January 22, 2014

Conservatism Can’t Save Marriage

The Huffington Post’s “Divorce” section announced an interesting new study by Professor Jennifer Glass called “Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates,” which will be published later this month in the American Journal of Sociology. Let me first say that I rarely agree with HuffPo bloggers on divorce issues, but I…

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January 21, 2014

February 2014 MEE Subjects

When I took the bar in July of 2013, I mapped out the history of the 16 subjects tested on the MEE and made predictions based on the historical pattern of what 9 questions the NCBE would write for our Bar Exam. I was close—very, very close. The only tested MEE subject that I did not expect to see in…

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January 20, 2014

"Redeeming" Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements tend to have a bad reputation, especially among Christians. To many, a “prenup” represents all the ugly aspects of our divorce-laden culture and reduces marriage to nothing more than a business transaction. And while I recognize that our culture is too flippant about divorce and far, far too concerned about money, Christians should not be so quick to…

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January 18, 2014

Make sure your BFF is taken care of.

I’ve taken hiatus from my series on Estate Planning for Young Professionals, but I am getting back to it. 4.         Make sure your BFF is taken care of. When people think of estate planning they typically think of people. However, many young professionals have not yet started a family, but have a best friend forever. It is their pet….

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January 17, 2014

"Divorce Corp." Movie

“I think death would be easier than divorce.” Divorce Corp. is a new film by Joseph Sorge, who used his own experience in family court to make a documentary detailing the excesses of the divorce “industry”—the family lawyers, family law judges, and family law counselors that depend on each other for their livelihood. I am sure the film overstates the…

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January 16, 2014

Divorce: How it rewrites your Estate Planning Documents in Arkansas.

If you get divorced in Arkansas, some of your estate planning documents will change automatically unless you plan around it. When most people are getting divorced, they never consider changing their estate plan, but they should. If an accident were to happen you would want to make sure the proper documents were in place. The proper documents being in place…

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January 15, 2014

Marriage as an Antidote to Poverty

Kathleen Parker posted an op-ed in today’s Washington Post about the relationship between poverty and marriage. According to her, strengthening marriages is one of the most effective ways that the government can help to end poverty. There is much that could be said about that and, given the now-964 comments since this morning, I guess a lot of people have…

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January 14, 2014

Lifetime Gifts and Capital Gains Tax Implications

With the increase of the federal estate tax exemption to $5,340,000 in 2014, most Arkansas taxpayers are not subject to federal estate taxes. The focus for estate planning attorneys has now shifted to the income tax (capital gains tax) implications that arise when wealth passes to your loved ones. Without thinking about the income tax implications, many times elderly people…

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January 10, 2014

Right of First Refusal for Child Custody

As I recently said, the Arkansas legislature’s recent amendment to child custody laws by “favoring” joint custody has been met with a lot of confusion and criticism. Many Arkansas family lawyers and family law judges view the change as unhelpful because child custody situations are so fact-specific—there should not be a “one size fits all” presumption. The law now requires…

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January 9, 2014

IRA Transaction equals a $90k penalty

In a recent U.S. Tax Court decision the plaintiffs (Ps) lost to the tune of $94,645.20. This serves as a reminder about the costly consequences of making inappropriate transactions within a client’s IRA. The Facts: In 2001 Ps established traditional IRAs. Ps formed FP Corp. and directed their new IRAs to use rolled-over cash to purchase 100% of FP Corp.’s…

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