A recent Supreme Court decision in Sachau v. Sachau, 206 N.J. 1 (2011), highlights the impact of silence on key terms involving real estate in property settlement agreements (PSAs). Sachau centers on a PSA that was incorporated into the parties’ final judgment of divorce. The PSA, which was executed in 1979, provided that the marital residence would be held jointly by the parties until it was sold. Moreover, Ms. Sachau and the two children would be entitled to reside there until the youngest child reached 18. At that time, the PSA further stated, the house would be appraised and listed for sale within 30 days. Upon sale of the house, Mr. Sachau would receive $15,000, Mrs. Sachau would receive $10,000, with the remainder split evenly between them. The PSA failed to address, however, the amount to be divided if no action were taken by the parties to sell the house within 30 days. This in fact is exactly how the scenario played itself out. [Read more…] about Valuation of Real Estate in NJ Matrimonial Case
What began as a motion in a divorce case by defendant Chinelo Onyiuke to relocate her children to Maryland resulted in the discovery of fictitious child care expenses deducted on her ex-husband’s personal tax returns. David and Chinelo were divorced in May 2007 with two children. In June 2009, Chinelo filed a motion to relocate with her children to Maryland for both financial and personal reasons. [Read more…] about Tax Fraud in NJ Divorce Case Reported to IRS
Patricia Spence V.S. Walter Guy Chalow
Patricia, the plaintiff, and Walter, the defendant, were divorced in January 1995, with two children. The PSA (property settlement agreement) incorporated into their final judgment a child support obligation upon the defendant of $150 week. The PSA noted that this amount was not “based on the child support guidelines because both parties are self-employed”(Walter was a contractor; Patricia, a “credit searcher”) their incomes fluctuate and cannot be precisely determined.” The court determined that the defendant’s annual income was $153,199 and set a child support obligation of $267 per week.
The new same-sex marriage law passed by New York State will present a serious challenge for many same-sex couples seeking a divorce. WhileNew York now recognizes same-sex marriage, most other states do not. Should a New York couple move to one of those states and decides to divorce, they may face great difficulty. The state may simply refuse to grant a divorce to a union it does not legally recognize. Greg Abbott, Texas’ attorney general, has already intervened with this argument in two same-sex divorces. To add to the complication, even if the couple decided to return to New York, the state requires residency of at least 90 days to obtain a divorce (unlike marriage which has no residency requirement.) Richard Socarides, who was an advisor to President Bill Clinton on gay issues, said the present inconsistencies in the law might eventually work to move the cause of same-sex marriage forward as more and more of these unions are formed. The new law in New York should only serve to speed up theprocess, as history has shown that more marriages inevitably result in more divorces.
Tax returns for same sex couples are a minefield! Tax free asset transfers under IRS Code Sec. 1041 and alimony under IRS Code Sec. 71 are fine on a state level, but, NOT, for US tax returns. Some same sex divorces, especially with children, may require divorce attorneys, CPAs, estate, and contract attorneys, in order to sort things out and keep economic damages from the split at a minimum. Until the U.S. recognizes same sex marriages the über complicated financial aspects of the divorce will only add to the emotional trauma of the divorce itself.
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