When it comes to settling a divorce, there are few issues which couples dread more than needing to determine how to split their assets. In amicable divorces the emotions can still run high, and contentious divorces can result in lengthy and potential expensive separations. However, going into a divorce proceeding with the help of experts and armed with some knowledge about divorce proceedings may be able to help issues get resolved sooner.
Considering how serious a decision it is to get divorced, it's understandable that many people will hesitate before making their decision. Oftentimes, there are conflicting emotions, uncertainly or a desire to try to fix marital problems. In other situations, the hesitation is more about practical considerations such as how the divorce will change the person life, whether they will receive adequate alimony or how it will affect their children.
When a couple goes through a divorce, alimony may be settled upon during mediation process or ordered by a judge. Oftentimes this agreement seeks to compensate a spouse for the economic sacrifices they made have made by forgoing a career in order to raise children or keep a household. Consequently, these individual often come to rely on these payments while they seek to regain their financial independence. For this reason, alimony settlements are a strict legal obligation, and failing to pay them can have significant legal consequences.
For many people, one of the hardest parts of a divorce is coping with the difficult emotions that arise during a separation. Oftentimes people can become overwhelmed with grief, making it hard to focus on the practical necessities. Sometimes people are fearful about their life after a divorce, unsure of what their future will hold. While the popular conception of a person after a divorce may be a gloomy one, the truth may be brighter than expected.
When the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act of 2011 was signed into law, it brought with it several changes to the way alimony could be paid out. Perhaps most notably, it put an end to the notion of permanent alimony, instead instituting a new system to determine how much a spouse could be entitled to and for how long payments needed to be made. These determinations are now made based on factors such as how long the marriage lasted, as well as the income levels of the payer. One of the less talked about changes involves cohabitation, and some individuals are now using cell phone data to try and end their alimony payments.
With the legal changes to alimony determination now setting in, it may come as no surprise to Massachusetts residents that opinions on divorces and how to handle them change over time. It's hard not to notice that societal opinions on relationships appears to have changing, with new studies showing that more people are cohabitating before marriage, waiting to get married longer and even sometimes avoiding marriage altogether. Experts have also noticed growing acceptance of divorce, indicated by so called "grey divorces" amongst individuals over the age of 50.
For those who follow the reality show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," or have heard of the divorce in Massachusetts news reports, it may be already known that Kim Kardashian and her ex-husband Kris Humphries were engaged in a long and contentious divorce. While an agreement was made and signed off on by a judge in April, the divorce has only now become official.
As new alimony reform laws are settling into place in Massachusetts, alimony reform laws are being considered in other states throughout the nation as well. Most notably, the Florida state legislature recently passed an alimony reform bill, but the bill was vetoed by their governor. However, while the issue has been settled in Massachusetts, at least for the time being, the debate over whether alimony reform is beneficial still continues.
For a stay at home parent, the financial consequences of a divorce can be particularly difficult to handle. Besides the cost of the divorce proceedings, reacquiring steady income after a prolonged hiatus from the workplace can be challenging for anyone, with or without children. While some people may have a period of financial security provided by accumulated savings, those who became financially dependent on their spouse may need to take steps to guarantee their financial wellbeing.
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.