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Showing posts from April, 2013

What is the Standard for Amending Parenting Plans?

Most parenting plans drafted by experienced practitioners will include language along the following lines: "Nothing contained in this Agreement shall preclude both parents from jointly and voluntarily modifying the above-described co-parenting schedule or from reaching agreements for the co-parenting of the children by the parents that are not in conformity with the foregoing co-parenting schedule provided that such modifications and agreements be reduced to a writing in advance and be signed and/or otherwise (e-mail) confirmed and/or otherwise ratified by both Parties. Either parent may request a modification of the foregoing parenting schedule from the other parent. Any modification of the parenting schedule shall be requested reasonably in advance, except in emergency situations. The Parties shall take into consideration the best interests of the children when discussing exceptions to the parenting schedule." This language is intended to encourage parents to discuss

Cohabitation: What is it?

Cohabitation typically refers to two people in an intimate relationship living together while not being married.  According to a USA Today article summarizing recent cohabitation statistics , cohabitation is increasing significantly.  Women cohabiting with men as a first union has increased from 34% in 1995 to 48% in 2010, and the length of time that this first cohabitation has lasted is increasing as well.  With cohabitation increasing, the likelihood of children born out of wedlock increases as well. In post-divorce situations, cohabitation often comes up in alimony cases.  Because alimony ends upon remarriage of the recipient it is common for recipients to cohabit instead of marrying when in an intimate relationship to avoid the end of their alimony.  While it was always possible to argue that cohabitation reduced the need of the recipient, the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 included cohabitation specifically as a reason for terminating, suspending or reducing alimony. M.G.L. c.

Does the court consider tax consequences in a divorce?

As the income tax filing deadline approaches, we are all wondering how we can reduce our income tax bill and increase our refund.  Anyone who is considering divorce, going through a divorce, or has been divorced should consider how their divorce case could affect that tax bill. We previously posted a series on Divorce & Taxes including the following topics: Divorce and Taxes: Issue #1. Marital Status Divorce & Taxes - Issue #2. Child Support v. Alimony Divorce and Taxes: Issue #3. Child Dependency Exemptions. Divorce and Taxes: Issue #4. Property Transfers. Divorce and Taxes: Issue #5. Joint Tax Liability. Divorce and Taxes: Issue #6. Same Sex Marriages. Whenever any of these issues arise in a case, it is imperative that divorcing spouses and their counsel consider the tax consequences when negotiating a settlement. In a recent opinion, the Massachusetts SJC confirmed the importance of considering income tax consequences of divorce orders and specifically or