With Valentine’s Day on the horizon many are thinking about flowers, chocolates and love. But many others are thinking of something else: divorce. The decision to file for divorce can be one of the toughest to make, especially during this time of year. Not only are emotional concerns raised, but a variety of financial issues pop up, too. Therefore, those who are considering filing for divorce may be best served by speaking with a Worcester Divorce Lawyer who can discuss the process, the legal issues that may come into play, and how post-divorce life may look.
The financial issues surrounding a divorce can be immense, and if they are not handled properly a divorcing party may be left in financial difficulty. One of these issues is the division of marital property and debts. Marital property is assets obtained by the coupled after their marriage. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, meaning a court will seek to divide property equitably, but not necessarily equally. To determine a fair division, a court may look to the length of the marriage, each party’s earning potential, which parent has child custody, and each party’s debt. As for debt, a party is typically responsible for his or her personal debt and any debt held jointly with the other party.
Divorcing couples must also consider dividing their retirement accounts. Failing to do this appropriately could cause a party to face unintended financial consequences and unwanted tax liabilities. Similarly, divorcing couples should revisit their estate planning to ensure their beneficiary designations are to their liking. Otherwise, a sudden death could leave an ex-spouse with a windfall.
Disputes over divorce legal issues are often complex and shrouded in emotion. Sometimes is helpful to have a third party assess the situation and advise as to how to proceed. A divorce lawyer can provide this guidance while being a strong advocate in support of the party’s best interests.
Source: The Pineapple Newspaper, “Being Prepared for Life’s Transitions: Separation and Divorce,” Colleen Hasey Schuhmann, Feb. 4, 2014