UK Survey Suggests Marital Residence is Sold to Strangers in Substantial Minority of Divorces

A fairly small survey of at least middle-aged divorcees in the UK indicates that one third of marital residences get sold to third parties. Half the couples were long-term marrieds who had become empty-nesters and ended up downsizing.

Interestingly, some divorcing couples opted to share certain property after their divorces, including family pets.

Not surprisingly, women were more likely than men to report that they were less well off financially after their divorces. Whatever the financial impact of their divorces though, more than half of the surveyed divorcees reported being happier following their divorce.

The survey was conducted by a financial institution and is based on subjective self-reporting, except perhaps for the mortgage payoff and home sales data. It is worth noting that some of the couples surveyed were still in the midst of their divorce and it was not indicated for how long the other couples may have been divorced.

Read more in this UK Telegraph article: Family home sold in a third of ‘silver’ divorces.

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Is Divorce Passed Down from One Generation to the Next?

Husband and Wife marry. Have Children. Divorce.

Fast forward two decades. Children are married.

Are Children more likely to divorce than any other couple?

Perhaps not.

Past studies have suggested that children of divorce are more likely to divorce themselves.

But drilling down through the data more meticulously suggests that high conflict in the family (whether or not it culminates in divorce) is actually a better predictor of divorce in the next generation.

Read more in this Tech Insider article: One parent behavior may affect kids of divorce more than divorce itself.

Who Gets the Silverware, the Car … the Frozen Embryos?

Traditional scenario. Husband and Wife marry, then have children. If Husband and Wife later decide to divorce, custody issues must be resolved.

Modern, increasingly common, scenario. Husbands and wives create and store frozen embryos due to fertility concerns. If husbands and wives later decide to divorce while they still have unborn embryos in storage, the fate of the embryos must be resolved.

Which may be every bit as contentious as custody of already-living children.

One high profile divorcing couple recently reached an agreement to destroy their frozen embryos.

But another is still fighting the good fight well over a year now.

Although this is hardly the first thing that comes to mind in the context of a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement, this is actually an excellent candidate for an agreement before the first embryo is frozen.

Read more in this

Pizzas for Child Support Flies … In Italy. At Family Court Trial Level.

Italian Husband and Wife have Daughter together.

Husband and Wife divorce.

Italian family court orders Husband to pay Wife child support of US $300-odd per month.

Husband is a pizza baker.

Husband’s business is off.

Husband can’t afford to pay his court-ordered child support.

But Husband has an idea.

He can bake pizzas for Daughter and Wife. A lot of them. US $300-odd worth of pizzas.

So that’s what Husband does.

Wife takes Husband to court.

But the Italian family court sides with Husband, and credits Husband with the dollar equivalent of the pizzas Husband gives Wife and Daughter.

This is a very questionable ruling.

The Italian family court is clearly sympathetic to the Husband, who apparently can no longer afford the cash amount of the previously ordered support.

Technically, Husband should have filed a modification action to reduce the amount of support he must pay based upon his changed circumstances.

The problem with the Italian family court’s compassionate (toward Husband) ruling is that, beyond the amount of pizza that Wife and Daughter would / could actually consume themselves, it is of no practical value whatsoever to Wife and Daughter.

The purpose of child support is to provide funds for the purchase of things for the child, including clothing and housing.

Unfortunately, except in a barter society, neither stores nor landlords or mortgage lenders accept payment in pizza.

If Wife appeals, unless Italian family law is radically different from that in the US, the family court ruling is going to be reversed. Or at least modified so that only a portion of child support can be paid in pizza, called “in kind”.

Read more in:

  • this Eater article: Child Support Can Be Paid in Pizza, Italian Court Rules
  • this NPR article: Short On Cash For Child Support? Try Paying In Pizza
  • this New York Post article: Father allowed to pay child support with pizza .
  • France To Simplify Uncontested Divorces

    About half of the divorces in France are what we call uncontested. In other words, the husband and wife reach agreement on everything from the get-go.

    The French government now wants to send them on their way faster and save family court judges time for the contested cases where they are most needed.

    Toward that end, court costs will only be approximately US $50 and no court hearings will be required.

    But each spouse will still have to have an attorney.

    Further, this simplified “judge-free” option is withdrawn “if a child requests to be heard by a magistrate”.

    Some government officials would go further and eliminate the no hearing option in any case where the divorcing couple has minor children.

    Every jurisdiction chooses its own lines in the sand. Time will tell whether France has chosen well.

    Southeast Florida still requires at least an abbreviated hearing in all cases.

    Read more in

    1. this Mashable article:France set to approve divorce by mutual consent without a judge
    2. this Findlaw / Associated Press article: France’s govt wants to allow divorce by mutual consent
    3. this Findlaw / Associated Press article: France’s government wants to allow divorce without a judge.

    Sponsor’s Affidavit of Support Supersedes Prenuptial Agreement on Alimony

    Husband, a naturalized US citizen, sponsors Wife, an immigrant, into the United States.

    Among the immigration papers they signed for Wife to immigrate, is the standard Affidavit of Support, in which the Sponsor (Husband) promises to support the sponsored immigrant (Wife).

    Husband and Wife also privately signed a prenuptial agreement in which they both gave up any rights to receive alimony from one another.

    Husband and Wife marry.

    A couple of years later, Husband and Wife divorce.

    Wife moves in with her adult Son and receives food stamps. Son contributes to Wife’s support from his modest income.

    After Husband’s and Wife’s divorce becomes final, Wife sues Husband in federal court, seeking to enforce the immigration Affidavit of Support … despite their prenuptial agreement.

    At trial in federal court, the Court ruled that the Affidavit of Support was enforceable when the sponsor and the immigrant divorced. However, in this particular case, since Wife’s son was supporting her, it was not.

    On appeal, the federal intermediate appellate court reversed, holding that the Affidavit of Support was enforceable against Husband without regard to Son’s income and contribution to Wife’s support.

    Read more in this Courthouse News Service article: Immigrant Ex Gets Alimony Despite Prenup .

    Violence in Divorce: Not Even Law Professors are Immune

    Husband and Wife marry and have two Children together.

    Both Husband and Wife are law professors in northwestern Florida.

    Husband and Wife divorce.

    Wife’s family is from South Florida.

    Wife’s family wants Wife and Children to be closer to them, in South Florida.

    But Husband apparently does not agree to that.

    Husband is murdered by his home.

    The two men who murder him have no direct connection to him and there is no apparent motive.

    But police traced a connection between the alleged murderers and Wife’s brother.

    Police have arrested the first of the two men believed to have murdered Husband.

    The police investigation is ongoing.

    Read more in this National Law Journal article: Florida Law Professor Killed in Murder-for-Hire, Police Say .

    UK Studies Effect of “Uncoupling” on Ex-es’ Nutrition

    Past studies have suggested that, upon marriage, men’s diets and weight improve, and women’s diets and weight tend to suffer a bit.

    A large and singular UK study looks at the opposite end of the spectrum: how are men’s and women’s diets impacted by the end of their marriage, whether as a result of death or breakup.

    After following roughly twelve thousand study subjects over nearly a decade, the researchers concluded that, upon the end of their marriage, men ate about twenty-five percent less fruit and vegetables than they did when they were married, but women’s diets underwent no significant change.

    In the age range of the study participants, women in the couples were more likely to bear responsibility for shopping, planning and preparing food, which would at least partially explain the conclusion of no significant change in the diets of women before or after divorce.

    While the study should provide some food for thought (pardon the expression), especially for men, the only variable considered was quantity of fruit and vegetable consumption … and the quantity was all self-reported at that.

    Self-reported data is inherently suspect.

    Not all fruits are nutritionally equivalent, nor all vegetables. In fact, fruits, in general, and vegetables, in general, are not nutritionally equivalent.

    And these are just one or two components of the subjects’ diets. The remainder could tell a very different story.

    Last, the study made no distinctions regarding the cause of the end of the couples’ relationships, nor which spouse initiated the end.

    All of the above factors could call the conclusion reached into question.

    But we should applaud researchers for studying participants’ nutrition in the context of divorce and separation. Even if they have just scratched the surface, it’s an important start.

    Read more in this Wall Street Journal article: Diet After Divorce: Men vs. Women .

    Record-breaking Honeymoon: Over in a Blink … And On to Divorce

    Saudi Arabian Husband and Wife marry.

    Then off to their honeymoon hotel.

    Where Wife reportedly gets deeply involved with … her smart phone.

    Texting away. On and on and on.

    Totally ignoring her new husband’s amorous advances … and efforts to draw her attention away from her smartphone.

    Wife finally responds that communicating with her friends about her wedding is more important to her than he is.

    At which point Husband and Wife argue and Husband tells Wife that he wants a divorce.

    Actually, under Florida law and the law of some other US states, this is that relatively rare scenario in which the strict criteria for a legal annulment are met.

    Read more in

    Unusual Paternity Case Awards Mother’s Brother Temporary Custody of Young Boy

    Denver Mother and Father have Son together.

    Mother and Father are both immigrants to the US from Mexico … only Mother is not here legally.

    When Son is just six months old, Mother flees to Mexico and Father is unable to locate Son.

    Eventually, Father gives up and returns here and moves on with his life.

    Eight years later, Father’s Wife sees Son, who strongly resembles Father, on Facebook …at a Denver area school.

    It turns out that Son is back in Denver, having lived for several months with Uncle.

    Father goes to Uncle’s home and takes Son home with him.

    After that, Uncle files for custody of Son … and is awarded temporary custody, with supervised visitation awarded to Father.

    A bit unusual for the typical paternity case, but then Son hasn’t seen Father since he was an infant … and Father previously served a couple of years in prison for accessory to attempted murder.

    Read more in this [Denver] Fox 31 TV news article: Eight years later, father finds out son is in Denver, launches custody fight.