Family Law Articles
Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Family Law.
Child custody cases can be some of the most contentious. They can also be complex, and the way that they are decided varies from each state and region. To better prepare for a custody dispute, parents may retain the services of family law lawyers to help advise them of the process entailed in a child custody case.
Most parents experiencing a divorce tell me that their primary concern is their children’s best interests. And most of the time I believe them.
Dagg v. Cameron  is one of those cases that law school professors use to challenge the way you think.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, that is, a mechanism for resolving matters outside of the courtroom. Mediation is becoming an increasingly popular form of resolution for divorce settlements, in particular because it involves settling differences between spouses in front of a private mediator, rather than the court system.
When spouses are not living together, it can be difficult to determine which spouse is legally responsible to pay debts. The timing of when the debt was incurred, the nature of the debt and state law are important considerations in this assessment.
If two spouses are no longer living together, it can be difficult to determine who retains liability of the debt. Which spouse is responsible for the debt depends on a number of factors, namely the state laws where the spouses live and whether there are any agreements pertaining to debts accumulated during the marriage.
The most valuable asset in many divorce cases is the marital home. The disposition of this asset can have a significant impact on the financial health of the parties after divorce. Additionally, special considerations must be given to other pieces of real property that the couple owns. There are several options in determining how to deal with real estate in a divorce case. However, there are certain steps that must be taken before considering what is the best solution.
The home that the family lived in during the marriage is often the most valuable asset that a couple owns. Therefore, this asset may receive much attention during the divorce proceedings. What happens to a house after divorce depends on state laws, circumstances involving the house and the parties’ actions.
Although couples do not enter a marriage with divorce in mind, a prenuptial agreement (prenups) can protect both parties and avoid a long, costly divorce process.
Many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community celebrating a victory, not only for them, but for the Court’s interpretation of the constitutional rights of all Americans.
Like many issues involving family law, state law largely dictates spousal support matters. This includes whether or not to award spousal support and in what amount.
Divorce is often a contentious experience in which formerly intimate spouses are now adversaries. With this dynamic, spouses may start to hide information or take part in activities that may threaten the well-being of the family. Private investigators are sometimes retained to assist in divorce cases for a number of reasons.
The Land Department of Thailand has special regulations that apply to the situation where a Thai national married to a foreigner wishes to purchase land.
Every state recognizes that each parent is responsible for providing support for their children, whether the child lives with each parent or not. However, there are many circumstances when the family court should no longer have jurisdiction of the case or when child support should otherwise end.
Family courts around the country recognize that spouses own some property that is separate from what they accumulated as a marital couple. Those assets that comprise the marital estate are subject to division at the time of divorce while separate property is generally excluded from a divorce award.
State laws determine how and when a person can be ordered to pay child support. Additionally, these laws dictate the window in which a person can collect arrearages.
The Supreme Court has acknowledged the validity of same sex marriage throughout the country. Of course, after parties get married, some of those parties decide to divorce. However, not all divorces are treated equally, because some of the doctrines surrounding divorce have traditionally been applied only to long standing heterosexual marriages.
Imagine a woman is so infuriated with her husband for his philandering, gambling and drinking that she disinherits him. Upon her demise, the husband commences an application for support under Part V of the Succession Law Reform Act (the “SLRA”). The husband qualifies as a dependant because he is a spouse and his wife had a legal obligation to support him. What impact, if any, would his past behaviour have on his entitlement to dependant’s support?
Many family offices (FO) started their business as so called single family offices, where the family owns the FO and serves only the owner family. Instead of covering the entire operative costs, many owners of single FO decided to offer its services to other families as well. This concept is called multi-family office (MFO) or multi-client family office. Only a few MFO have founded their business independently, without a large family backing it.
The advantages of having a prenuptial agreement in the Kenyan context.
According to Section 1548 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code, a father of a child born out-of-wedlock must make an official application in order to become the legitimate father of the child.
In addition to remedies that are available at the state level, such as garnishment of wages and state tax offset programs, the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act creates a federal criminal cause of action for parents who refuse to make court-ordered child support payments.
In some circumstances, one spouse may consider suing his or her spouse for particularly egregious conduct. However, whether the spouse can bring a viable claim against his or her spouse depends on the nature of the behavior, the nature of the relationship, state law and the particular circumstances involved.
Drafting settlement and separation agreements is an important part of any family law practice because only fifteen-percent of divorce cases eventually go to trial.
While divorce is often an emotionally-trying experience, at its core, it is a matter of ending a contract between two parties. One of the most contentious aspects of a divorce involves financial matters. In some cases, attorneys or private parties hire forensic accountants to uncover assets and to provide expert testimony at their divorce hearing.
Paternity is the legal term for the relationship between a father and his child. While maternity is always apparent, sometimes there may be questions as to who is the father of the child. When these questions arise, intervention of an experienced family law attorney is warranted.
Once the right of child custody is granted to one party by court of law, it is difficult to change. If the other party wants to bring up child himself or herself, he or she has to prove stipulated situations exist.
Before plunging into the waters of divorce, women can take several steps to help make the process easier. Decisions made immediately prior to divorce can have a financial impact for years to come.
Some find it surprising, but it is not that uncommon for family law attorneys to hear the question “how does a minor get emancipated?” Reasons for emancipation can vary widely, from unhappy home environments to needing to grant a minor independence to govern his or her own affairs.
As much as getting a divorce is an emotional decision, it is also a financial decision. Once someone has made the decision to pursue a divorce, he or she should immediately take steps to safeguard his financial and legal interests.
Adoptions and Surrogacy Agreements raise substantial ethical considerations. Particularly in the case of Surrogacy Agreements, the parties are essentially contracting with one another for the use of another woman’s uterus.
Both Codes require that an attorney enter into a written fee agreement with a client and requires the attorney to carefully explain and ensure that the client understands the fee agreement. The fees collected by an attorney with respect to an adoption or surrogacy cannot be illegal or unconscionable and must be commensurate with the services provided.
Discouraging Adoption Fraud and Misrepresentation / Duty to Report Abuse and Guarding of Confidentiality
Especially in the case of adoption, the Code specifically requires an attorney to actively discourage adoption fraud or misrepresentation and prohibits the attorney from engaging in such conduct.
When estate planning, gifting assets to your grandchildren can do more than help your descendants get a good start in life; it can also reduce the size of your estate and the tax that will be due upon your death.
There is interplay between sections of the Family Law Act (“FLA”), and those of the Succession Law Reform Act (“SLRA”), in particular as it relates to the definition of “dependant”. That interplay may affect the second prong of the two prong test to determine who, in fact, is a dependant for the purposes of bringing a dependant’s support claim.
In a typical debtor/creditor case, a creditor must go to court and get a judgment against a debtor before it can take part in collection efforts on the debt, such as garnishment or property assignments. Parents who are not receiving the support that they are entitled to receive per an existing court order do not typically have to go through the process of getting a judgment to have wages automatically withheld from the other parent’s wages.
Mediation is negotiating with the assistance of a neutral third party (the mediator) who facilitates the negotiation process.
Minor in possession. Open container violations. Driving under the influence. Minors are particularly susceptible to committing these alcohol-related crimes in peer-driven situations while still underage. Some parents have resigned to the fact that their children will drink regardless of their efforts, and will do everything they can to keep them safe—even if that means breaking the law themselves.
To modify custody the parent seeking the modification must show that there is a change in circumstances or good cause to revisit custody before the court will even consider a potential modification. The same is true for parenting time however the courts in Michigan have held that there is a less stringent requirement regarding the change of circumstances or good cause in order to modify parenting time.
While the first step in getting child or spousal support is to get a court order, this is only the beginning of the process. Unfortunately, many support orders go unpaid. However, there are a variety of ways that such orders can be enforced.
Black eyes, broken bones, missed days from school or work. For some, these may seem familiar. Whether they are occurring to you or someone you know, it is important to know that we can all help stop domestic violence.
The first and most vital decision that divorcing couples need to make is what process they’re going to use to accomplish their divorce. That’s right - it’s not about who will keep the house, what will happen with the retirement accounts or even how you’re going to share time with your children.
The procedure of adoption of a child from Ukraine is complicated, expensive and long. Ukrainian legislation makes the process of adoption transparent as much as possible, candidates must prove their welfare and reputation (in the broadest sense of these words) to exclude the possibility of adoption by dishonest and careless parents.
Divorce principles in Turkish Law related to divorce. Enforcement of a Foreign Divorce Decree in Turkey requires some standards.
In Tunisia, the Family Law is regulated by the Code of Personal Status.The rules applicable to divorce in Tunisian law is the Articles 29 et seq of the Code of Personal Status.
Divorce is often an emotionally and financially draining time. However, a qualified divorce attorney can help make the process easier. Here are some of the pivotal roles and tasks that divorce lawyers help their clients with.
With a variety of self-help forms and resources available to individuals today, it may be tempting to attempt to do legal work yourself and avoid the often expensive endeavor of having to hire a lawyer. However, many tasks are better suited for a professional.
The people who can best appreciate what spending time in the family court system is like are family law attorneys. We live in this system day in and day out, seeing the same processes repeated in case after case.
It is a question that gets pushed aside amid figuring out child custody, money, and other asset division during divorce proceedings, but one that can have a lasting financial effect on both parties to a divorce. A home, like other marital property, must be divided upon divorce along with the associated mortgage.
When a person reaches out to a divorce lawyer for the first time, there are certain things that he or she should be aware of. Here is an overview of the initial consultation and some tips to make the best of this experience.
Spouses do not typically go into marriages anticipating the marriage will fail. Likewise, partners do not begin a business thinking that it will be anything but successful. When the two worlds collide, a divorce settlement may adversely affect the future of a business, particularly when the spouses were business partners.
Collaboration means to work together to achieve a common goal. The collaborative process involves the spouses, their attorneys and any other involved professionals engaging in non-confrontational sessions to discuss the issues and goals of the involved individuals. The issues may include divorce, support of a spouse and/or children, how to divide the marital assets, co-parenting plans and anything else that spouses need to decide.
While individual states may vary as to how they calculate child support, one constant is that states recognize that both parents have the legal duty to provide their children with basic necessities and to provide for their needs. The duration of a child support order depends on a number of factors.
We live in an age where we constantly feel the need to let everyone in the world around us know exactly where we are at all times. This is made possible by social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other similar networking and social sharing pages.
The debate over same-sex marriage continues to be a political issue, but many do not feel as strongly about the issue as they did a decade ago.
While a summons may require another party in the case to appear, a subpoena can require that a particular person appear in court or for other proceedings. Additionally, this legal tool can be used to acquire information that one of the party desires.
In American culture, domestic violence and sexual assault have traditionally been treated as embarrassing secrets that must be hidden at all costs. However, our society’s views on such subjects are evolving, and victims no longer have to suffer in silence.
If there is an order that was entered in your family law case and the other party is not following the order, you may decide to pursue a contempt hearing. This is one method that individuals use to help enforce their order.
One of the main issues a Florida couple will have to deal with during a divorce is what to do with their home.
Just like all other forms of marital property, a couple's mortgage on their home must be divided during their divorce. A mortgage is considered to be a piece of marital debt.
While most divorced couples are immediately concerned about their children and their financial status, there are other, less obvious, impacts that divorce will inevitably have. Understanding the changes to your taxation status, for example, is something to consider when filing for divorce.
The prenuptial agreement. We hear about it in movies, on television, and may have signed one or know someone that signed one before entering into marriage.
If you have not divorced in Mexico, but you remarried in the United States, could this affect you? In short, yes. If you are married to another person anywhere in the world, you may not marry again until your first marriage is formally ended.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. In a recent correlating study, the CDC linked excessive alcohol use with domestic violence.
How a dissolution matter can effect a functioning family business in California.
The Illinois legislature has recently taken critical, necessary steps to ensure the safety of women suffering from domestic violence.
One of the greatest and most obvious concerns newly divorced parents have is in regards to their children. Divorce proceedings can be time-consuming, expensive, emotional, and very difficult on a family.
When love turns sour, the effects of a relationship ending can be devastating. When the only solution left is to seek a divorce, knowing where to begin is often confusing and may seem overwhelming.
Shedding light on the application of the UAE Personal Affairs (‘Sharia’) versus foreign laws. The case of a Hindu divorce granted by the Sharia Court in the UAE to the wife with full custody of the kids as well as alimony.
Many Florida families look at the new technologies by which children can be conceived and wonder how best to interpret the meaning of the word “family.”
While the ideal situation is being able to amicably divide your assets upon divorce, that might not always be the case. Even if you are willing to work with your ex-spouse in dividing property and other assets, things can get complicated quickly.
While in many cases one spouse is not liable for the other’s credit card debt, this depends on a number of factors. Of these, the nature of the debt and where the debt was incurred are two primary considerations.
Everyone knows that divorce results not just in a severing of the marital bond between two individuals, but also in a division of property.
With the holiday season in full force, we all have a lot of things on our mind: hosting parties, cooking, gift shopping, work stress, and planning family gatherings. Most of us probably take for granted the simplicity of the holidays—we may have a schedule we have followed for years that determines which holidays we spend with whom.
Part of handling stress deals with the selection of the cases a lawyer takes. Lawyers should be cautious of taking cases from extremely difficult and unreasonable clients. These kinds of clients can raise stress and make the practice of law unenjoyable. Where it can be done ethically, in some cases, an attorney may wish to disengage or withdraw from cases where the client is completely unreasonable. These clients can also tend to seek conflict versus trying to quell the fires.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Twelve common family law questions.
By CP Law Firm
You are proposed to contemplate a number of distinct things, with regards to selecting quality family attorneys.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is a serious accusation and can have devastating effects on the life of those accused.
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.
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.
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.