When their child is getting divorced in Massachusetts, most parents are appalled to to learn that Massachusetts, unlike other states, allows the court to consider the future inheritance of a divorcing spouse when determining how to divide the marital estate. Although a future expectancy of an inheritance is not divisible in a divorce, "the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income: is one factor, among many, that the court weighs in the process of equitable distribution.
As the Massachusetts divorce process begins, it's not uncommon for the spouse with the financial power during the marriage to declare war against their former partner by cutting off credit cards, hiding assets and hiring the most litigious attorney. This could send their estranged partner into a financial and emotional tailspin.
As people spend more and more time on digital and electronic devices (smartphones, laptops, ipads, and computers), digital information becomes more relevant in divorce cases. Social media, computers and cell phones become very prominent in Massachusetts divorce cases. This is largely because they are a great source of evidence. It is not uncommon for clients to show up for divorce consults with large stacks of text messages from a spouse or Facebook posts. The field of Family Law is responding to this increasing prevalence of digital information with the increased use of computer forensic investigators/experts.
Sometimes a spouse can be blind-sided by his or her partner's request for a divorce. More often, however, both spouses share a sense that the relationship is broken and can't be fixed. When it comes to that, does it matter who files first? According to some financial and legal divorce consultants, it does.
The Massachusetts alimony reform statute states that "alimony awards which exceed the durational limits established shall be modified upon a complaint for modification without additional material change of circumstance, unless the court finds that deviation from the durational limits is warranted." The court must then look to whether deviation is "required in the interests of justice."
Depending on the nature and complexity of the issues in dispute in your Massachusetts divorce or child custody matter, your attorney may recommend that you engage the services of non-lawyer professionals to assist with certain aspects of your case. The cost of retaining non-lawyer professionals can add to your legal expenses. Therefore, your attorney must weigh the cost to you of retaining a specific professional with the legal necessity and the added benefit to your case. If your attorney recommends that you retain another professional, it is likely because he/she has deemed it essential to supporting or defending certain positions or claims that are necessary to helping you achieve a certain result. In some situations, you and your spouse may be able to agree to jointly engage the services of a necessary professional, such as a real estate appraiser, and share the cost of the professional's services to keep your expenses to a minimum.