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Does property division including draining the bank account?

Couples seeking divorce often have varied priorities. For some, simply gaining freedom from an unhappy life is the goal. Others, however, want nothing more than to get even with their spouse, and still others fear only for their financial security. A spouse who wants out of a painful marriage may give little thought to what happens to the marital assets, but most couples are keenly aware that fair property division can mean the difference between an optimistic future and years of struggle.

A question many couples may have is what to do with a joint bank account. While some may believe it fair to say whoever grabs first gets the prize, they may be disappointed to learn that this could cost them in the end. A joint savings or checking account is typically considered marital property in Massachusetts and most other states. This means, barring a prenuptial agreement, the court includes joint accounts when it divides all assets equitably between the divorcing spouses.

How much child support lands in the pockets of 10-percenters?

An executive of the Massachusetts state lottery says the number of repeat lottery winners in the state defies logic and must involve some rule bending. After the analysis of almost 11 million lottery payout records of 34 states, students from a graduate school of journalism in another state determined that Massachusetts has much more repeat lottery winners than any other state. Questions are raised about individuals cashing in winning tickets on behalf of people who owe debts like child support and taxes.

Two recipients of lottery winnings who were mentioned as examples include a 59-year-old man who has collected on winning tickets 5,800 times, totaling $8.9 million. His tickets originated from no less than 1,200 different stores across 160 communities. The other person is a 79-year-old man who has won over $11 million over the past six years from more than 7,300 tickets that he bought from 1,400 stores in 150 towns and cities.

How separate property can become marital

Massachusetts is an equitable division state. This means that, in a divorce, courts apportion marital property between the spouses in a way they consider most fair under the circumstances.

Certain types of property may remain separate throughout the marriage and continue to belong solely to one spouse. In Massachusetts, separate property may still be part of the distribution.

Nesting: A child custody arrangement made to benefit kids

In Massachusetts, when a couple decides to divorce, there are many issues that must be discussed. If they are parents, child custody and support may be important considerations. These types of issues can lead to arguments and anger because the parties do not always agree about what is best for their kids.

Nesting is a new twist on traditional child custody arrangements. The kids involved in their parent's divorce remain in the family home, even after the process is final. Then, the parents rotate living in the home, rather than having the kids change houses each week to visit parents.

Divorce in Massachusetts can include alimony and other issues

Former US Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., and his estranged wife have decided to end their marriage. The former representative filed the divorce action last year, but the couple had to complete a required mediation program before moving their divorce forward towards a trial. Among the issues discussed in the mediation, a report that may be of interest to those in Massachusetts, were alimony, property division and child-related matters.

The soon-to-be divorced couple were both convicted of felonies prior to the end of their marriage. The convictions revolved around the taking of monies and tax questions relating to campaign funds. Both spouses are now out of prison and living in different states.

Would mediation help you in your high asset divorce?

Now that your marriage has reached its end, you have much at stake when it comes to dividing your property. You more than likely did not spend your time accumulating your wealth and property just to submit to the orders of a Massachusetts court in a high asset divorce. Fortunately, there is an alternative: mediation.

Massachusetts does not require you to attempt mediation in a divorce. However, it may provide you with a better method of dividing your property while saving you time and money when compared to going to court with your spouse. When you first sit down with a mediator, each of you will have the chance to present your positions and what you hope to achieve. If you and your spouse have already made some preliminary agreements, they too, would be discussed.

Massachusetts child support vital to many families

In Massachusetts and elsewhere, a noncustodial parent does not have a court order giving him or her physical or legal custody of a child. This may occur as the result of divorce proceedings, but it can also happen in other circumstances. These include paternity findings and court orders concerning parents who are not married. In most cases, noncustodial parents must pay child support to the parent with whom the child resides.

One media report recently discussed the various reasons that noncustodial parents can be required to pay child support. The article discussed the success of a Mid-Atlantic state's child support collection program. That state agency has been able to increase the number of on-time payments made to custodial parents by a large margin. The program helps both noncustodial mothers and fathers, and there is an emphasis on job support.

Massachusetts property division may be helped by prenup

The end of a Massachusetts marriage requires a lot of decisions. These can relate to all parts of the marriage, and often include property division and child custody (for couples who are parents of minor-aged children). In determining whether to award alimony, or spousal maintenance, a court will take into consideration the length of a marriage, the income of the parties and other factors.

One recent article addressed the topic of alimony in divorce proceedings. It described a scenario where a wife paid alimony to her husband. This is because the wife is a doctor and makes a significant income, and is expected to continue to do so.

3 reasons a prenuptial agreement may be invalid

When you sign a pre- or postnuptial agreement, you assume that it will protect you and your spouse from the hassle of litigation if you were to ever separate. Many people are finding that this is not true, though, and are facing the reality of a contested prenup. There are a few reasons this may happen, and you should be aware of the potential complications that can stem from such an agreement.

Though it is rare for a prenup to be ruled invalid, it is not unheard of. Because the agreements typically outline the procedure for property division, you might be invested in challenging the validity in your own prenup when financial circumstances have shifted over the course of your marriage.

Massachusetts divorce can include alimony payments

In Massachusetts, there are often financial discussion and agreements made when a marriage ends. These often end with a decision that includes the payment of alimony to one of the spouses. However, in some cases, people waive their right to such payments despite being technically entitled to them. This is what happened in one recent case that may be of interest to our readers.

In that case, the wife had supported her husband as he built his career because they, as a couple, had imagined life of kids, suburbs and money. When that didn't happen and the marriage ended, she suffered emotions that included questioning whether she had a right to ask for alimony. Those types of questions ended with her not being paid support, leaving her broke and frustrated.

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