Financially Ever-After; Assets and Lies

Financial issues abound in almost every divorce action.  The parties fight over the money, the debt, the house, the business and anything else of value.  The financial consequences of divorce can not be overstated.  It typically results in a change in lifestyle for both parties, and despite the law that contemplates “maintaining the lifestyle of which you have grown accustomed,” divorce frequently results in both parties living a reduced lifestyle. It takes more money to run two households than it does one.

Mississippi Courts use a form for financial disclosures. This form is called an “Eight-oh-Five,” as it is Rule 8.05 (clickable) which requires the completion and use of a financial statement in family law cases.  The 8.05 must list all income, assets, expenses and liabilities.  Whether they be “joint” or solely owned by one party, they have to be disclosed.  The 8.05 also must include a recent pay stub, work history and the most recent tax return.  These are to be completed under oath and are subject to perjury safeguards.

Persons who have submitted materially false 8.05s have been held accountable by the Court, even well after the fact.  In a recent, notable case the husband, who also had a girlfriend, won the lottery about 2 months before the divorce. He did not disclose the winnings and it was an out of state lottery so the wife did not hear about it.  The parties were divorced.  About 4 years later, the now ex-husband’s girlfriend called the ex-wife to let her know that the husband had won the lottery just prior to the divorce. Why?  Well, the girlfriend found out that the fellow was now cheating on her.  The ex-wife filed a petition to re-open the matter due to fraud.  The husband’s failure to disclose was found to be “fraud on the Court” and the case was re-opened. The wife was awarded a portion of the winnings and attorney fees.

Moral of the story; disclose your assets and be honest. The Court requires full disclosure.

Thompson Law Firm, PLLC      (601) 850-8000

Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

 

Voting & Mississippi -(a very brief history)

With the election one day away, this is the (obligatory) “be sure you vote” blawg.

Tuesday we go to the polls to elect State and National officials.  You get to vote for the person you think should be President, and a MS Senator, (if in your district) Congressmen, 2 MS Supreme Court Justices , and a host of local positions, such as election commissioners.

We hear and see a lot of talk about Mississippi being subject to Federal oversight in her elections.  Below is a brief explanation of that Federal oversight.

Mississippi has a stormy past when it comes to voting rights – attempting to restrict minority access to voting –  and those past State actions can still be felt in today’s elections.  Mississippi is one of 8 states subject to the Department of Justice “pre-clearance” and oversight on any voting/election law changes pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (Some sections of other states are subject to the pre-clearance oversight).

This legislation was designed to ensure the right of minority citizens to register and vote, and to prevent discriminatory laws passed by state and local entities. Both permanent and non-permanent provisions are proscribed. One permanent provision applies nationwide and outlaws any voting practice that results in the denial of voting rights on the basis of a person’s race, color, or membership in a language-minority group.

The non-permanent provisions that are relevant to Mississippi require “pre-clearance” of any changes in voting/election laws and  allows the DOJ to send federal observers to the polls in Mississippi

To pass muster any changes in voting/election laws must demonstrate that the voting change does not have the purpose or effect of discriminating on the basis of race or language minority. If the DOJ or the federal court determines that there is a discriminatory purpose or effect, then an objection is issued. If an objection is issued, the change cannot be put into operation.

Source: The Voting Rights Act and Mississippi 1965-2006, A Report of the RenewtheVRA.org, by Robert McDuff.

With that brief history of MS voting you can see the impact and importance that the right to vote has for many citizens.  Exercise your right to vote; let your voice be heard and your vote be counted.

Thompson Law Firm, PLLC            (601) 850-8000         Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com

Call an Audible! Effectively Making Adjustments in Strategy.

Watching the first half of the State game has inspired a blog! MSU is running a 3-4 defensive scheme. This means there are 3 defensive linemen and 4 linebackers. The problem here is that A&M is blocking 3 defenders with 5 and sometimes 6 blockers. The State defensive front is outnumbered.

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This allows the A&M QB, Johnny Football, time to find the open receiver or scramble around and run. Two things he’s good at.
The point is you have to have a game plan coming in, but when it’s not working and you find yourself trailing by 4 scores it’s time for a strategy change.
Divorce is the same way. You have to have a strategy to get to your end game. Be it through litigation or negotiation, but if you find it not working, change strategies!

A recent case I was involved in had the wife doggedly pursuing a cruelty based divorce. But cruelty “proof” was light to say the least. No physical abuse, no real major altercations and no extreme behavior by the husband. The wife’s strategy however was to take it all the way and get her divorce, despite that she could not. The husband’s strategy was to defend and negotiate. The wife refused. The husband stayed the course, much like, I suspect A&M will stay the course the second half.

Well, after a 1/2 day in trial and the wife’s “best” witnesses of cruelty barely making a fizzle with the Court, she decided to negotiate. The end result was an agreement to all issues with both giving more in some areas and taking less in others.

Her forgoing her prior game plan in the face of a defense ready for it resulted in an agreed resolution. Let’s hope MSU makes halftime adjustments with their defense and changes their game plan for the better.
UPDATE… The Bulldogs made adjustments at the half they came out with a 4 and 5 down linemen defensive scheme. They have been able to hold a potent A&M offense to just one additional score so far and have scored themselves and are putting together some good looking drives.

Make adjustments in your game plan as needed.

Thompson Law Firm, PLLC
(601) 850-8000
Matthew@ wmtlawfirm.com

Divorce, Child Custody & Child Support, Alimony, Contempt, Modification, Youth Court, Adoption and Appeals.

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