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Wellesley Family Law Blog

Family law commentators opine on divorce preparation

Family law just happens to be one of those legal realms that is replete with subject-related primers and how-to overviews regarding how to prepare for divorce and prosper in its aftermath. Commentators from the casual to the erudite (some of them with no real relevant family law qualifications, others with some credentials to buttress their views) routinely weigh in with views on matters ranging from parenting plans to asset division.

Such is the case with a recent U.S. News & World Report story we unearthed entitled "10 Ways to Prevent a Divorce From Ruining Your Finances." That article concededly contains some quite generic and baseline advice (e.g.., don't upset the judge overseeing your divorce; see a therapist if the divorce process is "emotionally wrenching" in the extreme for you), but is also has a few kernels that qualify as legitimate takeaways for divorcing parties in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Obvious asset division focus as more Americans becoming wealthier

A recent article in Penta magazine is notably interesting regarding the subject of wealth accumulation and related concerns. We pass along some material details for readers in today's post.

Penta is a product of the financial magazine Barron. Its fundamental focus is upon wealthy American individuals and families and their diverse needs ranging from asset preservation and growth to estate administration.

How to protect your assets as a successful woman during your divorce

Facing a divorce can be a tremendously stressful time in your life. Dreams you had about your future and the future of your family may be fading. At the same time, this may be the best choice for you. Going your separate ways may give both of you a chance at the happiness you deserve.

It won't be easy. Getting to your new future may involve overcoming some legal challenges. If you're a woman who out-earns or has more wealth than your partner, it's important that you protect that which is rightfully yours.

Young adults, too, can have much to protect entering a marriage

When it comes to a discussion of things like protecting assets or equitably dividing property in a high-asset divorce, the relevant demographic is often denoted as the baby boomer crowd.

That is understandable, of course, given that it takes time -- sometimes decades -- for individuals and couples to accumulate material assets and actually have something financially related to talk about during divorce negotiations.

Focus on women and divorce: If it's yours, protect it

A frequent media contributor on the topic of family law notes in a recent article that female spouses working outside the home reportedly earned only about half of the income that their husbands brought home monthly in 1970.

That is, of course, an abysmal finding that speaks loudly to sex-based inequality in the workplace in bygone years.

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).

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