In the event of divorce, each party must make important decisions in various aspects of their lives: living arrangements, financial support, children, etc. Typically, if spousal support is to be determined, the divorcing couple will discuss it later in the proceedings, as the plan for division of property and other assets should be in place first. Massachusetts divorcing couples would be wise to know some points about spousal support, including how it is calculated and what can be done if the payor fails to follow through or either party's circumstances change.
Most Massachusetts couples will likely agree that trust is one of the most important components of a healthy relationship. When two people decide to divorce, no matter the reason, in most cases, either prior to or during the divorce process, trust is eroded to some degree. When trust is depleted or absent, one party in a divorce may attempt to hide assets from the other. A financial expert offers advice for uncovering such hidden assets, since doing so will increase the likelihood that both parties will be treated fairly in the divorce.
Many Massachusetts residents know about the changes to the tax treatment of alimony payments under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. As of Jan. 1, 2019, alimony payments are no longer considered tax deductible for the payer nor taxable for the recipient. However, the new law applies only to new agreements signed on or after the first of this year or older agreements that have been modified after Jan. 1, 2019. For all others, for tax purposes, it is important to know exactly what is considered alimony, otherwise known as spousal support.
Although many people think of the typical divorcing couple as young to perhaps middle-aged, in recent years, more older people are deciding to end their marriage. According to statistics, the rate of older adults divorcing has increased significantly, prompting a special term for this situation: "gray divorce." The trend may be due to greater financial independence of women in recent generations, empty-nest syndrome or other factors, but whatever the reason, Massachusetts couples making this decision later in life need to be aware of the potential effects of the divorce on their retirement plans.
Massachusetts couples who have decided to split have a great deal to think about from the moment they make that crucial decision to end their marriage to the day they receive their final papers stating their union has been legally dissolved. Many individuals would likely say that child support is one of the more challenging issues to negotiate during the divorce process. For some people, alimony can be an equally contentious topic, particularly if the split is less than amicable. Divorcing individuals who need to visit this topic are smart to know the facts before the discussion begins.
During a separation, or even when a couple is contemplating a split, both individuals tend to experience higher than normal levels of stress. People may be concerned about future living arrangements, effects on children and many other aspects. Many individuals have particular concerns about the effect of the divorce on their financial well-being, now and in future. Massachusetts residents who are considering or going through a divorce are wise to be sure they are well-informed in several different areas of their financial situation in order to make smart decisions throughout the divorce process and into their future. One financial expert explains several categories to evaluate: assets, liabilities, income and expenses.
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.
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.
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."
Whether a Massachusetts couple decides to separate by mutual agreement, or one partner initiates the split, many decisions need to be made. Although each person likely feels overwhelmed during the time immediately following a breakup, it is important to think clearly and rationally at this time, as the decisions that are made during the separation and divorce process will shape the years to come for all parties involved. Fortunately, an expert offers some practical tips for moving forward effectively.