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How does attractiveness affect divorce risk?

When Massachusetts residents get married, divorce is not one of the concerns on their minds. However, according to some studies, if one person in the relationship is significantly more attractive than the other, the risk of divorce might be higher for that couple than for couples that are matched in attractiveness.

The studies focusing on this fact have provided a variety of explanations for the higher risk of a divorce. One study proposes that the risk increases because the more attractive person in the relationship is less committed and ends up flirting with others. Meanwhile, another study offers the opposite reason and finds that the issue does not lie with the better-looking person. Instead, the less attractive person might be more prone to jealousy while the other spouse remains committed to the relationship.

Why hiring a divorce attorney may save you in the long run

Getting divorced is painful emotionally, mentally and financially. The splitting up of a joined life into two separate but equal parts can drain a person, especially if trying to do it alone.

When considering divorce, hiring an attorney may seem like an expense you cannot justify, but in the long run, that money spent upfront can help you retain more assets and rights.

Child support leading source of wage garnishment for men

Parents in Massachusetts who fall behind on child support payments could face wage garnishment at some point. Wage garnishment arises from a court order that seizes a portion of wages until debts have been fully paid off. A study that analyzed the anonymous pay data of 12 million workers nationwide in 2016 determined that wage garnishment affected 7 percent of workers. The burden of wage garnishment falls most heavily on men who comprise nearly three-quarters of those who have money taken from their paychecks.

Child support accounts for the overwhelming majority of these wage garnishments. Payroll deductions to cover child support and debts hit people in middle age the most. Workers aged 35 to 54 represent 62 percent of those making these payments.

Making parenting decisions with the child's well-being in mind

As many Massachusetts parents can attest, raising children after divorce can present challenges. Most parents are committed to putting the well-being of their kids first. Experience shows that the way divorced parents interact with their children and with each other has a lot to do with how well they have moved on after the divorce.

In a divorce where there are no children, the separated couple can choose to never see each other again. When children are involved, ex-spouses still have to interact as parents. In rare instances, the court may decide that granting sole custody to one parent or the other is in the child's best interest. However, in the vast majority of cases, the court usually decides to grant some form of custody or visitation rights to each parent.

What parents can do in divorce if a child is not safe

During a divorce in Massachusetts, one parent may become concerned about the other parent's behavior around the child. In some cases, it could endanger the child's safety. This was the case with one father who was worried about his wife's drinking when they separated prior to filing for divorce. His main concern was that she would drink and drive with their 7-year-old son.

However, there were additional issues. He had been the child's main caregiver throughout his life, but his wife had the child and had cut off contact. She said that she wanted to wait a few months to file for divorce so that she could get video of herself caring for the child.

Common scenarios addressed by prenuptial agreements

Although Massachusetts couples who are planning to walk down the aisle are likely focused on love and companionship, the act of getting married ultimately creates a financial union as well. When divorces happen, they must disconnect the partners' financial ties. Prenuptial agreements could support this process by preventing costly delays and disputes. Financial issues commonly addressed by these contracts often include student debt, business assets and income disparity between the prospective spouses.

A couple might specify how marital money will be directed toward the payment of one party's student loan. In the event of a divorce, the money spent by one spouse toward the other's loan might be returned in whole or part through by the divorce settlement as directed by the prenuptial agreement.

What happens to your business in a divorce

Divorce heralds a number of changes for Massachusetts couples. If you own a business, figuring out its fate in the property division process will likely be a top priority for you.

If your business counts as a separate asset, you may have a better chance of keeping it out of division, although this is not guaranteed. This is more likely if you established the business before marriage, your spouse did not contribute to it and all relevant accounts remained separate from marital property. However, the income the business generated during the marriage and any assets purchased with it may still count as marital property and need to be divided.

Researchers say divorce risk higher for cohabiting couples

Living together before marriage could raise a Massachusetts couple's divorce risk over the long term, according to a study that was published in the September edition of the Journal of Marriage and Family. Researchers used data from the National Surveys of Family Growth on women younger than 45 who were in first marriages between 1970 and 2015.

Earlier studies found that couples who lived together before they got married had a lower divorce risk than partners who did not. However, the new study contradicted those findings. It found that while the divorce risk was higher in the first year of marriage for people who had not cohabited before marriage, after that first year, the risk reversed.

Personality traits that could undermine a marriage

Certain personality traits could eventually erode happiness between spouses in Massachusetts and result in divorce. This is especially likely when a spouse fails to address their bad habits or recognize the needs of their partner. According to psychologists, some of the most damaging personality traits include materialism, fragile egos, narcissism and selfishness.

Research indicates that people with an excessive focus on material possessions have a harder time maintaining marriages. Their tendency to judge everything in financial and material terms reduces their ability for emotional connection. For people with fragile egos, their deep insecurities demand emotional support from their partners. If a spouse reduces the attention given to a person with a fragile ego, that person might look to other people to satisfy cravings for attention.

How jobs can cause divorce

A Massachusetts couple considering divorce might also reflect on the various causes of the situation. In some cases, employment might play a part in the issues that develop. A study from two Stockholm University researchers reveals that jobs in certain industries can be factors in the demise of a marriage.

The study, which focused on Denmark residents who had married someone from the opposite sex between 1982 and 2002 and held a job part of that time, focused on 102,453 men and 113,252 women who got divorced. After controlling for some social factors, the researchers found that men who worked in fields with a majority of same-sex co-workers tended to have lower divorce rates. The fields where more men and women reported divorces were the hotel and restaurant fields, which demanded a lot of socializing.

  • CA State Bar Association
  • MA Bar Association
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • Salem Bar Association
  • Women's Bar Association
  • Avvo

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