Armstrong Law, P.C.

Lowell Massachusetts Family Law Blog

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.

Options for keeping or selling a home in a divorce

Couples in Massachusetts who are going through a divorce may share a home. Deciding what to do with it can be an emotional process, but there are a few options. They can sell it and split the proceeds. One spouse can keep it. Or they might continue to share ownership.

If they sell the home, both the individuals should have the financial stability to rent or buy a new place. They should also be aware that if they make a profit, they may have to pay the capital gains tax on it. If one spouse keeps the home, this usually involves that person buying out his or her ex. The house will need to be appraised first, and the couple must agree on its value. This may include agreeing on whether expenses associated with a future sale or capital gains taxes will be accounted for. Furthermore, it may also be necessary to refinance the home to ensure that the other spouse is removed from the mortgage. This allows for a clear financial separation between the two parties.

Look at all of the facts before a strategic divorce

Many couples in Massachusetts may find it odd to talk about getting a divorce in order to save some money. However, some people have felt that it is in their best interests to divorce on paper in order to save money or to qualify for certain benefits through government organizations. Before a person makes their decision, they will want to weigh both sides of the matter.

High-earning couples may be concerned about the way the so-called "marriage penalty" will affect the amount of money they have to pay in taxes. This is a higher tax liability that affects individuals who file their taxes together and have a taxable income in the 37% bracket. Other couples decide to divorce on paper in order to qualify for certain benefits that can save them a lot of money. For example, if one spouse is sick or needs nursing home care, the couple may not qualify for Medicaid together because of their income and assets. However, one spouse may qualify if the couple were to divorce and the sick individual had a low income.

Seeking an annulment as a Catholic becomes easier

Divorce is a touchy subject among Catholics in Massachusetts and the rest of the world. In fact, disagreements on the subject of divorce caused many other denominations to spring up and separate from the church, perhaps most notably, the Anglicans. This is because the Catholic church generally treats marriage as a permanent arrangement unless the spouses receive an annulment.

USA Today explains that in the Catholic church, for an annulment to take place, a church tribunal must declare that a marriage once considered valid actually failed to meet at least one essential criteria. Without this, separated or divorced spouses cannot remarry. The church may consider a Catholic who remarries an adulterer as the new marriage is not valid and the old one is technically not resolved by its standards.

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