October 31

Kim Kardashian Divorcing Kris Humphries and Doesn’t Want to Pay His Attorney Fees

Kim Kardashian Divorcing Kris Humphries and Doesn’t Want to Pay His Attorney Fees

According to TMZ, after 72 days of marriage, Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from her husband Kris Humphries. Currently a free agent, Humphries played Power Forward for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets from 2009 to 2011. Kardashian’s petition seeks, among other relief, a declaration that each party is responsible for their own attorney fees.

In divorce actions, courts often have the power to order one spouse to pay the attorney fees of the other spouse in order to create a level playing field in the litigation and to assure that both parties have access to capable representation. This prevents the spouse with greater assets from “bullying” the other spouse into settling the case.

October 20

Child Support From an Anonymous Sperm Donor?

Child Support From an Anonymous Sperm Donor?

But what happens if a woman, who was artificially inseminated by the sperm of an anonymous sperm donation, determines the identity of the father and then petitions the court for child support from the father? The answer is that in New York, we do not yet have a conclusive answer. In, P.D. v. S.K., one of the very few cases on the topic of support from sperm donors, the Nassau County Family Court required a sperm-donor father to pay child support despite “numerous promises that he would have no rights or benefits in raising the child, nor any financial responsibilities.” It was especially important in this case, that father and mother, who had known each other prior to the donation, had agreed to the father’s sperm donation and that the father was active in the child’s life.

September 29

Terrell Owens Faces Incarceration for Failure to Pay Child Support

Terrell Owens Faces Incarceration for Failure to Pay Child Support

Earlier in September, Melanie Paige Smith sued former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens for $10,000 in child support payments. According to Ms. Smith’s lawyer, Randall Kessler, Mr. Owens unilaterally decided to stop paying his support obligation this summer because he is no longer playing professional football. Ms. Smith’s petition, filed in Atlanta’s Fulton County Superior Court, sought $10,000 (representing two months of missed payments at $5,000 per month) or a finding of contempt and incarceration of Mr. Owens if he failed to make payment.

September 7

Husband Leaves Wife and Gets her Lotto Winnings in Divorce

Husband Leaves Wife and Gets her Lotto Winnings in Divorce

Very frequently married couples will separate without taking any legal action regarding their relationship. Although remaining married can provide certain benefits, such as continued insurance coverage for a spouse who otherwise would have to pay out-of-pocket, failing to file for divorce can have serious legal consequences. Patricia Eisel of Long Island now knows of those consequences. Patricia and Jamie Eisel had been married for over a decade when Jamie left his wife in 2010. Early this year, before either party had filed for divorce, Patricia won the New York lottery and received a lump-sum of approximately $8 million after taxes.

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