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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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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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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I was married and last lived in Massachusetts with my spouse but do not live in Massachusetts now, can I get divorced in Massachusetts?

While marriage laws are based on where the parties are at the time of marriage, divorce is based on where the parties live at the time of divorce. The answer to this question depends on how long you’ve resided outside of Massachusetts. While most states require you to be a resident before you may file divorce papers, the required length of residency varies per state. In most cases, it’s at least a minimum of six months. To file for divorce in the state of Massachusetts, one of the following must apply: You, or your estranged spouse, have lived in the
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My son and daughter-in-law are divorcing. As a grandmother do I have visitation rights?

Grandparents do have legal rights, however, regarding visitation, may require a court order under Massachusetts law. In the event the grandparents and parents can come to an agreement regarding visitation, court intervention is not required. When no such agreement can be made, there are certain situations grandparents may be granted a court order allowing visitations. Under Massachusetts law, grandparents have the right to ask a court for visitation if the parents were married and then divorced; the parents are still married, but they live apart, and there is a court order about the separation; or one or both parents are
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I’ve only been married for 2 weeks, am I eligible for an annulment?

In the state of Massachusetts, a court granted annulment means your marriage never legally happened. Each state’s legislative code sets specific guidelines for what constitutes an annullable marriage. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t annul a marriage based on a short duration. Massachusetts outlines seven specific grounds for annulment. In Massachusetts, annulments require your marriage to be either void or voidable. There are three void marriage grounds: consanguinity, having a blood relation such as brother and sister or first cousins; affinity, meaning you’re related by marriage to your spouse; and bigamy which refers to either you or your spouse is
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