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 order to avoid the trauma and stress that is often associated with divorce, more and more couples are considering mediation as an option. It is often found that mediation enables couples to work through all contentious issues in an amicable way that would not be possible without professional assistance. Massachusetts couples may be unsure of what divorce mediation is intended to accomplish and what to expect of a mediator.
When Massachusetts couples decide to file for divorce, it is only the first step in a process that may take many months or longer to finalize. There are many important matters that cannot be put on ice and need to be addressed when the parties separate. The family court may issue a temporary spousal support order, along with a temporary child support order to enable one parent to maintain proper care of the children, the household and other family matters during the time leading up to the final divorce decree.
A divorce can have an unfair financial effect on one or both spouses in Massachusetts and elsewhere. It is not uncommon for one spouse to give up his or her career in order to provide full-time care for the couple's children. In other cases, one spouse may have a much higher income than the other spouse, and alimony or spousal support payments may ensure an equal lifestyle for both spouses.
It is not uncommon for couples who are considering divorce to have little or no knowledge of matters such as spousal support. If it is their first divorce, couples may have only the experiences of friends and family by which to go. However, the circumstances of every Massachusetts divorce is different, and it may be beneficial to consult with professional advisors to obtain a full understanding of how alimony laws will be applied in their case.
Many Massachusetts couples manage to go through divorce, property division and child support in an amicable manner. However, many other couples would like to avoid litigation, but, due to a break-down in communication, they find it impossible to reach agreements that suit the interests of both parties and the children. Fortunately, there are professionals who offer divorce mediation services to assist couples with reaching agreements that reflect and protect the interests of all parties.
Because the circumstances of every divorce are different, it would be wise for both spouses to obtain legal counsel before signing any agreements. Emotions may lead an individual to agree to spousal support when it may not be in his or her best interest. Obtaining the advice of a professional may avert decisions that may bring regret.
Couples in Massachusetts that are considering divorce may want to avoid costly and ongoing litigation. Each spouse would likely want to protect his or her own interests. In addition to property division, child custody and spousal support, couples may find it difficult to agree on matters such as child support. More and more divorcing couples are opting to make use of services such as divorce mediation, arbitration or collaborative divorce.
Since Gwyneth Paltrow referred to her divorce as a conscious uncoupling, many people have responded that this is no new way of dissolving a marriage. As far back as 1976, a sociologist published a book on uncoupling relationships, writing about divorces that were jointly decided upon by both spouses. Massachusetts couples who are divorcing may want to consider the advantages of divorce mediation, which is a possible way of minimizing the negative consequences a divorce may have on a family.
Years ago, divorce settlements often included alimony or spousal support, but when the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 was enacted everything changed. Now, the choice to award alimony to one spouse depends on the negotiation between divorcing individuals. The amount and duration of support is based on the length of marriage.