Deciding to pick up the phone and make that dreaded first call when you feel the time is right to contact an attorney is a petrifying moment. It’s one of those times in your life where you just have to take the plunge, dial the phone and make the call.
(U.S. Family Law and generally) Going through a divorce can be difficult enough emotionally, and the entire process can be exacerbated by the issues that often accompany the task of dividing assets. Because of this, many couples choose to utilize a prenuptial agreement to ensure that everyone is protected if the marriage is not successful. However, if you do not take this step, you might find yourself dealing with major arguments over specific pieces, especially expensive jewelry. Therefore, it is vital to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side to help you retain the items that mean the most to you.
How are Jewelry Items Divided?
Many women assume that they will automatically get to keep their jewelry when they go through a divorce. After all, the wedding ring was sized to fit their finger, and women typically care more about diamonds and other precious gems than men do. Because of this, it is possible that you might not take enough steps to protect yourself before all of your joint assets begin being divided.
What about Family Heirlooms?
In a fully civilized society, it would be understood that family heirlooms should stay with the applicable party. For example, if you have been wearing a ring that has been part of your ex’s family for several generations, you should be prepared to give it back. However, many of the societal pleasantries that most people adhere to on a daily basis are thrown out the window during a contentious divorce. Therefore, you should never assume that you will simply receive all of your family heirlooms without needing to fight for them.
In many cases, couples divide their assets in half, and this can cause complications due to the value of jewelry. In fact, if an item is not an heirloom, it might make more sense to let your ex keep it in favor of receiving a larger cash settlement. For example, if you are debating over a diamond ring, you can easily get something similar at a reduced price by shopping at an online diamond retailer such as www.superjeweler.com. As long as you keep this information to yourself, you might be able to end up with a new ring and some extra cash. However, if you are determined to keep all of your jewelry, you should also be prepared to give up some other items to keep the division of assets fair.
When a person who is married decides to file for bankruptcy, the law permits him or her to do so alone, without requiring both spouses to file. However, the non-filing spouse’s finances do play part in the filing spouse’s bankruptcy case. The “means test,” including the “marital adjustment deduction” will be evaluated to determine whether or not the filing spouse qualifies for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or to determine the amount the filing spouse will have to pay unsecured creditors in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
The Means Test
Even though you may feel that the only way out of your dire financial situation is to file for bankruptcy, a Westchester county bankruptcy lawyer points out that under the strict rules of the bankruptcy code, you may not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor essentially tells the court that he or she is unable to pay back any part of the debt owed to creditors. In order to qualify, you must pass a “means test,” meaning that your disposable income must be below a certain level. If you do not pass the means test, then under bankruptcy law you are presumed able to pay back at least a minimum amount of your debt, and you will not be permitted to proceed with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As part of the means test the bankruptcy court will look at your last 6 months of income as well as your expenses. Thus, even if you have a high income, if your expenses are also high, your may still qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you are married, but separated and living in separate households, the income of your non-filing spouse will not be taken into consideration for the means test. However, if you are married, then your spouse’s income will be taken into consideration for the means test. This could have a significant impact on the filing spouses’ Chapter 7 petition. If the non-filing spouse’s income is too high, then you may not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In this is so then the “marital adjustment deduction” may help.
The Marital Adjustment Deduction
As part of the means test, you are permitted to deduct expenses from your income. The “Marital Adjustment Deduction” allows you to deduct any expenses that your spouse pays that are not normal household expenses. These “other” expenses are known as “marital deduction expenses.” Examples of marital deduction expenses can include credit card payments for accounts that are only in your spouses’ name, child support payment for your spouse’s child, business expenses, student loan payments, and payroll deductions. The net result of using the marital adjustment deduction is that if significant, it may offset at least some of your spouse’s income that you had to include in the means test. Thus, you may still be able to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy even though your spouse’s income is relatively high.
Alternative to Chapter 7
If after applying the marital adjustment deduction you still do not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be permitted to file under Chapter 13. While all of your debt will not be discharged, the total amount you repay your creditors will likely be significantly reduced and you will have 3-5 years to make the payments. However, you will still have to disclose your spouse’s income and expenses, which may affect the total amount you have to repay your creditors.
The importance of Full Disclosure
Ultimately, both your complete financial picture and that of your spouse will likely be closely reviewed by the bankruptcy court to determine how the law will allow you to proceed with your bankruptcy. Thus, it is important to be prepared with evidence backing up all claims regarding income and expenses, or risk having your case dismissed. An even worse result would be having the bankruptcy court determine that you have committed or attempted to commit fraud.
Do you think it is fair that a non-filing spouse’s finances are considered when a married person files for bankruptcy? What if throughout the marriage the couple’s finances remained largely separate? Does this rule encourage spouses to legally separate or “pretend” to separate?
(Victorian & Australian Law. Click here for Top Family Lawyers in Australia)
In recent times, the jurisdiction of property disputes in Family Law has broadened. Traditionally, property was only divisible between married or divorced couples. De-facto and same sex partners are now able to apply for a property settlement, though under different law. In the absence of agreement between the parties, an application for the settlement of a property dispute is made to the court, to be decided on the basis of need.
The settlement reached becomes legally binding and enforceable by the courts. Here’s a rough guide to what usually happens in these situations…
Parties can make a property settlement by agreement or, if agreement cannot be reached, make an application to the court for a property settlement. Applications for the division of property after divorce can be made to the Family Court or to the Federal Magistrates Court where a property dispute is worth less than $700,000.
Only parties who are or were married can make an application for a property settlement under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). In the case of divorce, an application must be made within 12 months of receiving the decree absolute. De-facto and same sex partners can make an application under the Property Law Act 1958 (Vic) in the Supreme Court, County Court or Magistrates’ Court.
Once an application is made, the parties will be asked to attend a case conference, with the aim of settling the property dispute by agreement before it goes to court. Present at this conference will be the parties, any family lawyer involved and a court registrar. If this conference is unsuccessful, the parties will go to court.
Property disputes in de-facto and same sex relationships (domestic relationships) are dealt with under the Property Law Act 1958 (Vic). A domestic relationship is a relationship between two people (regardless of gender) who live together as a couple on a domestic basis but are not married. The domestic relationship must have existed for at least two years for an application for a property dispute to be made under Part 9 of the Property Law Act . If there are exceptional circumstances, for example children being born out of the relationship, this two-year period can be waived. The relationship must have ended after 8 November 2001 for Part 9 to apply.
The type of property divisible in a property settlement includes assets, cash, real estate, investments, insurance policies and superannuation. Debts are also taken into account. In a domestic relationship, as governed by the Property Law Act , superannuation and retirement benefits are not included in a property settlement. In making an order for property settlement, the court calculates the total pool of assets of the parties.
The division of these assets is based on both contributions made by each of the parties to the asset pool and future needs. The contributions of the parties include non-financial contributions, which means a homemaker will not be disadvantaged in this assessment. Future needs takes into account who is responsible for the daily care of the children, earning capacity, age, health and the financial circumstances of any new relationship. The aim is to distribute the property fairly between the two parties.
If you believe your partner is going to dispose of assets before the total pool of assets is calculated you can obtain an injunction to stop the sale taking place. Bank accounts and proceeds from the sale of any assets that has already taken place can also be frozen.
A party can apply for ongoing spousal maintenance if they can prove they are unable to support themselves. This application must be made within 12 months of divorce. An application for spousal maintenance is often included with an application for property settlement so that all financial issues are dealt with at once.
Spousal maintenance cannot be applied for where a domestic relationship exists.
If an agreement is reached between the parties, they can apply to the court for consent orders. This will make the agreement enforceable by the courts in case of dispute. Consent orders, once made, are final. A party must prove fraud, impracticality or other exceptional circumstances if they wish the consent orders to be set aside or varied.
If a party is not complying with the orders made, an application can be made to the court for enforcement. In this application, the party applying must set out exactly what the problem is. The court will then decide whether an order is needed to enforce the existing order.
A family law property settlement is an important process to go through after the breakdown of a marriage or domestic relationship. A property dispute can be settled by agreement between the parties or resolved by the court. Each case is unique and will be considered by the court according to its own circumstances. The court will not consider who is at fault in the breakdown of a relationship. Rather, it will be resolved on the basis of fairness and need.
Approximately half of marriages, in the United States, end in divorce. While not every married couple has children, it can be assumed that a large number of children are faced with their parents’ divorce each year. When parents decide to divorce it is their responsibility, for the well-being of their child, to discuss the divorce with their child. Many parents seek out additional resources, such as books, to make their discussion a bit easier or to answer questions that may be hard to answer on their own. There is a plethora of books for younger children, specifically between the ages of 4 – 9, that are specifically written about divorce. Many of the books are picture books with colorful illustrations concentrating on using simple concepts and a discussion of emotions. Aside from “self-help” type of books, there are fewer books on divorce available for pre-teen and adolescent children. While the needs of an older child are different from young children, a book addressing divorce can be helpful to an older reader.
Stereotypically, girls are most often classified as “readers”. Much of the pre-teen and adolescent fiction and non-fiction literature discussing divorce has female protagonists or themes aimed at young women. Parents of pre-teen and adolescent boys may need to search a bit more, but there are books with adolescent boys as the protagonists dealing with family issues like divorce.
Homesick, a 2012 release by Kate Klise, is a novel with a young male protagonist, appropriate for readers between 9 and 12 years old. The main character, Benny, lives with his parents who have separated. His mother has left the family and his father has hoarding issues. Many readers may connect with Benny and the pressure and need to be responsible in his crumbling home life. Reflected in a Kirkus Review, “Benny gets a job at the local radio station to scrape together money to pay the phone bill so he can stay in touch with his mother. She’s planning to get settled and return for him at the end of the school year, but Benny’s dad is spiraling downward fast.”
While Benny’s scenario may seem “too big to be true”, children of divorced parents may relate to Benny’s situation and his feelings. Sometimes a story, bigger than their own, might make a child feel better about their own situation.
Children, of any age, may benefit from tools, such as literature, when dealing with divorce in their family. Parents and children can connect through literature and gain a better understanding about divorce. Literature can remind children, of any age, that divorce is not their fault, not their responsibility, and despite the situation, a parent’s love still remains before, during and after the divorce.
For more information about divorce please visit the website of Charles Ullman, a Cary, NC Divorce Lawyer at divorcelawnc.com.
When most people think of divorce, they envision scenes from War of the Roses or Kramer vs. Kramer. Yet more people in Tampa Bay are learning that there is another way, collaborative divorce, which is just a sensible method to resolve private family disputes. However, just as mediation was characterized in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a rich person’s option, many people think that the collaborative process is only for the very wealthy. Not only attorneys, but also a collaborative facilitator and financial professional are retained, so only the very rich can afford the collaborative model, right?
A four year study conducted by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals found that 87% of female participants and 47% of male participants of collaborative family law cases had an annual income of less than $100,000.
Though the collaborative process may not be the cheapest in all cases, it has a substantial opportunity to save you money as compared to the courtroom battles we have all come to associate with divorce.
First, child issues, such as custody schedules and decision-making authority, are some of the most emotional and costliest issues in family law matters. Lawyers in courtroom cases tend to prepare interrogatories (questions) to be answered under penalty of perjury, set depositions, conduct opposition research to put the other spouse in the worst possible light, and prepare for trial. Attorneys’ invoices pile up along each stage of this process. Alternatively, these fees and costs can be greatly reduced in the collaborative process where facilitators, who usually are licensed mental health professionals, can cut through the clutter of emotionally-charged issues and bring the clients (and lawyers) to focus on the future and best interests of the children.
Similarly, a financial professional (who is usually either an accountant or financial planner) adds cost-saving value to the process. In litigated cases, lawyers prepare “requests for production of documents and things” that demand reams of financial documents which could conceivably be relevant. Searching for those documents cost clients tremendous time and money while, when received, the requesting attorney will spend countless billable hours meticulously combing through the documents. In the collaborative process, on the other hand, the financial professional will only request documents that are necessary to make an informed settlement option. His or her expertise in finances enables the financial professional to review and assess the documents and develop settlement options more quickly (and often times at a lower rate) than attorneys.
Finally, the dirty little secret in family law is that the vast majority of litigation cases eventually settle. However, because having a judge decide on the parties’ personal matters always remains a threat, in traditional courtroom divorce the attorneys will always work on two tracks: (i) attempt to settle the case while (ii) conducting opposition research and preparing for the courtroom battle in case the parties cannot come to an agreement. In the collaborative process, attorneys are retained solely for the purpose of settlement and are contractually barred from taking disputes to be decided in court, and so they are not racking up those billable hours planning to fight it out in court.
Now, back to the question, is collaborative divorce only for the wealthy? Absolutely not, and I would be happy to speak with you and talk more about how the process can help your family.
If you have questions regarding how a Tampa Bay collaborative divorce process can help you, schedule a consultation with attorney Adam B. Cordover at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.
Adam B. Cordover is Vice President of the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Adam spearheaded the taskforce that drafted the Hillsborough County collaborative family practice administrative order signed by Chief Judge Manuel Menendez.
When John and Emily married 15 years ago, they both thought the marriage would last a lifetime. After 10 years in a colonial-style home, 2 children and 3 dogs, their marriage looked picture perfect, especially with the white picket fence that surrounded Emily’s prize winning roses. Last year, John lost some investments and started gambling to ease his stress. His secret gambling made financial issues even worse. Emily, unaware of their family’s financial distress, continued her duties as a homemaker and volunteering at her daughter’s school. Had Emily known of the financial distress, she would have taken a job to help ease some of the debt, but because John was always in charge of finances, Emily had no idea of how bad their situation was. One weekend, John had gone on a “business trip” (which ended up being an expensive trip to Las Vegas) and Emily was unable to withdraw funds from an ATM machine. Shortly after John’s unsuccessful gambling trip, there marriage began to fall apart and divorce seemed to be the best option for their young children. Because Emily has little control of their money, she doesn’t know how to proceed with protecting her assets during the divorce. Charles Ullman and Associates understands that during divorce, life has been turned upside down and can cause financial and emotionally challenging moments. What can Emily do?
Avoid Losing Everything: Protect Your Assets
Often times, in a marriage, one spouse takes charge of finances. Unfortunately, in the event of divorce, the other spouse has no idea how to deal with their finances, leaving her/him at great risk for financial distress after a divorce. Protecting your assets during divorce can make the whole process a little less stressful:
- Familiarize Yourself with Financial Statements: Financial statements, tax forms and other important financial paperwork can be overwhelming, hard to organize, and even harder to understand, but it’s helpful to know how your household’s income is being spent. Even if you are not the “breadwinner”, you have the right to know where the money goes. If you find something suspicious or something you don’t understand (and don’t feel comfortable confronting your soon-to-be ex), talk to a financial planner, lawyer or accountant. Additionally, make sure you make copies of all the financial information and keep it in a safe place. When you meet with your divorce lawyer, he/she will help you decide what information you will need for your settlement. It’s better to be over prepared than not.
- Establish Your Own Credit: If you have a shared credit account with your spouse, it’s important to pay close attention to credit card statements, as one spouse may use a credit card more often than the other. If your spouse has poor credit, it may affect you, even after the divorce. If you are able, try to get your own credit card account before you divorce. While may stay-at-home, non-income earning spouses find it difficult to establish credit, The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) made changes allowing non-working spouses set up their own line of credit, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Additionally, it may be wise (if you don’t already) to set up your own bank account.
- Make Sure Your Name is One Everything You Own with Your Spouse: Depending on what you purchased together, if it is a valuable asset, make sure that your signature (as proof of part ownership) is on all the proper documents.
Divorce can be a financially, emotionally, and mentally exhausting process. While you should always have a good handle on your finances, even if you don’t make all the money, it is even more important during the separation or divorce process. Don’t let your divorce leave you penniless and powerless; get your documents in order!
The marital residence can prove to be one of the most controversial components of a modern divorce. While the majority of divorces in the past involved arguments regarding which party would be allowed to keep the house, that trend has begun to change as the unstable housing market continues to fluctuate in a consistently negative pattern. Now, with foreclosure looming on the horizon for many divorcing couples, the question of who gets the house has a different desired answer.
Why Wouldn’t You Want to Keep the House?
In many cases, according to The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, the amount of money owed on a house’s mortgage exceeds the actual value of the property, making it a liability instead of an asset. Unless the house holds specific emotional appeal or value, getting stuck with a payment on a residence that isn’t worth the money can be financially devastating for the party who receives it.
Many married couples decide to divorce due to a variety of irreconcilable differences and, therefore, find themselves in a position in which they are far less likely to come to an amicable solution for both ends. It is possible that vindictive or hurt feelings may fuel a desire to cause the other person inconvenience, emotional pain and financial hardship. In these cases, the inclusion of a qualified and experienced divorce attorney in early proceedings and division of assets is highly recommended. Your counselor will help mediate these periods of correspondence, ensuring that all steps of the process are completed accurately and fairly as according to your state’s laws and regulations.
It is in this type of case, in which neither party can foresee any type of cooperation in the future, that a foreclosure or short sale is selected as the best way to resolve the issue. If the house is sold at a loss as compared to its purchase value or current market value, the spouses are advised to share the costs of the loss and call the case closed. If an agreement such as this cannot be made, bankruptcy is an option and should be discussed in detail with an attorney with experience in the field.
If both members of the divorcing couple are adamant concerning the situation and neither one agrees to take on the financial responsibility of keeping the house, other agreements may be made that still count as advantages to both parties.
First, if both people involved in the divorce are willing to work with one another on reaching a positive and lucrative solution, they may consider renting the property to a third party and splitting the money that is paid for it. If the amount of monthly rent, utilities and other bills exceeds the amount needed to pay the house’s mortgage, the difference is split between the ex-spouses.
A second option involves one member of the divorcing couple to remain in the house while the other moves out. The person remaining in the house pays a predetermined amount each month to the spouse who has moved out to cover rent and any other bills associated with the property. In this case, both people tend to retain ownership of the house and are responsible for any paperwork required to sell it in the future, should the market improve.
Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, LLP is a personal injury and divorce law firm located in New York / New Jersey. For more information, please visit us at www.Ginarte.com.
Going through a divorce is a stressful and upsetting time for a couple, but you have to keep in mind that this is an extremely stressful time for your children as well. Learning that their parents are splitting and that everything they know is about to change is daunting. Make sure your choice to divorce does not cause your child to suffer unnecessarily. Below are three tips to help your child manage a divorce healthily.
Be Conscious of What Will Upset Your Child
A divorce will probably result in a lifestyle change for your child, and a huge change in their daily routine can cause a child to feel stressed. Try to keep your child’s life as consistent as possible: keep them in the same school, surround them with their same friends, and make sure they keep up the same activities they’ve always loved. Maintaining a routine and schedule when another aspect of their life has become chaotic is integral.
It is also hugely important to make sure you keep heated and emotional debates between you and your partner to a minimum. Arguing, fighting, name-calling or any other nasty behavior does not need to be witnessed by your child. Even if the divorce was messy, remember that this person is still a parent to your child. Avoid blaming their parent, bad-mouthing their parent or fighting if your child can hear. At the end of the day, a child needs to know that both his parents are still in his life and still love him, regardless of the divorce.
Encourage Conversation With Your Child
Another way to ensure that your child manages a divorce the best they can and doesn’t suffer through it is to encourage them to voice their feelings and concerns. Initiate conversation with your child and talk about the changes they can expect to happen during the course of the divorce. Help them put their feelings into words, and listen to their response. It is important to let your child know that the way they are feeling is normal and that you respect their feelings.
If your child isn’t encouraged to speak about the divorce, this could have a negative impact on their behavior. Young children might have a change in appetite, their sleep patterns might be affected, or their behavior in school could be impacted. If your kids are older, they might take uncharacteristic risks. Letting your children speak will only help them emotionally.
Talk Care of Yourself and Learn to Manage Stress
The way you take care of yourself and manage the divorce will also affect your child. If you let the stress of custody and divorce paperwork get the better of you, you might fail to properly care for yourself. When you properly care for yourself and manage stress well, your child will learn how to handle stress and change in a healthy way. Get support if need be so that you can take care of yourself and your children.
Going through a divorce is always going to be a difficult time, but don’t make it unnecessarily difficult for your children. Follow these three tips to help your child healthily manage the new changes in their life. Your divorce shouldn’t result in your child suffering.
If you are going through a divorce, it is important to seek legal representation to mediate the situation and protect your child. Charles R. Ullman & Associates, Attorneys at Law, are experienced divorce lawyers who can help you manage stress during this difficult time, ultimately shielding your child from the unhealthy effects. For more information about this North Carolina divorce law firm and how they can help you, visit the website at www.divorcelawnc.com .
Going through a divorce is a difficult time, both for the couple involved and their children. What makes it especially difficult is deciding who gets custody and how the child’s time will be divided between parents. Judges will determine a custody battle by considering what is best for the child and looking out for the best interests of the child. However, there are several factors involved that will determine a judge’s decision. Below are a few common factors that will determine the outcome of a custody battle.
The Child’s Age and Gender
The first factors that a judge will probably consider when settling a custody battle is the age and gender of your child. If a couple’s child is very young, chances are in the mother’s favor. That being said, nowadays a judge does not usually have a gender preference when determining custody. That is, a father will not necessarily get custody of his son and a mother will not necessarily get custody of her daughter. The judge will examine which parent can better provide care to a child of a particular age and gender. It is also important to note that siblings are unlikely to be separated.
The Child’s Personal Preference
The child’s personal preference is also taken into consideration. However, how much weight this factor holds will depend on the age of the child. While a 6 year old’s opinion will be considered, it will likely not hold as much weight as the opinion of a 14 year old. While it differs between states, generally when a child is between the age of 12 and 14 his opinion begins to receive more substantial weight.
The Parent’s Lifestyle
There are a variety of factors regarding the parents that a judge will consider. First and foremost, a judge will consider which parent can best provide for their child’s physical, emotional, and medical needs. A parent’s health and their financial stability are both common factors influencing the outcome. For example, a mother who frequently moves, thereby uprooting her child’s education and influencing their grades, will not be seen as beneficial for the child. Other factors considered by a judge are whether or not any allegations of abuse, neglect or violence have ever been filed against either parent, whether any claims have been falsely filed, and how willing a parent is to let the other parent see the child. The parent who is awarded custody must be able to provide their child with the necessities of life.
The Child and Parent’s Relationship
Another one of the most important common factors a judge considers is the relationship the child has with either parent. If one parent has been more present for the child’s life so far, that parent will probably have a better chance of winning custody. Love, affection, and emotional ties are all strongly considered by a judge.
Going through a divorce is stressful enough, but the added stress of custody can make the whole situation overwhelming. If you’re headed into court to determine who gets custody of a child, remember that a judge will not make a decision on just one factor. All of the above are common factors that a judge considers. At the end of the day, a judge will make a decision that is in the best interest of the child.
If you are amidst a custody battle, you should seek a professional to help you fight for the rights of your child. Charles R. Ullman & Associates is a team of child custody lawyers with experience advocating for children and their best interests in North Carolina. For more information about custody battles and processes, visit the website at www.DivorceLawCary.com.
Guest post regarding the rising number of children forced to take sides with divorces.
Divorce is never an easy process to digest for parents who have one or more children. The battle for custody can sometimes lead to aggressive behavioural patterns coming from the parents who twist the arm of their children to win them on their side. The common tactics consists of “buying off” the love and attention of children by a technique of offering them hip technical devices like cell phones, lavish holidays or trendy garments.
The main focus of each parent within the development of custody battle is often to poison the heart and mind of the children in the favour of one of them and they do so by badmouthing the other parent. This process of influencing the children for personal interest is not something that courts prefer. The solicitors who deal with harsh divorce issues know best to what extent one parent would go to denigrate the other one in order to obtain primary custody of the children.
When you are faced with the imminence of a divorce it is best to recur to certified solicitors. They can explain all that a divorce can entail and can teach you how to speak to your children about an obvious dramatic change in their lives without attempting to “brainwash” their minds and to influence them more than necessary.
Divorce is never an easy problem to deal with. Children are susceptible to adult opinions and many times they express their adhesion to the one who tried best to win them over. Statistics show that the strong actions and influence of one parent can succeed to make the child more loyal to him or her in the detriment of the other spouse.
There are documented undertakings of parents who influence especially the younger children to their benefit and this approach is very much noticed by court representatives and blamed. The number of young impressionable children who are dominated by one of their parents is rising and that can be seen in the increasing number of claims.
Divorce is often seen as a competition between parents, amidst which children are the wounded persons and can suffer the severe blows of a separation with no helmet on. Practically, this idea of influencing the children leads to a reaction coming from court officials who notice the dangerous practice of gaining the trust and love of children through somewhat abusive manners.
It is very important as parent to focus on creating a stable environment for the children and to put their best interests first as hard as that may sound. Their feelings are not a negligible matter and the main idea is to protect them and not to govern their feelings and emotions and not to poison them with regard to the other parenting partner.
In the fight involved in the divorce custody wars it is best to recur to solicitors who are specialised in a wide range of cases. They certainly can guide you through the process offering legal support, a reliable shoulder to cry on as well as pointers in how to approach your children in the attempt of being fair to them and to yourself. Divorce is imminent when the two marriage partners no longer see eye to eye, therefore, it is best to shield the children from possible conflicts and keep a normal and unbiased environment for them.
With reports suggesting that the UK may be moving out of recession, many lawyers are predicting a big spike in the amount of divorces they will have to invigilate. Some firms are indicating that they have seen up to a 30% increase in the amount of divorce cases they have to deal with, this could be due to the fact that many couples were putting off a split due to the negative financial implications.
Huge Divorce Drop Back in 2008
The recent rise mirrors a huge drop that occurred just over four years ago when the economic downturn really took hold. With money being too tight to mention and other seemingly more important things on their mind, it appears that couples have just been too busy or broke to consider parting ways, but this looks set to change as the nation starts to look at the possibility of some more stable times ahead.
The official figures actually show that the number of divorces in the United Kingdom dropped for the first two years of the recession and then rose again in 2010 to around 119,00 when the outlook started to look a little bit better.
Another factor that is seen as fundamental is the fact that couples may have been waiting for the price of their property to creep back up again. As the recession worsened, it seems that people became increasingly concerned about their lowered incomes and how much they would get back if they sold their house. Many divorce lawyers believe this led to many couples postponing their plans to split until they could both walk away with a decent return.
Evidently, not many couples predicted that this would actually be the worst recession in modern times and that the financial doom and gloom would continue for so long.
Larger Rise Could Be On The Way for 2013
Now that many believe there is light at the end of the tunnel and property prices may start to rise very soon, a lot of solicitors are seeing a noticeable rise in divorce proceedings and this is set to gather real pace over the next 12 months.
The figures echo predictions from a number of the United Kingdom’s divorce solicitors and represents some of the first clear cut evidence that an even larger spike in divorce applications could be on the way.
There is a popular myth among divorcing couples, which has the mother automatically gaining custody of the children. While this myth is simply not true, it is relatively prevalent among couples and can lead to serious challenges in the preparation of a case. Because a divorce is a time of trouble and considerable emotional hardship it becomes vital to understand all your rights and the actual content of the law before making snap decisions, which is why an attorney is critically important.
Laws today are very different and do not seek to favor one or the other party, especially with regards to child custody. Here are some things that the court does look at; versus the popular urban legends about divorce floating around the water cooler.
Myth: Mothers are automatically favored and will by default be awarded custody of the children, especially if they are young.
Fact: The fact is that mothers are not directly favored, neither are fathers. The law, in states like Florida, spells out very specifically that neither party will be favored and that the law cannot act in the best interest of one or the other party.
Myth: The one making the most money will have to pay a great deal of support and maintenance to the other party because they are not making as much. It is better to have no income or lower income during a divorce.
Fact: The court looks at a variety of factors to make sure the division of assets is equable. This means that income is certainly a factor. However, if one partner is not working or is under employed voluntarily the court will account for income to that person depending on what they are capable of making. This may seem unfair at times, but it is the only way the court can prevent manipulation of the system by voluntary unemployment or underemployment.
Myth: Divorce decrees are written in stone and once they are written there is no going back to change or modify them.
Fact: Circumstances change, often significantly, which allows one or the other party to go back and request the court to change the divorce decrees. Typically courts will not change a property distribution that has been set out but other parts can be changed depending on the circumstances. These include, and are not limited to, child support, alimony, and visitation.
Myth: Lawyers cost an arm and a leg, so it is better to try and represent your own interests in the court. There are many resources to help you and you will be just fine by yourself. Aunt Betty represented herself and was awarded everything but the kitchen sink, so it behooves you to try the legal justice wheel of fortune by yourself.
Fact: The legal justice system is complex and riddled with policy and procedures. Failure to follow the proper process can lead to significant losses. There are many resources available, but often the resources will only show you the exact law which can lead you to more confusion when you try to interpret it. Lawyers are trained for years to ensure that they can follow the correct procedures, understand the laws and statutes fully, and guide you in the best possible manner. Divorces can be expensive, even more so if your former significant other has a lawyer and you are going it alone. Finding out the cost of an attorney and ensuring that you have the right representation are critical in safeguarding your rights.
Andrew Miller is an avid legal blogger and manager of over 20 attorney blogs. This article was written on behalf of Charles R. Ullman & Associates : A North Caroline Divorce attorney.
Divorce or the termination of a civil union is always a very sad experience. In the United Kingdom, where there is no such thing as a “no fault” divorce, nor any concept of simple “irreconcilable differences” (a lovely term only the Americans could have devised), divorces are often unnecessarily caustic and combative because most petitioners choose what is perceived as the quickest and least complex grounds: Unreasonable behaviour. Ask any solicitor and they will have plenty of stories of strange reasons offered for a divorce petition: Bad cooking, being forced to watch television programs the petitioner did not enjoy, overly flirtatious behaviour by a spouse. The annals of divorce are filled with incredible examples of so-called “unreasonable behaviour”.
The most unreasonable behaviour, however, is often laid at the feet of the judges dealing with these cases, usually in the arena of asset division and support. The problem, as the Law Commission recently acknowledged, lies in the laws as written. While they give the judges great authority and very precise powers to make financial decisions in divorce cases, they give almost no guidance as to what, exactly, a judge should be seeking to achieve with such orders. As the nature of marriage becomes more complex with partners bringing assets, income, and property into a union on an increasingly equal basis, the decision to award one party support or a larger share of communal property is no longer a simple equation – time put into a union against lost income – or any similarly simplistic comparison.
While the prenuptial agreement has become more and more popular – and gained credence in the courts as long as they are properly prepared and executed without duress – they remain largely a tool of the wealthy, leaving plenty of divorces where there are considerable assets but no prenup to fall back on when the union is dissolved. The prenuptial agreement also suffers from the perception of doubt about the marriage – after all, if you have decided to be with a person forever, why would you need a contract spelling out the financials of a divorce?
This means judges continue to decide financial division in divorce cases with very little by way of legal guidelines. Most people agree that such guidelines are necessary – the judges already have the power to make arrangements for both parties in a divorce, but they need to be able to ascertain what the goals of those arrangements should be. Should they be used to encourage independence from each other even if one spouse has been financially dependent on the other for a long period of time? Should they be used to guarantee a spouse’s lifestyle post-divorce indefinitely? A combination of both? The argument can be made that if asset division and support orders are designed to keep up one spouse’s lifestyle, there will be little or no reason for them to ever seek financial independence from their former partner, creating an unfair burden to the latter. Scots law dictates a three-year limit on such support post-divorce, but most in England and Wales regard that term as too rigid and brief. Some go so far as to consider the Scots Three Year Rule to be anti-woman, but that’s an outdated concept. Women in the modern age often bring just as many assets to a marriage or union as their male counterparts.
Happily, the Law Commission seems determined to revise the law appropriately. This will take some time; after officially launching a consultation on reforming divorce law (which has remained largely unchanged since the liberalizations of 1969), the Commission won’t publish recommendations until the autumn of 2013. However long it takes, this reform is most welcome – by judges, solicitors, and petitioners alike.
Mark Darcey is the owner and director of an independently owned commercial debt recovery company based in the UK.
Below is a guest family law blog post from a US blogger.
You tried every thing to save your marriage but nothing can be done now. The only way is to get a divorce and move out of the nuptial bond. But getting a divorce is not an easy thing to do. Divorce involves loads of legalities and if you are filling a contested divorce then litigations. In order to get divorce yourself, you need to do basic research on divorce. You need to educate yourself on the legalities involved in the process of divorce, the laws and the desired paper work for divorce. There are many free resources where you can get all these information like Internet, law books, bar council journals. If you are ready to pay some money then you can consult a divorce attorney that will explain you all the do and don’t of divorce. Other than this you can join any divorce support group. Here, you will find people who have gone through the pain of divorce and are willing to help others who either are going through divorce or have recently gone through it.
Given below are few steps that you can take in order to file the divorce yourself:
- Educate yourself about divorce: Knowledge can work wonders for you given you use it in the most productive manner. Before filling for divorce make sure that you get your hands on any and all kind of information related to divorce. This will help you broaden your knowledge about divorce and will also clear any doubts if you have about divorce
- Go online: Internet is the most powerful source of information available today. Here you can information about the process of divorce. In order to file the divorce paper, you need complete the papers first. Divorce papers are not easy to complete and require minute details about you and your spouse and family. If you are facing difficulty completing the paper then you can search over Internet about the information on how to complete it. If you are still not able to do so then you can search for online attorneys. They will complete the paper work for you and will get it delivered on your doorstep at a nominal price.
- In order to file the divorce papers you will need various financial documents like bank and credit card statements, investment and mortgage papers, vesicle’s pink slip and all movable and non-movable marital assets. Start collecting these documents once you start making your move toward divorce.
- Consult an attorney: Before filling the divorce paper make sure to consult an attorney on this matter. Explain all the points to him and the circumstances in which you are taking divorce. That person will provide you all the required details about divorce and the laws involved. Consulting a divorce attorney will clear up all your doubts and it will give new directions and areas to work on and get a desired outcome of the case. It may cost you some money but the information that you will get will be very useful in your case
- Join a divorce support group: you can learn a lot from the books but the theoretical knowledge is useless unless you mix some practical experience with it. Joining a divorce support will help in meeting new people who have gone through divorce and are willing to help others who are either going through it or about to go through. Here you will find practical information on divorce and post divorce life. How to settle down in life post divorce and how to manage things , you can learn all from here.
I am Lisa Levis, I am working as content writer since 2010. I am working for www.divorcestatistcs.org. Here I am managing it’s article and blog section which tell about statistics of divorce in America.
The Divorce Process
Divorce is the legal process through which two people end their marriage and the legal status that it provides. It is usually an extremely emotional time for the parties involved and also for their children, if they have any. The best way to make your divorce process as smooth as possible is to find a solicitor who you can trust and work comfortably with.
It is important that both parties understand their legal position on divorce and know exactly to what they are entitled. A divorce solicitor can make sure finances and property are properly distributed and arrangements are made for children, leaving no room for disagreements.
Petitioning for divorce
In order to begin the process of divorce one party to the marriage must present a petition for divorce on the grounds that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. It is important to note that the parties must have been married for at least a year before they are able to make such a petition.
Whether the marriage is broken down irretrievably is not simply a matter of opinion, and there is legislation stating that at least one of five factors must be present before any court will make a ruling that the marriage has in fact broken down irretrievably. These five grounds for divorce are as follows: unreasonable behaviour, adultery, living apart for two years and both parties consent to the divorce, living apart for five years, and desertion.
Acknowledgment of service
A copy of the petition must be sent to the other party along with a statement of arrangements for the children (if applicable) and an acknowledgment of service. The respondent must inform the petitioner in the acknowledgment of service whether they will be contesting the divorce. The acknowledgment of service is therefore an extremely important document as it shows the court that the other party is aware of the petition. If the other party refuses to return the acknowledgment of service you may have to arrange for a process server or bailiff to serve the document and make an affidavit stating that they have done so.
If the court is satisfied that there are valid grounds for divorce it may well grant what is known as a decree nisi. A decree nisi will generally be granted when a divorce is not being contested and there are valid grounds for divorce. The party who made the petition must then apply to have the decree made absolute which they cannot do until at least six weeks and one day from the date of the decree nisi.
The decree absolute is what actually ends the marriage, as opposed to the decree nisi which merely declares there are satisfactory grounds. Once the decree absolute has been pronounced the marriage has officially ended and usually the parties will begin ancillary relief proceedings: the name given for deciding how the matrimonial assets should be split.
Ancillary relief proceedings
The ancillary relief proceedings are often fiercely contested as a judge will rule on who should have what from the matrimonial assets. The ancillary relief process can be quite long and usually involves three trips to court.
- A first appointment in which a judge outlines his position and ensures appropriate disclosure has taken place.
- A financial dispute resolution hearing in which a judge (a different judge from who will be in attendance at the final hearing) will give an indication of what he would order in the hope the parties then settle on similar terms and avoid a final hearing.
- A final hearing in which an order will be made.
With the potential for several court visits, it is in both parties’ interests to try to facilitate an early settlement to avoid significant legal costs.
The result of a divorce or separation is that two households will often have to exist on the same amount of money as one did previously. This is unfortunately made worse by the costs that will flow from your divorce. There are three main ways in which you can reduce on your legal costs in this procedure.
The first method would be to attempt to carry out the divorce informally, known as informal separation. If you and your partner are married, you can separate by such an informal arrangement. If you and your partner agree, you can also make arrangements about children, money, housing and other property without going to court. However, any informal arrangement made when you separate may affect future decisions if you do ever go to court. You should be aware that a court may change an arrangement you and your spouse made if it considers it to be unreasonable or, in the case of a child, not in their best interests.
Another method that can be employed to reduce legal costs is through what is known as a separation agreement. This is a written agreement between you and your spouse when you intend to stop living together. It sets out how you wish to sort out financial arrangements, property, and arrangements for the children. It is advisable to consult a divorce lawyer when drawing up a separation agreement, but you should work out in advance the general areas you want to cover. This will help to reduce your legal costs.
A final method that may be used in such circumstances would be for you to utilize the services of Legal Help. Legal Help allows people with a low income to get free legal advice and help from a specialist divorce solicitor or an experienced legal adviser. The solicitor or adviser must have a contract with the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to be able to provide Legal Help. You should be aware that in such cases the divorce solicitor will only be able to help you with legal advice and not with the drafting or endorsement of any legal documents.
A complex area requiring advice from specialist solicitors with an understanding and appreciation of sensitive issues, family law and practice involves divorce, separation, wills, children’s rights and divorce settlements.