Financial arrangement

Alimony discussion important for many ending marriage

Massachusetts couples who have started or are contemplating divorce proceedings have many things to take into consideration, especially in regard to a request for alimony. Many divorce decisions must be made which factor into every single facet of life — from living arrangements to daily budgets. It is also important to gauge whether alimony may be necessary for the maintenance of that budget. How to live on a single income becomes a significant factor to consider. Finalizing a divorce does not always end all ties between two people, especially if a financial arrangement is necessary during the dissolution of a marriage. Alimony is often paid to an ex-spouse for a certain amount of time as ordered by the court. This income can be a necessity to a person who did not work during a marriage. Those who need time to prepare for reentering the work force or for those unable to work due to childcare responsibilities or other reasons may have a need for alimony. Divorce can be financially and emotionally draining. Some couples are able to deal with the stress with little to no intervention from outside sources. However, dealing with custody issues, dividing assets, alimony disputes and other difficult issues can make the process of ending a marriage seem long and difficult. For those in Massachusetts that are confronting these important issues, court proceedings may be necessary in those situations where the parties cannot come to an agreement among themselves. Many couples are not able to agree on

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Financial prep when a gay marriage turns into a divorce

When a same-sex couple in Massachusetts encounters marital difficulties, the process of ending a marriage is no different than that for a heterosexual couple. There are a number of measures that spouses should take if they believe that their union is on the rocks, no matter what their gender. With proper planning, an individual can greatly offset many of the negative ramifications of divorce, leaving them better-equipped to move forward in their single life. One basic preparation strategy involves keeping good records. This includes collecting and copying all tax returns and credit card statements, as well as income documentation for both spouses. Having good records can make it easier to approach a court for spousal support or child support. Another savvy means of preparing for the worst involves setting aside some savings to weather the period between filing for divorce and coming to terms on a final settlement. Having enough cash on hand to cover basic living expenses is important, and can make a huge difference in one’s stress level as the process moves forward. In addition, it may also be a good idea to pay down existing debt before filing for divorce. When it seems likely that divorce is on the horizon, gay spouses in Massachusetts should ensure that they are as prepared as possible for the coming months. The steps suggested here are not solely beneficial to the divorce process, but are also good tips that any couple can take advantage of. If the marriage stabilizes, having done

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Florida alimony under attack in state legislature

Florida alimony laws may be tumbling down like London Bridge. Not long ago the state legislature passed a new law that essentially reserved permanent awards of alimony for long-term marriages ending in divorce. Now there is a move underfoot to limit it further by abolishing permanent spousal support. These changes reflect a groundswell across the country, led by reforms of antiquated laws in Massachusetts and attempts to do so in New Jersey. The new Florida bill pending in the House of Representatives would award alimony based on the length of the marriage but would terminate on the retirement of the paying partner. One man who was required to pay lifetime alimony after a marriage of 14 years is part of the Florida Alimony Reform group, which has redoubled its efforts for change after passage of the reforms in Massachusetts. The group argues that, if the proposed law passes, those currently subject to onerous spousal support awards should be able to go to court to get their orders amended. But others suggest Florida is a more conservative state than Massachusetts and unlikely to go to the same extent in amending its laws. While there appears to be general agreement that reform is needed, some argue that any change should not hurt homemakers who stayed at home to raise families instead of pursuing careers. While it remains to be seen how the issues will be resolved, those facing spousal support issues would do well to consult an attorney experienced in all aspects

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