Exotic Reasons For Divorce Cited

Marriages break up for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes seemingly for no particular reason, at least none that either spouse can really zero in on and articulate.

Frustration at their inability to articulate a “justification” sure to satisfy friends and family may, strangely enough, give rise to some of the rather unlikely sounding reasons published in a virtual Ripley’s Believe It or Not of Divorce Triggers.

They are:

  1. Not liking a certain film.
  2. Possession by a genie.
  3. Breakage of an, uh, enhancing prosthetic.
  4. Insatiability.
  5. Assigning unflattering nickname in phone contacts.
  6. Cheating, according to … parrot.
  7. Adopting 550 cats.
  8. Excessive cleaning.
  9. Kissing a horse.
  10. Having an affair … sixty or seventy years before.

Read more in this Huffington Post piece: His Penis Extension Broke — And 9 More Crazy Reasons People Divorced

Out of the Ordinary Divorce, Extraordinary Legal Fees

Wealthy elderly Husband, a Malaysian national living in the UK with his Wife, are in the middle of a divorce in the UK.

Husband and Wife have amassed a fortune worth roughly 440 million pounds.

UK family court has ordered Husband to pay Wife roughly US $75,000 per month in spousal support and alimony.

But Husband allegedly does not pay. At all.

Instead, absenting himself from the UK. And seeking to have the divorce case transferred to Malaysia. On grounds unknown.

While past due spousal support has reportedly risen to 440,000 pounds.

At the same time, since the most recent spousal support order was entered, Husband’s stock portfolio has reportedly appreciated by 20 million pounds.

The presiding divorce court judge is not happy with Husband’s conduct – nor with the outrageously high 3 million pounds of legal fees and costs in this case so far. The judge finds himself in the unusual position (for a judge) of attempting to contain the spouses’ legal expenses.

For his part, Husband is apparently now objecting to what may be characterized as excesses, such as Wife’s 1,000 pairs of shoes. But it is not clear that Husband objected prior to the divorce.

Read more in this BloombergBusiness news article: Malaysian Millionaire’s Wife Seeks $330 Million in Divorce .

It’s January: Time for Tips on Divorce and Taxes

The end of January is a great time to refresh everyone’s recollection of some of the key tax impacts with divorce. Forbes magazine obliges with:

Filing status: You can still file a joint return for 2014 as long as you were still legally married on December 31st. If you divorced during the year, you can still file as single head of household for greater tax savings.

Dependents and Deductions: If your children lived with you for more than half of the year (or, regardless, if you and your spouse agreed to it), you can claim the child dependency tax deduction. You and your spouse can negotiate who gets child related deductions and credits, and it doesn’t always have to be the same parent.

Alimony: By default, a spouse who pays alimony gets a deduction for it and the receiving spouse must include the alimony as income. But, remember, this too can be negotiated.

Child Support: But child support is tax neutral, neither deductible nor includible.

401(k)s: Transfers between spouses as part of property division in a divorce will not trigger early withdrawal penalties IF incorporated into a special court order called a QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

Capital Gains on Sale of a Home: If there has been very substantial appreciation on homes during the marriage, you should check out the capital gains sales tax breaks.

Mortgage Interest Deductions: Mortgage deductions are allocated the same as title. It doesn’t matter who actually lives in the home.

Read more in this Forbes article: Getting Divorced? 8 Things You Must Know About Taxes

Why Some Marriages Are Doomed to Fail … Almost from the Start

Some marriages never stand a chance. Here are some reasons why failure may strike fast.

  1. Cheating practically out of the gate.
  1. Dramatic personality change immediately after the wedding.
  1. The marriage was nothing more than a means to an end, such as having a child, right now … and it doesn’t happen right now.
  1. Latent substance abusive tendencies come to the fore shortly after wedding bells ring.
  1. They develop a new fascination with someone else.
  1. They begin to act as though you are chattel and must do as they wish.
  1. Unrecognized incompatibility of needs and ways of interacting.
  1. Youth and ignorance about what they wanted.
  1. Multiple unrelated stresses flare contemporaneously.
  1. They rushed into the marriage because of logistical issues.

This list is not without overlap and duplication.

Read more in this Huffington Post piece: 10 Reasons People Divorce After Less Than A Year Of Marriage.

Want to Stand Up and Be Counted?

That is the question spurred by proposed changes to the US Census survey.

Specifically, the Census Bureau has concluded that questions pertaining to marriage and divorce provide “low benefit and low cost”.

But not everyone agrees with their assessment.

Some experts believe that marriage and divorce data have important implications, including practical ones for Social Security benefits planning and more academically for broad-based socio-economic research – and the census may be the only viable source of such data.

It turns out that states may not report this data, or may not do so accurately, anyway. Who knew?

At this time, the Census Bureau’s proposed changes to the Census survey are inviting comments – and receiving quite a few highly opinionated ones

Time will tell the outcome of this vigorous debate.

Read more in this CNN Money piece: Should we stop tracking the divorce rate?

If You Think Getting a Divorce Here is Tough, Try Living in the Phillipines

Every state in the union now recognizes no-fault divorce and allows for simplified uncontested divorces. But it was a long time coming, with New York State being the last holdout.

But that doesn’t mean that every couple everywhere has a legal right to a no-fault, uncontested divorce. On the contrary, every couple does not have a right to any kind of a divorce.

For example, in the Phillipines, divorce is not permitted. At all. Period. Really.

If a couple satisfies the fairly strict and narrow grounds for it, a marriage may be annulled. But it’s not easy, fast or inexpensive. And it doesn’t necessarily permit remarriage.

Ironically, divorce was allowed in the Phillipines, among the native tribes, before the country was colonized by Spain, and briefly, circa 1917, during a brief Japanese occupation. But no longer.

At least not for the predominating Catholic population there.

Ironically, it is reportedly less expensive to have your spouse eliminated than to obtain an annulment.

Many claim that the virtual impossibility of disentanglement from an unhappy marriage has served as a disincentive to marry in the first place, encouraged abandonment of spouses and children, and actually led to a large so-called illegitimate children population with multiple mothers per father. Probably not the desired consequences of the divorce-rejecting political / religious lobby.

Read more in

  1. this Yahoo News via AP news article: Divorce ban shows Catholic church power in Philippines and
  2. this Foreign Policy news article: The Last Country in the World Where Divorce Is Illegal

Lenders Who Specialize in Financing Divorces

There’s a relatively new breed of lender out there. Instead of mortgages and car loans, they offer loans to help a divorcing spouse fund their divorces, everything from attorney’s fees to expert fees, even your living expenses during your divorce.

In return, they collect a “cut” of your divorce settlement or court award.

A financial expert enthuses that divorce lenders view divorce as an “investment opportunity”.

The notion of being able to borrow now and, more or less, let the other spouse / settlement or award pay dearly later clearly has appeal value. Unfortunately though, this cottage industry is likely not a fit for the overwhelming majority of divorces.

Lenders of all stripes have loan underwriting criteria. And those generally are applied to well-documented assets and income.

That may tend to result in denials of financing to dependent spouses whose spouses operate closely held businesses. A case segment where the dependent spouse also faces more of a challenge when going to court seeking an order that their spouse pay their temporary attorney’s fees, expert fees, living expenses and case costs.

Professional divorce financing may be a great and fast option where the advantaged spouse’s assets and income are readily proved.

But it remains to be seen whether and how family court judges scrutinize the loan repayment terms – and treat them in the final settlement / award.

Read more in this Forbes article:Can’t Afford Your Divorce? New Firms Specialize In Divorce Funding

Man Proved Not to Be A Child’s Biological Father Faces Jail for Non-Payment of Child Support

Mother has Child.

Mother applies for public assistance.

The application requires Mother to designate Child’s father.

Mother lists Man.

Thereafter, Michigan Family Court enters order for Man to pay child support for Child.

Man does not pay the child support.

Child support arrears accrue over time until the past due amount reaches $30,000.

Man now faces jail for nonpayment of child support.

Oh, a paternity test confirms that Man is not the biological father of the Child for whom he has been ordered to pay child support.

That sounds awful and unjust. And it is.

But this is the short version of the story, which is currently receiving wide publicity.

While the full story may not seem fair either, a few details have likely been omitted, which may mitigate the degree of unfairness. What sort of details?

For starters, generally, before a court enters an order for child support, the alleged father is personally served with a summons, providing him with advance notice that the mother is seeking support from him, and alerting the alleged father that he has a right to tell his side of the story … at a hearing at a specified date and time … spelled out in the notice personally served on him.

That is the alleged father’s golden opportunity, the ideal time and place, the only proper time and place, to request a paternity test – and, if paternity is disproved by that means, a child support order will not be entered against the alleged father.

But, as with so many things in life, timing is everything.

After a child support order is already entered by the court, things get a lot more complicated. In the eyes of the law, the facts of who did what are settled … covered in dust and more or less set in stone. Later producing a paternity test that disputes what is already set in stone is too little, too late.

Plus, no family court judge is going to feel quite as charitable toward an alleged father (or anyone else) who has ignored being served and ignored a hearing they had reasonable notice of. What were they waiting for?

And that is the big takeaway. When it comes to the law and divorce court, turning a blind eye to communications from the family court is just never going to be a winning strategy. Period.

Read more in this WPVI ABC TV 6 Action News Philadelphia story: Man may be jailed for not paying child support for son who isn’t his .

Religious Adherence and Abuse Could Tip The Scale Toward An Award of Permanent Alimony

In the US, legally valid divorce is a purely civil proceeding. But within certain circles, it’s enough to walk away from a bad marriage, but not enough to move forward toward a fresh start on a new life and a remarriage.

 

Such is the case for Orthodox Jewish wives whose husbands refuse to agree to grant them a Jewish divorce, also known as a get.

 

Even with a civil divorce, an Orthodox Jewish woman will be unable to remarry an Orthodox Jewish man, and bear and raise children in an Orthodox Jewish home.

 

And Orthodox Judaism is not just a religion, but also a culture and a community.

 

This is why a twenty-five year old Orthodox Jewish woman (Wife) is asking a New York family court to award her permanent alimony. Despite her youth, Wife’s role in her culture and community is to be a mother and homemaker. It is her Husband’s role to support her.

 

And without a get from her Husband, Wife will not be able to marry another breadwinner-husband within her culture and community.

 

And the presiding New York family court judge, who once battled to obtain her own get, has already signaled the Husband in this case that she concurs with the logic of Wife’s legal argument for permanent alimony.

 

Read more in these New York Post articles:

 

Get Set for a Divorce Shootout – Completely Legal

Having trouble getting over your divorce? Maybe you’re going about it the wrong way.

Have you considered trying your hand at the gun range?

A Las Vegas gun range owner thinks that is the best prescription for new divorcees. So he’s rolling out his new “Just Divorced” package on … Valentine’s Day.

His vision is that divorcees will bring their friends and their wedding and marriage keepsakes and “shoot ’em up” – with a pink machine gun, no less.

The price for this catharsis? A steal at just $499.

We can only hope that the ex-husbands are not present.

Read more in this New York magazine piece: A Gun Range Wants to Help You Get Over Your Divorce .