation, one point each day for two weeks of annual training and any other active duty time served, and points for weekend drills, performing funeral honors, and completing correspondence courses, depending on how many hours of work are performed. RC members must earn 50 points annually to have a satisfactory year.

How to Calculate Retirement Pay For Active Duty Service members in Massachusetts

The current military retirement system is a defined benefit system.Military 23.jpg Service members who serve honorably for 20 years become vested in the retirement system. When active-duty Service members retire, they receive a monthly pension calculated by multiplying the average of the service member's highest three years of continuous pay (the retired pay base) by 2.5% times the years of service (the retired pay multiplier).

Does A Massachusetts Eviction Show On A Credit Report?

A common question for tenants facing eviction in Massachusetts is whether anCredit Report.jpg eviction will show on a credit report. Tenants, understandably, are concerned about whether such cases will become a public record and be accessible by others.

Father's Day and Dads in Massachusetts

Perhaps the most traumatic repercussion of a Massachusetts divorce or the separation of parents is the inability to see one'sFather and Children.jpg children every day. I have met many a client who has refused to pursue a divorce merely because he could not contemplate separation from his children.

How to Fight an Eviction in Massachusetts: A Tenants' Guide to Staying in Their Homes

When a landlord begins the eviction process, they are proceeding underEviction Notice.jpg Massachusetts's summary process rules. These are the rules that a landlord must proceed under or they risk violating the tenant's rights. While a summary process is the fastest legal proceeding in Massachusetts, it can still be quite slow and costly for the landlord.

How to Prepare For Summer Co-Parenting in Massachusetts

Though many children look forward to the fun, freedom, and activities thatSummertime.jpg typically come with summer vacation, it can be a challenging time for both the children and the parents in Massachusetts.

Mediation: An Alternative to a High Cost/High Conflict Massachusetts Divorce

As mediation continues to build momentum as a viable, and often less costly, Mediation 14.jpgform of dispute resolution in Massachusetts, so has the role of your attorney in the mediation process. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which spouses meet with a qualified neutral professional, usually and preferably an experienced divorce attorney, to discuss their child related and/or financial issues, exchange pertinent information, and work with the mediator to create an out-of-court settlement. While this process does not involve retained experts or litigation, most parties do in fact consult with and obtain advice from an attorney prior to, during, and after the mediation process.

Violation of Security Deposit Law Is A Defense to Eviction in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in Garth Meikle v. Patricia Nurse, Security Deposit.jpgthat violation of the security deposit law by landlords is a complete defense to an eviction. 

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