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Does divorce mediation also spare your pocketbook?

In our last post, we examined whether divorce mediation might spare a couple from additional emotional upset and heartache. Certainly, minimizing the emotional impact of a divorce can be of benefit and help an individual better transition into his or her post-divorce lifestyle. Mediation may also shield children from seeing further conflict among their parents. In fact, it sets a model for cooperation that children and parents alike can rely on in their future interactions, as with a visitation agreement.

Yet there is also a financial benefit to collaborative divorce approaches, including mediation. As a recent article reminds us, many couples underestimate how long the divorce process can take, especially when it is approached via litigation. The article contributor, perhaps with some hyperbole, claimed that his divorce had cost every penny he had because it was contentious, lasted over three years, and involved three states.

Can mediation spare heartache when going through a divorce?

Movie actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner recently announced their decision to divorce, as well as their intention of utilizing mediation. Readers might assume that mediation is a new trend in family law, similar to collaborative divorce and other approaches that have received recent media attention. However, the approach is actually an established part of family law. In fact, the attorneys in our law firm have utilized a variety of alternative approaches to family law litigation for years.

Specifically, our attorneys have helped many families avoid the emotional and financial upset of litigation through family law mediation. Like a divorce court, this professionally guided process can address very substantive issues, including alimony, child custody and support, property and debt division, and even post-divorce modification requests. 

Can a Chapter 11 filing be a good business move?

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy can be a wise choice for many reasons. In a recent example, the owner of a Massachusetts club called T.T. the Bear’s admitted that this legal filing provided much-needed relief.

For many, the club had been a vital source for live rock ‘n’ roll music, hosting acts such as the Indigo Girls, Joan Jett, the Pixies, Arcade Fire, and many others. However, the club did not start out that way. Rather, its owner first opened the venue as a restaurant in 1981. Those early years were uncertain, and the owner fell behind in her tax payments. However, she had confidence in her business, so she filed for Chapter 11. The process included monthly reports to a bankruptcy judge. After two years, the owner was able to regain her footing, emerging with a new vision for a music venue. The switch was as simple as building a stage and removing some tables and chairs.

Does conducting business via smartphone apps invite litigation?

For many companies, the Internet makes interstate commerce much easier. Yet does that accessibility also increase the risk of business litigation? 

In a recent example, the office of the Massachusetts attorney general announced upcoming meetings with representatives from Uber and Lyft regarding their compliance with applicable disability laws. Both ridesharing companies rely on technology, specifically a smartphone app, to connect riders with local, independent drivers. However, riders with special needs have voiced complaints against the companies. 

Are new business growth models impacting commercial real estate?

According to a recent report, the market for commercial real estate is improving across the country. Specifically, many regions are reporting a building boom. In Boston, specifically, office rent growth is picking up. One commentator went so far as to describe the region's office leasing market as the strongest it’s been in 50 years. Although not everyone may share that extremely favorable opinion, development does seem to be on the rise again.

Commercial real estate can take several forms, including office leasing, condo construction, nonresidential construction, and industrial property purchases or sales. At the same time, other business models are conspicuously avoiding the acquisition of traditional assets, such as office space. Take the examples of Uber or Airbnb, both of which have grown through Internet marketing and by utilizing an available pool of drivers or homeowners who are interested in offering their services or a short-term rental of their property.

Is stability a factor in child custody determinations?

Although readers may be familiar with the best interest of the child standard, understanding how that principle is applied in practice can still be confusing. Although both parents may be concerned about their child’s welfare during a divorce, disagreements may arise over legal and physical custody, child support and visitation arrangements.

Our law firm focuses on a wide range of family law matters, including legal guidance on child custody issues. We understand that the law and a parent’s own common sense may not always agree. A recent article explores the disconnect that can sometimes arise between a court’s determination and a parent’s own preferences and philosophies. 

5 things to consider when co-parenting after divorce

Divorce is a painful process for many people in Massachusetts. Even when it is the best choice for you, your spouse and your children, it can be hard to get over some of the feelings you experienced before or during the divorce. When you have children, however, setting those feelings aside can make the transition to a new life easier on them.

Whether you are hurt, angry or sad, you still have to co-parent with your ex if you share child custody. While co-parenting doesn't mean you have to like your ex, it does mean you will have to interact with him or her occasionally. To help with this process -- and to keep your feelings from impacting your children -- use the following five points to think about how to help your kids through your divorce.

When does Chapter 11 bankruptcy make sense for a small business?

When your business is facing difficult financial struggles, it is important to understand what your options are. While some business owners in Massachusetts are able to turn things around without bankruptcy, others look to bankruptcy as a way to protect themselves and their business interests. But when you are considering bankruptcy because of a struggling business, is Chapter 11 always best?

The answer to that depends on the state of your business, among other things.

Some states take issue with EPA's new definition of 'navigable U.S. waters'

Land use regulations in Massachusetts are ever-evolving, and different municipalities have significantly different requirements and restrictions. To avoid time-consuming pitfalls and oversights that could affect the success of your development project, it is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with each jurisdiction's codes and practices.

For many projects, environmental restrictions are one area of particular concern, as these regulations often change and are enforced by local, state and federal authorities. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a new ruling meant to clarify which kinds of wetlands and other water resources are protected under the 1972 Clean Water Act. However, some states governments have taken issue with the rule.

Do non-compete laws in Massachusetts strike a fair balance for employers and employees?

The debate over a possible ban of non-compete agreements in Massachusetts has flared up again in the Legislature. Lawmakers are considering whether current law strikes a fair balance between protecting employers' trade secrets and ensuring that employees have reasonable opportunities to change jobs, start new companies and innovate.

Lawmakers recently heard arguments over five bills that would severely restrict the use of or altogether ban non-compete agreements in Massachusetts. So far, only a few states have taken such measures.

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