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Showing posts from February, 2015

How is Bonus Income included in calculating Child Support and Alimony?

The Alimony Reform Act defines income to include all income as defined by the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines which clearly includes bonuses in the list of included income.  In Zaleski v. Zaleski, the SJC remanded the issue of alimony in part because the lower court did not include bonuses in the alimony calculation.  Bonus income, therefore, has to be addressed, but that does not mean it's easy to deal with.

Bonuses often vary from year to year so basing a support amount on a specific number could result in an inequity to either the payor or recipient.  Making adjustments periodically presents its own problems as well, requiring a detailed agreement to ensure that the self-modifying calculations are simple enough to avoid future disagreement.  In addition, so-called self-modifying orders have been rejected by the SJC in Hassey v. Hassey, so this is only an option if parties are able to agree.

While this is not a simple question, it doesn't mean you have to reinvent …

How can Mediation help divorcing parents with Snow Days?

Snow days are one of the most exciting events when you're a child, especially if it means a reprieve from an upcoming test or homework due date.  But for parents, snow days are a significant inconvenience including last-minute schedule changes and all the fun involved in snow removal.  In addition, many employers will expect you to "work from home" but that is easier said than done when you have young children (as I write this I'm being asked by a three year-old why she can't have candy for breakfast).

As with many issues separated parenting exacerbates many of these inconveniences.  For separated parents, a snow day means additional questions such as which parent is in charge and who is responsible for snow removal at a shared property.   For parents who have chosen litigation to resolve their divorce, these disagreements could mean additional attorney's fees or court dates.  By contrast, all of these challenges are minimized when parents work together, as…