To Remarry or … Cohabit? That Is The Question Asked With Increasing Frequency

Roughly half of all marriages fail. That’s the good news.

Roughly two thirds of second marriages fail. That’s the bad news.

And that is part of the reason that marriage is on the decline, and cohabitation is gaining wider and wider popularity.

So much so that thirty-nine percent of Americans surveyed believe marriage is becoming obsolete.

The odds of second marriages succeeding rise where the partners have learned from their unsuccessful first marriages and try to do better the second time around.

Interestingly though, the couples more likely to give marriage another shot tend to be better educated and more privileged.

Cohabitation may work OK for partners without children, but children are more likely to thrive in households where the partners are married rather than cohabiting.

Read more in this New York Times series: Room for Debate: Why Remarry?.

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Signout of Child From School Without The Parent’s Knowledge or Permission

Right after parents split up, before any court orders are entered regarding custody and visitation, one or both parents often experience anxiety over the possibility of the other parent’s early or unapproved pickup of their child from school.

Unless and until a court orders otherwise, as a natural guardian of their child, the other parent has rights too.

Sometimes, in certain circumstances, to a parent, it may feel as though “that’s bad enough” but …

Son is a high school student in Delaware.

Suspect goes to Son’s school to pick Son up early.

School district policy prohibits anyone except a parent or legal guardian (or a third person with written authorization from a parent or legal guardian) from “signing” a student out of school early.

But Suspect is able to do so just the same. A so-called “mix-up”.

Son is returned the same day, but warrants are issued for Suspect’s arrest.

It is unclear whether Son knew Suspect or had any relationship to him.

Read more in this Milford [DE] Beacon news article: Milford police search for man who signed out high school boy without parental consent.

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The Case for Prenuptial Agreements, or Prenups

Wedding approaching?

  • Anticipating an inheritance?

  • Active in a family owned business?

  • Have children from a previous marriage you want to provide for?

  • Accumulated premarital property?

These are just a few of the circumstances in which a prenuptial agreement, or prenup, should be considered.

Without a prenup, what happens in the event of a divorce, or one spouse’s death, can be uncertain or simply not what the spouses intended.

With a prenuptial agreement, intended spouses can reduce uncertainty and exert control over issues like property division and alimony in the event of a divorce, and inheritance in the event of a spouse’s death.

They may not be romantic, but prenups permit post-divorce (or post-death) financial affairs to be settled more rapidly, less expensively and more predictably.

Read more in this Local Tech Wire release: Premarital agreements – Hoping for the best, planning for the worst.

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Visitation with Pet Denied to Legally Separated Wife

German Husband and Wife have a Dog, which they adopted together during their marriage.

Husband and Wife legally separate.

Husband and Wife agree that Dog will live with Husband.

Wife, however, wants to visit Dog twice a week.

Husband opposes that.

A German appellate court takes Husband’s side, ruling that legally separated or divorcing spouses have no rights to visitation or timesharing with pets of the marriage.

The German ruling is consistent with the law regarding visitation with pets prevailing in the United States.

Read more in this Expatica article: A separated spouse has no right to see pets: German court.

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Domestic Violence: It’s Not About Anger; It’s About Control, Study Finds

Controlling behavior in a relationship, such as monitoring a partner’s calls and text messages, or trying to influence what clothing he or she wears, might indicate a pattern of behavior culminating in abuse and violence.

So concludes a doctoral student in psychology and a team of psychologists conducting a study at the University of Arizona.

The coercive need for control is what gives rise to abusive behavior, not anger. Without regard to gender.

And violence is not a reflection of loss of control, but a means to achieve control, through fear.

The study also finds that men and women engage in similar coercive behaviors and abusive tactics.

One key conclusion of the study is that anger management training, widely ordered in criminal domestic violence cases and sometimes in restraining order cases, doesn’t really address the real problem.

Abuse, as defined by the study, includes psychological abuse, sexual assault, intimidation, coercion, physical abuse, threats and more aggressive physical violence.

Read more in this University of Arizona News article: Coercive Habits Lead to Intimate Partner Abuse.

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North Koreans Held to Be Biological Children of Deceased South Korean Multi-Millionaire

Father lives in South Korea.

Father has four children in South Korea.

Father dies … leaving behind a multi-million dollar estate.

Four people in North Korea believe that they are Father’s children as well, from a previous marriage when Father lived in North Korea.

The North Koreans file a paternity lawsuit in South Korea against Father in order to assert a claim directly against Father’s estate and/or indirectly against Father’s beneficiaries in South Korea.

DNA tests confirm that the four North Koreans are indeed Father’s biological children.

This litigation is reported to be the of its kind in South Korea.

The disposition of the case is anticipated to be followed closely by North Koreans and South Koreans.

Read more in this Korean Chosun Ilbo news article: N.Koreans Win Paternity Suit in Inheritance Battle with S.Korean Siblings and this Korea Joongang Daily article: Children in North win paternity suit in South.

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Ten Day Old Ohio Baby Dies in Care of Mother Repeatedly Investigated by Child Welfare Agency

Mother allegedly abuses drugs.

Mother has been investigated by the state’s child welfare agency on at least six occasions. Previous allegations against Mother include taking drugs in front of her children.

Mother allegedly was on so many drugs while she was pregnant recently that her speech was slurred and was unable to walk down stairs.

Mother’s ten day old Baby dies … in a running washing machine.

Mother’s other children have been removed from Mother’s care and placed with relatives.

Ohio law was recently amended … to reduce the number of cases where children are removed from a parent’s care. Last year, Ohio removed more children from a parent’s home than all other states but one.

Under the new law there, a child must face an “imminent safety threat” rather than a mere “risk of danger” to justify removal. And a parent’s drug addiction, by itself, is not deemed to constitute an imminent safety threat.

Read more in this Tulsa World article: DHS laws for child removal defended.

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Equality Means … Wives Can Be Bigamists Too

Wife marries.

And Wife marries again, this time to a friend of her first husband.

First husband regrets that Wife won’t give him a divorce.

That’s how second husband learns that Wife and first husband were never divorced.

By this time though, Wife has married third husband.

Wife and second husband were never divorced either.

It seems Wife couldn’t afford to obtain divorces.

So she allegedly just married new husbands without divorces from the old husbands.

Wife is arrested on two counts of bigamy.

Third husband wants to take care of Wife’s first two divorces, so that he can legalize his marriage to Wife.

On the bright side, Wife’s divorces may qualify for a volume discount.

Read more in this Shreveport [LA] KTBS ABC TV article: Oops, She Did It Again — And Again.

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In A Global Mobile Context, Which Country’s Divorce Law Governs Divorce?

Husband and Wife live in New York. They married in the US.

But they come from France. And it just so happens that they entered a prenuptial agreement (prenup) on an occasion when they were in France.

It was Wife, or rather her family who pushed for the prenup.

Flash forward thirteen years.

It turns out Husband has done pretty well over the intervening years.

Now Husband and Wife are divorcing, in New York.

Wife argues that the New York law should control their divorce. And the prenuptial agreement they signed in France should be ignored.

If so, the couple’s assets would likely be divided equally.

Husband, on the other hand, argues that the prenup should be enforced. And French law should govern their divorce.

If so, each spouse would keep the assets held in their respective names.

Of course, a third alternative may be the most likely outcome: the prenup is upheld and New York law applies to it.

Read more in this UPI article: Over the years, though, Husband has done pretty well and this Business Insider article: Sarkozy’s Banker Brother Got Rich And Now His Wife Wants Their Pre-Nup Voided.

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Keeping the Family Home in Marital Asset Division: Coup or Curse?

Property division can be complicated.

Staying in the family home often appeals to the parent with primary timesharing.

In many cases, to achieve an even split of the total marital assets, this means that all the other assets are allocated to the other spouse.

What may appear to be a fair, even split on paper sometimes isn’t so even over the long haul.

Pensions and financial accounts do not require maintenance and typically will appreciate over time.

Real estate may well appreciate too over time but it also demands sometimes significant maintenance and upkeep expenses as well as routine mortgage service, property taxes and insurance.

Financially less sophisticated spouses often don’t fully appreciate how these costs and expenses can mount.

Before long, they may be forced to sell the home anyway. At a price the market will bear. If they can. The outcome is not always positive, especially in economies such as the present one.

The emotional choice to stay in the home may be a poor decision for the financially weaker spouse … at least if they would have to buy out the other spouse’s interest at or about the time of the divorce.

Of course, the assessment may be different if both spouses will share ownership and expenses of the home until their youngest child is emancipated, and then split the proceeds upon sale.

Read more in this TheStreet article: Life’s Tragedies Take Toll on Finances.

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