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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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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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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How to Land on Your Feet After Divorce

Divorce takes a toll emotionally, physically, and mentally on everyone involved. It’s not uncommon for individuals going through a divorce to want to curl up in bed all day and abandon all responsibilities. As tempting as this sounds, it’s not practical. In fact, doing so can even make things worse. The first step to landing on your feet after divorce is finding acceptance. Just because you’re making the right decision to split up with your partner, doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Accepting your post-divorce life means making adjustments to handle new and different social norms and lifestyle changes. This will look different for everyone. However, there are
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Is a house purchased by one spouse prior to the marriage a marital asset for divorce purposes?

The determination of which assets are part of the marital estate for division of asset purposes during the divorce is not always a simple cut and dried answer. There are many factors that the Court takes into consideration when deciding if a specific property is part of the marital estate and, if so, how it gets divides during the divorce. The short and simple answer is that the marital home can be included as part of your divorce settlement even if it was purchased prior to the marriage or relationship by one spouse. There are a wide range of factors
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How To Protect Your Children During a Divorce

Children are more intuitive than we give them credit. Divorce takes a toll on every member of the family, but it’s essential to make sure the children understand that the end of your marriage is not the end of the parent-child relationship. Have an Open Discussion Before sitting down with your child to announce the divorce, make a plan with your ex. Let the kids know what is going on with an open discussion as a family. This isn’t always easy when two parents are struggling to communicate, but the children will be comforted by having the family unit together.
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Am I Allowed to Date if My Divorce is Pending?

Divorce can be a lengthy process, and for many divorcing couples, the marriage is over emotionally long before a divorce is legally pursued. It’s not uncommon for a spouse to consider dating while their divorce is pending. The short answer to the question ‘to date or not to date’ is that there is no law in Massachusetts that prevents spouses from dating after separating or divorcing. So yes, you are allowed to date when your divorce is pending. However, before diving into the dating pool, you should be aware of the potential legal and financial consequences. Keep in mind, under
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