Do I need to follow divorce proceedings to dissolve a civil union in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to declare that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry. Marriage is more than just a declaration of love and commitment; it’s a legal status. Generally speaking, marriage is desirable because it provides several unique rights, protections, and obligations at both the state and federal levels for both spouses, including tax and property ownership benefits. While many states now recognize same-sex marriages, a civil union is also a legal status that provides many of the same protections that marriage offers to both same-sex and heterosexual couples. The main difference being that
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Don’t Be Blindsided By The Division of Marital Property in Your Divorce

Many people fail to realize divorce requires more than simply signing a few documents. If you’re divorcing in Massachusetts, don’t be blindsided by the many decisions you’re about to face regarding the division of your marital property. Not all property is valued or taxed in the same way; therefore, the process can be long and confusing without the help of a knowledgeable attorney at your side. It’s important to consider that even though different financial accounts are valued at the same amount, the account owner may receive different withdraw amounts. This is because withdrawals will not be taxed in the
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Missteps To Avoid In A High Net Worth Divorce

While divorce is prevalent across the country, each case is different. Real estate, business ownership, and significant financial interests can put you in high-asset divorce territory. Couples experiencing a high-asset divorce are prone to a number of common mistakes, all of which can be avoided. Like other marriages, high net worth couples don’t divorce without reason. From addictions to infidelity, extreme differences in parenting styles and growing apart, divorce always stems from one issue or another. In the case of a high net worth divorce, significant assets, such as business interests, real estate, large retirement accounts, investments, and valuable collectibles
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Is Massachusetts a 50/50 state when it comes to the division of assets in a divorce?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is not a 50/50 state. When a court is needed to rule on the allocation of assets, they are not necessarily divided equally between the two parties. While some states mandate a 50/50 split, Massachusetts is an equitable division state. Commonwealth laws dictate that the courts can decide on a fair division of assets regardless of who actually owned it. A court could declare that the division is 60/40, or 70/30, etc. Any assets are subject to division between the spouses, and not always equally. This includes inheritance, a spouse owned business, real estate, retirement accounts,
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Handling A Wrongful Death Claim

When a family member suspects wrongful death of a loved one, they can file a particular type of personal injury claim known as a wrongful death claim. Even if no one is criminally responsible for the death, someone can be held civilly liable through a wrongful death claim. Common causes of wrongful death claims include accidents, defective products, exposure to hazardous materials, and medical mistakes. In Massachusetts, the decedent’s estate has three years from the time of death or time of discovery to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable parties. Spouses, children, and parents are given priority when
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What factors do courts consider when determining child custody?

Courts primarily base their decision on what is in the child’s best interest, using the Child’s Best Interest Standard. Factors vary from state to state, but the overall goal is to make a decision that promotes the health and wellbeing of the child. Parents are encouraged to come to an agreement on matters of child custody and parenting time to submit to the court. However, if the judge finds the settlement agreement is not in the child’s best interest, it can be rejected. Courts will generally determine the stability of each parent’s home environment and their interest and commitment to
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Protecting Assets in a Divorce

Divorce is as much a financial blow as it is an emotional one. Alimony and child support may take a large, even unreasonable amount out of your monthly paycheck. Conversely, if your income is much smaller than your soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s, or if you stayed at home to look after the family, you might find yourself in dire financial straits if you are not awarded a just settlement. You deserve a divorce settlement that takes into account your circumstances and your contributions to the marriage— and financial, logistical, or emotional. In this article, you will find three steps to follow to protect
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I was injured as a passenger of an Uber driver, who is responsible for damages?

If you’re injured in a ride-sharing vehicle, such as Uber or Lyft, you have a right to get compensation for your injuries and other damages. Financial responsibility typically falls on the insurance company of the at-fault driver, which may be the ride-sharing company’s driver or another driver involved in the accident who caused the crash. The ride-sharing driver’s car insurance coverage will apply to passenger injuries only if the driver has a commercial insurance policy or a personal car insurance policy with a special provision providing insurance coverage while engaged as a ride-sharing driver. However, many ride-share drivers do not
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What is the difference between a fault and no-fault divorce?

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the grounds for divorce depends on whether you decide on a no-fault or fault divorce. A no-fault divorce does not require parties to prove blame for the breakdown of the marriage. Either or both parties can file to begin the process for a no-fault divorce merely pleading that the marriage is beyond repair, and it is time to move on. The ground for this action is “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”. A fault divorce is more involved. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you have the option of filing for divorce and claiming one person is to
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Am I eligible to adopt in the state of Massachusetts as a single parent?

To be eligible to be an adoptive parent in the state of Massachusetts, the law states you must be at least 18 years old, and you or the child must be a resident of Massachusetts. In most cases, any married couple or single adult is eligible to adopt. If married, both spouses must be a part of the adoption. In nearly every adoption case, judges in adoption courts will consider the child’s best interests when making adoption decisions. In Massachusetts, you can adopt anyone younger than you are, as long as they aren’t your spouse, sibling, uncle, or aunt. In
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