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Worcester Family Law Blog

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.

Changing times: More Massachusetts women paying spousal support

It wasn’t that long ago that spousal support from divorce proceedings typically meant husbands paying a court-determined amount of money to their ex-wives. With the rise of women working outside the home and some earning considerably higher wages than their male counterparts, studies are showing an increasing amount of women now pay spousal support to their ex-husbands. Many Massachusetts families likely see this situation in their own lives.

A study from last year discovered that, in 40 percent of households that have children, women either have the only source of income or make more money than the fathers. In addition, a quarter of all homes are led by a single mom. The upside is that men are often able to spend more time raising their children. What this can also mean is that women are responsible for making payments to their husbands in the case of divorce.

Father attempted to avoid child support through perjury

Many Massachusetts parents rely on child support payments to provide the necessities for their children. When a person fails to provide support, it can financially damage a family. A public official from another state was recently found guilty of ongoing perjury in an attempt to minimize his monetary responsibility for providing child support for his children.

Records indicate that the father had been supplying the Department of Motor Vehicles with fraudulent identification in order to keep his personal assets hidden. The man purportedly wanted to keep some of his net worth hidden under a false name so he would not be responsible for providing child support payments to his ex-wife. A parent who chooses to avoid the legal responsibility to his or her family may be held accountable for his or her actions.

Financial decisions in a Massachusetts divorce

As many people age, they choose to organize their finances to reflect their end goal or chosen life situation. When an unforeseen divorce occurs, it can disrupt a pre-determined financial plan and require additional attention to reorganize and secure what could be affected. As the rate of divorce among senior citizens and the elderly continues to increase, a Massachusetts resident facing divorce may begin looking into his or her overall financial situation and the road ahead.

Spouses must work together or independently to remove and divide assets and finances when they choose to legally separate. This could include pension and investment assets or businesses, retirement accounts and real estate properties. A separation may encompass simple changes like car titles or complex decisions such as reassigning beneficiaries for life insurance or reapplying for health coverage.

Family law may help secure assets prior to a separation

People living in Massachusetts who have made plans to marry and have a great net worth, which they will be bringing into the marriage, may seek guidance in legally protecting their assets. Many people may feel uncomfortable about discussing a prenuptial agreement or other family law options before they merge their life with another. However, different legal options may exist for a partner who desires to protect their individual wealth in the event of a separation.

Every engagement, marriage and divorce is unique and may require family law assistance depending on the financial situation of the people involved. A couple that desires to openly discuss a potential divorce and determine how they will individually protect their wealth and assets may choose to enter into a prenuptial agreement. However, a domestic asset protection trust may provide the necessary security that a person desires pre marriage without the difficulty of approaching a prenuptial agreement.

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