HG.org Legal Resources

Family Law Articles

Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Family Law.


Legal Aspects of Marrying Ukrainian Citizens

Nowadays, many people move to Ukraine to marry with Ukrainian citizens. A foreigner who married a person who lives in Ukraine will face a number of challenges before and after the registration of a marriage. This is not about difference between mindsets and some special culture features: in this article we will consider Ukrainian law features and different law problems related to marriage.

Does Joint Custody Mean that Neither Parent has to Pay Child Support?

  By HG.org
While it seems sensible that parents who have “joint custody” would not need to pay child support because they both have the child, there are many situations in which one of the parents must provide child support. Read over the following information and then discuss what rules apply to your case with a family lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Youthful Offender Status in Alabama

  By HG.org
Criminal penalties tend to be harsh so that the state can accomplish its goals, including deterring similar future conduct from the defendant and others. Some states provide for lighter sentences for certain individuals, including youthful offenders. Alabama is one of these states.

Common California Family Law Questions Answered

Twelve common family law questions.

Divorce and the Child with Special Needs

When the parents of a child with special needs are divorcing, or are considering divorce, it is important to accurately access the emotional and financial requirements that will need to be met for the good of the child.

Different Issues Handled by a Family Attorney

You are proposed to contemplate a number of distinct things, with regards to selecting quality family attorneys.

Can I Sue a Spouse for a Personal Injury?

  By HG.org
While the classic rule was that spouses could not sue each other, the abolition of laws throughout much of the 20th century has all but eliminated this rule.

Florida Couples Should Keep Debts in Mind During Divorce Mediation

So many issues come up during divorce mediation that couples often become overwhelmed with all of them. Child custody, alimony, and child support are only a small part of the items that should be covered.

For a Friendly Divorce, Florida Couples Find Help in Divorce Mediation

If couples can put their differences aside to create an atmosphere of teamwork, they can work with a divorce mediator to help them achieve a friendly divorce.

Private Investigation – Frequently Asked Questions

  By HG.org
If you are considering retaining the services of a private investigator, you may want to know some background information regarding these individuals. Here are a few frequently asked questions about private investigators and their answers.

What Is a Digital Private Investigator?

  By HG.org
While many private investigators complete work in the field by conducting surveillance on a subject and photographing them in certain acts, digital private investigators focus more on gathering digital evidence. This information may be used in family law cases, employment disputes, personal injury cases or myriad other cases.

When Do I Need a Private Investigator?

  By HG.org
In certain cases, a lawyer may recommend hiring a private investigator. He or she may have existing contacts or may recommend that you find your own investigator. Here are some situations in which you may need a private investigator to assist you in your case.

Where Can I Go for Legal Advice if I Am Pro Se?

  By HG.org
Presenting a case in front of a judge or jury usually requires specialized knowledge about procedural issues and evidence, which is why hiring an attorney is usually recommended. However, in some instances, clients simply cannot afford a lawyer and choose to represent themselves, called “pro se.” There are a few places that you may look to find more information on your legal topic.

How Long Does a Divorce Take?

As with most questions in the legal realm, the answer to this seemingly simple question is “It depends.” A simple, no-fault divorce with both parties consenting and promptly filing all the necessary paperwork can be done in about 120 days from filing the divorce complaint to the date of the divorce decree. On the other end of the spectrum, some divorce cases can drag out for 4, 5 or even 10 years. The timeframe for most divorces falls between those two extremes.

Will my Designated Beneficiary Receive the Proceeds from my Life Insurance Policy?

The answer should be yes, but if you have had major life events in your family, such as births, adoptions, divorce, marriage, or deaths, your loved ones may be in for a surprise. If you fail timely to update your beneficiaries, or fail to provide a paper trail showing your intent to keep them the same, you may unwittingly be disinheriting a child or benefiting an ex-spouse.

Elder Abuse: Underreported and On the Rise

Two million and counting elders suffer from elder abuse every year in the United States. However, with elder abuse on the rise, and the fact that elder abuse are often not reported, the actual number can exceed 2 million.

Michigan Court Rules that Biological Relationship Not Necessary to Inherit as a Child

When is a child a child? The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that it is not necessary to establish a biological relationship in order to be treated as a child for intestate succession purposes. The laws of intestate succession provide a distribution plan for the assets of people who do not have a Last Will & Testament.

What Are the Requirements for Service of Process?

  By HG.org
Service of process is the legal notification to one party, usually a defendant, of the receipt of certain information. While each state can establish its own rules regarding the requirements for service of process, the federal rules are required in federal states. Additionally, some states have adopted the federal rules verbatim.

Should I Hire a Private Service of Process Business Instead of Using a Sheriff’s Department?

  By HG.org
Although federal courts and many state courts only require that a process server be 18 years of age or older and a non-party, most process servers are representatives of private service of process businesses or certain law enforcement officers. For federal cases, a marshal may be used. In state cases, a sheriff’s department officer may be used.

What Benefits Is My Same-Sex Spouse or Domestic Partner Entitled to?

  By HG.org
Due to a number of important Supreme Court decisions in the 21st century, married same-sex spouses are entitled to a number of benefits that were previously outside their reach. While domestic partners may be entitled to some benefits, married spouses are typically eligible for more benefits. Marriage is a factor in many federal benefits.

Domestic Violence: A Heavy Accusation

Domestic violence is a serious accusation and can have devastating effects on the life of those accused.

New Illinois Law Will Require Pregnancy Accommodations

Illinois has seen many positive changes in support of women’s equality recently. In addition to signing an amendment to the Equal Pay Act that will centralize workplace discrimination investigations, Governor Quinn also signed into law a bill that will expand accommodations for expecting and new mothers.

The Christmas Tort, For Christmas Dishes You’ve Had to Eat and Lies You Were Told

It’s time to give personal injury lawyers a tort that can improve the lives of people at Christmas. How long are family members going to suffer at Christmas after being served dishes that should have stayed in the 50's, for lies told to them by their parents, and for Christmas traditions they never agreed to take part in, without being able to obtain some type of relief for the distress, the stomach pain and heartburn they’ve endured? Well no more. It’s time for the Christmas Tort.

What Are the Possible Legal Issues Related to Sperm Donors?

  By HG.org
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?

Why American Women Should Be Interested in the FAMILY Act

  By HG.org
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.

Adoption of Ukrainian Children by Foreigners

There are more than 25,000 of children living in orphanages in Ukraine. Of course, all of them want to find a carrying family and loving parents. Not only Ukrainians can give them such an opportunity to find home, but also residents of other countries can do. Fortunately, Ukraine is loyal to adoption of children by foreigners.

Is Polygamy Illegal in the United States

  By HG.org
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.

What Laws Affect Mail Order Brides?

  By HG.org
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?

Can I Be Held Liable for My Spouse's Debts?

  By HG.org
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?”

Paternity Suit in Turkey Under Turkish Family Law

Paternity Suits in Turkey under Turkish Family Law. Results of Paternity suits will enable the mother to request financial support from the father.

Seniors Should be Cautious When Purchasing Deferred Annuities

Financial Conduct Authority says the deferred annuities market is messy, so seniors and elders need to be more careful when buying.

Who Owns the Nursing Homes in California?

When moving your loved one into a nursing home, you want the best. Except, that info isn't readily available to the public.

The Divorce Process: Decide or Have the Decision Made for You

Decide or have the decision made for you. This phrase applies to pretty much everything in the area of family law. You can’t make any decisions for anyone else, but you can decide how you’re going to approach these challenges. If you don’t decide how you’re going to approach these difficulties, the decision will be made for you.

What Are My Rights Under Community Property Distribution?

  By HG.org
While the majority of states require that assets be distributed in an equitable division upon divorce, community property states view all property that was accumulated during the marriage to be the equal property of both spouses.

My Loved One's Estate Was Looted By Someone Who Was Supposed To Be Caring For Them – What Can I Do?

  By HG.org
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.

Business Valuation in Connecticut Divorce

When a previously married couple files for divorce, their property must be equitably distributed between the former spouses. Usually, the courts will follow what is known as an equitable distribution model to ensure fairness to both parties.

New Illinois Maintenance Law

In every Illinois divorce, the family law court decides whether one spouse must pay maintenance, commonly referred to as spousal support, to the other side.

Understanding the Routes to Different Child Custody Situations in California

The Child Custody and Visitation Process in California. Divorcing parents in California control their own future when deciding child custody arrangements. That is if they are amicable and can come to an agreement.

When Can Kids Fly Alone?

  By HG.org
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?

What Do You Do When Your Ex Kidnaps Your Kids?

  By HG.org
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?

What Property am I Entitled to in an Equitable Distribution State?

  By HG.org
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.

A Look on Domestic Violence

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.

How to Tell if You Are Ready for a Divorce

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.

What Does “Best Interests of the Child” Mean?

  By HG.org
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.

Unlawful Provisions in Premarital Agreements

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.

Performance of California Nursing Home Chains

Many nursing home chains in California have been shown to underperform when it comes to quality-of-care, staffing, and inspection measures.

Surrogacy and the Law

  By HG.org
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 with Strangulation in Las Vegas, Nevada

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.

Evidence Needed for a Family Violence Protective Order

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 and Divorce: Structuring the Division

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.

Equity Indexed Universal Life Insurance Is Not For Most People

Indexed Universal Life Insurance policies are unsuitable for most people. Read on to find out why.

Child Emancipation and Disability in Colorado

Colorado child emancipation and disability cases can be complicated ones. This article addresses the basic issues with respect to state law.

Elder Abuse and Fraud Prevention

12 tips to help prevent elder abuse and fraud.

Indexed Universal Life Polices: Sales Illustrations Problems

Prospected high returns promoted by Indexed Universal Life policies (IULs) sales illustrations may not be that high in reality.

How Do You Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect?

  By HG.org
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?

How Does a Minor Get Emancipated from His or Her Parents?

  By HG.org
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.”

Seniors and Elders Remain Alert for Annuity & Insurance Scams

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.

Indexed Universal Life Sellers Promise Higher Gains Than Actually Expected

Sellers of Indexed Universal Life policies have been projecting higher gains than what buyers may actually receive.

Hiring a Caregiver

If you have been thinking of hiring a caregiver for yourself or someone you love, read the following tips before you make a decision.

Who is Responsible When a Child Breaks the Law?

  By HG.org
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 Tactics Used On Elderly Women

Abuse comes in many forms - emotional, physical, verbal, sexual - and to anyone - young or elderly. Learn how to identify abuse and prevent it.

From an Assisted Living Facility to a Skilled Nursing Facility

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.

Divorce Can Derail A California Family Business

How a marital dissolution action can affect an family business in California.

Can I Get Alimony After My Divorce is Final?

  By HG.org
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.

Factors Elderly and Senior Investors Should Know

Investment risk factors seniors, elders, and their friends and family should be aware of.

Financial Fraud Schemes Victimizing Elders and Senior Citizens

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.

What is the Difference Between Adoption and Guardianship?

  By HG.org
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?

Where is Same-Sex Marriage Legal in the United States?

  By HG.org
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

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.

Surrogate Mother from the Ukraine: Legal Grounds

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.

Whistleblower Failure-of-Care Claim Settled for $38 Million

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.

Who Is More Likely to Get Custody: a Mother or a Father?

  By HG.org
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.

Who Determines How Much Visitation a Parent Gets?

  By HG.org
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?

Things to Know before Purchasing Deferred Variable Annuities

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.

Anti-Bullying Laws in America

  By HG.org
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.

If Your Spouse Files for Divorce While on Deployment

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.

Seniors: What You Should Know About Annuities

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.

Barter and Bargain, Thrive and Survive

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.

Agreeing to Valuation Dates in Minnesota

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.

Illegal Evictions of Elderly Nursing Home Residents

Nursing homes can't evict elders based on ending Medicare coverage, lack of long term beds, or refusal to readmit after a hospital stay.

Minnesota Budget Cuts Affect Family Courts

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.

10 Things to Know About Divorce for Florida Residents

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.

Uncomfortable Planning in Minnesota – Prenuptial Agreements

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.

Getting Social Media Evidence Admitted In Court

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.

Nursing Home Elder Abuse Is Due To Understaffing

Studies show that understaffing is directly linked to elder abuse in nursing homes.

Creating a Prenuptial Agreement

  By HG.org
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.

Illinois Adoptees Can Receive Original Birth Certificates Thanks to Illinois Adoption Law

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.

Male Nurses Accused of Committing Elder Abuse Faces Trial and Potentially Six Years in Prison

Two male nurses accused of committing elder abuse faces up to six years in prison if convicted at trial.

Medicare Conditional Payments Claimants Can Now File Private Cause of Action Lawsuits

Primary plan employers or carriers have to pay damages to both Medicare and individual lawsuits for failure to pay conditional payments.

Home-wrecker Laws: Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation

  By HG.org
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.

Medically Underwritten Annuities

For senior citizens living with a chronic condition yet expect to live a long life, medically underwritten annuities may be the right annuity.

Zimmerman Court Woes Continue: Amid Divorce, George Cannot Be Found for Service

  By HG.org
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.

Divorce in Pakistan

  By HG.org
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.

The Pros and Cons of an Uncontested Divorce

  By HG.org
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.

African American Women Disproportionately At Risk For Death by Domestic Violence

  By HG.org
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.

Prenuptial Agreement and Formalities of Execution

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.

How Do You Determine Who Owes What Debt?

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.

Support The Passing Of Bills Dedicated to Protecting Elders From Elder Abuse In Nursing Homes

This month, legislators passed a bill entitled The Residential Care Facilities for Elders Reform Act of 2014 (ACT), effective July 1, 2015.


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