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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Orthodox Jewish Woman Granted Religious Divorce after 3 Years

Gital Dodelson, a 25-year-old orthodox Jewish woman from New Jersey, has finally been granted a religious divorce from her husband, ending 3 years of bitter fighting over the subject. The couple was legally divorced in 2012, but her husband, Avrohom Meir Weiss, had refused to grant her the religious divorce. 

According to orthodox Jewish law, the religious divorce, called a “get,” is required to truly set the woman free. Without receiving a get from Weiss, Dodelson is considered an agunah, or a chained woman. In the eyes of the orthodox Jewish community, she is still married. Now that she has received her religious divorce, she is free to pursue other romantic interests.

According to reports, Weiss had been demanding excessive sums of money – more than $350,000 – to grant Dodelson a religious divorce. Rather than give in to what amounts to extortion, Dodelson and her family brought her story public in an article published by the NY Post. 

In the weeks following the NY Post story, she received a wave of public support. A Facebook group called “Free Gital: Tell Avrohom Meir Wess to Give His Wife a ‘Get’” gained more than 14,000 supporters across the world. In addition, Weiss’ father and uncle, both esteemed rabbis, were forced to resign from their editor positions at Jewish publisher ArtScroll due to pressure from an outraged Jewish community.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending, and Dodelson received what she deserves. However, this story serves as a reminder that in many ultra-religious communities, divorce can be much more complicated. This makes it even more important to choose an experienced divorce lawyer who can help you negotiate the terms of your religious divorce during your secular divorce.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dwyane Wade and Ex-Wife Settle Financial Matters, Finally Resolve Divorce

The long, highly publicized legal battle between Dwyane Wade and his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches, is finally over. Earlier this month, the all-star Miami Heat guard reached an agreement with his ex-wife that will settle their dispute over the distribution of marital assets. This settlement ends a divorce case that was initiated in 2007.

According to terms of the agreement, Wade will pay his ex-wife $5 million and surrender rights to their Chicago mansion and four cars. In addition, the two signed a non-disparage agreement which prohibits them from publicly attacking the reputation of each other.

Other issues had been settled several years ago. In 2011, Wade was granted sole child custody of their two sons. The divorce proceeding was extremely acrimonious. Funches had recently filed a lawsuit against Wade for failure to pay income from endorsement contracts signed in 2008, one year after the couple filed for divorce. The court dismissed the case, causing Funches to protest outside of Chicago’s Daley Center.

With this financial settlement, Funches should be able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle for the rest of her life. But most importantly, both parties can now move on and put this ordeal behind them.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Divorce Can Strengthen Parent-Child Relationships

The divorce process is always difficult for everyone involved, especially young children. The tense emotions associated with working out important issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division can place a strain on family relationships. But the good news is many people find that their relationship with their children actually becomes stronger once they settle into divorced life.

Parents often find that there are several benefits to sharing child custody with their ex-spouse:
·         Each parent gets to enjoy some downtime without the children, where they can pursue their adult interests. When they see their children again, they are often refreshed.

·         Each parent is the primary caregiver during time spent with the children. This can allow a parent who took more of a passive parenting role during marriage to make important decisions and develop their parenting style.

In addition, parents who are still on amicable terms after the divorce can work together to make sure the child has a well-rounded environment between both households. This allows you to provide the type of care and develop the type of relationship with your child that feels natural to you based on your personal strengths.

While there are certainly challenges associated with being a single parent, the benefits can result in stronger bonds with your children than what you experienced during a strained marriage.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

“Morality Clause” in Divorce Agreement Places Same Sex Couple in Difficult Position

A lesbian couple in Allen, Texas has been told they can no longer live together due to a “morality clause” in one of the women’s divorce agreement. Morality clauses, which prevent a divorced parent from having a romantic partner spend the night while their children are present, are very common in many states including Texas. However, they create more problems for same sex couples than they do for heterosexual couples.

The only way to get around the morality clause is for a couple to get married. This is a common course of action for heterosexual couples when a former spouse tries to enforce the terms of this clause (it is rarely enforced). However, same sex couples are still unable to legally marry in many states, including Texas. As a result, the enforcement of a morality clause in effect limits their civil rights by preventing them from living with a romantic partner.

In this particular case, Carolyn Compton and Paige Price have been in a relationship since 2010. They lived together with Compton’s two children. However, Compton’s ex-husband recently petitioned the court to enforce the morality clause in their divorce and the judge ruled in his favor. He gave Price 30 days to find a new place to live.

It is uncertain how this ruling will impact the couple’s relationship moving forward, or the mental and emotional well-being of the children for that matter. If this ruling ultimately places an irrevocable strain on their relationship and forces them to part ways, it would be truly tragic. 

Moreover, this ruling could seriously impact Compton’s ability to enter into future romantic relationships due to the legal limitations created by the morality clause. This is especially unfair considering the fact that Compton’s ex-husband doesn’t face the same restrictions. He can get around them by marrying a future girlfriend.

Compton and Price are currently debating whether to appeal the ruling. However, they face an uphill challenge if they decide to continue fighting. They would be forced to endure a lengthy, expensive appeals process. While this is a civil rights issue that should be raised in higher courts, it would be understandable if they chose not to take this burden on themselves.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kim Kardashian Divorce Finally Settled: Kris Humphries Comes out the Loser

After a 72 day marriage, the divorce proceeding between reality star Kim Kardashian and Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries took nearly a year and a half to resolve. But at last, it has been settled. Not surprisingly, Humphries came out the big loser.

Humphries was initially seeking $7 million, an annulment, and attorney’s fees. However, the settlement he has signed will get him none of that. He gets no money, the marriage will not be annulled, and he must pay his own attorney fees. He does play in the NBA, so it’s not as if he can’t afford his lawyer.

When Kardashian filed for divorce less than 3 months into their marriage, Humphries sought the annulment due to a belief that the marriage was a fraud entered into by Kardashian to boost the ratings and popularity of her reality show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

However, sources close to Humphries indicated that in recent weeks, he has come to realize that it would be extremely difficult to prove the marriage was a fraud. In addition, their divorce trial was scheduled to begin in a few weeks. If the Brooklyn Nets advance beyond the first round of the playoffs, the trial would keep him out of action. Right now, his primary focus is on the playoffs, not his bitter divorce with Kardashian.

Kardashian’s most recent tabloid headlines surround her pregnancy. Rapper Kanye West is the father.

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