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The Russian Roulette of Divorce
There have been some interesting developments recently in the world of family law which reflect the vagaries of this area of the law of which I will mention but two. The first concerns the high end of the market and a Russian couple Mr. and Mrs. Golubovich. After an 18 month marriage Mrs. Golubovich was awarded a settlement of £2.8 million. The husband’s lawyer exclaimed in the Daily Telegraph that such an award will mark this country as the ‘divorce capital of the world’, an accolade which is often bandied about by the disgruntled. The case is interesting as it involves what is called in the trade ‘forum shopping’ i.e. looking for the best jurisdiction to deal with your divorce and which court you think is going to more favourable to you. It is often considered that who gets their divorce petition in first has the upper hand, for both sides the twists and turns in this case did not quite turn out as either may have initially planned.
The parties to this drama were both in their twenties. The wife was a fashion student and the husband a very wealthy financier from an affluent family. The parties lived in Kensington in a property worth £4 million. There was one child.
When the marriage broke down in 2009 both sides embarked on strategic maneuvers to achieve the best result. The wife filed for divorce in London in the February and the case was set down for trial in the August. The husband favoured a Russian divorce and filed his own petition in Russia in the April. He did not however ask for the English proceedings to be put on hold. The wife not happy with the Russian proceedings sought to contest them and embarked on various delaying tactics in the Russian court. The Husband and his lawyer proceeded to circumvent the normal legal channels and invent a hearing in the Russian Court in the July 2009. They proceeded to forge a divorce decree no doubt whilst sharing a bottle of vodka to expunge any feelings of guilt at their misconduct. One can...
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NEW FORM 8938
THIS “STATEMENT OF SPECIFIED FOREIGN FINANCIAL ASSETS” FORM MAY HAVE TO BE FILED WITH YOUR 2011 INDIVIDUAL TAX RETURN IF YOU OWN AN INTEREST IN SUCH ASSETS VALUED ABOVE VARIOUS THRESHHOLD AMOUNTS.
Were the tax code fiction, it might be “The Trial” by Franz Kafka for its hysteria generating propensity; or, perhaps, “As I Lay Dying,” by William Faulkner for its intermingling of anguish and farce and structural complexity: then again, it might be Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” for its shear bulk; or, Joseph Heller’s, satirical “Catch 22” since we must file a tax return or be punished yet if we file, as almost all do lacking a real understanding of what we are filing, we may still be punished for the inevitable errors. The new Form 8938, gives me the feeling that were the tax law fiction it would be “Marathon Man,” by William Goldman made into the 1976 movie by the same name. I am thinking specifically of the harrowing scene where Nazi death camp dentist Dr. Christian Szell (Laurence Olivier) is torturing Babe Levy (Dustin Hoffman) by probing his exposed tooth nerve with a dental instrument while asking repeatedly, “Is it safe?” Bewildered Babe has no idea what he is talking about and as a result suffers excruciating pain. The scene is difficult to watch without squirming in one’s seat. The scene did nothing to help those already suffering from dental-fear phobias.
THE BIG HEADACHE FOR 2011 TAX FILERS WHO HAVE FOREIGN INVESTMENTS
We complain about the do nothing congress. But, we complain even more loudly when congress does do something like passing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2010 (FATCA), now partially effective, which thrusts a two pronged spear at U.S. taxpayers who evade tax responsibilities. One prong, aimed at foreign financial institutions which harbor U.S. tax evaders, becomes fully effective in 2013 and is not discussed here. The second prong, enacted as Internal Revenue Code Secti...
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SENTENCIA En nombre de Ucrania
El XX de junio de 20XX Ciudad de Kharkiv
El juzgado del distrito XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX de la ciudad de Kharkiv compuesto de:
Presidente Juez XXXXXXXXXXXX
Con el secretario XXXXXXXXXXXX
después de haber examinado en la audiencia pública en la ciudad de Kharkiv la causa civil a demanda de XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX contra XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX sobre la disolución de matrimonio
El demandante se dirigió al Juzgado con la demanda presente, pidiendo disolver el matrimonio con la demandada, porque su familia se había desintegrado.
En la audiencia el representante del demandante apoya la demanda y explica que la causa de la desintegración de la familia es la falta de la comprensión recíproca, la diversidad de los puntos de vista sobre la vida, la incompatibilidad de los caracteres. Ya hace unos años el demandante se fue de la familia y desde aquel momento no viven juntos.
La demandada no compareció en la audiencia habiendo sido advertida debidamente sobre el examen de la causa. Considerando que la demandante está ausente sin motivos justificados, y teniendo un número suficiente de las pruebas en cuanto a los derechos y obligaciones de las partes, el Juzgado examina la causa en su ausencia a tenor de lo previsto en el artículo 169, parte 1, punto 3 del Código Civil y Procesal de Ucrania.
El Juzgado, después de haber oído las explicaciones del demandante, después de haber verificado los materiales de la causa, considera que la demanda puede ser satisfecha por los motivos siguientes.
Las partes contrajeron matrimonio el XX de noviembre de 19XX que fue registrado en el Registro Civil de la ciudad de Kharkiv, la inscripción del acta es n.XXXX.
Del matrimonio las partes tienen un hijo menor, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX, nacido en 19XX, que vive con la demandada.
El examen de la causa revela que las partes no mantienen relaciones conyugales, no viven ju...
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JUDGEMENT IN THE NAME OF THE UKRAINE
Coat of arms of Ukraine
November XX, 20XX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX District Court of Odessa city in the composition of:
Chairperson – Judge XXXXXXXXXXX
With clerk of the court – XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Having considered in the court session in Odessa city the civil case based on the suit of Ms. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX against Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX on dissolution of marriage,
The Plaintiff applied to the court with a suit claiming to dissolve the marriage between her and the Defendant Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
The Defendant admitted the suit before the court and agreed to dissolution of marriage.
Having heard the representative of the plaintiff, the defendant, having examined the case papers, the court has concluded that the suit is subject to satisfaction due to the following circumstances.
As it has been established in the court hearing Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and Ms. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX have been officially married since February XX, 19XX. In the wedlock they have minor children XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX born on December XX, 20XX. The cause of marriage dissolution is the fact that their cohabitation has failed. The parties have not been maintaining marital relations since September 20XX, do not live together, do not have joint household.
The plaintiff denies any conciliation, and intents to register marriage with another person.
The issue of children’s residence may be resolved in separately.
Under the circumstances the court believes that further life of the family and salvage of the marriage conflicts with their interests.
Being governed by articles 10, 60, 208, 209, 212-215 of CPC of Ukraine, articles 110, 112 of FC of Ukraine the court
To dissolve the marriage between Ms. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX registered on February XX, 19XX by Civil Records Office of executive committee of Odessa local council, entry No. XXX.
To charge state duty from XX...
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IN THE NAME OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
March XX, 2009 Moscow city
Justice of the Peace of court district No. XXX of Sokolniki District of Moscow city Ms. XXXXXXXXXXXX, temporary acting as the Justice of the Peace of court district No. XXX of Preobrazhensky District of Moscow, with Clerk to justices Ms. XXXXXXXXXXXX,
Having considered in open court session the civil case based on the suit of Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX against Ms. XXXXXXXXXXXXX claiming marriage dissolution,
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX applied to the court with a suit against XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX claiming dissolution of marriage. Substantiating the declared claim he stated that has been married to the defendant since August XX, 20XX. They have no children in the wedlock. Cohabitation with the defendant has failed. Marital relations between the parties were stopped more than six months ago, they do not have common household. Further cohabitation of retaining of the family is impossible. The parties have no disputes as regards separation of common property. On the ground of the above stated the plaintiff asks to dissolve the marriage between him and the defendant, specifying that the defendant is avoiding the marriage dissolution by Civil Records Authorities.
The plaintiff’s representative, attorney at law Ms. K.M. Krasnova supported the plaintiff’s claims in full.
Defendant XXXXXXXXXXXXX failed to appear before the court, according to the report of Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXX District Police Officer of DIA Preobrazhenskoye District Ms. XXXXXXXXXXXX does not reside at the address: XX Bolshaya XXXXXXXXXX St., Apt. XX, Moscow, the apartment has been leased, so the place of her residence is unknown, which means that pursuant to Art. 119 of RF CPC the Justice of Peace believes it possible to commence the consideration of this civil case absente reo.
The court having read the suit, having examined the case papers, and having assessed the weight of evidence believes that ...
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