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Worcester Family Law Blog

How to manage the sale of a house during a divorce

Moving, making a major financial decision and splitting from a spouse are all stressful occasions on their own. But, for many separated and divorcing couples Massachusetts, all three happen around the same time. There are a few things people should expect when selling a house during a divorce, and there are some common challenges to navigate during this time.

It is common for one or both spouses in a divorce to want to keep the family home. However, there are many reasons this might not be possible. Financial constraints are a huge factor here, and coordinating things like changing over titles, or removing someone from a mortgage, can get in the way of a resolution where the home is not sold. As a result, many couples will choose to sell their shared home as part of the divorce. 

Understanding Massachusetts child support laws

Child support can be confusing for those parents who are under court order to pay. While it may seem like punishment, child support is simply a way to meet the needs of one's children when the children live with the other parent. Child support not only provides for the necessities, such as food, shelter, clothing and health care, but it also allows the child to enjoy extracurricular activities and other pleasures.

A Massachusetts parent who is ordered to pay child support will likely continue making payments until the child reaches the age of 18. In some cases, such as if the child goes to college, this may extend longer. If there is a dispute about the paternity for the child, the court will first establish this before calculating a support amount.

Prenuptial agreement may have sped up divorce for Miley Cyrus

When a married couple here in Massachusetts decides to get divorced, they likely know that it isn't a simple process, even in the best of circumstances. For people who are wealthy or famous, divorce can be even more difficult as both parties try to determine a fair settlement under the scrutiny of the public. One thing that can help make the entire matter easier is if the couple had a prenuptial agreement. In the case of pop star Miley Cyrus and her ex-husband, movie star Liam Hemsworth, their prenup may have helped their divorce happen much more quickly than if they hadn't had that legal documentation to begin with.

The couple dated for several years before finally getting married near the end of 2018. They decided to part ways in August of this year and their divorce was set to be finalized on Christmas Eve. Hemsworth is the one who filed for the divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences."

Chain-reaction crash results in fatal personal injury for toddler

Likely, most Massachusetts drivers are aware of the importance of following all the rules of the road when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. Likewise, most drivers would probably agree that, at times, it can be challenging to pay attention to and strictly follow all the rules all the time, as sometimes, distractions can cause a person to overlook a crucial detail. Unfortunately, when this happens, a driver may end up causing personal injury, sometimes fatal, to a person or people nearby.

This is what happened one day last summer on a South Boston street. Reportedly, a 63-year-old woman went through a stop sign and collided with a van. The crash affected the van's steering, and consequently, the van driver lost control of the vehicle and struck a toddler, his sister and their caretaker who were walking on the sidewalk. The 22-month-old boy was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The 4-year-old girl was seriously injured.

Retirement plans may need adjusting following divorce

Going through a divorce can naturally disrupt the financial plans of just about anyone in these circumstances. This means that these individuals must also make adjustments to their retirement plans, especially if they are drawing closer to their retirement years. Here are some tips for restarting the retirement planning process after a divorce in Massachusetts.

To begin, individuals who are confronting divorce proceedings may want to scrutinize how much money they bring in and spend each month. This may help them to optimize their savings after the judgment is final. For instance, they should ideally pinpoint both their wants and their needs, then adjust their lifestyles accordingly. The right retirement plan can help a divorcing individual to still accomplish his or her retirement goals, either years or decades from now.

Sharing parenting time successfully during the holidays

Most Massachusetts divorced parents understand that everyone involved -- parents, children and even extended family -- must adjust to many new situations and "firsts" following the split. However, the holiday season is perhaps one of the more challenging times for ex-spouses wanting to share parenting time, especially if the divorce was finalized fairly recently. While tensions can run high at this time of year, divorced parents can increase the chances of everyone enjoying a harmonious and relaxing holiday if they follow a few tips.

First, if applicable, divorced parents should be sure they are familiar with all details of their most recent court order, and if changes are necessary, plan adjustments with their attorney in advance of the holiday. Next, ex-spouses should communicate these details to each other as well as the children, to avoid misunderstandings. Parents can provide a wall calendar for the children to let them know where they will be, and with whom, on each day of the season.

Co-parenting after divorce when an ex-spouse is very difficult

While parents who part ways are ending their relationship with each other, likely most prefer, post-breakup, to find a way to co-parent the children that resulted from their union. As many Massachusetts residents know, co-parenting following divorce can be challenging, no matter the circumstances. An ex-spouse who is particularly difficult can make the experience that much harder. However, divorced parents who are dealing with a toxic ex-spouse are advised to commit themselves to always act in the best interests of the children and to maintain their personal integrity and sanity. People in this type of situation can also benefit from the following tips.

First, divorced individuals are wise to remember that they cannot change their ex-spouse, but they can control themselves and their own responses when buttons are pushed, as they inevitably will be during contact. It is helpful for people to note how the dynamic typically plays out when they interact with their ex-spouse, and then try to change the usual pattern to create a healthier dynamic. Divorced parents should also set clear boundaries around communication. For example, a person may set time parameters or limit the means of communication for discussing any parenting issues.

Financial tips for people remarrying after divorce

Many Massachusetts residents who have legally ended their marriage decide at some point to begin a union with a new partner. People who remarry following a divorce may encounter challenges around finances that are specific to a second marriage, particularly for older individuals who have accumulated some wealth. Although details may differ, newly married couples in this type of situation should take note of the following tips.

Perhaps most importantly, individuals who remarry are wise to fully disclose their personal financial situation to each other, including details about assets, debts, credit history and any financial obligations to a former spouse. As well, if a person has been supporting another family member, for example, an adult child, he or she should clearly communicate this information to the new spouse. It is also a good idea for new couples to meet regularly, perhaps monthly, to pay bills together, discuss fears or concerns around money, discuss investments, etc. Individuals with children from a previous relationship may also need to discuss with their new spouse a strategy for paying for a child's education. People with this type of financial commitment may consider using premarital assets, if possible.

Good Samaritan stops to help and suffers fatal personal injury

Most Massachusetts drivers, at one point or another, have passed the site of a car crash or a vehicle on the roadside accompanied by people in distress. Most people when passing this type of scene will empathize with those involved, but for any number of reasons, many individuals will still continue on their way. Others, however, will feel compelled to pull over and lend a hand in such situations. This seems to have been the case recently when a man pulled over to assist a family on an interstate highway in Raynham and suffered fatal personal injury.

The incident happened very early on a Friday morning. A man stopped to assist a family that was was stuck on the side of the highway. According to police, the family, who had been traveling in an SUV, had struck a deer and pulled over into the breakdown lane.

How to manage investments during divorce

Massachusetts residents who have experienced a marital split know that for most couples, one of the most significant consequences for one or both spouses is the financial fallout, which sometimes can be devastating. Several factors can contribute: division of assets, child and/or spousal support obligations, reduction of household income and the cost of the divorce itself. To minimize the damage regarding investments, individuals who are going through a divorce or about to begin the process can arm themselves with financial knowledge.

Firstly, most divorcing people will want to change beneficiary designations on any investment accounts from their spouse to a different person (or people). Next, individuals are wise to be sure they have a full understanding of all information necessary for them to access investment accounts (as well as all other assets). This information includes names attached to and account numbers of all financial accounts, login credentials, contact details and whether both spouses have the ability to make decisions in the accounts.

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