Piercing the corporate veil

The unanimous judgment of the Supreme Court in Petrodel Resources Ltd v Prest led to a media circus. Now the dust has settled, we have more clarity on the repercussions of the case for those involved in family and company law. Even we were surprised by the rasp of admonition from the Court of Appeal last year in Petrodel Resources Ltd v Prest. Rimer and Patten LJJ identified a particular practice followed in the family courts, which Moylan J at first instance had adopted when giving judgment in the financial claims on divorce between Michael and Yasmin Prest (pictured). That practice was: where a spouse was the only shareholder of a company, which held assets but did not have third-party creditors, those assets could be transferred directly to the other spouse in settlement of his or her claims. Allowing the companies’ appeal, Rimer LJ described Moylan J’s reasoning as ‘heretical’; Patten LJ thundered that the practice ‘must now cease’. The unintended effect was of a Victorian maiden aunt impressing on some unruly charges the need to behave with rectitude and sobriety henceforth.

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

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Reuters/Ipsos poll: Views on gay marriage still divided after court ruling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the dust settled on two major Supreme Court rulings this week that advanced gay marriage, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed that while about a third of Americans oppose the decisions, a majority are either in favor or had no strong opinion.

Forty-three percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the court’s decision to strike down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal recognition of marriage to that between a man and a woman. The poll of 410 people who were asked separate questions about each ruling was conducted from Wednesday, the day of the rulings, and Friday.

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

Release of dependency exemption trumps child support

In two recent cases, the Tax Court ruled on the validity of a dependency exemption release to a noncustodial parent. Taken together, the cases illustrate how a properly executed and filed Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, is the key to releasing a claim of exemption and outweighs state court orders.

In Armstrong, the court denied the deduction and child tax credit to a noncustodial father who did not attach Form 8332 to his 2007 tax return. The taxpayer, Billy Armstrong, did attach a copy of an “arbitration award” indicating he would be entitled to the dependency exemption for one of his and his ex-wife’s two children if he stayed current with child support. Upon audit, he also provided a 2003 state court order that incorporated the arbitration award and a 2007 state court order signed by the ex-wife that explicitly required the ex-wife to provide him with an executed Form 8332 or its equivalent if his support payments were current, which they were. The IRS rejected his claim because the award and orders were conditioned upon current payment of child support. The majority opinion of the Tax Court agreed that the state court orders did not unconditionally declare that Armstrong’s ex-wife would not claim the exemption and therefore could not substitute for Form 8332.

Written by Karyn Bybee Friske and Darlene Pulliam. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Research paper explores family courts’ response to applications for enforcement of contact orders

Implacably hostile mothers constitute a small minority of enforcement cases

The Nuffield Foundation has published a briefing paper which summarises findings from research into how and why the family courts respond to applications for enforcement of a contact order following alleged non-compliance.

The briefing– Enforcing contact orders: are the family courts getting it right? – is written by Professor Liz Trinder of Exeter University. Research was carried out by Liz Trinder, Alison Macleoad, Julia Pearce and Hilary Wood of Exeter University, with consultancy from Joan Hunt of Oxford University.

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

Jailed for Nonpayment of Child Support – But it’s Not His Child

The feminists have ratcheted up the laws against men to such an outrageous level that paternity fraud is not just ignored, but routinely rubber stamped by the courts. Whether one agrees with the concept of child support or not, virtually everyone can agree that jailing men for child support over children who are not theirs is morally wrong. Men are routinely sent to jail for falling behind on paying child support, even though debtors’ prisons in the U.S. were mostly eliminated in the mid-nineteenth century.

The family courts and laws are set up in such a way that makes it very easy for a mother to collect child support, and very difficult for a man to avoid it. If a couple was married, the default law is that the man will be required to pay child support for any child born while they were married. In order for a man who isn’t the father to escape this outcome, he must obtain a paternity test and take a series of legal steps in court. Most states only allow a short window of time for a man to do this. If a man is not aware of the child, which he may not be if his wife or former wife doesn’t notify him of the child right away, he loses all chance to fight the child support, and will be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars for the next 18 years until the child becomes an adult.

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