Viewing entries tagged
family

The Expanding and Evolving American Family

The Expanding and Evolving American Family

By Inna G. Materese | Esquire

"What do you call, for example, your stepmother’s son’s live-in girlfriend’s 11-year-old son?" inquires Ben Steverman of Bloomberg. This question gets to the heart of a consideration many family law litigants and practitioners may be encountering more and more.

Us family law practitioners are mostly consumed with what occurred during our clients' marriages, what is taking place during the pending litigation, and protecting our clients' future financial prospects. However, though we may wish our clients well and love to receive updates, we don't always know how their families evolve and grow after the completion of their family law matter. 

With many American families reconfiguring through divorce and remarriage, there is no doubt that many families expand in unexpected ways. Perhaps taking the complexities of post-divorce families into consideration is an important part maintaining familiar relationships. 

The New High Tech Trend in Hiding Marital Assets in Divorce

The New High Tech Trend in Hiding Marital Assets in Divorce

By Inna G. Materese | Esquire

It's hard to read or see the news  these days without running into mention of bitcoin, the crypto-currency that has exploded onto the scene and exponentially increased overnight. Even so, most of us are left scratching our heads when it comes to understanding how it all works or what it all means. 

For family law litigants and practitioners, the prospect of a "bitcoin divorce" is even more of a puzzler. Are bitcoin divisible in equitable distribution? If so, are these asset in the nature of currency or personal property or stocks? Are bitcoin transactions traceable and able to be regulated? Perhaps most importantly, can bitcoin and/or other crypto-currency be withdrawn or sold for actual dollars?

There are currently few definitive answers to these questions. However, we are already seeing the impact of the electronic cash system on divorce matters as some appear to be using the currency as a high-tech method of hiding cash

If you or your partner own crypto-currency, consult with an attorney regarding the best way to deal with this new type of asset. 

Who Gets Custody of Fluffy (In Alaska)?

Who Gets Custody of Fluffy (In Alaska)?

By Inna G. Materese | Esquire

Last month, we touched on an issue that is in the minds of many divorcing couples: Who gets custody of the dog? In our December 19th post, we asked you to consider the international custody case surrounding Berryhill Thinkingsman Crumpet. Berryhill is a dog whose owners were litigating how much time he should spend with each owner. As is the case throughout the country, the court in that case noted that pets are property, rather than family, and refused to apportion custodial time to the once-coupled owners.

As of last week, at least one state has taken steps away from treating pets as property and toward recognizing them as part of the family. In an amendment to its divorce statute, Alaska became the very first state to require courts to “take into consideration the well-being of the animal” and to explicitly empower judges to assign joint custody of pets. Read more….