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Offshore oil firm files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

An offshore oil firm in another state recently filed for bankruptcy protection. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing took place on a Tuesday, with the company's goal being to restructure its current debts. When companies in Massachusetts are struggling financially due to industry or economic factors, they likewise may take advantage of this type of bankruptcy protection.

In its bankruptcy filing, the company -- Seadrill - cited liabilities surpassing $20 billion. One of the reasons for the bankruptcy filing is that the petroleum industry is still fighting with some low prices. Before filing for bankruptcy, the firm trimmed several thousand positions starting in 2014. It also spent over a year negotiating with creditors to make changes to its remaining debt obligations.

Annulment vs. divorce: which to choose?

One of the biggest questions a married couple in Massachusetts may have when contemplating a split-up is whether to get an annulment or to get divorced. Whether an annulment or a divorce is pursued is a matter of simply placing a check in the right box on the couple's petition. However, the two are quite different legal processes.

An annulment is basically an acknowledgement that a marriage never really existed. For this to be considered, a couple must sufficiently explain why their marriage was not valid, which can be a challenge. Meeting at least one of the following conditions is necessary to qualify: insanity, bigamy, force or fraud. Proving one of these conditions means a court trial has to take place.

Successfully going through divorce is possible

Societal stigmas continue to exist. However, divorce is not as scandalous today as it was years ago; instead, it is simply something that sometimes happens to couples. A few tips may help with navigating the divorce process in Massachusetts.

First, being wise about how one conducts oneself is critical during the divorce proceeding. This includes not engaging in questionable behavior, such as taking drugs or drinking alcohol. It also includes not posting anything on social media that may end up upsetting the future ex-spouse or the children, as this could ultimately have negative consequences on one's end.

Commercial real estate industry highly competitive

The real estate market continues to be a competitive industry throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts. This is particularly the case for those in the market for commercial real estate properties. A few tips may help buyers to make the most of the opportunities with which they are confronted.

First, obtaining legitimate financial qualifications as soon as possible is important. It is not enough for a bank to say it will loan a buyer money. The bank needs to actually peruse the buyer's tax returns and financial statements first to make this determination. Then, the bank can produce a pre-qualification letter for the buyer, which includes a thorough review of the buyer's current financial situation.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing may help Perfumania

A perfume company that has stores nationwide, including in Massachusetts, recently decided to file for bankruptcy. According to the company, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will allow it to reorganize effectively. A total of 64 of its more than 200 stores will be closed as part of the bankruptcy filing.

Perfumania sells high-end-brand perfumes at discounted prices -- for example, perfumes from Burberry and Dolce & Gabana. The fact that the company will continue to operate following its bankruptcy filing sets it apart from other retail brands that are now defunct. Through the bankruptcy filing, Perfumania will simply strive to renegotiate the company's leases as well as concentrate on the higher-performing stores. Its ultimate goal is to create a foundation for long-term growth.

Finances critical area of focus during divorce

In addition to having an emotional impact, the process of getting divorced can also have a major financial one. This is true whether a couple decides to head to divorce court to have a judge handle their issues or tries mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution. A couple of tips may help those getting divorced to make positive financial decisions in Massachusetts.

First, for those who have children, setting up a trust may be beneficial. With trusts, parents can control when their children inherit their assets. Without a trust, the children may inherit these assets at age 18, even if they may not be mature enough to handle them at that age.

University foundation files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

A university foundation in another state recently decided to file for bankruptcy. However, the university will continue to operate as normal as it works on sorting out its financial troubles as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Companies in Massachusetts that are struggling to stay afloat financially may find Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to be a viable solution for them.

When a company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the United States' justice department will appoint committees to represent the stakeholders' interests in developing a solid reorganization plan for the business to finally get out of debt. After this plan is drafted, the stockholders, creditors and bondholders have to accept the plan. The court must also confirm this plan.

Divorce mediation may not work in a couple of situations

Navigating the dissolution of a marriage in Massachusetts can be challenging, especially when the two spouses who are splitting up are at odds regarding matters such as the distribution of assets. When discussions get heated, going to divorce trial may be a couple's only option. However, mediation may be possible if a couple can find common ground. Still, mediation may not be effective in a couple of situations.

First, mediation may not work if one of the parties wants the other one to lose. For instance, perhaps the husband does not want the wife to go on vacations with the children at a time that is convenient for her and the children, simply because he wants to mess up her vacation plans. When revenge is in the equation, mediation may not be fruitful.

Marital home can be complex to address during divorce process

Financial matters are one of the major reasons for the dissolution of a marriage today. Thus, it is not surprising that couples going through the divorce process often fall behind on their mortgages and face foreclosure. A couple of tips may help couples dealing with a marital home during divorce in Massachusetts.

In many divorce situations, one spouse will transfer his or her interest in the family residence to the other party. The spouse making the transfer thus thinks that the transfer relieves him or her of liability for the remaining mortgage. Unfortunately, the process does not work in this way.

Myth related to divorce involves dads and child custody

During the process of dissolving a marriage in Massachusetts, seeking and receiving advice from family and friends may understandably be comforting. However, not all divorce advice -- from advice about the marital home to advice about spousal support -- is good advice. One myth in particular has to do with dads and child custody.

In many cases, the husband during a divorce ends up getting the short end of the stick, so to speak, when it comes to getting custody of the children. Mothers are often the ones who are granted physical custody of the children. This means the dads are often allowed to spend only every other weekend and only certain weeks in the summer with the children.

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