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Splitting up can be less stressful through collaborative divorce

When it comes to getting divorced, not every couple in Massachusetts wants to drag out the process, which can make an already-stressful experience even more stressful. Rather, many couples are interested in resolving their issues amicably. These couples are good candidates for a process known as collaborative divorce.

Collaborative divorce is a model that is focused on the clients, with the spouses deciding how matters such as asset division are handled rather than leaving such decisions to the court. Typically, each spouse has his or her own attorney. A financial professional along with a mental health professional help to round out their team of professionals.

How parents can get along after divorce

You may not think about how to have a successful co-parenting relationship in the midst of a contentious divorce, but perhaps you should. Family court judges in Massachusetts have expectations of divorcing parents, and those who do not live up to it run could run afoul of the court.  Even worse, the children may be negatively affected by their parents’ ongoing battles.

With that, parents should be mindful of how they can make a broken romantic relationship work as a co-parenting relationship. 

Is there a parenting time shakedown in your future?

There’s a reason why your kids are antsy this week. They are so excited about being out of school for the summer. To them, it is a chance to essentially goof off all day without the care of being in school. To you, it may be frustrating because you may not be sure about their activities (i.e. sports camps or daycare activities) because the other parent may not be on board.

Unfortunately, disagreements about paying fees for these activities are fairly common. One parent (who is paying child support or spousal maintenance) may not feel obligated to pay for such fees; especially when the custodial parent has already promised some type of summer activity. This undoubtedly puts the “paying” parent in an awkward position.

Managing finances after divorce can be challenging

Going through the dissolution of a marriage in Massachusetts can have a wide range of emotional and financial consequences. However, even after the divorce has been finalized, the emotional and financial challenges are not over. A few tips may help with managing finances while coping with the new life changes that follow divorce.

Creating an accurate budget -- one that accounts for all liabilities along with all income -- is an important step following a marital split-up. Part of this is examining one's spending habits to determine if they could use some adjusting. This includes spending on dining out, entertainment and children's activities.

Prenuptial agreements better than using separate bank accounts

Entering into a premarital agreement may seem like a quick path to getting divorced in the near future. However, premarital agreements -- which are also commonly known as prenuptial agreements -- can actually be helpful for a marriage, as they allow couples in Massachusetts to discuss their finances and marital expectations before they walk down the aisle. These agreements essentially spell out both parties' rights, as well as their obligations, in the event they get divorced.

With a prenuptial agreement, both future spouses can make it clear what liabilities and assets both parties bring individually into the marriage. Those who do not create prenuptial agreements may end up causing strain on their marriages anyway in the beginning, as they try to safeguard their assets. For example, they might try to set up separate bank accounts that will hold their separate funds. In this way, community assets are never comingled into an account during their marriage.

Commercial real estate market expected to remain steady

According to a recent report, the future of commercial properties remains uncertain. At the moment, there is some optimism surrounding commercial real estate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts. However, there is also room for improvement in this sector.

A recent real estate study determined that the current conditions surrounding commercial real estate remain slow and stable. In addition, growth is expected to remain steady during the next several months. However, those active in the market are not quite sure how things will play out long term due to various geopolitical and domestic policy issues. Some of these issues include Congress's and the Trump Administration's consideration of ideas for financial regulatory overhaul, tax reform and infrastructure investment. Investors and other experts in the market simply are unsure about how these areas will affect commercial real estate.

Hospital files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

A hospital in another state recently decided to file for bankruptcy. The facility filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to buy itself some time to stay in businesses and re-organize itself. This type of bankruptcy filing in Massachusetts can be helpful for health care facilities and other businesses that are battling continual financial struggles.

In the recent out-of-state case involving the hospital, part of the reason for the hospital's ongoing financial issues was many lawsuits. With the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the hospital is able to get some much-needed breathing room, as the filing essentially puts all legal claims on hold. The hospital has also been facing some other financial giants; for instance, it has had some issues with the IRS regarding payroll tax deduction-related problems. In the past, the hospital was almost about to shut its doors before it was able to reach a last-minute agreement with the management company that ended up taking over its operations and helping it to resolve the IRS issue. However, their relationship quickly soured, leading to litigation issues.

$56M commercial real estate purchase involves apartment complex

An investment holdings company recently acquired a 190-unit apartment complex in the state of Massachusetts for $56 million. The per-unit purchase is about $295,000 for each unit. According to the investment holdings company, part of the reason for the purchase is that this area of Massachusetts features an in-demand commercial real estate market that has been attracting attention both internationally and domestically.

The holdings company that bought the complex and the seller of the property, a developer, closed on it in mid-April. The company that bought it said it believes that only modest improvements are needed at the property. With the combination of these changes and the company's marketing and management approach, the property is expected to be in a good position to take full advantage of the positive changes happening in the area.

Divorce petition response process can be complicated

The process of dissolving a marriage can get very messy in Massachusetts. For this reason, it is important to understand what to do from the start to protect one's interests. The several days following the filing of the divorce petition represent one of the most critical periods of this type of family law proceeding.

Once a petition has been filed with the divorce court, it is served on the spouse of the petitioner. The spouse being served is known as the defendant or respondent in the case. The defendant has to provide a response to the petition typically in around three weeks.

Documents and children important areas of focus during divorce

Deciding to get divorced is just one step in ending a marriage. Understanding what is on the horizon and taking action to prepare for what is to come is the next step. A couple of tips may help with navigating the complex process of divorce in Massachusetts.

First, obtaining all necessary documents early on is essential. The majority of couples share important records and documents, as maintaining multiple copies is typically unnecessary. However, during a divorce proceeding, both parties really need to have their own sets of documents. These important documents include financial records, tax history information and bank account statements. Other records that can be beneficial to make copies of include medical records and a child's birth certificate.

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