Family Law Articles

Remember to update your beneficiaries when you divorce

A recent Massachusetts case serves as yet another reminder that when you divorce, it’s important to review all your insurance policies, bank accounts, retirement funds and investment portfolios. It’s also important that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are each represented by separate counsel. In this case a man took out a life insurance policy when he was still married to his ex-wife. He named his wife as its beneficiary. The couple got divorced after having two

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Wife’s stake in business subject to ‘marketability discount’

One of the most contentious issues that can arise in a divorce is the status of a family business, particularly where a husband and wife hold unequal stakes. A recent South Carolina case shows that having a minority stake can be a disadvantage both in making business decisions and in a divorce. In that case, the husband owned 75 percent of the business and the wife owned the other 25 percent. During their divorce, a dispute

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An inheritance is coming. Should you get a prenup?

When many people hear the term “prenuptial agreement,” they think of celebrities and tycoons like Beyonce and Jay Z, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and Mark Zuckerberg. After all, high-wealth individuals have more to lose if they get divorced. Still, there are plenty of reasons for “normal” people to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement (a contract you enter into with your spouse that details exactly what will happen in the event of a divorce) when

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Modifying your support agreement during a pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on millions of Americans’ financial situations. Layoffs, reduced hours, furloughs and business closings have changed people’s economic outlook. It’s also made it hard for people paying child support to meet their obligations and equally hard for child support recipients to cover their expenses. If this sounds like your situation, you should talk to a family law attorney because you may have options. Your first option is to talk openly and

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How relocating can impact your divorce

It’s very common for someone who’s getting divorced to think about moving to a different state. Maybe they live far away from their parents, childhood friends and extended family and want to go somewhere with a support system. Or maybe they’ve gone “home” for a while during a separation and decided to stay, or finally feel free to pursue their dream job and their best opportunities lie elsewhere. Whatever the reason, you should realize that different

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Protecting an inheritance in the event of a divorce

If you receive an inheritance during marriage and later get divorced, does your spouse get to share in it? The answer varies depending on the circumstances. As a recent New Jersey case tells us, a key factor is how you treated the inheritance when you received it. In that case, a married woman received an inheritance when her daughter from a prior marriage passed away. The inheritance consisted of $162,000 in life insurance proceeds and assorted

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Should you file your taxes jointly or separately during a divorce?

One of the benefits of marriage is being able to file your taxes jointly. That’s because you get the benefit of certain tax breaks, such as the child and dependent care tax credit, deductions for college tuition expenses and student loan interest, the deduction of net capital losses and various IRA deductions. But what if you’re in the process of getting divorced? In that case, you need to determine first whether you’re actually eligible to file

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Temporarily delegating your parental authority

Imagine you’re headed off with your spouse for a weeklong vacation in Europe or the Caribbean. You can’t even remember the last time you and your spouse had some adult time away from the kids, and you’ve never left them for this long before. You know they’re in good hands with your good friends. But even when you leave your kids with people you trust, things can come up that only a parent is permitted to

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When should I modify my custody order?

Custody agreements consider factors such as vacation schedules, holidays, monthly or weekly visitation schedules, as well as details related to children’s education, religious activities, extracurricular activities and even sports, based on everybody’s needs at the time of the divorce. However, needs can change, so you might consider modifying your custody order. In most states, custody orders can be modified if there’s been a significant “change in circumstances” and if the current arrangement is no longer in

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Relocating with kids after divorce

How hard would it be for you, as a divorced parent, to relocate with your children? In some states, a parent with custody must give the other parent (whether that parent has shared custody or not) written notice of his or her plans. If the other parent objects, a family court will decide the issue. Elsewhere, the parent seeking to relocate has to petition the court directly for its blessing. In most states, a court looks

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