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News And Thoughts On The Law In And Around Boston

Divorce does not have to follow the traditional path

Even as times have changed, television and movies continue to depict people ending their marriages in courtroom battles. This could make some Massachusetts couples who wish to divorce anxious and believe this will be their fate as well. Fortunately, neither party has to leave the relationship with a last memory of arguing in front of a judge.

Many couples here in Massachusetts and elsewhere take advantage of an alternative dispute resolution method such as collaborative divorce or mediation. These alternatives allow couples to bypass the drama and contention of a tradition courtroom divorce. One of the largest draws to these alternatives is the cost, which is often significantly lower than going to court.

Demand letters: The first step in collecting on unpaid contracts

Part of doing business is getting paid for products or services. When Massachusetts businesses encounter clients or customers who fail to pay on their contracts, a friendly reminder call or email may not be enough. If it becomes necessary to take additional steps, sending a demand letter could be the next step before taking more formal steps, such as filing a lawsuit.

For some reason, some people fail to understand that they must fulfill their contractual obligations and that a business does have legal options to make that happen. They may think that the business will not come after them expecting payment, but they would be wrong. A demand letter lets a customer or client know that the business expects to be paid and will avail itself of all legal options available to collect.

What is driving 'gray divorce' across the country?

After decades of marriage, many couples over the age of 50 here in Massachusetts and across the nation are deciding to go their separate ways. What is driving the gray divorce phenomenon gripping the country despite the fact that the divorce rate is actually dropping? Could it be as simple as boredom and incompatibility?

For some couples, it is that simple. They grow apart over the decades, but may not notice while they continue to raise children. Once they are alone again, they cannot seem to find their way back to each other.

Residential construction law protects consumers

Owning a home here in Massachusetts or elsewhere can be rewarding. When that home needs improvements, renovations or repairs, you entrust what may be your largest asset into the hands of a contractor. Even though he or she may seem trustworthy, you should take full advantage of the ways that consumer and construction law protect you.

Before signing a contract with a construction company, you may want to do some research to determine whether others had issues with the contractor in the past. For example, has the company abandoned a project without finishing it? Did it deviate from the specifications or plans without discussing it with the homeowner first? Did the company present a certificate of registration?

Mechanic's liens must meet construction law requirements

Subcontractors, whether here in Massachusetts or elsewhere, expect to be paid for the work they do. When that does not happen, one of their legal remedies is to file a mechanic's lien. However, if it does not meet the requirements of current construction law and errors are made, it might not have the desired result.

Failing to meet with the requirements outlined in Massachusetts law could prevent a subcontractor from receiving payment. This includes providing a preliminary notice to the appropriate parties within the time frame specified in the law. Missing a deadline will certainly cause a problem in getting a claim filed. It must include the right information as well.

How you feel coming home at the end of the day could mean divorce

Every married couple, whether here in Massachusetts or elsewhere, has their issues. Disagreements will happen. It is how each couple handles them that makes the difference. When an individual dreads going home at the end of the day, then divorce could be the next step.

Working through disagreements could make a relationship stronger. On the other hand, it could continue to deteriorate the relationship. When feelings of resentment and anger overtake everything else, it may be time to take a step back and review the marriage. Love may not be enough to sustain the relationship anymore. People fall out of love all the time, but when they can no longer be in the same room together, it could definitely signal that it is time to go their separate ways.

Disputes with cable companies over contracts seem to occur yearly

It seems as though every year cable viewers here in Massachusetts and elsewhere could lose the ability to watch cable channels they rely on for news, sports and other entertainment. At the end of 2018, those customers were at risk of losing channels owned by Disney if they use Verizon Fios for access. When contracts come up for renewal, one party may take the opportunity to negotiate a better deal, which should only be done when that party is willing to walk away.

When it did not look like Verizon and Disney would reach an agreement, customers were told they may find their former Disney channels blacked out. Disney decided to let customers know that they could potentially lose access to channels such as ESPN and ABC at a time when football playoffs would occur. This may have been a strategic gamble on the part of the entertainment channel giant, but it may have had an effect.

Divorce is a stressful life-changing event. Don't go it alone

Your life is about to change in ways you cannot easily calculate. When you decided to divorce, you knew that it would be an arduous, stressful and emotional process. You may discuss your impending predicament with friends and loved ones here in Massachusetts, but they cannot go through it for you. Even so, their counsel, along with the counsel of others, can help you find a way through it that provides you with the tools you need in order to move forward confidently.

For many Massachusetts residents, this means ensuring some measure of financial security post-divorce. From talking to others, you may already know that your money situation will not be as it was during the marriage. At least in the short term, ]some sacrifices may be needed in order to provide yourself with a more stable long-term future.

Construction law issues: Stopping work during a dispute

Massachusetts general contractors who work for the federal government may want to take some time to understand how stop-work orders affect their contracts. The government often relies on this aspect of construction law during a dispute. The theory behind it is that suspending all construction during a dispute will help prevent any further breaches of contract.

Most federal construction contracts include a clause authorizing this action for a variety of reasons. The process ordinarily begins with a notice of a stop-work order. It includes a description of the suspended activities and instructions regarding outstanding issues such as permits and work in progress. It may also include advice regarding subcontractors and other applicable issues.

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.

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