Divorcing couples in Massachusetts have a lot to consider. Even in a best-case scenario, divorce is an emotionally and financially stressful time. However, to help separating couples remember the most important aspects of divorce, one advisor has come up with an acronym that covers the main areas that will need addressed. This acronym, PEACE, stands for Parenting plan, Equitable distribution, Alimony, Contesting and Everything else.
A parenting plan may be the most important part of any divorce negotiation involving children; it concerns child custody, child support and visitation. The equitable distribution aspect of property division doesn’t necessarily mean equal distribution; rather, it simply refers to how marital assets will be divided between the parties. Alimony – or spousal support – is another factor to consider, and takes into account an ex spouse’s age and physical condition, standard of living, earning capability and more.
If the parties cannot reach agreement over one or all of the material issues, the divorce may be contested. At this point, the attorneys for each party will pursue an outcome in court that best suits the needs of his or her client. If the parties ultimately reach a settlement, it will need to be approved by the judge; if not, the court will make the final decision based upon the submitted evidence. As for everything else, each divorce is unique with different priorities and concerns for all parties involved, and the experience of a family law attorney can prove invaluable in addressing the specific concerns of a particular client.
Whatever approach the divorcing couple decides to take, common advice holds that it’s best to secure legal representation as early in the process as possible. Divorce is complicated, and it simply makes good sense to have someone to fight for one’s best interests. While ending a marriage is never enjoyable, a knowledgeable and experienced Massachusetts attorney can help make the entire process as hassle-free as possible.
Source: bradenton.com, “Financial strategies to negotiate a divorce settlement”, Jim Zientara, April 17, 2017