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Worcester Family Law Blog

Massachusetts woman suffers personal injury in multi-car crash

Most Massachusetts drivers know that driving is a privilege, not a right. While behind the wheel, a person needs to devote all of his or her attention to the act of driving and continually be aware of potential dangers on the path ahead. In addition, a vehicle owner should maintain his or her vehicle in good working order to decrease the chance of an unexpected incident. Unfortunately, a Massachusetts woman who seems to have caused a multi-car crash leading to personal injury may not have adhered to all of these safety measures.

The accident happened on a recent afternoon when a vehicle driven by a 47-year-old woman spun out of control while entering an interstate highway in Middleboro. The car began in the northbound lane, but ended the spin-out pointing southward. At that point, a Cadillac driven by a 55-year-old woman hit the car head-on.

Appeals Court Emphasizes Importance of Accurate Income Reporting in Probate and Family Court

In many Family Law matters, there is a calculation of alimony and/or child support. A major component of such calculations is the respective income of each party. Therefore, it is imperative that one's income be accurately determined and reported to the Court. It is important that litigants in Family and Probate cases, through their counsel, engage in appropriate discovery to authenticate or discredit income of an opposing party.

Parents who divorce may choose to parallel parent

Ideally, a couple who decides to end their marriage will agree on all necessary decisions and will part amicably. Unfortunately, as many Massachusetts residents going through or about to begin the divorce process know, this scenario does not often ring true. Divorcing parents often experience difficulty during and following a divorce when trying to raise their children in a happy, healthy environment. However, while co-parenting is likely the optimum solution for most, one expert suggests parallel parenting as a viable alternative toward this goal.

Divorced people who co-parent put their children's needs first and through regular, peaceful communication agree on day-to-day details of childcare as well as overall strategies. While this parenting style will work for some, many divorced individuals still harbor negative emotions toward their ex-spouse or simply disagree on parenting philosophies, making effective co-parenting difficult if not impossible. As most parents know, children thrive best in an environment with minimal conflict in which they have a positive relationship with both parents.

Tax law changes can affect divorce decisions

By now, many Massachusetts residents know about the new tax rules regarding alimony due to kick in as the clock strikes midnight New Years Eve. For decades, alimony payments have been tax deductible for the payer and taxable income for the payee. Many people considering divorce or in the process have known for some time that this situation will change as of Jan. 1, 2019, resulting in a rush, in some cases, to get a final settlement in place before the deadline. However, an expert says that divorcing couples who miss the deadline should consider other areas of tax law that are changing as of the new year.

Divorcing individuals should know about changes to mortgage interest rate deductions and the child tax credit before making decisions. For example, due to a new cap on deductions for mortgage interest payments, those people thinking about keeping the family home are wise to carefully consider whether they will see any tax benefits from doing so. As well, divorcing parents should know that the child tax benefit per qualifying child has doubled under the new rules.

In a divorce, who gets custody of the family pet?

In most cases, a divorcing Massachusetts couple has a number of decisions to make before the split is finalized. Some people may be surprised to learn that for many couples, the divorce process includes a discussion around living arrangements for family pets. As seven out of 10 U.S. households own a pet, more and more divorcing people are faced with this sometimes complicated situation. Pet owners should become familiar with the basics of pet custody law, although like child custody, individual circumstances dictate treatment and outcome of each case.

Unlike child custody, the courts consider pets to be personal property, meaning barring exceptions such as an abuse situation, they are essentially treated the same as any other item the pet parents may own. Many divorcing couples are able to negotiate pet visitation agreements between themselves, but in cases of conflict, the courts may help a couple find an arrangement agreeable to both parties. For example, the couple may agree to a visitation schedule where pet ownership is shared, or they may decide one person will have full custody and the other will contribute financially for the pet's care.

Massachusetts man accused of drunk driving causes personal injury

Many Massachusetts residents consider walking an effective form of transportation with many benefits: it's cost-effective, a good form of exercise and relatively safe. However, sometimes, a pedestrian's safety is compromised by unexpected circumstances. This was the case recently when a man accused of driving under the influence collided with two pedestrians, causing personal injury to both.

The accident happened on a recent Thursday evening when the 24-year-old man hit two female pedestrians, an 18-year-old and her 56-year-old mother. The younger woman hit the car's windshield so hard she apparently lay on the ground unable to move or speak. Both women were taken to a local hospital, and the teenager was found to have a fractured skull from the incident.

Tips for divorcing parents negotiating child custody

When a couple decides to separate, no matter the circumstances, emotions are typically running on high. When that couple also has children, they may find it especially challenging to put those emotions aside when making custody decisions throughout the divorce process. However, doing so will only benefit all parties involved, particularly the children. For Massachusetts couples who are engaged in a child custody dispute, here are a few points to keep in mind to ease the process.

These days, family courts see the value in both parents having a meaningful relationship with the children and, with few exceptions, sharing parenting time and participating in major decisions involving their care. Therefore, both parents should be involved with their children's daily lives as much as possible: attending extracurricular events, going to parent/teacher conferences, keeping up with school email correspondence, etc. As well, regardless of any feelings of resentment, divorcing parents should keep in mind that the other parent is still the mother/father of their children and that the children have a right to that relationship.

Divorce can bring changes to holiday schedule

Ending a marriage is rarely easy, no matter how many years a couple has been together. The divorce process means many difficult decisions must be made, not to mention the emotional fallout that most people go through during this time and typically for some time following the final divorce decree. Many divorced people in Massachusetts and elsewhere feel overwhelmed with having to adjust to all the changes in their lives, and this is never truer than during the holiday season. Divorcing or recently divorced individuals may find some comfort from the following tips for making it through the holidays.

For parents, one of the most significant changes resulting from a divorce is that they now must share holiday time with the other parent. This means a parent may not be able to spend time with the children on the actual holiday. However, rather than feeling devastated about missing out on the usual Christmas celebration, parents can accept this new situation for what it is and simply plan to celebrate with the kids on a different day in December. The new plan can be just as festive for everyone, and new traditions can be made.

"Nesting" may help children transition through divorce

When a couple decides to part ways, they must make a number of difficult choices. Divorcing parents face particular challenges as many of their decisions during the divorce process revolve around their children's needs, both emotional and physical. Experts advise divorcing parents to be mindful of the potential negative effects of their separation on the children and keeping the process as amicable as possible can help. Toward this end, divorcing Massachusetts parents may wish to consider one possible family living arrangement called "bird nesting," also known as "nesting."

Nesting involves keeping the family home intact, with each parent taking turns living in the home with the children, while the other parent lives in an off-site location. Parents using this method typically share one apartment that they take turns living in separately when it is not their turn to be with the children. The benefits are fairly obvious: minimal disruption in the children's daily routines, no need for them to move their belongings back and forth between two households, and a smoother transition to the parents' separation.

Grad student cyclist suffers fatal personal injury

Many Massachusetts students own a bicycle as their primary, or only, means of transportation. Although this choice is often necessary due to budget restrictions, many cyclists find a major benefit is the exercise a bike provides. Unfortunately, since cyclists must often share the road with larger vehicles, such as cars and trucks, accidents can occur, often resulting in personal injury or even death. Such a tragedy happened recently at a busy Boston intersection.

The incident took place early one recent Friday morning. According to initial investigation reports, a young male cyclist and a 50-year-old truck driver simultaneously attempted a right turn at the intersection. Tragedy struck when one of the truck's wheels hit the bicycle as they were making the turn. The bicyclist, a 24-year-old graduate student at nearby Boston University, was transported to a local hospital. However, sadly, he died due to his injuries.

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