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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.

When it comes to contracts, what does it mean to breach one?

Massachusetts business owners tend to form relationships with vendors, suppliers and other businesses that help them thrive. Cementing those relationships often includes the use of contracts. Owners have more than likely heard about "breaches" of contracts, but may not quite understand what that means for them.

When one party to a contract fails to fulfill its obligations or otherwise violates the terms of the agreement, that party is said to have breached the contract. The allegedly offending party does not have to violate all of the provisions of a contract to be found liable for a breach of it. If a Massachusetts business owner believes another party failed to fulfill its end of the bargain, litigation may be appropriate. 

Giving kids what they need through child custody plans

While it is a good idea for Massachusetts parents to assure their kids that they are not responsible for the end of their parents' marriage, the kids still need more information and assurance than that. This is the prevailing advice, but it also tends to mean that children are told that the impending divorce has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with their parents. Sadly, the divorce does have a lot to do with the children since their lives will change in numerous ways. Parents can help their children successfully survive the divorce through the child custody plans they make.

Children will probably have plenty of questions for their parents. They want to know how their lives are going to change. Which parent will they live with? Will they have to move? Will they still have plenty of time with both parents?

How do indemnity claueses fit into construction law?

Every project is different, so every contract often is as well. This includes the indemnity clauses put into construction contracts here in Massachusetts and elsewhere. It may be necessary to look to current construction law to determine what type of indemnity clause may be put into a particular contract.

When it comes to contracts and construction jobs, the name of the game is often reducing liability in the event something goes wrong. Indemnity clauses help fulfill this goal by reducing the risks associated with the project. Such agreements may also help lower any legal fees that could come about in the future.

Disputes over contracts could stop people in their tracks

Business disputes are nothing new. It would more than likely be nearly impossible to find any two people who always get along, whether here in Massachusetts or elsewhere. For this reason, contracts are an integral part of the business world. In addition to outlining the agreement with the parties, they also tend to keep the parties in check since they know what could happen if one of them fails to hold up his or her end of the bargain.

Contract disputes can occur even before they are signed. Due to the importance of the document, each party wants to make sure that he or she receives the best deal possible before proceeding. When the parties involved are responsible for building and repairing a state's roadways, it ultimately affects everyone involved, especially if the work halts due to a strike by workers or a lockout by contractors.

Dogs, divorce and decisions on what happens to the family pet

The family dog is no longer just an animal used for protection or company. Many Massachusetts families view their dogs as members of the family. This makes deciding what happens to them in the event of a divorce a sometimes heart-wrenching choice, especially if a couple relies on the court to make the decisions.

Only one state has changed legislation to allow for pet custody hearings, and it is not Massachusetts. This state and 48 others continue to view pets as property when it comes to divorce proceedings. This means that the courts will not be designing custody and visitation schedules for the family dog.

The court's considerations when it comes to awarding alimony

After being married for a number of years, one member of a couple may have become used to a standard of living while staying home with the kids, among other reasons. If the marriage ends, that Massachusetts resident may not be able to support him or herself without help. This is where alimony comes into play.

In order to determine whether alimony is appropriate, a Massachusetts court will consider numerous factors. One of the first things the court will look at is how long the couple was married. Then each party's age, educational level and financial conditions are assessed. If one party has physical, educational or emotional limitations, the court may consider awarding alimony.

Contracts need to include certain elements to remain valid

When entering into an agreement with another party, it should be in writing. That may seem like some of the most obvious advice when it comes to contracts, but some Massachusetts residents may understand why it may need to be said. Other basics that need to be included in order for a contract to remain valid are discussed below.

A contract needs to outline what each party is offering to the other, each party needs to accept what the other party is offering and both parties must enter into the contract with the intention of making a valid agreement. The parties must provide each other with something of value. For example, one party receives goods from the other party, who receives money in exchange for the goods.

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