Both spouses can share in gift from husband’s family

A recent South Dakota case makes clear that a gift to a married couple from one spouse’s family will count as a gift to both of them in the event of a divorce, even if the benefactor later claims he or she intended otherwise The case revolved around South Dakota land that had been in Dennis Ryland’s family since 1878, when his great-grandfather homesteaded it. Ryland had only one child, who had moved away from South Dakota and had no interest in coming back to farm the land. In 2006, when the farm was worth nearly $2 million, Ryland decided
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Ex-wife can ‘claw back’ millions in hidden assets

When marriages go bad, feelings can be raw, making it tempting to want to hide assets to punish your soon-to-be ex. But if you get caught, the consequences can be severe, as a recent case shows us. The couple in the case, Robert and Janet Foisie, decided to divorce in 2010. They went to mediation, where they agreed to fully disclose and equally divide their assets. Robert also allegedly told Janet during mediation that he had no “offshore assets.” A year later, after both spouses had allegedly fully disclosed their assets in a Connecticut family court, they executed a divorce
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Who carries the burden of proof in a criminal case?

The phrase ‘burden of proof’ refers to which party—the defense or prosecution—is responsible for providing evidence of a crime. In most court cases, the party filing the claim carries the burden of proof. In a criminal case, this generally falls to the prosecution. The burden of proof refers to the process of proving elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof does not refer to proving guilt or innocence. Criminal cases do not require defendants to prove innocence. However, while the prosecution carries the burden of proof, they do not have to prove guilt to the
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Mom can’t move kids away without consent of court

A mother who wanted to move her kids 90 minutes from their father, who shared joint custody, couldn’t do so without the court reviewing the children’s best interests, a South Carolina appeals court recently ruled. The couple divorced in June 2014 and had joint legal custody and joint week-to-week physical custody of their two children. Neither parent paid child support, although the mother, who apparently earned more money, provided medical insurance and childcare costs. The order also barred either parent from having their children overnight in the presence of members of the opposite sex. A year after the divorce the
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When to Modify Your Divorce Agreement

How long has it been since you terminated your marriage? Have your circumstances changed since then? While your divorce may last forever, your divorce agreement can change over time. There are many reasons to consider modifying your divorce agreement. Some examples include: a significant change in income that will impact child support or alimony payments a job change requiring a move needs of aging children the remarriage of the party awarded the alimony Child Support Modifications With regard to child support, you can request to modify your original order. Regardless of changing circumstances, under the child support guidelines, you are currently entitled
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Court OK’s prenup-turned-post-nup

Prenuptial agreements are a useful way for a soon-to-be-married couple to protect assets they are bringing into a marriage. Essentially, these are contracts that lay out exactly what each spouse is entitled to (and obligated to) in the event of a divorce. If you and your soon-to-be-spouse are considering such an agreement, be sure to work with an attorney who can make sure it’s properly executed. Otherwise it may not be enforced, as nearly happened in a recent Michigan case. In that case, Carla Skaates and her husband Nathan Kayser lived together for before getting married. Skaates had a dental
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COVID-era divorce solutions could outlive pandemic

The Covid-19 crisis has impacted every aspect of life, including divorce. With courthouses closed to the public, divorcing couples have had to contend with technology solutions like Zoom for hearings and trials. This has made what’s already a challenging process even harder as participants deal with bad connectivity and sound, background distractions and getting documents to a judge that can usually be handed over in person. Nonetheless, Zoom and similar tech solutions have improved the process in certain ways that may outlive the virus. Zoom and similar tech solutions have improved the process in certain ways that may outlive the
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Open letter regarding co-parenting during the holidays from Chief Justice John D. Casey

As we begin this holiday season, I reach out to encourage parents to continue cooperating with each other to ensure that children have safe, healthy parenting time.  Although I do not know exactly what we will experience in the upcoming weeks, there is no doubt that the holidays will feel different this year.  During this time of uncertainty and stress, it is even more important that parents focus on what is best for their children.  Leaders of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts created the following guide, “Navigating the Holidays with COVID-19:
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What to do when your ex refuses to comply with your parenting schedule?

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally draining process. The hope is that once all of the issues (such as child support, spousal support, division of property and agreeing to a parenting schedule) are resolved, you can finally move forward. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case as the emotional baggage that accompanied the divorce can remain when dealing with an ex. When you’re facing the frustrating reality that your ex simply won’t comply with your legally binding agreements, whether that be alimony payments or a parenting schedule, you have options. You can attempt dispute resolution through mediation or the
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Middlesex Probate and Family Court – South will be moving to Woburn on Monday, November 9th

On Friday, November 6, 2020, Middlesex Probate and Family Court – South will move out of its historic location in East Cambridge to begin new operations in a newly-constructed courthouse in Woburn. Previously, in May 2020, the Court implemented a division of the county and the creation of Middlesex Probate and Family Court – North, moving half of the staff to begin full-time operations in the new Lowell Justice Center. Middlesex Probate and Family Court – South will be open for business on Monday November 9, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. at 10-U Commerce Way in Woburn. With the Lowell location
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