Bishop & Reidy, P.C.
Experienced Legal Counsel Call us today: 888-812-2610 | 617-934-5039 or request an appointment onlinearrow

Quincy MA Divorce Law Blog

Forensic accountants help uncover hidden assets in divorce

During the property division phase of any Massachusetts divorce, full disclosure of assets and liabilities is critical to the fairness of the process. However, there are times when one or both parties to a divorce suspect the other spouse may be hiding assets. This is particularly true in cases of high asset divorce; in these cases significant property interests may be at stake and financial disputes may result.

Fortunately, there are several effective means for uncovering hidden assets and ensuring full disclosure in a high asset divorce. There are software programs, investigative strategies and even proper use of government websites which can reveal hidden assets. In some cases, a forensic accountant may be utilized to uncover hidden money, investments or property. These financial professionals can be a tremendous asset and can complement the efforts of a divorce attorney skilled in resolving high asset divorce cases.

How does Massachusetts child support affect international travel?

Residents of Quincy and Norfolk County likely have a variety of financial obligations, from utility bills to rent and mortgage payments to student loans. Residents who are parents also have the everyday expenses of raising a child. In cases where parents are no longer together, the non-custodial parent may have child support obligations.

In Massachusetts, a child support order is a legal obligation that entails penalties, if left unpaid. Penalties include, but are not limited to, income withholding, bank levies, an increase in the amount of support and driver's license suspensions. An additional penalty applies to those who wish to travel internationally: ineligibility for a U.S. Passport.

To keep the home or not after a divorce in Massachusetts

Be it ever so humble there is no place like home, and for many married couples in Massachusetts this is true. There is so much sentimentality wrapped up in the family home even after a divorce that spouses may fight about who gets to keep it. In addition to the sentimental value, for many couples the family home is among the most valuable assets they own. Yet, there are important factors about keeping a home after a divorce that many couples may overlook.

Protecting a spouse following a divorce with alimony

No matter where you live, whether it's Quincy or somewhere else in Massachusetts, divorce can sometimes be difficult for all parties involved. Aside from having to deal with child custody and child support, ex-spouses must also go through property division and, depending on the situation, alimony.

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a court-awarded payment from one spouse to another. It is determined by the financial situations of each spouse following a divorce. One example would be if one spouse chose to give up his or her career to take care of the children and maintain the house while the other spouse earned income for the family.

The importance of creating a prenuptial agreement

Entering into a marriage is a sacred and one of the most important moments of a couple's life. In the months leading up to a marriage, the last thing a couple wants to do is think about the possibility of divorce. But, as we've all come to learn, according to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 to 50 percent of marriages in America end in divorce. With that in mind, it is wise to seriously consider creating a prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, prior to the marriage, in order to protect each spouses' finances and to ease the complex split of marital property if the marriage does end prematurely.

There are many benefits to setting up a prenuptial agreement. Not only do prenups protect each party's assets, which can be especially important if one or both parties are wealthy, but it also protects each party from being responsible for the debts of the other party. Prenups are also used to determine the split of property upon the death of one spouse and can include decisions about the financial responsibilities and rights of each spouse.

Important points about high asset divorce in Quincy

In Quincy and throughout the state, outsiders might look at a prominent couple, their assets, lifestyle and financial situation and feel envy as to what they have. The truth it that it's impossible to tell a book by its cover and that there are times when a well-known couple in a marriage is unhappy and chooses to move forward with a high asset divorce. Any kind of divorce holds challenges, but there are numerous issues that arise with a high asset divorce that must be considered before going through with it.

People who have a large amount of assets that were part of the portfolio before and during the marriage will often wonder what they're entitled to and what can't be touched. If there are significant amounts of property that is worth a great deal, the couple might be in dispute as to who gets to keep it. Payment of support from one spouse to the other, caring for children, custody of children and even tax factors will come into play. While many divorces - even when they involve the affluent - are settled amicably, there are situations in which there is a constant dispute. In some cases, disclosure reveals that there were assets that were hidden by one spouse, which can create an ongoing battle.

How does Massachusetts deal with failure to pay child support?

One of the most important issues for a divorced or unmarried couple in Massachusetts that shares a child is the amount of child support that will be paid and keeping up with the payments. When the supporting parent is found to having committed a failure to pay child support, the law has certain tactics it will use to get the payments up-to-date. While many view this as punishment, it is in reality an attempt to get the supporting parent to adhere to the child support guidelines to adequately care for the child.

It must be remembered that these acts by the state are automatic. First a notice will be sent to the parent to inform him or her that they are behind on their payments. The amount that is owed will be listed as well as interest and other penalties. A supporting parent who has a job can have the income withheld via an Income Withholding Order (IWO) informing their employer that these payments must be made. The income levy will be ordered if the supporting parent doesn't owe support at the time, but owed past payments. With the increase, the IWO will be ordered and raise the amount that must be paid by 25 percent.

Keeping aspects of property division in mind when divorcing in MA

For couples in Massachusetts who are going through a divorce, the emotional upheaval can be more than they can bear. Often, they're concerned about the closest, most tangible personal issues such as where they're going to live, who will have custody of children and what the support payments will be. This can lead to a lack of attention paid to property division and how marital property will be allocated fairly. Gathering information regarding these issues can help a divorcing couple prepare for them properly and not leave them to the side when they should be at the forefront.

In many instances, people in the midst of a divorce are concerned about the big items like the house and car. Other pieces of marital property might be forgotten, but could be more lucrative. This can include artwork that might have significant value. People who are eager to move on with their lives might not remember that retirement accounts held by the other spouse could be accessible in the settlement. Having an idea about what could be part of the settlement is imperative to getting everything one spouse or the other is entitled to. Employee benefits are frequently left unconsidered, but must be examined to see what can be folded into the negotiations.

The various forms of alimony and who is eligible in MA

Although the idea behind marriage is that it will last for the rest of the spouses' lives, it's a fact that in Massachusetts and throughout the country a significant number of marriages end in divorce. One aspect of a divorce that is often misunderstood is alimony. Understanding the various forms of alimony that can be awarded from a spouse to the former spouse is an important issue as will who is able to request alimony as part of the settlement.

Alimony cannot be requested by couples that were not legally married. There are four kinds of alimony: general term alimony; rehabilitative alimony; reimbursement alimony; and transitional alimony. General term alimony is paid to a former spouse financially dependent on the former husband or wife. The amount of time for which this form of alimony will be paid hinges on how long the couple was married. Rehabilitative alimony will be paid on a regular basis to a former spouse who is be expected to be able to support him or herself at a designated time.

What sources of income are used to calculate child support in MA?

Whether married or not, when a couple in Massachusetts shares a child, it is of paramount importance that the child's financial needs are adequately provided for. That means there will be a home to live in, clothes on his or her back, food in the refrigerator and cupboard, every day expenses and other financial accommodations to care for the child. The state has guidelines that dictate the amount the supporting parent will pay to the custodial parent. A common concern among parents who are paying and receiving child support -- and one that often arises during a child support dispute -- is which sources of income are subject to being part of the calculation of how much will be paid.

The definition of "income" is the gross amount that the parent receives in pay from work or other sources and if it is recognized in the Internal Revenue Code and reported to the IRS, Department of Revenue of the state or other authorities responsible for taxation. The sources of income will include salaries, wages, tips and overtime from work or income accrued through self-employment. Some people make the bulk of their salary through commission -- this is prominent in the sale industry. Those who receive that form of payment will have to report it for the child support agreement.