Same-sex divorce request to test Indiana law

An Indiana man who married his same-sex partner in Massachusetts is testing his home state’s legal boundaries, having filed a divorce petition there despite the state’s refusal to recognize such unions.

Donald Schultz Lee doesn’t meet the residency requirement for a divorce in Massachusetts, so his attorney filed his petition to divorce Justin Schultz Lee with the Marion County clerk’s office in Indianapolis.

Clerk Beth White told WISH-TV that last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act is likely to “create some situations I think all around the state of Indiana that many of us are not used to handling.”

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

Alimony law in Florida changes drastically under new bill

TALLAHASSEE Florida lawmakers sent Gov. Rick Scott a bill Thursday that would drastically overhaul the state’s alimony laws, reforming payments that opponents say have been critical to ex-spouses — mostly women — who are trying to rebuild their lives after the breakup of their marriage.

SB 718, approved by lawmakers by an 85-31 vote, would end permanent alimony, cap alimony awards based on a person’s income and the length of the marriage and make it easier for an ex-spouse to terminate or lower alimony payments upon retirement. It also gives parents equal custody of any children in the marriage.

Written by Kathleen Haughney and Lisa Huriash. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Bill to reform criminal law of child neglect fails to receive second reading in Commons

The Children’s charity Action for Children is calling on MPs not to ignore the needs of vulnerable neglected children after a bill to reform the law on child neglect failed to get a hearing in parliament.

Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns, Matthew Downie, said:

“We’re frustrated and disappointed that parliament wasn’t able to find time to debate this much needed law reform to protect neglected children. The current 80-year-old law is simply not fit for purpose and is failing hundreds of neglected children every year.

“We’re calling on the public to continue to remind MPs why children suffering from emotional and psychological neglect need protection. We were delighted that today, the professional body for social workers, the British Association of Social Work, publicly backed the campaign.

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

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

Why your law firm managing partner or chair should go social

Alexander Ingram (Alex_M_Ingram), an account coordinator at InkHouse Media + Marketing, shared some thoughts this morning on why your CEO should go social.

For years, CEOs protected themselves from the public and left most of the talking to their PR agencies. Regularly communicating in a public forum was simply not part of a CEO’s job description. Today, the massive onslaught of businesses adopting social media has provided a unique opportunity for finally personalizing the voice – and influence – of these company leaders. However, with a few high-profile exceptions (Richard Branson), CEOs have largely remained out of the mix, often too busy to take the time to participate in the incessant roar of the social channels. Executives, particularly the CEO, can provide a perspective that no one else in your business can, and social media offers a great platform to disseminate that message.

Ingram’s logic applies equally to managing partners or executive committee chairs at law firms. Despite social providing law firm leaders a unique and powerful opportunity, by and large, they’ve been silent.

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

Gay divorce, the next frontier

Margaret Klaw is a founding partner of Berner Klaw & Watson, a law firm in Philadelphia, and author of the forthcoming book “Keeping It Civil: The Case of the Pre-Nup and the Porsche & Other True Accounts from the Files of a Family Lawyer.”

When the Supreme Court ruled a key aspect of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional last month, it made a life-changing difference to many married same-sex couples, who will now be entitled to all the federal benefits they were previously denied. But those gay couples whose marriages aren’t working out remain in legal purgatory.

Divorce is solely the province of state law. If a couple who were wed in New York but live in Philadelphia want to be divorced, well, they can’t be. Not only is same-sex marriage prohibited in Pennsylvania — the court’s landmark ruling in United States v. Windsor does nothing to change that — but Pennsylvania’s “mini DOMA,” passed in 1996, provides that such a marriage entered into elsewhere is “void in this Commonwealth.” And if Pennsylvania doesn’t recognize you as being married, its courts have no authority to divorce you.

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

DOMA and Prop 8: The Supreme Court Could Punt On Gay Marriage

Another day of the Supreme Court issuing rulings on cases, another opportunity to not issue a decision on the two most anticipated cases of the year.

Despite the Court’s decision in the highly anticipated Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case regarding race conscious decision-making in university admissions, there is still no word on decisions for the duo of same-sex marriage cases that have been eagerly anticipated since the cases were argued earlier this year. Instead, the Court has announced that it will return Tuesday and Thursday mornings to — presumably — issue a ruling on both cases (likely on Thursday).

In preparation of what promises to be an onslaught of intense media coverage and irrational Facebook back-and-forths here is a quick rundown on the gay marriage cases the Court is set to rule on.

In US v. Windsor the Court addresses whether or not the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates federal law by not allowing same-sex couples to have access to federal programs and laws.

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