Articles Posted in High Asset Divorce

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Alabama residents may be surprised at the $4.5 billion price tag one billionaire was ordered to pay his ex-wife as her share of their marital assets in 2014, but on June 11, a judge reduced that amount to $609 million. Prior to the higher court’s decision, it was believed by her lawyer to have been the largest award ever handed down in a divorce action.

The couple is Russian, and the case is unfolding in Switzerland. Swiss law in general entitles divorcing spouses to an equal share of marital assets. Her attorney plans to take the case to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.

The wife of the Russian oligarch filed for divorce in 2008, a few years after he had put many of his assets into offshore trust funds in Cyprus. He is also the owner of the Monaco Football Club and has property in the United States. He made his money in the fertilizer business, and his wealth has been estimated at $8.5 billion.

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Spousal support, alimony and alimony all refer to the same thing: financial support paid by a higher-earning spouse to a lesser-earning spouse after the marriage has ended.

In Alabama, spousal maintenance is not an automatic right. That means the spouse who wants support after the marriage will have to prove to the court that support is necessary and that the other spouse has the ability to pay.

An experienced family law attorney can be very important in this process.

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If you were unsatisfied with the ruling in your divorce case, you may be wondering if you can appeal the judge’s decision. Ultimately, the straightforward answer to that question is that it will take more than you being unhappy with the outcome of your divorce in order to successfully appeal what was decided.

When you and your spouse cannot reach a settlement on all of the issues to your divorce, you essentially turn the decision-making power over to the family court judge. There is no guarantee that you will agree with whatever the judge decides. 

However, you may be able to file an appeal if an error was committed or the decision was otherwise unjust. Judges are only human, which means that they do make mistakes from time to time. Here are a few examples of situations that could lead to rulings being altered, amended or vacated:

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Let go and move on: It is very difficult to have a peaceful divorce if you are still living in the past, the writer said, and blaming yourself and your ex for what went wrong. The best way to move forward is by forgiving yourself, and your ex, and putting your energy toward a brighter future.

There are also divorce processes that can help you achieve a peaceful divorce, including mediation and collaborative divorce. These two processes are alternatives to the traditional litigation process and involve settling a divorce outside of the courtroom, often with less emotional turmoil.

In mediation, the parties use a neutral, third-party mediator who facilitates negotiations and helps keeps the parties focused on reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.

In a collaborative divorce, the parties agree that they will not go to court, and they must find new representation if they decide if court is necessary. This ensures that both parties are fully invested in reaching an agreement.

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If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you are probably wondering how you will be able to support yourself after the divorce and whether you will be entitled to spousal support. Hopefully, this post helps answer those questions for you.

In Alabama, spousal support can be agreed upon by the divorcing parties, or it can be ordered by the judge presiding over the divorce. The goal of spousal support is for both parties to keep the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage, if possible.

Spousal support can also be temporary or permanent in nature. Temporary, or rehabilitative, alimony is more likely to apply when the party receiving payments just needs some extra support while he or she gets back into the workforce. Permanent alimony is more likely to apply when one spouse is unlikely to ever return to employment.

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This is a question that we are asked frequently by clients. Unfortunately, when a judge is the one who makes the decisions in a divorce case, one party is often left unhappy with the results.

The good news is that it is possible to appeal your divorce decree, but the bad news is that it is not always an easy thing to do.

In order to appeal a divorce decree in Alabama, the first step is to meet with a divorce lawyer who has appeal experience. Since appeals are somewhat rare, not all family law attorneys have experience with them, which is why it is so important to make sure the lawyer you work with does.

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While the do-it-yourself craze can be good for a number of projects, applying that line of thinking to divorce may not be the wisest decision for Alabama couples. While a DYI divorce may seem simple, straightforward and cost-effective, this type of divorce may not offer the complex property protection most divorce cases could benefit from. Here are a view things to consider when deciding what type of divorce to pursue.

A DYI divorce can offer a simple division of property and basic custody and support arrangements. For those who need individualized support and custody arrangements, this type of divorce may not allow for that. Financially speaking, this type of divorce doesn’t typically allow for the division of pensions and retirement accounts. So, those utilizing this type of divorce could be walking away from a significant amount of money. While a do-it-yourself divorce may be less expensive to file, it can end up costing a lot in the long-run.

Divorce cases are not as simple as they may seem at the beginning, and emotions can take over, often leading to costly mistakes. An experienced family law attorney can help couples come to terms that leave each individual with a fair settlement on child custody, support agreements and asset and/or property division. While working through a traditional divorce can take time, doing so can ensure all legal bases are covered and nothing is overlooked.

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In our last post, we discussed the unprecedented $1 billion award in the divorce case of oil magnate Harold Hamm and his wife of 26 years, Sue Ann.

It is quite rare for a divorce case of this magnitude play out in the public court forum. Most often, a prenuptial agreement handles the details of the split or the couple decides to settle the case outside of court in order to retain privacy.

One of the ways couples can handle their divorce cases privately and outside of court is through the mediation process. As we explained in an article on our website, there are many benefits to the mediation process for couples in Alabama and elsewhere, a few of which we will discuss today.

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Back in September, we discussed oil magnate Harold Hamm’s divorce, and how the case centered on the issue of active vs. passive appreciation. Hamm married his wife, Sue Ann, 26 years ago without entering a prenuptial agreement.

Because Hamm had already started the oil company Continental Resources at the time of the marriage, one might assume that the oil company would be considered separate property. However, in Oklahoma, if separate property increases during the marriage that amount can be considered “marital” as long as the appreciation was active and not passive.

As we explained in a follow-up post on the case, active appreciation means that the increase in value was due to the efforts or contributions that were made by one or both spouses. On the other hand, passive appreciation occurs when outside forces such as market factors cause the property value to increase.

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Social media rants. Even though it may seem like a good idea at the time to rant about your ex on Facebook or Twitter, doing so can make you look bad in front of a judge. Remember, anything you post online is documented for good.

If you are going through divorce and have thought about taking any of these actions, try to keep the situation in perspective. Soon the divorce will be over and you will be moving on with your life. You don’t want to do anything you will live to regret.

Source: The Huffington Post, “14 Things You Should Never Do During A Divorce,” Arti Patel, Nov. 3, 2014

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