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What type of divorce proceeding should you initiate?

When you recognize your marriage is over, you do not want to sit around and do nothing about it. Initiating divorce proceedings is a daunting task, but one that must occur in these situations. Do you know what type of divorce your situation falls under?

In Massachusetts, the law allows you to file a divorce as a no-fault or fault proceeding. Each has its pros and cons to consider.

Common mistakes in a high-asset divorce

The divorce rate in Massachusetts has fluctuated wildly over the years. According to data collected by the Massachusetts Family Institute, the divorce rate steadily increased for many decades until it dropped sharply in the 1990s. It increased drastically from there, but in 2014, the rate saw a slight drop. 

Divorce is prevalent everywhere in the country, and everyone's case is different. The divorce process is much different for couples who have significant assets to divide between the two. If you will go through a high-asset divorce, it is critical to avoid the following mistakes. 

Little-known reasons a prenup may not hold up in court

The intent of a prenuptial agreement is usually to aid in the divorce process, and to make sure that both parties are in agreement with the split of certain assets. However, some parts of the prenup do not always stand up in court.

In fact, there are times when the court may find the prenup to be void. To avoid such instances and to create a solid prenuptial agreement, it may be beneficial to know about these stipulations. 

When could a forensic accountant help in a divorce case?

Nowadays, divorces range broadly in terms of complexity, with some proving far more complicated and drawn-out than others. For example, young couples only married for a short time may not have much to work through. However, older couples who have considerable assets or particularly complex finances may find that dividing them up can prove timely and difficult.

If your divorce falls into the latter category, you may have reason to consider adding a forensic accountant to your divorce team. The job of a forensic accountant is to delve deeply into you and your soon-to-be-former spouse’s finances to make sure you receive your fair share once your divorce finales. So, when may you want to consider adding a forensic accountant to your divorce team?

What happens to home equity when you divorce?

At its core, divorce involves dividing assets, debts and, if applicable, parenting responsibilities once you no longer share a romantic relationship, and one of the most significant matters you and your partner need to address during your split is home equity. For many couples, home equity is one of, if not the, most sizable asset the two parties share between them, so dividing home equity can sometimes prove to be a point of contention after a split.

It does not have to be, though. There are three options most couples choose from when they need to determine how to divide home equity after divorce. While the following are some of the most common methods today’s divorcing couples use to divide home equity, this is not an exhaustive list of all possible options, and you and your partner may be able to get creative in crafting an agreement that works for you. However, most divorcing couples take one of the three following steps.

Do not overlook financial implications of divorce

Divorce is a difficult time for both spouses involved. While both parties will likely want to complete the divorce process quickly, it is critical to avoid moving too fast to the point where they make a disastrous mistake. 

Many spouses realize they will have to contend with alimony and child support payments in some fashion after divorce. However, there are many other financial considerations a spouse should never ignore. Consulting with financial professionals can help spouses navigate the following areas. 

Understanding Massachusetts marital property laws

As half of a married couple, you likely already know that your marital assets consist of all the property, possessions and ownership interests you and your spouse have accumulated during your marriage. These are the assets that you and your spouse must divide between you if you undergo a divorce.

Unlike California and a few other states, Massachusetts is not a community property state. What this means is that Massachusetts law does not require you and your spouse to divide your marital property by means of a precise 50/50 split. Instead, your property settlement agreement must be a fair and equitable one.

Massachusetts father gets jail time over child custody hearing

A father who failed to attend a custody court hearing will be spending six months in jail. The man, who was living in Massachusetts at the time of the child custody hearing, was found in contempt of court for failing to attend the hearing, which was held in another state. He received the maximum sentence allowed by law.

The accused father failed to travel to the other state on six occasions for hearings regarding the custody of his son, who is 4 years old. He has been in a dispute with his girlfriend over custody. The judge in the case has ordered an extradition notice to have the man serve his sentence in the state where the custody proceedings are pending, rather than in Massachusetts.

Lonzo Ball's girlfriend seeking thousands in child support

Denise Garcia, the girlfriend of NBA star Lonzo Ball, is asking him for $30,000 a month. That money, she says, is for child support for their daughter who was born this summer. Garcia went as far as to call Ball a deadbeat dad on Instagram live. Deadbeat dads are those who supposedly don't support their own children financially or otherwise, and they can be found in all states, including Massachusetts.

Yet, there are no hard facts that the couple has actually broken up. Garcia, however, has allegedly said if Ball doesn't come through with the monthly payment, she will write a book that dishes the dirt on the basketball player and his family. It looks like the two will be headed to court where a judge will decide.

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