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February 2013 Archives

Should finances be kept secret in case of a divorce?

One way that Georgia residents who suspect they are headed for divorce can provide themselves with more control and stability is to open a bank account that they alone have access to and that their spouse does not know about. However, there are both pros and cons associated with keeping a hidden account, and the assets in these accounts may still be considered a part of marital assets. The advantage of a so-called "secret" account is that if one partner ends up filing for divorce, he or she will have assets on hand that will help with the process. In addition, he or she may feel empowered by the increased financial security and the sense of self-sufficiency that goes along with it. As it is not uncommon for one partner getting a divorce to clear out a joint bank account, having secret funds ensures that the other partner is not in a poor financial situation if this occurs. Having personal money also gives an individual greater options for separation and reduces the dependence on the other spouse.

Sperm donors and child support

In 2009, a Topeka, Kan., man responded to an ad placed on Craigslist by a lesbian couple seeking a sperm donor so that they could conceive a child. After the three met and reached an agreement, the donor drove to the couple's home and gave them his sperm donation. The procedure was not done through a sperm bank or hospital, and no doctor was present. Years later, the couple separated. After at least one of the mothers applied for public assistance, the donor got hit with a child support order. Most states, including Georgia, have laws requiring that when a person with a child applies for public assistance, one parent must identify the other parent. That way, the state can seek child support from that person because public policy supports the idea of having a parent, not the state, support children. However, child support laws typically do not apply to sperm donors.

Liberty Ross and Rupert Sanders headed for divorce

As many people in Georgia remember, "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders and Kristen Stewart, the starring actress, were caught cheating on their significant others when intimate photos of the twosome became public last summer. Both Sanders and Stewart apologized publicly and stated that it was a "momentary indiscretion." While Stewart has since reconciled with her boyfriend, Robert Pattinson, Rupert Sanders' wife Liberty Ross has now filed for divorce. Ross reportedly started divorce proceedings at the end of January in a L.A. Superior Court, and she is seeking shared custody of their two children, ages 5 and 7, as well as spousal support and attorney's fees. Sanders filed his response on the same day, and he is also looking for joint custody but is asking to split the legal costs, according to a news report.

Uncovering hidden assets during divorce

An impending divorce marks much more than the end of a marriage. Issues of property division, child custody, child support, alimony and visitation plans are all part of the process. A divorce with lesser assets or without children can still be complicated, as the marital home and liabilities must be accounted for, but one of the problems that tends to come up more often in high asset divorces is hidden assets.

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