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Is secret spending an issue in your marriage?

In any relationship between two people, deception can lead to an erosion of trust and the relationship's eventual demise. This is especially true when it comes to the relationship between spouses. Within a marriage, infidelity is often regarded as the ultimate act of betrayal and many marriages that are tested by such challenges ultimately fail. It's important to note, however, that not all acts of infidelity within a marriage involve another man or woman.

It turns out that there's another type of infidelity in which, according to a recent study by and, a whopping 46 percent of married individuals admit to engaging. So-called financial infidelity is common in many marriages and frequently spouses who hide purchases from a husband or wife don't believe they are necessarily doing anything wrong.

Ownership, cleanup and development of Crow Hill property still uncertain: Part II

In a recent blog post, we began discussing the long-standing legal dispute between the city of Worcester and Green Landscapes, LLC over a 15-acre Crow Hill parcel of land. While the two sides have been litigating in court for years over the cleanup, development and ownership of a 4.3-acre portion of the undeveloped property; this past summer, in a behind-closed-doors deal, city council members voted to claim the land under eminent domain laws.

The city's actions were decried by Green Landscapes, LLC, the long-time owner of the property, as “an ambush tactic which was conspired in bad faith and " which serves to "undermine the (court) orders." Green Landscapes filed a motion to have the city's eminent domain claim deemed invalid.

Legal factors involved with shared custody and parental relocation

For any parent in Massachusetts who is thinking of moving to another state, concerns over how a child will adjust often exist. However, in cases where a parent is divorced and shares custody of a child with an ex-spouse, he or she must also take steps to obtain permission to legally relocate with a child to another state.

In cases where a custodial parent asks and receives permission from a non-custodial parent regarding an out-of-state move, a parent’s permission means that the move is considered to be legally sanctioned. However, even in these cases, it's wise to consult with an attorney and take the proper legal steps to document that permission was granted as well as the details of any existing or amended custody and visitation agreement. If a parent does not grant the other permission to move out of Massachusetts with a child, the parent who is seeking to move must turn to the courts.

Drafting legal, effective non-compete agreements: work with experienced legal counsel

Most people are well aware that competition is fierce in the technology industry, where new products and services are popping up and continuing to improve and develop at a blinding rate. It makes sense, then, that businesses in the industry would be keen on recruiting top talent and protecting their innovative ideas and business plan. One of the tools businesses frequently use to do this is non-compete agreements.

The law of non-compete agreements differs from state to state, with some states—particularly California—all but banning them. The technology industry is currently divided as to whether or not non-compete agreements should or should not be legal. The argument against their use is that they prevent employee mobility and thus slow down innovation and the sharing of ideas. Supporters within the industry, of course, say that they are critical tools for protecting proprietary business interests. 

Ownership, cleanup and development of Crow Hill property still uncertain

Worcester residents are likely familiar with the legal battle that has been waged for years between the city and the owners of 15 acres of undeveloped property at Crow Hill. While the area is zoned for the development of single-family residential units, such development is unlikely anytime soon as it's still unclear who actually owns the property.

Records indicate that 4.3 acres of the property were used during the 1930s and 1940s as a dump site. Sixteen years ago, "evidence of incinerator ash" which was buried some eight feel below the ground was found at the site. Due to the potential toxicity of the hazardous materials, under state environmental laws, the Massachusetts Contingency Plan ordered cleanup of any hazardous materials by February of 2016.

How the Internet is contributing to divorce

According to the Pew Research Center, a whopping 74 percent of U.S. adults use at least one social networking website. The popularity of social websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are proof that, whether we like it or not, we live in a world that is increasingly becoming virtual in nature. While social media websites have been credited with everything from reconnecting old friends to encouraging political uprisings against totalitarian regimes, there is another and more negative side to these websites and the Internet in general.

A recent British survey conducted by researchers at The Open University found that, increasingly, social media websites and numerous other dating-related websites have made it much easier for individuals to cheat on their husbands and wives.

'Gray divorce' continues to become more common -- here's why

Just as it’s never too late to find true love, it’s also never too late to get divorced. In fact, middle-aged and older people in Massachusetts and elsewhere are choosing to end their marriage, often after having been with their husband or wife for decades.

According to The Bend Bulletin, a 2014 study from Bowling Green University found that people age 50 and above were twice as likely to get divorced than people in the same age group in 1990. The divorce rate for people over 65 had increased even faster.

Advice for unwed Massachusetts parents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 41 percent of children who are born in the United States are born to unwed mothers. This number represents a significant increase during the last 55 years when, according to the nonprofit Child Trends Data Bank, unwed mothers represented just five percent of the total number of U.S. women having children. Given the sheer number of children today whose parents aren't married, matters related to child custody are more important and complex than ever.

For unmarried parents who were never or are no longer together, for the sake of a child and each parent, it's important to take steps to secure a child custody and visitation agreement. In order for a father to be able to take action to petition for custody or visitation rights, he must legally establish paternity.

How Chapter 11 bankruptcy can benefit small business owners

Accounting for 54 percent of total U.S. sales, small businesses play a critical role in our nation’s economy. Additionally, the estimated 28 million small businesses also account for roughly 55 percent of U.S. jobs and occupy between 30 to 50 percent of all commercial building space.

Along with their many successes, small business owners also face numerous challenges including taking on large amounts of debt for startup and business expansions and weathering unexpected economic downturns. Inevitably, some businesses experience financial challenges that make it difficult to impossible to continue on with normal operations. As debts mount and creditors threaten legal action to recoup payment, for some businesses, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy may be the best option.

Advice on how to make the divorce process easier

Even in cases where an individual wants and files first for a divorce, the actual process is never quick or easy. There are, however, behaviors in which divorcing spouses may engage that make an already difficult situation that much more unpleasant. While many individuals enter the process pledging to rise above the divorce acrimony they've likely heard so much about, emotions can get the best of even the most level-headed and mild-mannered individual.

A divorce may be contentious right from the start or may increasingly become contentious as a couple attempts to sort out matters related to child custody and the division of property. When negative emotions begin to drive one's behavior, it's important to hit the pause button and take a deep breath.

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