CHAPTER 8 DIVORCE SEPARATION 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning

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CHAPTER 8 DIVORCE & SEPARATION © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

CHAPTER 8 DIVORCE & SEPARATION © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Divorce is Big Business • Michael and Libby:

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Divorce is Big Business • Michael and Libby: Until Divorce Do They Part • Hiring An Attorney: A Law Firm Enters the Picture…Almost • Define pro se © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Efficient Appointment Procedure and Avoiding Conflict of Interest

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Efficient Appointment Procedure and Avoiding Conflict of Interest Problems • Check for a conflict of interest prior to having a prospective client come in for an appointment – Computer programs that cross check – Attorney may have a brief telephone consultation prior to the first appointment • Know why a client is making an appointment © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • A New Client for the Law Firm •

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • A New Client for the Law Firm • First impression is a lasting impression • Clients first appointment is typically the first legal step toward ending a marriage • For most clients the initial meeting is a huge emotional drain • Once the client has decided to proceed they are given a retainer agreement © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Meeting Your Client’s Needs • A paralegal will

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Meeting Your Client’s Needs • A paralegal will often have more contact with a client than the attorney • The paralegal’s relationship with a client can influence whether the client returns for other legal work • A satisfied client means referrals and job security © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Susan Trains for Divorce Practice • Support staff

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Susan Trains for Divorce Practice • Support staff can make or break a law firm’s reputation • Susan is Assigned to Her First Divorce Case • Three sides to every story – True story – Her story – His story © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Meeting the New Client • List the essential

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Meeting the New Client • List the essential questions to be asked during the initial meeting • Review the interview: Libby Tells It Like It Is (Exhibit 8: 1) • Susan’s Reaction to the Client Interview • Review the retainer agreement (Exhibit 8: 2) © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Dealing with a Client’s Immediate Financial Needs •

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Dealing with a Client’s Immediate Financial Needs • Define pendente lite • Temporary support must be asked for before a judge or in some states, a commission • Define interlocutory decree • Explain what role an interlocutory decree plays in a divorce situation • Review Libby Smith’s Case Information Statement (Exhibit 8: 3) © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Motioning for Temporary Support • Review the Notice

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Motioning for Temporary Support • Review the Notice of motion for pendente lite relief (Exhibit 8: 4) • Review Certification of Plaintiff (Exhibit 8: 5) • Don’t Forget the Order! • Review order for pendente lite relief (Exhibit 8: 6) • Review certification of lawyer services (Exhibit 8: 7) © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Settlement Problems: The Plot Thickens • J. D.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Settlement Problems: The Plot Thickens • J. D. Argues For a Temporary Support Motion: Michael Ordered to Pay • Dueling Jurisdictions: When Divorcing Spouses Live In Two Different States • Understand subject matter jurisdiction/in rem jurisdiction • Define bifurcated or divisible divorce © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Determining a Client’s Domicile • Define in personam

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Determining a Client’s Domicile • Define in personam jurisdiction – Define domicile • Define permanent alimony • Define absolute divorce • Understand the Full Faith and Credit Clause as it relates to divorce • Read Estin v. Estin © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Check Your Jurisdictional I. Q. • Finding a

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Check Your Jurisdictional I. Q. • Finding a Cause of Action: Fault Verses No Fault Grounds • Divorce complaint/petition describes the facts sufficient to support a cause of action • Define collusive divorce • Understand no-fault divorce statute © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • The No-Fault Cause of Action: Sometimes, It’s Nobody’s

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • The No-Fault Cause of Action: Sometimes, It’s Nobody’s Fault • Define no-fault divorce statute – – Irreconcilable differences Irremediable breakdown Incompatibility Living apart © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Hit the Road Jack: Proving Irreconcilable Differences and

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Hit the Road Jack: Proving Irreconcilable Differences and Incompatibility • Proving irremediable breakdown of the marriage © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Living Apart • Time requirement – Six months

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Living Apart • Time requirement – Six months to three years depending on the state – Must be voluntary on both their parts • Review the Sample of State Divorce Statutes (Exhibit 8: 8) • Read Benscoter v. Benscoter • Read Hughes v. Hughes • Read Patzschke v. Patzschke © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • In Name Only: Separation, but not Divorce •

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • In Name Only: Separation, but not Divorce • Define absolute and full divorce/ Divorce a Vinculo Matrimonii • Define judicial separation – – – Legal separation Limited divorce Divorce a Mensa et Thoro Separation from bed and board Divorce from bed and board • Define separate maintenance © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Preparing Your Client’s Divorce Complaint • Review Letter

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Preparing Your Client’s Divorce Complaint • Review Letter to the Court (Exhibit 8: 10) • Review Libby’s Complaint (Exhibit 8: 11) • Review Summons (Exhibit 8: 12) • Courtesy Good Policy • Review Letter to Defendant (Exhibit 8: 12) • Contacting Opposing Counsel • Review the Acknowledgement of Service (Exhibit 8: 13) © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Answering a Complaint • Answer a complaint by

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Answering a Complaint • Answer a complaint by filing an: – Answer – Response – Waiver • Default Judgment • Review Michael’s Answer and Counterclaim (Exhibit 8: 14) • Libby Responds to Michael’s Counterclaim © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Interrogatories: Getting to the Truth • Read the

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Interrogatories: Getting to the Truth • Read the Sample Interrogatories Regarding Adultery Claim (Exhibit 8: 15) • Settlement Conference Scheduled • Understand what a settlement conference is for • Libby and Michael Hash It Out © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Community Property Verses Equitable Distribution • Define equitable

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Community Property Verses Equitable Distribution • Define equitable distribution • Define community property • Review community property states (Exhibit 8: 16) © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Equitable Distribution • Understand the legal concept of

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Equitable Distribution • Understand the legal concept of equitable distribution • Read Painter v. Painter • Read Piscopo v. Piscopo • Review Equitable Distribution Factors (Exhibit 8: 17) • What Assets Are Considered Immune from Distribution? • Transmutation © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • When Courts Decide to Protect One Spouse From

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • When Courts Decide to Protect One Spouse From Another • Read Stallings v. Stallings © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Alimony • Typical alimony factors (Exhibit 8: 18)

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Alimony • Typical alimony factors (Exhibit 8: 18) • Alimony Pendente Lite • Rehabilitative Alimony – Read In re Marriage of Donna J. Robinson v. Robinson • Lump Sum Alimony – Arrearages – O’Neill v. O’Neill © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Alimony (continued) • Limited Duration Alimony • Reimbursement

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Alimony (continued) • Limited Duration Alimony • Reimbursement Alimony – Woodworth v. Woodworth • Permanent Alimony – Lash v. Lash – D’Arc v. D’Arc © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Settlement Negotiations Stalled • J. D. Creates a

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Settlement Negotiations Stalled • J. D. Creates a Solution to the Settlement Stalemate • Rehabilitative Alimony Inspires New Career for Libby • Seeking a Modification • Waskin v. Waskin © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Termination of the Alimony Obligation • • Cohabitating

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Termination of the Alimony Obligation • • Cohabitating Remarrying Disability Death © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • The Smiths Call It A Day • Review

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • The Smiths Call It A Day • Review Michael and Libby’s Final Judgment of Divorce (Exhibit 8: 19) • Review Property Settlement Agreement Elizabeth and Michael Smith (Exhibit 8: 20) • Forget the Fat Lady Singing: It’s Not Really Over Until the Last Alimony Check Arrives • Petition for contempt © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Ethics Alert: • Is Susan unduly concerned? ©

Chapter 8 Divorce & Separation • Ethics Alert: • Is Susan unduly concerned? © 2006 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Right Reserved.