property division Archives - Page 4 of 6 - Cordell & Cordell

New York divorce leads to dispute over dog ownership

A battle over a golden-doodle dog has increased the difficulty of the divorce process for a prominent couple in New York City, according to the New York Daily News.

James O’Hanlon and Susan McCarthy, who own the trendy Greenwich Village restaurant Agave, will reignite their battle in court. This new development will make the process more painful since they have already been warring in Nassau County Court for more than two years, the news source reported.

According to The Associated Press, the battle has expanded to include other members of the family, as the daughter of James O’Hanlon has now claimed that she is the rightful owner of the pooch. Slaney O’Hanlon alleges that she was given the pooch during the legal battle and should be granted custody, against the wishes of McCarthy.

Slaney’s aunt and James O’Hanlon’s sister, Margaret Healy, alleged that McCarthy had left the girl a nasty voicemail and went as far as following her in a car.

“I couldn’t believe she followed me in the car,” Healy told the Daily News. “I almost fainted.”

Mexico City lawmakers consider drastic change to divorce marriage laws

The process of divorce in the U.S. affects many citizens each day and can lead to unhappiness and discontent due to complications that arise in the painful proceedings. While Americans struggle with this issue, Mexico City has brought legislation forward that may change the nature of marriage in the country, Reuters reported.

A group of lawmakers in the Mexican capital want to help newlyweds avoid the hassle of divorce by providing an easy exit strategy for their citizens. They have proposed temporary marriage licences that would last for two years and can be renewed if the couple is happy, according to the news source.

“The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends,” Leonel Luna, the Mexico City assemblyman who co-authored the bill, told Reuters. “You wouldn’t have to go through the tortuous process of divorce.”

According to CNN, the legislation was put forth by Luna due to the fact that more than 50 percent of the marriages in Mexico end in divorce, and it would help the two individuals reach a fair settlement over who receives what in the separation.

The effect of divorce on small business ownership

Though divorces can be difficult on all involved parties, sometimes the thing that suffers the most is a small business. However, an individual’s company doesn’t have to become entangled in the legal process, according to Reuters.

Glenn Phillips, the founder of software consulting firm Forte Inc., knows all too well the effect that a divorce can have on a business. The innovator estimated that his legal battle cost him more than $200,000 in lost new business and his wife’s attorneys constantly forced him to disrupt business meetings to dig up reams of paperwork, the news source reported.

“The divorce forced me to reexamine my life and how the business was structured,” Phillips told Reuters. “I became more of a delegator.”

Depending on the state in which the divorce occurs, the process can become burdensome for a small business owner. The claims against an individual can hurt their business, and can make the legal battle a painful and public spectacle, according to the news source.

The National Federation of Independent Business reported that an amicable agreement between the two spouses can save a business, and an unbalanced outcome can lead to a dismemberment of the company.

Keeping a small business running after divorce

After a divorce, many things come to an end. Financially, many ties are severed, and this can be devastating to a small business owned by the couple or one of the spouses. According to Reuters, the cost of a divorce and the time away from a business to handle divorce-related issues can easily sink a venture.

In some cases, divorce and small business troubles may be even more interrelated, the news source found. The difficult economy has left many entrepreneurs working long hours to keep their businesses afloat, which can have a negative impact on family life. Additionally, financial struggles can also strain a relationship.

However, a small business does not have to die along with a marriage. A family law attorney told BusinessWeek that business owners must make wise decisions as the divorce proceedings continue. For example, all finances will be an open book, so entrepreneurs must not try to conceal anything financially. These actions could come back to haunt them. Additionally, hiring a financial expert could be beneficial in the long run.

“It’s also important to hire a savvy forensic accountant who can provide in-depth understanding of the applicable law and who has the expertise to testify in court,” the lawyer explained.

Spousal support award reversed in Tennessee Supreme Court

When Craig Gonsewski went through a divorce from his wife Johanna after 21 years of marriage, he was ordered to pay lifetime alimony to his ex-spouse. However, the Tennessee Supreme Court has absolved him of that duty because his ex-wife holds a stable job with considerable income, the Chattanoogan reports.

After the divorce, spousal support was denied because both parties were college educated with high-paying jobs, according to the news source, but on an appeal to the Court of Appeals, that decision was reversed and Gonsewski was forced to pay $1,250 per month in alimony until his ex-wife’s death or remarriage.

Then the state Supreme Court stepped in, unanimously voting to eliminate the lifetime alimony award because of Johanna Gonsewski’s stable finances and her significant amount of assets taken during the division of property. The ex-wife argued to the court that she could not maintain her previous standard of living before the divorce, which is a major factor in awarding alimony, but the Supreme Court disagreed.

According to WDEF, the divorce rate in Tennessee is above the national average, at 11.4 percent for men and 11.6 percent for women. The news source reports that spike could be due to the shorter divorce process in the state compared to other areas.