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4 kinds of people to steer clear of following a divorce

When you're going through a divorce, it's easy to find people who've already been down that road. While it may feel good to commiserate about your no-good exes, at some point you have to start seeing the positive in your new life and stop dwelling on the past. The people with whom you surround yourself can have a big impact on your own attitude.

One divorce coach names four specific types of people to avoid for your own good during and after your divorce:

Divorce and Facebook are not a good combination

You've likely heard that you should stay off of Facebook and other social media sites during your divorce. You might be tempted to share photos from that terrific weekend you spent with your girlfriends on Cape Cod, but there are ways that your soon-to-be ex could use them against you. It's just better to lay low on social media until your divorce is final.

There are other reasons, though, that you might want to avoid Facebook. For instance, you might feel excluded. You may be having a difficult time right now anyway, especially if friends you shared as couple have decided to stick with your ex. Seeing photos of them at a party with your ex can be hurtful, even if no one meant for it to be.

When your divorce arrangement stops working, pt. 2

A previous post discusses the important fact that, for some parents, child support modification is an option. Various situations can change after a divorce was once settled, creating a need to alter some aspects of the split. 

Child support is a common area wherein modification comes into play, but it is not the only arrangement that can become a problem. Another major setup that might need changing is child custody. This can be the most sensitive matter in a divorce. Parents and courts must always proceed with what is best for the children as a guiding force when considering such a post-divorce modification.

When your divorce arrangement stops working, pt. 1

Anyone who has gotten a divorce should understand this little fact: things change. People change. A couple's relationship changes. A married couple can change into a divorced couple. And just as a couple's satisfaction within a marriage often changes, so can their satisfaction with their divorce settlement. 

Massachusetts law takes the unavoidable shifts in life into account. When certain circumstances related to a divorce settlement change, someone can seek to modify relevant terms of their divorce. It is important to understand, however, that not all desired changes will be granted by the courts. 

Do only men support alimony reform?

There has been something of a movement in Massachusetts over the years to reform alimony laws. Though alimony technically can be paid by either higher-earning spouse, regardless of gender, the cliche is that men most often have to pay and women most often receive it. As such, when people talk about reforming the laws, it's easy to assume that men would be pushing for reform so that they didn't have to pay as much, while women would be against it. But is this realistically true?

According to Steve Hitner, it's not. Hitner started a group called Massachusetts Alimony Reform, trying to change the laws. He did this after he couldn't afford his own alimony payments to his ex-wife. He tried to modify the payments and couldn't get them altered, so he decided he had to focus on the laws instead.

Store closures part of Aeropostale's Chapter 11 bankrutpcy

A recent court filing by Aeropostale reveals the company's plans to completely exit certain sales markets, including Hawaii, Alaska and Canada. In total, the company will shutter 113 stores in the U.S. and 41 in Canada. One of the stores that will be closed is located here in Worcester.

The court paperwork says that 117 of the stores that will be closing were responsible for $17 million in losses last year. The other stores that will be closed have also shown poor sales trends. These stores don't fit with the debtor's business plan that is in place after the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

When can you sue your homeowners' association?

For many Massachusetts residents who live in condos, townhouses and certain communities, homeowners' associations can sometimes feel like the bane of our existence. They can tell us how high we can grow our trees, what color blinds we can hang, how many pets we can have and much more.

These rules are included in a document that may be the size of the Boston phone book titled "Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions." By signing this document when you purchase your home, you agree to abide by all of the CC&Rs. Failure to do so could result in a lawsuit or even eviction.

Divorce doesn't mean death

Because of the difficult time many people have during and after divorce, they may feel as though they simply cannot go on. Some equate divorce with death, but it doesn't have to be like that. You don't have to feel as though you have already been defeated before you have even began to move toward your new life.

One woman heard from a friend who was divorced that it takes two years for every year of marriage for her to heal. The woman said her friend had added, "Divorce is like death."

Considering a prenup? Know what to include and what to avoid

Couples that are about to walk down the aisle may consider a prenuptial agreement to protect both parties. Prenups aren't the taboo contracts that society used to frown upon. Today, they are vital documents that most couples should at least discuss before getting married. Even if you don't end up signing a prenup, the conversation itself can at least allow the couple to discuss some important financial and life topics that may not have happened if the prenup conversation hadn't been made.

If you decide to sign a prenup though, you should know what is allowed and what is forbidden in a prenuptial agreement.

Getting divorced? How to retain ownership of a pet

Millions of American households have at least one pet and, for many pet owners, a dog or cat is regarded as being another member of the family. It makes sense, therefore, that issues related to pet ownership can become heated and contentious during a divorce. This can be especially true in cases where spouses purchased or adopted a pet together or where one spouse intentionally tries to use a pet to get back at a soon-to-be ex-spouse.

While many pet owners may view a pet as being a part of the family, in a divorce a pet is viewed and treated as personal property. Because of this designation, an individual can actually account for the ownership of a pet using a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. In cases where neither of these documents exists and divorcing spouses aren't able to come to an agreement about pet ownership, a judge will rule in the matter.

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