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DIVORCE OVERSEAS

Source of article: travel.state.gov

DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IN THIS CIRCULAR IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A PARTICULAR
CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC U.S. STATE OR FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO LEGAL COUNSEL IN THAT
JURISDICTION.


STATE v. FEDERAL JURISDICTION: Marriage and divorce generally are considered matters reserved to the states rather than to the federal government. See,
Sosna v. Iowa, 419 U.S. 393, 404 (1975) and Armstrong v. Armstrong, 508 F. 2d 348 (1st Cir. 1974 ). There is no treaty in force between the United States and any country on enforcement of judgments, including recognition of foreign divorces.



RECOGNITION BASED ON COMITY: A divorce decree issued in a foreign country generally is recognized in a state in the United States on the basis of comity
(Hilton v. Guyot, 159 U.S. 113, 163-64 (1895), provided both parties to the divorce received adequate notice, i.e., service of process and, generally, provided one of the
parties was a domiciliary in the foreign nation at the time of the divorce. Under the principle of comity, a divorce obtained
in another country under the circumstances described above receives "full faith and credit" in all other states and countries
that recognize divorce. Although full faith and credit may be given to an ex parte divorce decree, states usually consider
the jurisdictional basis upon which the foreign decree is founded and may withhold full faith and credit if not satisfied
regarding domicile in the foreign country. Many state courts which have addressed the question of a foreign divorce where
both parties participate in the divorce proceedings but neither obtains domicile there have followed the view that such a
divorce invalid (Weber v. Weber, 200 Neb. 659, 265 N.W.2d 436 (1978); Everett v. Everett, 345 So. 2d 586 (La. Ct. App... Read More »

Ukrainian citizenship

Karina Duvall
The question of granting of citizenship of Ukraine is adjusted by the Law № 2235-III from January 18, 2001 «About citizenship of Ukraine».

A Ukrainian citizenship may be acquired by granting the citizenship of Ukraine.
In order to obtain citizenship on the basis of the above reasons the person shall:
- recognize and observe the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine;
- undertake to terminate foreign citizenship or not to have foreign citizenship;
- live on legal basis on the territory of Ukraine during the last five years;
- obtain permit to permanent residence in Ukraine;
- speak state language or understand it in volume sufficient for communication;
- have legal sources of existence.

Shall not be the citizen of Ukraine the person who:
1) commuted crime against humanity or genocide;
2) is convicted in Ukraine to deprivation of liberty for grave crime (until serving of convictions);
3) committed on the territory of other state the act which is recognized as grave crime by the legislation of Ukraine.

A specially authorized central body of executive power on citizenship issues and bodies subordinate thereof shall accept from the persons applications together with other documents related to obtaining and withdrawal of the citizenship of Ukraine, verify their accuracy and together with their conclusion shall send them to consideration of the Commission for citizenship issues at the President of Ukraine. The Commission shall consider applications of the persons about their acceptance to the citizenship of Ukraine, withdrawal of the citizenship of Ukraine and submission about loss of the citizenship of Ukraine and submit suggestions to the President of Ukraine regarding satisfaction of these applications and submissions. Having obtained these proposals the President of Ukraine shall make decision and issue decrees on acceptance of a person to the citizenship of Ukraine and termination of the citizenship of Ukraine.

Decision about becomi... Read More »

A NOT SO HAPPY NEW YEAR

© 2008 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire, Miami Florida
This will be the last issue of Steinberg Talks Tax™ in 2008. Given that the holidays are already somewhat less than merry, I won’t pour on more of the continued negative economic indicator news. I will, however, briefly mention the auto bail out, what some commentators are saying about the crisis, and, what tax changes may be implemented by the Obama administration.

THE SUB PRIME INDY 500
• President Bush Acts: Following Congressional rejection of a proposed $25 billion auto bail out President Bush announced a $13.4 billion bridge loan to the big three auto makers. The loan will drain the balance of funds from the congressionally approved first ½ of the $700 billion TARP fund.
• Agreement: The terms of the deal will start the auto companies on a race to restructure within the next 101 days, by a March 31 deadline, to prove their viability. The terms are broadly generous requiring the companies to negotiate concessions from workers, suppliers, dealers, banks and bondholders that will allow them to satisfy a mushy “viability” touchstone, that is, to show that they are taking steps to become “viable”. The Obama administration will be left to apply the test and play a large role in determining the future of the U.S. auto industry.
• Contentions: Already, there are grumblings from some in congress and the United Auto Workers about the concessions that workers should be asked to accept or are willing to accept, respectively.
• What if? If the companies fail to demonstrate that they are becoming “viable” by March 31, they must return the bridge loan funds and won’t qualify for an additional $4 billion in funding. Notwithstanding, the rescue is just the first tranche in federal assistance to the auto companies, some or all of which, may yet end up in bankruptcy.
• Start you engines: The race to find linchpins to viability is on but 101 days is a very short horizon for implementing major initiatives.
• Complications: Another... Read More »

WHEN IS A TAX LAWYER NEEDED IN A DIVORCE CASE?

© 2008 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire, Miami Florida
Family lawyers know to engage a forensic accountant in all but the simplest cases. In addition to normal divorce related tasks like investigating finances, the accountant will sometimes be asked to perform tax services. There are occasions, however, when the client would be better served by involving a tax lawyer. Some of these are:

 When income tax returns have not been filed: The knee-jerk reaction of most CPAs to file immediately is a trap for the unwary. The failure to timely file tax returns can be a civil tax or criminal tax matter. If it is a criminal act, filing the tax return later does not erase the crime. There is no red-line separating neglect from willful conduct. Only a tax lawyer can investigate and advise someone about the consequences of filing delinquent returns. An accounting trial-expert cannot be clothed in the attorney client privilege.
 When prior filed returns contain serious errors or omissions: The considerations are similar to filing delinquent returns in that the amendment does not erase a crime committed although is can be offered to suggest that no crime was intended. Filing an amended tax return is an admission that the return filed was inaccurate and of the amount of understated tax on the original return. Only a tax lawyer can safely investigate and advise if returns can be amended without increasing the risk of criminal sanctions or excessive civil penalties.
 When tax returns under audit contain the potential for tax fraud to be charged: This is sometimes called an “eggshell audit.” In a sense you are walking on eggshells hoping that the revenue agent will not reach that conclusion. If the agent feels there is fraud, he will suspend the audit and refer the case to the IRS Criminal Investigations Division. The taxpayer wants to cooperate as long as the case is not a criminal matter and he or she is not thereby waiving Fifth Amendment rights. A CPA should not handle this kind of aud... Read More »

MORTGAGE FORGIVENESS DEBT RELIEF ACT OF 2007 PRESENTS DIVORCE TAX ISSUES

© 2008 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire, Miami Florida
Effects of the sub-prime mortgage debacle are certain to be felt in divorce proceedings. Moreover, relief granted by Congress to distressed homeowners will present additional tax issues of which divorce lawyers should be aware.
The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 (Act) provides tax relief to defaulting homeowners who might otherwise owe income tax on the forgiven portion of their mortgage obligation. A lender that is paid less than the full principal owed on the mortgage often decides not to personally pursue the borrower for the deficiency. In that case the lender files Form 1099-C informing IRS and the borrower of the forgiven portion of the debt that is to be treated as income.
The Act makes nontaxable debt forgiven on a qualified principal residence (QPR) with certain limitations as follows:
1. The relief applies to debt forgiven between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2009.
2. Qualified principal residence is a residence as to each taxpayer meeting the same definition as under Section 121 relating to the home sale exclusion of $250,000 ($500,000 for joint returns).
3. The debt must be secured by a QPR and be either:
a. Acquisition indebtedness up to $2,000,000 ($1,000,000 on a MFS return, or,
b. Home equity indebtedness up to $100,000 ($50,000 on MFS return) to the extent that when added to other QPR debt the total debt does not exceed the FMV of the residence.
4. The amount excluded from income reduces the tax basis of the property immediately.... Read More »
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