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  • Brockton MA Divorce Law Blog

    CEO’s role allegedly diminished in divorce tactic

    When issues over accurately identifying marital and separate assets arise during divorce proceedings, emphasis is typically placed on determining when and how the property in question was acquired. And given that the property division process can be especially complex in high-asset divorces, efforts to establish valuation dates may be significant.

    Reuters recently compared content found on the website of Continental Resources Inc. to that of earlier website pages, and found 18 instances where information was either revised, supplemented or deleted entirely. The founder and CEO of the oil company apparently identified inaccuracies on the website and had them corrected, but many believe that the content revisions are intended to downplay the role that the CEO had in the success of the company.

    I want a divorce – what do I do now?

    Once you come to the realization that your marriage should end, you may be compelled to begin the divorce process. It can be difficult to know exactly where to begin, however, since there are a number of practical and legal factors to take into consideration. Provided below are a few things worth noting before you file your divorce petition in Massachusetts.

    According to the Massachusetts court system, family law guidelines recognize two categories of divorce. And depending on whether or not you are seeking a fault or no-fault divorce, you may be confronted by a number of different filing requirements. Before you ever get into the paperwork and more technical aspects of divorce proceedings, though, it can be incredibly helpful to have your personal finances and other affairs in order. 

    Factoring Social Security into the Illinois divorce equation

    There are so many practical and emotional decisions to be made at the end of a marriage that many people fail to fully recognize financial opportunities if and when they arise. For instance, many Illinois residents are entitled to their ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits. That is why it is worth considering if and when to collect the Social Security benefits of one’s ex during divorce proceedings.

    Despite the fact that Social Security guidelines can be complicated, there are several qualifying factors that apply in most cases. First off, anyone considering collecting on their ex-husband or wife’s benefits should know that doing so does not affect the amount he or she is entitled to. Furthermore, it’s important to keep in mind that people can only collect from others’ benefits if the amount equals more than their own Social Security. And when it comes to numbers, the couple must have been married for 10 years or longer, the person hoping to collect must be 62 years older or over, and he or she must be single.

    Recognizing the entire family’s financial needs

    When we work with our clients to develop child support arrangements, we take the needs of the entire family into consideration. Of course, the best interests of the child always remain at the heart of the case, but it is also important to recognize the financial requirements and limitations of both parents as well. Developing an effective child support agreement also depends largely on anticipating other needs that the child may have in the future.

    As the custodial or noncustodial parent of your child, you likely already know that child-support payments are intended to account for the care needs of the child. As a result, they are not regarded under the law as support payments for the custodial parent, and must therefore realistically complement the needs and lifestyle of the child. In order to determine the amount of child support that is appropriate in any specific case, we use a formula that takes several factors into consideration. Some of the things we look at include:

    The division process and property valuation

    Dividing property during the course of a divorce in Massachusetts can be one of the most difficult and complex processes, as divorcing parties are often confronted by an array of emotional and practical concerns. Beyond that, decisions made during the property division process can have long-lasting financial implications for both parties involved. Understanding how marital property is identified and valuated is an important part of achieving a fair and reasonable divorce settlement.

    An important point to keep in mind when considering how personal property is divided in divorce, is that some property may be identified as separate, while other assets may be considered community property. Findlaw notes that separate property can be exempt from property division proceedings in many instances. However, separate property that becomes commingled property may ultimately be considered community property in the end. Commingled property can exist in situations where one spouse contributes to the value of property obtained by the other spouse prior to marriage.

    Divorce settlement record could soon be broken

    Any divorce can present a number of challenges that require in-depth legal guidance and/or litigation. However, high-asset divorce is often complicated and can involve a great deal of legal as well as financial expertise. After all, divorcing couples with substantial marital property in Massachusetts can have years’ worth of investments and other forms of property to identify and divide.

    Even though the case is closed to the public, some information regarding the divorce between the founder and CEO of an oil company and his wife of 26 years is surfacing. The husband in the case has political ties and is recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the wealthiest people in the entire world. One source figures that the husband is worth a little over $20 billion. It’s for that reason that some divorce and finance experts are wondering how issues like property division will be handled by both parties.

    Am I eligible to receive alimony?

    For many Massachusetts families, the prospect of divorce poses serious financial and emotional difficulties. Not only must people come to terms with the fact that their lives and lifestyles will be significantly affected by the dissolution of their marriage but they must also deal with the real, practical implications of losing a reliable source of income. Alimony, while traditionally regarded as financial support for stay-at-home mothers, serves to assist both men and women financially after divorce.

    Findlaw explains that alimony is designed to serve several purposes, all of which can depend on the particular circumstances of the divorcing couple. Spousal support is a prevalent issue in high-asset divorces and can be implemented in order to maintain the standard of living for which the non-wage earning spouse was accustomed to during marriage. Alimony can also be a means by which to compensate for the loss of income that the non-breadwinner spouse will incur as a result of divorce. And while multiple factors are taken into consideration when determining alimony, family law courts have a great deal of leeway and discretion.

    Understanding divorce costs

    Massachusetts couples who pursue divorce as their way of resolving otherwise unresolvable marital issues must make many difficult decisions along the way. For people with minor children, the angst of determining child custody and visitation plans can be among the most emotionally challenging parts of a divorce. For spouses who have no minor children at home and may be at or near the age of retirement, concerns about protecting retirement accounts and other long-term savings may take center stage.

    Regardless of whether or not children are involved in a divorce, the property division agreement can often be the element that draws out a divorce process. The short- and long-term impact of financially-related determinations can be far reaching. Even with the laws of equitable division well established, it is still important for both wives and husbands to maintain close watch over credit reports and bank accounts before, during and after divorces.

    Spousal support agreement contested by celebrity

    When couples come to the point of dissolving their marriage, financial factors are taken into consideration to account for the needs and lifestyles of both parties. Spousal support is intended to provide for the spouse who was not the primary provider during the course of the marriage. However, financial support like alimony is not intended to place undue hardship on the spouse responsible for paying. Issues can arise, therefore, when the liable spouse challenges his or her legal obligation to the other.

    Hollywood actor Terrence Howard married Michelle Ghent in early 2010. The couple did not have any children together and divorced the following year. Subsequent divorce proceedings resulted in numerous and varied accusations, and garnered a great deal of public interest. Recently, media attention over the couple’s divorce was renewed when Howard challenged allegations that he owed more than $300,000 in spousal support by arguing that he simply couldn’t afford the steep amount.

    Property division and Social Security benefits

    For many Massachusetts residents, the process of dividing assets is the most difficult part of dissolving the marriage. While the ultimate goal of property division is to come to a fair and equitable conclusion for both parties, some people are reluctant to pursue all of the various types of assets they are legally entitled to. Understanding exactly how Social Security and survivor benefits factor into the property division equation can be helpful for those that may be eligible to receive their ex-husband’s or wife’s payments.

    Typically, people are eligible to receive the Social Security or survival benefits of their ex-spouse if they are currently not married or were married to their ex for a minimum of 10 years. And while the Social Security Administration does require that people meet those requirements, along with some others in certain circumstances, benefit eligibility cannot be denied on the basis of statements in a divorce decree. Many people do not know that their ex-spouse cannot prohibit them from drawing from his or her Social Security if they are found to be eligible according to the above guidelines.