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Middlesex County Divorce Law Blog

How the asset division process works in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, "marital property" is a term used to describe any possessions that a married couple acquires during the course of their marriage, although there are certain exceptions. Also included as marital property is interest accrued on investments and/or possessions that were owned prior to the marriage. Conversely, property that is owned prior to the marriage is generally classified as individual property.

When it comes to the asset division aspect of Massachusetts divorce proceedings, marital property is divided in an "equitable" fashion. It is important to note that equitable in this context does not mean equal. Equitable division means that the division of property will be done in a way that is deemed to be fair by the family court in charge of deciding the divorce.

What could be different about a same-sex divorce?

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage, it is also legal for same-sex couples to get divorced -- no matter which state they happen to be living in. That means that courts throughout the nation will be dealing with the difficult aspects of divorce in a slightly different context. However, is it really that different?

According to a University of California Los Angeles think tank that focuses on gender identity and sexual orientation as it applies to public policy, same-sex couples will likely have a divorce rate that is very similar to heterosexual couples. That said, there could be some differences when it comes to same-sex couples' divorce proceedings -- mainly with regard to couples who have children.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck plan to co-parent their children

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have decided to divorce after a decade of marriage. However, both spouses were recently seen with their wedding bands still on. Recent reports indicate that Affleck is currently spending time with his children in Atlanta, while Garner is busy completing an acting project. It is also rumored that the couple's decision to separate has so far been amicable.

One source indicated that the couple is trying to separate in a responsible and adult fashion for the sake of their children, and that they plan to seek out a healthy way to co-parent. The source indicated that Garner and Affleck want their children's lives to stay similar to the way they were before and not be affected by their divorce.

Property division proceedings in Massachusetts

Not all divorces are equal, nor do they have to be in the state of Massachusetts -- when it comes to property division, that is. Indeed, Massachusetts is referred to as an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is not divided 50/50. Rather, courts seek to split up property in a manner that is "fair."

At Novick & Meyers, we know how hard property division can be. Indeed, no one enjoys letting go of their hard-earned possessions, especially when a particular item has sentimental value, or when an individual has worked very hard to accrue as certain level of savings. That's why we work aggressively on behalf of our clients to help them keep the assets they are entitled to under the law.

6 emotions you might have to deal with after divorce

Techniques that men can use to overcome a divorce was our topic of choice last week. That brings up an important point -- all divorcees go through a range of emotions during and after the divorce that must be worked through. Once these six emotions are worked through, you will be on your way to an emotionally healthy life.

The six emotions are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance and forgiveness. As scary as all of these sound, they are perfectly normal and can easily be dealt with through counseling.

Techniques men use to recover from divorce

Divorce hits both men and women very hard. In this article, we will discuss how men can find relief from the emotional turmoil and difficult times following a split. However, women might also find some nuggets of wisdom in the following techniques.

For men who have children, it is always important to remember that you have divorced your spouse, but not your kids. Your marriage has dissolved, but that does not mean that you are a man devoid of a family. Indeed, your children are still going to need you and desperately want you in your lives.

2 vital issues in a child custody disputes

Most Middlesex County child custody disputes that we handle at Novick & Meyers boil down to two essential issues: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the kinds of decisions a parent is legally capable of making on his or her child's behalf. Physical custody (or parenting time) has to do with who the child lives with and who the child spends time with.

In some cases, a parent might advocate for full legal and physical custody of his or her children. In other cases, a parent might be happy to simply split these custodial powers with the other parent equally. Either way, when a child custody dispute becomes contentious, it can be scary for a parent -- especially if the parent is in danger of losing contact with his or her children.

2 things to keep in mind during your divorce proceedings

It might seem strange to think of any divorce as "successful," but if time, money and stress can be saved during the proceedings, then it is certainly a good thing. Indeed, we have all heard of costly, time-consuming divorces that drag on for years. Such difficult situations can sometimes be triggered by the smallest of disagreements, but with proper planning and the right mindset, most divorces can be managed in a way that honors both parties' rights and needs.

The first piece of advice has to do with educating yourself on the divorce process. No two divorces are the same. Just because your Aunt Marcy was able to keep the family dog in her divorce does not mean that you will be able to keep yours. Indeed, knowing what legal options are available to you in your unique situation could help you sidestep a host of problems, and this information should be explored well before you ultimately enter into the divorce process itself.

5 factors that can increase divorce rates in Massachusetts

There are many things that could trigger a Massachusetts divorce, like infidelity, dishonesty, money problems, drug issues or personality conflicts. However, Prevention magazine recently reported on five strange factor that might contribute to a divorce. If one or more of these factors apply to you, you might consider how it could be affecting your married life.

First, a commute that is longer than 45 minutes can be a factor in increasing divorce rates. This could be because spouses lose important family time together, and they get more irritable when they spend more time by themselves on the highway.

What are the negatives of same-sex marriage?

Same-sex marriage and the numerous states that have legalized it represent a giant leap forward in the name of civil rights. However, as some people who have been married are fully aware -- whether they are homosexual or heterosexual -- marriage does come with certain potential downsides. Therefore, it is important that couples recognize those potential downsides, particularly as they apply to same-gender couples, prior to formalizing their relationships through marriage.

Property division in divorce proceedings is one thing to consider before anyone decides to get married. When divorcing, regardless of whose fault it may be, you and your spouse may be required to divide the property the two of you acquired during the course of the marriage. In Massachusetts, the property division process is "equitable." This means that courts will seek to divide marital property according to fairness rather than making it a strict 50/50 division.

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