Family Law Articles

Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Family Law.

What is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is typically used to get the value and proceeds of an insurance policy out of an estate so they’re not taxed for federal estate tax purposes. The use of ILITs is not complicated, but there are some administrative hoops to jump through. Your estate planning attorney can do much of the jumping through hoops on your behalf.

Long-Term Care Insurance - Be Careful of Unscrupulous Agents and Policies Targeting Senior Citizens

Protecting Yourself from Unscrupulous Long Term Care Insurance Practices and Policies - Unscrupulous agents target seniors for improper long-term care. Be careful of long-term facilities that do not meet your needs or are misrepresented.

Who Needs a Health Care Directive?

A Health Care Directive is a legal document that allows you to state your medical wishes in the event that you become mentally incapacitated.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a type of residence for the elderly and disabled that may need assistance with daily living, but don’t necessarily need around the clock care like is available from nursing facilities.

Guide to Minnesota's Child Custody Laws

The author reviews Minnesota's child custody laws.

401(k) Loans Hit a New High

It’s quite a figure: according to the Wall Street Journal, 30% of 401(k) owners now have a loan outstanding.

Have a Family Business? You Need a Succession Plan

When you own a business, you pour an immense amount of time and energy into making sure it is successful

Is A Last Will The Right Choice?

One of the things that you are going to have to decide upon when you are planning your estate is the primary vehicle or vehicles of asset transfer that you want to utilize.

State Fines Nursing Home Where Patients Drowns in Puddle in Front of Facility

Wandering in a potentially deadly problem for nursing home patients with dementia and other medical conditions that make them unable to appreciate the dangers around them.

Does Nursing Home Owners Judgment Need to Be Called into Question?

The fentanyl-overdose death of a central Illinois nursing home administrator really called into question the judgment of the owners of Timbercreek Rehab & Healthcare Center for me. Apparently, the owners of the Pekin, IL facility weren't too concerned the fact that their administrator was on probation with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation for 'substance abuse' issues at the time of his hire.

Is There a Better Option than Litigation for My Child Custody Case?

Virginia child custody issues aren’t always easy to resolve. Some divorcing couples find that litigation alternatives like collaborative divorce or mediation can help.

Divorce Case Causes Issues with “Mutual Mistake” to Arise

Divorce settlements are usually set in stone. However, a recent 2006 divorce case was blown wide open after issues over “mutual mistake” arose, potentially changing the course of divorce forever.

The Truth About Ex-Parte Orders

The author discusses ex parte orders.

Items to Put with Your Will

When you create an estate plan, one of the most important things that you could do is to ensure that all of your documents are in order and easily accessible when it comes time that they are needed by your loved ones.

Prenuptial Agreements – What They Do and Don’t Do

Surprisingly, recent surveys indicate that only a small percentage of married couples in the United States have prenuptial agreements.

Powers of Attorney & Incapacitation

Many people think about estate planning as being a purely financial matter, but if you are serious about planning for the future it is important to consider all of the legal ramifications of aging.

Addressing Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums

One of the elder law issues that is very challenging for many people is the cost of long-term care.

What You Need to Know about Separation Agreements

If you’re going through a Virginia divorce, a separation agreement can make the process go more smoothly.

Philanthropic Giving with Charitable Remainder Trusts

There was an interesting challenge issued earlier this year by two iconic figures who in a very real sense represent the quintessence of extraordinary wealth in the United States.

Getting Through the First Year: 3 Non-Traditional Ways to Approach Your Divorce

Joke gifts, divorce insurance, and singles parties are 3 non-traditional ways to approach a Virginia divorce.

Special Considerations of a Later Life Divorce

Divorce is difficult at any age, but a later life divorce poses some unique emotional and financial issues. If you’re a Virginia woman considering a later life divorce, you should learn all you can about the divorce process and seek good legal counsel to get you through.

4 Signs of Marital Breakdown that May Point to Divorce

There are several signs of marital breakdown many couples may overlook.

What to Consider When Hiring a Divorce Attorney

A Virginia divorce is an event that will change the course of your life; hiring the divorce attorney who will represent you during this time takes sound judgment and good instincts. Learn some of the important factors you should consider when making this vital decision.

What Role Does Mediation Play in Divorce?

Considering a Virginia divorce? Divorce mediation might save you time and money and help you negotiate more successfully.

The Divorce Checklist

Your situation is not as unique as you might think. Many married couples face the same dilemmas in their relationship which is why it is easier than you might think to fix.

Custodial Accounts and Gifts to Minors?

Traditionally, custodial accounts under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) or the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA), were used to gift or transfer money or other assets (up to $13,000 per year) to a minor and manage those assets on the minor’s behalf until they reach the age of majority.

Domestic Abuse Restraining Orders

A victim of domestic abuse can file for a domestic violence restraining order in order to keep the abuser away from him/her. A victim must provide the court with reasonable proof of physical abuse in order to convince the judge to issue the domestic violence restraining order, which requires the respondent to stay at least 100 yards away from the victim. The domestic violence restraining order remains in effect for one year and can be extended.

Parental Liability In Alcohol Cases Involving Minors

What problems does a parent face in hosting a party for minors where alcohol is served?

Arizona Domestic Violence Offenses

Domestic violence charges in Arizona are brought against an individual when there is a crime involving a relative or person living with the accused. Therefore, Arizona domestic violence crimes are not just between husband and wives, but also crimes involving partners, past boyfriends and girlfriends, and people who are dating.

What You Need to Know about Minnesota Child Custody

Child custody issues have a daily impact on thousands of Minnesota families. For anyone who is going through a divorce or is otherwise involved in a custody action, understanding the framework set out in Minnesota's statutory code is essential.

Defacto Divorces and Legalizing Divorce in Court - Ethiopia

A brief note of awareness for those married couples who are in Defacto Divorces without Legalizing the Divorce in Court.

Domestic Violence in Arizona

The definition of criminal domestic violence in Arizona and domestic violence defense.

Obtaining an Order of Protection under Texas Law

Though going through a divorce is never easy and is likely to stir up unpleasant emotions at some point in the process, in most instances spouses who are separating are able to do so without intimidation or threats of violence. There will be times that abuse is a reason for the divorce filing in the first place or anger at events that unfold after the separation lead to an unsafe environment for one of the parties involved.

Divorce - The Basics

Divorce is the legal process which ends a marriage. The court can grant either a "fault" or "no-fault" divorce. The process begins with the filing of a divorce complaint in the court. A divorce may also include issues regarding division of marital assets, child and/or spousal support, alimony and child custody.

Overview of Dividing Debts Upon Dissolution of Marriage

Following a divorce, courts will apportion debt according to the type of debt that it can be classified as this. This is typically separated into two categories: community debt and separate property debt.

Electronic Evidence Meets Right to Privacy in Texas Divorce Cases

There is a false sense of security that takes place when we log on to the internet, our smart phones, or some other form of electronic communication. Many of us seem to think that our true selves are separated from these pieces of technology and that our words and actions are anonymous and floating somewhere through the netherworld of cell phone towers and W-Fi hotspots.

Child Custody in Florida: An Overview of the Court Decision Making Process

There is nothing more important in your Family Law Matter than the well-being of your children. A close second is continuing to foster and build a strong relationship with your children, even if you are not the primary residential parent. Below we discuss some of the considerations the Courts make when determining the child custody arrangement with the child.

Financial Infidelity and Divorce

From incompatibility to infidelity, there are different reasons that couples decide to divorce. For many, however, money troubles appear to be the root cause of the couples’ problems.

More Parents Staying in Touch with Virtual Visitation

Divorce can be an emotional experience for both spouses. For children, it can be one of the most difficult periods in their life. When one parent moves away from the other and children are involved, however, the process becomes even more complex.

Dealing with Contested Divorce

Divorces are not always simple – in fact, they are often messy, emotional and can be distressing to say the least. For this reason, when facing a contested divorce, it is vastly important that you do not hesitate to contact an experienced divorce lawyer to help protect your rights.

Protecting the Best Interest of the Child

When parents divorce, the Parenting Act of 1987 helps address issues might face concerning their children. Although there many different issues it might help, the blanket issue that it addresses is protecting the best interests of children.

Massachusetts’ New Child Support Guidelines

In 2009, Massachusetts overhauled its 22-year-old child support guidelines. A 12-person task force designed the new rules, which have now been in effect for more than one year.

Restraining Orders: A Twisted Divorce Tactic

Restraining orders exist to protect victims against an alleged abuser by keeping the abuser from engaging in activities in or near the victim's home, workplace, or other frequently visited places. A restraining order can also give a victim temporary custody of children, in an effort to keep the children out of harm's way.

Arizona Ruling Clarifies Legal Requirements for Same-Sex Couple Child Visitation

In 2009, an Arizona appellate court ruled against a woman seeking equal-time visitation rights for the child that she and her same-sex partner had raised from birth. But for gay couples - or any other people who feel they have a parent-child relationship, regardless of legal definitions - the ruling is not all bad news, and may help to clarify the requirements for visitation when same-sex couples break up.

Understanding Minnesota Child Support Law

The author talks about the factors that Minnesota Family Law Courts take into consideration when reviewing child support.

Family Law of Malaysia

Family law relating to Muslims is governed separately from family law relating to non-Muslims in Malaysia.

Modifying Your Florida Child Support Order

Don't simply avoiding your child support obligation. If there has been a substantial change in circumstances, you may be able to modify your child support order.

DNA Testing and Estate Litigation - Canada

DNA testing is growing in importance in Ontario estate litigation cases. In his analysis of Proulx v. Kelly the author describes how the biological connection impacts on rights in an intestacy and the statutory presumptions of parenthood on Ontario.

“Gray Divorce” Making Headlines around the Nation

The divorce rate has slowed in recent years, but not across all demographics.

Blending Families: A Challenge From Every Angle

The issues involved in merging families can be more difficult when one or both parties to the marriage are wealthy.

What to Do When Accused of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is on the rise in Florida and throughout the country. Should you find yourself being accused of domestic violence, these are some basic guidelines to follow.

Collaborative Family Law - South Africa

The adversarial court system in South Africa is often not well-suited for resolving family law disputes.

Post Nuptial Agreements - South Africa

Although most couples are encouraged to complete an ante nuptial contract before getting married, some couples only decide after being married that they would like to change the matrimonial property system applicable to their marriage. In these cases they would have to complete a post nuptial contract, which is a highly complex procedure.

Adoption in South Africa

For some individuals who cannot have their own children for whatever reason, adoption is the best option for them to build a family of their own.

Minnesota Divorce: Can't We Just Agree?

A discussion from a Minnesota divorce attorney about issues surrounding "extra-judicial agreements" and the ability of parents to agree to family law issues outside of the Courts, especially pertaining to minor children.

Tax Issues When Dividing Property Incident to Divorce

Although most transfers between spouses or former spouses in the context of a marital dissolution will be non-taxable, there are some important exceptions. These exceptions are discussed below. The importance of obtaining records showing the tax basis in the asset received through divorce is also highlighted.

Bankruptcy and Family Law

With continued high unemployment going into its third year, divorced spouses who have child and spousal support obligations might think to revise their support orders.

Florida's Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

This article describes an expedited process of divorce available in Florida.

Different Types of Alimony Awards in Florida

All alimony is not created equal. This article compares and contrasts the different types of alimony awards available in Florida. Introduces Our New U.S. Divorce Law Center

  By is happy to announce that our legal team is developing an informative new resource, the U.S. Divorce Law Center at In our continuing effort to provide useful, law-related information to the public, has resolved to provide a comprehensive Information Center addressing the various divorce laws in the U.S.

Driving After Dark or DUI: Which Poses the Worst Danger for Teen Drivers?

Everyone knows that teen drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, and statistics have long shown that motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of death among young people. But how do the various dangers that escalate teen accident rates compare?

Facebook Evidence on the Rise in Divorces

Finally deciding to end your marriage can lead you to focus on your future. Not knowing what is going to happen next can cause a lot of stress, even if you and your spouse have worked out the details your divorce. You log in to your Facebook account, and post a quick message about how relieved you are that things are finally over.

10 Holiday Tips for Divorced or Separated Parents

Holidays and special occasions can be emotionally draining when you are sharing custody of your children. Divorced and separated parents must communicate with even more diplomacy, patience, mutual understanding, respect, and tolerance than married couples planning holiday travel, dinners, reunions and gift-giving. Juggling schedules during marriage is hard, and it only gets harder after divorce.

Kidnaping and Guns - One Way to Get Custody

Four days after a Missouri judge signed an order granting divorce, the mother of a young boy, with the assistance of her new husband, kidnapped her son from her ex-husband's house at gunpoint. They intend to flee Missouri and cross the border into Mexico with the boy in a stolen vehicle. Because the mother and her husband did not have permission to take the boy from his father's home, this was considered kidnapping.

Domestic Violence Victims in Arizona Illegally Now Face Legal Limbo

Arizona's controversial immigration bill, SB-1070, has had far reaching consequences for many Arizona residents. That includes undocumented victims of domestic violence who are living in Arizona. These domestic violence victims face a legal limbo: while many may qualify for an adjustment of legal status, they fear contacting police to begin the process, as contacting police may actually trigger their deportation.

Arizona's Proposed Child Outcome Based Support Guidelines

In June 2010, the Arizona Judicial Council tentatively approved the Child Outcome Based Support (COBS) model, which addresses this concern by roughly equalizing the incomes of both households. The Arizona Supreme Court has not yet given the guidelines final approval.

Who Gets the Engagement Ring? - Canada

In Ontario section 33 of the Marriage Act suggests that the person who breaks up an engagement is irrelevant to a court's determination about who should get the ring. Notwithstanding the legislation, the common law apparently continues to penalize the person who broke off the engagement. The author reviews the law and canvasses some of the academic responses to the law.

Adoption in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Adoption has a long history in world, as it is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another who is not kin and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents. Adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition through legal sanction. This brief discusses the law of adoption in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC].

Marriage in Thailand for Filipinos

Congratulations! So you have chosen to marry your lovely Filipina bride in the Land of Smiles. It is definitely the best decision if you are looking forward to a simpler and more straightforward marriage registration procedure. What more, your marriage in Thailand is recognized worldwide as long as long as it is legally registered at the Thai district office.

Getting Married in Thailand for Vietnamese Citizens

Getting married in Thailand is fast becoming the trend for couples who are looking for simple and straightforward marriage procedure. This is of course apart from the country's inherent romantic appeal. Vienamese and their fiancees are among those love birds coming to the Kingdom of Thailand to tie the knot. In this article, we will find out how can Vietnamese get married in the Land of Smiles.

Visitation Across the Miles Just Got A Little Bit Easier

So-called "virtual visitation" is poised to revolutionize family courts across America. Technology has done more than widen our social circles - Skype and similar web-based video chat and telephone sites are helping parents keep a meaningful relationship with their children in spite of the distance separating them.

The Juvenile Court Process Explained

Children don't always understand the consequences of their actions. As a parent, the best way to support your child through court hearings is to know and understand how they work. Here is a brief guide for concerned parents seeking to better know what to expect with their son or daughter's case.

What to Ask When Hiring a Kentucky Divorce Attorney

The author discusses factors you should look at before hiring a divorce attorney.

How to File the I-751 Petition When Separated

When a foreigner marries a U.S. citizen and is granted an I-551 Permanent Resident green card, often the card is only good for two years. Why? Because they were married less than two years when the card was issued and the U.S. government wants to monitor their case to see if the marriage lasts. When a two year card is issued, it is called “conditional.”

A Step toward Tax Equality for Registered Domestic Partners

The treatment of California Registered Domestic Partners under federal tax law as compared to spouses is far from equal, but 2010 private letter ruling by the IRS is major step toward the application of federal law in a way that is consistent with the rights granted RDPs under California law.

Overview of Child Support in Texas

Child support in Texas can be a contentious issue at any stage of the proceedings. Whether you’re trying to locate the non-custodial parent for Texas child support payments, or you need to make modifications to your child support payments, it can be a volatile subject.

Getting Married in Thailand for Chinese Nationals

Among those foreigners who come to Thailand to tie the knot are Chinese citizens. These include citizens from Hong Kong and Macau, the so called Administrative regions of China. The Chinese citizen may marry a fellow Chinese, a Thai National or a foreigner in Thailand. To be able to register the marriage under Thai law, the Chinese marrying party has to be informed regarding the documents and procedure for the Thai Marriage Registration.

Jurisdictions that Permit Same-Sex Marriages

Five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire) plus the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage. Three more states (Maryland, Rhode Island and New York) officially pledge to honor out-of-state same-sex marriages. Seven foreign countries also grant full marriage rights: The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, and Sweden.

California Is the Second State in the Nation to Allow Same-Sex Marriage

On May 15, 2008; the California Supreme Court ruled in In Re: Marriage Cases to uphold the freedom to marry. As of June 16, 2008, same-sex couples can receive marriage licenses from the state of California. California is the second state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage. Massachusetts was the first in 2004.

Family Law Review, Summer 2008 - Same Sex Marriage Update

Same-Sex Marriage Update.

Family Law Review, Spring 2008

Recent Legislation, Decisions, and Trends.

Supreme Court Rules No Life Sentences for Florida Juveniles

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that juveniles who commit crimes in which no one is killed can’t be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. This leaves Florida in a dilemma: it has no parole system. It was eliminated in 1983, on the reasoning that too many former inmates were committing serious crimes after being released early. Now, the state reviews only cases before 1983.

Texas Child Custody and Interstate Jurisdiction

With more people moving between states for jobs and other economic factors, the chances are greater that interstate jurisdiction may become an issue at some point in your Texas child custody agreement. When one parent makes the decision to move out of state, you will need to determine interstate jurisdiction in order to make modifications to your Texas child custody agreement.

Getting Married and Starting a Family in Thailand: The Legal Issues to Be Aware of

Getting married in amazing Thailand is a dream for most couples. Settling in Thailand and starting a family after marriage comes as the next natural thing to do among marrying couples especially those marrying Thai nationals. To ensure the successful realization of these family dreams, it would be prudent to go over the legal issues accompanying your plan of marrying and settling in the Land Of Smiles. This article will address such issues.

Do Field Sobriety Tests Help or Hinder?

Would you know your rights if you were pulled over? Not everyone does. Learn more about how refusing the field sobriety tests might affect you, and how to interact with the police.

When Can I Modify a Child Custody or Visitation Order in Michigan?

The authors discuss modifying a child custody or visitation order in Michigan.

Medicaid Myths about Gifts to Family Members in Rhode Island

This article examines one of the Medicaid myths regarding eligibility for nursing home payment in Rhode Island.

Child Custody & Abduction

Issues involved in International Travel of children with parent without custody of children.

What Does "Sought to Acquire" under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) Mean?

The process for determining the age of the child beneficiary – either direct or derivative – under the CSPA is more complicated. The statutory formula for these cases is that the child’s age will freeze as of the date that a visa number becomes available for the petition in question reduced by the number of days that the petition was pending, but only if the child seeks to acquire the status of an LPR within one year of the date the visa became available. CSPA §3; U.S.C. §§ 1153(h)(1) and (2).

Stepparent Adoption in Texas

One of the most rewarding areas of law practice for my firm is adoption. This article will answer some of the most common questions about stepparent adoption and will discuss adoption of adults as well as minor children.

Texas Marital Agreements

Texas is one of the few community property states in the country. Community property generally includes any property acquired during a marriage, which may include wages, benefits, real property and even income earned from separate property.

Child Custody Tips for Texas Parents

When deciding child custody arrangement, it is important to understand that the court will always decide custody disputes based on the “best interest of the child” standard. With this in mind, remember that there are ways to prepare for custody hearings that may increase your chances of achieving your desired result.

Texas Divorce: Reimbursements and Offsets

After about a decade of marriage to an "economic contribution" statute, the Texas legislature officially filed for divorce in 2009 and reinstated a "reimbursement" statute. The new reimbursement statute expands the number of situations when reimbursement can be used to recover for monies or talents spent by one marital estate for the benefit of another.

Moving Your Kids Out of Kentucky after Divorce

When you’ve been granted custody of your children after a Kentucky divorce you usually must allow the other parent visitation rights. This causes problems when you have to move out of state, as this can be seen as an attempt to deny the other parent’s visitation rights.

New California Law Permits Lawsuits against Those Who Serve Alcohol to Minors

Over the last month we discussed two different Illinois personal injury cases addressing the liability of parties who provided alcohol to someone who then left the premises and caused a deadly automobile accident. This is an issue that is becoming more frequently litigated, in part because of the tragic consequences–which are especially apparent when the person who was served alcohol is underage.

Division of Property in a Dallas Divorce

Division of property after a divorce can be extremely contentious and you may need legal assistance to secure what is yours. The author discusses some of the frequent issues that come up during a Dallas divorce.

Michigan Divorce Overview

If you’re a Michigan resident considering divorce, you’re probably filled with questions and concerns. What is the divorce process like in Michigan? What can you do to make it go more smoothly? You may have specific worries about certain parts of the divorce like division of property or child custody.

Minnesota Is a No Fault Divorce Explained

Divorce law differs from state to state. Some states recognize “fault” divorce, and some offer “no fault” divorce. In states at that permit at-fault divorces, one party must prove the grounds for divorce, such as adultery, cruelty, abandonment, etc.

Later-in-Life Divorce or "Gray Divorce" in Minnesota

Later-in-life divorces in Minnesota typically involve financial considerations that require an experienced divorce lawyer. The author discusses those financial considerations.

Recognition of Foreign Divorce in the Philippines

There is no law allowing divorce in the Philippines. The only remedy available to Filipinos for ending their marriage is Annulment. Take note that his remedy is distinct from Declaration of Nullity of Marriage.

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