Many Massachusetts residents are Facebook users and are aware of the types of information that can be found on such a site. For divorce lawyers, some of this material can be important when dealing with contested issues such as spousal or child support. If an individual claims that he or she is unemployed, it could be damaging if the other spouse's attorney found a picture of that individual buying a large car or a new house.
When a long-term marriage ends in Massachusetts or across the nation, one person might need to pay spousal support, especially if there is a significant discrepancy in the earnings between the two. Even when alimony is a likely factor, the other party might contest it. However, the expenses and related legal fees needed to do this might be prohibitive and could wind up costing the parties more than the actual spousal support.
Massachusetts shoppers may have heard that in March 2014, a Walmart heiress filed paperwork to end her marriage of six years. However, her former husband has chosen to pursue her assets and seek $400,000 per month in alimony. A breakdown of the list of his average necessities includes $80,000 for entertainment, $50,000 in rent, $30,000 for vacations, $10,000 for furniture. He is also requesting $6,700 for a personal chef, $5,000 for clothes, $4,000 for a driver, $2,500 for a personal trainer and $1,000 for a personal stylist. He is also requesting $2,500 as a stipend so that he can give to charity.
Divorcing couples in Massachusetts often have shared credit card debt that was acquired during their marriage. Just like how assets must be divided in a divorce, liabilities like credit card debt have to be divided as well. Before agreeing to let an ex-spouse take responsibility for paying off credit cards, an individual might want to learn about how the credit card debt will be viewed in the eyes of the creditor.
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.
When a Massachusetts couple goes through a divorce, in most cases one parent will become the custodial parent while the other parent will have visitation rights. While many non-custodial parents ensure that they visit with their children during their scheduled parenting time, others decide that they no longer want to or cannot see their children.
Massachusetts residents who are divorcing a spouse with a history of violence often have concerns about their children's safety and their own safety. Parents who want to ensure their children's safety may have questions about their ex-spouses' eligibility to receive custody or visitation rights if they have been abusive toward their families in the past.
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.
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.
While a divorce case is pending in Massachusetts, a judge may issue temporary child custody orders. These orders last only until the final divorce and custody hearing, at which time the judge will hear evidence and issue the permanent custody orders that will govern the child's residence, visitation and the parents' responsibility for decision-making.