Timing May Be (Almost) Everything When It Comes to Classifying Property as Marital or Not

Older Woman and Younger Man start a brief relationship, and Older Woman becomes pregnant.

Older Child is born and couple breaks up. Amicably.

A couple of years later, Older Woman wins the lottery and becomes a millionaire – twelve times over.

The following year, the couple takes a vacation together with Older Child and … Older Woman gets pregnant, again.

They discuss marriage.

But Older Woman insists on entering a prenuptial agreement to protect her winnings.

It is apparently consistent with the testimony of both in the Australian family court that Older Woman transformed into a name-dropping socialite.

Younger Man consulted with an attorney and did agree to enter the prenup.

The couple did marry.

And the marriage ultimately did not work out.

During the divorce, Younger Man attacks the prenup as coerced.

In particular, Younger Man testified that Older Woman taunted that she would block Younger Man’s access to their children if he didn’t sign the prenuptial agreement.

The Australian family court judge found Younger Man more credible and likeable than Older Woman.

But the law is the law. The lottery was separate premarital property to begin with.

The Younger Man felt free to consult with an attorney, and did so.

And already successfully took Older Woman to court over co-parenting issues with Older Child.

So, on top of everything else, the asserted coercion fell flat.



Father Pursues Timesharing By … Forcibly Breaking into Mother’s Home

Oregon Father and Mother have Children together. Father and Mother split up.

Father and Mother apparently are unable to agree on timesharing arrangements.

Father’s notion of how to deal with that situation is, allegedly, to … break into Mother’s home.

Perhaps this was not the first poor solution that Father had attempted.

Because Mother was ready for him … with a gun.

Which Mother reportedly discharged in Father’s general direction.

Father promptly took off – after allegedly breaking several of Mother’s car’s windows – only to be arrested when he surrendered himself to law enforcement authorities a few days later.

Father now faces several criminal charges and is confined pending payment of a $50,000 bond.

Hopefully it goes without saying that Father’s conduct will not help him in family court anymore than it will find favor in criminal court.

Why Father didn’t simply file for timesharing in family court in the first place is a mystery. He would almost certainly have saved himself a great deal of money and heartache … and likely been granted substantial timesharing.

Read more in this Portland [OR] KATU 2 TV news article: Man wanted after rampage over child custody dispute turns self in.


How to Get Your Name Off the Marital Mortgage After Your Spouse Buys Out Your Share of The Marital Residence

Husband and Wife own marital home together.

Husband and Wife are both borrowers on the mortgage of the marital home.

Now Husband and Wife are divorcing.

As part of their divorce settlement, Wife transfers her interest in the marital home to Husband.

And Husband agrees, among other things, to refinance the mortgage on the marital home or to sell the home and to pay off the mortgage …within two years.

Fast forward two years.

Of course, Husband has neither refinanced the mortgage on, nor sold what was the marital home. What he did do was transfer the marital home to a trust.

Where does that leave Wife?

Well, if the settlement agreement was adopted into a final judgment as is typical, Husband has both breached the agreement and violated or defaulted under the final judgment or decree of divorce.

So Wife does have solid options. But they require her to take Husband to court.

Wife should prevail in court. But this is probably not where Wife wanted to be two years after her divorce was final.

The pity here is that this particular scenario was so very easily avoided.

There was absolutely no reason for Wife to relinquish her interest in the property at that time. Period. No ifs, ands or buts.

Ideally, both Husband’s and Wife’s transactions would have been completed prior to entry of final judgment. That really is best.

But the ideal situation from a legal standpoint is not always practical, or does not always meet the couple’s personal agendas or timelines.

But even Plan B would have been far better for Wife than what she did.

Plan B is that Wife could have given Husband a deed of her interest at the time of his refinance (or joined in a deed to a third party at the time of their sale to a third party).

If the delay of Wife’s deed became a real sticking point for some unusual reason, there is still another, better option for Wife than giving Husband her deed prematurely:

Instead, Wife could have executed her deed early and placed the deed in escrow with an attorney or other reputable escrow agent (such as a title company, real estate brokerage, etc.), to remain in that third party’s possession unless and until Husband performed his obligations.

Upon Husband’s default, the escrow terms could have required that the deed be returned to Wife. Wife holds onto her leverage.

Although a bit more complex, use of an escrow agent could have paved the way to an even better option – for Wife.

Husband and Wife could have jointly executed a deed to an unspecified third party, to be held in escrow for up to two years, until Husband’s successful refinance or agreed upon sale to a third party.

After two years, if Husband defaulted in his obligations, the escrow terms could have required that the deed be released at the closing of a sale arranged by Wife.

This would have eliminated the need for Wife to go to court to force a sale of the property if Husband failed to refinance or sell after two years.

Read more in this Washington Post article: Breaking up a mortgage after a divorce can be tricky.


Divorce Isn’t Hard Only on the Couple and the Kids

A therapist speaks to some sometimes overlooked victims of divorce: the in-laws / grandparents.

At the very least, their child’s divorce will be disruptive. At worst, it can dramatically change their lives going forward.

Family holidays will be different.

Time with grandchildren may be diminished.

Or increased. In the form of child care.

Financial assistance may be sought.


Some Suggestions:

  1. Offer emotional support
  2. Recommend counseling. From professionals.
  3. Be neutral as between the couple.
  4. Never put down your child’s spouse.
  5. Be cautious with offers of financial assistance .. and meticulous.
  6. Help the grandchildren cope.
  7. Don’t drop or turn your back on your child’s spouse

Read more in this San Luis Obispo [CA] Tribune article: How to deal with your adult child’s divorce.


For Many People, The Time is Finally Here …To File for Divorce

The statistics tell the story, at least part of it.

Divorce filings surge throughout the first quarter of every year. That’s indisputable.

As for why, that is anecdotal, conjecture.

One attorney posits that tax refunds provide couples with the funds to pay for divorce.

There certainly is some truth in that for some couples.

But the more powerful forces driving the surge are likely emotional more than financial.

Unhappy couples, particularly those with children, often tough out the last couple of months of each year – the holiday season – for the sake of the children.

Divorce statistics typically reflect a dip in divorce filings during the holiday season.

But the couples who stay together for the kids, or appearances, are often especially miserable during the holidays, whether due to the pretense or just too much time off and togetherness.

With the arrival of the new year, they are often chomping at the bit.

Some have even made the arrangements in advance and just need to “pull the trigger”.

Others are first ready to begin their preparations in earnest now.

Circumstances permitting, this can be a perfect time to:

  1. update your designation of health care surrogate or proxy or medical power of attorney
  2. update your will and estate plan
  3. close joint bank and credit card accounts
  4. update insurance beneficiary designations where appropriate and re-evaluate types of coverages for gaps as well as amounts
  5. review your investment portfolio against your current individual needs and objectives and
  6. get a handle on your expenses and income and create a budget



9 Red Flags That You’re in a Psychologically Abusive Relationship

1. Interaction with your partner makes you feel worthless, uneasy, exhausted, etc.
2. Your partner puts you down in a mean-spirited way
3. Your partner lies to you habitually
4. Your partner has to hold onto all the power in your relationship
5. Your partner raises his voice all the time
6. Your partner is always critical
7. Your partner makes light of their mistreatment of you
8. Your partner plays you like an instrument and
9. Your partner has you blaming yourself for their bad behavior

This type of emotional abuse may be damaging over time, just as much as physical abuse. It may also be accompanied by or escalate into physical abuse at any time.

Therefore, attempting to work on this issue or to extricate yourself from the problem should be handled with great care and planning for safety.

Read more in this CheatSheet article: 9 Signs You’re in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship.


Live-In Child-Maid Allegedly Abused by Judge and Wife She Worked For in Pakistan

Ten year old Pakistani Girl works as a live-in maid. For two years and counting.

Her employers are a Pakistani Judge and his Wife.

Images of Girl appear on social media …

Revealing burns and bruises on her body.

Authorities get wind of the possible abuse of Girl by Judge and his Wife and begin to investigate.

But not before Girl’s Father takes the matter up with Judge … and negotiates a settlement.

Father seeks to have the investigation aborted and any potential punishment headed off.

But Girl’s accounts of her injuries point to abuse and torture. Although she did reportedly alter her accounts over the course of the investigation.

Independent medical evaluations appear to corroborate Girl’s accounts of abuse though.

Judge and Wife are arrested against Father’s wishes.

Girl is taken into protective custody.

It is not known whether Girl’s Father and Mother face any charges under Pakistani law.

Or with whom Girl will live once released from protective custody.

Twelve million Pakistani children reportedly work under inhumane conditions.



Family Court rules Twin Baby Boys Aren’t Related

Gay male couple in Italy want children.

Thanks to in vitro fertilization, the sperm of each of the would-be fathers was fertilized with a different egg donated by the same biological mother. That biological mother delivered the two baby boys in California.

When the couple returned to Italy and tried to register their sons’ births, officials refused because surrogacy is illegal in Italy.

Determined, the couple sued to be able to register the twins as their own. At trial, the Italian family court sided with the officials who had refused to even acknowledge the baby boys.

But an Italian appellate court partially reversed and found for the couple … sort of. The appellate court ruled that each partner could register his biological son as his own child.

But the other partner could not be recognized as a parent of, nor adopt his partner’s biological child.

And the twin brothers … were not legally related.

Counter-intuitively, an Italian organization advocating for gay rights hailed the ruling as favorable, because it did at least recognize each boy’s birth and Italian citizenship, and parental status of one gay partner.

Read more in this Washington Post article: These two baby boys are twins, but an Italian court says they aren’t brothers.


Toddler Drowns While Mother is Apparently “Intoxicated” … By Her Smartphone

Chinese Husband and Wife have four year old Son.

Wife and Son visit a resort with a swimming pool.

Wife and Son go into the pool.

While in the swimming pool with Son, Wife, her back to Son, seemingly becomes enthralled by her cell phone.

So enthralled, that Wife is apparently totally oblivious as Son encounters difficulty, struggles to stay afloat and eventually drowns in the pool after several minutes.

All while Wife – as well as other people in the pool – are just a few feet away.

Surveillance video captures the entire tragic course of events.

The resort is currently closed pending investigation of the incident by law enforcement.

If Wife had other children in her care, surely the local child welfare agency would have taken them into temporary protective custody during the investigation.

Whether the tragedy is ultimately ruled to be child neglect or freak accident, it should in any event serve as a powerful reminder that young children in a pool must be closely supervised, continuously.

Read more in this UK Daily Mail news article: Helpless four-year-old Chinese boy drowns in swimming pool while his mother plays on her phone just feet away.


Father Living with Son Under New Identities After Father’s Alleged Abduction a Decade Earlier, Seeks Early Release from a Four Year Sentence after Just One Year

Mother and Father, a veteran of the US Navy, have Son together.

Five years later, Mother and Father separate.

Father allegedly abducts Son and relocates with him from Alabama to Ohio.

Where they remain, under falsified identities, for the next decade.

They lead a good life and Son is a well-rounded honor student.

While Son is applying to colleges, he discovers a problem with his social security number.

Which leads to Father’s abduction of Son coming to light.

Father is ultimately sentenced to four years in prison for his actions after pleading guilty.

One year into his sentence, Father seeks early release from prison.

Apparently, for owning up to kidnapping Son and depriving Mother and Son of contact for a decade.

Mother and Son have spent holidays together since Father’s arrest.

If Father is released early from prison in Ohio, Alabama legal authorities may opt to prosecute Father themselves for interference with child custody.

Read more in this Associated Press news article: Dad who took boy from his mom in 2002 seeks prison release.