In Iowa, A Marriage Isn’t Over Until The Property’s Divided

In Iowa, A Marriage Isn't Over Until The Property's Divided

Until recently, courts within Iowa’s various judicial districts had different philosophies and practices regarding whether or when a spouse could obtain a decree terminating the parties’ marriage before the marital property had been divided.

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When Divorce Enters the Workplace

When Divorce Enters the Workplace

QDRO, QMCSO, IWO Oh My! Divorce Orders Requiring Employer Action

All employers, whether today or tomorrow, will encounter court orders requiring their action as a result of an employee’s divorce. Court orders requiring employer action include qualified domestic relation orders (QDRO), qualified medical child support orders (QMCSO), and income withholding orders (IWO). With today’s divorce rate climbing over 50%, employers will increasingly have to accommodate such court orders.

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Iowa Supreme Court Holds that Immunity Against Liability in Connection to Child Abuse Reporting is Broad

Iowa Supreme Court holds that immunity against liability in connection to child abuse reporting is broad

By: Vince Geis*

*Vince was a summer associate at Shuttleworth in 2015 and a student at the University of Iowa College of Law.

In Nelson v. Lindaman, No. 13–0719, 2015 WL 1874605 (Iowa Apr. 24, 2015), the Iowa Supreme Court decided what evidence a plaintiff needed to proceed to trial for claims against a doctor for failing to detect and report child abuse. Construing the statutory immunity provision broadly, the court decided such a case only withstands summary judgment when the plaintiff shows the doctor acted dishonestly.

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Noncustodial Parents Claiming Dependency Exemptions: The Importance of Form 8332

Family Law, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C.

On March 13, 2014, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in a consolidated appeal affirmed two decisions from the United States Tax Court, Armstrong v. Commissioner, 139 T.C. 468 (2012) and Hanson v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2012-352. Armstrong v. Commissioner, No. 13-1235 (8th Cir. 2014), Hanson v. Commissioner, No. 13-2064 (8th Cir. 2014). In both of those cases the Tax Court concluded, and the Eighth Circuit affirmed, that noncustodial parents were not entitled to dependency exemption deductions claimed under IRC section 152, for their noncustodial children because the noncustodial parents did not attach to their tax returns a Form 8332 or another document conforming in substance to Form 8332 declaring that the custodial parent “will not claim” the child as a dependent for the taxable year. The Tax Court and the Eight Circuit reached this conclusion even though the taxpayers had enforceable agreements arising out of divorce proceedings indicating that the noncustodial parents were entitled to the exemption deductions for the tax years in issue.

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DOMA & Employee Benefits: What’s next?

Labor and Employment Law, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C.

The IRS recently issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 and a corresponding Frequently Asked Questions publication providing important guidance to both employers and individuals on the application, for Federal tax purposes, of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. The Supreme Court in Windsor held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA’s) unequal treatment of same-sex marriage for Federal law purposes is unconstitutional. This bulletin quickly walks through the highlights of the IRS’s recent publications and provides some items for employers to consider going forward.

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California Supreme Court Rejects Latest Attempt to Prevent State Officials from Issuing Marriage Licenses to Gay and Lesbian Couples in California

By: Scott Wadding and Whitney Duhaime

On August 14, 2013, the California Supreme Court rejected the latest maneuver of the proponents of California’s Proposition 8 initiative to require state officials to enforce Proposition 8, which amended California’s Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The proponents argued the district court’s decision enjoining the enforcement of Proposition 8 only applied to the two same-sex couples involved in the Hollingsworth v. Perry decision. The California Supreme Court disagreed.

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Iowa Supreme Court Holds Iowa Department of Health Must Name Nonbirthing Lesbian Spouse as Parent on Birth Certificate.

By: Scott M. Wadding

Gartner v. Iowa Dep’t of Public Health, No. 12–0243 (Iowa 2013)

In a unanimous decision, the Iowa Supreme Court recently held Iowa’s presumption of parentage statute violated equal protection because it prevented the Iowa Department of Public Health from listing a nonbirthing lesbian spouse as a parent on the child’s birth certificate.

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FMLA: “Son or Daughter”

By: Mark P.A. Hudson

The Department of Labor (DOL) has clarified the definition of “son or daughter” to now permit an eligible employee to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for an adult child who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability, regardless of when the disability occurred. In the January 14, 2013 Administrative Interpretation letter, the DOL clarifies that the age of a son or daughter at the onset of a disability is not relevant in determining a parent’s entitlement to FMLA leave.

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Nursing Mothers Gain Protection Under Health Care Reform

Shuttleworth & Ingersoll

By: Mark P.A. Hudson

In a seemingly unnoticed section of the recent Health Reform Legislation, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) was amended to require employers to provide rest, breaks and space for employees who are nursing mothers to express breast milk. Consequently, all FLSA-covered employers gained two additional obligations:

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