Although this blog previously discussed this, with the end of the year approaching, this is a great occasion to remind Massachusetts residents of upcoming changes in the way alimony gets handled for tax purposes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unlike other states, Massachusetts does not have a way for Springfield couples and other couples in this state to get a "legal separation," in which they would remain legally married but have their property divided and other family law issues resolved as if they were getting divorced. However, this state does allow a spouse to file a request for what is called "separate support." A case for separate support is a legal request for a court to order one spouse to support the other person via alimony or other payments. The order can also require that the parent to pay child support for the benefit of children in the case.
When couples in Springfield, Massachusetts either divorce or get a legal separation, one topic that might be an issue is alimony, that is, an ongoing payment from one member of the couple to the other as a form of ongoing financial assistance that, in theory, the person receiving the money would have received had the parties continued to live together.
An engagement ring is often the first physical symbol that a Massachusetts couple may share to demonstrate their intention to commit themselves together in marriage. Rings come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes bought from a store and sometimes shared in families as heirlooms. However, when a couple decides that their marriage is no longer workable and that they will need to divorce questions can arise regarding what will happen with the ring.
At its most basic definition, a divorce is the legal end to the legal relationship known as marriage. When two people marry they agree to hold jointly certain rights and responsibilities, namely to maintain any financial obligations that they take on together, support any children that they have together and a multitude of others. In Massachusetts, individuals choose to marry each and every day.
Often in marriage the partners to the couple consider each other's property things that they jointly own. This assumption can persist as long as the individuals live harmoniously and agree regarding the disposition of the items of personal and real property that they maintain. However, that assumption may quickly be called into question if the partners to the marriage decide that they want to divorce.