Attention all divorce lawyers, cryptocurrency isn’t going away! Call it a pyramid scheme or a fad, but the fact remains that many divorce attorney’s clients are already knee-deep in cryptocurrency investments. Cryptocurrency investment within a marriage can be anything from a hobby of one partner, to a project shared by both partners to a secretive endeavor that can in the worst cases be used to hide money. There are so many issues to be tackled with cryptocurrency, from the purely financial ones – the difficulty of valuation for example – to the emotional and logistical (how can cryptocurrency be divided or cashed in? Can spouses even lay their hands on the passwords?) With the huge growth of cryptocurrency over the last year or two, Jonathan Fields delivered an extremely well-timed talk at the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers’ Annual Conference, entitled “Cryptocurrency: What Every Divorce Practitioner Should Know.”
Mother’s Day or Father’s Day can be challenging for divorced parents. Here are 5 ways to be a hero and a role model for your kids – in spite of how you feel about your ex.
For many divorced parents, the last thing they feel like doing is investing time, money, and energy in putting care and thought into helping their children have a present for their ex on Mother’s Day/Father’s Day. As a clinical social worker and divorce attorney, I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is for you to make all best efforts to be a hero for your children by ensuring that your ex is celebrated on his/her special day (not to mention birthday).
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Attorney Jonathan Fields was recently featured in an interview with B. J. Krintzman on That’s The Law about Grey Divorce. Jon discusses the various issues that older couples can encounter when getting divorced.
Jonathan Fields was recently quoted in a Bloomberg Technology article on Bitcoin and Divorce
“It’s now a standard part of our discovery process,” Jonathan Fields, a partner at Fields and Dennis in Wellesley, Massachusetts, said in an interview. “I will make sure I’ve got the right language and questions to ensure a partner discloses their cryptocurrencies.”
Read the full article below.
Attorney Jonathan Fields was recently quoted in an Avvo article about divorce trends for 2017.
The article found that American family views are changing. Marriage and divorce rates have declined, while acceptance of divorce has increased and marriage has become less important.
Attorney Fields gave insight on the trend known as “Grey Divorce,” which is on the rise according the article.
With increased acceptance comes increased action: the Avvo study found that people 55 and older had the highest percentage of first-time divorces of any age cohort. Divorce attorneys are seeing this trend in their practice. “In the US, the rate of divorce among people 50 and over has doubled since 1990,” says Jonathan E. Fields, family law attorney and partner at Fields and Dennis, LLP in Boston. The trend, known as “gray divorce,” presents a unique set of issues.
“They are closer to retirement or retired, they may have cognitive issues, they may have guardians, or they may be involved in a so-called ‘predatory marriage,’ says Fields. “Additionally, their age may make them likelier to die before they have had a chance to change the beneficiaries on certain assets (life insurance policies, retirement plans)) that may inadvertently end up going to their ex-spouse.”
Fields also sees older couples involved in “Medicaid divorces,” that is, people who divorce in order to qualify for state benefits. “And believe it or not,” he says, “this can be achieved by people at upper middle-class income levels.”
Jonathan Fields is a nationally recognized expert on Grey Divorce, having recently giving a keynote on Grey Divorce: Tips for the Matrimonial Practitioner. Please contact him with any questions at 781.489.6776
. To read the full article about 2017 Divorce Trends please click below.
Jonathan Fields was the keynote speaker in Salt Lake City, Utah where he was giving a presentation about Grey Divorce: Tips for the Matrimonial Practitioner. It was sponsored by the Utah Fellows of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Family Law Section of the Utah State Bar.
Local family law attorneys are hoping that the storm has passed. But forgive them if they don’t exhale completely. We are talking about Congress, after all.
The U.S. House of Representatives “got the divorce bar’s attention,” says Jonathan E. Fields. The Wellesley lawyer is referring to the House’s inclusion in its recent tax-reform proposal of a repeal of the so-called “divorce subsidy,” which currently allows a payor to deduct alimony payments from his taxes. While alimony is taxable income to the recipient, that recipient is generally in a lower tax bracket, allowing the two former partners to pay less tax combined than if they were still married.
Or, as Fields says, the current system “puts more cash in the post-divorce pot.”
In a subsequent Senate version of the tax-reform bill, however, the effort to end the divorce subsidy seems to have been abandoned, reports Lincoln practitioner Regina Snow Mandl.
Mandl was so alarmed by the House proposal that she sent out a client alert, highlighting what she considered a flaw in the House bill proponents’ logic.
“This proposal fails to recognize that two households are more expensive than one, and that there were good reasons for allowing the seeming disparity between married couples and those living apart due to divorce,” she wrote.
The House Ways and Means Committee cited fairness as a justification for the proposed change.
“The provision recognizes that spousal support should have the same tax treatment as within the context of a married couple, as well as the provision of child support,” read a portion of the committee’s summary of Section 1309 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R.1.
However, critics characterized the proposal as a thinly veiled money grab, one estimated to generate $8.3 billion in tax revenue over the next 10 years that could help pay for tax cuts elsewhere in the plan.
While some suggested there was also a “pro-family” agenda embodied in ending the divorce subsidy, Fields isn’t so sure, if for no other reason than there are plenty of divorced legislators who would stand to be negatively affected by the change.
In addition to the nature of the proposal, the attorneys were concerned about its timing. The House proposed making the change effective as early as Jan. 1, which Mandl says would have given state legislatures and courts no time to consider an adjustment to the various alimony formulas, such as those in the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act.
Specifically, §53(b) of G.L.c. 208 provides that “the amount of alimony should generally not exceed the recipient’s need or 30 to 35 percent of the difference between the parties’ gross incomes established at the time of the order being issued.”
Fields says that an unintended — though somewhat predictable — consequence of the Alimony Reform Act passing in 2011 has been that many divorcing couples now tend to settle on an alimony figure of 32 or 33 percent of the difference between their incomes. Baked into the conclusion that such a figure is reasonable is the fact that alimony payments will be deductible.
If representing a payor, “I don’t want a 33-percent order if my client can’t take the deduction,” Fields says.
While Probate & Family Court judges would no doubt adjust to the new reality should it come to pass, Fields suggests a prudent practitioner may feel compelled to provide the court with a tax analysis to illustrate why a level of alimony payments that once made sense no longer does.
For now, at least, such considerations seem destined to remain theoretical, though repeal of the Affordable Care Act looked dead several times this summer, only to have Republican lawmakers attempt to resuscitate it repeatedly.
“I don’t take anything for granted anymore,” Fields says.