Middlesex County Family Law Blog

The changing demographics of American divorce

While many in Massachusetts know that many marriages end in divorce, they may not realize that the divorce rate for most Americans is actually falling. In the decade between 2008 and 2018, the divorce rate declined by 18%. The decline in the rate came even as a larger number of people see divorce as socially acceptable or a positive choice when couples do not enjoy a positive relationship. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 4.7 of every 1,000 Americans were divorced in 1990, a number that fell to 2.9 by 2016.

There are a number of reasons for the declining popularity of divorce. The divorce rate has gone down particularly among younger adults under the age of 45. A growing number of young people wait until later in life to marry, after they have already established their careers and other aspects of their lives. They take a longer time to select their partners and often choose people with similar approaches to work, education and finances, all factors that point to increased marital longevity.

Student loan debts source of marital stress and divorce

As the home of many colleges and universities, Massachusetts clearly promotes education as a worthy goal. Financing an education with loans, however, increasingly burdens people and adds to financial stress within their marriages. Money problems have long been known to lead to divorce, but the prevalence of student loans has emerged as a specific type of financial hardship that erodes long-term relationships.

A study sponsored by Student Loan Hero concluded that one-third of student loan borrowers in marriages ended up in divorce because of financial disagreements. Among them, 1 in 8 cited student loans specifically as the source of anger. Student debt balances carried by people have gone up 62% over the previous 10 years. The average balance totals over $34,000. The number of people owing more than $50,000 for their educations has tripled as well.

How to handle insurance in a divorce

Some Massachusetts residents who are getting a divorce may need to find a new health insurance plan if they are covered on a spouse's employer-sponsored policy. COBRA is one option that can extend the coverage for up to three years, but it can also be expensive since the person will have to start paying the employer's share. It is also not a long-term solution.

Life insurance might be the other important plan to have in a divorce. One spouse might be required to pay alimony to the other spouse. If the payer dies, this could cause significant hardship for the recipient. A life insurance policy on the payer could help out in this regard. The recipient could purchase the policy and pay the premiums to ensure it does not lapse.

Are there tax benefits to having primary child custody?

 

Child custody and support discussions often raise a complex web of emotional, financial and legal factors. Our law firm has represented many parents going through the transition of a divorce. Although courts generally presume that a child will benefit from both parents’ interactions, working out the small details can involve roadblocks.

A peaceful divorce? Yes, it’s possible

Divorce is a heavy subject to talk about, especially when you have children. As a parent, you never want your kids to suffer because of a decision you’ve made. You may have the maturity and understanding as to why the threads of your marriage have unraveled, but children often don’t. When you are facing the new journey of divorce, there are options.

You have probably met couples who underwent a nightmare of a divorce. You probably relished in the fact that your marriage was seemingly bullet-proof. But now you are forced to swallow the difficult truth of what feels like failure. Thankfully, you are not alone, and you have options when divorcing.

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