Planning For Divorce

Now that you have decided to file for divorce — or have been served with divorce papers by your spouse — it is time to start thinking about what you want out of your final divorce judgment. After all, divorce isn't just the end of a marriage; it is also the beginning of a new future. Protecting your financial interests is just as important as protecting your parenting rights, if you have children.

At Berardi Law, we don't believe divorce is a one-size-fits-all process. Every separation agreement we negotiate at the beginning of the process must take into account the special circumstances of the individual and family that must live by it. That means listening to your concerns and, yes, even your hopes for the future.

Call us at 617-206-4667 to start the planning process right away.

The 'Three Legs' Of Divorce — Issues You Will Need To Plan For

Often, divorcing spouses will be able to come to an agreement over custody and parenting time before they can settle on who gets the house and furniture. The more details you can work out about the following "three legs" of divorce, the more efficient and cost-effectively you will be able to get through the process.

  • Decisions about child custody: Be realistic about what the court is likely to accept as a final settlement. Being awarded custody does not mean you own the children. Massachusetts courts expect both parents to take an even hand in raising their children. If you are seeking sole legal and physical custody, consider your own needs as a parent. Consider what a fair parenting schedule will look like for you, your spouse and your children. If you can agree on joint custody, it does not mean a 50-50 split. Courts frown on moving children back and forth two or three times each week. Work out a schedule that is realistic and understand that flexibility is often the key.
  • Decisions about a fair property settlement: First, remember that marital debt is also marital property. If you want to keep the house, be realistic about what you can afford to take on in terms of a mortgage payment, property maintenance, utilities and taxes. You and your spouse may find it best to sell the house before the divorce is finalized. After all, nothing can be divided more easily than cash. If you and your spouse have accumulated significant credit card debt, it may be best to discuss filing joint bankruptcy before filing for divorce.
  • Decisions about spousal support: Alimony is often the most emotionally contentious issue to be settled. Over the years, expectations have changed and permanent spousal support is likely to be reserved for cases of long-term marriage in which one spouse will be left at a severe financial disadvantage because job skills have not been kept up to date. Whether you intend to seek an alimony award or are concerned about paying, plan to be realistic. Fighting it out in court often costs more in than agreeing to a common-sense settlement. It may help to remember that divorce is a legal process, not a content of wills. Remember: Nobody wins in divorce.

Talk To One Of Our Attorneys To Begin Planning Early

Call us at 617-206-4667 or use the convenient email form to request an time and date to meet with one of our lawyers as soon as possible.