Family Law Articles

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

Protection from Abuse Orders Can Be Misused

A Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) is a vital tool for domestic violence victims; however, it can be manipulated and abused in certain situations. When this occurs, innocent people are forced to deal with unfair and unjust legal consequences as a result.

Are You Ready for Retirement

Unfortunately, many of the latest statistics suggest that the majority of Americans nearing their 60s are not ready for retirement. Although recent findings indicate that people are better prepared for retirement than they were less than a decade ago, all is still not well.

Protecting a Father’s Rights

In the past thirty years, our nation has seen a surge in the number of children that are born to unmarried mothers. Due to this trend, the issue relating to the rights and responsibilities of unwed fathers has spurred a worldwide social movement.

Estate Planning is a Reactive, Dynamic Process

It is not uncommon for people to procrastinate before they put an estate plan in place, and they do this for a variety of different reasons. Perhaps the most common one is the simple fact that they feel as though they have plenty of time before the matter is truly relevant. While it is true that the average life expectancy in the United States as of this writing is 78.4 years, it is probably not a good idea to wait until you are 75 to begin to plan your estate.

Not Eligible for Veteran Aid and Assistance? You May Have another Option

If you’re a veteran in need of extra care and assistance, you may have looked into qualifying for aid and assistance benefits.

A Will is Not Enough: Create a Letter of Intent

Many parents choose to create a will so that their minor children are always protected. While a will allows you to appoint a guardian for the care of your minor children, it doesn’t allow you to fully explain the level of care that is needed.

3 Ways a Collaborative Divorce Might Benefit You

Collaborative divorce in Virginia trumps traditional contested divorces because they help reduce emotional turmoil. For legal guidance, contact a Norfolk divorce attorney.

Texas Has Little Tolerance for Domestic Violence

Texas is well known for being tough on crime – domestic violence charges are no exception. People who are convicted of domestic violence face serious consequences which can damage their future irreparably.

Understanding High School and College Crimes

High school and college students are very likely to succumb to peer pressure. Unfortunately, giving in to this pressure can inadvertently result in breaking the law which can ultimately lead to conviction.

The Discovery Process

In a divorce, it is often necessary to conduct “discovery” – which is the method by which a party can “discover” information about the other party that is relevant to the divorce. Conducting discovery allows us to obtain full disclosure of particular facts, such as income and liabilities of the parties, the value of certain assets of the parties, and facts relevant to child custody and support issues.

Do-It-Yourself Wills Not Advised

These days you can find information about "how to" do just about anything on the Internet, and the ability that we now have to rapidly exchange information is certainly a good thing. However, it is important to be discerning about the types of things you can and can't effectively do for yourself with some instructions that you get online.

The Elderly and Dangerous Medication Mishaps

When it comes to medication and the elderly, it is not uncommon for dangerous mishaps to occur.

Issues in Elder Law: Elder Abuse and Neglect

One of the biggest concerns in Elder Law is Elder Abuse. It has always been a concern for those vulnerable adults who are institutionalized in Nursing Homes or state hospitals, especially as the population in this country grows older. Abuse is also an issue in instances where elderly adults are being cared for at home by their grown children.

Five Reasons Not to Prepay Your Funeral Expenses

While funeral planning is an important aspect of an estate plan, we offer the top five reasons not to enter into a prepayment plan with a funeral home.

Planning Retirement – Don’t Skip Life to Create Wealth

A large majority of people in the United States believe that you have to have a lot of money available to you before you can retire, but this isn’t necessarily true. Although it doesn’t hurt to save money when you can, you don’t have to be wealthy in order to enjoy your retirement years.

The History of Juvenile Delinquency in the Criminal Justice System

Juvenile delinquency is a national concern that deserves focus at home and in the community. Statistics have proven that taking a rehabilitative approach towards juvenile crime reduces the chances of the juvenile offender returning to prison for future crimes.

How to Have a Successful In-Home Separation

An in-home separation with your spouse doesn’t have to be stressful.

Does Your Estate Plan Meet Your Needs?

If you’ve started creating an estate plan, then you probably know there’s more than one way to address all your concerns.

Overview of Overseas Adoption

Every year, many U.S. citizens make the decision to adopt a child from overseas.

5 Things to Prepare Yourself for Divorce

In this article the author discusses on the Top 5 ways to prepare yourself for divorce.

Developing a Parenting Time

The author discusses how parents can develop parenting time in Minneapolis, MN.

Do you Need a Family Limited Partnership in Your Estate Plan?

If you have a family business that you would like to pass down to the next generation, a Family Limited Partnership may be an estate planning tool to consider.

Be Sure Your Named Guardian Will Serve

Have you asked the guardian that you named in your will if he or she will actually serve if needed? When you name anyone in a position of authority in your estate plan be sure that he or she is actually willing to serve.

A Simple Estate Planning Mistake to Avoid

Many people make small mistakes and their estate planning wishes are not followed. It's important to stay on top of your estate plan duties so that you not only have a great plan that meets your needs, but also follows your wishes. Take a look at some of the information below to learn how to prevent a simple mistake before it happens. If you have any questions or if you'd like assistance with your estate planning affairs, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.

A Look at Probate Avoidance

When you start to explore the subject of estate planning you are invariably going to hear about probate avoidance. People who are new to the subject may not even know what probate is much less why they might want to avoid it, so we will take a look at the matter here.

What is Probate?

Even if you are new to estate planning, you may have heard that you should avoid probate.

Estate Planning Strategy for Small Business Succession

When you are in a small business partnership with others you must approach estate planning differently than those who don't have assets tied up in a business.

Comprehensive Estate Plans Should Include Advance Directives

Everyone is aware of the fact that they should have some vehicle of asset transfer in place such as a last will or a revocable living trust.

Planning for Young Parents with Children

Young married couples who have just had their first child understand that the joys of parenthood come with great responsibility. These young parents want to do the best for their child by planning ahead for their future, and by making sure that the child will be secure no matter what happens.

Choosing a Guardian for Your Minor Children

For many parents, choosing who will raise their minor children if both parents die is not only disturbing to think about, but is often the most difficult decision they have to make when planning their estate. However, it is also one of the most important. Failing to make and document the decision can lead to outcomes the parents never would have wanted for their children.

New Tax Law

When a person dies, federal estate tax may be due. These are taxes that are due when the assets are passed to another person. Most people refer to this tax as the “death tax.” You may be aware that there are new laws regarding this tax. It is important to stay on top of the new tax law so that you know how you may be affected. Will you have to pay estate taxes?

Talk to Your Family about Your Estate Plan

If you have begun your estate planning, you are taking an important step in planning for your future. It is important to discuss your estate planning with your family. This will not only let them know that you have taken care of this responsibility but it will also be a great way to communicate your wishes and talk about your desires for the future.

Arkansas Intestacy Laws

If you don’t have a will, the state of Arkansas has one for you. Here is what happens to your assets under Arkansas intestacy laws.

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.

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