Divorce Court Decides Wife Being Homemaker Is Equal To Husband Working, Earning $170Million. Wife Gets Half Of Everything. Fair?

The age-old question in divorce remains the same: “What’s fair?” Naturally spouses rarely agree on what each should get in a divorce. Everyone has their own reasons…many many many reasons…for why they deserve more than the other. These days courts start with the presumption that everything should be split 50-50. But should there be times that each spouse doesn’t receive the same amount? When is an unequal split ‘fair’??

Most people say there are many factors that should come into play. If you were the judge deciding a divorce case, what would you take into consideration to reach a fair outcome? What would it depend on? Would it matter if one spouse earned most or all of the money and the other earned little or no money? Would you want to know the ages of the spouses? Would you care if the couple had children? Would it matter if a spouse had cheated?

The Court in a very high profile case known as the Randy and Mandy Work divorce (yes, the couple’s last name is Work and yes, he’s Randy and she’s Mandy) was faced with these facts:

The Works had been married 20 years and are in their 40’s. They have two teenage children. Mandy was a homemaker.

Randy was employed and earned $170Million. Mandy had not been employed outside the home. Mandy cheated on Randy. Now you tell me, what’s fair? Should the husband and wife each get the same amount?

Tweet me your thoughts @pekalalaw.com.


Christmas Shopping…For A Divorce Lawyer.

Yes, it’s true. In the midst of nonstop running around doing traditional Christmas shopping some folks are secretly scouting for a divorce lawyer in preparation for their post-holiday plan to file for divorce.
Naturally, no one wants to ruin the happy holiday spirit this time of year. People who have definitely decided on divorce want to give their families the gift of one last holiday season together. So everyone waits until January to file for divorce. But make no mistake, in the meanwhile they’re getting their ducks in a row, meeting with lawyers…making a list and checking it twice.
Therapists say this is the time of year, more than any other, when people take stock of their lives. Chalk it up to all those New Year’s Resolutions we’re thinking about and the whole ‘New Year, New You’ idea.
Relationships are reevaluated, whether the other spouse knows it or not. For some people there’s still the hope that maybe things can work out. For others, divorce is a done deal…it’s only their spouse that doesn’t know.
With that in mind, what’s the best advice? Be extra nice to your spouse this holiday season. It’s the right thing to do… and besides, it may be your last chance.

Would You Use a Surrogate to Carry Your Child? Would You Consider Being a Surrogate? Surrogate Moms Express Sheer Joy…and Heartbreaking Regret

As women wait longer to have children, the number of surrogate births has increased. It’s estimated there are approximately 500 surrogate births per year in the US and that a total of 35,000 children have been born by surrogates.  
We’ve all seen the lawsuits and movies. They usually involve a woman who carries the biological child of another parent or couple who later refuses to turn over the child/children. As members of the public we are then witness to the heartbreaking lawsuit, which sometimes drags on for years, with inevitably sad results.  
These days surrogacy suits are more complicated. A recent case involved a surrogate mom who had triplets. She filed for custody after the biological father asked her to terminate one of the three fetuses, saying he could not afford more than two children. In the end, the court rejected the request of the surrogate and awarded custody of the children to the biological dad. 
Of course there are many happy stories which we never see because they don’t play out in courtrooms or television, but rather between surrogate moms, biological parents and the lucky children born into loving homes. If you are considering a surrogacy situation, do your research, talk to an experienced lawyer, and take a look at what some surrogates say about the experience, from endless joy to terrible regrets.  

When Is #Divorce Happy News? When You’re A #Real Estate Buyer

While divorce isn’t normally considered a happy event, if you’re looking to whether single family, condo or townhouse, locating a property being sold may be very happy indeed. In the world of real estate we say that bargains when home sellers are separating.
Scottie Pippen and his wife Larsa are recent examples of this rule–though they’re offering is $10.9Million for their Florida mansion. Now $10.9Million higher than what most of us could afford (okay, a lot higher), but Scottie 
their asking price, which is is quite common for couples looking to get rid of real estate so they can move on.
If you’re in the market to buy and want a bargain (and who doesn’t?) look being sold due to divorce. Sometimes sellers voluntarily list their home for they simply want to move on, other times the divorce court orders the property be sold.
Selling the property at a reduced price allowing the couple to move on, which is good news for them…and good news for the lucky buyers, too.

Follow The Money

Your dad might not be a billionaire but if he starts spending money in unusual ways or in large sums it’s time to pay attention and take action. The case of 92 yr-old billionaire Sumner Redstone case has made the news recently for many reasons, not the least of which is the wealthy businessman gifted two young girlfriends with $150Million in the past 5 years. When he decided to end the relationships and cease gifting one of the former girlfriends sued claiming he was incompetent.

Today the California Court has dismissed the ex-galpal’s case. The judge heard testimony from Mr. Redstone and ruled he was competent, holding “Redstone has told me what he wants. How can I sit here and say, no,you can’t have what you want?” Redstone’s daughter, Shari, wishes to become her father’s health care power of attorney, which would legally allow her to make health care decisions for her dad. At this time her father agrees with Shari being his health care poa. Lawsuits such as Redstone’s provide a wonderful opportunity to open the door to conversations with family about issues which are legally, practically and financially important.