Families and Prescription Drug Abuse

This article, written by Sam Boykin at The Charlotte Observer, talks about about the problems of families torn apart by prescription drug abuse, something we are seeing more of in divorce cases. Thanks to Alison Kramer at The Rosen Law Firm and her "Kramer vs" Blog in North Carolina for the post:

Problems with legitimate meds increasingly tearing families apart

After 26 years of marriage, Susan felt like she didn’t even know her husband anymore.

Mike had always been hard-working and a good father to their two daughters. But gradually his behavior grew more and more bizarre.

"It was nothing for him to fix dinner and sit down in the recliner and fall asleep with food in his mouth and all over his lap," Susan said.

Money also started to disappear — a couple hundred dollars a week, then over $1,000.


Hair Strand Drug Tests

Ben Stevens of the South Carolina Family Law Blog posted this article on a timely and more and more frequent topic in family law cases:

As you probably know, Britney Spears shaved her head this past week.  Observers speculate that one reason she may have done so is to attempt to avoid a hair strand drug test in her ongoing custody case with her estranged husband, Kevin Federline. 

I mention this not because I plan to start covering celebrity breakdowns and divorces on this blog, but rather because the subject of drug tests comes up quite frequently in Family Court cases.  Slate.com published an article which serves as a good introduction to the subject of hair strand drug tests.  For instance, consider the following facts from this article:


If You’re Divorcing, Don’t Sacrifice Your Children

David Woodsfellow, a psychologist in Atlanta, wrote the following article, appearing on the Georgia Psychological Association’s website:

No parent wants to get divorced. Divorce is no one’s first choice. By the time it’s gotten to divorce, many people are ready to get away from their spouse. But very few are ready to be away from their children.

Either way it’s very difficult. Being apart from one’s children is truly heartbreaking. Raising children alone is very, very hard.

But, if it’s come to divorce, there’s one principle you can’t forget. DON’T SACRIFICE YOUR CHILDREN. Don’t harm your children so that you’ll feel better.


CPAs as Forensic Accountants in Divorce Engagements

Marriage has become a delicate venture. According to the U.S. Census bureau, about nine out of 10 people will marry sometime in their lives, but about half of first marriages will end in divorce. And while some marriages end peacefully, with both sides agreeing to an equal and fair settlement, some do not, and the ensuing process can get quite vicious. When ex-spouses significantly distrust each other, it is advisable to engage the services of a lawyer, especially if one or both do not understand their household finances and the economic implications of marital settlements. In turn, attorneys often hire CPAs as forensic accountants to help represent the spouse who doesn’t have access to the family’s financial information. In these cases, the forensic analysis might include reviewing financial data to determine its accuracy and reasonableness; determining each spouse’s standard of living and disposable income; locating hidden assets; and determining what property may be considered separate from marital property, especially if one of the spouses runs a closely held business. This type of work has created a highly focused segment for the profession: forensic accounting in divorce engagements.

Marriage: The Leading Cause of Divorce? Out of the more than 2 million marriages performed last year, 60% were the first marriage for both bride and groom. Unfortunately, for those first marriages that do end in divorce, the average length of a first marriage is only about eight years. The median duration of second marriages that end in divorce is only about seven years.

Most newlyweds probably don’t think of their wedding day as the beginning of a personal business partnership: making money, budgeting, accumulating assets, and investing for the future. Nevertheless, couples should still plan how to divide this property at the blissful beginning, not the bitter end. This planning could take the form of a premarital agreement, which may not be a perfect document, but is generally enforceable in all 50 states. This is why both spouses must understand their household’s finances. It is not a good idea to allow one spouse to run all the finances while the other spouse knows nothing about it. After all, the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with would never try to hide something from you … or would they?