Real Estate Commission Agreement / Cohabitation Agreement May Serve Spurned Realtor-Girlfriend

Boyfriend and Girlfriend met in New York in 2010.

Boyfriend was a player in the real estate markets in New York and Florida.

Girlfriend was a realtor.

A match made in heaven. But for Boyfriend’s wife and kids.

But, according to Girlfriend, Boyfriend promised to leave his wife and marry her.

More importantly, they partnered on various higher end real estate deals and he allegedly promised to pay her significant real estate commissions.

Boyfriend also moved Girlfriend into his Palm Beach apartment.

Things were pretty copacetic until Boyfriend decided in 2014 that he wanted some space … and moved her out of their apartment and moved another woman in … while Girlfriend was traveling.

Girlfriend claims Boyfriend even completely reneged on their business arrangement.

The last straw. Girlfriend filed a lawsuit in New York seeking a half million bucks in commissions.

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Child Support: Substantial Additional Awards for Generous Extras Must Be Justified By Findings

New York Mother and Father have a brief fling, and a Child is born.

Mother is half Father’s age.

Father is an attorney who earns $130,000. In New York City. And has substantial debt.

At trial, the family court orders Father to pay basic child support of about $22,000 – plus all of Child’s summer, weekend and extracurricular activities expenses.

Plus private school tuition at a very exclusive school. Costing $45,000.

The trial court makes minimal findings to justify these additional awards, however.

On appeal, the intermediate appellate court strikes the additional child support award for lack of findings to justify the upward deviation from basic child support.

The appellate court also notes that Mother’s and Father’s relationship was so brief that no intact family standard of living could really be established – and implicitly recognizes that the magnitude of the additional expenses simply isn’t consistent with Father’s net disposable income.

Read more in this New York Law Journal article: Panel Trims Child Support That Covered Private School .


Foster Parents are Great, But Let’s Face It, Grandparents are Even Better

Grandparents raising their grandchildren continues to expand. Almost three million grandparents are now caring for their grandkids. Seven percent more than in 2009.

And they usually don’t get much help, of any kind. Twenty percent of them live on incomes below the poverty line.

Why their grandchildren depend on them varies, but the most common causes are drug addiction, mental health issues, military service and incarceration.

Studies show that children do better with grandparents than strangers, and it saves the taxpayers money.

But many of the grandparents are really struggling and on their own. Most have no support services. Fixed incomes. A quarter are disabled.

Some states provide some financial support and other support services, but many do not. Some federal legislators are working toward creating a program for federal reimbursement of services delivered locally, such as prevention of drug addiction.

Read more in this AP news article: More grandparents taking on parental role for grandchildren .


Stamping Out Child Marriage in the Third World … and the USA

In some corners of the world, young girls are commonly pressured into leaving school, marrying much older men and having children when they are still children of ten, twelve and fourteen years old.

They often become victims of domestic violence. And repeated pregnancies, labor and childbirth at such young ages works its own kind violence and abuse on their bodies. And the mortality rate is high.

In places like Sudan, half the females marry younger than eighteen. The economics of survival are very harsh and their families cannot pass up the chance to ease the burden of feeding another mouth and to receive a dowry.

International aid organizations are working hard to educate the populations about alternatives but change does not happen overnight.

The tragedies are not confined to the Third World though.

There are more teens than most of us would imagine, even fifteen years old and younger, getting married right here in the USA, often to much older men as well.

Even in arguably enlightened states like New York and New Jersey. By the dozens and hundreds in numbers, if not all, of the states in the union.

Perhaps for different reasons than in the Third World. But happening nonetheless.

While there are restrictions on teen marriages in the US, there are also exceptions allowing them. For the moment.

Legislation is pending in several states, including New York, to finally ban child marriages absolutely, without exception.


  1. this Aljazeera news article: South Sudan: The deadly consequences of child marriage and
  2. this New York Times article: States Make New Push to Curb Child Marriage .



Mother Arrested for Filing Multiple False Accusations of Child Abuse Against Father

Mother and Father have Daughter together.

Mother and Father part company.

Now, Daughter plays at park while Mother watches at a little distance.

Process server serves Mother with court papers.

Father takes Daughter.

Mother screams. Loudly.

While videotaping entire incident.

As proof of Father’s wrongdoing.

Only it’s Mother who ends up in jail in short order.

Mother is accused of having filed ten false child neglect, abuse and sexual abuse reports against Father with child protective services over a five year period of time.

And child protective services can find no evidence to back up a single one of Mother’s claims.

But Mother and Father are embroiled in child custody battle.

And Mother apparently thought filing the reports would help her in her child custody case.

Mother appears to have another think coming though.

Read more in this ABC 13 Eyewitness News article: Child custody battle ends with charges against mother .


Government Implements A Digital Scarlet Letter for Child Support Delinquency

Child support delinquency is rampant. That’s hardly a news flash.

Custodial parents are struggling. And some are having to resort to public assistance.

Which means states are struggling to take up the slack caused by the delinquent parents.

Well, the state of Arizona isn’t going to take it quietly.

As far back as 1999, Arizona was actually putting up on their child support enforcement agency’s website the names and pictures of delinquent parents.

Now, they’re ratcheting up their own tactics.

Arizona’s child support enforcement agency has taken to social media website Twitter in an even more aggressive effort to shame delinquent parents into relieving the state of supporting their children.

Not everyone is a fan of this measure. And it remains to be seen whether the state is ultimately compensated for its trouble.

If it is, other states just may follow suit.

It should be noted that not all delinquent parents are being branded in this way. Just the ones who:

  1. owe at least $5,000
  2. haven’t made a single payment for six months
  3. are subjects of arrest warrants and
  4. have failed to to keep the child support enforcement agency informed of their current address as required by law.



Father’s Lawsuit Against Mother Over Child’s Birth is Dismissed

Canadian Mother and Father meet and begin dating casually. Father is a medical doctor and Mother is also a health care professional.

Mother tells Father that she is on oral contraceptives. They have sexual relations multiple times on multiple dates without additional protection.

Eventually, Mother gets pregnant and so advises Father.

Mother later delivers a baby, and Father begins paying child support.

But Father feels … violated. He sues Mother for $4 million in damages.

The theory behind Father’s lawsuit is that he has suffered emotional harm, in a nutshell, from being deprived of carefully choosing, courting, dating, marrying and planning the birth of his child with his chosen partner.

The family court in Toronto dismisses Father’s case, for failing to state a claim recognized by the law.

The family court also maintains the confidentiality of Mother’s and Father’s identities and seals the court file to protect the child’s identity and privacy.

Read more in this [Toronto, Canada] Metro News article: Toronto doctor sues mother of his child for emotional damages .


Spousal Support for Men: Another Take

A prominent colleague from California shares that men comprise only three percent of people receiving alimony (in California?) and that a “nearly-egalitarian employment situation [prevails] when it comes to gender” (in California?).

Based primarily on these unsupported assumptions, he pretty summarily concludes that (California?) alimony laws are discriminatory, antiquated and obsolete.

Neither of the above premises strikes me as consistent with what I observe here in Florida (nor see in media with a broader regional or nationwide circulation and scope).

Regardless, there is unquestionably room for improvement in the alimony laws in Florida and, undoubtedly, other states.

But, having said that, there is an alternative and equally plausible possible explanation for why a much lower percentage of men than women receive alimony:

a) only a relatively small percentage of divorcing men choose to seek alimony …

b) because only a small percentage of divorcing men perceive themselves as needing or wanting alimony.

Rightly or wrongly.

At least, this is true of the vast majority of men that I see in my Florida divorce law practice.

Even the men who, objectively speaking, are reasonably strong candidates for some form / duration of alimony.

Read more in this Huffington Post opinion piece: Spousal Support for Men .


Divorce Court and Divorce Law Nix Reconciliation – Sort Of

New Hampshire Husband and Wife have been married for 24 years.

They separate and then divorce.

Nothing out of the ordinary so far.

After a little time goes by though, they patch things up and want to carry on as though the divorce had never happened.

So they ask the family court that divorced them to set aside or void their divorce.

Sounds reasonable enough, right?

But the New Hampshire family court declines to do so.

Well, the couple escalates their campaign to, in effect, reinstate their marriage, all the way up the appeals “ladder” to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

And guess what?

That court turns the couple down cold as well.

What gives?

Well, as anti-family values as this may seem, there is a sound legal basis for these rulings.

The state’s family court is authorized by law to grant divorces.

There is no such explicit statutory authorization to void divorces, unless a divorce was inherently invalid or defective.

Here, the couple basically just changed its mind after the fact. Their divorce was perfectly fine and legal at the time it was entered.

So, cold as it may seem, their divorce stands.

Of course, nothing stops Husband and Wife from tying the knot all over again. Might even be romantic, at least some would say.

Interestingly, a handful of states might have accommodated Husband’s and Wife’s request, if they had happened to live in one of those states.

Read more in this Bloomington [IN] Herald Times article: Can a divorce be reversed? New Hampshire court says no .


Maltese Wife Granted Divorce from “Bigamist” Husband After Mandatory Four Year Waiting Period

Husband and Wife married in 2002. The marriage was on the rocks by 2007.

If not sooner. Because Husband was allegedly cheating on Wife just two months after their wedding.

And not just a casual liaison either. Husband actually married another woman, in Libya.

In the US, we call that bigamy. But, of course, it is perfectly legal and acceptable in some countries and religions.

On top of that, Husband eventually had four children with his other wife.

Despite Husband’s and Wife’s lengthy estrangement, Husband dragged his heels on giving Wife a legal separation, as she requested.

Now, following the legally-required four year waiting period, Wife files for divorce on her own.

She seeks nothing from Husband, despite having four children of her own from a previous relationship.

In an interesting ruling by US standards, the presiding family court magistrate reserves to Wife the right to seek spousal support at a later time if necessary, without making any award of alimony at the time of the divorce.

The family court apparently does this on its own initiative, out of consideration for a medical condition which interferes with Wife obtaining employment.

Read more in this Times of Malta news article: Husband hid previous marriage from Maltese wife .