Divorce & Family Law: May 2019 Archives

"Merged" Versus "Surviving" Provisions of a Separation Agreement

The vast majority of divorce cases are resolved not by trial, but by the parties agreeing upon and submitting a Separation Agreement to the Probate and Family Court for approval.  One of the more confusing elements of a Separation Agreement for many clients is the fact that certain provisions of the agreement are deemed to "merge" with the Judgment of Divorce and other provisions are deemed to "survive."  Although these terms may be unfamiliar to non-attorneys, the distinction between the two is not particularly complex.  

Can the Judge Give "Decisive Weight" to a Child's Preference?

Recently in Jouret v.  Buteau, Docket-18-P-68 (Mass. App. Ct. April 11, 2019) (Memo and Order Pursuant to Rule 1:28), the Appeals Court of Massachusetts vacated those parts of a modification judgment that eliminated Father's parenting time and prohibited his contact with the children, holding that the trial court should not have given the children's preference "decisive weight."

Business Valuation in Divorce Cases

Business valuation arises in divorce cases where one or both spouses have an ownership interest in a closely held corporation - that is, a corporation which has a limited number of shareholders. This ownership interest is usually considered a marital asset, just like real property or a bank account, and is thus subject to equitable division in a divorce. Valuing a spouse's interest in this type of business can be a complex process due to the fact that there is no market on which a spouse could readily liquidate his or her shares. Accordingly, in many cases, the divorcing parties will retain a business valuator to determine the value of the spouse's ownership interest in the company.

  • Super Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers | 2020
  • Preeminent AV | LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability