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Articles Posted in Divorce

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Cook v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 201948, 2019 WL 2011087 (2019)

(a) Facts: An unmarried couple had a child. A New York court awarded custody to the mother. The order was silent on the tax exemption for the child. The parties orally agreed that the father could claim the exemption.

The father took the exemption. The IRS disallowed the exemption and assessed a deficiency. The husband appealed to the Tax Court. Continue reading →

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In re Kiley, 595 B.R. 595 (Bankr. D. Utah 2018)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife were divorced in Utah. The divorce decree awarded the wife a lump-sum payment from the husband’s retirement plan and ordered that she be named as the plan’s survivor beneficiary.

The wife then declared bankruptcy. The trustee argued that the wife’s interests in the retirement plan was property of the estate, subject to division among the creditors. Continue reading →

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Hoak v. Plan Adm’r of Plans of NCR Corp., 389 F. Supp. 3d 1234 (N.D. Ga. 2019)

(a) Facts: Two wives were divorced from their husbands. Both husbands were members of a senior executive retirement plan. The plan provided that survivor benefits would be paid to the “eligible spouse” of each plan participant. “Eligible spouse” was defined as “the spouse to whom the Participant is married on the date the Participant’s benefit payments under the Plan commence.” 389 F. Supp. 2d at 1278. Continue reading →

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Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. McDonald, ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2019 WL 2419659 (E.D. Mich. 2019)

(a) Facts: Husband wife were divorced in Florida. Their divorce decree incorporated a property settlement agreement providing that the husband would name the wife as beneficiary of his employer-provided life insurance.
Despite the agreement, the husband named his second wife as beneficiary of the policy. Upon his death, both wives claimed the proceeds, and the insurer filed an interpleader action in federal court.
Continue reading →

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Culwick v. Wood, 384 F. Supp. 3d 328 (E.D.N.Y. 2019)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife were divorced. Their divorce decree incorporated a separation agreement. The agreement provided:

[T]he Husband shall otherwise retain all pensions and annuities acquired by him at any time, including during the term of the marriage. . . . The Wife waives any claims she might have in and to these benefits including the right to be named as a survivor beneficiary.

384 F. Supp. 3d at 335. The agreement further provided that “nothing herein contained shall require either party to renounce or disclaim any gift, devise or bequest which he or she may be given by the other’s Will, Trust, or other document.” Id.

The husband died. At the time of his death, the wife was still named as the survivor beneficiary of his retirement plan under a predivorce designation. The husband’s estate assigned its claim to the husband’s father. The plan paid the survivor benefits to the wife, and the father sued the wife to recover the amount paid.

(b) Issue: Who is entitled to the husband’s survivor benefits?

(c) Answer to Issue: His father. Continue reading →

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Christopoulos v. Trout, 343 F. Supp. 3d 812 (N.D. Ill. 2018)

(a) Facts: Husband filed a divorce action against wife in Illinois. Immediately thereafter, he changed the beneficiary of his employer-provided group life insurance, naming a series of relatives in varying percentages.

The wife immediately asked the divorce judge to order the husband to name the children as beneficiaries. The trial court properly entered a handwritten order granting the relief requested.

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Garcia Tatupu v. Bert Bell/Peter Rozelle NFL Player Ret. Plan, 296 F. Supp. 3d 407 (D. Mass. 2017), aff’d, 747 F. App’x 873 (1st Cir. 2019)

(a) Facts: The husband, a former NFL football player, was divorced from his wife in Massachusetts in 1997. The decree incorporated a separation agreement, which provided: Continue reading →

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Separation can leave you lonely and adrift. There might be a few people you can turn to in Greensboro, but be careful who you share the details of your divorce with. What might seem to be a therapeutic release can turn out to be a train wreck. Here are a few more people that can seem less tolerable during your time of troubles. Continue reading →

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Divorce is a significant life-changing event. If you’re going through this process, you may feel like you’re walking around Greensboro on a tight-rope with no net. Anything could set off your powder keg of emotions. As you try to get a handle on life, here’s four more people that might make you lose your grip. Continue reading →

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By: Amy Setzer, Legal Assistant. These are the personal views of Amy, and not necessarily the views of WFLG.

One of the most therapeutic things to do when getting divorced is to establish a routine. Going about your every-day in the Triad can help you get up in the morning, compartmentalize when necessary, and generally stay moving (even if it is in a zombie-like manner). However, no matter how you try to stick with what you know, there are going to be some people that don’t seem quite the same. Yesterday, when you were married, your interactions with these folks were mundane and average. Today, now that you’re separated, they’re scraping their nails down the chalkboard of your life. Here are a dozen individuals who can drive you batty if you let them: Continue reading →