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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.

Divorce and courtroom conduct: the importance of keeping your cool

Even under the best of circumstances, going through a divorce can be exceedingly difficult. In cases where you and a soon-to-be ex-spouse don't get along and are at odds over issues related to child custody, spousal support and the division of assets; the divorce process is bound to be even more unpleasant and stressful. While it can be challenging to take emotions out of the equation, it's important to keep your eyes on the prize and to plan and formulate a strategy for how to achieve your divorce goals.

Your personal idea of divorce success is likely to be heavily influenced and shaped by your specific circumstances and priorities. It's important to discuss these types of issues with your attorney so that, together, you can formulate a plan for how to ultimately get what you want. In cases where you and your ex aren't able to come to an agreement about the terms of a divorce settlement, it will be up to the courts and a divorce judge to decide.

Amazon sues Target amid fears that former employee will spill trade secrets

Gone are the days when you had to walk or drive to a local retailer to pick up toothpaste or visit a furniture store to purchase a kitchen table. Today, retailers of all sizes are turning to the Internet to offer their products directly to consumers. The problem for many retailers, however, is how to do so quickly and in a way that is cost-effective for both the customer and retailer.

Amazon has been heralded as the largest and most successful of all Internet-based retailers and a big part of Amazon's success has hinged on the company's innovative supply chain operations which include one and two-hour and free overnight delivery services and the ability to reorder common household products with the push of a button.

Divorce and what to do with a previously shared home

Many people who go through a divorce struggle with what to do with a previously shared home. A home is often associated with memories and strong emotions, both good and bad, and these feelings, coupled with a desire to provide some stability in one's own life as well as the lives of children, often make the decision of what to do with a family home that much more complicated.

While, with all of the other changes that accompany the divorce process, it can be disorienting to move, selling a family home is often the best option for both parties. Selling a home and splitting the profits equally with an ex not only rectifies the issue of what to do with an existing mortgage, but also may provide an individual with much-needed cash while going through the divorce process.

How a late-in-life divorce and can affect retirement plans

With the U.S. divorce rate consistently hovering between 40 and 50 percent, divorce is thankfully no longer a taboo subject. However, just because it's more socially accepted to get divorced that doesn't mean it's easy or that individuals who choose to divorce won't encounter difficulties along the way.

Individuals who divorce later in life are especially prone to experience financial problems as they near and attempt to figure out how to afford retirement. The results of a study conducted by researchers at Bowling Green State University revealed that, during the 22 years preceding 2012, the divorce rate doubled among individuals ages 55 to 64, who are nearing retirement, and tripled among those ages 65 and older, many of whom are already retired. For individuals in these age demographics, having a retirement savings cut in half can have significant repercussions.

Is it possible to terminate a commercial lease early?

In a previous blog post, we discussed some of the specific clauses that business owners would be wise to ensure are included in a commercial lease. Above all, commercial lease should include provisions that serve to preserve and protect a business owner’s interests. In cases where a business owner subsequently wants to terminate a commercial lease, he or she would be wise to closely review the terms of the lease to determine the best course of action.

A business owner's reasons for terminating a commercial lease early will largely determine the approach he or she takes when attempting to negotiate with a property owner. For example, in cases where a business is doing well and has simply outgrown a commercial space, subleasing the space to another business may be an option. Some commercial leases specifically address subleasing requirements. Even in cases where a lease doesn't include specific language related to subleasing, if an acceptable offer is presented, a business owner may be able to negotiate a deal with the property owner.

Separate property: when it may be eligible for distribution

If you are getting divorced, one of your primary concerns about the process is what will happen to all your assets. After all, ending a marriage will require that you and your soon-to-be ex divide up the properties, money and even the debts you have accumulated during the marriage, and this can be a troubling thought.

However, in Massachusetts, property is divided in a way that is deemed equitable, or fair. You should also understand that only marital property is eligible for distribution; your separate property and your ex's separate property will generally be kept by the owner. Having said that, you need to understand that separate property can become marital property.

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