Categories for Family Law

Who Keeps The Ring When the Engagement Ends? It All Depends

February 11, 2020 12:26 pm Published by Stephen M. Roche

Ah, the engagement ring—symbol of love and commitment. After the big question is popped, it’s the first thing friends and family ask to see, a marker of taste and income, a family heirloom-to-be. It is also often expensive, featuring diamonds or other precious gems. A popular rule of thumb (though certainly not a requirement) is that the ring’s cost should be three times the giver’s monthly salary. According to one survey, the average cost of an engagement ring in the U.S. is $5,900.

So if the couple splits up before the wedding, what happens to the ring? Can the recipient keep it? Or must it be returned to the donor who footed the hefty bill?


7 Resolutions to Get Your Legal House in Order for a Great 2020

January 17, 2020 12:10 pm Published by Mountain, Dearborn & Whiting LLP

Welcome to a brand-new decade! It’s halfway through January, and we hope you’ve already made progress on your life-changing resolutions for the coming year. Here are a few recommendations from our colleagues at Mountain, Dearborn & Whiting for law-related resolutions that you can add to your list—now, or anytime this year:

1. Katherine Bagdis, Partner, Litigation and Family Law: If you “popped the question” over the holidays, now is a good time to consider whether you and your soon-to-be spouse should execute a prenuptial agreement prior to the wedding.

2. Robin DeAugustinis, Partner, Commercial Lending and Real Estate Law: If you haven’t already done so, please execute and record a Declaration of Homestead ...

Mountain Dearborn Prevails in SJC Decision to Protect Spouses Who Are Left Out of Wills

January 11, 2019 12:19 pm Published by Katherine A. Bagdis

A January 8th decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) supported the claim of a second wife, represented by Mountain Dearborn, who sought to receive her legal share of the real estate that her husband left to his four children. The case highlights the importance of understanding the legal consequences of marriage, especially when you have children from a prior relationship.

When you marry in Massachusetts, your spouse automatically becomes entitled to receive certain rights and benefits, unless both parties agree otherwise. For instance, your spouse automatically becomes the beneficiary of any qualified retirement plan which you then have, or to which you begin contributing, during the marriage, such as a 401k or 403b plan. You ...