Divorce is never easy on anyone.
Knowing the difficulties that may arise can help you prepare for the future.
Determining property division
One common difficulty is determining the division of property and assets. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state (not a community property state). This means that the court will divide property and assets in a way that is fair and reasonable, though not necessarily equal. This can involve complex negotiations and legal battles over property, debts and other assets, and may require the involvement of financial experts and appraisers.
Child custody and support
Child custody and support can also pose difficulties. According to the Massachusetts Legislature, the two most common coparenting arrangements are sole custody or shared custody. The court will make a determination based on the best interests of the child, taking into account factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, each parent’s ability to provide a stable and loving home, and the child’s educational, health and emotional needs. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interests.
Mediation and litigation
In some cases, divorce proceedings may result in either mediation or litigation. Mediation can be a cost-effective and less stressful alternative to court proceedings, but it requires both parties to be willing to work together and reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Litigation, on the other hand, can be a long and expensive process and may require each party to present evidence and exhibits in open court.
Altogether, do not expect that divorce will be smooth. Have a clear sense of what is likely to occur, and rely on trusted experts who can guide you through the process.