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Tax considerations for unmarried parents

Divorced Massachusetts parents often have a lot on their plate when it comes to raising their children on their own while trying to balance out a work schedule. However, there are also certain federal tax considerations that they may need to take into account, especially because the parent's situation may make them eligible for certain deductions and a lower tax rate.

What is the process for seeking divorce in Massachusetts?

The proceedings for a divorce depend on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. While Massachusetts enforces no-fault legislation, a fault case is treated like a contested case. In uncontested divorce proceedings, a separation agreement must be filed with the spouses' joint divorce petition, Form R-408, a certified marriage certificate copy and a joint affidavit of irretrievable breakdown. Couples with children might have to take a class for parent education and obtain a certificate of completion, which is filed with their financial statements prior to a hearing. If the court determines that the marriage is irreparable, it approves or modifies the separation settlement. A judgment nisi is automatically entered in 30 days and becomes final 90 days after the entry date. This means that divorced spouses cannot remarry for at least 120 days.

Divorce rate actually lower than 50 percent

Massachusetts residents are likely familiar with the statistic often cited by the media that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. While that may have been true in the 1970s and 1980s, figures show that the divorce rate has been falling steadily for several years. Observers say that if current trends continue, the divorce rate will fall to about a third in the near future.

Massachusetts law and no fault divorce

Some Massachusetts residents believe that a spouse must provide compelling grounds before a divorce will be granted. While a divorce may still be granted in Massachusetts for reasons including adultery, abandonment or alcohol or drug addiction, grounds such as this are no longer required. Massachusetts like every other state has adopted a no-fault divorce law, which means that a divorce will be granted if one of the spouses maintains that the marriage is broken beyond repair due to differences that cannot be reconciled.

Can I be forced to leave my home during a divorce?

In Massachusetts, a judge presiding over a couple's divorce proceedings can enter an order requiring either the husband or wife to vacate the marital home for up to 90 days in the event that the other spouse is able to prove that failing to enter such an order would put either the spouse or his or her children at serious risk of harm. The order may be extended for an additional time period as needed.

Legal representation important during divorce

Few people enter marriage thinking that it will end in divorce. Nonetheless, as well all know this does happen, fairly frequently. While most divorces are hard on some level, depending on the circumstances surrounding a split, such as the length of the marriage and the catalyst for the divorce, they can be emotionally difficult to handle. Because of this it is important to have a lawyer, who thoroughly understands the process, on your side. Such an individual can help to make sure that emotions don’t get in the way of obtaining all that you are entitled to in the divorce.

Understanding how a prenup could work for you

If you aren’t sitting on a pile of cash you may think that a prenuptial agreement is not worth entering into before marriage. A prenuptial agreement can be used to protect more than cold hard cash however which could make it worth exploring. Some of the ways in which it may be used may be surprising to readers.

Studies suggest the amount spent on weddings impacts divorce rate

There are of course many things that go into a happy marriage. According to two recent studies, the amount of money spent on the event and the accompanying ring could play a role. The studies found that couples who spent less on the event and ring actually had marriages that lasted longer. The results of these studies might prompt some residents of the state of Massachusetts to think twice about their big day.

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