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Wellesley Family Law Blog

What are your options regarding alimony in Massachusetts?

Alimony can be one of the most contentious issues of a divorce, particularly in situations in which one or both spouses have a high net worth. In Massachusetts, there are four types of alimony. When the court makes a decision, it takes into account a number of different factors, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The earning potential of each spouse
  • The reasons for the divorce
  • How many children are in the household

Myths surrounding child custody in Massachusetts

Among the most common complicating factors in Massachusetts divorce cases is child custody. Because there is a lot of attention and emotion involved in custody battles, some myths have developed about the specifics of custody cases.

One popular myth is that, in cases where domestic violence has been alleged, the children will be safe from the influence of an abusive parent once the parents are separated. According to some experts, however, many parents use children to bargain with, manipulate or control the other parent.

Buying a home with a cohabiting partner

As more couples in Massachusetts are choosing to live together before getting married, some are deciding to purchase homes together. Experts warn against buying a home with an unmarried partner because of the difficulties that could happen if the relationship ends.

If a person wants to go ahead and buy a home with a cohabiting partner, it is best to view the transaction as a business contract. The couple can draw up an agreement that addresses all aspects of the purchase. This could include who is responsible for what portion of the down payment, the amounts each will pay toward the monthly mortgage payment, repair costs, utilities, property taxes and what will happen if the couple decides to go their separate ways.

Identify, properly value retirement accounts in high-asset divorce

Divorce-related stories a decade or so more ago might have seemed a bit devoid of baby-boomer references generally.

These days, conversely, boomers feature prominently and consistently in divorce news in Massachusetts and nationally, especially when it comes to assets in play and property division considerations.

Physician divorces: Yes, they can sometimes be quite different

If you're a doctor in Massachusetts or elsewhere in the country who is going through a divorce, you might be thinking that your stresses and concerns are materially -- in fact, fundamentally -- different in nature and magnitude from those of other divorcing parties who do not practice medicine.

You're likely overstating that to a degree, given the commonality of a few key divorce considerations that recurrently feature in many divorces (parenting plans and visitation, for example).

High-asset divorce property division: the need for legal counsel

A Massachusetts family law appeals case decided last year has garnered significant press in the wake of the appellate court's ruling, and for a materially notable reason. We revisit the case in today's blog post, given its potential utility for our clients and other state residents who are centrally concerned with an equitable division of marital assets during divorce.

There is of course a clear bifurcation going into the divorce process between so-called "separate" and "marital" property. The bottom line is that the former signifies assets held solely by or for the interest of only one married partner, with no intent for those assets to be in play when a court considers a marriage-ending property division. Marital property, conversely, encompasses all assets that are subject to division.

Don't believe everything you hear about high-asset divorces

Thanks to social media, it's not uncommon to hear about expensive celebrity divorces. Many divorces, like the ones we read about in the papers, are extremely complex due to the amount of assets the divorcing couple owns, such as pensions, retirement accounts and vacation homes.

Despite the attention these divorces receive, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding high net worth divorces. Learn the facts behind the most frequent myths about divorce.

Misconception: I have my own, separate bank accounts, so my spouse is not entitled to what is in them.

Contested litigation in the courtroom: there are other options

If you're a Massachusetts resident seeking to get a divorce, you might reasonably harbor some trepidation regarding what is centrally involved in the process.

And you would hardly be alone for having some fears and doubts. After all, divorce is not exactly a commonplace occurrence for most people.

A few words on "complex" divorce: Aren't all divorces complex?

In considering the above-posed headline in today's blog post, it can of course be stated that, indeed, every divorce is complex to a degree.

To wit: Even a dissolution with few trigger points or little to contest will still entail some considerations that require thoughtful deliberation and execution.

Massachusetts high-asset divorce: some singular considerations

When looked at from a macro perspective, divorce can often be seen as having commonly recurring features. As we note on our family law website at the Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri, P.C., "[A]ll divorces have the same basic elements involved."

There is certainly a caveat to that truism, though, which is especially applicable to one particular type of divorce, namely, a dissolution centrally marked by property division involving significant assets.

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