It has long been “common knowledge” that about half of marriages end in divorce. This is a statistic we have all heard and have probably repeated. Thankfully for all of us, the statistic has never been true. It wasn’t true when the U.S. divorce rate was at its peak in 1979, and it is even less true today.
The much-publicized story of Olympian Bruce Jenner has sparked many questions in relation to child custody and visitation in circumstances in which a transgendered parent gets divorced. Although Bruce and Kris Jenner's two daughters are teenagers, many divorces in Massachusetts and other states involve a transgendered parent of young children. Regardless of the state in which such a divorce is filed, the best interests of the children are always the primary concern of the family law court.
Deciding to file for a divorce is a major decision for most Massachusetts couples, and it is only natural for the financial aspects of divorce proceedings to be an important consideration. With so many online solutions available, it is not uncommon for couples to choose to handle their own divorces, believing that reaching a divorce agreement will be easy. However, they are often unprepared for the many stumbling blocks they may have to face without the guidance and support of an experienced divorce attorney.
In June of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law that dated back to 1996. Since DOMA was overturned, same-sex spouses in Massachusetts and 37 other states have had access to each other's federal benefits such as health insurance, Social Security benefits, veteran's benefits and retirement savings. However, at state level, many couples in other states are still being denied certain benefits that are enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
More and more couples in Massachusetts and elsewhere are filing for divorce when they are older than 50. Studies show that the number of divorces later in life has grown significantly since 1990. Many of these "gray divorces" follow first marriages and are not likely to be done on the spur of the moment. After many years of marriage, there is typically a lot at stake, and to ensure all matters are addressed in a divorce agreement, each party may benefit from the services of an experienced divorce attorney.
Navigating a divorce through all its facets under Massachusetts laws is likely a traumatic experience for anyone involved. In addition to possible concerns about child custody, the financial implications during the time leading up to the divorce and afterward need to be addressed adequately. Failure to pay the necessary attention to detail of financial agreements may adversely impact the lives of both parties post-divorce. This area is known to cause a fair amount of contention, and the guidance of a mediator who is experienced in marital conflict resolution may be invaluable.
During the recent recession, the U.S. Census Bureau reported a significant drop in the divorce rate. Now that the economic recovery is well under way, it is predicted that there will be a rise in divorce filings in Massachusetts and other states. The many stumbling blocks divorced couples face when they are financially challenged may be the reason for the decline during hard times. This may be especially true for a parent who has child custody.
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.
Child custody battles in Massachusetts sometimes end up being a battle between spouses, with proper consideration of the interests of the children forgotten. Many parents and lawmakers are supporting legislation that compels judges in a family court to order joint child custody, except in cases where a parent has been deemed unfit. It is the opinion of many that a parent should not have to fight for joint custody. However, critics contend that there should be flexibility in child custody laws to allow for the best interests of the children.
Any divorce is bound to be a traumatic experience for the parties and any children involved. Although there is rarely any shortage of advice from family and friends, there is no such thing as a typical divorce case. Those facing divorce proceedings in Massachusetts may find comfort in knowing that Barbara J. Katzenberg is an experienced divorce attorney who is focused on helping her clients achieve a comprehensive and equitable divorce settlement. In some circumstances, alternative dispute resolution options such as divorce mediation may be an appropriate choice.