Top 7 Tips for Resolving Child Custody Issues

If you know someone who has gone through a contentious child custody dispute or have read about the travails of other couples, then you are aware that this can create emotional issues that can poison your future relationship with your spouse and have a profound impact on your children. Should you find that you are battling with your spouse or ex over who will be the primary custodian, here are 7 tips to consider that may help to resolve these issues.

How Boston Courts Determine Alimony

Alimony, or spousal support, is available in a divorce or separation where the needy spouse can demonstrate that there is a pressing financial need, and the paying spouse has the ability to pay. These payments are in addition to a child support order that may affect the decision whether to award spousal support.

The decision as to whether you are entitled to alimony in Massachusetts is determined by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 Section 34 and the Alimony Reform Act of 2011. The combined incomes of the parties are considered in this determination. If you and your spouse have unemancipated children and your combined incomes are less than $250,000, alimony will likely not be awarded. If your combined incomes exceed $250,000, then child support calculations are based on the first $250,000.

Is a Prenup “Something you need to have?”

When we think of prenuptial agreements, we usually imagine millionaires or billionaires asking or requiring their prospective spouses to sign an agreement that would limit their share of their estate in the event of a divorce. But prenuptials can also make sense for you if this is a second or subsequent marriage and you have children from another marriage or relationship, and/or you have substantial assets, even if it is not in the millions. However, a prenuptial must be drafted carefully and be reasonable in its terms or a Massachusetts court may void it if it is challenged.

Free Divorce Survival Workshop November 3rd

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What You Need to Know About Child Custody In Boston

Few issues in a divorce case are more contentious than those involving child custody. Courts generally assume and prefer a joint custody arrangement regarding legal and physical custody. This is intended to minimize the disruption in the child’s life and provide some continuity and normalcy in the relationship with both parents. Even though physical custody may be joint, one parent will usually be the primary caretaker while the other has liberal visitation rights. This arrangement may not work where the parents live in separate communities or out of state, or where one parent is not prepared mentally or emotionally to be a capable parent. In determining custody, the court will use the standard of what is in the best interests of the child.