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Rockville Legal Blog

Modifying or enforcing a divorce arrangement

It is easily to fall into the trap of thinking that once you complete your divorce, that the arrangement is done and written in stone. Since divorce can be stressful and painful, few people want to go back and revisit the circumstances of the divorce, even if the arrangement itself is an important aspect to your post-divorce life.

We say this because it is important to realize weaknesses everyone may have when it comes to approaching a stressful or unsavory topic. Your post-divorce arrangement falls into this category. It's something no one wants to go back and revisit, but it must be done occasionally.

What types of partnerships can you establish for your business?

A couple of months ago, we wrote a post about the many different types of business you can establish. These types include corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, co-ops, and limited liability companies to name a few. But today, we want to dive into the different types of partnerships you can have.

A partnership is established when two or more people co-own a business and share in the profits and losses of that business. The multiple parties in the partnership may contribute ideas, financial backing, property, or any combination of these things. When a partnership is established, deciding which type of partnership is important. There are general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships (LLPs).

Owner's divorce leads to business complications

Our blog is about two topics: business law and divorce. Today, we have a story that combines these two topics in a highly controversial and combative lawsuit. The story isn't from here in Rockville, Maryland, but it concerns any business owner who fears what could happen if his or her business becomes entangled in their personal divorce.

Today's story is from Minneapolis, where an owner of Twin City Fan Companies -- which employs 1,500 people in a number of locations across five states -- was let go from his company by his three children who voted him out. At the same time, the owner, Charles Barry, was going through a divorce after it was found that he used company funds to fund his mistress.

Apple, graphics card supplier locked in contract dispute

Imagination Technologies Group, a tech hardware company, disputes Apple's version of events when Apple said that they had informed Imagination over the last couple of years that they were "winding down" the relationship between the two companies. Apple previously used Imagination's graphics cards in their phones, but the announcement of the end of the relationship by the beginning of 2018 dealt a huge blow to Imagination's stock price.

Apple says they have been winding down the relationship with Imagination since 2015 and that in February of this year they officially informed Imagination that by early 2018, the relationship would be over. Imagination was surprised by the February news, and there are now questions about Imaginations efforts to inform their investors. The two companies have been partners since 2007.

Striking down part, or all, of a prenup upon legal challenge

Imagine that you have been married for many years, but you and your spouse decide it is time for a divorce. You remember signing a prenuptial agreement months before your wedding day, but you haven't thought about the contract much since. Now that a divorce is on the table, you review your prenuptial agreement and find that the provisions aren't as kind as you remember them being. You may even think that the document is unfair.

This is called an "unconscionable" contract. A prenuptial agreement is supposed to be "conscionable": that is, a prenup that is financially fair to both sides. If the provisions are drafted in such a way that it would leave one spouse in financial ruin and it is clear the prenup favors one side in the relationship, then a legal challenge would find parts of the prenup, or possibly all of it, deemed invalid.

Patents are very complicated, so be prepared

A couple of months ago, we wrote a post about trade secrets and businesses. Trade secrets are vital pieces of information that can make or break a company's future. Along the same lines as a trade secret, patents can dramatically impact the future of a company. A patent legally protects a non-obvious and new invention from other individuals and companies who would copy your idea and use it for their own gain.

The patent application process can take some time, but if you are granted a patent you have a wide array of legal protections that you can use to safeguard your business. Patents also come in three types. There are design patents which protect the surface ornamentation and overall design of a product (such as the curvature of a particular cellphone). There are utility patents, which cover manufacturing process, process in general, and the composition of matter. And then there are plant patents, which, as you might expect, cover new plants.

On the different forms of child custody

When the topic of child custody comes up, some people think of the matter as a "one size fits all" topic. However, there are numerous different types of child custody, and depending on the circumstances of the divorce, the custody arrangement may change.

But what are these different types of custody? There are four types that could apply to a divorce:

The issues that can, and can't, be addressed in a prenup

Many people consider a prenuptial agreement before they walk down the aisle and get married to their one true love. Even though some people may think that prenuptial agreements are an "anti-love" contract, these documents actually serve many critical purposes. They protect the spouses in case of divorce; they can expedite the divorce process; and it affords the spouses a chance to talk about some important issues before they get married.

But what issues can be addressed by a prenuptial agreement? And what topics are off the table? Here is a look at the matters that can, and can't, be addressed in a prenup:

Uber v. Google lawsuit has new drama

If you have not heard, Uber and Google are currently waging a massive legal battle against each other over the alleged theft of company secrets. The story goes like this: Anthony Levandowski was a big engineer at Google, working on a self-driving car project under Google's parent company's self-driving business, Waymo. But he left the company to start his own self-driving company, which was eventually snapped up by Uber for roughly $700 million.

What Google alleges is that Levandowski, after leaving the company, took trade secrets from them which helped him make his new company -- and which ultimately benefited Uber once they bought Levandowski's company.

How to act once a divorce is realized

Every divorce is going to be a little different. The personalities of the spouses will vary from case to case. The specifics of each divorce will vary. The assets on the line; the children that may or may not be involved; the type of divorce that the spouses seek, even. All of these things play major roles in a divorce. But there are are some constants that run across every divorce, and these tips should be heeded no matter the situation.

If you are going through a divorce, the first thing you should do is remain as calm as you can throughout the process. Getting angry will only feed the anxiety and stress that will naturally come with a divorce filing. Staying calm can foster productive interactions between you, your spouse and the attorneys that the two of you hired.

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