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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 9, 2015 – Divorce is notably less prevalent now than it was 20 to 30 years ago. The percentage of lasting marriages has been rising in the general population of the United States, particularly among couples who have wed since the 1990s. And on March 4, the Defense Department announced that military divorces, too, have become less common. In 2014, the number of such breakups dropped to their lowest point since 2005. The Pentagon reported that 3.1 percent of married officers and enlisted service members had divorced by the end of 2014 – a […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 2, 2015 – A woman from the Richmond area was recently ordered to pay spousal support to her husband, a man who had attacked her with a hammer and who was later convicted of a felony. Her experience prompted a bill in the Virginia House of Delegates that suggested prohibiting courts from awarding alimony to a spouse who has been convicted of domestic violence. But that measure died in a House of Delegates committee on February 10. Del. Christopher Peace, R-Mechanicsville, sponsored House Bill 2105, which died in the House Courts of Justice Committee. […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 30, 2015 – Conservation easements played a major role in the estate planning of Mellon family parcels for sale. Several key pieces of real estate were among the marquee items in the estate of the late Listerine heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, who died in March 2014 at the age of 103. One of them, a 100-acre estate in Nantucket, Massachusetts, sold for $21.5 million on December 18. As in the case of the Virginian’s other properties for sale, estate-planning-relevant conservation restrictions were attached to the island property. The Bunny Mellon property made headlines in […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 26, 2015 – The state of Mississippi does not recognize same-sex marriages. A divorce case before that state’s Supreme Court may change the national marital landscape. In 2013, a Mississippi County Chancery Judge ruled the state’s constitution and statutes forbade him from granting a divorce to a same-sex couple. The women were married in California in 2008, and could have obtained a divorce in that state. However, they moved to Mississippi to buy a home and ended up going their separate ways in 2010. The foundation of the argument before the Supreme Court […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 23, 2015 – Multi-billionaire Harold Hamm is making the case that passive factors led to the acquisition of wealth during his former marriage — and that his ex-wife is therefore entitled to less of the oil fortune than originally determined. In November, one of the largest divorce cases in U.S. history seemingly concluded when an Oklahoma court ordered oil kingpin Harold Hamm to pay his ex-wife nearly $1 billion. At the time, Hamm, who was estimated to have a personal fortune of $19 billion, called the ruling “fair and equitable” and declared himself happy […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 30, 2014 – Ex-mayor of Buena Park, Calif., caught falsifying driver’s license documentation. Buena Park, Calif., is perhaps most famous as the location of Knott’s Berry Farm, a theme park popular with families. But as of November 19, it has gained notice for another child-centric, though less family-friendly matter: its former mayor, Sangjin Miller Oh, received a sentence of six months in jail and three years probation for lying to the Department of Motor Vehicles in an attempt to avoid paying child support. An Orange County jury found Oh guilty in May of five […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 18, 2014 – Army officer gets discharge and indictment upon discovery of simultaneous marriages. Bigamy, while not the most common cause of marital disputes ending up in criminal court, landed former Army Sgt. Courtney Brown an indictment in late October. A Cumberland County, North Carolina, grand jury handed down the indictment against Brown, 30, who was not prosecuted explicitly for bigamy while serving in the military. Instead, after months of congressional inquiries as well as military and civilian investigations, the Army discharged Brown for fraud, forgery and adultery in early October. Brown’s fourth wife, […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 24, 2014 – An existing state statute lets faith-based adoption agencies decline services to same-sex couples. When the U.S. Supreme Court denied same-sex marriage appeals on October 6, its historic decision paved the way for gay marriage in several states — including some, like Virginia, where the political climate has been relatively unreceptive to the unions. But while local court clerks in the commonwealth now have straightforward instructions to start performing same-sex marriages, the ways the benefits of some other laws will be made available to same-sex couples in the Old Dominion remain unsettled. […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 18, 2014 – Upon her passing, Ruth T. Bedford left $40 million to her beloved alma mater, doubling its endowment. Unexpected gifts often prove the most gratifying, but sometimes the magnitude of an unforeseen act of charity can leave the recipient stunned. And stunned is how the administrators of the all-girls Foxcroft School near Middleburg, Virginia, felt when they learned that Standard Oil heiress Ruth T. Bedford bequeathed their institution $40 million when she died in June. Bedford, who was 99 when she passed away, served with the Red Cross during the London Blitz, […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 31, 2010 – Obtaining an ex-spouse’s tax return is not always an easy task, and often, the other side ignores requests for information. Divorcing parties should first make such a request politely to increase the chances of receiving the requested material. Antagonizing the other spouse is usually counterproductive, even though it is his or her statutory duty to provide the information requested. Ignoring such a request may be viewed as stalling, and the spouse seeking to obtain a fair support amount may find it necessary to refer to the various sanctions the law […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 29, 2014 – Not every marriage can be saved. But as divorce mediator Gerald Maggio explains, families who choose divorce mediation can save themselves from serious emotional strain and financial difficulty. “Time and time again, we see how financial trauma from litigated divorce can change the course of peoples’ lives,” said Maggio, a licensed mediator who specializes in creating fair and cost-effective mediated agreements. “Litigated divorces can take years to finalize, and they can cost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.” Maggio explained that many families run through retirement savings and […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 28, 2014 – Parental cash assistance for a down payment can actually shield a family’s wealth from probate in the future. The recent recession seriously impacted the U.S. economy and noticeably changed the socio-economic fabric of the country. In that environment, more young adults opted to live with their parents in order to save money. Now that the economy is recovering, another change has helped reverse the earlier trend: more parents helping their grown children accumulate a down payment for a house of their own — an act that also fits in with some […]


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Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 27, 2014 – Who has the right to the engagement ring if an engagement is terminated? Most couples think that when a man presents a woman with a diamond ring, the ring belongs to the fiancée even if the engagement is broken. That is not necessarily the case. In California, there are specific rules dealing with ownership of the ring and the right to its recovery if the couple decides not to marry. “Diamonds may not always be forever,” said Gerald Maggio, an Orange Country divorce attorney. “If an engagement is called off, under […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 22, 2014 – California Divorce Mediators, a divorce mediation practice in Orange County, California, offers dedicated divorce mediation options for couples experiencing extreme levels of conflict. “We believe every couple deserves the opportunity to choose a cost-effective divorce,” said Gerald Maggio, founder of California Divorce Mediators. “By matching the circumstances of a particular couple to the correct mediation process, we can bring even hostile couples through to a sustainable divorce agreement.” According to a study from Pepperdine University, the characteristics of high-conflict couples include constant arguing, quick hostility and verbal aggression. The study […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 21, 2014 – A Virginia program that puts noncustodial parents to work, rather than in jail, for nonpayment is showing results. The Intensive Case Monitoring Program (ICMP) channels noncustodial parents who have shirked their child support obligations into careers, not incarceration. Recently, the program has expanded to more jurisdictions in Virginia — and as the ICMP has ramped up its presence through the commonwealth, so too, has it increased the amount of money Virginia has collected for child support. The ICMP operates under the auspices of the Division of Child Support Enforcement. It was […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 23, 2014 – In their information about the process of divorce, the California Courts recommend that all couples consider mediation. “It is unsurprising that the California Judicial Branch officially recommends divorce mediation,” said Gerald Maggio, a California divorce attorney and mediator. “Right now, California family court judges are dealing with an enormous backlog of cases. And many are divorce cases that wind up up simply as a division of debts because the couple has spent all of their assets on divorce attorneys.” In the State of California, all divorces take a minimum of […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 16, 2014 – California Divorce Mediators, formerly Orange County Divorce Mediators, has launched a new website dedicated to helping divorcing couples gain a better understanding of divorce mediation. “We want to help families find ways to reduce the cost of divorce and to avoid the damaging conflicts created by traditional litigated divorce,” remarked Gerald Maggio, founder of California Divorce Mediators. “Many divorcing parties are not very knowledgeable about divorce mediation, and that is one reason we have created this website.” Private divorce mediation is a process whereby divorcing parties work with a court-approved […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 15, 2014 – Probate filings for musician Lou Reed’s estate were recently entered in the Surrogate’s Court, Manhattan’s probate court. With an estate worth over $30 million and assets still earning millions in royalties and other income, Reed was among a small number of individuals who relied only on a will for estate planning. Reed left only a 34-page will, signed in April 2012. Reed passed away on October 27, 2013 from liver disease, at the age of 71. “A well-written trust can make estate administration quicker and more private,” said Lisa McDevitt, an […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 8, 2014 – The divorce rate in the United States is rising, a trend credited in large part to the economic recovery of the past several years. During the 18-month recession, the divorce rate plunged to a 40-year low. Since then, the divorce rate has recovered, rising each year. In 2012, the most recent year for which U.S. Census Bureau data is available, 2.4 millions Americans divorced. “When times are tough, unhappy couples are more likely to stay together for financial reasons,” said Lisa McDevitt, a divorce attorney in Florida. “With the economy in […]


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Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – According to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, children with divorced parents are more likely to be obese. Researchers studied more than 3,000 third-graders, comparing children of divorced parents to children of married parents and children of parents who never married. The children with divorced parents were 54 percent more likely to be obese. The research does not conclusively identify why children of divorce have the highest rate of obesity. But researchers speculate that decreased time and money for healthy meals may contribute to the problem. “Children […]


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