Family Law Articles

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

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.

Minnesota Surrogacy Agreements

Surrogacy is an important way for families who cannot have children on their own to realize their dreams. The practice remains controversial, however, despite the fact that surrogacy has become more common.

Keep It Offline: Social Media Sites May Affect Divorce Negotiations

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare have changed the way people connect to friends, family and coworkers. For many users of these services, the day-to-day details of life have become more public, with far-reaching consequences.

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.

Spousal Maintenance in Minnesota

Spousal maintenance, perhaps better known as "alimony" or "spousal support," is sometimes awarded as part of a divorce decree or legal separation agreement.

Minnesota Nonmarital Property: What Is Mine Is Mine Till Death Do Us Part

Gone are the traditional days when getting married meant automatically commingling all money in a common bank account and putting both names jointly on every property title.

Minnesota Family Business Valuation in Divorce: More Art than Science

When divorcing spouses cannot agree on how to divide their property, Minnesota law requires the court to do so fairly and equitably. But when the major asset is the family business — often a closely held corporation running a retail, service or professional enterprise — assigning a realistic, reasonable value to such a unique enterprise can be daunting.

"Marriage on the Brink" Bill Is a Waste of Time

The Family Justice Center in downtown Minneapolis handles more than 3000 cases each year. With most of these cases being divorces, a study surveying nearly 2500 couples by the University of Minnesota found that about one-third of divorcees are ambivalent about dissolving their marriages.

Divorce in Pennsylvania: Is The Price Right?

People facing the prospect of divorce usually find that emotional pain is part of the process. And most are surprised when they discover the financial pain from the experience. Bills and fees add up very quickly when a person pays a divorce lawyer by the hour.

Is Reform Coming Soon for Massachusetts Alimony Laws?

Much to the disappointment of many, the most recent Massachusetts legislative session closed without changes to the state’s alimony laws. Although separate bills had been introduced in both the House and Senate, neither managed to garner sufficient support to pass.

How Property Is Allocated upon Divorce under Florida Law

Even though many property settlements are hammered out outside the courtroom, the factors judges use in dividing property affect the relative strength of each side's bargaining position.

How Will Florida's New Child Custody Laws Affect You?

Florida law governing what was formerly known as primary and secondary child custody and the concept of visitation changed significantly on October 1, 2008, Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes now highlights the importance of both parents in a child's life, introducing the concepts of parenting plans and time-sharing.

Fathers: from Breadwinners to Custody Winners

In the past, mothers have generally gained child custody more often than fathers. Studies suggest this is because of a widely held notion that mothers and children have a more connected biological and nurturing relationship.

Risks of Attempting Divorce without the Assistance of an Attorney

In these difficult financial times, some people are attempting to obtain a divorce without the assistance of a qualified attorney in hopes of saving money on attorney fees. However, a divorce obtained without legal counsel may result in an unfair judgment that may cost one or both parties a large portion of what is rightfully theirs.

Legal Separation in Kentucky

The author explains the difference between divorce and legal separation in KY.

Elder Abuse and Consequences

Elder neglect or abuse can lead to serious consequences, such as bedsores, gangrene, broken bones and hematoma. Left unchecked, the neglect of caretakers can result in death.

Divorce of UK Citizens in Thailand

Mixed marriages between British and Thai nationals have greatly increased in the recent years. Quite inevitably, divorces have grown in number too.

Same-Sex Adoption Upheld in Florida

In a recent Florida Third District Court of Appeals decision, the appellate court struck down a subsection of a 33-year old Florida adoption statute prohibiting homosexuals from adopting. This decision bodes well not only for Martin Gill and his partner, the appellees in this case, but also for a number of same-sex couples who wish to adopt children.

A Summary of the Child Support Guidelines in Arizona

Child Support in Arizona is determined pursuant to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. The Arizona Child Support Guidelines can be somewhat complex in application where various factors are in dispute. The following is a basic description of how the Child Support Guidelines work for the reader's ease of understanding.

Home-wrecker Laws: Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation

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.

Obtaining a Divorce in Florida

Divorce in Florida is “dissolution of marriage”. When granting a dissolution, the court may issue orders regarding support and alimony; the primary residence, custody, visitation, support, maintenance and education of any minor child; attorney’s fees; and division of property. Any domestic violence protective orders shall be issued as a separate order for the divorce judgment. After obtaining a judgment of dissolution of marriage, both spouses are then considered legally single and unmarried.

Spousal Support and Division of Property in Michigan

An overview of Spousal support and division of property, which are critical issues in a Michigan divorce.

An Overview of Child Custody & Spousal Support in Texas

Understanding Texas divorce law can make the progress much less intimidating and give you a sense of control over your future.

When Child Protective Services Comes Knocking: What Happens Now?

The author discusses what to do when child protection service comes knocking.

Your Facebook Account is Not Your Friend During a Divorce

The authors discuss how not to use Facebook during a divorce.

Obtaining a Divorce in California

In California, a divorce is called a “dissolution of marriage” or “dissolution of domestic partnership”. This legal process ends your marriage or domestic partnership, and allows you to marry or become a domestic partner again. In the eyes of the law, you are no longer viewed as a single unit, and you become two separate individuals again.

Post-Divorce Modifications in Texas

The author talks about post-divorce modifications.

Discharge or Non Dischargable, That Is the Question!

It often happens that for one reason or another you owe back taxes. The IRS can be relentless in their pursuit for payment. It may seem like filing for Bankruptcy would get the tax man off your back, but this is not necessarily the case. The Franchise Tax Board and the Internal Revenue Service really don't like to lose money.

Recent Unemployment and Minnesota Child Support

The author talks about the effect of unemployment on child support.

Minnesota Business Owners and Divorce

The authors discuss the special considerations business owners need to be aware of when considering a divorce.

Illinois Legal Separation

In Illinois, a legal separation and a physical separation are not the same thing. In a physical separation, although the couple lives apart, no legal action has been initiated. In a legal separation, the parties must initiate a lawsuit in court to receive permanent orders regarding issues such as child custody and child support, division of property and debt, and spousal maintenance.

New York Legal Separation

In New York, a legal separation is considered a legally acceptable reason for granting a divorce. This is different from a trial separation, where a married couple lives apart for a trial period to determine if they want to get divorced. This type of separation has no legal basis and cannot be used as a ground for divorce. A legal separation should only be used if you have already made a permanent decision that you no longer want to live with your spouse.

Legal Separation in the U.S.

In which states is a legal separation not recognized?

Establishing Paternity in Michigan

In the ideal circumstance, every child would be connected in some way to supportive parents who are able to provide emotionally and financially for them. But life is rarely so straight-forward and many families are faced with issues of unclear paternity or even disputed paternity.

California Legal Separation

A legal separation is not the same thing as a trial separation. For most couples, a trial separation is a period of time where the couple tries living apart to find out if they really want to proceed with a divorce. This type of separation is not legally recognized.

Can You Get an Annulment in Michigan?

An annulment is an option in Michigan, but only under certain circumstances. This article discusses what those circumstances are.

Have You Considered Collaborative Divorce?

The author discusses the option of a Collaborative divorce.

An Overview of Getting a Divorce in Kentucky

Divorce in Kentucky can be a trying and complicated affair. This article discusses how getting a divorce in Kentucky works.

Michigan Estate Planning Overview

Estate planning is a legal arrangement made for the distribution of estates-also called properties-after your death. This article discusses estate planning options in Michigan.

Collin County Texas Juvenile Legal Process, A Criminal Defense Law Firm's Perspective

An analysis of the juvenile legal process from the perspective of a defense attorney.

Annulments in Ohio

As with many states, divorce in Ohio has steadily increased. From 1970 to 2000, divorce rates more than doubled, from 3.7% to 7.8% per 1,000 couples. For many, it’s an unfortunate reality. If you’re considering ending your marriage, there’s bound to be a lot on your mind. Thoughts of legal proceedings may come second or even third, to concerns about children and your financial future.

Adoption in Jordan

Is adoption legal and permitted or not in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan?

Will Musk's Bitter Divorce Affect Tesla Motors' Business Standing?

Unfortunately for investors and directors alike, Tesla Motors Inc.'s highly hyped initial public offering (IPO) is competing for attention with media coverage of the bitter divorce of its co-founder, chief executive officer and major shareholder Elon Musk, who also co-founded the hugely successful company PayPal. The June 29th IPO went off without a hitch, resulting in a 41 percent in the company's stock on the first day.

Does Marital Love Fade over Time?

After 40 long and tumultuous years of politics, publicity and prosperity, former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper, famous in her own right as an author and outspoken advocate for the Parents Music Resource Center (the committee responsible for the “Parental Advisory” label on music albums that contain explicit lyrics), have announced their plans to divorce.

Courtney Love's Case Highlights Non-Parental Custody in California

For the third time, Courtney Love has lost custody of her daughter, Frances Bean. On December 11, a Los Angeles judge stripped Love of legal guardianship and placed her daughter, now 17-years-old, under the care of her paternal grandmother and aunt, the mother and sister, respectively, of Love's late husband, Kurt Cobain.

Cohabitation before Marriage

A recent study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics suggests that couples who cohabitate before marriage are less likely to remain together.

California Custody Determinations

Most parents are unaware of the legal standards used by California courts to make decisions regarding the custody of their children.

Social Networking Sites Increasingly Blamed in Divorces

Popular social networking sites such as Facebook are increasingly being cited in courts as contributing factors in divorces.

Fathers Gaining Ground in Custody Disputes

There is a new trend in the courts when determining child custody matters. This trend is seen in Florida's new parenting law, which includes new factors for the courts to consider.

Adoption in Ethiopia

Are you planing to have an adopted child from Ethiopia or do you need to know the Ethiopian law of adoption? Here is a brief note on adoption in Ethiopia.

Divorce and Its Effects under Ethiopian Family Law

If you wonder to know how marriage dissolves in Ethiopia here is a brief note.

Divorce Mediators Can Save You Money and Emotional Stress

One of the many reasons that people hesitate to file for divorce even when they’re sure that their marriage is not the right situation is because of the time, extreme emotional stress and enormous costs that are generally involved with litigating such a matter.

Spousal Maintenance and Asset Division During a Recession

In any divorce the division of assets and debts is likely to be one of the major points of disagreement.

Find a Local Lawyer