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Mother fights for child support for 25 years

Many Massachusetts residents know that a divorce can end on very unfriendly terms. One partner may, in some cases, go out of his or her way to make things difficult for the other person. These actions may include dragging out the divorce proceedings or withholding alimony or child support payments. 

One mother has been fighting for 25 years to get consistent child support payments for her two sons. For years she has struggled to give her children everything they need. However, because of her former husband's unwillingness to make his child support payments, the boys were forced to go without many things. Now that her children are grown, this mother hopes to use the child support that her children are due to help pay for college costs.

Terrence Howard ordered to pay alimony after his ex-wife's appeal

In Massachusetts and elsewhere, the process of going through a divorce can be stressful, to say the least. This may be especially true for couples who no longer get along. Discussions between these individuals can become even more strained, and can sometimes turn vicious when sensitive subjects like alimony are being discussed.

Two years ago Terrence Howard alleged that he had signed the settlement concerning spousal support between him and his now ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, under duress. This settlement had originally required him to pay nearly $6,000 per month in spousal support. He claimed that she had threatened to leak embarrassing photos and videos of him to the public. At the time, the courts agreed that he had signed the documents under duress.

Child support payments may be changed after reduction in income

Divorces that involve children can be especially stressful for the entire family. After the divorce is final, the primary custody of the children will often be given to one parent, and the other will have visitation rights and be asked to pay child support. Some parents in Massachusetts asked to pay child support worry that they might be asked to continue making payments that they can't afford if there is a change in their income. 

One couple divorced after 19 years of marriage. Custody of their child was awarded to the mother, and the father was asked to pay $1,700 per month in child support and maintenance payments. The father filed multiple motions to modify the payments over the next few years because of fluctuations in his income.

Tips to consider when discussing property division

Communication between couples going through a divorce can be strained and sometimes awkward. Because of this, people will sometimes try to rush through discussions about how to divide assets in order to move the process along. Attorneys in Massachusetts can help clients to understand how assets are best divided and why some methods of property division look better on paper than in practice.

To some, the prospect of keeping the family home instead of selling it and dividing the profits is very attractive. On paper, the home may be valued equal to or more than the sum of other assets like bank accounts or other liquid assets. Individuals should consider whether or not they will be financially able to maintain the home after the divorce is final. Some of the costs to be considered include the mortgage payments, insurance and general maintenance. 

The importance of communication in a high asset divorce

Couples in Massachusetts know that sorting out finances can be very difficult under normal circumstances. These difficulties can be made worse during a divorce, especially a high asset divorce. A lack of communication can make it difficult for couples to determine how to fairly divide their assets.

Each partner will have to seek out as many details about his or her finances as possible. This includes bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and properties. It also includes any debts held by the couple or the individuals as well as living expenses. Financial advisors may encourage individuals to include earnings from the past several years. 

Benefits of sharing child custody

Children react to divorce in several different ways. Some will lash out and purposely stir up trouble, and other will withdraw into themselves. There are still others that will act as if nothing is wrong until no one is watching. Parents in Massachusetts might consider sharing child custody as a way to provide a stable environment for their children.

More often than not, the custody of any children in a divorce is awarded to the mother. This is usually done to spare the children from enduring too much stress during the divorce. It is also done in hopes that it will prevent the children from being caught in the middle of any disagreements that their parents might have and from being made to believe that they must choose a side. Unfortunately, this also makes it very easy for one parent to become the disciplinarian and the other to become the fun parent. Sharing custody of the children allows both parents to spend a greater amount of time with the children and to more easily share in parental duties.

Understanding prenuptial agreements

A prenuptial agreement, entered into before marriage, can serve as a way for Massachusetts couples to decide how to apportion their assets in the event of a divorce. Especially for high-asset couples, a valid prenup can protect property and cut down on potential litigation.

Massachusetts law does not require your prenup to cover any particular topic. Common issues contained in prenups include alimony, classification of particular property as separate and division of assets. For an effective prenup, avoid using stock forms. Your attorney can help you by drafting a document that covers your individual circumstances.

Failure to pay child support results in arrest

Individuals in Massachusetts know that divorce is difficult for the entire family, especially children. Family members and friends may feel like they need to choose sides, and children are too often caught in the middle. When custody is determined, it is important for each individual to honor any agreements concerning visitation or child support.

Paying child support allows parents to help provide financial stability for their children. Children that are old enough to understand may also benefit emotionally from knowing that their parent makes an effort to make the payments on time. However, failure to make the agreed upon payments can cause a wide variety of problems for not only the individual receiving the payments but the person paying them as well.

Property Division Stalemate

Couples in Massachusetts that are seeking a divorce may be surprised to find that even with a prenuptial agreement issues may still arise. Properties and assets acquired during a marriage could potentially cause friction upon separation due to each person's perceived values. These disagreements over property division can cause the individuals seeking divorce to get caught up in legal battles that could possibly go on for months.

It is important for couples to discuss how properties should be divided in the event of a divorce. Dividing property can be difficult. Couples may find that they each have very different ideas of how certain properties should be divided or dealt with. 

High asset divorce may follow financial secrecy

Millennial couples seem to be approaching marriage differently from those in past generations, especially when it comes to finances. Many Massachusetts millennials have careers, savings and investments before they consider marriage, and this often means keeping some aspects of their finances separate after they take their vows. However, separate does not have to mean secret, and some money experts fear that too many money secrets in a marriage may lead to high asset divorce.

A secret debt may cause trouble for a couple. If one partner carries substantial credit card debt or student loans, the finances of both may be in jeopardy. Having a disproportionate income to debt ratio or a poor credit rating may make it difficult to get a mortgage for a home. Additionally, keeping this information secret means it may only come to light when making an application for a home loan or other large purchase. This could easily result in tension and mistrust between the couple.

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Salem, MA 01970

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