Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Focus on the whole picture when drafting a divorce agreement

Massachusetts couples who are considering divorce sometimes focus on one aspect rather than looking at the whole picture. It is not uncommon for people to concentrate on the aspect that produces the highest level of contention, such as property division or child custody. Although every divorce is unique, all the various aspects will impact an individual's post-divorce life and need the necessary attention in negotiating a divorce agreement.

More and more divorcing couples choose to utilize the services of professional mediators to guide them through making decisions that will be in the interests of the parties and any children involved. Each spouse will want to have a legal representative present during mediation to ensure nothing is left unaddressed. Couples may need guidance in deciding whether one party will keep the family home, and if they decide to sell it, the tax implications may determine whether it should be sold before filing for divorce or post-divorce.

Similarly, there may be different options to consider in relation to child custody and alimony. Ex-spouses may choose to benefit from child exemptions on their tax returns in alternate years. Considerable tax savings can be achieved by the head of household, and by having a child just one more day in a year allows a parent that benefit. A lawyer will ensure all benefits are considered, and a mediator will facilitate peaceful agreements.

Each party in a Massachusetts divorce may gain by consulting with an experienced divorce attorney who will not only protect their rights but will actively take part in the mediation process. The lawyer will ensure that all agreements are documented in language that will hold up in court. Divorcing couples may benefit significantly by using available resources to ensure a divorce agreement that will provide long-term stability and an equitable settlement.

Source: kshb.com, "5 biggest divorce-related financial mistakes", Wendy Spencer, March 31, 2015

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