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How to Handle Rental Property During Divorce

In any divorce, the division of assets can be a thorny issue. Massachusetts is not a community property state. As a result, all property (both premarital and marital) is subject to division by the court in a divorce. In Massachusetts, the division of assets must be “equitable.”  This means that the assets must be divided in a way that is fair —…

Marital Success: Why Massachusetts Has One of the Lowest Divorce Rates in the Country

Marriage. It’s a simple concept, in theory. Two people who love each other make a commitment, say some vows, sign a paper, and prepare to live happily ever after in marital bliss. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The introduction of stressors (children, job changes/loss, the death of parents, financial struggles, medical issues, accidents, etc.) takes a toll on relationships. As a result,…

What to Know Before You Finally File for Divorce

Filing for divorce is a difficult decision that often follows many months or years of problems in a marriage. Most couples do not take divorce lightly, and you’ve likely given it significant thought. In Massachusetts, you may file for divorce if you’ve been living in the state for at least one year. You also can file if the reason for the marriage…

Should I File for Divorce Then Move Out or Vice-Versa?

A common question surrounding divorce involves timing a move from the family home. This is more of a personal question than a legal one–although moving out too soon can leave you and your property interests vulnerable. There are situations, like abuse, where leaving is the only way to preserve your safety. Other times, if you and your spouse came to divorce by…

Infidelity and Divorce

According to Massachusetts law, “a married person who has sexual intercourse with a person not his spouse” has committed a crime and is subject to imprisonment for up to three years and a $500 fine. Although the last prosecution for adultery was in 1983, the commonwealth still lists adultery as a crime and also as a reason for a divorce. While statistics…

How to Respond to Divorce Papers

When one party seeks a divorce from the other, the process starts with the defendant being served legal documents providing notification of the divorce request. If you are receiving these documents, you are considered the defendant in the case. It means that your spouse has taken the step to request a dissolution of the marriage. This document can be a shock to…

Hiding Assets During Divorce

Money problems are one of the leading reasons that couples split, so it’s no surprise that divorcing spouses may attempt to conceal assets. In some cases, partners keep financial secrets during the marriage, and that deception may continue as the couple goes through the divorce. Concealing assets most commonly occurs in cases of significant wealth, but middle-class spouses also may attempt to…

Can Text Messages Be Used in Divorce Court?

It has become easier to communicate with loved ones instantly through technology. No matter the location, we can easily send emails, texts, or direct messages from social media accounts. However, these electronic messages also can show the negative side of a relationship. Couples can get into heated arguments, send threatening messages, converse with secret lovers, and discuss criminal wrongdoings. When a relationship…

Why You Should Get Divorced Under the 2018 Tax Reform

If divorce seems like a very likely event in your near future, the time to do it might be now. More specifically, you have until December 31, 2018 to finalize a divorce if you want to take advantage of the old tax laws. Starting January 1, 2019, divorce could become a lot more expensive and a much longer process – and if…

Top 4 Questions to Ask Before Getting a Divorce

Divorce is a serious decision that has the power to impact you emotionally, legally, and financially. Despite the risks and challenges that accompany divorce, sometimes it’s the best decision for both parties and any children involved. Asking the right questions before you file for divorce can limit your risk if things get messy. If you’re considering divorce, it’s important to ask yourself…