Massachusetts Financial Statement in Divorce Mediation

By Tracy Fischer

When you are in the process of getting a divorce, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the decisions you have to make. If you and your spouse are able to be amicable towards each other, then mediation is a viable and effective alternative to litigation especially when it comes to settling your finances. An experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator can help.

There are specific rules regarding financial disclosure in Massachusetts divorce. Both parties are required to provide a full and complete Probate Court Financial Statement.  This Financial Statement is used in mediation as a tool to help the parties understand their income, assets and expenses.  The ability to understand your current financial situation allows you to better predict a future financial picture and make informed financial decisions.

If you earn less than $75,000 each year, you can fill out the “short-form.” If you earn more than $75,000, you are required to fill out the “long-form”. Both forms require specific and detailed financial information.  For the purpose of mediation, the Mandatory Self Disclosure rules require back up documentation, such as recent bank and retirement account statements, credit card statements, life insurance policies, loan documents and tax returns.  The reality is that you may end up having to complete this form more than once depending upon how long it takes for your divorce to be finalized.  The final Financial Statement must be current at the time you appear in court for the divorce hearing.

What’s In A Name?

By Tracy Fischer

When a couple marries one of the big decisions made initially will be…. what last name the female spouse will use. There may be a difference of opinion that will need to be ironed out.  Will she keep her maiden name, will she take her new husband’s name or will the name be hyphenated? Many women see this change as an exciting rite of passage.  What impact will this name have on the children they hope to have.  This decision has a far- reaching impact that is often not considered at the time when the relationship is happy and the marriage is intended to last forever.

Some women look at their last name as a key part of their identity.  Others may have always disliked their original last name because of spelling complications or not like the sound of it and be very excited to take a new name.  Some may feel that the transition from their family of origin to a new family with their new partner will be solidified by having the same name.

If a couple then later decide to divorce, again the female spouse will have a decision to make.  Should she keep the name she is used to, may be using professionally and is the same as her children? Should she return her maiden name immediately, which may be a time consuming and paper-ridden process?

Co-Parenting Successfully through Divorce – Establish a Parenting Plan

By Tracy Fischer

The decision has been made and action has been taken. Whether your divorce was mutually agreed upon or contested, what should be agreed upon is the direction for raising your children. Whether you are the mother or father, you need to make sure that you are parenting together.

Your children have the right and need to freely love both parents. You may have bitter feelings or feelings of indifference towards your ex-spouse, but don’t let those feelings ruin your child’s relationship with you or their other parent. Those feelings may have a greater negative impact on your relationship with your child than you may have expected.

Putting together a parenting plan will help each party see that the needs of the children are the utmost priority. If the parents cannot agree, attorneys and the courts will have to intervene to resolve visitation, support and custody.

Newton, MA Divorce Lawyer & Divorce Mediator

Newton, MA divorce lawyer and divorce mediator, Attorney Tracy Fischer is a  Boston metro family and divorce mediator with offices in Newton, Massachusetts. She provides mediation and family law services to individuals and families throughout the Boston Metro West region including Newton, Needham, Waltham, Watertown,  Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston Massachusetts. Attorney Tracy Fischer assists couples…