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Worcester Family Law Blog

Things to ask yourself about your commercial property transaction

You'd be very hard-pressed to find a company or business owner whose main goal was not to be successful. That's because most people don't build companies just to watch them fail. They instead invest wisely and make efforts to help their business grow and expand down the road.

Although expanding to new locations is an incredibly exciting adventure, business owners should always remember to maintain a level head about purchasing or renting a new commercial property. This is because allowing your focus to stray from what's best for your business can lead to commercial real estate issues that may leave you with a deal that isn't in your company's best interests. Let's take a look.

How can business valuation affect property division?

Property division is rarely ever the easiest step in the divorce process. This is because most Massachusetts couples don't realize how entangled their assets -- as well as their debts -- have become until they are forced to separate them. As you can imagine, this can lead to disputes, especially if one spouse thinks they're not getting a fair deal.

But property division for the average couple is relatively uncomplicated when compared to property division for business owners. That's because people who own a business and are going through the divorce process have an added step when it comes to dividing their assets. And oftentimes, it's this added step that can create problems of its own.

It's not okay to ignore harassment in a Massachusetts workplace

Harassment in the workplace is not tolerated here in Massachusetts or across the nation for that matter. It's something that not only employees need to know but employers as well. That's because harassment that goes unaddressed by management can lead to a hostile work environment, which can leave a victim of harassment feeling unsafe and even upset that their employer is failing to uphold the law and remedy the situation.

As you may already know, harassment can come in many forms and may even be directed toward a protected class. It's important to know that this is not only against Massachusetts law, it's also against federal law as well. Things like sexual harassment and treating a person with a handicap in an adverse way are all forms of discrimination, are just two examples of forms of harassment. If a complaint were to be made regarding this behavior, management would be required to act accordingly or risk negative consequences.

When do Massachusetts judges order supervised visitation?

Some of our more frequent Worcester readers can attest to the fact that not all child custody cases are a challenge. Sometimes, simple guidance from the courts is all parents need in order to come to a fair and reasonable visitation agreement that allows both parents to maintain a relationship with their child or children. But as you can imagine, some cases can involve issues that might make a resolution less straightforward.

These cases oftentimes involve concerns for the child's wellbeing such as a history of domestic violence or the fact that one parent has a mental health issue that calls into question their fitness as a parent. These cases oftentimes require the intervention of a Massachusetts family law judge in order to do what is best for the child or children. In some cases, supervised visitation may be a necessary resolution to a child custody dispute.

You can't build there! A look at zoning laws in Massachusetts

Whether you're a business owner or an individual simply looking to build your first home, there is something that you probably both have in common. At some point, you have probably both said, "This looks like a great place to build a property!" As you will soon find out though, thinking this and acting on it are two completely different things.

This is due in part to zoning laws. Though you may be unfamiliar with the term, you have probably noticed it in your day to day life. Zoning is a land-use regulation that towns and cities use to dictate where commercial, industrial and residential districts will go. This is why you typically don't see industrial plants in the middle of residential neighborhoods and vice versa.

Court says Shepherd is legal mother of surrogate child

If you're a long-time follower of our blog, then you may have read our post about Sherri Shepherd, a former host from the show "The View," which appeared on our blog near the end of May last year. In the post, we explained that Shepherd was embroiled in two separate child custody disputes. While the first dispute involved accusations of neglect, the second case involved a family law issue that was far more complex: custody over a surrogate child.

For those who may be wondering, a Pennsylvania judge has finally weighed in on the issue nearly a year later. The fact that it took so long should illustrate to our Worcester readers just how complex some family law issues can be and why legal representation is oftentimes a necessity.

What is Chapter 11 and who can file for it in Massachusetts?

Switching gears from family law, but still continuing our discussion about debts, divorce and bankruptcy from earlier this week, we wanted to answer a question that might be on the minds of our Worcester readers at this very moment. The question concerns Chapter 11 bankruptcy and just so happens to be the title of today's post.

So what exactly is Chapter 11 bankruptcy? As you may or may not know, bankruptcy is not simply the liquidation of one's property in an attempt to discharge a large amount of debt. Though this is the case for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are other chapters that make up the bankruptcy code where discharging debt works a little differently.

Debts, divorce and bankruptcy: a combo our lawyers can handle

Because most people only have a very limited understanding of the law, many find themselves woefully unprepared to handle the complex legal situations that can sometimes arise when getting a divorce. In a lot of cases, couples have been married for a number of years, intermixing their assets as well as their debts. When presented with a divorce, tensions run high, making it difficult for couples to come to a consensus about who owes what.

But if this doesn't seem complicated enough to sort out, consider for a moment the fact that some spouses may also need to file for bankruptcy during the course of divorce proceedings as well. As you can imagine, this additional legal process not only adds another layer of complexity to an already contentious situation, it may also add frustrations few are capable of handling on their own.

Casino proposal across state lines raises environmental concerns

In a small corner of our state, the city of Fall River is up against a big decision that could affect where they get water in case of emergency. Unfortunately, the decision is being made across state lines in Rhode Island, where zoning and land use laws may differ from here in Massachusetts. The hope now is that officials across state lines will take all environmental concerns into consideration, even if it does not affect the state where the decision is taking place.

Some of our Worcester readers may have heard about Fall River's possible plight, which has come about because of a proposal to build a casino near the town of Tiverton, Rhode Island. Although the casino's operators promise to avoid the brook that supplies emergency water to the town of Fall River, the Department of Environmental Management says it has not received a proposal yet for the area. This begs the question: are casino operators putting environmental concerns behind the promotion of their building?

A look at prenuptial agreements in Massachusetts

If you're an avid follower of our blog, then you've likely read a number of our posts regarding marital agreements. As you've probably gathered, these legal documents can be incredibly useful, especially during the property division step of a divorce.

For those interested in drafting and signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you may quickly realize that our state's laws can be rather tricky to navigate. If you're like a lot of our readers and don't want to risk violating the law, then you'll want to read today's post because we are going to look at prenuptial agreements and what laws apply to these legal documents.

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