Ex-Husband Seeks to Modify Property Division in Divorce, Alleging That Ex-Wife Hid Valuable Marital Assets: Shoes … 1,200 Pairs of High End Designer Wear

One of the fundamental requirements in modern divorce law is full disclosure, at least here in Florida.

Still, it is reasonable and prudent for a spouse anticipating or going through a divorce to be alert and to have their eyes (and ears) wide open, rather than relying on the prospect of full disclosure.

That’s common sense. And one of the first pieces of instruction and advice that a divorce lawyer gives their client, no matter who their client is.

Now, a divorced millionaire ex-husband (ExH) is trying to re-open his Pennsylvania divorce on the ground that his ex-wife (ExW) allegedly hid marital assets at the time of their divorce settlement. Possibly in a secret room in their Manhattan apartment.

So, what marital property did ExW allegedly conceal?

Shoes. Lots and lots of them. And not just any old shoes.

Some 1,200 pairs of high end designer shoes. Allegedly purchased for as much as $4,000 a pair. (Yes, that could be almost $5 million dropped on shoes.)

ExH estimates the value of the marital portion of ExW’s shoe collection at a much more modest $1 million though. Some of the shoes must have been lower end or depreciated over time, and some may have been premarital.

But ExH nonetheless wants his fair share of the value of the marital shoes.

ExW denies that the shoes were hidden from ExH though. On the contrary, she insists, they were in plain sight, in her closet in the master bedroom of the marital residence, and ExH couldn’t possibly have missed them.

But ExH reacts that he didn’t go snooping around the marital residence in search of marital assets. (Never mind that that would probably put him in the minority of spouses who have access and who don’t fear for their safety.)

ExH would also have to have missed the substantial media coverage of famous ExW’s significant shoe collection, including a documentary shown in cinemas.

It may be mere coincidence that ExH reportedly lost millions of dollars last year in precious metals trades.

ExW is reportedly still growing her shoe collection, despite donating some to charities.

She reportedly expects to lauch her own product line of shoes. That, however, would have nothing to do with her divorce … from ExH.


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Posthumously Conceived Florida Children Denied Social Security Survivors’ Benefits

Florida Husband and Wife marry. Shortly afterward, Husband is diagnosed with cancer.

Chemotherapy being part of Husband’s treatment, Husband deposits some semen with a sperm bank.

Husband and Wife also have a child the old-fashioned way.

Husband’s will designates as his beneficiaries his two children from a previous marriage and the child he has the old fashioned way with Wife. No provision is made in his will for “unborn children”.

Husband dies.

Later, Wife uses Husband’s deposited sperm to give birth to Twins.

Wife moves from Florida to New Jersey while carrying the Twins.

Wife then applies for social security survivors’ benefits on behalf of the Twins.

The Social Security Administration denies Wife’s application for benefits based on Florida state law governing inheritance and the federal policy underlying the social security laws.

A federal administrative law judge upholds the Social Security Administration’s decision. But an intermediate level federal appellate court reverses, holding that the Twins were Husband’s children as defined by the federal social security laws.

The Social Security Administration appeals. And the US Supreme Court hears the case, hoping to resolve conflicts in other pending cases.

And reverses again, upholding the denial of benefits to Husband’s posthumously conceived Twins. The Court finds that the federal social security statutory benefits are intended for beneficiaries of Husband’s support during his lifetime.

Further, under Florida law, a marriage ends upon the death of either spouse. Under that definition, the Twins were not children of Husband’s and Wife’s marriage.

And, under Florida law, posthumously-conceived children cannot inherit unless a will otherwise clearly provides a gift to them.

Since the Supreme Court ruling turns upon Florida state inheritance laws, children conceived posthumously in other states could be granted social security survivors’ benefits.


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Older Girlfriend Charged With Manslaughter for Allegedly Hitting and Killing Teenaged Boyfriend with Her Car … and Leaving Scene, After Boyfriend Reportedly Broke Her iPhone

Boyfriend and Girlfriend have been dating for about a year.

Boyfriend is seventeen and in high school. Girlfriend is twenty-five.

Boyfriend allegedly abuses Girlfriend.

Girlfriend has an iPhone. The iPhone is broken when Boyfriend drops it.

Girlfriend is allegedly enraged.

Boyfriend reportedly walks into the path of Girlfriend’s car.

Girlfriend allegedly hits Boyfriend with her car … and drives away from the scene.

Boyfriend dies. Girlfriend is charged with manslaughter.

Girlfriend is confined without bail. And faces twenty-five years’ incarceration if convicted of the manslaughter charge.

Read more in this New York Daily News article: Woman accused of mowing down boyfriend insists he stepped in front of car.

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Military Disability Benefits: Up For Grabs in Divorce, or Not?

Oregon Husband and Wife are married and have a child together.

Husband serves in the military for approximately ten years. During his service, Husband sustains both serious physical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

As a result, both the US Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration classify Husband as disabled. Accordingly, Husband is awarded military disability benefits as well as social security disability benefits.

Possibly because of the injuries he suffered in the military – and their substantial impact on his income, Husband and Wife divorce.

In the divorce, Wife is awarded alimony and spousal support … based upon Husband’s military disability benefits (as well as his social security disability benefits) being treated as income available for support.

The family law in many states, including Florida, specifically allows divorce courts to do this.

Federal law, especially recent changes, may be interpreted as prohibiting this though.

Federal statutes specifically make veterans benefits non-transferrable and exempt from attachment via legal proceedings. But alimony and spousal support in particular are not directly addressed.

Older federal case law approves application of military disability benefits for alimony and spousal support – but are less permissive of dividing military benefits as part of marital property division.

And so Husband has appealed the family court alimony rulings at the trial in his divorce case up through Oregon’s state appellate courts and, now, to the US Supreme Court. He awaits word on whether the US Supreme Court will hear the case.

A ruling by the US Supreme Court could impact many military veterans across the nation, and case and/or statutory law in many states – and potentially trigger many family court modification proceedings across the nation.


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Family Court Allegedly Takes Children Into Child Protective Custody Because of the Controversial Names Their Parents Gave Them

New Jersey Husband and Wife have four Children together.

They are not getting a divorce when they were drawn into a family court case.

They were happy and shared a similar mindset.

They both joined in assigning some of their Children the following given names:

  1. Adolph Hitler

  2. Aryan Nation

  3. Honszlynn Hinler

And those names won the family the attention of the legal system … and removal of their Children from their home and into child protective custody (foster care).

For three years and counting.

All, according to Husband, based on the names Husband and Wife chose for their Children, and nothing more.

It is reported that a family court initially found insufficient evidence to justify removal of the Children from Husband’s and Wife’s home.

The government maintains, however, that there was domestic violence in Husband’s and Wife’s home, that Husband and Wife both suffer from physical as well as psychological disabilities, and that failure to protect was the basis for the Childen’s removal.

Now Husband has not seen Children in a year.

And Wife has moved out of state, without Husband.

The Children remain in protective custody despite various appeals on various issues. Husband and Wife plan another appeal.


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Ex-Husband Arrested for Photographing Ex-Wife in Her Bedroom – Via Remotely-Controlled Hidden PC Camera

Texas Husband and Wife have Children together. Husband and Wife divorce in 2003.

Husband and Wife continue to co-parent their Children, conduct exchanges of the Children at their homes and remain on civil (or better) terms with each other.

Husband performs some repair work on Wife’s roof.

Roughly nine months later, Wife’s neighbor performs some repair work on Wife’s air conditioning.

And discovers, hidden in the attic, a laptop from which a camera is suspended by a USB cable.

Wife looks through the laptop and discovers pictures of herself – naked, or partially naked.

Husband allegedly admits setting up the camera in a recorded phone conversation between the ex-spouses.

Husband is arrested and charged with “improper visual recording”.

It is worth noting that, in some states, similar conduct would not constitute any crime.

Read more in this New York Daily News article: Texas man installed secret camera in ex-wife’s shower for months: cops.

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Denial of Federal Spousal Benefits to Gay Couples Legally Married Under State Law Rejected by Intermediate Federal Appellate Court and Poised to Reach the US Supreme Court

First there was the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

It proclaims that, as far as federal law is concerned, the only legally valid marriages are between heterosexual partners. That’s its main point.

But, consistent with that premise, DOMA denies federal benefits (such as social security survivors’ benefits and the advantages of filing federal taxes jointly) to gay partners who are legally married under applicable state law.

Now an intermediate level federal appellate court has struck down as unconstitutionally discriminatory that denial of benefits to gay spouses under DOMA.

Not surprisingly, appeal has been made to the US Supreme Court.

This case does not squarely address the legality of gay marriage.

Rather it focuses on the narrower issue of whether the denial of federal benefits under federal law to a legal spouse under state law is impermissibly discriminatory under the US constitution.

The question of whether marriage is ultimately defined and regulated by state law or federal law is intimately bound up in these issues though.

And the determination may have implications for divorce law, which has always been viewed as purely a matter of state law. Until now.

More and more gay couples legally married in one state are often hitting brick walls trying to get a divorce in another state they have moved to.

The potential applicability of federal equal protection under the law and discrimination under federal constitutional law are of more than passing curiosity to them. And to divorce lawyers.

Read more in this New York Times article: Appeals Court Turns Back Marriage Act as Unfair to Gays.

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