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Showing posts from October, 2011

Halloween Laws

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Every now and then, it is fun to look at ordinary events in our lives and examine how law interacts with the event.   Halloween is one of those events.

Bribe your ex-spouse.

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After divorce, parties frequently feel the need to change the terms of the separation agreement or divorce judgment. The easiest way to change the divorce terms is to enter into an agreement with your ex-spouse. Unfortunately, the ex may not agree even though you are asking for changes that are logical and reasonable. It appears that your only option is to hire a lawyer and file a modification action. This is a long and expensive process. There is another option:  Bribe your ex-spouse.

In many cases, the other spouse may cooperate if they receive money or other consideration for the agreement. An example of this is moving the child out of state. If the ex-spouse refuses to give permission to take the child, consider offering other considerations. I suggest that the child support payments be lowered to compensate for the added cost of traveling out of state to visit. In addition, the visitation schedule should be changed to give the other parent longer visits. Perhaps givin…

The 4 “A”s that cause divorce.

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There can be many reasons for couples to get divorced. However, four behaviors stand out as causing divorce: Abuse, Addiction, Adultery, and Abstention.

Physical abuse constitutes the crime of assault and battery. This behavior can be highly destructive. While many people stay in an abusive relationship for a period of time, most people who are victims of abuse separate and get divorced.

Addiction to drugs or alcohol also can be extremely destructive. Addiction can lead to abuse, loss of job, wasting of money, and other harmful conduct.  Frequently, addicts resist attempts to help them fight the addiction.

The concept of marriage incorporates a pledge of exclusive sexual access for the spouses. Adultery represents a violation of this pledge and many people view this as so important that any act of adultery will cause a divorce. Since few people commit adultery in sight of their spouse, the appearance of adultery can be as harmful as adultery itself. If people want to pr…

The Alimony Reform Act of 2011

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The alimony reform act of 2011 was signed into law last week. This law reforms the law of alimony with the stated purpose of eliminating life long alimony. The law changes alimony in many other ways such as creating new types of alimony, allowing new factors to be considered in creating alimony, and implementing some formulas for calculating alimony. The law becomes effective on March 1, 2012 but will start effecting divorces immediately. Most lawyers who represent potential payors of alimony won't discuss alimony in agreements unless it is based on the new law. Furthermore, the new law allows some alimony agreements to be modified after the effective date so failing to consider the new law could be a disservice to the client.