Divorce proceedings

Using Marital Assets to Pay for your Divorce

Can I use money from my joint account to pay for my Divorce? Can I get my spouse to pay for my divorce? The financial part of divorce can be overwhelming to many clients. Many clients did not handle the finances in their marriage, did not work during their marriage, or are generally unaware of what they can and can’t do with joint funds during divorce proceedings. In Massachusetts, when a party files for divorce an automatic financial restraining order is used with the summons that is served on the other party. The automatic restraining order restricts either party from selling, transferring, encumbering, assigning, removing or in any way disposing of any property, real or personal, belonging to or acquired by, either party. However, there are few notable exceptions to this rule, one being that either party can use funds for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in connection with the action. This means that any joint funds could be used within reason to pay for your divorce. That being said, we often suggest that if a client knows they are going to file for divorce, that they set aside some money into a personal account for fees and costs prior to filing for divorce. This method prevents a potentially contentious argument about using money directly for your joint accounts. Additionally, clients often ask if they can have their spouse pay for the divorce. If there is a large income disparity, the moving party can motion the court pursuant to M.G.L.C

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Non-traditional couples in Massachusetts offered USAA insurance

Affordable, reliable insurance can be difficult to acquire in Massachusetts and elsewhere and, as such, is a benefit that is worth fighting for. Widows and widowers who were in legally-recognized, same-sex relationships that have not remarried will now have the option of continuing insurance coverage from the United States Services Automobile Association. Divorced non-traditional couples that remain unmarried will also have access to the same benefits, according to the agreement. The change is part of an agreement the USAA made with the Attorney General’s office. The USAA provides insurance to members of the armed forces and their family members. In the past, the organization faced complaints that it ceased coverage for anyone in a same-sex relationship that ended in divorce or the death of one of the participants. Although Massachusetts began officially recognizing gay marriage in 2004, the USAA did not update its policies to include same-sex couples for eight years afterwards. Now, under the terms of the agreement, the USAA will provide benefits to the people whose requests were denied previously. The company will also pay a fine. In a statement released recently, the USAA claims the agreement is not a change from its regular practices. The company says it has offered benefits to non-traditional couples for the past two years. USAA asserts this includes both surviving spouses and divorcees — as long as they have not remarried. This agreement is one example of the difficulties non-traditional couples may face. Divorce or death of one of the partners only

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Massachusetts: same-sex couples divorce could be more difficult

Same-sex couples in Massachusetts have expressed their excitement over being able to legally marry. While many have been fighting for this right for quite some time, what they may not have thought about was the divorce process. A recent article touched on some of the reasons why a same-sex couple could have a difficult time getting a divorce. One of the biggest obstacles couples are facing is that a limited number of states recognize same-sex marriage. Many couples have moved since marrying and are now attempting to divorce in a state that does not recognize their marriage. Although several couples have tried to fight this, most cases will require the couple to establish residency in a state that does recognize the marriage before they will be able to start the divorce proceedings. This can obviously be a time consuming process. Another issue arises if the couple has children. In many instances, the biological parent will be the one to receive legal custody which could have a substantial impact on the proceedings. One suggestion is for the non-biological parent to adopt the child which would give them rights to the child as well in most cases. Any same-sex Massachusetts couple trying to file for a divorce could benefit from researching the applicable state laws and determining the best way to move forward with necessary action. As mentioned earlier, if children are involved, a parent could benefit from taking additional steps to ensure all custody concerns are addressed. Having the proper knowledge

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DOMA ruling affects divorce for same-sex couples

Marriage is one of the most important commitments a person can make in their lifetime. Massachusetts residents who choose same-sex marriage are usually filled with optimism and hope for the future of their relationship. No couple wants to think about the possibility of divorce. Unfortunately, many relationships do end, and understanding the laws in one’s state, as well as the new rulings issued in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), is important to protect one’s interests when a marriage ends in divorce. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, and therefore, residents of our state do not have to travel to other states to marry. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the DOMA, federal benefits are now available to same-sex couples. Additionally, these couples are recognized on a federal level as being in a legal union. What does that mean for those Massachusetts’s residents seeking divorce? Because Massachusetts recognizes same-sex marriage, those who meet residency requirements are also able to divorce in Massachusetts. Given the new DOMA rulings, divorce for some same-sex couples will now become somewhat more complicated, especially if they have relocated to another state after they got married. Since federal benefits are now available for the spouses in same-sex marriages, these benefits will have to be considered during the dissolution of a marriage. Unfortunately, not all states recognize same-sex marriage, and therefore may not recognize a same-sex divorce, or the protections of the new laws. State and federal laws affect many areas of

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