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The division of property is one of the most important and disputed issues of divorce, along with child custody. This process can cause many difficulties, not only if the divorce is contested, but also if the spouses are sincerely ready to negotiate and reach an agreement.

In the US, there are so-called equitable distribution states and the community property states.  In the equitable distribution states, property acquired during the marriage typically belongs to the spouse who earned it, and in a divorce, all the property should be divided in an equitable and fair way, considering the plenty of factors of a particular divorce case. The community property states follow the rule that all assets acquired during the marriage are considered to be community property, and in most cases, they are to be divided between the spouses in half.

Usually, only the common property is subject to division (all that was acquired by the spouses during the marriage). Therefore, it’s rather important to determine which property is common and which is separate. After that, the court appoints the value of each property so that it is convenient to divide it in monetary equivalent. All the property is to be divided between the spouses fairly, but not necessarily equally.

Actually, in Georgia, there are no strict rules regarding the division of the property, and each case of divorce is really unique. As reported by Online Divorce in Georgia, the court divides only the common property while not touching the separate one. Separate property is everything that was acquired by each spouse before the marriage or due to inheritance or gift from third parties, and it remains to belong to the initial owner.

So, what steps are being taken when dividing a business in a divorce?

  • Marital, separate or commingled?

The first thing that spouses must do if they want to arrange an uncontested divorce and resolve property issues out of court is to determine which property is common and which is separate. Also, you should notice that sometimes, marital and separate property can be mixed together, what is called “commingling property.” Some spouses combine their assets intentionally, and others do so without thinking of the consequences. Anyway, commingling property is particularly tricky to evaluate and, therefore, to divide.

The most frequent occurrence is such a “commingling” of business. No matter if both spouses are the partial owners of the business, or only the one spouse was initially the owner of the business, but after marriage, the second spouse contributed to its development and increase of its value, in Georgia, the court will consider all these factors.

  • Evaluate the property

The value of small businesses, such as medical practice, a law firm, or even a corporation if its shares are not traded, can be particularly challenging to assess in the process of divorce. The difficulty lies in the fact that the business is not for sale, or because most assets are intangible, but in order to ensure an equitable division of marital property, the actual value must still be established.
In Georgia, even if the divorce is uncontested, this process should involve the forensic accountant, business appraisers, and sometimes, financial and legal experts need to work together to conduct a judicial assessment of the business. And surely, if one party intends to block access to the records or move money in violation of a court decision, then you can’t do without a strong legal representation.

In general, there are two ways to handle the business-related issue in a divorce. If neither spouse wants to keep the business going, liquidation is one of the simpler options. This simplifies business valuation (as there is no need to forecast future income), and therefore the judge can share the income from the sale of the business given the list of factors contained in the state family law, as if it concerns bank accounts, income from the sale of real estate, and so on.

If the business is not for sale, in most cases the ownership of the business remains with only one party. However, it is worth considering that the value of a business can play a role in determining the division of other property (for example, real estate) or in ordering spousal support (alimony).

But of course, the most reliable ways to protect a business should be thought out in advance – before the divorce, or even before the marriage. These include:

  • Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is the most comfortable and affordable way to protect the business in the event of a divorce. It allows settling in advance different financial issues which may arise in the process of divorce. What’s really good, is that the premarital agreement allows taking into account the individual wishes of the parties and intentions to divide their business in some special way not guided only by the state rules. Please notice, that according to the recent opinion polls, %15 of divorced Americans regret not making a prenuptial agreement.

  • Shareholder use, partnership or purchase/sale agreement.

Such agreements may include the requirement that unwed shareholders provide the business with a marriage contract before the marriage, as well as a waiver from the future husband/wife that removes them from any future business interest.

Also, these agreements provide an opportunity to prohibit the transfer of shares without the approval of any other shareholders or to agree that they have the right to purchase shares or shares of one or both spouses in a case of dissolution of the marriage.

  • Postnuptial agreements

Postnuptial agreements are often used as updates to existing prenups, however, if the parties don’t have a prenup, a postnup still may be an option. Although it is usually signed after marriage and therefore has less authority, it contains nearly the same information about assets and property, as a prenup does.

In the postnup, you can point out that if there’s a dissolution of the marriage, each party is entitled to a set amount of money or, for example, a portion of assets before a specific date.

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Image source Pixabay

Don’t look now but the divorce rate, which had been climbing for decades, is starting to decline. While marriage experts don’t have a read on why “till death do we part” has once again become words to live by, the data is undeniable – especially in the U.S. With that in mind, there are five reasons why divorce rates are falling.

  • Children of Divorce are More Likely to Remain Committed

As the divorce rate climbed from the 1960’s to the early part of this century, many thought the data pointed to an irreversible trend as the children of divorce where also getting divorced. However, that has started to change and while we’ll need a few more years to determine if this is a temporary shift or something long-term Millennials from divorced families are less likely to get divorced themselves.

There are a few reasons including a falling marriage rate to Millennials getting married later in life. Combined, these factors could lead to a fall in the divorce rate, but as mentioned demographers won’t really know until the next generation (Gen Z or Digital Natives), which is beginning to enter the workforce, reach their late-20’s en masse.

  • Marriage has Changed

The concept of marriage has been evolving since the industrial revolution. For a long time, marriages were arranged and then there was the question of dowries and other payments tied to getting hitched. However, this has changed over time, especially as more people married for love.

In addition, the roles of both parties have evolved over time. This is due to several factors including the rise in the number of dual-income households and changing gender roles inside of marriage.

Further note that the change in marriage doesn’t mean divorces have gone the way of the Dodo. In fact, many couples still end up calling off their marriages and if you are in Arkansas or the surrounding states and are considering a divorce yourself, here is some more information on the process – https://www.markreeslaw.com/ar/divorce-lawyer-jonesboro/.

  • People are Waiting to Get Married

The impact of this change in marriage cannot be underestimated as it points to the fact that most people entering marriage are not only more mature but also more financially secure. The latter helps to eliminate one of the biggest causes of divorce – money.

However, this development could also be a statistical red herring as people getting married later in life could also lead to people getting divorced later in life; online time will tell.

  • More Women are Graduating University

This development also points to a fundamental shift in the labor market as the number of women in many professions has increased dramatically over the past 20-years. What does this mean for marriage? First, even though a gender gap remains, it means that more women are financially independent and second, households with two professionals are less likely to face issues around money as compared to those without.

While this doesn’t mean that every married couple where the husband and wife have college degrees are guaranteed success, it does point to a higher probability that both partners can earn consistently over the course of their careers.

  • Fewer People are Getting Married

To get divorced you first need to be married, and the decline in marriage rates is another reason why divorce rates are falling. However, this doesn’t mean that people are not forming families. In fact, cohabitation is on the rise and while this is akin to marriage it is not counted the same way by demographers.

This does not mean that cohabitation is not without its problems. For example, couples who have lived together for a long time might face issues when it comes to dividing assets if they decide to split. In addition, it is harder for unmarried couples to share benefits such as health insurance or death benefits and this could lead to a spike in marriages for financial purposes down the road.

However, the decline in marriage rates has been building for a long time and 2012 marked the first time that unmarried adults outnumbered married adults. Granted, this came on the heels of the financial crisis, but it also points to a broader change in marriage and, by extension, divorce.

While it remains an open question as to whether divorce rates will continue fall, the fact remains that divorce has become less common in recent years and the factors listed above are widely believed to be some of the reasons for this phenomenon.

 

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Divorce is never easy for both parents and children. Everyone in the family feels an immense sense of anxiety and loss. The family who falls under the affliction of divorce will no longer be the same. Parents need to settle their own emotions, particularly the occurring guilt they feel towards their children.

While you cannot take away your child’s pain, you can help them deal with the various disappointments that a separation brings. Here are the things you can do.

How To Break the News?

Have a sincere conversation with your children together with your spouse. Then explain that you two are getting a divorce. Don’t try to sugarcoat, speak honestly but don’t include the ugly details.

Confess that the experience will be sad. See to it that your child understands that a divorce is only between the two of you. And repeatedly remind your child that he or she is not the reason for the divorce and that both of your love for him or her didn’t change.

Expect Different Reactions

It’s normal for children to show interests in concrete things such as “Do I need to change schools?”, “ Where will I live?” or “Who’s going to take me to my extra-curricular lessons?”  You need to maintain your child’s routine as much as possible while working out the terms of the divorce. Your child feels secure when he or she knows what to expect.

When the reality of the divorce finally settles to your children’s mind, expect to receive different reactions such as;

  • Toddlers. A child at this age might respond by becoming clingy, irritable or waking up at night.
  • Preschoolers. A child in this age needs extra help in comprehending that he or she is not the root of the divorce. He or she also needs aid in understanding that there’s nothing he or she can do to bring you and your ex-spouse together.
  • Elementary schoolers. Children in this age bracket are more likely to express anger. They fantasize about you getting back together, might worry about what will happen to you and your spouse and look for someone to blame including themselves.
  • Teenagers and adults. An older child is more likely to feel depressed or worried that he or she will also fall in the same situation someday. Teens might consider risky behavior and question their beliefs.

The situations above are just the common possibilities for a child’s reaction. Hence, it’s vital to encourage your child to open up his or her feelings about the divorce.

Make Sure Your Child Feels Well-loved

According to M. Gary Neuman, author of Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way and creator of the Sandcastles Divorce Therapy Program, children assume that they are somehow to blame when a parent regularly doesn’t come through.

If only they behaved more or do better in school, then surely their parents will stay together and be with them. As a result, their confidence hurdles. Thus, you need to reassure your child that your ex-spouse’s commitment issues have nothing to do with his or her lovability.

Don’t Bend The Rules

It could be tempting to take a break from your parental duties while your child is mourning over the divorce, but it will only generate more insecurity. Children thrive on structure, routine and consistency even if they insist on testing limits and boundaries. If your child divides time between two households, try to retain the same rules in two homes.

Consider Counseling

You can consider using the services of a family or divorce mediator if you and your spouse need help in reaching decisions about your child before, during or after the divorce. Most local and international divorce attorney would recommend you of doing so because your kids could also benefit from counseling especially if he or she is showing signs of anxiety and distress.

Takeaway

Divorce is always a hard blow for everyone, however, if both parents continue to build a calm and stable environment for their children and make them feel loved, children will survive the situation in good shape. And they will be calmer as they gradually accept everything.

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Bruce and Kris Jenner have been hit by tabloid claims their marriage is on the rocks.

Former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner has apparently consulted a divorce lawyer regarding his 21-year marriage to the Kardashian matriarch.

This week’s edition of the National Enquirer reports Bruce Jenner has reached breaking point because of Kris allegedly flirting with younger men – and her ego over the Kardashian clan’s growing business empire.

The couple – who have teen daughters Kendall and Kylie together and a $155 million fortune – renewed their wedding vows last year, which was aired during an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner has apparently consulted a divorce lawyer regarding his 21-year marriage to the Kardashian matriarch

Former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner has apparently consulted a divorce lawyer regarding his 21-year marriage to the Kardashian matriarch

But insiders told the National Enquirer: “Bruce feels that Kris treats him like a doormat, and he’s had enough.

“She constantly belittles his appearance and complains to mutual friends that he’s a boring old fart.

“Then she has the gall to flaunt her relationships with younger guys in his face!”

The tabloid magazine reports that Bruce Jenner, 63, has been discussing the idea of divorce with golfing friends at Lake Sherwood Country Club in Calabasas, California, where he regularly attends.

The insider added that Bruce Jenner hates the way Kris Jenner, 57, is portrayed as the money-maker – and how his Country Club pals jokingly refer to him as “Bruce Kardashian”.

The National Enquirer claims Bruce Jenner has sought the help of an entertainment lawyer who has helped him value their assets in the event he decides to file for divorce.

“He’s also talked to a divorce attorney buddy about potential custody arrangements for his two girls with Kris,” the source added.

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New reports have claimed that late singer Robin Gibb was investigated by the FBI after allegedly making death threats against his first wife’s divorce lawyer.

Robin Gibb separated from Molly Hullis in 1980 after 12 years of marriage and newly-released documents show just how ugly the split turned.

Staff at Haymon & Walters, the law firm representing Molly Hullis, reported Robin Gibb to authorities after receiving “numerous threatening telegrams from Gibb which threatened their lives”, the records show.

He told them he had hired a hitman to kill them, sparking a probe by investigators that could have led to jail.

Robin Gibb, who died from colon cancer in May, sent telegrams from his home in Miami, Florida to the law firm of Haymon & Walters.

In one, Robin Gibb wrote: “What you have done is just about the limit. I warned and warned you. The situation is now very serious. Know one (sic) walks all over me… I have had enough.”

He added: “I have taken out a contract on (name deleted by FBI). It is now a question of time.”

Robin Gibb was investigated by FBI after making death threats to ex-wife Molly Hullis' lawyer

Robin Gibb was investigated by FBI after making death threats to ex-wife Molly Hullis' lawyer

The New York Post acquired the legal papers from the FBI after a Freedom of Information request following Robin Gibb’s death in May after a battle with liver and colon cancer.

They show that investigators considered taking further action and asking Western Union, who sent the telegrams, for further information.

Agents also discussed how to look into the allegations without tipping off Robin Gibb who was at the height of his fame with brothers Maurice and Robin after the success of the album Saturday Night Fever.

The matter was eventually dropped after Robin Gibb’s lawyers wrote to the FBI and said the singer “would not be foolish enough to carry out any threat, especially in view of his singing career”.

According to the New York Post, Robin Gibb’s accused his wife of tipping off the FBI in an attempt to embarrass the star as a negotiating tactic in their divorce.

Documents reveal that the FBI closed the file on Robin Gibb in March 1981 because Molly Hullis and her lawyers declined to press charges.

A spokesman for Gibb family said they had no comment to make.

Robin Gibb and Molly Hullis, who met when he was just 18, had two children by the time he was in his early 20s. But the marriage had began to fall apart when he became dependent on amphetamines to stay up recording.

In interviews before his death, he revealed he did not spend as much time with her as she wanted.

“She wanted more of a home and roots. Because of my nature and work, I needed to keep changing my environment,” he said.

As she raised their children in Surrey, England, he went on a one-night-stand rampage across the U.S., estimating he slept with more than 100 women.

“They were mostly a distraction, almost like notches on a belt,” he recalled.

After their bitter divorce and custody battle – where he was banned from seeing his children, Molly Hullis remained in the UK after their divorce while the Gibb brothers settled in Florida.

Robin Gibb married his second wife, artist and author Dwina Murphy, in 1985 and they went on to have a son. In 2008, his housekeeper Claire Yang gave birth to their love child.

Robin Gibb once revealed he and Dwina, who were married until his death, had an “open marriage” and she confirmed: “We have an open relationship. Robin has had flings with friends of mine and he talks to me about them.”