Articles Posted in Divorce

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San Jose Bankruptcy Attorney  comments on the ongoing Denny Hecker divorce and bankruptcy saga.

As Denny Hecker’s empire continues to crumble around him, his attempts to avoid paying spousal support to his wife Tamitha were rebuffed by a Minnesota divorce court judge.  Hecker was ordered to pay $7,500 per month to Mrs. Hecker in alimony and child support.

Hecker, who filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in June as his auto dealership empire collapsed, said he was unable to afford the support payments for Mrs. Hecker.  But the judge, after examining Mr. Hecker’s financial records, discovered that he had given his live-in girlfriend more than $72,000 and spent $27,000 on vacations since his June bankruptcy filing. That discovery led the judge to order the $7,500 per month in spousal support, since Mr. Hecker was spending nearly $30,000 per month on his girlfriend.  The judge also ordered Mr. Hecker to pay for his children’s health insurance.

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San Jose Bankruptcy Attorney  comments on one of Britain’s most expensive divorce battles.

One of Great Britain’s most expensive, and most public, divorce battles took an unusual turn last week when Michelle Young was evicted from her £8,666 per month Regent’s Park Townhouse for failure to pay the rent.  Mrs. Young is in a heated divorce battle over her husband Scot Young’s estimated £400 million fortune.  Mr. Young claims he is on the verge of bankruptcy and owes creditors £27 million.

Mrs. Young is asking for half of Mr. Young’s fortune, and she is alleging that he has hidden many of the assets.  Mr. Young counters that his empire has been hit hard by the current recession and decline in property values and that he has nowhere near the wealth that his wife alleges in her divorce filing.

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San Jose Bankruptcy Attorney  comments on Estelle Walgreen’s rise from the ashes of bankruptcy, losing her home, and a divorce, to launching a Hispanic new media company.

Estelle Walgreen has made headlines for much of her life.  Once married to and now divorced from Charles Walgreen, an heir to the company fortune, Ms. Walgreen made headlines in 2006 when her three pet pigs she was raising on her Lake Forest estate became the center of a public policy controversy.   She lost her multi-million dollar home when a fast-growing industrial firm she co-owned filed for bankruptcy. Now the mother of two has returned to her Hispanic roots, where she was crowned Miss Mexico of Chicago’s Mexican Independence Day festivities in 1981.

The former Estella Gonzales , a former investment analyst, is launching Hispanically Speaking News, a website targeting coverage of Chicago’s Latino community.  The bilingual site will summarize news and sports, dispense financial advice, offer links to leading Mexican newspapers and track anti-immigration bills in U.S. legislatures.  It will employ three barrio reporters in the city’s Hispanic neighborhoods, and she hopes the site is profitable within 18 months.

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San Jose Family Law Attorney explains how to protect your financial interests in a divorce if you think your spouse may later file for bankruptcy protection.

If you are going through a divorce, you may be better served by seeking more spousal support and child support, and less physical property, in the property settlement if you suspect your spouse may be considering filing for bankruptcy.  The advantage to you is that domestic support obligations are no longer dischargeable in bankruptcy.  So even if your spouse files for bankruptcy, the spousal support and child support obligations do not go away.

Property settlements, however, can be discharged in bankruptcy.  Even worse, they can come back to bite you if your name is on the loan document when your former spouse files for bankruptcy.  In that event, the lender may come after you for the entire amount owed, instead of just the part that was awarded to you in the property settlement.

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San Jose Family Law Attorney comments on the bankruptcy and divorce saga of the Advantage Rent-A-Car owner.

When Denny Hecker’s auto empire of 26 automotive dealerships, the Advantage Rent-A-Car chain and other businesses filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, he never envisioned that it would become a personal issue embroiled in a bitter divorce with his wife Tamitha.  But the bankruptcy liquidation of his assets is now tied up in family law court as well as Ms. Hecker.

As the bankruptcy trustee prepares for a public auction of Mr. Hecker’s assets including Rolex watches, a Cartier travel clock and numerous personal jewelry items, Ms. Hecker is questioning how her husband is spending $25,000 per month while unemployed, bankrupt, and contesting her request for $7,500 per month in alimony and child support for her and the couple’s two children.

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San Jose Family Law Attorney explains the spouse receiving support should try to maximize the amount of domestic  support vs. a property settlement in a divorce decree.

Persons going through, or contemplating, divorce should do some planning with their family law attorney if they believe they will be receiving child support or spousal support as a result of the divorce.  Recent changes to the bankruptcy laws make domestic support a much more attractive option than a property settlement.

If the divorce decree has a significant property settlement within it, the property may be at risk if the former spouse files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.  While you may each own half of the property, if your spouse files for a bankruptcy liquidation, the bankruptcy trustee can liquidate their ownership interest in the property, which may force you to raise cash in a hurry or sell the property to satisfy the creditor who will now be pursuing the entire debt from you. To decide what is best for you, please consult an attorney.

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San Jose Family Law Attorney explains how a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you catch up on child support that is in arrears.

In many divorce cases, the non-custodial parent often falls behind in child support payments.  The reasons for this are many, but the effect on the child and custodial parent is very real.  Some parents in this scenario mistakenly believe that filing for bankruptcy can erase the child support payments that are in arrears.  While that is not the case, there is a significant benefit to a bankruptcy filing if you are behind in child support payments

Child support and spousal support are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  If you are behind in your child support you are at risk of wage garnishment, having the IRS withhold your income tax refunds and possibly even serving time in jail.  But a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing can stop all of those things.

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San Jose Family Law Attorney offers commentary on the divorce that threatens control of the Los Angeles Dodgers

The Philadelphia Phillies may not be the only thing on the minds of the Los Angeles Dodgers front office this week. The divorce filing of Frank and Jamie McCourt, the owner and chief executive officer respectively of the Los Angeles Dodgers has created some interesting division of property issues during the National League Championship Series.  In 2004 the McCourt’s purchased control of the Dodgers, and their divorce may create a struggle for control since Ms. McCourt is arguing that the ownership of the team should be divided up as community property, leaving each person with a 50% interest in the team.

This is not the first time that a California sports team has had a divorce settlement affect its ownership.  The San Diego Padres were considered community property and were sold during the divorce of the team’s owners John and Becky Moores.  In that case Mr. Moores wished to buy out his wife’s interest in the team, but the only way he could raise the cash necessary to do so was to sell the team.

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San Jose Family Law Attorney offers some tips on reducing the possibility of divorce before you are married.

Statistics show that nearly half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce proceedings, and there are some common themes that run through many tales of broken marriages. Here are some basic questions you should answer before you tie the knot:

  1. What are my beliefs about money? Am I a saver or a spender? Is my spouse a saver or a spender? If we do not share the same viewpoint on money usage, how can we arrange our household to avoid conflict over money, which is the leading contributor to divorce? A prenuptial agreement can help protect your assets if you believe your future spouse may squander them.
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San Jose Family Law Attorney explains the need to protect marital assets before the divorce is final.

The Jon and Kate Gosselin divorce saga has captivated fans of their show “Jon and Kate Plus 8” that featured their lives with 8 small children. It has also become a national news story and is a staple of the tabloids and cable news programming. They have been very public in airing their disagreements and divorce proceedings. Recently there was a news story about the status of their joint checking account, and there is a valuable lesson to be learned in their divorce.

Kate Gosselin said that Jon removed nearly $230,000 from their account, despite a separation agreement that prohibits either of them from withdrawing from the account without the other’s consent. Kate has hired a divorce attorney who is threatening to sue Jon if the money is not returned to the account immediately.