As you know, if you read this blog, I had promised a set of posts on what constitutes good reasons to opt for the very expensive route of having your divorce resolved by a judge after a trial, rather than controlling the outcome by settlement. (I happen to be a control freak who loves trying cases so I have a slightly schizophrenic view of this.)
A lot of trials happen because of valuation issues. When one or the other of you has an ownership interest in a closely held company, a significant professional practice, or in major investment real estate, those items have to be valued before you and your soon to be ex can reach agreement on the division of assets, and sometimes before the support can be finally set. This is an expensive process to start, as valuation experts do not come cheap. The cost can run in the tens of thousands of dollars, particularly when the business is complex.
Generally speaking I do not often agree on utilizing a joint expert, I find that if one side disagrees after the joint expert has given her opinion of value, you have a guaranteed trial. If … Keep reading
I bet that most divorce lawyers and Probate Judges will tell you that among the toughest cases they see are so called removal cases – where one parent wants to leave the state with the children, leaving the other parent behind. It is now also clear that moving across the state so that parenting is disrupted can also be grounds for application of the removal laws.
If the departing parent is going to a neighboring state this may be something that can be worked out without a trial and a Guardian ad Litem. However a move beyond a 2 or 3 hour drive can be disastrous to a parent/child relationship.
The reasons for asking to leave (and you must get either written permission from the other parent or a court order allowing the move) can be very valid and necessary as well, a job, a new spouse, familial support all of these can be critical to the moving parent.
Massachusetts handles removal cases in 2 ways based on what the parenting situation is. If the moving parent is the physical custodian, meaning that the children’s primary residence is with him or her then the standard is different from the standard … Keep reading