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Funding an important part of commercial real estate development

When most people start a new commercial business, they try to get it up and running a quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. The owners of a coffee shop slated to open in Worcester, Massachusetts, know this all too well. Though under the right circumstances one of the co-owners believes that the work necessary  to get the business opened could have been done in three weeks, in reality, it has taken a year and a half to get to the point they are now—still unfinished.

Remarrying? Consider entering into a prenuptial agreement

When a couple decides to marry there are many things that they need to take into consideration. Exactly what those things are will vary depending on a variety of factors including the age of the people marrying, how many times they have been married and whether they have children.

Because generally, older individuals who have children have more to lose financially should a marriage fail, at the very least, these matters should be thoroughly discussed before getting married. It is also a good idea for these individuals to think especially hard about marrying again. It is possible that in the long run, things would be better for them if they just remained in the serious relationship without a legal commitment. A reason for this could be to maintain benefits such as health care coverage or a pension, secured when a previous marriage ended.

In Chapter 11 filing dry cleaner sells Massachusetts location

In the course of operating any type of business it is possible that financial difficulties could arise. Regardless of why this happens there are multiple ways in which the matter might be addressed. In some situations, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy could be a good option.

As we discussed in a previous post, in the course of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the debt of the person or business filing, is reorganized. That debt is then repaid over the course of a period of time. To use this method the filer will need to demonstrate that it will be financially stable throughout the process of the debt repayment. The way in which that stability will be accomplished varies depending on each situation.

Commercial developments may be slowed by zoning ordinances

When it comes to commercial development there are many matters that might need to be addressed. Exactly what developers of the project will need to deal with depends on the specific project. Currently, a non-profit, faith-based group, seeking to convert a rectory into a transitional housing facility for alcohol addiction in Worcester, is dealing with a zoning ordinance pertaining to parking.

Worcester’s zoning ordinance requires that the transitional housing facility have at least 15 off-street parking spaces for its planned 30-beds. Believing that it will be impossible to have more than five parking spaces on the property, Opening Heaven's Door Ministries Inc. recently went before the Zoning Board of Appeals seeking relief from the off-street parking requirements put in place by the city.

Are there legal protections for couples not yet ready to divorce?

Are there reasons why a couple might seek a separation, as an alternative or even an addition to their divorce filing? Is legal separation even an option in Massachusetts?

Our firm focuses on a full spectrum of family law matters, including child support and divorce. While the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation’s website confirms that there is not a specific option for legal separation under state law, there are options available that might achieve a comparable outcome for couples.

Are some business disputes inevitably headed to trial?

Although parties to a business contract may enter into their agreement with a spirit of cooperation, a recent contract dispute illustrates that serious differences of opinion can arise. 

According to the court filings, trucking company J.B. Hunt Transport claims that the custom software it purchased from MercuryGate did not satisfy the terms of the parties' contract. It has requested damages of $3.1 million for the failed functionality of the software. Notably, J.B. Hunt has also requested a jury trial.

Should high-asset divorces include estate planning?

Although a couple may desire a quick and easy divorce, a recent article reminds of us the importance of taking a thorough inventory of issues and assets when a substantial amount of property is at stake. Indeed, a high-asset divorce can pose several challenges.

For starters, Massachusetts state law contemplates alimony or child support minimums, rather than maximums. In the case of a high-asset divorce, determining the best interest of a child with ample support resources may pose questions that can only be resolved by an exercise of the court’s discretion. 

Has the Affordable Care Act changed child support obligations?

A divorce involving children may have to address both child custody and child support issues. Yet with the new health insurance rules, additional complications may arise.

Specifically, a non-custodial parent may have a child support obligation that includes paying for health care premiums. The divorce decree may indicate that such support will end when the child turns a certain age, such as 21. However, the Affordable Care Act allows children to remain on their parents' plan until they reach 26 years of age. In fact, many health plans might be required by state law to offer dependent coverage until age 26. This requirement is true in Massachusetts, according to the website of the state's Executive Office for Administration and Finance.

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. 

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