Skip to main content

How are Charitable Contributions treated in a Divorce?

In any divorce case in Massachusetts, whether contested or uncontested, you are required by Massachusetts Supplemental Probate Court Rule 401 to file a Financial Statement.

The form of the financial statement which each party must complete is dependent upon his or her income. A party whose income equal or exceeds $75,000.00 must complete the long form financial statement. A party whose income is less than $75,000.00 must complete the short form financial statement.

The long form is 9 pages long and requires more details than the 4-page short form.  The long form includes a line-item for Charitable Contributions deducted directly from your paycheck (on page 2) and a line-item for Charitable Contributions paid as part of your regular Weekly Expenses (on page 4).  If you make regular contributions that are deducted from your pay then those should be entered on page 2.  If you make regular contributions from your take-home income we suggest that you average those contributions over a year, divide by 52 and enter them on page 4.

Even if you are required to fill out the short form you can include any such charitable contributions in the "other" line-items on page 2.

Unless these amounts are significant, they are unlikely to have a major impact on your divorce case.  If, however, you are claiming that you do not have enough money to pay your household bills when arguing for or against support, your ability to pay for non-essential items such as charitable contributions could be used to argue that you have a reduced need for support.  I seldom see this issue raised however, as the amounts are usually minimal and even divorce attorneys are not likely to argue that charitable giving should be punished.

For more information about divorce contact Attorney Kelsey or call 508.655.5980.

Also, if reading this post put you in a charitable mood we invite you to donate to the One-Mission Buzz-Off, which is a charity to benefit Children's Hospital Boston and the vital programs and services they provide to help kids beat cancer.  In support of this charity Attorney Kelsey will GO BALD on June 3, 2012 at their annual Buzz-Off.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What is the purpose of the Divorce Nisi waiting period?

In Massachusetts the statutory waiting period after a Judgment of Divorce and before the divorce becomes final (or absolute) is called the Nisi period. After a divorce case settles or goes to trial, a Judgment of Divorce Nisi will issue and it will become Absolute after a further ninety (90) days. This waiting period serves the purpose of allowing parties to change their mind before the divorce becomes final. If the Judgment of Divorce Nisi has issued but not become final yet, and you and your spouse decide you don't want to get divorced, then you can file a Motion to Dismiss and the Judgment will be undone. Although many of my clients who are getting divorced think the idea of getting back together with their ex sounds crazy, I have had cases where this happened. In addition to offering a grace period to change your mind, the Nisi period has three other legal effects: 1. The most obvious effect of the waiting period is that you cannot remarry during the Nisi period, be

Does a Criminal Record affect Child Custody?

If one of the parents in a custody case has a criminal record, the types of crimes on their record could have an effect on their chances of obtaining custody. In custody cases the issue is always going to come down to whether or not the best interests of the child might be affected. In the most extreme case, in which one parent has been convicted of first degree murder of the other parent, the law specifically prohibits visitation with the children until they are of a suitable age to assent. Similarly, but to a less serious degree, in making custody and visitation determinations the court will consider crimes that would cause one to question the fitness of a parent. These types of crimes would obviously include any violent crime convictions which could call into question whether the children would be in danger around a parent who has shown themselves to resort to violence when faced with conflict. In addition, drug and alcohol abuse offenses would call into question a parent&#

What happens after my Divorce Agreement is approved by a Judge?

If you filed a Joint Petition for Divorce in Massachusetts then you will participate in an uncontested divorce hearing and the Judge will then issue Findings of Fact the day of the hearing.  A Judgment of Divorce Nisi will issue after thirty (30) days, and it will become Absolute after a further ninety (90) days. This means that if you file a Joint Petition for Divorce you are not legally and officially divorced until 120 days after the divorce hearing date. If you filed a Complaint for Divorce  then your case will end either with a trial (if you don't settle) or an uncontested divorce hearing (if you settle).  If you reach an Agreement, then a Judgment of Divorce Nisi will issue and be effective as of the date of the uncontested divorce hearing, and it will become Absolute after a further ninety (90) days. This means that if you file a Complaint for Divorce you are not legally and officially divorced until 90 days after the divorce hearing date. Therefore, for 90 - 120 day