Armstrong Law, P.C.

Lowell Massachusetts Family Law Blog

Does your spouse need to agree to a divorce?

You and your spouse haven't seen eye-to-eye regarding your relationship in a long time. That's part of why you're filing for divorce. However, you also are not on the same page regarding the split. Your spouse thinks you should not get divorced and says they'll never agree to it.

Does that matter? Do you need them to agree? Or is the divorce in your hands?

Protection orders can help put an end to your abuse

If there's one thing that you should know about abuse, it's that even if it's not physical, it can leave a lasting impression on both you and your kids' lives. It can leave you a shell of the person you once were, taking away your zest for life. You don't have to let abuse ruin your life, though. A restraining order can help you put an end to it.

Two primary types of protection orders exist in Massachusetts, each with unique eligibility requirements.

Does life get more expensive after a divorce?

Many people complain about not being able to afford their lifestyle after a divorce, and they find it rather perplexing. If they got a fair division of assets with their ex, why does it suddenly seem like life is more expensive?

For one thing, many of your bills remain the same amount, but you no longer split them because you're living in separate homes.

Do you have a useless prenup?

Your spouse asks you for a divorce, and you count your lucky stars that you have a prenuptial agreement. At least your financial assets are protected, right?

Maybe, but it could turn out that your prenup is useless. If it doesn't hold up in court, the judge can throw it out and then nothing that you agreed to is going to help you.

Should your children call your ex when they're with you?

Splitting custody is tough, and not just for the children. It can also be hard on the parents. How much communication should happen with the parent who doesn't have custody?

For instance, perhaps you and your ex have an every-other-week schedule. On the weeks that the children live with you, should your children call your ex? Should your ex call them? Is this communication helpful?

The positive side of divorce

People often focus on the difficult parts of a divorce. They talk about having trouble dividing their assets or their time with the children. They worry about the future financial impact of going down to one income. They wonder how to break the news to people who are close to them. Older couples may worry about their retirement plans if they split up.

All of these are important areas to consider, but don't assume that divorce is all negative. There are some potential positive outcomes, as well, and it's wise to consider them.

When you see divorce is coming, take steps to protect yourself

People who are going through a divorce have likely seen signs of it coming for a while. Most marriages dissolve over time instead of just ending suddenly. For some people, it's easy to miss the signs that the relationship is breaking down, but there are some common signals that are often present.

Some couples might find that they just aren't emotionally attached any longer. There isn't any discussion about feelings and it might seem as though you're just on autopilot with your partner. As difficult as this is to handle, realizing that it's happening might give you the opportunity to correct the issues.

How does child custody and visitation work?

One of perhaps the worst consequences of a divorce is that kids can get caught up in the middle of their parents' arguments. One of the decisions that many parents have to make is how to determine the custody arrangements when they split up with the children's other parent. Massachusetts family law judges generally award non-custodial parents visitation rights with their children.

There are two types of custody arrangements — physical and legal custody.

What can you do if your ex interfers with the custody schedule?

You thought that your spouse was reasonable while you were married, but as soon as you divorced and your custody plan was finalized, he became very strict. He wanted you to have your child dropped off or picked up exactly on time.

Interestingly enough, he didn't stick to those same guidelines. Once, he decided to take your child out of town for a few days. He got back a day late, leaving you panicked about where they had gone. He acted like it was no big deal, claiming that his vehicle had broken down.

3 things to focus on when divorce is a possibility

If you are struggling in your marriage right now, your future may feel very uncertain. While you'd love to avoid divorce and have a happy married life, you may not be able to envision how you and your spouse will be able to rekindle your love.

If you've not yet decided whether you will take action to file for divorce, it's still important to keep it as a possibility. Many people do not mentally prepare for a divorce, and they often do not understand what it entails until it's a reality. The following are three considerations you should bear in mind when divorce is on the horizon.

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