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Marinara Money

 

The legal experts of Twitter and Facebook are discussing Donald Trump Jr.’s* recent request for financial disclosures from his soon to be ex-wife, Vanessa. People are confused and asking many questions, including:

 

  • Don’t they have a Prenuptial Agreement** ? The answer to this is probably yes; and
  • Why would he care what his wife has when he’s the one with the deep pockets? Insert boring legal procedure here.

Massachusetts requires that parties make financial disclosures during the divorce process.*** This is true whether the parties have a Prenuptial Agreement** or the divorce is contested. Parties must fill out and exchange Financial Statements, listing all of their income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Parties must also exchange three (3) years of individual and joint taxes, bank statements, investment statements, and inheritances**** (such as Vanessa Trump’s alleged inheritance from her father, who was an investor in a marinara sauce company).

As always, please let us know if we can provide any additional information for you regarding this or any other legal matter.

Warmest Regards,
John and Faye

* This is not intended to be a commentary on any member of the Trump family or their politics. It is merely intended to provide information about divorce procedure.

** For more information regarding what makes a Prenuptial Agreement valid, please see: http://wjslegal.com/category/divorce/page/2/

*** We can’t confirm that this is true in every state in the country, but New York seems to have similar requirements to Massachusetts.

**** For more information on whether inheritances are considered individual or marital assets, please see: http://wjslegal.com/category/divorce/page/3/

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Mmmmm….Donuts….

Do you know what goes really well with chocolate chip waffles and Fruit Loops? Donuts!

Not really, but there are many grandparents who believe “what happens at Nana’s, stays at Nana’s.”  We  know one set of grandparents who have something called “BG Day,” where breakfast with grandparents consists of desserts first, followed by an actual breakfast if the kids have room in their bellies.

Grandparents have certain rights. They get to load them them up on empty calories and sugar then send them home to crash. They get to buy them gifts for the rarely recognized holiday of “Saturday.”  Most importantly, they get to visit with their grandchildren.

It’s not uncommon that grandparents get caught in the cross hairs of divorce. In the most extreme circumstances, grandparents are denied visitation by their “outlaw;” however, unless there is a justifiable reason to deny a grandparent visitation, it is usually presumed that it is in the best interest of the child(ren) to foster that relationship.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions about this or any other matter.

Warm regards,
John and Faye

For more information, please see:
https://www.mass.gov/guides/massachusetts-law-about-grandparents-visitation-rights

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Gratitude

“It’s so free this kind of feeling;
It’s like life, it’s so appealing;
When you’ve got so much to say;
It’s called Gratitude and that’s right.”

-Beastie Boys

We have so much to be thankful for this year: our families, clients, vendors, and colleagues. We very much appreciate your business, referrals, and friendship. Happy Thanksgiving!

Warmly,
Faye & John

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Ch-ch-changes to Child Support

Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines are changing quicker than David Bowie used to transform into Ziggy Stardust. Starting in September, 2017, there will be massive changes to how child support is calculated. There are a lot of changes in store, but some of the highlights that will be most interesting to our clients:

A blanket 25% reduction in support obligations for children between the ages of 18-23;
A presumptive cap on college contributions, for each parent, at 50% of the cost of attending UMass Amherst (aka “The UMass Formula”);
Removal of modified support based on parenting time; and
Acceptance of unreported income, thereby making it easier to “impute” income.

Like all new rules and guidelines, it will take a while to determine how some of the more detailed changes actually get applied in real cases. Please email or call us if we can help you to better understand how the guideline changes might apply to your specific situation.

A helpful link from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/law-lib/laws-by-subj/about/support.html

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What is in a Name?

 

2016 was the year of “celebrity” deaths.  One passing that went fairly unnoticed was Richard Trentlage, who wrote the Oscar Meyer Wiener song.

Let’s be totally honest: growing up with a name like “Faye Weiner” can be a challenge. Nobody ever knows how to pronounce or spell it and more than every once in a while, someone will sing that catchy song to you like it’s the first time that anyone has ever thought of doing it.

Having a unique name can be rich with family history and personality; however, if you want to change your name, it is very easy to do through legal proceeding.

The most common type of procedure involves a change of marital status. At the time of marriage or divorce, Massachusetts law allows a person to change surname. You cannot force someone to change their surname; however, there is a growing trend of individuals who strongly want their (soon to be) ex-spouse relinquish their married name at the time of divorce. A while back we posted an article on Facebook and Twitter discussing this topic:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Wjslegal/posts
https://twitter.com/WJSlegal

We often see our clients struggle with their post-divorce surname; the biggest reasons that we hear are concerns about having the same last name as the children, avoiding the process of changing all accounts and legal documents, as well as easier recognition within the community.  Either using your married or maiden name is acceptable and common.

Absent change of marital status, all you need is an original birth certificate, a completed petition to the probate and family court in your county, and a filing fee. Once the documents and fee are submitted, you need to attend a quick judicial hearing. It’s that easy.

….and for those who actually read to the end of this blog, a quick history lesson: the actual last name  “Weiner” is pronounced differently depending from where your ancestors migrated. In this case, the family name is related to wine producers (aka “Wine-er”) in European vineyards.