Part 1:
Newsletter Vacation

So, we took off the first quarter of 2017 (the newsletter, not the practice) because among cases, holidays and family (all good) and that state of our country (not specifically good) we lacked sufficient bandwidth to get it done.

We closed our last newsletter with a wish:

    Unfortunately, the summer of 2016 will always be blemished by our dreadful national election. The only good thing to say is that it is nearly over. No more doggerel from us. We just hope that our national (and the world’s) PTSD is not permanent.

It looks like we may not get our wish, but as the meme from The Shining (as appropriate to the time as Gaslight) goes: “we’re b-a-a-ck”, anyway.

Part 2:
Arbitration Statute

Bill is at it again, trying to create and push a family law specific arbitration statute, something that we think is important, positive and should be welcomed. This new effort is supported by the fact that the Uniform Laws Conference (formerly NCCUSL) has endorsed this remedy with a Uniform Family Law Arbitration Act of its own, published in final form, last fall. He is working with AAML colleagues Jeff Soilson and Jon Fields in finalizing a Massachusetts-adapted version, before seeking bar support and ultimately, we hope, a legislative sponsor. We are encouraged by the fact that the new chair of the legislature’s joint House Committee on the Judiciary is, herself, a veteran mediator and arbitrator. Please feel free to ask any questions or make any suggestions directly to Bill.

Part 3:
Guest Contributor

Our guest writer today is David Goodman, a CPA and divorce specialist with Gosule, Butkus & Jesson, LLP, in Boston. David follows and has compiled a set of tax court cases that all center on failed alimony schemes. It is a quick and interesting read, full of red lights that should help us all identify areas of concern in negotiation, mediation and drafting of alimony deals.

Part 4:
The Blog

The newsletter hiatus did not impact the LDRC Blog, and in recent months, we have addressed a broad variety of topics from alimony to parenting coordination and business valuation. In today’s newsletter, we focus on the recent Snow and Ludwig cases, the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court’s freshly minted parenting coordinator rule (eff. 7.1.17) and a couple of out-of-state valuation cases that we found particularly challenging.

As always, feel free to rummage around in the blog (we can’t believe it is more than 5 years old at this point); and grab the RSS feed if you have not already.

Enjoy the Spring. You’ve earned it.

Chouteau & Bill

Recent Tax Court Cases on Alimony

By David H. Goodman MBA, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA

The following U.S. Tax Court cases in which the Court ruled against the taxpayer on issues involving deductible alimony. In each of these the taxpayer attempted to deduct alimony and the Tax Court found that the payments to or on behalf of an ex-spouse did not meet the statutory requirements for alimony. An issue often arises when the payer deducts the alimony on their income tax return and the payee does not report the income. read more...

Probate and Family Court New Standing Order 1-17 on Parenting Coordination: A Baker’s Dozen of Interesting Aspects, Plus One


No review process for binding PC decisions: Rule (1)(e) asserts that a PC appointment does not divest a court of continuing jurisdiction over child matters “…even where the parties have agreed to [PC] binding decision-making authority...” But, Rule 1-17 provides no special limitation on the scope of issues on which an agreed PC may make binding decisions, nor a defined action to facilitate same, and no standard of review. Does this undermine parens patriae?  read more...

A “Growing Business” Negates Argument of Double Dipping in Washington State in Marriage of Cheng


In the Washington Court of Appeals’ recent case, Marriage of Cheng (denominated “unpublished” as in our Appeals Court Rule 1:28) the court set out an interesting marker for double counting analysis with closely held businesses that are valued by income methodologies: if it is a business with expectations for income growth, awarding alimony (they call it “maintenance”) from its future earnings is not a “double recovery” or, as we call it “double count” or “double dip”. read more...

Applying Marketability Discount for the Wrong Reason: Wasniewski v. Walsh


Over the last year, BV Wire, an excellent publication of Business Valuation Resources, LLC, has been chronicling the New Jersey trial of Wasniewski v. Walsh, in which three Superior Court judges addressed a shareholder withdrawal case, with serial appeals and remands.

The issue presented is if the trial judge acted properly in applying a 15% discount for lack of marketability (“DLOM”) in setting the buyout of the withdrawing 50% shareholder, not because the interest difficult to sell, but rather to redress the plaintiff’s oppression of the shareholder-defendant. read more...

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781.708.4445 | 413.341.1017 | Email: wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

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