Friday, November 27, 2009

New Divorce and Family Law Blogs

Bankruptcy and divorce, two subjects existing closer than will please many is the subject of The Interplay Between Bankruptcy and Divorce Law in Virginia. Not exactly a zinger for a blog name but spot on accurate for its content.  The posts concentrate on Viriginia, naturally.  Which does not mean it lacks value for Indiana - just check its bankruptcy reports against our Seventh Circuit.  (I do not expect many differences but what differences exists will probably be significant.)

I found interesting what differences exist between Indiana and Virginia in its Top Ten Costly Divorce Mistakes to Avoid During a Recession (as well as good points for Hoosiers, too):

1. Adultery may eliminate spousal support in Virginia.
Even if our temporary maintenance equals their spousal support, there is no support for this in our statute.  On the other hand, I think our economy and the closeness of income between parties makes maintenance (temporary or otherwise) difficult to get.  For more on Indiana maintenance go my archived articles.
2. Be aware of formulas and guidelines for determining support in Virginia: child support guidelines are the presumptively correct starting point for support; pendente lite spousal support: w/child – 28/58%, w/o child – 30/50%.
This is true for Indiana, too.  Diverting from our Child Support Guidelines means having a very good reason.
3. Alimony: request it, reserve it, or lose it.
Not got alimony in Indiana but maintenance we do have.  Request a provisional hearing and ask for temporary maintenance and save permanent maintenance for the Final Hearing.  But go back and see my comment to 1.
4. You have 2 years to file for an annulment and you may lose your right by cohabitation after knowledge of the facts.

Looks like annulment may be as hard to get in Virginia as in Indiana.  Cohabitation is also a defense in Indiana.  This did point out to me that there is no explicit statute of limitations for annulment in Indiana under the Indiana Code (and certainly none mentioned in any of the available cases).  I suppose that our general statute of limitations on fraud may apply.  For more about annulment in Indiana, follow this link to the annulment articles archive.
5. Do not delay the filing of a motion to modify support upon a material change in circumstances.

Damned good advice.  This applies everywhere.  Even when there is not a recession.  Do not say that you cannot afford a lawyer - find one that will unbundle services or one that takes payments.  Getting behind in your child support means contempt, which can mean jail.  You figure out which is cheaper - a lawyer or jail time.  For my articles on contempt, go here.  For my atricles on attorney fees go here, and for child support articles follow this link.
6. Judges are hostile to the concept of separating under the same roof in Virginia.

Never seen this problem in Indiana.  Especially locally with our post- General Motors economy, judges can have no problem with two people living together who do not want to be married any longer.
7. A suit for a divorce from bed and board can be filed immediately in the Circuit Court. You may be able to obtain pendente lite relief for temporary support, attorney’s fees and costs, protective orders, temporary custody and child support, exclusive use of the marital residence, or a freeze on assets.

Take out the "from bed and board" and add after Circuit Court "or Superior Court", and  take out "protective orders" and , and you have a good description of what Indiana courts can do.  Protective orders need filing separately here.  I have an arichive of my aticles on our courts and an archive on protective orders.  I put in these links so that more specific information is can be gotten to, please use them to get at this information.
8. Consult with your tax advisor concerning the tax consequences of spousal support, allocation of the dependency exemption, exclusion of gain from sale of marital residence, etc.

Another good idea that applies here as well as Indiana.
9. Be careful about leaving the marital residence without a separation agreement.

I do not think this is as a lethal in Indiana as it appears to be for Virginians.   That any agreement is a good thing, I will not deny.
10. Consider the possibility in your agreement that one spouse may file for bankruptcy relief.

Always, always consider the fact of bankruptcy.   Maybe it is all my years when I did practice consumer bankrutpcy law but I am a bit surprised by lawyers who do not think of bankruptcy.

McLean County Divorce comes from Illinois lawyer, Jon D. McLaughlin, with me having a bit of concern over the two months from his last post.  However, Hoosiers still might learn from his Change of Child Custody and Simple Divorces (we have a better procedure here). I have some quibbles with his Suggestions for Fathers going through a divorce but on the whole, it is a good collection of suggestions for Indiana fathers.  Let us hope that Mr. Mclaughlin continues to publish his blog.

Okay, it is Canadian but Collaborative Practice Canada does a more than adequate job of promoting colllaborative law.  I cannot say that anything specifically applies to Indiana but that has is not quite the point either.  If the general public wants a less adversarial approach to family law cases, then the general public needs to know that an alternative not only exists but why it is preferable.  That said, give a look at Collaborative Law - in the interests of families and children..

 Another family law blog, this time from California's Orange County.  Hence the name being Orange County Family Lawyer Blog. It looks fairly new but the articles are clearly written and succinct.  Still fairly new and may interest those who want to contrast Indiana's courts with another state.

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