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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Women More Vindictive?

London's Evening Standard reports that women are more vindictive in divorce than men. This claim is based on a survey that found that women were more likely than men to want to keep items like the family home, photographs, and pets.

It turns out that women are more likely to end up with "family pets, wedding photographs, the bed, lawn mower, and other odds and ends from around the house." Men are more likely to end up with "the car, CD and DVD collections, the laptop, digital camera and the booze."

Hmmm. In my opinion, I have no comment on this one.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Share And Share Alike

In Broadbent v. Broadbent, the trial court had granted the wife $51,500 in alimony in solido on the theory that the husband had gambled away the couple's money in the stock market.

The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the husband's stock market activity did not constitute "dissipation" of the couple's assets. The purpose of the speculation was actually to increase the marital estate so that the couple could purchase their dream home. Further, the wife acquiesced in the husband's risky investment strategy. If the investments had been successful, the wife would have shared the profits. But since the investments failed, she must also share the losses.

Postnuptial Against Public Policy

In Stutz v. Stutz, the Tennessee Court of Appeals rejected a postnuptial agreement because part of the consideration was the husband's agreement to adopt a child.

The parties had been unable to have a child, and they looked into adoption. When a child became available, the wife wanted to adopt but the husband did not. To gain the husband's assent, the wife offered to enter into a postnuptial agreement giving most of the marital estate to the husband. Then, if the husband was unhappy with the adoption, he could take the money and run.

The court held that selling consent to an adoption was against public policy, and it declared the postnuptial agreement void.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Shelby County Divorce Referee

The Commercial Appeal has a nice article on Shelby County Divorce Referee Patricia Odell. Her main duty is overseeing temporary support hearings. It's a tough job because the subject matter is tedious and the disputes are often petty, but the consequences are real -- especially when children are involved.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Hidden Assets

Kansas family law blogger Grant Griffiths has a post on how to find undervalued and hidden assets. It includes a pretty comprehensive list of potential hidden assets, and some suggestions for ferreting them out.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Kim Komando on Intercepted Computer Communications

According to legal scholar Kim Komando, in March a Florida family court excluded evidence obtained by a wife who used clandestine keylogging and tracking software to check up on her husband. As Kim points out, however, this ruling might not apply when spouses share the same computer.

For information on staying out of trouble with your spouse, see the whole article.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Birdnesting Parents

The San Francisco Chronicle has an interesting article on "birdnesters": divorced couples who let their children stay in one home while the parents swap out. Obviously, this solution is not for everyone. But for that rare couple, it's an idea worth having in your quiver. (Or an arrow worth remembering.)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Pregnancy Voids Divorce

The Washington State Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court ruling vacating a divorce because the wife was pregnant. The case gained national attention, and prompted a change in the state's divorce law. But the Court of Appeals has not backed off, holding that the ruling was correct at the time it was decided.

Although it's a crazy result, in a way it's good to see a court apply the law without regard to potential adverse publicity. For more on the story, see this Washington Post article.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Blog Roundup

I've updated the link section to add several new and newly discovered blogs of interest:

Family Law Blogs:
Updates in Michigan Family Law
Chicago Family Law Blog
Indiana Family Law
Maine Divorce Law Blog
New Jersey Law Blog
South Carolina Family Law Blog

Tennessee Law Blogs:
Tennessee Medical Malpractice Law Blog
Tennessee Business Litigation Law Blog