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

California Spousal Support Basics

If you’ve just started researching California spousal support basics (or, if you need a refresher), this article will get you started in the right direction. However, if you need specific advice about your individual situation, it’s likely in your best interests to consult with a qualified family law attorney. In the meantime, it will help you to know…

Spousal Support is NOT Automatic

In California, spousal support is not automatic. If you need it, you must ask for it.

After you file your petition for dissolution (initial divorce papers), file your request for temporary spousal support immediately. If you don’t, you may miss out on several months of payments.

In addition, when you consult with your family law attorney, be sure to let him or her know if you want to explore permanent spousal support.

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

Divorced, but Still in Business Together

Judy Rosenberg and Eliot Winograd have been business partners for 35 years as co-owners of Rosie’s Bakery, a 30-employee, $2.5 million Boston institution with four locations. Their marriage was less successful: It lasted two years, from 1979 to 1981, and “was not a good personal dynamic,” Rosenberg says. Despite their failure to make their marriage last, they attribute their ability to remain in business to mutual trust and admiration for each other’s business skills, among other reasons.

Figuring out how to sustain a family business after a divorce is important: Roughly 65 percent of U.S. businesses are family owned, with about 30 percent co-owned by spouses, estimates Glenn Muske, an entrepreneurship professor at North Dakota State University who has spent 14 years researching couples in business. Between 40 percent and 50 percent of all first marriages will end in divorce, a rate that has declined slightly over the past decade as marriage became less common, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

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

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

Child support payments could go up significantly

Some child support payments in Maryland could soon go up – a change that state Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald called “long overdue.”

For the first time in two decades, lawmakers are poised to revise the guidelines that courts use to set child support when divorcing or unmarried parents cannot agree on an amount. Those guidelines are based on household expense data from the 1970s, and although they accommodate rising incomes, advocates say they don’t account for the escalating costs of raising a child.

Human Resources officials estimate there are about 500,000 child support orders in Maryland – a mix of private agreements and court cases.

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

By the numbers: Same-sex marriage

(CNN) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave proponents of same-sex marriage two major victories — striking down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied the same benefits provided to heterosexual spouses to legally married same-sex couples, and allowing same-sex marriages to resume in California.
Same-sex marriage rulings hailed as historic victory
DOMA ruling has financial impact
Poll: Majority backs same-sex marriage
Here’s a look at same-sex marriage in the United States, by the numbers:

Written by Caitlin Stark and Amy Roberts. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Changes in Spousal Support: When and How it’s Done

OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA – Going through a divorce is never a pleasant experience. Being forced to pay alimony to your former spouse can be an unpleasant monthly reminder of the chapter you’ve fought to close. But continuing to pay alimony to a former spouse who’s moved on and is being supported by someone else? That is like rubbing salt in a wound for some.
Recently we’ve had a couple of clients who found themselves in this situation and we’re happy to report that the outcome for our clients was favorable. We successfully reduced the amount of spousal support they were required to pay. But these scenarios raise some common questions, which we’re addressing in this article.

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