In Gutierrez v Gutierrez a Mississippi Supreme Court Case the supreme Court of Mississippi evaluated and ruled upon a very complicated spousal support and property debt and asset division family law case. The first major issue the trial court had to undertake was 2nd mortgage that was taken out soley during the marriage under Clayton Frank Gutierrez’s name.  The trial court laid out three questions it determined. Clay was the sole person who signed for the 2nd mortgage.  Trisha Guterriez did not sign for the 2nd mortgage.  In addtion the trial court ruled that the creditor did not make a claim for the enforcement of the 2nd mortgage.  The chancellor in Mississippi which would be the trial Court in California made each party responsible for the equal payment of the debt thus each spouse would assume joint responsibility for the 2nd mortgage.

Each party on appeal to the Mississippi Supreme court made a different argument based on the 2nd mortgage.  Mr. Gutierrez claimed that since he was soley liable for the note and signed for the 2nd mortgage he should be soley paying for the mortgage and not Mrs. Gutierrez. Mrs. Gutierrez appealed claiming she wanted a lump sum spousal support payment rather than monthly payments.  Each of their argument strongly relied on the outcome of how the debt and payments on the 2nd mortgage would be handled by the Mississippi Supreme court.

Mrs Gutierrez wanted that the 2nd mortgage remained community debt and jointly responsible to the both parties. If so she would gain much more ability to claim more spousal support.  Mr. Gutierrez wanted to claim it as his sole responsibility because then he would have more community debt to claim and thus less income to provide more spousal support to Mrs. Gutierrez.

An interesting case has just come down from the 6th circuit court of appeals where by a black man attempted to tie the know with his ward who was an elderly white lady. Marreon Gene Starks, an African american man,  who was a 53 year old guardian of Beatrice P., a 53 year old, caucasian lady.

Their were numerous allegations of race and age discrimination hurled at the Santa Clara Judge Thomas Cane in 2014. The son of Beatrice P sought to have the conservatorship removed and the conservator removed whose name was Stephen P. Now in 2017 Starks the guardian of Beatrice P claims his due process rights were violated. His marriage was nullified.  He claims it was nullified based age and race discrimination. Beatrice P. , the 83 year old was barred from testifying in Court.  An annulled marriage basically voids a marriage and places the parties back to where they were before they entered into a marriage.  Thus a party will have not spousal support rights nor property rights to the other spouses property.

At the 2012 nullity proceeding an Alzheimer expert testified on behalf of the Beatrice P and declared that she was “cognitively incapacitated” and she was unable to make informed decisions.  Thus her mental health was completely diminished and she was not able to really ascertain what was going on in her life. This is very important to the nullity proceedings that were in place at the time.  Because in order to nullify a marriage you need to prove at trial one of the grounds of nullification.  One of the grounds is if a party to the marriage can be proven to be of unsound mind. Clearly in this case a medical doctor, Dr. Jonathan Canick, an expert testified to Beatrice P.’s unsound mind.

Janet Jackson is going through a child custody battle and a divorce battle with Wissam Al Mana who is from Qatar and is a Billionaire who invests internationally in all sorts of things.  Recently they were seen in the Royal Courts in London after a court hearing on Custody.  It would seem she is involved in a hotly contested international child custody dispute. The couple had split in April after Janet had given birth to their daughter in January, Elissa.

In the Divorce proceedings word has gotten out that Janet will receive a sizable settlement payment from Al Mana around $200,000.  And she will remain in London to raise the child.  Janet is worth $150,000 so already has a lot of money and now will seek to increase her already wealthy amount of money.  This turn out to be an interstate child custody dispute and also an international divorce.  However, it appears the couple have settled on the London Courts to serve as the jurisdiction to hear the Divorce and custody matters.  The child Elissa was born in London so England would be her home country.  However, since Janet is also a US citizen she could also one day decide to head back to the US to live.  Likewise Al Mana is from Qatar and could also want at some time to take his child to visit or live in Qatar.  But for right now it seems that the parents have somewhat resided to the fact that London will be Elissa’s home.

Janet is talks to be part of a netflix 10 part documentaries about her life after her divorce from Al Mana.  This could net her a significant some of money which might effect the settlement of the divorce.  In California the courts look to the standard of living for the spouses post separation.  So the London Courts will probably do the same.

british-pound-300x200The British divorce court sided with a English lady who was a stock market whiz person who made $13 million dollars during her marriage.  Originally the Divorce Court had sided with the ex spouse husband and gave him a cut of all her stock earnings thus making him quite wealthy upon a short term marriage. Julie Sharp a stock trader by profession in England reduced significantly her husbands share to only $2 million dollars rather than the traditional split down the middle. Why did the family law court in England do so? Well the time honored scenario of the equal split down the middle for spouses did not seem to sit well with them. In California family law Court Spousal support is used to determine the standard of living scenario to make the ex spouses live according to the standard they had while married.  This situation usually has more impact upon lengthy marriages.  In California a long term marriage would be considered 10 years or more.

Mrs. Sharp was an energy trade on the British stock exchange.  In 2015 the British family law Court made a ruling giving her ex 2.74 million pounds.  Later the London appeals Court lowered it to 2 million pounds. The London appeals court has been on a recent trend of not equally splitting the assets as it had done in the past to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of a divorced couples assets. Now they have changed and seem to be permitting the ex spouse whom may be the bread winner to keep more of their earnings and shortchanging the less wealthy ex spouse with less money.  Thus it appears the London appellate court is deviating from fairness to a more of who makes more money prevails attitude.

They further state that nonworking spouses will be awarded “special contributions” for their time in the marriage. What exactly is a special contribution is uncertain.  It seems to be a new trend that certainly favors the spouse who makes more money and takes away from the spouse who does not work. The idea that there is a financial partnership among married people is starting to be thing of the past and is a disturbing trend on the idea of marriage in the United Kingdom.  The benefits of marriage seem to be seem to be on the downside in British culture.  Nothing like this has arrived in California or United States just yet.  However, if ever this type of ruling did appear I assume it will be fought with great zeal in the Family Law Court system.

Often juvenile immigrants to the United States cannot stay hear legally without going through the special immigration process to get a visa or ultimately US citizenship.  A program was developed by the United States which would facilitate juveniles getting their visa and status in the United States sped up.  The program is called the special immigrant juvenile status program.
This legislation is fairly unique in that it requires the state Court to get involved and examine the eligibility of the these foreign juveniles before they can apply to the federal program. To petition for SIJ you must have a state court order that contains certain findings, USCIS uses to determine your status. The state court may be called “juvenile court”, “family court”, “orphan’s court”, or some other name, depending on which state it is in. The court must have the authority under state law to decide on the custody and care of children.

A state court in the United States must decide that you are a dependent of the court or to legally place you with a state agency, a private agency, or a private person and It is not in your best interests to return to your home country (or the country you last lived in) and you cannot be reunited with a parent because of ANY of the following: Abuse, Abandonment, Neglect, Similar reason under state law. 

Actor Kevin Dillon of the famed series entourage has settled his divorce finally.  The funny think is that noon new he was getting divorced, that is how under the radar his divorce was. His now ex wife was Jane stuart who filed for divorce last July.  The couple was married for over 10 years.  The key battle that the couple had was over the date of separation of the divorce.  This can be a very hot item issue of a divorce as it nears the 10 year number of the length of the marriage.  The key benefit of the 10 year time rule is that the other party after 10 years can get lifetime spousal support from the other party. Jan stuart claimed that the couple separated May 29, 2016 which would have made the marriage ten years.  Kevin Dillon claimed the couple had separated in October of 2008.  Apparently the major squabble of the couple was over the residual payments the actor was to receive from his entourage show.

As with most of these cases … it settled before going to trial. Last month Kevin agreed to pay Jane $3,174 a month in child support for their 11-year-old daughter, and she gets $7,214 in monthly spousal support. Dillon is best known for playing a character on Entourage called Johnny Drama.

Kevin Dillon’s net worth is approximated to be $10 million dollars.  He earned most of his money from his role on entourage where he earned $16 million dollars.  That is why the date of separation was so important since they married in 2004 she would get a portion of his royalties from his show.  He was seen getting cozy with a blond lady last may which would imply that his wife might be correct in her assertion of the date of separation to be in May of last year.  Stuart claimed that Kevin Dillon under reported his income.  Therefore, this issue probably undermined the divorce process and she and her attorneys needed to do further discovery on Dillon to get an accurate assessment of his true income.

Getting married for a second time is fairly common. But the financial and estate planning issues that result from remarriage often pose a different set of problems than that of the first marriage.  For one, in the first marriage you have no prior issues to deal with such as children, support payments and an ex spouse to contend with.

The major problem with a second marriage deals with the issue of children. When you remarry with a different partner they too may have children and therein lies the issue of a new blended family. Child custody issues may arise not that there are new siblings and new stepparents involved in raising the children. If you have left over issues involving child custody then there might be difficult times ahead. The prior spouse may have issues with the new spouse their children. Who is making the rules now with the new family? is it the new spouse? Does their parenting of their children influence your parenting and effect your prior spouses concerns about their own children and what is happening to them.

If you and your new spouse keep a joint bank account to pay common bills therein lies another big problem.  If you have unresolved issues regarding money with the prior spouse then the second spouse might get involved in that dispute unknowingly and innocently.  If Creditors are after you from the prior marriage then they may continue the pursuit of your money including the bank accounts you have with the current spouse. Creditors are not going to divide the bank account they can attach and levy that holds your money.  Therefore you new spouse may jeopardize their own money by commingling in your bank account.  The best advise is the keep separate bank accounts from your new spouse knowing that the prior divorce is still pending and or many unresolved issues linger over for many years to come.

It seems that religious freedoms and speech are at the forefront of a family oriented issue.  Texas Senate approved a bill that permits private adoption agencies basically to discriminate based on religion.  Obviously we are dealing with 1st amendment and religious establishment clause issues.  However, with the conservative movement that is currently in the United States.

The measure allows publicly funded foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay prospective parents because of religious objections. This appears to be very discriminatory and very disturbing.  Adoption should be looked at through the children who dont have parents perspective.  They are seeking to find a family to love and cherish them unconditionally as a child with parents.  They are not looking for a religion or whether they are gay or not. I think this law misses the point of what an adoption is in place for.

The bill that passed through the Texas Senate was called “Freedom to serve children Act.” unfortunately, its unclear how denying qualified adoptive parents the opportunity to provide a nurturing family for a child who does not have a family as beneficial is not clear. South Dakota is the only other state that permits religious and gay discrimination for adoption placement.

Recently Tiger Woods was arrested in Juniper, Florida for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.  Mr Woods has a child with his ex wife Elin Nordegren.  At the time of their divorce Mr. Woods was also involved in a drug related incident whereby he crashed his car into a tree and claimed he was high on ambien.  He was not charged with a crime at that time. After the incident he divorced his ex wife and achieved a amicable outcome with regards to his divorce and child custody arrangement. He is the father of two children, Sam, 9 and Charlie, 7.  In a recent interview Tiger Woods opened up about how he parents his children.  Although his golfing career has hit a slump his parenting life appears to be of a very caring and thoughtful father.  In the interview he did recently he talks how his father Earl Woods would communicate to him at his eye level.  He stated that because his father would get down to his eye level when talking to him it creating a strong father son bond. This type of behavior is something he has passed on to his kids to develop that similar bond.

As a result of the recent DUI Mr. Woods might not suffer a disastrous custody battle as if he did not have this strong bond with his two children.  In addition, Tiger states that after the divorce he has developed a strong friendship with Ms. Nordegren and can talk to her about his relationship with his children openly.  Thus, because of this tight bond with his ex wife he might not suffer a big break in his relationship with his minor children.  Drugs and alcohol are a very bad combination when dealing with a custody battle among ex spouses or partners.  Getting behind the wheel of a car and driving drunk shows poor judgment which can transfer over to how you parent your children.

The police spotted Mr. Woods late at night driving down a road in Jupiter, Florida near his home weaving in and out of the lanes.  The local police noticed the erratic behavior and made a traffic stop.  Upon approaching Mr. Woods after the traffic stop the police noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Tiger’s breath.  A Police officer can make a stop based on a reasonable suspicion that the person was driving while under the influence.  In addition, once the stop is made and the officer notices that the person smells of alcohol they can administer what is called field sobriety tests.  The Juniper police office approached Mr. Woods after the stop and asked him to breathe into a breathalyzer.  Tiger refused to do it.  Thereafter, Mr. Woods was placed under arrest.  I a person does not give a breath test then they will lose there license for a year and will be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Huma Abedin the long time adviser/confident of Hillary Rodham Clinton the ex presidential candidate, ex secretary of state, ex senator and ex first lady.  And now Huma has finally cut the cord to her long time husband the ex United State House representative, and filed for Divorce.  Mr. Weiner plead guitly to texting obscene pictures to a minor.  This of course was not his first run in with exposing his self to others via text.  Huma gave Mr. Weiner a second chance after his prior criminal activity of exposure via text.  However, finally she decided enough was enough and a divorce was the only solution after his second exposure incident with minor children.

As stated on Cnn “”Weiner accepted responsibility for his conduct. “I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” he said through pauses and bouts of tears in an emotional statement. “I entered intensive treatment, found the courage to take a moral inventory of my defects, and began a program of recovery and mental health treatment that I continue to follow every day.'”

Obviously this person has a sickness and a Divorce had to be on the horizon after his first bout of exposure to others. Mr. Weiner accepted a plea deal with the federal prosecutor where he could face 21 to 27 months in federal prison.