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Divorce and Trusts: Dissolving or Amending Existing Trusts and Using New Trusts in Divorce Planning

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss what family lawyers need to know to evaluate existing trusts that their client or a divorcing couple have. The panel will explain how to identify changes that should be made to trusts due to dissolution of the marriage and how family lawyers can use or create trusts to address assets and money payments.


Most trusts will require some changes or amendments due to dissolution of a marriage because each party will likely have different plans regarding the distribution of assets and disposal of each estate.

Family law attorneys must be sufficiently conversant with trusts to remove a former spouse as a fiduciary, update documents to reflect the client's new situation, and identify other potential pitfalls inherent in trusts post-divorce. Neglecting to consider trusts when negotiating a property settlement can result in unintended consequences, particularly tax liabilities.

Trusts can also be created during the divorce process to reflect changed circumstances. Support trusts may be preferable to periodic alimony payments, especially if there will be little contact between the spouses post-divorce.

Clients may need trusts for estate planning to provide funds for children and other heirs. Irrevocable grantor retained annuity trusts can accomplish that goal while reducing tax liability. A qualified domestic trust is a beneficial vehicle for gifts and inheritances to non-citizen spouses.

Listen as our authoritative panel of attorneys provides the knowledge of trusts that family lawyers need to know when advising clients on existing trusts and changes needed due to the divorce. The panel will also discuss the use or creation of trusts during the divorce proceeding to address assets and monetary payments after the divorce is finalized.



  1. Overview of trust law for family counsel
  2. Dealing with existing trusts
    1. Issues that impact property division settlement
    2. Revocable vs. irrevocable trusts
    3. Commonly overlooked pitfalls
  3. Creating trusts during divorce proceedings
    1. Support trusts
    2. New trusts for estate planning purposes
    3. Trusts for children and heirs
    4. Qualified domestic trusts
    5. Other trusts


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are some of the common pitfalls that trusts present post-divorce?
  • When may a support trust be preferable to periodic alimony payments?
  • What common trust vehicles may need to be created for estate planning purposes after the dissolution of the marriage?


Cayne, Gregory
Gregory H. Cayne

Grant, Herrmann, Schwartz & Klinger

Mr. Cayne is a Partner of GHSK, leader of GHSK's New York office and the head of its Domestic Tax, Trusts &...  |  Read More

Goldstein, Bryan
Bryan M. Goldstein

Grant, Herrmann, Schwartz & Klinger

Mr. Goldstein is a Partner of GHSK and the head of its Matrimonial & Family Law practice. His practice embraces a...  |  Read More

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