Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"Taluq, Taluq, Taluq"

Until now, in India, a Muslim man could obtain a legal divorce simply by repeating a single word three times.  The practice has been legally abolished in the country, but persists in a few other places including Saudi Arabia.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Treat pets in divorce like kids, not property, says Alaska law

An Alaska law ( now directs its state courts, when handling divorces where pets are involved, to set for an order "if an animal is owned, for the ownership or joint ownership of the animal, considering the well-being of the animal. "

There has long been debate on whether pets should be treated in divorce like property, being "equitably distributed" along with money, furniture and the like, or whether they shoudl be treated more like children, where the "best interests" of the pets are considered.

Where a pet's 'best interests' are considered,  each party may in a given case end up with a share of time with and caretaking responsibility for a pet, or the pet may be awarded wholly to the more suitable divorcing party to provide for its care.

Illinois has recently reaffirmed its stance, along with the holding of most states, that pets are property to be distributed, rather than giving them child-like treatment.  Alaska law, for its part, now clearly differs from this majority stance.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

"Friendly Divorce"

I tell my family law clients that Plan A should always be to try to settle things as amicably as possible. Doing so benefits any children involved, feels better overall, is cheaper than acrimony, allows the parties to control results, and leads to quick proceedings that allow all involved to move on with life relatively efficiently.
That said, Plan A is much easier said than done for most people going through divorce. If parties don't agree initially, their willingness to make monetary sacrifices, or to forego parental rights and privileges, in order to "keep the peace" is put to the test.
Celebrities and media, with the benefit of detachment and/or millions of dollars, whitewash the divorce process as something you simply have to be "mature enough" to do the right way when that is often false. If at least one party takes a selfish position, or the parties have competing strongly held beliefs, it becomes unfair to characterize both parties as immature or unwise if conflict results.
All that said, if you skip past the whitewash to the bottom of this article, the 10 tips on "How to Divorce Well" are for the most part sound.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Major Changes Coming to Illinois Child Support Law

We remain in the dark at this point as to numbers, but what is clear is that the legal structures and formulas by which Illinois child support awards are determined are set to be revolutionized this coming July.

Whereas now the vast majority of child support awards can be expressed via a few simple percentages (i.e. 20%, 28%, 32% or 40% of a payor's "net income" based on number of children), the new statute (750 ILCS 5/505) will take into account both the relative incomes and the shares of parenting time of both parents.

Again, support numbers will in-part depend on guidelines and tables yet to be published by the Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services.

Here is an article that runs through many of the extensive changes in summary fashion

Notably under the new statute, "if each parent exersises 146 or more overnights per year" with a given child, each parent will have a child support figure assigned to him or her based on his or her share of parenting time and their combined income, and the two figures will then be 'canceled-out' against one another to reach a net support figure that one of the parents actually pays to the other.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Relationships vs. the Holidays

As the linked article points out, the holidays are a romantic time for some marriages and relationships but may also carry some challenges.

Commercials and other marketing challenge our relationships and lifestyles to measure up to ideal images (where's that lexus with the red bow - my driveway seems to be missing it again this year? And exactly how many diamonds am I supposed to buy my wife per holiday season again?).

Time spent with extended relatives and in-laws can test our patience and tempt competitive insecurities (at least, I understand that to be the case for some people, not me of course).

Etc., etc. until many folks are feeling a bit disillusioned with their lot, including in their relationships, come January - thus perhaps one contributing factor to the well-documented major uptick in the divorce filing rate at this time of year.

This article urges patience and perspective, and a cooling off period after the holidays, before major life decisions such as divorce or separation are made.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Interesting article on the rising Chinese divorce rate, which is approaching that of the US (but would still have to increase substantially to pass Russia).

Side note: I will not be able to compete with the quoted Chinese rate of $1.40 for divorce services, outside of the pro bono representation I'm able to take on.