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News And Thoughts On The Law In And Around Boston

Does this child custody arrangement work well temporarily?

Some sources say that bird nesting works well for many families, at least on a temporary basis. This child custody arrangement seems to help children adjust to the fact that their parents are divorcing. It could also help Massachusetts parents figure out a more permanent arrangement without having to immediately decide what happens to the marital home.

While the parents rotate in and out of the marital home, the children stay put. The parent who is not with the children lives in a shared space, or in his or her own separate residence. The children get to remain in their schools, play with their friends and sleep in their own rooms. They don't have to keep track of their things as they go between two homes. This provides them with at least some sense of continuity and security during an otherwise uncertain time.

Contracts: Massachusetts police chief sues town, selectmen

A disgruntled Massachusetts police chief is suing the town for which he works along with a couple selectmen who opted not to renew his contract. The chief, who works for the town of Milford, about 25 miles southwest of Boston, filed a contracts lawsuit against the town and two selectmen, who he says have no say in whether his contract should or should not have been renewed. Alleging that the decision sullied his reputation, he is suing for more than $500,000.

The state has a mandatory retirement age of 65 and the chief is now 62. He has been in the position since 2002. The town has formed a search committee to find a replacement candidate. 

Construction law issues between contractors and subcontractors

In many cases, when it comes to building, demolition and renovation, Massachusetts general contractors and subcontractors appear to have a united front in dealing with owners and developers. Behind the scenes, things may not be quite as tranquil, however. Construction law issues between contractors and subcontractors happen more often than either would like to admit.

Whether you are the contractor or the subcontractor, you will probably recognize certain common issues that easily turn into disputes. Money often ranks at the top of the list. Payment issues may arise for any number of reasons. Perhaps delays in the construction process, change orders or other matters get in the way of a subcontractor receiving payment on time.

Basic information can reduce the stress associated with divorce

Without a doubt, this is probably one of the most stressful times you have ever faced in your life. You decided to end your marriage and now face the divorce process. All you know about it may be what you have been told by friends, family or acquaintances, along with what you have seen in the media. More than likely, those stories did not make you feel any better since they focus more on the emotional aspects of the process whether Massachusetts couples end up in court battling over everything or divorce in such a friendly manner that they spend holidays as a family.

The first thing you need to know is that you do not have to fit into anyone else's definition of how the divorce process should go. Instead, you and your future former spouse may decide how you want it to go. Those is, if you can talk about it and work together, this would probably make it easier on you and any children involved.

Child custody issues take a front seat in Chris Pratt's divorce

Massachusetts moviegoers and TV viewers probably noticed that it appears that some celebrity couples who have kids are taking steps to make sure that their divorces do not interfere with their parenting responsibilities. The latest couple to join this movement is Chris Pratt and Anna Faris. The pair actually made specific agreements regarding their son in their child custody agreement.

For instance, Pratt and Faris agreed to remain living within five miles of each other for a period of time in the near future. Once their son finishes the sixth grade, they are free to move. However, if one of them decides that a move is needed prior to that, the party who wants to move must give the other three months' advance notice.

Preparing to divide property in a Massachusetts divorce

Even if a Massachusetts couple has children, dividing their property will still be a major concern. Each party will want to begin his or her post-divorce life in the best financial place possible. For this reason, the parties will want to make sure they receive a fair and equitable share of the marital property. The less property each party must purchase after the divorce, the better off the situation may be.

Of course, it is about more than who gets the china, the furniture or even the house. A top concern of most people is having enough cash in the bank or retirement funds to start over after all is said and done. In order to obtain a settlement that each party will view as satisfactory, equitable and fair, preparations must be made before going into negotiations.

Making sure customers fulfill their part of business contracts

When entering into an agreement with a client or customer, a Massachusetts business owner expects to be compensated for the goods or services provided. Payment is a big part of business contracts. When those payments don't come, it interferes with the company's bottom line and ability to thrive.

What can a business owner do to help ensure that he or she receives payment? A simple way to ensure at least a partial payment would be to require some sort of deposit upfront. Most people would consider 50 percent of the total cost to be fair under these circumstances. It might also be a good idea not to allow new customers credit until they prove that payment will be made in a timely manner.

Some general facts about alimony

Massachusetts residents who decide to end their marriages may need some direction, information and guidance regarding the issues that will need resolving during the divorce. One of those issues revolves around whether one party will need to pay alimony to the other. Having at least some general information about this topic may help alleviate some anxiety and stress about it.

First, the amount and duration of alimony depend on numerous factors, but in general, the longer the marriage, the higher the amount and the longer the time. However, it may not be necessary to actually pay the amount owed, especially if the parties are negotiating their settlement outside the courtroom. It may be possible to trade assets for monetary payments.

Looking for a construction contractor? Beware of scammers

Many Massachusetts residents want to make their homes their own. This may involve doing some renovations that require the help of a construction contractor. In other instances, some sort of disaster, natural or otherwise, requires significant repairs. In either case, homeowners need to make sure that they are not falling victim to scams perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals.

Some individuals take advantage of the fact that most Massachusetts homeowners are not well-versed in construction. However, some of the techniques used by scammers include obvious ploys such as door-to-door solicitation, only accepting cash payments and asking for full payment up front. In a time when paying with your watch, phone or credit card is seen more often, along with the fact that few people conduct door-to-door sales anymore, these actions should make any homeowner highly suspicious.

Alimony considerations could push divorce filings up now

The last three months of the year have begun, which means that many Massachusetts residents may be trying to determine what matters they need to wrap up before the end of the fiscal year. This endeavor took on more significance this year since new tax provisions take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Couples awaiting the final order in their divorces are probably glad they had the chance to resolve any alimony questions before it was too late.

Divorces finalized next year that include alimony provisions may include lower payments than they would this year. This is because the paying former spouse will not have the right to deduct the amounts paid from his or her taxes, which could make it more difficult to afford higher payments. Many suspect that courts will begin making smaller awards since the resources of paying spouses could diminish.

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