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Worcester Family Law Blog

Military family law and child custody disputes

Child custody orders in Massachusetts can require extensive conversation and court analysis to determine what the best situation may be for a child. A person that is on active duty and attempting to settle a custody arrangement may choose to use military family law to help ensure that their case is handled appropriately. Military family law can help use specific legal standards to enable a fair negotiation and neutralize contention in the event that a military parent is not immediately available.

Military mothers and fathers who are on active duty while in the midst of a custody dispute may have anxiety regarding their rights while they are out of touch. The ability to appear in court or respond to court documents is limited when a person is serving, making it difficult to understand where their case is. Some people may question whether proceedings may be put on hold or temporarily halted in their absence.

Considering benefits in a Massachusetts divorce

In the last two decades, the baby boomer generation has been described as hosting the highest rate of divorce in America. For aging spouses in Massachusetts who will soon be ending their marriage, they may face certain changes to their benefits that could impact their financial security post-divorce. These benefits can include personal investments and savings as well as Social Security and company-provided retirement contributions.

Some benefits exist to help support spouses who may have been primarily dependent on the income of their partner before the end of the marriage. Although different Social Security benefits may be available, it may be important for a person to determine which may be the highest form of support when planning for one's financial future following the end of a marriage. Social Security and other investments or benefits may not be enough to provide financial security for some people after separating.

Managing finances during and after a Massachusetts divorce

A Massachusetts couple that has made the decision to divorce after a lengthy marriage may question their financial future independent from one another. Some people may have not ever had the opportunity to earn an income or manage money for their family and may have anxiety regarding their capability. Taking the steps to secure finances and manage funds for children or retirement during the divorce process could impact the future.

It can be intimidating for a person to end a marriage that has lasted decades or the majority of one's life. A spouse who has stayed at home with children, allowing the family to rely solely on the income of the other, may have fears about supporting the children. When children have special needs or handicaps, this fear can be even greater. Determining the best way to secure assets and receive a fair settlement in a divorce can be overwhelming for many people.

Celebrity divorce in 2014 includes Crocodile Dundee Paul Hogan

The past seven months have been active with high-profile celebrity divorces. As famous couples choose to end their marriages, they face many of the same issues and difficulties that an average Massachusetts family may experience. Recently, Paul Hogan and Linda Hogan -- formerly Linda Kozlowski -- made the decision to legally divorce and divide their Crocodile Dundee film enterprise.

In the settlement, it was decided that Paul Hogan would retain the rights to the Crocodile Dundee films and name. Although he desired sole custody of his only son with Linda Hogan, they made a joint agreement. Linda will receive just over $5.7 million without alimony, and child support will not be provided to either parent. Their property, including cars and the family home, was divided equally along with personal bank accounts.

When to set child support guidelines in Massachusetts

Dividing up financial responsibility for children can sometimes instigate strong disputes between separating parents as child custody guidelines are set. Support schedules can often be determined completely independent of custody and visitation arrangements, though payment compliance may be emotionally linked to the other. Some families in Massachusetts may need to set child support guidelines because of financial changes within the family or due to a parent not providing needed help.

A child custody dispute may continue for many months or years and can sometimes require attention as the financial position of each parent changes over time. Income and marital status, as well as career loss or advancement, could alter the monetary responsibility that a particular parent may have. Changes in health or education of the children involved could also influence an increase or decrease on support need. Disputes may also arise if the non-custodial parent is not fulfilling his or her financial obligation to the children.

When a spouse is difficult during a Massachusetts divorce

A Massachusetts divorce may occur when one or more of the people in the relationship no longer wish to be married and feel that separation is the best choice. This decision may require negotiations to divide assets as well as create the best possible custodial arrangement for any children in the family. A person may have anxiety about the potential reactions of their soon to be ex and may benefit from professional help in organizing the divorce process.

When a divorce is contested, the property division and child custody arrangements may require heightened attention. Certain personalities may attempt to make the division of assets a competition and, depending on the reasons for the divorce, may make a person feel entitled. This can cause difficulties and frustrations when trying to negotiate a settlement with a party that desires to make things painful or difficult.

Massachusetts divorce may be influential among friends

A person who feels they are living with a roommate instead of a spouse may begin to wonder what independence would feel like again if they made the decision to divorce. It can be difficult for a person to imagine a visitation schedule or dividing up their Massachusetts marital estate in exchange for their happiness and better emotional health. A recent report discussed the influence friends' relationships can have on one another, and positively influence couples who are unsure whether they should pursue a divorce themselves.

Some couples who have young children may worry they would create irreversible damage to their family and choose to stay in an unhealthy or unhappy marriage. When a person who no longer feels connected to their spouse begins to notice the happiness and freedom that exists for friends and loved ones who have successfully divorced, they may start to change their mind. Some people may reach a breaking point and make the choice to file for divorce, just as they have seen others do.

Navy father protected by military family law

When a Navy soldier is placed on active duty, they can often be stationed off-shore or in another country. This can remove parents from their children for extended periods of time, leaving them in the care of relatives or other guardians. It can be necessary for some Massachusetts families to reference military family law when child custody is being determined. Military family law is often exercised in situations where a non-custodial parent wishes to gain additional rights to their children when the custodial parent is not physically present.

A military man currently serving in the Navy was recently summoned to appear at a child custody hearing concerning his young daughter. The man is stationed aboard a submarine located in the Pacific Ocean, making it very difficult to appear in family court. In response to his inability to be present at the hearing, the judge threatened the man could be held in contempt of court and serve potential jail time if he failed to be present.

Physical custody by the state of Massachusetts may be increasing

A recent report analyzed statistics that reveal a Massachusetts trend, whereby the state has gained physical custody of more and more children. Reports indicate that many child welfare advocates feel the rise in home removal of minors may not be a positive thing. A family that feels they have wrongly had their children removed by the state may seek help in fighting to regain physical custody.

This past year, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families received close to 2000 formal petitions from families seeking to regain custody of their children from the state. Records show that many of the children removed from their guardian were taken due to a potential risk for neglect or an abusive situation in the home. The number of submissions for a guardian attempting to retain children displaced from their home increased by 52 percent from the previous year.

Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith's high-net-worth divorce

A high-net-worth divorce can require extensive organization and inspection of assets to determine an appropriate settlement between spouses. A Massachusetts couple that shares independent and combined wealth may seek direction in their unique situation and division of assets. Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith recently announced their decision to separate and now stand at the threshold of what may become a very public high-net-worth divorce.

Reports indicate that the marriage between Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith lasted close to two decades, during which time the couple successfully created a monetary empire worth millions. Both celebrities are best known for their acting and television work, though they have spent years building domestic and foreign business assets. The fortune that exists from the combined incomes, investment and net worth of both celebrities may be overwhelming and require a seasoned professional to handle the intense division.

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