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Divorce Newsletters

Dischargeability in Bankruptcy of Obligations for Alimony, Domestic Support, and Maintenance

Dischargeability of debt is one of the core principles in bankruptcy law, and it plays a large part in the “fresh start” for debtors. Discharge cancels debt and stops collection activity for the discharged debt. There are a variety of debts that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, including alimony and child support.

Grounds for Annulment: Incapacity Under the Influence

Courts have considered a marriage to be a nullity and able to be annulled when it was established that one of the parties was so incapacitated due to drug or alcohol intoxication during the marriage ceremony as to not know what he or she was doing at the time. The degree of incapacity required to invalidate marriage varies from state to state, but generally requires a level of intoxication that would prevent the spouse from assenting to the marriage.

Property Division in Divorce: Presumption Relating to Marital Property

Property division in divorce generally affects only marital property, but some states allow equitable distribution of separate property. Marital property is presumed to be property that is acquired by both or either of the spouses during their marriage. Divorce courts divide marital property according to the classification schemes in controlling statutes or caselaw.

Role of Mediation in Divorce

The divorce process can be a very emotional and trying time in one’s life. Often the process involves confrontations and complicated legal disputes. In recent years, divorce mediation has become more popular because it can be more effective, less costly, and yet a successful method for settling divorce disputes. Mediation is an alternative method of resolving matrimonial issues that are involved in divorce. It is a process in which couples can amicably work out marital, financial, and property-related disputes with the help of a neutral third party known as a mediator.

Temporary Counsel Fees in Divorce

Courts may grant interim attorney fees, while a divorce case is pending, to the spouse who lacks control over the marital assets that will be used to pay the fees. Granting interim relief in a divorce proceeding serves to promote fairness and impartiality by enabling the dependent spouse to maintain or defend the divorce action without being placed at a financial disadvantage. The dependent spouse often can secure attorney fees for appeals as well. Temporary counsel fees often can be estimated by using “rule of thumb” or local custom.