Understanding Spousal Support

In North America, it’s the judge’s place to decide how the marital assets should be divided. By closely examining the assets of each spouse, the judge can determine if spousal support should be paid – and by whom. In some cases, the assets may generate sufficient income that either no spousal support is necessary or it can be reduced.
Each state has guidelines to calculate spousal support. However, they are generally just that – guidelines. Whether or not spousal support should be awarded is up to the discretion of the judge. The judge can also decide the amount of spousal support and the period of time that it should be paid. In Canada, there are no such guidelines: a judge decides whether or not spousal support should be paid, as well as the amount and duration.

Written by Nancy Kurn. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Divorce: ‘It’s not the economy, stupid’ – think-tank

A report by the Marriage Foundation, the think-tank set up by the High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge, concludes that there is “no evidence whatsoever” that recession either increases or decreases the incidence of divorce overall.
The most recent divorce figures from the Office for National Statistics, published in December, showing a 1.7 per cent fall for the year 2011 were greeted with surprise by some law firms which had been predicting a rise.
Several explained that they are still bracing themselves for a post-recession surge in divorces when economic recovery arrives pointing to evidence that many unhappy couples are putting off the split until their assets rise in value.
But a five per cent rise the previous year also took commentators by surprise, promoting the ONS to remark that it was simply “too early to say” whether there is a link between recession and break-up.
But after analysing divorce patterns during years of recession and strong economic growth, the report concludes that there is no particular connection either way.

Written by John Bingham. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Divorce, Custody, Child Support, and Alimony in Denmark

I attended a social gathering in Denmark hosted by a successful businessman with two teenage daughters. “Their mom didn’t want custody,” he explained, “so I’ve had them since the youngest was four years old”. The mother had initiated the divorce, but had not sought any contact with the kids other than an optional twice/month (every other weekend) visit. “It isn’t the life that I expected to live, but it is a good life.” The Americans at the party were shocked by this. What about the maternal instinct? Was it different in Denmark than in the U.S.? “Most middle class parents who divorce simply split the children 50-50,” explained a Dane. “Children aren’t cash cows in Denmark, except for lower class people with six children, for whom state subsidies and child support from the other parent can be a significant source of income. The previous government tried to limit this by paying only for the first two children. But they watched Muslim women in black burkas rioting across the bridge in Sweden so the new government restored the benefits for an unlimited number of children.” Child support payments in Denmark can continue until a child turns 24 (if the kid is still in school, which of course he or she is likely to be in Europe, the original home of infinite adolescence). Our host’s income was easily high enough that in Massachusetts he would have been tapped by a divorce lawsuit plaintiff for $50,000 tax-free dollars per year in child support (roughly $1 million over 20 years; see worksheet). Could it really be the case that children who supposedly cost $1 million to rear in Massachusetts would yield only minimal child support in Denmark, where the cost of almost everything is far higher?

Written byPhilip Greenspun. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Homosexual Marriage, Parenting, and Adoption

A great many of our fellow citizens see demands for homosexual marriage as just one more step in the democratic struggle against injustice and discrimination, a continuation of the fight against racism. It is in the name of equality, of open-mindedness, of being progressive and right-thinking that we are asked to accept this challenge to the foundations of our society. It seems, moreover, on the basis of public opinion polls, that this challenge is already accepted by a majority of our fellow citizens and thus the question of its establishment as a matter of law has not provoked a debate worthy of the momentous issues at stake.

I believe, on the contrary, that it is a matter of the greatest importance to make clear the true implications of the negation of sexual difference and to debate publicly what is at stake rather than falling back on principles, such as equality, that flatter those who set themselves up as their standard bearers, even though the way these principles are invoked to justify the homosexual-marriage agenda does not stand up to critical scrutiny. This subject deserves better than the court of political correctness, whose authority, advocates of homosexual marriage hope, will prevail until the law is voted on—a tribunal they defend by means of disqualifying caricatures against anyone who dares to question their project and their motives.

Written by Gilles Bernheim. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

We Should Reform Child Support

President Obama’s Father’s Day speech included one provocative, yet very declarative, sentence: “We should reform our child support laws to get more men working and engaged with their children.” Obama didn’t elaborate, but we can build on what he said because, yes indeed, child support laws urgently need “reform.”

Many fathers work long hours and make incredible sacrifices for their families. Child support formulas are based on the ridiculous notion that a father would make those same sacrifices for an ex-wife who is living with her new husband or boyfriend and for children he never or seldom sees.

Many fathers would happily do more to support their children if they got to see their kids more and were more engaged in their lives. But current child support laws have reverse incentives: The more the mother prevents such contact, the more child support she receives.

Written by Phyllis Schlafly. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Is spousal support based on a gender bias?

Late last month an article in the Huffington Post raised an interesting issue about spousal support. For those who are unfamiliar with family law, spousal support refers to payments made by a higher-earning spouse to a lesser-earning spouse after the marriage ends in divorce.
Also known as alimony, spousal support can be ordered for a temporary or permanent length of time and often depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage and the earning potential of both spouses.
Historically, men have more frequently been ordered to pay spousal support to their ex-wives, but under the law, either spouse can be ordered to pay spousal support to an ex.
As social norms have changed in recent decades, many women now earn more than their husbands and many fathers are choosing to stay at home to raise their children, meaning that more men could be entitled to spousal support. But as the Huffington Post article pointed out, very few men currently ask for spousal support.

Written by Jerald A. Kessler. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

A Shortage of Child Support, but a Surplus of Blame

There are surveys that cover just about every aspect of air travel: rates of on-time departures, rankings of frequent-flier programs, and on and on. But the Haggler has never seen a study that shows which airlines regard fliers as the biggest idiots.

Huge omission, right? And until a thorough inquiry is undertaken, the Haggler contends that US Airways takes the dimmest view of its customers’ intelligence. On what evidence is that conclusion based? When you call the airline’s reservation number, the first utterance you hear after you shimmy up the phone tree and await a representative is this:

“Note that under federal law, passengers are prohibited from bringing hazardous materials on the aircraft.”

Is there a sentient human on this planet who is unaware that bringing hazmat on a jet is verboten? Is it not self-evident that loading up your baggage with potentially lethal, flammable and/or toxic chemicals is uncool, not to mention illegal?

Written by David Segal. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com