For most readers here in Massachusetts, a billion dollars is only an abstract concept that is impossible to conceive of in real life. But for a select few, a billion dollar transaction is a part of daily life. When these billionaires decide to divorce, their complex property division settlements often make national news.
As a society changes sometimes laws need to be changed as well. Many of our Massachusetts readers probably know that the state has undertaken some drastic changes to alimony law in recent years, and as a result other states have begun to take notice. Changing family dynamics and the economic recession of recent years have had a huge impact on American society, and Massachusetts has not gone unaffected.
Salem residents who follow the news are likely very familiar with the "fiscal cliff" that dominated headlines at the end of 2012. To avert this fiscal cliff, Congress passed a series of tax reforms entitled the American Taxpayer Relief Act. The ATRA went into effect on January 1, 2013, and is already affecting property division during divorce.
Discussions regarding property division will most likely come up during a divorce. In addition to separating physical possessions, couples will also probably talk about separating their finances. Since most married couples combine their finances, a divorce can have a significant impact on the financial security of both spouses.
We live in a time when a person can check sports scores, trade stocks and have a face to face conversation on a phone. Every week new inventions cut the amount of time it takes to complete tasks. Some things like paying taxes and working out legal issues are still quite complicated, though.
Divorce can bring about lengthy financial arguments. In particular, one financial decision that can take a long time to work out is alimony or spousal support. Alimony refers to money paid by one spouse to another after a divorce. Massachusetts alimony laws changed just last year.