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Indications that your ex may not trust your parenting

You do what you can to be a great parent to your child after a divorce, but does it seem like your ex just doesn’t trust you? One woman said that she thought her and her spouse would be able to split up cleanly and move on, but things didn’t go nearly as well as she’d hoped because her ex considered her to be the “other” mom, the one who wasn’t as capable of raising the child. According to her, the following are indicators that this is happening: — Your ex checks up with doctors, teachers and others after meetings that you attended to make sure things went well. — When you have the kids for any amount of time and you drop them back off, your ex wants detailed reports about what you did and when. — Your ex shames you for working too much and not spending as much time with the kids. This can be done in a way that implies that she is the real, caring mother, while you’re not. — Your ex spends time with the kids, while you end up paying child support. — Most of your children’s possessions end up at your ex’s house. A toy bought as a birthday present, for example, may go to the house when the next custody switch happens, and you’ll never see it again. Knowing what these signs look like can be important even as you’re still working through the divorce. The two of you will need

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Securing a father’s rights when a child is born

It’s crucial for fathers to understand how their relationship to a child is established, depending on the situation surrounding the child’s birth. This can help them to secure their rights when going through a divorce in Massachusetts. First off, a man is legally presumed to be the father if a child is born and the man and that child’s mother are married. While it’s true that this may not be the case — if infidelity was involved, for example — that assumption is made unless the truth is shown to be different. The same presumption is made even if the mother was pregnant before the two got married. For example, if a couple was dating, found out that the woman was two months pregnant and decided to quickly marry before the child’s birth, the same legal presumptions fall into place as if they’d gotten married two months earlier. The difference comes if the parents wait until the child has already been born and then they get married. If this happens, a legitimation form has to be signed. This claims that the man is the child’s father and gives him the rights he would have automatically gotten if the two had tied the knot before the birth. Finally, for parents who don’t get married, a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity may need to be used. This is similar to the legitimation form noted above, in that it establishes legal grounds to consider the man the child’s father. Parents don’t have to wait

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Stock options, though easily overlooked, could be valuable

People who get divorced often think about their rights regarding company-controlled assets. This doesn’t just mean a regular paycheck, but could also mean benefits or a pension plan. One thing they may often overlook, though, is the value of stock options. Stock options typically can be used in the first decade that the employee is with the company. Essentially, they mean that the employee can purchase stock in the company at the date of his or her choosing, buying the stock for the price it is at when the options are offered. This can be very valuable, and this asset may need to be split during a divorce just like anything else. For example, the shares may be worth $10 each when the option is offered. Ten years later, if the company is doing well, the shares may be worth $20 each. The employee can then buy these $20 shares for $10 each, instantly doubling his or her money. This eliminates the risk to the employee, as he or she can stand to see the stock lose significant value and still come out ahead overall. The employee also has 10 years of data to predict what the stock will do. If you’re heading toward divorce in Massachusetts, do not forget to consider stock options. Find out if your spouse has any and what value they may hold. Find out if stock has already been bought or if the right to buy simply exists. Above all else, make sure you know

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Court rules man can opt not to pay ex-wife $1.4 million

An heir to the Educor Inc. fortune will receive millions from a trust, and a court recently ruled that he does not have to pay his ex-wife out of that money. The money comes from a trust that the man’s father set up, which contains around $24 million total. The man also works for an Educor subsidiary as an assistant bookstore manager, and he brings in $170,000 per year. On top of that, the man’s brother paid him about $800,000 out of the trust. The brother is in charge of distributing the money. The man’s ex-wife, on the other hand, has been part of the Army Reserves and worked as a part-time ultrasound technician, making $22,672. She quit her post with the military just two years before she would have been eligible for a pension. Reports indicate that she did it to take care of her daughter, at the insistence of the family. Her daughter has Down syndrome. An appeals court had previously ruled that the man needed to turn over about 60 percent of the money from the fund, along with some interest, saying that it was part of the “fabric of the marriage.” The total he was meant to pay was $1.4 million. However, the Supreme Judicial Court recently decided that he should not have to pay since he was not the one in control of the fund, and there was technically the chance that he may not get payments in the future. The man’s lawyer agreed with

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Same-sex divorce tips

Divorce can be tough for same-sex couples, and it is something that will likely become more common as same-sex marriage also increases in frequency. There have been massive shifts in both law and public opinion over the years, leading to increased rights for same-sex couples. Those who are splitting up must know how their rights may have changed and what the legal process now looks like. As you sort through this, these tips can help make it all easier. 1. Remember that divorce is still a legal process. It’s emotional on your end because the relationship is ending, but try not to take the court process itself too personally. 2. Additionally, don’t make emotional decision — like fighting for assets you don’t even want out of spite. You want to put your negative emotions aside and make calm, rational decisions. 3. Have a support system. This could include your family, your friends, your legal team, or even some of your co-workers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get assistance. Don’t think you must do everything yourself. 4. Go through the divorce in a way you’ll later be proud of, without compromising any of your own ideals and values. When you look back, you want to be happy with the decisions you made and the way you acted. You want to know that you stuck with the things you really care about, whether your personal values include love, family, health and well being, or other things entirely. Divorce isn’t easy.

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How to keep tax planning and divorce separate

Divorce is emotional, and that emotion often interferes with the efficient distribution of the marital estate. Forensic accountants can help by locating all the assets and liabilities for marital division. These specialized certified public accountants can also investigate and analyze financial evidence and interview parties to help prevent fraud. In their tax advisor roles, CPAs helps the parties of the divorcing couples to divide the marital assets orderly and with the least tax burden. Any property that is acquired by the spouses during the marriage is generally marital property. Some retirement plans that qualify under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act are not subject to state laws that govern that govern the division of marital property. The courts determine on what is fair and equitable in 41 states for the division of assets. In the other 9 states, the separate property brought into a marriage will remain separate property as long as it remains segregated and identifiable. When there are possible tax liabilities associated with property division, CPAs can help soon-to-be ex-spouses determine how much they owe due to the divorce so they won’t be surprised come tax time. When many people get divorced, it’s easy to simply consider the immediate concerns, such as child custody, support, alimony and property division. However, the tax implications can be bigger than you might anticipate. By enlisting the help of a CPA, you will be able to determine your tax liability long before a tax bill will come due. An attorney who is

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Protecting Inheritances

Have you inherited property, heirlooms, money from your family and wondering how to protect what is yours in the event you and your spouse decide to divorce? What is considered marital property when determining property division in a divorce? This can vary depending on the circumstances unique to your situation. However, there are steps you can take to improve your outcome in the event of a divorce. First and foremost, if you are not married yet but are planning to get married soon, you should consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This will help shield your assets such as money, an inherited business or property. While not full proof, a prenuptial agreement can declare what inheritances or gifts each spouse agrees to surrender rights to in the event of divorce. Another important point to consider is safeguarding documentation regarding the intended beneficiary of a gift or inheritance. If you do have something in writing such as letters from a family member describing the designated recipient of a gift, keep these items in a safe place. This form of documentation showing intent may help you when dividing property in a divorce. Never co-mingle inherited money or other assets into an account with your spouse’s funds. Keep your assets in a separate bank or investment account and, again, save documentation. When couples pool their money, it is difficult to differentiate who has claim to it, even if some of it was specifically given to one recipient. As far as more expensive gifts

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How to get your ex-spouse or partner to pay a portion of college

In Massachusetts, the Family Law Court has the authority to order divorced parents to contribute something to their children’s college education expenses. Usually the court won’t deal with this at trial unless the child is nearly at the age to attend college, but many agreements will address the issue in some way. When it comes to the payment of college education expenses, the specific language that your agreement is very important. Many agreements require parents to contribute in proportion to their incomes and abilities at the time the college bill becomes due. However, if your agreement states that you are to share equally, then that could require you to contribute one half of the cost. How educational costs are defined by the agreement could differ greatly and the specific language of your Divorce Agreement will be key to determining exactly what you are required to pay. And if you are required to pay a specific amount and you don’t you could be liable for Contempt. If the issue of payment of college is modifiable in your agreement or defined vaguely or even not at all, then when it comes time to determine how the college education expenses are going to be split, you should try to reach agreement with your ex-spouse on this issue. Often, an uncontested agreement cannot be met. Therefore you or your attorney must file a Complaint for Modification to have the court determine contributions. If you have a specific agreement, but it is modifiable and you

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Why don’t men get alimony more often?

Though many people often think of men as the main breadwinners for the family unit in the vast majority of cases, recent studies show that this is largely an outdated mode of thinking. In reality, roughly 40 percent of households have women as the main earners. When it comes to alimony, there are about 400,000 people in the country being paid. Out of that, a tiny 3 percent are men. When considering this with the 40 percent figure above, it stands to reason that a lot of men could be asking for and receiving alimony, but they’re simply not doing it. Why not? There are many reasons. Experts have noted that the following show up often: — Gender roles that just won’t go away: As noted, many people automatically assume that men should be the main providers, despite the real-world statistics, so men may not consider asking for alimony. — Pride: One man said that he would never hit a woman or beg for her help, and he felt like alimony was no better than begging. Despite the fact that his wife made more than $100,000 a year, he didn’t ask for alimony and instead got help from his parents. — Sexist judges: In some cases, a man may fully be qualified for alimony, and a judge may have ruled that it should be paid if the roles were reversed, but the judge allows bias to sway his or her decision, refusing to give alimony to the man. In some

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Many fathers support children who are not their own

Child support, at the base level, is very simple. The non-custodial parent is expected to contribute something to help with raising the child so that the other parent does not have to bear all of those costs alone. Married couples naturally split the costs, after all, so this is done to ensure that divorced couples also share them. However, there are many problems with the way this system works in reality. One issue that is not reported often, but which some have described as epidemic, is the way that fathers are sometimes forced to support children who are not biologically related to them. Do you think that the odds of this happening are low? Studies have actually shown that 30 percent of fathers paying support are giving it to children who are not their own. This happens in a few different ways. For example, if a mother signs up to get welfare benefits for herself and a child, the application asks for the father’s name, and she has to write one down. She may knowingly or accidentally write the name of a man who isn’t the father, and she does not have to offer proof other than her word. Another way that this can happen is when a child is born and a man truly believes that he is the father, so he signs the paperwork claiming the child at the hospital. Later on, he finds out that the woman — perhaps his wife, but perhaps not — had been

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