Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Massachusetts And New Hampshire Law Blog

How do you deal with unique items in a divorce?

Nobody expects divorce to be easy, but some of the complications Massachusetts couples have when they decide to formally end their marriages would probably surprise you. Many of the things you simply shared during your partnership would likely take on a whole new aspect after you decided to split up. 

Artwork is one of the more complex assets you would be likely to divide. Regardless of how much your total marital property was worth or the cash value of the art objects themselves, there would probably be an in-depth discussion if not an argument on the subject.

Key areas to cover in a business succession plan

Leaving your lifeblood in the hands of someone else is rarely easy, but the more time and energy you spend on your Massachusetts business succession plan, the smoother you can expect the process to go. At Kajko, Wiseman & Colasanti, LLP, we have a firm understanding of the elements commonly found in a strong business succession plan, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances find solutions that meet their unique needs.

According to Inc., there are certain key areas you may want to address to increase the odds of a seamless transition when the time comes for you to say goodbye to your business. For example, if your business is a family one and you plan to transfer ownership to multiple family members, you will want to dictate guidelines for those family members to follow with regard to business operations.

Why are victims of sexual harassment reluctant to come forward?

As someone who counts yourself among the many victims of workplace sexual harassment in Massachusetts who never came forward with your story, you may have clear reasons for failing to publicize what happened to you. You may, too, not fully understand what kept you from reporting the unsavory behavior, but regardless of your reasoning for not speaking out, you are not alone in your decision to stay quiet.

Regrettably, per Psychology Today, many people hesitate to call attention to the fact that they are victims of sexual harassment. While Americans file about 12,000 complaints of workplace sexual harassment annually, many believe that the actual number of instances of sexual harassment in the United States that occur each year is substantially higher.

How can I protect my business during a divorce?

As an entrepreneur in Massachusetts, protecting your business against all risks is crucial. However, many business owners neglect to safeguard their business against divorce, which can result in lost assets and ownership. Accordingly, Inc. recommends the following steps to ensure your enterprise remains protected even at the end of your marriage.

Create a prenuptial agreement

Neither party satisfied with Mass. harassment case resolution

Two women involved in a sexual harassment case that occurred when they were employees of the Massachusetts State Police, a supervisor as the alleged harasser and a subordinate as the alleged victim, both claim that they received inadequate protection from the state and that the system is set up to protect only itself. 

According to the attorney representing the subordinate, the solution to the problem is to create a separate office within the government to defend state employees accused of sexual harassment in order to resolve an institutional conflict of interest. As the system is set up now, he explains, the mandate of the attorney general's office to defend state agencies results in shielding alleged harassers from consequence even as the office is simultaneously sworn to protect citizens from wrongdoing. 

What should I do when my car insurance will not pay?

If you have been in an accident in Massachusetts, you probably feel confident that your insurance company will make things right. However, you may be in for a bit of trouble. Insurance companies really never want to pay out. They prefer to collect premiums and deductibles, so when you make a claim, they will try hard to pay the least amount possible. This could spell trouble for you.

If your insurance company denies your claim or refuses to pay the full claim, you do have some things you can do to get it to pay, according to Kiplinger. Start by providing the insurance company as much information as you possibly can. This means providing pictures of the accident, estimates from repair shops and even witness statements. You can also get an appraisal from a third party to provide to your insurer.

How do you know if a business is engaging in unfair competition?

Technology has created many wonderful opportunities for business owners. With a few hundred dollars, you can create an online store and start running your business from your laptop. You can also respond to customer inquiries wherever you are and fulfill orders while you sit on your couch.

However, the ease of setting up shop also means your competition has increased. With the vast online marketplace, suddenly standing out in the crowd has gotten much harder. Some businesses simply do not play fair. You may be wondering whether one of your competitors has engaged in unfair competition. Here is what you should know about unfair business practices.

Should I leave my business to my children?

A part of business succession planning is to think about who should take over your Massachusetts business in the event you pass away or are no longer able to run the company. It seems natural to consider your son or daughter to become your successor. For some business owners, however, the decision is not so clear cut. There are several questions to consider before you name your child as your business successor.

Naturally, your first question is whether you want your child to take over at all. Forbes points out that running a business entails great effort and sacrifice. The Forbes piece describes the experience of a business owner, a mother who decided that she did not want her children to go through the hard experiences that she went through. Ultimately, she did not leave the business to her children. In other cases, parents may believe that their children simply cannot handle running a business and name a successor outside the family.

What is marital property?

There are many issues to negotiate during a divorce. One of the most problematic may be that of property division. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution of property state, meaning all marital property is divided between spouses according to what the judge presiding over the case deems fair. While you may consider the family home, vehicles, furniture and savings account balance the only forms of marital property, you may want to think again. There are many types of marital property you may not have considered but are entitled to a portion of.

Before signing the final divorce settlement, consider the following types of marital property:

  •          Expensive collections, such as antiques, cars, horses, art and coins
  •          Jewelry and other gifts given between the married couple
  •          Lottery winnings and tax refunds
  •          Term life insurance plans, 401K plans, stocks and annuities
  •          Exclusive golf course and country club memberships
  •          Trademarks, copyrights, patents and other types of intellectual property

Are women the only victims of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a major issue at a wide-variety of workplaces throughout Massachusetts and across the country. If you have been the unfortunate recipient of an unwelcomed comment, touch, suggestion or proposition, you know that it can make the workplace awkward and an uncomfortable environment to get the job done. In some cases, sexual harassment can be so severe that you may be unable to move up the corporate ladder or be forced to quit your job because of the abuse. As a victim of harassment, you may be threatened that if you do not perform the unwanted act or accept the harassment, you may lose your position or standing with the company.

While many people believe that sexual harassment involves a man abusing a woman, this is not always the case. In a world of equal rights, women too can be abusers and instigators when it comes to sexual harassment. According to data supplied by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 16.3 % of sexual harassment complaints came from men in 2012, which has increased from 11% of complaints made in 1997, and the numbers are still climbing. In fact, many cases involving both men and women abusers go unreported because some people may be embarrassed or afraid to report the incidents.  This is especially true for men, who may be more afraid to admit they are victims of abuse. There are also cases of women abusing women and men abusing men.

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