An unhappy marriage may lead many people in Massachusetts to think about ending the relationship. At the same time, they may be confused about what the divorce process involves. Some people delay a divorce for lengthy periods of time because of misconceptions about the laws and circumstances that are involved. By doing some research and preparation, people can understand more about the period to come and how they can emerge successfully from the divorce.
The simplicity of the legal process of marriage belies the complexities that can be involved in marital dissolution. A Massachusetts couple need only be 18 years old and receive a license before they may permissibly tie the knot. Contrast this with ending a relationship with divorce where the issues of property division and child custody could become contested and fought over, and it seems clear that marriage should be entered into only with forethought and an eye to the future. The reason why many marriages fail, therefore, seems somewhat surprising.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
People ending their marriages in Massachusetts have many financial matters to consider before reaching a final agreement. For parents, their divorce settlements should address college expenses for the children. Even if children are young and college is years away, a divorce agreement that addresses the topic could create an obligation to assist with expenses. This provides greater security than broaching the subject of paying for college with an ex-spouse years later.
Older couples in Massachusetts face unique challenges when they go through the divorce process. These so-called "gray divorces," which involve spouses over the age of 50, are more likely to involve issues with asset division and retirement savings plans.
Tax laws and other financial matters have always had a significant impact on how Massachusetts couples divorce. Now, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, divorce planning is sure to go through significant changes to match the radical difference in how spousal support payments will be handled. The changes will go into effect with the new year in 2019, but they will only affect people who finalize their divorces in 2019 or later. Some couples are hurrying to finalize their divorces on or before December 31, 2018 in order to preserve the current tax treatment.