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Middlesex County Divorce Law Blog

What records should alimony payers maintain for tax purposes?

Every Massachusetts resident can benefit from an organized record-keeping system, and most people are well aware of this fact. When it comes to alimony payments, those who spousal benefits can benefit from should be keeping close track of any records relating to their payments too. These records will be very important to have on hand when dealing with year-end tax filings.

In the majority of cases, those who pay alimony can deduct those payments from their taxes. Meanwhile, those who receive the alimony must count it as taxable income. The reason this is particularly important for alimony payers is because an ex-spouse might not report the alimony payments received accurately. If the Internal Revenue Service notes a discrepancy in one spouse's report of what he or she paid and the other spouse's report of what he or she received, it could trigger an audit. You will definitely want to have the records on hand in the event of an audit.

Determining child custody in a Massachusetts divorce

Massachusetts parents who are considering divorce will have a lot to think about and decide with regard to their children. Issues involving child custody, visitation plans, parenting time and other matters are significant for the future well-being of their children.

Because most parents value their relationships with their children above all else, it can be very difficult to relinquish control of these decisions to a Massachusetts court. For this reason, it is always preferable that both parents come to a mutually agreed upon decision on their own terms, outside of the courthouse.

Establishing paternity for child custody

Many Massachusetts fathers are denied the ability to visit and spend time with their children. There can be a lot of reasons for this -- one of them being that the mother denies the father access. In other cases, the court may deny a father visitation rights if it believes that the best interests of the children are not served by the father's presence.

Fathers who want to spend time with their children but are not able to may have legal avenues available, which could help them obtain the visitation rights they desire. Legal complaints to establish custody and other kinds of paternity actions like this are not uncommon in Massachusetts. If they are successfully navigated, they could help fathers gain access to their children.

Chris Rock and his wife are heading for divorce

Reports have been swirling lately that Chris Rock and his wife are going to get divorced. Though the couple has been fairly quiet about the whole thing, it does appear that they are going to split up. This comes after they had almost reached their 20th anniversary, having been married for 19 years.

Though some divorces involving celebrities can grow complicated with such a large amount of assets and wealth on the line, Rock's own split does not look like it is going to be that messy or chaotic. A quote from his wife explained how the couple had worked hard to come to this decision together, and they appear to be in agreement that it is the right move.

Child custody advice for getting through the holidays

Getting through the holidays -- whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah or New Years -- can be difficult for a newly divorced Massachusetts parent. Indeed, everyone has a lot of special memories associated with the holiday season and it can be hard to cope with those memories after a family has been split apart. Nevertheless, by taking a few important steps, newly single parents can achieve a lot for themselves, their children and their families.

These days, more and more parents have shared custody and in their divorce agreements, it is likely that the terms for sharing the children during various holidays will be clearly laid out. That said, it is vital that divorced parents plan ahead with each other in order to know who will have the children and when. This will help keep things as stress free as possible for both yourself and your children.

How can you help your children through a holiday divorce?

It is often said that children are the most highly impacted when their parents split up, so there is never going to be an "easy" time to get a divorce in Massachusetts. However, a holiday divorce can be even more problematic because it detracts from the joy of the season and it really exposes the realities of what things are like when a family unit breaks up. There are some things that you can do to help your children through this, however.

First and foremost, it is very important to be mature and calm about the whole thing. It is going to be emotional, but do not let those emotions get the best of you so that you ruin the season for your children.

Massachusetts divorce questions: What is a financial affidavit?

When it comes to divorce, Massachusetts residents will have their entire financial lives exposed. Indeed, no stones will be left unturned by the family law judge and your spouse's attorney as your assets and property are reviewed and analyzed. Your own divorce attorney will also need to look at all the details pertaining to your financial life. As a part of this process, both you and your spouse will have to file what is commonly referred to as a financial affidavit.

Your financial affidavit will catalog your assets and liabilities, how much money you earn and how much money you spend. Completing the document can be complicated, but it is critical that it is done in a fashion that complies with the law if you want to avoid the possibility of legal problems later on down the road. Also, because you will swear under the penalty of perjury that your affidavit is completely accurate, it is essential that everything contained in it is absolutely true.

Are divorce, alimony and child support agreements final?

At Novick & Meyers, we handle a variety of family law issues. Most of the cases that we provide services for are divorce matters. Under the category of divorce, some of the most difficult challenges that couples must resolve include child custody, alimony, child support and divorce agreement modifications.

In all matters of divorce, it is preferable that both parents come to agreement by way of a reasonable out-of-court settlement. However, this is not always possible. At Novick & Meyers, we will make every effort to bring your divorce disagreement to an amicable conclusion. We will also protect your rights at trial when it is necessary to do so.

Why Massachusetts couples may want to consider a 'pet prenup'

One of the most emotional factors in a couple's divorce may well be who gets custody of the pets. However, many couples may be surprised to learn that their beloved four-legged friends are actually considered property in the eyes of the law.

In many cases, both spouses love the animal and want to continue to have it in their lives. According to one of the authors of "The Dog-Lover's Companion to Boston," fighting over a pet is understandable because "[o]ur pets get very attached to us, and we get very attached to them." Sometimes, however, one spouse will seek custody of the animal simply to get back at the other one.

Legal hurdles if custody is violated by international kidnapping

International parental kidnapping is the official term used when one parent, generally after a divorce, takes a child to another country so that the other parent cannot be involved with the child. This is a violation of child custody rights, and it is illegal in Massachusetts under federal law. Parents are not allowed to obstruct a custody ruling in this way, whether they agree with it or not.

There are some legal hurdles that can be faced if this happens, however, and you should be aware of what the legal battle may look like if you find yourself in this position.

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