Family Law Articles

Right to ‘maintain lifestyle’ not absolute after divorce

It’s a common notion that a divorcing spouse has an unshakeable right to support which will maintain the lifestyle he or she became accustomed to during marriage. But this is not always true. A recent Massachusetts case makes this clear in the alimony context. There, a divorcing wife received custody of the children, child support and alimony. Four years later, she caused a fatal accident while driving drunk and went to prison for eight years. During

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Adultery allegations may form basis for alimony reduction

A recent Virginia case suggests that engaging in extramarital affairs can come back to hurt you later on, even if your spouse did not raise your alleged adultery as an issue in the initial filings. That’s because in some states the divorce itself and spousal support may be separate issues with different considerations. The case in question involved Julia Karabaic-Chaney and Jacob Chaney. Julia filed a complaint for divorce, seeking equitable distribution of their property (in

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Child support may terminate only with judicial emancipation

If you pay child support for a teenaged son or daughter who leaves the other parent’s home to live elsewhere, do you still have to keep paying? Though it may vary from state to state, a recent North Carolina case indicates the answer is “yes.” The parents in that case, Shannon Morris and Dean Powell, married in 1994 and had two children before divorcing 2013. The judge granted joint custody of their son “Richard,” with Shannon

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Despite divorce agreement, ex-wife gets insurance benefits

If you are getting a divorce and you want someone other than your soon-to-be former spouse to receive benefits under your life insurance policies and retirement plans, a recent case from a federal appeals court shows how important it is to review these documents and update your beneficiaries accordingly. The case also shows how important it is to be represented by a knowledgeable attorney capable of picking up on ambiguities in divorce documentation. In this case,

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Do you need a prenup for your ‘grey’ marriage?

Last year, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie ended their 25-year marriage, joining hundreds of thousands of other couples who’ve obtained a “grey divorce” after age 50. Even after MacKenzie walked away with shares of Amazon.com valued at $38 billion, Jeff remains the world’s wealthiest person with his $115 billion stake in the company. But if Jeff remarries, he’ll very likely get a prenuptial agreement that lays out in advance exactly what the new

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Remember to update your beneficiaries when you divorce

A recent Massachusetts case serves as yet another reminder that when you divorce, it’s important to review all your insurance policies, bank accounts, retirement funds and investment portfolios. It’s also important that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are each represented by separate counsel. In this case a man took out a life insurance policy when he was still married to his ex-wife. He named his wife as its beneficiary. The couple got divorced after having two

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Wife’s stake in business subject to ‘marketability discount’

One of the most contentious issues that can arise in a divorce is the status of a family business, particularly where a husband and wife hold unequal stakes. A recent South Carolina case shows that having a minority stake can be a disadvantage both in making business decisions and in a divorce. In that case, the husband owned 75 percent of the business and the wife owned the other 25 percent. During their divorce, a dispute

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An inheritance is coming. Should you get a prenup?

When many people hear the term “prenuptial agreement,” they think of celebrities and tycoons like Beyonce and Jay Z, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and Mark Zuckerberg. After all, high-wealth individuals have more to lose if they get divorced. Still, there are plenty of reasons for “normal” people to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement (a contract you enter into with your spouse that details exactly what will happen in the event of a divorce) when

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Modifying your support agreement during a pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on millions of Americans’ financial situations. Layoffs, reduced hours, furloughs and business closings have changed people’s economic outlook. It’s also made it hard for people paying child support to meet their obligations and equally hard for child support recipients to cover their expenses. If this sounds like your situation, you should talk to a family law attorney because you may have options. Your first option is to talk openly and

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How relocating can impact your divorce

It’s very common for someone who’s getting divorced to think about moving to a different state. Maybe they live far away from their parents, childhood friends and extended family and want to go somewhere with a support system. Or maybe they’ve gone “home” for a while during a separation and decided to stay, or finally feel free to pursue their dream job and their best opportunities lie elsewhere. Whatever the reason, you should realize that different

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