Family Law Articles
Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Family Law.
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?
Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin use a community property distribution scheme to divide marital property. Alaska recognizes the community property scheme if the spouses agree to the arrangement. All other states use equitable distribution.
Domestic Violence in relation to RA 9262. Domestic Violence is an act of aggressive behaviour within the home and towards a member or members of the family such as but not limited to physically inflicting bodily harm to a spouse or children, verbally assaulting a member of the family, sexually abusing the wife, partner or even the children.
Issues to review when contemplating a dissolution of marriage.
Important Differences Between Enforcement of Spousal Support Orders and Enforcement of Civil Judgments in California
Spousal support refers to an ongoing series of payments payable to one spouse over a specified duration of time after a divorce. For spousal support to be enforceable under California law, a judgment must first be entered by the court.
In the objective sense, the term “best interests of the child” pertains to the principles that are used to determine what will be best for a child in a particular circumstance. In general terms, the best interests of the child assessment is used to determine which services and orders will best serve the child.
it is vital that any attorney drafting a prenuptial agreement know about unlawful provisions. Otherwise, a client may later be unhappy if provisions of a premarital agreement, or an entire premarital agreement, is later deemed to be invalid because of the inclusion of unlawful provisions. In addition to the information provided in this article regarding unlawful provisions, any attorney should be careful that they are complying with the laws in their specific jurisdiction.
Many nursing home chains in California have been shown to underperform when it comes to quality-of-care, staffing, and inspection measures.
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?
Battery domestic violence is a misdemeanor case in Las Vegas Nevada. But a domestic battery by strangulation is taken more seriously and can result in a felony charge.
Seeking a protective order after an instance of family violence can be complex. A protective order can be used to help a victim of family violence feel safer by restricting his or her interactions with the alleged abuser. However, there are several elements that must be proven to ensure a court would approve a protective order.
Potentially Misleading Advertisement for Indexed Universal Life Policies by Insurance Marketing Organizations
Insurance marketing organizations may have been providing misleading Indexed Universal Life policy ads.
Family Limited Partnerships can present unique challenges in divorce litigation relative to the division of property and debt. It is vital to understand the key components, their structure and various valuation methods in order to effectively represent a client where a Family Limited Partnership is part of divorce proceedings.
Indexed Universal Life Insurance policies are unsuitable for most people. Read on to find out why.
Colorado child emancipation and disability cases can be complicated ones. This article addresses the basic issues with respect to state law.
12 tips to help prevent elder abuse and fraud.
Prospected high returns promoted by Indexed Universal Life policies (IULs) sales illustrations may not be that high in reality.
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.”
In the world of investment, seniors and elders are prime targets for financial scams. To protect yourself, read on to learn about the different schemes.
Sellers of Indexed Universal Life policies have been projecting higher gains than what buyers may actually receive.
If you have been thinking of hiring a caregiver for yourself or someone you love, read the following tips before you make a decision.
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?
Abuse comes in many forms - emotional, physical, verbal, sexual - and to anyone - young or elderly. Learn how to identify abuse and prevent it.
Learn what are the causes and reasons an elder or senior citizen may be transferred from an assisted living facility to a skilled nursing facility.
How a marital dissolution action can affect an family business in California.
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.
Investment risk factors seniors, elders, and their friends and family should be aware of.
There are many fraud schemes used by sellers intent on defrauding seniors and elders of their hard-earned money. Learn what they are to protect yourself.
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.
Equity-Indexed annuities are a type of deferred annuity that bases its returns on a stock market index. However, insurance companies have the option of using one of three calculation methods to determine the returns, and each has its own pros and cons.
It is not a secret that an average childbearing age in the developed countries has significantly increased. Many people in developed countries live for a long time "for him(her)self" and start thinking about children only at the age of 40. And if such an age is not a problem for a man, a woman, even with modern medicine, may have some difficulties with the childbirth. In most cases the surrogacy is the only way.
Recently, a whistleblower failure-of-care claim was settled against a nursing home chain for $38 million. Even nursing home abuse can be stopped with whistleblowing.
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?
Seniors and elders, are you aware that deferred variable annuities may not be beneficial? If not, read on to learn about the risks of buying annuities.
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.
Even under the best of circumstances a marriage can be difficult and often times will not work out. Being a service member whose duty at times requires overseas deployment for long periods of time can lend even more strain.
Annuities sound like a good idea for elders and senior citizens. However, the opposite may be true. Annuities are not right for everyone and seniors and elders should learn why before purchasing an annuity.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has read / watched / talked about the economy this past weekend and gone, “Yikes!” Times are tough! This puts the emphasis on being very flexible, very opportunistic as it were, about how you stretch your precious few dollars and still get done what has to get done.
The holidays present a special challenge for families that are going through a divorce, a process which often brings with it disputes over emotional hurts, property, child support and alimony, custody and visitation and spousal support.
Nursing homes can't evict elders based on ending Medicare coverage, lack of long term beds, or refusal to readmit after a hospital stay.
Article XI of the Minnesota Constitution prohibits the State from running a deficit. When tax revenues are significantly lower than expected, the State must cut spending or raise taxes in order to balance the budget.
If you are a Florida resident and thinking about getting a divorce, there are several things you should keep in mind about Florida’s divorce laws. These items are important aspects to saving you time, sanity or both.
Minnesota statute § 519.11 authorizes the use of “antenuptial” agreements (prenuptial in every day language) in order to give parties the chance to disclaim any interest in nonmarital or marital property after they are married.
Knowing the rules of evidence in your particular state is vital to getting social media admitted into evidence. Cross-examination is often a time where you get much of the information admitted. This is accomplished through showing them the information on their page to verify that the data contained on their page is authentic.
Studies show that understaffing is directly linked to elder abuse in nursing homes.
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.
Relatively new laws in the Illinois legislature have made it easier for persons who have been adopted to receive their original birth certificates. Both adoptees and surrendered persons born in Illinois may request a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate.
Two male nurses accused of committing elder abuse faces up to six years in prison if convicted at trial.
Primary plan employers or carriers have to pay damages to both Medicare and individual lawsuits for failure to pay conditional payments.
When your marriage has ended and you discover that it is because your spouse has had an affair and/or has fallen in love with someone else, you may be tempted to seek revenge against the person who has “stolen” your spouse’s affections. Before you race off to court, you should check the laws of your state regarding these types of claims, as well as their success rates.
For senior citizens living with a chronic condition yet expect to live a long life, medically underwritten annuities may be the right annuity.
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.
Pakistan does recognize the right for both the husband and the wife to pursue a divorce. However, there are very strict requirements that must be met before a court will grant a valid divorce.
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.
Is a prenuptial agreement1 that was not witnessed invalid? That is the exact question Ontario’s Court of Appeal addressed in Gallacher v. Friesen (“Gallacher”)2.
Divorce cases are already confusing without trying to figure out how all of the financial obligations are going to be divided between both parties. Many people think that they don’t have to worry about their debts because they can pawn them off on the other party. Just because you can get rid of the spouse, that doesn’t mean your debts are going to disappear as well.
This month, legislators passed a bill entitled The Residential Care Facilities for Elders Reform Act of 2014 (ACT), effective July 1, 2015.
According to a recent MetLife study, financial elder abuse is reported to cost $2.9 billion each year – and it's increasing.
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.
While some individuals are able to reach an amicable decision with another individual in a family law dispute and maintain a healthy relationship, the majority of individuals who go through these types of disputes can benefit from the assistance of having a lawyer.
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?
Assault is a serious criminal charge. Its consequences are serious. Knowing the potential consequences and defenses can help criminal defendants protect their legal interests.
Where do I find a divorce lawyer (where we live now or where we got married)? Many countries, including the United States, allow you to get a divorce there, even if your marriage occurred in another country. Laws can vary drastically between countries, so be sure that you consult with your attorney regarding the steps necessary to get a divorce and whether the divorce will be valid in the country where you are currently residing.
Nursing homes in LA discovered prematurely closing claims regarding elder abuse before completing investigation
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives one person certain rights and responsibilities, the agent, over the person who had the document prepared, the principal. There are generally two different types of power of attorneys: a power of attorney for financial reasons and a power of attorney for healthcare matters. These documents are generally prepared separately, even if the same person is named as the agent in both documents.
Obviously in litigation, you cannot just lean over the poker table and take a look at their hand, but how do you let someone know that you need to see what they have? You are required to give the party notice that you need to look.
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.
With electronic discovery, remember that you are still bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct in your state. However, some have proposed the EDRM Model Code of Conduct to deal specifically with e-discovery. The Model Code of Conduct (MCoC) sets forth aspirational guidelines intended to serve as a basis for ethical decision making by all participants in the electronic discovery process.
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?
Suppose that prior to the death of your spouse the two of you signed an agreement where you both committed not to sue each other’s estate. Also imagine that you did not get legal advice before signing the agreement. Would a judge hold you to that agreement? It depends.
The disclosure of student records can be important an issue in litigation, including cases involving students and educational matters, child custody and support cases and other areas of civil litigation.
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.
Status updates on proposed legislation for the Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) Reform Act of 2014 that are up for review at the next legislative session.
Studies Show Aging Causes Mental Impairment, Incompetency, and Lack of Capacity to Make Good Decisions
Studies show that aging has a negative effect on decision making abilities in elders. Elders should be aware of an increased risk of falling victim to fraud due to increasing inability to make good decisions.
In Florida, domestic violence is defined as any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
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.
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.
Challenging a prenuptial agreement in the context of estate litigation happens more often than you think.
When people think of weddings, the first thing that comes to mind is love and happiness. However, most marriages end up in divorce, which is why parties need to protect themselves before that step is ever reached. To cover both your finances and other types of properties, it’s crucial to look into hiring a family lawyer to draft up some kind of agreement. Typically, there are two contracts used when dealing with marriages and they are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Anyone who has ever had to rely on the testimony of others, whether in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding, has probably felt the cold knife of panic and disgust slice through their gut as someone testified in a manner they considered untruthful. Of course, many people can have many different interpretations of the same event, including some that seem wildly different than your recollection, simply because they had a different perspective.
After LeVan v. LeVan(FN1) Lambert v. Lambert(FN2) and Rick v. Brandsema,(FN3) wealthy people who sign domestic contracts should be getting the message that failure to make full and frank disclosure of all relevant financial information opens the door for the agreement to be set aside. But that is the end of the story – let’s start at the beginning.
When determining which parent should have primary custody, whether custody should be shared, and how much visitation each parent should have, courts must look at a number of factors. Of course, these factors vary from state to state, but the overall question is generally the same: “What is in the best interests of the child?" Answering the questions below will give you insight into the specific questions courts may ask to determine which parent (or both) should be granted custody.
In New Jersey a spouse may obtain alimony from their former spouse. Alimony is designed to keep a spouse in a living condition comparable to that which they experienced while married.
The process of saving for your child’s college education can seem daunting. Tuition is already substantial at so many universities, and, if current trends hold, will continue rising year after year right up to the time your child has graduated from high school and is ready to embark upon his or her freshman year of college.
A good divorce lawyer can be a tremendous resource during the divorce process. However, it can be difficult to find an attorney when there are often so many to choose from and only limited information that you have about prospects. Use this guide to help you retain a lawyer who will assist you throughout the divorce process.
The decisions made during the divorce process can have long-lasting consequences. By approaching this process from a reasoned standpoint and paying attention to details before and after the divorce process is initiated, a spouse can save thousands of dollars in legal fees and improve his or her bargaining position.
Domestic violence is an unfortunate reality, and many are surprised to find just how prevalent it is.
The decision to end a marriage can be a very complicated one. Emotionally it may be painful, a relief, or a complicated mixture of both sensations. Practically, many things need to take place before the process can be finished and you can begin to move on with your life. So where do you start and who can you turn to for information? How do you know what steps are right for your situation? What other things do you need to consider that you may not even know about?
If a married couple decides to call it quits and, thus, end the marriage, a divorce is almost always the initial inclination. However, some professionals advise against jumping into a divorce for a number of reasons, one of which is the immense financial liability.