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Springfield Divorce Law Blog

Explore the possibility of alimony during a divorce

The alimony laws of Massachusetts can be complex, but if you are going through a divorce, it is worth trying to learn as much as you can about them. One thing that you have to know is that not all divorces are going to include alimony. There are specific cases that might qualify for these payments. We can review your case to let you know if it meets the criteria for spousal support.

Another thing that you need to know about alimony payments is that they vary greatly. Some people might only get alimony for a short period, while others might get it as long as they aren't engaged or married. There is a chance that alimony payments will be made monthly from the payers' bank account. Sometimes, the monthly payments are bypassed in favor of a single, lump-sum payment.

Provision in proposed tax reform bill will impact alimony

The proposed tax reform legislation that's being considered by the U.S. Congress could impact many couples divorcing couples. Among the tax breaks that would be eliminated if the current version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes is the one available to people who pay alimony. Those deductions totaled over $12 billion in 2015.

However, as one certified divorce financial analyst notes, the people most harmed by the elimination of that tax deduction would actually be the ones receiving alimony, which are generally the spouses with fewer assets and lower incomes. She explains that spouses paying the support won't have as much money to provide their exes "because they'll have to give it to Uncle Sam instead." This also means that recipient spouses wouldn't be able to claim alimony as income.

How do you know if you're the victim of parental alienation?

"Parental alienation" is a term that many people are unfamiliar with until it happens to them. Even then, they may not realize what is occurring.

Parental alienation is when one parent turns a child against the other one by giving the child false information to make it seem as though the other parent doesn't care about the child or is unfit to take care of him or her.

What to do if you can't attend a child custody/support hearing

When you're going through a divorce, attending child custody and support hearings is likely among the most important obligations you'll have. What if a court schedules a hearing when it is difficult, if not impossible, for you to attend?

This often happens when the divorce proceedings (or later hearings involving custody and support) are conducted in a location where you no longer live. Even if they are local, you may not have a job where you can take time off of work when you need to. There could be other factors beyond your control that keep you from attending.

Thanksgiving can be particularly complicated for co-parents

Thanksgiving can be a complicated holiday for any couple. If you spend it with one spouse's family, the other side of the family may be hurt or angry. You may find yourself trying to make time for everyone, which can leave you spending a good chunk of the holiday in your car driving from house to house. If you're hosting the holiday, you've got the added stress of entertaining a disparate group of people while trying not to overcook anything.

For divorced parents, however, Thanksgiving can have even greater complications. Likely both of you want to spend part of the holiday with your kids (and vice versa). Even if you and your spouse have worked out a holiday schedule, your own parents may not be satisfied with it, since this is traditionally one of the few times of the year for multi-generational gatherings.

State high court rules for Fidelity executive in alimony case

The ex-wife of a Massachusetts executive will not be getting the amount of alimony she was awarded during the couple's divorce in 2013. The state's Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the man, who runs Fidelity Investments' global asset allocation division, does not have to pay a third of his future income to his ex-wife, as the Norfolk County probate and family court had awarded her.

It remains to be seen whether this decision impacts other Massachusetts divorce cases where variable alimony awards are sought. In their decision, the high court said, "Although there might be circumstances where it is reasonable and fair to award a percentage of the supporting spouse's income…those circumstances are not present in this case."

Are you the victim of financial abuse?

Domestic abuse takes many forms. Sometimes it involves physical violence. Other times the abuse is verbal and/or emotional. Financial abuse is also a type of domestic abuse. It's often part and parcel of a relationship dominated by domestic violence. Some 99 percent of victims of domestic violence also suffer financial abuse.

All types of domestic abuse, including financial, involve one partner exerting control over the other. If a person is dependent on his or her partner for support and knows nothing of what assets they have or is denied access to them, it's harder to escape the situation.

Co-parents should plan ahead for a happy Halloween for their kids

When you and your spouse were drafting your parenting plan during your divorce, you likely detailed how you would divide time with your kids during special days like Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays. However, you may not have considered how and where your little ones would celebrate Halloween.

If you haven't planned how your kids can enjoy Halloween activities with both of you, now is the time to start. They and their friends are likely already discussing costumes, parties, school events and trick-or-treating.

Financial planning is essential when remarrying

Many people whose first marriages end in divorce want to give it a second chance, and even a third. However, the chances of divorce increase with each subsequent marriage. Roughly two-thirds of second marriages end in divorce, while nearly three-fourths of third marriages don't last.

For some people, the second or third marriage is the charm. That's when they finally find their soulmate. However, when you remarry, it's more important than ever to do some careful planning to protect your financial assets and your responsibilities to your children and other family members. This means getting a prenuptial agreement as well as doing some estate planning.

Why your kids need to see your parenting calendar

One of the most difficult aspects of parental divorce for many kids is the upheaval and uncertainty it can bring to their daily lives. They may be uncertain about which evenings or weekends they'll be spending with their noncustodial parent. They may not know who's going to pick them up after school, show up for their soccer games or take them to the orthodontist.

This uncertainty can be exacerbated by the beginning of a new school year. They may have different activities and even a different school than they had last year. Younger kids, in particular, can suffer from anxiety if they aren't sure who will be there for them and when they will be with each parent.

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