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I'm going back and forth if I want mediation or an attorney. I know an attorney is very expensive but I want to make sure I get everything I can get. My biggest thing is I'm trying to buy him out of the house to his 401k but he needs to stay on the mortgage for at least a year because I am unemployed right now. Then some people tell me you can get alimony and child support and other people tell me you can't. I'm just so confused. Has anyone ever filed a 1A divorce? I'm in Massachusetts we
 

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I think a mediator can tell you if you are legally eligible for those things. If not, you can always pay an attorney for a consultation w/o hiring him to to the divorce.

Getting more sounds tempting but it's not like two can't play that game and the longer you fight the more of your assets go to your lawyers.
 

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If you're going to trust the opinion of either a mediator or attorney, find out credentials, check out how many cases they have handled, their experience level at divorce actions, etc.

When it was me, everybody had an opinion. Not very many of them were right. That's because their opinions were formulated from their feelings, not from facts. My attorney was, thankfully, an honest guy who saved me a lot of money and helped me reason my way to the least--painful solution.
 

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Hello my friend , i have returned to this site after years and I want to tell you attorneys a a pain in the butt and way too expensive. Depending on the assets you have is the most important. We had none and I wasted 20k for absolutely nothing because she went behind my back and got the divorce anyway which still haunts me today. The judge just ordered the child support and then i had a stroke so I had to go on disability so she gets almost nothing. The key is the assets , big assets lawyer up !!!
 

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My biggest thing is I'm trying to buy him out of the house to his 401k but he needs to stay on the mortgage for at least a year because I am unemployed right now.
According to one of the financial gurus on tv, the #1 mistake women make in divorce which leads to financial problems, and frequently to bankruptcy, is staying in the family home which they can't really afford.

It sounds like you are trying to force something which may not be a smart move. Especially with the craziness going on right now, there is a lot of uncertainty in the future employment market. From a cold numbers standpoint you may be much better off selling the house and moving to a less expensive rental. Staying in a house you can't afford will be emotionally draining every day, too.

Another piece of advice which I believe is very good is to structure the divorce so that everything is final when it is final. When the judge signs the divorce, everything should be done. There will be a short time, maybe a month, where there is transition, but nothing that keeps you tied to the other person. Having your husband on the mortgage for a year will invite all kinds of conflicts. Even if it is a totally fair arrangement, there will be hard feelings on both sides.

If I were you, and knowing only the little bit you posted here, I would probably sell the house rather than stay in it.

The math can get complicated if you are looking at the value of his 401k because you have to consider the future taxes and his age, and then figure out how much of a lump-sum today would give the same after-tax amount at his retirement. Another way to figure it is if he cashed it out he would have to pay taxes on it. If he would be in the 25% tax bracket he would lose 25% of it. So his 401k is only "worth" 75% of what it says it is.

If you use lawyers, they will hire accountants to figure all that kind of stuff out. Which gets expensive for you!

What we did, and what a lot of people do, is ignore the complexities unless the numbers are really large. But this can be to your advantage as something you offer to him, especially since the 401k can be an emotional issue.

A mediator can help you both understand the basic math of your situation including the 401k and the value of the house. The mediator should be impartial to both of you, which is much better than lawyers who may string you along to beef up their paycheck.

If you are both willing to be open minded and fair, mediation can be very good. There will be disagreements, so don't expect it to be easy!

You can research what your state laws are regarding alimony and child support. Go to your state's website. Child support is non-negotiable, which means the state mandates what it will be. Your mediator will know how it works where you are, but you should review it online beforehand.

Alimony may or may not be mandatory. You can always refuse to take it, but if the state mandates it then you get it if you want it. But in most situations in most places it is unusual. A quick search shows that in Mass alimony is not permanent. You may be entitled to a short term arrangement.

Alimony is considered income, which means you can use it to qualify for a mortgage. My preference would be for you to get alimony to pay for the mortgage rather than keep him on the mortgage but not pay alimony. But as I said above, you may be much better off to sell the house if it isn't affordable.
 
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