January is decidedly the busiest month for divorce attorneys, even being dubbed in the divorce community as “divorce month”. While there may never going to be a “good” time for a divorce, those with divorce on the mind seem to find January to be the best option. This has been demonstrated by Court data that shows 1/3 more people file for divorce in January than they do in any other month.
I have discussed on this blog many times how the most difficult job a Family Court Judge has is making custody orders. Property and support can be legally or technically difficult, but they will never compare to the emotions of making custody orders. Never is this task more difficult then when one of the parents comes to court requesting emergency custody orders.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a decision on November 17, 2015 in the case of Ramey v. Sutton in which the biological mother in a same sex relationship wished to cut ties between her partner and child after their break-up which followed almost 10 years of co-parenting. In this case, after the couple split, the non-biological mother petitioned the district court for custody and visitation orders. The biological mother argued that no legal standing for such a request existed, as the parties were never married nor did they ever enter into a written parenting agreement regarding the child that they were raising together.
I remember the first time I purchased a new couch. It cost me around $800 (which at the time was all the money in the world – I was studying for the bar) and was the first “new” and “adult” purchase my Wife and I made. I also remember when I got a new and better couch several years later. When considering my options for dealing with my now “old” couch, my thought was to simply throw it away. My Wife suggested we sell it on craigslist. I suggested we list it for free so long as the new owner came to pick it up. My Wife thought better and decided to sell it for actual money. My Wife listed the couch for $300. We eventually got about $75 for the couch and my Wife was quite proud of herself (if not disappointed in the price); I was just glad to be rid of the couch.
More so than in other areas of the law, attorney fees can be a critical part of a divorce case. In most civil cases, a party is awarded attorney fees only after they have prevailed in their case and only where attorney fees are specifically provided for by statute or by contract. In family law cases, the availability of attorney fees can make a huge difference during the case, as well as after it.
There is only one type of case more heart-wrenching than a move-away case: an international move-away case. While domestic move-away cases are complicated enough, international move-aways add additional layers of complexity that must be considered by both parties and the Court. Continue reading
As divorce attorneys, it is often useful to recall the reasons that people get married in the first place. We may try not to be cynical of the union of marriage, but it is easier said than done when every day is spent helping people navigate through their divorces. And, especially in light of the monumental victories that have recently come for same sex couples and the right to marry, it may be a better time than ever to take a step back and examine some of the reasons why people may decide to get married, or why people ever fought for the right to marry.
As times change and technology evolves, new issues are ever-present in divorce law. And, although at the center of almost every divorce lie deep emotions, the courts in making their decisions look at the laws and don’t take emotions into account.
When Dr. Mimi C. Lee found out that she had breast cancer just before her marriage to Stephen Findley in 2010, the couple decided to create embryos and have them frozen so as to preserve what might be her only chance to have biological children. Before the couple went to create the embryos, they signed a contract with the clinic. The contract stated that the embryos would be destroyed if they divorced.
If you are going through or have gone through a divorce in California you’ve probably figured out that the length of marriage becomes very important and can become a hotly contested issue at divorce time. While the length of marriage is relevant for a number of issues in divorce litigation, there is special and controversial significance in relation to spousal support. This is because, under the family code, the future of spousal support may follow a very different course once a marriage hits the 10-year mark, as opposed to a marriage that lasted less than 10 years. This particular magic number comes into play because under the family code, a marriage of 10 years or more is presumed to be a marriage of “long duration” (more commonly referred to as a long-term marriage). (FC 4336)
On November 3, 2015, CNN published an article titled “Couple seeks right to marry. The hitch? They’re legally father and son.” Yes, you read that correctly. As unbelievable as this headline may sound, there is a very interesting story behind this brief but controversial-sounding title.
The Supreme Court may have declared same-sex marriages legal in all states earlier this year, but getting to this point was a long and daunting road for same-sex couples. Many, including Nino Esposito and his partner Roland “Drew” Bosee (the couple who are the focus of the CNN article); never thought that they would see the day that same-sex marriage was legalized in their state. In their case, that state was Pennsylvania. So, after over 40 years as a couple, they decided to do something drastic.