Canadian Family Law Judge Rules that a dog is a dog is a piece of property; thus no “custody award”

Justice Richard Danyliuk of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan has ruled against a woman who wanted him to impose a visitation and custody order for the 3 dogs she shared with her soon to be ex husband. In a 15 page ruling, the judge explained his reluctance to go down the slippery slope … Continue reading “Canadian Family Law Judge Rules that a dog is a dog is a piece of property; thus no “custody award””

In Matter of Gregory S v. Dana K: Mother Ordered to Write Book Report by Erie County Judge

A Buffalo New York judge issued the most interesting order in this family court case involving visitation and child support. The mother in the case is accused of having poisoned the children’s relationship with their father over the course of several years to the point that the children wanted nothing to do with their father. … Continue reading “In Matter of Gregory S v. Dana K: Mother Ordered to Write Book Report by Erie County Judge”

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES V. L. v. E. L., ET AL: A same-sex couple fight over custody & adoption

In this case, the Supreme Court was petitioned to determine if a lesbian woman had any parental rights over her former lesbian spouse’s biological children. The lesbian couple were married in the state of Georgia and one partner (prior to marriage) had 3 children by in vitro. The other partner subsequently adopted the children and … Continue reading “SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES V. L. v. E. L., ET AL: A same-sex couple fight over custody & adoption”

In Frances v Frances, the NY Appellate Division Opines that Financial Settlements Must Contain Precise Language to be Enforced

In Francis v Francis, the wife appealed a decision in the lower court which required her to pay her husband 50 percent of the refund from their joint tax return. The problem is that the settlement agreement contained no language about her husband getting 50 percent of the return and so the wife helped herself … Continue reading “In Frances v Frances, the NY Appellate Division Opines that Financial Settlements Must Contain Precise Language to be Enforced”

Pre-Nups & Post Nups MUST Follow Certain Formalities to be Enforceable

In a recent New York case Ballesteros v Ballesteros, the Appellate Division Second Department in New York declined to enforce a post nuptial agreement because the notary who signed the agreement failed to formally “acknowledge” the agreement. In this case the parties were married when the husband asked for a divorce then changed his mind. … Continue reading “Pre-Nups & Post Nups MUST Follow Certain Formalities to be Enforceable”

Sherri Shepherd’s surrogacy & child support dispute: Is she the “equitable mother?”

Divorce & Surrogacy & “Equitable Maternity” – by Marion TD Lewis Divorce & surrogacy collide often these days and it seems that courts around the world are having a tough time figuring out all the legal logistics. It is a sign of our times. Increasingly, infertile, wealthy married couples are turning to assisted reproduction methods, including surrogacy, in order to have … Continue reading “Sherri Shepherd’s surrogacy & child support dispute: Is she the “equitable mother?””

NEW YORK: The Carnegie Deli Divorce Chronicles of Marian & Sandy Levine

Marian Levine is apparently not very happy with her divorce Judge, the Honorable Matthew Cooper of New York County Supreme Court. She wants, and the judge has declined to give her, a downward modification of the alimony spousal support order which right now is approximately $12k per month that she is forced to pay her … Continue reading “NEW YORK: The Carnegie Deli Divorce Chronicles of Marian & Sandy Levine”

TENNESSEE: Judge refuses to hear “gay” divorce

Frederick Borman v Kevin Pyles-Borman Family Lawyer Magazine reports that a judge in Tennessee has refused to give full faith and credit to a gay couple’s Iowa marriage and thus has refused to hear their divorce case: A same-sex couple was denied the ability to divorce in their residing state of Tennessee by a judge … Continue reading “TENNESSEE: Judge refuses to hear “gay” divorce”

CALIFORNIA: Sweden has jurisdiction over American born infant says U.S. Dist Court in California

Carlwig v Carlwig   U.S. Dist. Ct. in the Central District of CA decides a controversial case using ICARA and other child abduction statutes including the Hague Convention and the UCCJEA . The interesting thing is that the child was born in California and was only months old. The child has an older sibling born in Sweden. … Continue reading “CALIFORNIA: Sweden has jurisdiction over American born infant says U.S. Dist Court in California”

MASSACHUSETTS: Sex in the Divorce

Sex in the Divorce An article I recently read  about a draft bill in Massachusetts that proposes a ban on sex or dating in the marital residence without prior judicial consent pending the finalization of the divorce action, inspired this post. Can a judge legally forbid an adult, who happens to be in the midst of … Continue reading “MASSACHUSETTS: Sex in the Divorce”

The no-fault divorce revisited: Is your divorce anyone else’s business?

An article on the Huffington Post gave me pause just now.  The author Fred Silberberg stated that in New York you can get divorced and the public has no right to be there in the court room. That the court proceedings are not open to the public. I was not aware of that. I have … Continue reading “The no-fault divorce revisited: Is your divorce anyone else’s business?”

Katy Perry’s divorce from Russell Brand raises important questions about what “community property” means

I confess that I don’t really know anything about Katy Perry. I’ve heard her name and I know she sings but beyond that, nada. Don’t follow the girl, couldn’t identify a song as being hers, and probably never will. But I know she’s huge and I see her in the gossip magazines and I know … Continue reading “Katy Perry’s divorce from Russell Brand raises important questions about what “community property” means”

NEW YORK: DIVORCE & The GIFT TAX

NEW YORK DIVORCE & THE GIFT TAX With some exceptions, any transfer of property is subject to the gift tax, including transfers made pursuant to a settlement agreement in a divorce action. That is the general rule. So generally, your settlement agreement would, or is supposed to be, subject to the gift tax as prescribed by … Continue reading “NEW YORK: DIVORCE & The GIFT TAX”

Gay Divorce? Now that the Justice Department appeals repeal of DOMA let’s figure out what to do about gay marriage

The Justice Department appeals repeal of DOMA The Justice Department has filed an appeal in the First Circuit, appealing 2 Massachusetts rulings that basically finds DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional, on several fronts. The district court had found DOMA unconstitutional on several grounds: For one thing, it violates the Equal Protection Clause. But it … Continue reading “Gay Divorce? Now that the Justice Department appeals repeal of DOMA let’s figure out what to do about gay marriage”

Death, Divorce & Inheritance Rights: What are you entitled to?

The demise of Elizabeth Edwards in 2011 inspired this post about divorce and inheritance rights. The question presented is what are surviving spouses like John Edwards’ rights, if any, to the estate of their deceased spouse? The rule may vary state to state, but in New York, as a general rule, the surviving spouse has … Continue reading “Death, Divorce & Inheritance Rights: What are you entitled to?”