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Rogers v. Comm’r, 908 F.3d 1094 (7th Cir. 2018)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife filed a joint tax return for 2004. The IRS assessed a deficiency, and the parties sought review in the Tax Court. The Tax Court held for the IRS.

Three years later, the wife filed a petition for innocent spouse relief. The IRS rejected that petition. The wife sought review in the Tax Court, which agreed with the IRS. The wife appealed to the Seventh Circuit. Continue reading →

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Shak v. Shak, ____ Mass. _____, SJC-12748 (2020).

Nondisparagement clauses are ubiquitous in custody agreements and orders. Generally, they are a blanket prohibition on a parent from “talking bad” about the other parent in a form that the minor child(ren) will understand (whether in their presence or on social media, etc.). These clauses are commonly included so that the child will grow up in a less tumultuous environment, free from psychological harm that stems from hurtful exchanges of words. In fact, our own courts have guidelines that are commonly incorporated into custody orders. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Court recently reviewed these clauses under a constitutional lens, and the result is quite interesting.

1. Facts: The Mother filed an emergency motion to remove the Father from the marital home based on the Father’s aggressive behavior, temper, threats, and substance abuse. A judge issued the order to vacate and granted Mother sole custody. In a temporary order, the judge included provisions that “[n]either party shall disparage the other – nor permit any third party to do so – especially when within hearing range of the child[,] and “[n]either party shall post any comments, solicitations, references or other information regarding this litigation on social media.” Once Father made such posts on social media platforms and shared them with mutual friends, Mother filed for civil contempt. Father then raised free speech issues. The judge failed to find contempt and ruled that the temporary order was indeed an unlawful prior restraint on speech. The judge then sought to cure the previous language by narrowly tailoring the provisions that borrowed thematically from time, place, and manner restrictions on speech. The judge then submitted those provisions, along with the constitutional question to the state supreme court for review.

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Does the entry of a court-ordered equitable distribution create an interest to a retirement asset? Do you even need to file a DRO or QDRO when an equitable distribution consent order is signed by a judge? See how the North Carolina Court of Appeals saves the award of the marital portion of a retirement account that had not been disbursed before the intestate death of the former husband. Continue reading →

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Ogden v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 201988, 2019 WL 3162423 (2019)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife were married in 1991 and divorced in 2011. The wife was granted Social Security disability benefits in 2008. She received $36,083 that year and $10,297 in 2010.

On their 2008 tax return, the parties did not report the wife’s benefits. On their 2010 return, the parties reported the benefits but did not pay the tax. Both returns were prepared by the husband. Continue reading →

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North Carolina adopted the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA) in 2007. North Carolina is one of the 42 states that have adopted the UIDDA for the sole purpose of making discovery by duces tecum and depositions easier and requiring less interaction with the court system in having to acquire commissions. The North Carolina Statute on the UIDDA is Chapter 1F, accessible at https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByChapter/Chapter_1F.pdf . Continue reading →

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Have you taken intimate pictures of your current or former partner? Before you decide to post that image on social media, share it with friends, or try to get revenge with these private images, there are a few things you should know. Publishing, reproducing, or distributing these images could potentially earn you a misdemeanor or felony charge and cost you a lot of money. Continue reading →

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Abdelhadi v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2018183, 2018 WL 5609201 (2018)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife were married in 2014. Before getting married, they were romantically involved with one another and had both a daughter and a son.

The IRS received a joint tax return for tax year 2007, in which the couple clearly was not married. The wife “did not see, review, or sign that return; she has not seen it since and it is not part of the record.” 2018 WL 5609201, at *2. (To the extent that the wife’s signature appeared on the return, she presumably argued that her signature had been forged.) Continue reading →

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Contreras v. Comm’r , T.C. Memo. 201912, 2019 WL 980695 (2019)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife had two children. The husband ran a construction business, while the wife was a homemaker. The parties were divorced in 2011.

The husband brought into the marriage a piece of real property called Lot 13, and during the marriage the parties acquired an adjoining parcel, Lot 12. In 2005, the husband conveyed to the wife half of Lot 13, and he built a home upon it. Continue reading →

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Hiramanek v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 201692, 2016 WL 2763870 (2016), aff’d, 745 F. App’x 762 (9th Cir. 2018)

(a) Facts: The husband prepared a joint tax return for tax year 2006 and asked the wife to sign it. She refused to sign without reading it, and he permitted her to take a quick glance at the return. She noticed that the return contained a $35,000 casualty loss deduction for a break-in to the couple’s car while they were on vacation in Hawaii. Believing the deduction to be overstated, she refused to sign. The husband threatened and physically abused her for several hours, and she finally made a scribble on the signature line. The husband’s physical abuse was consistent with other physical abuse that the wife had endured during the marriage. Continue reading →

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Hockin v. United States, ___ F. Supp. ___, 2019 WL 3845380 (D. Or. 2019)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife married in 1997. The IRS received from the parties’ joint tax returns for tax year 2007 and 2008. Tax was due for both years.

The wife made several payments then sought innocent spouse relief, including a refund. The IRS granted relief from 2008 on the ground that the wife’s signature on the 2008 return was a forgery. The IRS denied relief for 2007. Continue reading →