Archives for dc divorce lawyer

COMMON LAW MARRIAGE: LEGAL ELEMENTS: SAME SEX COUPLES: DC DIVORCE LAWYER

The Court of Appeals in Gill v. Nostrand, decided on April 25, 2019, defined and analyzed the legal elements for common law marriage pertaining to same sex couples. Here Gill moved for legal separation against Nostrand requesting alimony and division of property shortly after Nostrand legally married another partner. The trial court in short determined that the relationship did not meet the requisite requirements of common law marriage, the Court of Appeals with further detailed analysis affirmed. In its ruling, the Court held that a party in a same-sex relationship must be given the opportunity to prove a common law
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CONSTITUTIONAL CLAIMS ARISING OUT OF REMOVAL OF CHILDREN DUE TO NEGLECT

The DC Court of Appeals in J.C v. D.C., reversed and remanded some of the constitutional claims raised by the biological parents after the removal of their eight months old twins due to the allegations of abuse and neglect. Factually, the parents had taken one of the babies to the Children’s hospital due to excessive vomiting, retching, and general irritability.  At the hospital, the treating physician had diagnosed the child as suffering from “shaken baby syndrome” and the contacted Child Protection Services (“CPS”).  CPS thus removed also the twin baby from the home in the middle of the night and
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ANNULMENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: LEGAL ELEMENTS

In the District of Columbia, annulment of marriage has a limited scope. Specifically, marriage can only be annulled under the following circumstances: (1) where such marriage was contracted while either of the parties was previously married a former spouse living, unless the former marriage had been lawfully dissolved prior to the marriage. (2) where such marriage was contracted during the insanity of either party. If there is however voluntary cohabitation after the discovery of the insanity by either party – such may be ground for estoppel negating request for annulment. (3) where such marriage was procured by fraud or coercion:
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STOCK OPTIONS ORDINARY INCOME IN DC DIVORCE? DC RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION

The Court of Appeals in Crater v. Oliver decided on February 14, 2019, considered whether stock options would be an ordinary income for the purposes of dispensing alimony payments. Generally the court considered the following factors in the award of alimony: Ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting; Time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to secure suitable employment; Standard of living that the parties established during their marriage or domestic partnership, but giving consideration to the fact that there will be 2 households to
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DISTRIBUTION OF RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS AFTER MARRIAGE: DC COURT OF APPEALS

The Court of Appeals in Reed v. Rowe decided on November 15, 2018, addressed how a sole retirement account would be dispersed after a marriage to the surviving spouse. The Reeds were married on August 6, 2011. Prior to the marriage and for over fifteen years Mr. Reed held a sole retirement account designating his sister Ms. Rowe as the sole survivor. Shortly after the marriage, the trial court found that the couple initiated a joint account and commingled funds to and from the account. This was not though the retirement account subject of the litigation. There was some evidence
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DC DIVORCE AND AWARD OF ALIMONY — HOW AND HOW MUCH AWARDED …

In a divorce proceeding involving legal determination of the child support, and alimony obligations, the court will reach a global ruling while considering compelling elements enumerated in the Statute pertaining specifically to alimony but the decision will not be in vacuum. The Statute specifically provides order of alimony when “just and proper” factoring the listed legal elements that the court balances as well as all the relevant factors necessary for a fair and equitable award: (1) ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting; (2) time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training
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ALIMONY PAYMENTS AND THE NEW TAX CODE: DC DIVORCE LAWYER

Tax changes promulgated with introduction of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) in 2017 will affect large groups of population, including couples finalizing their divorce in 2019. Beginning January 1, 2019 the paying spouse will no longer be able take deduct alimony, and the recipient spouse will not need to report alimony as income. That is, the alimony payments will be treated same as child support payments. In short, all agreements made or orders entered from that date forward, the party paying alimony will not be able to deduction such payments on his/her tax return. The receiving party will not declare the
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: DC CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER: SPECIAL IMMIGRATION JUVENILE STATUS

The Court of Appeals in Benitez v. John Doe, decided on September 6, 2018, reversed the trial court decision in denying an Special Immigration Status for a juvenile (“J.V.B”) subject of this appeal. The “SIJ” statute provides, in relevant part: [A special immigrant juvenile is] an immigrant who is present in the United States: (i) who has been declared dependent on a juvenile court located in the United States or whom such a court has legally committed to, or placed under the custody of, an agency or department of a State, or an individual or entity appointed by a State
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AWARD OF ATTORNEY’S FEES: WHEN APPLICABLE? WASHINGTON DC DIVORCE LAWYER

The DC Divorce Statute provides a provision for Pendente Lite (while pending) award of: Alimony Child Support Spousal Support Health Insurance coverage Cash Medical support And Attorney’s fee and suit money That is, while the matter is filed and pending, either party may request financial assistance while the litigation is pending and the issues are being decided through the court system. This is important as a typical contested divorce involving property division and child custody can stretch out for months. In awarding the pendente lite support, the court will consider and evaluate factors enumerated in §16-913 (d) award of alimony
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: ENHANCED REUNIFICATION SERVICES UNDER ADA: DC FAMILY LAWYER

The Court of Appeals in IN RE H.C.; K.C decided on July 5, 2018, redefined and expounded on what constitutes reasonable efforts toward the goal of reunification when dealing with a parent with intellectual disability and eligible for receiving services through DDS (“Department of Disability Services.”) In this case the child was removed at birth from the mother’s care due to the mother’s cognitive and intellectual disabilities. The trial court had held that mother’s intellectual disabilities and mental health needs rendered her incapable of properly caring for the child even with the wrap around services, parental training and other assistance
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