Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
Local 413-315-5518
Toll Free 877-622-6089

Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

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Family Law Archives

Understanding special needs pooled trusts

Many families in Massachusetts have at least one child with special needs. Planning for the future economic well-being of such a child is often a heavy burden with unforeseeable consequences. One method of easing that burden and ensuring a favorable outcome is the establishment of a special needs pooled trust.

Planning for a special needs child in a divorce settlement

Divorce, even a simple one, can be one of life's most taxing experiences. If a child is involved, the experience can become even more stressful. And if the child has special needs, the experience may seem to tax the emotional resources of both parents beyond their capacity to endure. Massachusetts parents with a special needs child can survive the experience by giving substantial forethought to the needs of their child.

Options for how to divide a family business in a divorce

Massachusetts couples who own a family business together but are ending their marital or personal relationship have many important options to consider when it comes to what they want to do with the business moving forward. This decision can have a huge financial impact on all parties involved.

Dividing retirement plans calls for special care

Many Springfield, Massachusetts, residents have a lot of wealth tied up in their retirement plans. These plans are often offered through one's work. Plans, including pensions and 401(k) investment plans, are a common way of saving money up for retirement, as they usually have favorable tax consequences associated with them.

How tax change in alimony might affect negotiations

Because it marks a once-in-75-year change, this blog has written previously on the federal government's recent decision to adjust how alimony is treated for federal income tax purposes. To summarize our previous posts, any Massachusetts alimony order finalized on or after January 1 will not be a tax-deductible expense for the person order to pay alimony, nor will it be taxable income to the recipient. In other words, there will be no tax consequences either way with respect to alimony payments.

How would an offshore account be treated in a divorce?

The idea of an offshore account may connote some sense of mystery or even inherently illegal activity. However, the reality is that offshore accounts are simply bank or investment accounts that are held in foreign countries. Residents of Springfield, Massachusetts, even if they are of relatively modest means, can and often do own these sorts of accounts for a variety of reasons.

Be aware of sentimental value in family law disputes

As many Springfield residents probably know already, a divorce or legal separation, and sometimes even an informal breakup, are going to each cause issues related to property division. With respect to divorce in particular, the goal in Massachusetts is to divide the property of the married couple equitably, that is fairly, between them.

Tax consequences of divorce are multifaceted

Many people who go through a divorce will tell you they were surprised that, despite all the intense emotions that come with the end of a marriage, the process of dissolving the marriage is largely about money. And the monetary aspects carry over during tax time. There are a lot of ways federal and Massachusetts tax laws may play in to the outcome of a person's divorce. Alimony remains tax deductible to the person paying it, at least for the time being. Another issue is which parent will get to claim the exemptions that go along with having a dependent child, as these can be worth thousands of dollars in tax savings.

Review of Massachusetts' relocation law

There are many reasons why a single parent in the Springfield area may have to move either to another part of Massachusetts or even outside the state. Given that Massachusetts is relatively small in terms of land size and is close to a lot of other big cities in other states, it is, for instance, relatively easy to see how someone can find a new and better job opportunity that, while still geographically close to Springfield, is technically out-of-state.

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Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
1380 Main Street, Suite 302
Springfield, MA 01103

Toll Free: 877-622-6089
Phone: 413-315-5518
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