Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Can You REDUCE Your Spousal Support?

Does this look like your ex shopping online spending all the spousal support?

In some cases, if there was no advance preparation for working on spousal support, and your ex never worked a day in her life, or was just plain lazy, or she did work, but kept getting fired-- all of these are good reasons not to get married again.....On the other hand, if you genuinely still like your ex, and you just can't really afford to pay her, you need to consider everything.... and I mean everything.

When you either went to court last, or were fighting in court, did your attorney tell you there were or were not any options re paying support? Did you definitely give the ex anything just to get rid of her complaining?  Did you understand how support is calculated and whether a workout was even possible?  Did you own property and attempt to cash out your part and then trade that for years of paying?
Did you have too much cash on hand or inherit a good sum where you did not even care how much she got?  Were you involved with increasing your child share time?  Did you waste most of your money on gambling, vacations or bad investments, or even other women?  Did you lose too much money in bad real estate transactions?  Did you have too much separate or community debt and failed to explore bankruptcy liquidation or wage earner planning?  Did you fail to size up what community debts/assets you took or didn't take, and then ended up on the losing end?

Once in awhile, in long term marriages, it is not entirely possible to reduce or pay less spousal. However, because the spousal is based in part, on the ability to pay, it actually IS possible to set up methods of having to pay less. Of course we are not talking about illegal methods. There are usually tradeoffs that can be considered. Attorney understands that it is highly upsetting to consider renting for the next 8 years while the ex not only gets the house, and lives in it, she still doesn't even work?  For these issues to be minimized or eliminated, one really has to get that thinking cap on.

Attorney is NEVER in favor of  (a) giving away anything, unless it can be rationalized elsewhere (monetarily)  or (b) keeping everything, because it's out of spite   (c) ignoring attorney, because you do not care anymore    (d) failing to keep track of finances, because of whatever reason  (e) being unreasonable, because you are driving up the ex's attorney bill on purpose....

Final question:
Did some judge tell you that if your completely separate
real property was under water, that even
 though you contributed 
all the cash, traceable funds
 into that real property, 
that he would just give that property 
to the other party because of some family law code??!!! 
..and that you just lost your hard earned cash ($100,000)  
you put down because judge knew what he was doing??? 

Believe me--that is definitely the WRONG ANSWER
 from any legal perspective. 
You don't need to be a family law specialist to know 
that lack of "equity" in separate property means 
you just give it away to the other person!!!! 
Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!  Do not ever let this happen to you. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Winning in Unusual Way! from 2015

In another instance of trial, after cross examining the other party, the opposing counsel suddenly called a recess.

After 7 years of never being able to get a dime out of the ex, who had already filed bankruptcy, my client, having previously used 3 different lawyers, [w/o a good result],  ended up contacting attorney herein --- for trial.
The opposing attorney stopped the trial and offered a combo of about $23,000 combined cash/property $100,000, and attorney fees of $6,000. This likely meant that if they had NOT stopped the trial, my client would had gotten spousal, but we would have had to chase him forever across the USA to get it. Client elected to take the offer. Because attorney herein cornered the ex spouse on the stand for what appeared to be potential bankruptcy fraud, the rest is history......

In another instance, a civil case by a former wife against former husband and girlfriend, the husband  had already been convicted of homicide (and was on appeal, he lost); the case then went to jury on issue on civil liability as to both husband and girlfriend. Keeping in mind husband was already convicted of first degree murder, the jury decided that husband was only 60% at fault in civil case. 

Normally the civil case has much less burden of proof, so finding the husband only 60% and not 100% evidently meant, jury wanted to punish the girlfriend because they took 40% and assigned it-- NOT-- to the husband. This verdict was reported in Verdict Search, a national reporting source for large verdicts nationwide. Counsel representing the girlfriend was from insurance defense firm.

Currently, the former wife has not been able to collect much on the verdict [of millions] after paying fees/costs and it is anticipated she will not be able to collect in the future. Very interesting case, which also involved animals (pet dogs) owned by the husband/son. Son was stabbed when father went to check on condition of dogs; father claims son ran into the knife by lunging forward.

In a very unusual scenario, attorney was substituted into a case with a client who did not reside locally;  a hearing on an issue was set for a date only several days away, at which time attorney believed the hearing could be continued. It seems the hearing was in fact a trial (according to Judge) -- and the client was not present and Judge did not want to continue the issue. Attorney went forward on the issue, with no witness or client. Using only cross examination, Attorney actually won the trial--much to surprise of  witnesses present and including opposing counsel.

This is very uncommon, but imagine how your case might work out if attorney can do this, without even having a client or a witness?

Attorney thinks it's fair to say, you would be in good hands. Especially if other attorneys have failed in the past on your case.

Note: All of these scenarios are actual cases but by no means are such outcomes considered standard. Each case has different facts and various laws which will apply; each case can vary tremendously, and attorney is not representing that such outcomes are common. However, attorney does have a very high percent of cases that settle or result in what the client wanted.

Monday, July 9, 2018

New Alimony Law Affecting Payors in 2019--Are You Ready?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminates the alimony DEDUCTION for the payor spouse as applied to divorce orders or modification orders executed on or after 1/1/19 if the modification states that the TCJA applies. POTENTIAL payors of alimony may want to obtain a divorce agreement or order before the end of the year.

Conversely, recipients of alimony may want to hold off until 2019 so that the alimony payments are non taxable.   https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/03/19/marital-dissolution-planning-after-the-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act/?slreturn=20180611105622

Without the alimony deduction as to the payor's taxable income,  the payor would have a tax increase, therefore obtaining the order prior to the cut off will likely end up saving the payor some funds in many cases. It is suggested that contacting your tax consultant is a wise idea.