Archives for dc divorce lawyer

ADMISSIBILITY OF AN OUT OF COURT STATEMENT IN TRIAL: HEARSAY EXCEPTIONS

In both criminal trials as well as the civil cases often the outcome hinges on a witness statement that is hearsay (out of court statement) but admissible under one of the exceptions. The Court of Appeals in Sims v. U.S., decided on August 15, 2019, expanded and explained in details the admissibility of the “present sense impression” exception to the hearsay rule. Sims was convicted of murder at trial and a significant corroborating evidence was introduced through the present sense impression statement/exception to the hearsay rule. One of witnesses at trial testified that he arrived to the scene shortly after
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LEGAL ELEMENTS FOR CHILD’S NAME CHANGE PETITION AFTER DC DIVORCE

The Court of Appeals in Melbourne v. Taylor[1], analyzed and opined on the legal standard for a parent to change the child’s name after separation and divorce. The general legal standard for a name change petition by either parents after separation or divorce is the best interests of the child criteria as listed in defined in the legal custody statute § 16-831: The child’s need for continuity of care and caretakers, and for timely integration into a stable and permanent home, taking into account the differences in the development and the concept of time of children of different ages; The
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APPELLATE PROCESS IN THE FAMILY CASES

In most family cases, the litigation does not and should not end by the Associate Judge or the Magistrate Judge’s final ruling. As these cases are not jury demandable, often times the assigned Judge may issue multiple rulings, including final decree of divorce, division of property, alimony and child support as well as the physical and legal custody of the children.  Significant and life altering decisions and all by a single Judge who may be subjectively objective. And although most family judges are experienced, fair and equitable in dispensing decisions well supported in fact and law – there are cases
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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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