Armstrong Law, P.C.

Lowell Massachusetts Family Law Blog

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.

Negotiations during a divorce must be handled carefully

The process of going through a divorce means that you're going to have to make a lot of decisions about various aspects of your life. This includes figuring out who is going to get what in the property division agreement and what's going to happen with the children. For many people, all of this happens during a series of negotiations. While this method of resolving things does provide you with more control over what happens, it isn't always easy to do because you're working so closely with your ex.

Each aspect of the end of the marriage must be handled separately from the others. You can't let what happens in the child custody aspect determine what's going to happen with property division. Keeping things compartmentalized like this enables you to ensure the decisions you're making are because they are what's best for the situation and not based on how you feel about other determinations.

Signs the strength of your marriage is eroding

It's very unlikely that a person will find a divorce to be a complete surprise because there are usually signs that the marriage is on its last legs. Knowing these signs might help you to address them before the erode the marriage to the point of it becoming irreparable. If there's not any chance of improving things, knowing these signs can warn you that you should prepare for divorce.

One of the most important things to pay attention for is the connection you have with your spouse. If you feel like there isn't any affection and you're completely disengaged from them emotionally, there is a problem. There are many ways that this might manifest. One of these is that you just might realize that there isn't anything in the marriage worth fighting for.

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.

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