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Worcester Family Law Blog

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.

Later in life divorce may necessitate change to retirement plans

With more older couples than ever before deciding to part ways, many Massachusetts residents may find themselves facing their golden years with less money than they expected. Typically, couples who divorce earlier in life split any retirement funds they've accrued while married, but at least they have many more years of earning potential ahead. Couples who divorce mid to late career, on the other hand, may have to make some adjustments to their plans.

For one, many divorcing individuals will need to continue working a little (or a lot) longer than they had planned. In most divorce cases, retirement savings are considered marital property, and as such, they are divided between spouses. Divorcing people who have had to share their savings will likely have to work to recoup monetary losses. As well, most people will encounter additional expenses during a divorce and beyond: extra living expenses as a single person, legal costs and often, child and/or spousal support.

A pet-nup can help pet owners who divorce

Most Massachusetts residents know that when two people decide to separate, whether they are married or cohabiting, typically, some time is spent discussing how they will fairly divide a number of things: vehicles, homes, furniture, bank accounts, investments, parenting time, etc. However, many people may not realize that pet owners must also consider what to do with their furry friends when they divorce or end a cohabitation arrangement. Owners tend to view their pets as part of the family now more than ever before, prompting many people to prepare a pet-nup at the beginning of their romantic relationship.

A pet-nup is a form of prenuptial agreement that stipulates what will happen to a pet in the event the marriage or cohabitation ends. In the past, when a couple severed their legal ties, pets were classified as property, while now many people consider pets like children. In a pet-nup agreement, separating pet owners can and should include anything they think is important regarding the pet's future.

Man struck by hit-and-run driver suffers fatal personal injury

Most Massachusetts residents can think of a time when they were standing on a roadside for one reason or another. Sometimes a tire needs to be changed, or a roadside door must be accessed to remove an item from the vehicle, or a person requires assistance of some sort. However, people who are in this position are especially vulnerable to passing traffic. On a recent Monday evening, a Methuen man was on the road directly outside his home when he was hit by a passing car and suffered fatal personal injury.

Reportedly, the 57-year-old man was standing next to a tow truck waiting for the driver to unload a vehicle. Unfortunately, he was struck by a passing vehicle. The truck driver stated that he saw the man fly through the air. The driver then called for help. Following the crash, the driver who hit the man fled from the scene.

After divorce, co-parenting can be challenging

The divorce process can be difficult, but when the divorce decree is finally granted, many individuals still encounter challenging situations, sometimes for years to come. Many Massachusetts parents who have been through divorce know that they tend to face even more obstacles as they attempt to navigate the intricacies of co-parenting their child(ren), and when ex-partners have a less than amicable relationship, the parenting years can be particularly difficult. However, an expert offers some tips to help insure children enjoy happy, healthy childhoods regardless of their parents' relationship.

First and foremost, co-parenting divorced people should always remember their commitment to their kids and focus on that instead of holding on to old hurt feelings and resentment toward each other. Parents in this type of situation should also hold realistic expectations regarding an ex-spouse. Ex-partners who feel they simply cannot interact amicably when transferring the children may consider using a neutral third party and location to do so. To minimize direct contact with the ex-spouse and to stay organized when kids are shifting between two households, divorced parents can also look into using online communication tools, such as a custody calendar and a digital expense tracker.

Advice on coping with divorce

It goes without saying that ending a marriage is rarely easy. But, according to statistics, nearly half of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce. In some cases, separation is mutual. In other cases, however, it can come as a complete surprise. Here are a few tips to help individuals in Massachusetts cope with a divorce.

One of the most helpful things a person can do during a divorce is to surround him or herself with supportive friends or family. A positive support group can provide hope and make the situation a lot less painful. Although a support group helps, stress will always be there. Instead of trying to avoid stress, it is important to accept it and learn to deal with it. Most often, healing comes from within.

Do grandparents have visitation rights in a divorce situation?

Typically, various people are affected by the end of a marriage, not only the couple involved, particularly if children are in the picture. Grandparents, especially, often have to endure an adjustment period during and following a divorce regarding access to grandchildren, and their visitation rights may even be in question. However, most Massachusetts residents would likely agree that the bond many children enjoy with their grandparents is important and certainly worthy of protection.

A family law attorney in a different state explains the radical changes that ensued from a lawsuit brought forth in the early 1990s. In that case, following their son's death, a couple sued the mother of their grandchildren for grandparent visitation rights. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled that, with some exceptions, if a child has at least one fit and proper parent, grandparents do not have the right to court-ordered visitation with their grandchild over the parent's (or parents') objection.

Getting compensation for a personal injury in Massachusetts

Getting hurt may affect a person's life in more ways than one. Massachusetts residents who have suffered a personal injury have some recourse and rights when it comes to pursuing compensation for those injuries. Those who may have been injured may be affected in many ways, including pain and suffering and loss of income due to the injury.

Suffering an injury may have a negative impact in a lot of respects, but those who seek compensation should know that there is usually a statute of limitations when it comes to filing a claim. In Massachusetts, a person typically has three years from the date of the accident to begin a lawsuit. Those who have been injured should be mindful of doing certain things before launching a claim.

Van strikes woman and causes fatal personal injury

No doubt, city planners in any urban area invest a great deal of time and effort in the structure of roadways, traffic lights, etc. However, even so, some intersections, in Massachusetts and elsewhere, present potential danger to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. This seems to be the case at an intersection in South Boston where a young woman was struck at a crosswalk and suffered fatal personal injury.

The incident happened on a recent Wednesday evening. According to Boston police, a man and a woman, both in their 20s or 30s, were in the crosswalk when a van struck them. Both victims were transported to the hospital with serious injuries. The woman died in hospital the following day, and the man remains in hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening. The van driver remained on scene, and authorities continue to investigate.

Know the facts about divorce before making a decision

No one really wants to endure the emotional pain and stress involved in ending a marriage, not to mention the financial strain. However, for some couples, divorce is the best option. Even people who know this for a fact may put off making the first move because they are influenced by some of the common myths about divorce. Here are the facts around some of the common misconceptions about separation and divorce.

For one, many people wrongly assume that maintaining a bank account separate from their spouse ensures that their finances are separate, but this is not usually the case. Massachusetts, like many other states, considers all money earned during the marriage as marital property, and as such, a court will determine a fair division of assets. Also, some people assume that in a custody battle, the court will automatically grant custody of the children to the mother. In fact, although other factors may be considered, the court will make this decision based on the best interests of the children, so if the father has been acting as the main caretaker, he will often be granted custody.

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