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John Schneider may be facing jail time for delinquent alimony

Many Massachusetts divorcees are familiar with support payments. Ex-spouses across the country are required to pay alimony each month. Some of these people, however, do not make their payments on time or at all in some cases. Even celebrities like John Schneider must face the consequences when they fail to make their alimony payments.

The Dukes of Hazzard star and his estranged wife, Elvira Schneider, filed for divorce in Nov. 2014 after 21 years of being married, citing irreconcilable differences. John Schneider was ordered to pay nearly $19,000 per month to his ex-wife in alimony. However, the actor failed to keep up with the payments, and it was revealed in February that he had been given until mid-March to pay more than $150,000 in delinquent alimony fees.

The difficulties of property division and pets

Divorce can be a very stressful process regardless of how well the couple splitting up gets along. Property division and custody agreements can create an incredible amount of tension between any couple, as some Massachusetts residents may have discovered. But how does the family pet fit in? Many people across the country see their pets as members of the family and are unwilling to part with them easily. 

In most states, pets are considered a type of property rather than sentient individuals. However, most owners treat their pets more like children than property. Some pet parents choose to work out a kind of custody arrangement between themselves before going to court. Others are unable to come to a decision, and judges are sometimes required to get creative. 

Mother of Thomas Ravenel's 2 children seeks full child custody

Over the last several years, more and more people are coming forward with tales of sexual assault, most notably against celebrities. These accusations affect not only the people directly involved but also their families, as many Massachusetts residents may have guessed. If the accused individual has children, then the other parent might become particularly concerned. This parent might feel that it is necessary to create a child custody agreement or alter an existing agreement that limit's the child or children's contact with the accused parent, as was the case with Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis

Kathryn Dennis is the mother of Southern Charm star Thomas Ravenel's two children. Ravenel was given custody of the children after Dennis failed a drug test in 2016. She is currently paying $100 per month in child support and is spending 50% of the time with the children. The couple is due in court in early June, and Dennis is reportedly considering using the recent assault accusations against Ravenel to regain custody of her children. 

Courts sets child support for man previously presumed dead

Many people living in Massachusetts have seen a movie or television show where someone abandons his or her identity and creates a new one, but few have seen it in the real world. A family recently discovered that the man who was once a husband and father to them and who they believed to be dead was, in fact, alive and living under a new name with a new family. After having abandoned his family almost 25 years ago, this man has been ordered to pay $2 million in child support for many of those missing years.

Authorities say that the man obtained the death certificate of another individual who died in 1991, two years before he left his family. He then used the dead man's identity to obtain a death certificate and a driver's license under his name. In 2003, 10 years after leaving his first family, the man was legally presumed dead. 

4 tips for invalidating a prenup

If your marriage is dissolving, you may want to get the most assets you can out of it. However, you may feel discouragement if there is a prenuptial agreement in place. Luckily, not all prenups are valid. If you are able to invalidate your prenup, you may be able to get a larger share of the marital estate.

Before you claim your prenup does not hold up, determine if you legally can break your particular contract. Here are some of the most common reasons that prenups do not hold up during divorce.

Alimony and changing gender roles

Marriage and divorce have changed significantly in recent years. This is partially due to how traditional gender roles have changed over time. In Massachusetts and across the country, it is becoming more common for women to be the family breadwinners. This has had an noticeable effect on divorce as well. More and more women are paying alimony and child support to their ex-spouses rather than receiving the payments. 

In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that spousal support must be gender-neutral. Since then alimony has continued to change. While some states still support the idea of lifelong support payments, or payments that continue at least until the ex-spouse receiving payments remarries, many others have moved away from that approach. However, many people cling to traditional concepts of divorce and alimony.

High priced weddings and high asset divorce

Many people who wish to one day get married have imagined what their wedding day might be like. They may get ideas from magazines, television shows or highly publicized celebrity weddings. What many Massachusetts residents come to realize is that weddings can become very expensive very quickly. Unfortunately, in some cases, a high priced wedding can turn into a high asset divorce

A study was done recently, claiming that there may be a connection between expensive weddings and divorce. Planning a wedding can be a stressful process, and each part of a wedding can cost thousands of dollars individually. Food, which is often one of the biggest expenses, can cost, on average, nearly $5,000. Other things, like wedding locations, rings, photographers and flowers, can cost thousands of dollars each. Even the cheaper aspects of a person's wedding plan, like invitations, can cost hundreds of dollars.

Court rules in lesbian couple's child custody case

In Massachusetts and elsewhere, divorces between couples with children can sometimes be more difficult than those between couples without children. This can be especially true if the child is only biologically related to one parent, as is the case for some gay and lesbian couples. In these types of child custody cases, it may be left up to the courts to decide if one or both parents should be awarded custody. 

Recently, courts recognized the parental rights of a woman who's ex-wife had given birth via artificial insemination during their marriage. It was determined that even though the couple separated and eventually divorced only a few months after the child's birth, the woman did have a parental relationship with the child. Since the ruling, both women have shared custody and parenting responsibilities. 

How women 50 and older may be affected by gray high asset divorce

Finances are handled in a variety of different ways amongst married couples, as many Massachusetts residents know. Many older couples have spent years, sometimes decades, acquiring various assets, and many women have been content to allow their husbands to make the majority of the financial decisions. This may cause problems for some when they find themselves in the midst of a high asset divorce

There are many reasons why a significant percentage of women, ranging from baby boomers to millennials, choose to leave the financial decisions to their spouses. Some may believe that their spouse knows more or is more qualified to make financial decisions. Others may simply be content to allow their significant other to handle it. 

Changing your Massachusetts child support order

As a Massachusetts parent who either pays or receives child support, a time may come when you want to request a modification to your existing child support order. Maybe you lost your job, or maybe the child you support now spends more nights in your own home than that of his or her other parent.

Regardless of your reason for wanting to modify your Massachusetts child support order, there are certain steps you must take to try to do so.

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