Armstrong Law, P.C.

Lowell Massachusetts Family Law Blog

Help your children adjust to having divorced parents

One of the most troubling things for children who have parents going through a divorce is figuring out how to handle the transitions that are coming. They might worry about how they're going to be able to move from one house to the other without always feeling like they're starting over again.

As their parents, you and your ex will have to work together to come up with a plan to help make things as easy as you can for them. There are several ways you can do this. Trying to come up with the terms of the parenting plan quickly when you decide to divorce is beneficial since it lessens the time of uncertainty and gives them a solid plan to count on.

What to know about divorce after 50

Divorce can be an emotional experience for those ending their marriages in Massachusetts and throughout the country. In many cases, managing emotions is one of the biggest tasks a person will undertake during the divorce process. However, it is also important to focus on the financial issues that a divorce can cause. In addition to an attorney, it may be worthwhile to hire a financial adviser who can help an individual assess the assets that they will need as a single person.

While a divorce financial adviser is ideal for anyone ending a marriage, professional help can be especially valuable to older people. This is because they typically have more assets to divide, and the assets that they have often need to be divided correctly to avoid potential tax consequences. For instance, a 401(k) or 403(b) will likely need to be split using a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO.

Finding the right joint custody schedule for a family

When people in Massachusetts decide to divorce, they may wonder how best to share parenting duties. Child custody issues can be some of the most emotionally draining aspects of a divorce, even when the parents are amicable and plan to split custody. In most cases, both parents want to maintain a high level of involvement with their children although the schedule and plan may vary greatly depending on employment schedules. It may make more sense for one parent to have primary physical custody and the other visitation or for both parents to share physical custody.

Negotiating a parenting plan and a clear child custody agreement can be one of the most important aspects of reaching a divorce settlement. A parenting plan lays out the agreements between the parents about how they will raise their children. In most cases, this involves plans for decision-making and child-related expenses as well as a custody schedule for sharing time with the children. If both parents live close enough to one another that their kids can comfortably attend the same school each day, couples may opt for a 50/50 joint custody plan in which the kids spend roughly the same amount of time with each parent.

Why women divorce

Despite the persistent stereotype of a middle-aged woman being left by her husband for a younger woman, almost 70% of divorces in Massachusetts and the rest of the United States are initiated by wives. All divorces are unique in their own way, but several issues are cited repeatedly by women as reasons for divorcing.

Women often feel like marriage is holding them back. Now that most women have entered the workforce, they are expected to contribute financially to the household as well as continue to do the lion's share of the household work. They can be left feeling like they have to do it all anyway, so they may as well do it on their own. If their careers are flourishing while their husbands' are floundering, wives may chafe at having to downplay their success.

Looking out for the children's best interests when co-parenting

For a person going through a divorce in Massachusetts, processing their own pain and helping the children to cope with their feelings are two of the top priorities. No matter how difficult it is, another priority that a divorced individual should have is working with their co-parent to make decisions that will benefit the children.

One of the most difficult aspects of co-parenting is missing out on important moments in their children's lives. It can be beneficial for a co-parent to take into consideration the feelings of the other co-parent by taking pictures of these important moments, like sending snapshots of the child's report card or their most recent work of art.

How a postnuptial agreement could help a married couple

Some couples in Massachusetts and other states have decided that a postnuptial agreement is right for their circumstances. This is a legal contract that is between an individual and their spouse. The purpose of creating this contract is to protect assets that a couple acquires throughout the time that they are married in case they divorce in the future.

A postnuptial agreement share similarities with a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are signed before a couple gets married, and postnuptial agreements are signed during the marriage. Signing a postnuptial agreement does not mean that a couple plans to divorce or that their marriage will fail. Some marriage mates have found that it actually adds clarity to their finances.

Research study and Google point to January as top divorce month

People in troubled marriages in Massachusetts might view the end-of-year holiday season as their precursor to divorce. University researchers who looked at the timing of divorce filings found that they go up in January across multiple states. Trends in Google internet searches also reveal a heightened interest in divorce subjects in the second week of January. At Pinterest, searches for divorce party ideas rise by over 20% from December to January.

Divorce attorneys are quite familiar with the seasonal spike in new divorce clients and filings. Multiple reasons drive people to end their marriages with the New Year. For people who dislike their family situation, another miserable holiday season might inspire them to end their relationships. Parents, on the other hand, primarily express interest in granting their children one last holiday season with everyone together before moving forward with a divorce. They like to delay family discussions about divorce until after the holidays have passed.

Overcoming financial hurdles in a divorce

A divorce may have significant financial implications for those living in Massachusetts and throughout the country. For instance, an individual may need to make monthly alimony and spousal support payments. Individuals may also be required to transfer a portion of a retirement account or other assets to a former spouse. Those who are living on their own may also be responsible for their own medical care and housing payments.

At some point during the divorce process itself, it is a good idea to take an inventory of household assets. These assets could include a home, a car or money in a retirement account. Joint debt will also need to be addressed in a divorce settlement. Therefore, it is important to find out if there are joint credit cards or other joint accounts that have balances on them. Tax returns, bank statements and credit card statements can have valuable information that can be used during settlement negotiations.

Financial and emotional challenges women face after divorce

Couples in Massachusetts going through a divorce may face different challenges. Evidence suggests that some of the obstacles faced by women are not faced in the same way by men. An example of this is the financial challenges that many women face after divorce.

In a recent survey, women were asked to rank their concerns about divorce. Not surprisingly, money concerns ranked on the top of the list. For many women, concerns about money were greater than concerns about their children. It could be argued that this reflects the fact that money concerns are intertwined with child caring concerns women may have after divorce.

What to do about a difficult coparent

When parents in Massachusetts get a divorce, they may still be linked for years by their children. If one parent is narcissistic and manipulative, this relationship can be very difficult. Parents need to find a way to be reliable for their children and not let the other parent's behavior get to them.

In order to do this, parents must set boundaries. They are not obligated to respond to the other parent's messages immediately. Furthermore, they do not have to respond to anything that is not directly about the children. Parents should notice how their arguments start and escalate and learn to disengage before this happens. Many parents set specific limits on what medium can be used to communicate. For example, they might only respond to emails but not to text messages. There are also online portals and other tools that can be used to facilitate communication between parents after divorce. One advantage is that they document that communication. Parents not using these tools should consider doing their own documentation.

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