Family Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Family Law.
Unmarried and in a Relationship: Protecting Your Rights with a Cohabitation Agreement in Massachusetts
Massachusetts does not recognize any rights for a couple that cohabit. This means that if your in an unmarried relationship and it fails, you do not have the right to palimony, separate support, alimony, property division or claim for loss of consortium. On top of this, the Commonwealth does not recognize “common law marriage”.
Decades ago, the American culture as a whole began believing that unhappy parents equaled unhappy kids. This belief led many parents to divorce for the sake of their kid's happiness. However, research on the subject, which has spanned over 30 years, has found that in reality, kids suffer more and are therefore unhappy more when their parents get divorced. Consequently, parents aren’t any happier either.
Let’s assume for this discussion that you have settled your divorce, the kids are coping with the change in their lives. You have moved on from your divorce and have found a wonderful new partner in life. You are thinking about moving in with them and taking that relationship to the next level.
Child support is a parent’s legal obligation to provide for their children. It is the responsibility of both parents. The money actually belongs to the children and is to be used only for them, to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care – the necessities of life. Child support payments cannot be waived.
Deciding to end your marriage is not easy decision to make. There are so many emotions involved, and it can seem completely confusing It may not be easy to think in a calm, rational manner during this time, but if you want the best result for your divorce, with the least amount of pain, it is something you must try to do.
The day of reckoning (for your marriage, anyway) is almost here. You are probably a little nervous about your court appearance. Your attorney should help prepare you for this appearance, but we offer a few tips here to try to calm the nerves.
A financial advisor was recently arrested at a seminar in Los Angeles on financial elder abuse charges.
Many people wonder about sealing a juvenile record, especially when they did something that they regret when they were younger. Just like any type of criminal conviction, it could end up making it difficult to move forward in the future.
A collaborative divorce differs from a regular divorce because it is not adversarial, it is cooperative. So, what kind of people make the best candidates for a collaborative divorce?
The rising stock market has also broadened the appeal of certain investments such as variable universal life and indexed universal life insurance policies that are linked to stock performance.
There is never a good time to get a divorce, but the three months after the holiday season divorce and family law attorneys as well as marriage and family counselors often call “Divorce Season.”
The hardest thing to face as a single parent in Utah are the intense emotions associated with being both a mother and a father to a child. This is further magnified when the other parent is absent or is deliberately not doing anything to fulfill his/her part in the caring for the children. More often than not, the single parent’s psychological well being bogs down.
Until now, the term “domestic violence” has been used extensively to describe abuse that happens between the two members of a relationship, be it spouses, same sex couples, roommates, or family members.
Talaq is the Islamic term for divorce. A talaq is used to end a contract of marriage the nikah, under the terms of Islamic sharia. It should be noted that Talaq is a right given by a Husband and Wife can only exercise the right of Talaq if the same is granted to her in her Nikkahnama (Marriage Contract). If the Husband gives Talaq he must also tender Haq Meher to his Wife, whereas if the Wife exercises her right of Talaq then she must relinquish her right to Haq Meher.
Being in the military has its fair share of drawbacks. Military personnel are well aware of the fact that being in the military and serving their country comes with the possibility of being away from home for months, if not years, at a time. During times of war, men and women are gone for even longer.
Often times, custodial parents might agree that someone who doesn’t pay child support should be forced to deal with the potential consequences. For example, many people feel that any father who flees the country to avoid having to pay child support should wind up spending time behind bars. Sending the individual to jail might not be the smartest move for the family, which is the case in one situation recently.
When it comes to getting a divorce, money always comes into play when dealing with alimony, assets and especially child support. Many people are taking the necessary steps to prepare for their future in the event of a divorce.
Litigating a divorce may always be an option for Florida couples, but it isn't the only option. For couples that want an alternative, there is divorce mediation or collaborative law. It isn't always necessary to make ending a marriage an adversarial process. Sometimes, couples end up better of handling matters outside the courtroom.
Any divorce or child custody case can be difficult. Once parental responsibility is established, having a chance to spend time with the minor children is important. Nothing can replace having a presence in the growth and development of a child’s life.
Divorces can be very complex, especially when there are major financial obligations, property and debts to divide. The situation can get very messy when there is a huge financial loss at stake for one or both parties. One of the biggest myths about getting divorced is that you can pass on your debt to the other party. This is simply not true. Without question, you can divorce your spouse, but what happens to those debts that you incurred while married?
The decision on when to settle a family law case is a difficult one. This article suggests that the time in most circumstances to settle is when a settlement offer is within the margin of error.
This article talks about an important U.S. Supreme Court decision issued in the case of U.S. v. Castleman, 12-1371. This was a unanimous opinion dealing with the ability of an individual convicted of domestic violence to possess a firearm.
There are many questions you need to ask yourself before making the life-changing decision to adopt a child.
Another, as we may say, and at least an adult step in the life of almost every person is marriage. As they say, love knows no age boundaries and don't see boundaries. The lack of "boundaries" in the modern world helps to promote international marriages.
Dads can end up dealing with the worst of the consequences after a divorce. Seeking the most knowledgeable Atlanta divorce lawyer to handle your case isn't just something we suggest you do - it is a necessity when planning a successful divorce.
The cycle of violence is hard to break. Problems can occur when a child that was abused becomes the caregiver for the parent that did the abusing. Elder abuse can be the result when a child that was abused is forced to take care of a parent later in life.
When Florida parents of asthmatic children are going through a dissolution of their marriage the circuit courts must approve a parenting plan which provides for emergency medical care and medical decision making as it relates to the minor asthmatic child.
No conscientious parent would allow their special needs child with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder( ADHD) to be abused in a Florida dissolution of marriage case paternity case or complex custody matter. If you have a sense that your special needs child with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is the subject of abuse then you must address that issue with your Florida family lawyer.
Post-Dissolution of Marriage Considerations for Special Needs Children Subject to Parenting Plan Litigation
In order to properly address the issues that will be facing parents of special needs children following the dissolution of a Fort Lauderdale Florida marriage it is imperative that the litigating parties either employ a Broward County special needs divorce attorney or make their Fort Lauderdale dissolution of marriage attorney aware of those certain and uniquely specific realities that effect their child and impair their ability to parent, support and time share for that child.
International marriages have become very often in modern society. The informational era of development presupposes the process of fast globalization and destroying all the borders between countries and peoples of the world. Ukraine is not an exception: Ukrainian women create families with the men from the Western Europe and the USA. Quite often, these marriages make the spouses happy.
Six California residents have been arrested for scams that targeted senior citizens. The suspects were arrested in southern California.
A series of federal and local laws were developed with the purpose of regulating relations and ensuring the stability of transactions and the safety of society.
Someone who drinks excessively and then commits a domestic violent crime probably isn’t thinking about the legal consequences of their actions.
Long -term care advocates and officials disagreed at a recent Assembly hearing.
Everyone knows that domestic violence is a significant problem in our country, mainly for women. Things have slowly been getting better in recent years due to changes in the law and raising awareness about the issue, but there’s a long way to go, and part of the conversation needs to involve the effectiveness of the methods we use to punish offenders.
It is common knowledge that divorces can be adversarial, and can include hotly contested and expensive court hearings. Most people also know that parties can make an agreement between themselves with or without a mediator's involvement. What a lot of people Don't know is that there is a third option...
As with California State Route 138, the major problem with U.S. 431 in Alabama is that it consisted mostly of two narrow lanes until 2010 and had dense traffic. The good news is that the highway was expanded to four lanes from Phenix City to Dothan.
A Los Angeles County assisted living facility has been ordered by a judge to pay a woman who was injured by a fall.
Greece becomes the 16th EU member state adopting regulation 1259/2010 (Rome III) in regards to divorce proceedings.
In the heat of a domestic argument or in an effort to gain advantage in divorce, one party may call the police to falsely accuse another of domestic violence.
In many alimony and child support cases, the spouse required to pay support is either neglectful or purposefully opposed to paying.
In California, senior citizens have been a target for con-artists and scammers. A recent scam has affected seniors in the state and officials want the public to be aware of the scam. This scam has been called the "free inspection scam."
More and more Americans are turning to in vitro fertilization as a means of conceiving. Sometimes the sperm donor for these procedures is known, sometimes he is not. In either instance, what are the possible legal issues related to both the mother and biological father as the sperm donor?
In 2004, a Harvard University study found that of 168 countries surveyed, 163 had some form of government mandated maternity leave pay. The United States was not one of them. As a result, millions of American women suffer crippling economic hardships when they must take time off to give birth, and then are forced to return to work prematurely or go without income. Enter the FAMILY Act.
Over the last few years there have been a number of television shows regarding the polygamist lifestyle. This has led some to wonder whether polygamy may be legal anywhere in the U.S. It also raises questions about why bigamy is outlawed and whether this is a trend that may be changing.
As the Internet makes the world a smaller and smaller place, unusual new ways of meeting people have become increasingly popular. While personal ads placed in the newspaper used to be a somewhat embarrassing way of meeting someone, the explosion of the Internet made online dating sites almost the norm for arranging romantic encounters. Similarly, the Internet has also opened the doors to international romance in the form of “mail order bride” services. But what laws affect mail order brides?
Often, when considering marriage couples are thinking only about love and romance, not the more practical concerns like how one spouse's debts might affect the other after they are married. So, the question often arises “can I be held liable for my spouse's debts?”
Marriage between a man and a woman from different countries is no longer a novelty. Such unions are sometimes even very successful if families live in perfect harmony entire life and enjoyed every minute being together.
The shorthand answer to that question is that the prior court order for child support is automatically extinguished. That is what the 4th circuit of the California appellate court recently held in the 2012 case of In re Marriage of Wilson & Bodine (2012) 207 Cal. App. 4th. 768.
Persons who are married have certain legal rights and protections that they don't even think about. However, there are other couples who have long-term, committed relationships who have things a bit more difficult. This article will show the issues that should be considered by persons who are involved in a non-ceremonial marriage in Texas, and how to prevent a problem.
Recently, I was approached by someone asking me about a situation that occurs all too often. Her grandmother's estate had been bled dry by someone who was supposed to be taking care of her. My friend wanted to know what the legal rights and responsibilities of the parties were in this situation and what could be done about it.
It is not uncommon, particularly around the holidays, for children to visit family members in other states. Sometimes this means taking a flight. But, for many families, it is just not financially feasible for a parent to accompany the child on the flight. So, what are the laws and rules regarding when children can fly alone?
It is a nightmare scenario that occurs all too often: after a breakup or divorce, your ex picks up your kids when they are not supposed to or disappears with them after a visitation. Sometimes this is done to hurt the other parent, sometimes it is done out of a sincere desire to spend time with the child(ren). Whatever the case, the effect is the same: terror, confusion, concern, and often a nagging question about what one should do. So, what do you do when your ex kidnaps your kids?
California recently passed legislation that will help LGBT elders to receive respectful care in their twilight years.
There are thousands of people who would love the opportunity to have a child of their own but, for whatever reason, are not able to do so. Many of these parents turn to adoption, but some would still like to have a child that is biologically their own. For these parents, surrogacy can sometimes be an option. But what are the laws related to surrogacy? How does the process work? What does one need to think about when considering using a surrogate?
In relation to Family law, the only use of mediation is through the Family Guidance Committee, the commencement of most family cases must be referred here. The committee is made up of a number of counselors with mediation/ counseling training.
Post divorce, if the custodian of the child is other than the child’s mother, he or she must obtain the written agreement from the guardian before taking the child out of the UAE. If such permission is withheld by the guardian, the custodian may obtain permission for the child’s travel from a judge (Article 149 Personal Status Law).
Parents do not share equal parental responsibility for the child. Following a divorce, the mother will become the ‘custodian’ of young children, and the father the ‘guardian’. The custodian is obligated to care for the child, meet the child’s day to day needs and have the child live within their home.
Under s.235 of the Civil Code, foreign orders may be enforced in the UAE by applying the laws of the foreign country within the local courts.
A San Francisco attorney allegedly committed financial elder abuse when he defrauded an elderly doctor. The defendant in the case has been disbarred for his actions.
Divorce in Georgia is often though of by the public and by attorneys as being either “contested” or “uncontested”. The distinction being whether or not both of the parties have agreed to the dissolution of the marriage. This determines how the divorce proceedings will processed. Where the parties can agree to resolve their differences, the case can be handled on an uncontested basis. The legal proceedings will be simpler and less stressful. Attorney fees will be substantially lower.
Senior citizens across the nation are being taken advantage of. Physical elder abuse and financial elder abuse have become commonplace.
Child abuse and neglect are ugly realities. Turning a blind eye to the act can doom a child to serious injury, emotional trauma, or even death. Children are the victims least able to stand up for themselves since they depend entirely upon their parents for food, care, and legal status. So what do you do if you suspect child abuse or neglect? How can you report it and protect a child in danger?
It is an unfortunate reality of our modern age that there are times when a minor would be better off being able to conduct their own affairs free from the control of their parents. When this is the case, the minor is able, in some instances, to seek what is known as “Emancipation.”
All too often stories appear on the news of children in trouble with the law. Some bring guns or knives to school, others are shoplifting or stealing cars, and of course, there are always the ones who get into fights. Often, public outcry demands that something be done against the parents as well as the child. So, who is responsible when a child breaks the law?
Under UAE laws, it is never possible for a husband to make income claims from a wife, even if he holds custody of the children.
Sometimes, after a divorce has been finalized and a court has issued its final judgment or decree declaring the marriage severed, one of the spouses finds that they need spousal support. Perhaps the divorce was entered into too hastily or while the spouse was under duress, perhaps the circumstances have changed for the spouse. Whatever the case, in some instances it is necessary to re-open the question of alimony after the divorce has been finalized.
A recent study of marriage among those with and without a college education revealed that marriage is often postponed for those in the working class who don’t have a college degree.
When accepting responsibility for the welfare of a child, there are many difficult questions to consider. But one that often confuses people is the difference between adoption and guardianship. Does one have to adopt a child in order to act like a parent and be responsible for the child, or is there a simpler way?
For years, gay and lesbian couples have fought for the right to have their relationships legally recognized like heterosexual couples. Unfortunately, as with most civil rights movements, the march towards equal rights for those of different sexual orientations has been a long and difficult one. Nevertheless, several states have recently taken to recognizing same-sex marriages over the last few years, opening the door to a new era of equality for these individuals.
It is undisputed that divorce has long-term effects on children, such as depression, trust issues, social difficulties and anxiety. When divorce is necessary, it is important to pay very close attention to how the divorce is affecting the children.
Muslim couples (Emirati and expatriate) enter into a marriage contract (Nikah’) if they conduct an Islamic marriage in a Muslim jurisdiction or elsewhere.
Domicile is defined as a place where an individual resides and see’s their long term home to be. Residence can be more temporary than domicile. In practice, a party would be seen to be domiciled or resident in the UAE for jurisdiction purposes, if they hold a residence visa (or similar) for the UAE.
Dubai is one ‘Emirate’ within the ‘United Arab Emirates’. Seven Emirates make up the UAE being: Dubai; Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Fujeira, Ras Al Khaimah, Um al Quwaim and Ajman. Each Emirate is governed individually.
The question of which parent is more likely to get custody is an ever evolving one. Once, there was a policy of ensuring that the mother always received custody, called the “tender years” doctrine, which assumed that young children needed to be with their mothers in their early, developmental years. But more recently, courts and lawmakers have realized that the mother is not always in the best position to provide a safe and healthy environment for children.
Many people are confused by the process of determining child custody and visitation. It can be a stressful time, so confusion is only natural. But, many ask who gets to determine how much visitation a parent gets? Is it the court? The parent with custody? The parent seeking visitation? The child? A government agency?
Millions of Americans experienced bullying at some point as a child. I personally experienced bullying between 5th and 8th grade when I went through a phase where I stopped growing up as much as out for a few years. Psychologically, I saw myself as a short, fat kid for years after, well into college when I was actually 6'3” tall and well built. The effects of bullying can be damaging and long lasting.
What is collaborative divorce and how does it work? It is an alternative dispute resolution process which resolves divorce issues outside the courtroom.
Learn about Nevada's domestic battery laws and the penalties imposed by the state for conviction of these offenses.
Getting married can be exciting, but it can also lead to a loss of good sense. It is easy to become wrapped up in the excitement of love and a wedding and to forget about what exactly could be at stake should things go wrong. It may not be terribly romantic, but it could be very wise to think through both the good and the bad of a marriage.
While it may seem exaggerated, experts and studies say divorce can spread just like a disease through social groups. But are there social and seasonal patterns that could affect the future of your marriage?
To send a care package or not? That is a question that many adoptive parents ask themselves as soon as they are matched with a child overseas.
It is a practice that families receive referrals after they have completed their home study. The reason for this is that home study completion is not guaranteed. It would serve no purpose if after a successful child referral, you are unable to complete the home study.
In any civil action, including divorces, both parties must have notice of the case. This is accomplished through service of process. While this can take many forms, some form of service must occur or the case cannot move forward and a judgment either will not be entered against that party or could be easily vacated.
Ending a marriage is never a simple process. However, it can be simpler in some situations when the spouses are able to remain civil and agree between themselves how to divide the marital assets, deal with custody and support issues, and handle any other matters. Also known as an uncontested divorce, it may be hard for divorcing couples to accomplish in many instances, but the benefits can be great under the right circumstances.
Domestic violence can happen anywhere and is not bound by race, religion, or socio-economic status. But, recent studies show that African American women are at three times the risk of experiencing a lethal domestic violence event than any other racial groups in America. Indeed, domestic violence murders are among the leading causes of death of black women ages 15 to 35.
So-Called Baby Veronica is now four years old, and has already been the subject of a case that has traveled all the way to the US Supreme Court and back down through several state courts. The case is a twisting tangle of different legal principles intermingled with social policies, making for a great primer on both adoption laws and Native American affairs.
George Zimmerman: Domestic Violence Raises Questions About Use of Violence and Florida Stand Your Ground Law
On September 9, 2013, George Zimmerman, infamous after his slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and subsequent acquittal, made headlines again over a domestic violence dispute. Shellie Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's wife, told a 911 operator that her husband George "was going to shoot" her and her father at their Florida home. So, would she have had the right to shoot George Zimmerman had he threatened violence?
Children are often the most difficult factor to sort out when a relationship ends. There is very little stronger than a parent's love for their child, making visitation issues very emotional and volatile.
It may seem unthinkable that anyone would want to injure a defenseless elderly person, but it happens everyday. Nursing home abuse takes many forms, but all of it can be damaging, whether emotionally, physically, or financially. Knowing the signs of nursing home abuse and contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer if you know or suspect your loved one has been abused or neglected is critical in protecting both your loved one and others who may not have family or those as attentive as you.
You are divorced, or were never married, but have children with your ex. You share custody or, at the very least have visitation rights. But now your ex tells you s/he is moving someplace with the kids that would make seeing your children as regularly as you would like much more difficult.
For those who have only been married for a short time, the question of whether an annulment is available versus a divorce is a common question. When things sour so quickly, there is often a desire not to share what would otherwise be marital assets or even acknowledge the marriage was real. But, is it available in your case and how is it different than a divorce?
Listen, getting married can be a very exciting time filled with love and excited anticipation of a future with your loved one. But, it does not mean that you should throw all reason to the wind. If you or your soon-to-be-spouse have either a large number of assets or a number of debts, and you live in New Jersey, it may be wise to consider in advance what you will do about those assets/liabilities just in case anything should happen, and these tips will help you do that.
In general, domestic violence restraining order laws establish who can file for an order, under what circumstances, what protection or relief a person can get from such an order, and how the order will be enforced by the authorities.
Child abuse is never acceptable. Of course, what constitutes child support and what is discipline may sometimes be a gray zone. While the government stays out of our personal relationships in most instances, when it comes to child abuse and domestic violence there can be serious legal consequences. Thus, it is important to know what type of behavior is considered abusive and against the law, and the legal consequences those accused of abuse may face.
Often we use terms like separation and divorce almost interchangeably, but in many jurisdictions these terms can have very different legal significance. Indeed, there are even differences between separation and legal separation. When going to court, it is often important to use very precise terms to describe a situation in order to make sure your rights are protected, so it is important to understand the distinction between these three terms.
When a married couple has a child, most jurisdictions presume that the husband is the father of the child (even if he is not). When an unmarried couple has a child, on the other hand, it is usually necessary to establish paternity as soon as possible after the baby is born. This protects the mother, the baby, and the father, by establishing everyone's rights with regard to one another, such as visitation, support, and inheritance.
Are you a New Jersey resident considering adoption? Or are you involved in a dispute trying to prevent someone else from adopting your child? In either case, it is important to understand the process of adoption and its legal ramifications.
California domestic violence law has changed a lot over the years. The author explains how things have changed as well as the influences that spurred changes.
The concept of grandparent visitation rights is a fairly new one. Historically, only parents could ask for visitation rights, but now states allow a variety of different family members to ask for visitation of related children. Below is a brief state-by-state summary of grandparent visitation rights as of the date of publication of this article. Should you have a question regarding visitation rights, you should contact a local family law attorney.