May 29

Pre-nuptial Agreements, Cohabitation Agreements and Relationship Agreements on Big Bang Theory

Pre-nuptial Agreements, Cohabitation Agreements and Relationship Agreements on Big Bang Theory

Until recently, it was very rare for personal relationships to be governed by a written contract. In recent years though, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of formal agreements to govern the rights and responsibilities of such relationships. Probably most common is the pre-nuptial agreement (or prenup), a contract executed prior to marriage which determines the legal obligations of the parties during the marriage and afterwards in the event of a divorce. Pre-nuptial agreements usually require that the parties enter into a legal-recognize marriage in order for the terms of the agreement to become effective.

May 22

Grounds for Divorce in New York

Grounds for Divorce in New York

Until 2010, New York did not allow “no-fault” divorce. This meant that one spouse had to prove grounds for divorce. In 2010, the New York State legislature added “irretrievable breakdown” to the list of grounds for divorce. Although irretrievable breakdown is included among the list of grounds for divorce, it was intended to allow no fault divorce. New York’s Domestic Relations Law § 170 lists all permissible grounds for divorce.

May 21

An Increasing Number of Women Paying Child Support and Alimony / Maintenance

An Increasing Number of Women Paying Child Support and Alimony / Maintenance

The “Gender Gap” may be diminishing. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers is reporting that many attorneys say that they have seen an increase in the number of women paying child support and alimony (or maintenance as it is known in New York).

There are a number of possible explanations for this change. It is believed that, as a result of changing “gender roles” in the family, an increasing number of fathers have custody of their children and therefore receive child support from the mothers. Another likely cause is the fact that there has been a tremendous increase in the number of families in which the wife earns more money than the husband, which then, after a divorce, results in the former wife paying alimony (or maintenance) to the former husband.

May 18

Maryland’s Highest Court Allows Same-Sex Divorce

Today, Maryland’s highest court (Court of Appeals), in the case of Port v. Cowan, unanimously ruled that the state can grant divorces to same-sex couples legally married in other states. The decision states that “a valid out-of-state same-sex marriage should be treated by Maryland courts as worthy of divorce.”

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