Family Law

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  • Don’t Give Up

    Divorce Discourse
    Lee Rosen
    18 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    It’ll take longer than you think. It’ll be harder than you imagined. It’ll be more frustrating than you’d hoped. It won’t be easy. Don’t give up. People will slow you down. They’ll frustrate you. They’ll break your heart. You’ll abandon plans and create new approaches. It’ll be much harder than you expected. Don’t give up. You’ll bump into your limitations. You’ll have to learn new things. You’ll learn them the hard way. It’ll drive you to the brink. Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up. Don’t Give Up is a post from: Divorce Discourse This…
  • Ben Stevens Speaking at Solo and Small Firm Conference

    The Stevens Firm, P.A.
    Ben Stevens
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:13 am
    Both of our attorneys believe in “giving back” to the Bar, and one of the ways we do so is speaking at its continuing legal education seminars. Ben Stevens is speaking today at the South Carolina Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference in Greenville. Its theme is “Reinventing Your Small Firm Practice: Strategies and Solutions”, it will investigate the latest trends in technology and explore alternatives to traditional law practices. Ben Stevens will be giving two presentations at today’s conference: Are You Mac-Curious? If Not, You Should Be! Amazing Apps,…
  • Male Birth Control

    Family Law Prof Blog
    Family Law
    20 Sep 2014 | 4:33 am
    From the Daily Beast: Vasalgel, a reversible, non-hormonal polymer that blocks the vas deferens, is about to enter human trials. How will rhetoric change when male bodies become responsible for birth control? Vasalgel, a reversible form of male birth control,...
  • Railroad Retirement benefits are partially marital property subject to division in Missouri divorce

    Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog
    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    20 Sep 2014 | 11:46 am
    Recent case:  Tier II railroad retirement benefits are marital property Husband appeals the circuit Court’s judgment dissolving his marriage to Wife.  Husband contends that, among other things, that the Court misapplied the law in classifying as marital property and awarding almost $20,000 to Wife, which represented Husband’s contribution to his railroad retirement pension during the marriage.  Husband argues that federal law prohibits the division of retirement pension.  The Court disagreed and affirmed the division by the trial Court. The Federal Railroad Retirement act treats…
  • Gmail Accounts Compromised by Russian Hackers | How to Fix This

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    11 Sep 2014 | 7:12 am
    Two lawyers on the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Listserv alerted members to a serious problem with Gmail today. This news and their advice is something I want to pass along to my readers. Email security is always imperative, especially given how often documents with sensitive information are exchanged by a lawyer and client.
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    The Stevens Firm, P.A.

  • Ben Stevens Speaking at Solo and Small Firm Conference

    Ben Stevens
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:13 am
    Both of our attorneys believe in “giving back” to the Bar, and one of the ways we do so is speaking at its continuing legal education seminars. Ben Stevens is speaking today at the South Carolina Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference in Greenville. Its theme is “Reinventing Your Small Firm Practice: Strategies and Solutions”, it will investigate the latest trends in technology and explore alternatives to traditional law practices. Ben Stevens will be giving two presentations at today’s conference: Are You Mac-Curious? If Not, You Should Be! Amazing Apps,…
  • Guardian Ad Litem Selected In Billionaire’s Child Custody Case

    Ben Stevens
    18 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    The impending divorce between Anne and Ken Griffin, the billionaire owner of a Chicago hedge fund, shows no sign of disappearing. Though some hoped the couple might reconcile, the fact that a Guardian ad Litem has now been selected to represent the couple’s three children indicates that a reconciliation is likely not in the cards. What is a Guardian ad Litem? Guardians ad litem (GAL) exist to investigate the facts of certain cases involving children and to protect the children’s interests in the litigation. The GAL interviews the children and parents, and she must also…
  • Can I Change the Locks on My House During a Divorce?

    Ben Stevens
    17 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    One of the most frequently asked questions that many people have when they separate is “Can I change the locks on my house during a divorce?” The short answer is usually “yes” – but please keep reading the discussion below for a more complete explanation. When parties are married, both the husband and the wife have equal rights to all marital assets until and unless the Court says otherwise – regardless of whether they are titled only in the husband’s name, only in the wife’s name, or jointly. So, either spouse has the “right” to change the…
  • Is Inheritance A Marital Asset?

    Ben Stevens
    16 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    A recent column in Forbes discussed the alarming case of a woman who recently came into a substantial inheritance from her beloved grandfather. Not long after he passed away and left the money to his granddaughter, she and her husband began experiencing martial problems and initiated a divorce. The woman now worries that she could be forced to give up a large share of inherited money to her husband given the timing of the divorce. Is inheritance a marital asset and could this happen in South Carolina? Though the case is definitely alarming, the good news is that under the right…
  • Why Is Divorce So Expensive?

    Ben Stevens
    15 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    Everyone knows that divorce can sometimes get expensive, especially when considering the assets and money lost due to equitable division, child support, alimony, private investigators, accountants, expert witnesses, and even attorney’s fees. This article will discuss some of the factors that can cause legal fees to mount, particularly in those cases that end up going to trial, and help answer the question why is divorce so expensive? Monitoring Deadlines All Family Court cases in South Carolina are subject to numerous deadlines, each of which must be closely monitored. After your…
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    Family Law Prof Blog

  • Male Birth Control

    Family Law
    20 Sep 2014 | 4:33 am
    From the Daily Beast: Vasalgel, a reversible, non-hormonal polymer that blocks the vas deferens, is about to enter human trials. How will rhetoric change when male bodies become responsible for birth control? Vasalgel, a reversible form of male birth control,...
  • Call for Papers

    Family Law
    19 Sep 2014 | 10:09 pm
    The Richmond Journal of Law & the Public Interest is seeking submissions for the Spring Issue of our 2014-2015 volume. We welcome high quality and well cited submissions from academics, judges, and established practitioners who would like to take part...
  • Surrogacy Laws

    Family Law
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:45 pm
    From the New York Times: In Louisiana, Minnesota and New Jersey, after the state legislatures handily passed bills in the last few years allowing surrogacy in some situations, Republican governors vetoed them. Many states are now considering certain limits and...
  • Joslin: "Federalism and Family Status"

    Family Law
    15 Sep 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Courtney G. Joslin (UC Davis) just posted Federalism and Family Status, -- Ind. L.J. -- (forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: The myth of family law’s inherent localism is sticky. In the past, it was common to hear sweeping...
  • Podcast on 7th Circuit Marriage Cases

    Family Law
    5 Sep 2014 | 2:05 am
    Here is a Bloomberg Radio podcast with Margaret Ryznar on the 7th Circut same-sex marriage cases.
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    Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

  • Railroad Retirement benefits are partially marital property subject to division in Missouri divorce

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    20 Sep 2014 | 11:46 am
    Recent case:  Tier II railroad retirement benefits are marital property Husband appeals the circuit Court’s judgment dissolving his marriage to Wife.  Husband contends that, among other things, that the Court misapplied the law in classifying as marital property and awarding almost $20,000 to Wife, which represented Husband’s contribution to his railroad retirement pension during the marriage.  Husband argues that federal law prohibits the division of retirement pension.  The Court disagreed and affirmed the division by the trial Court. The Federal Railroad Retirement act treats…
  • Inability to co-parent grounds for sole custody award; Guardian Ad Litem fees assessed to one party appropriate

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    9 Sep 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Recent Case:       Parents’ inability to communicate, cooperate, and make shared decisions concerning their children’s welfare makes joint legal custody inappropriate. This case involved a motion to change custody from Mother to Father.  The Court ultimately awarded Father sole legal and sole physical custody of the children, subject to periods of visitation to Mother. The trial court found that since the entry of the original parenting plan, a substantial and continuing change has occurred in the circumstances of the children and parents, such that a modification was necessary to…
  • Every child is entitled to a permanent and stable home

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:14 am
    Recent case: Termination of parental rights for failure to rectify When children are taken into protective care by the children’s division, the goal is to reunite the children and the parent(s).  However, parental rights can ultimately be terminated because of a failure of the parents to remedy the cause(s) of the children to be taken into protective care in the first place.  This is called “failure to rectify.” A termination of parental rights for failure to rectify requires clear and convincing proof that: The conditions that brought each child into care still persisted, or that…
  • Court must account for all property in Missouri divorce

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    17 Aug 2014 | 7:17 am
    Recent case:  Party to Missouri divorce cannot appeal until all claims addressed Wife appeals the circuit court’s judgment dissolving her marriage to Husband. Wife contends that the court erred in failing the distribute a marital pension/retirement plan.  The Judgment was silent regarding the retirement plan, and there was no evidence in the record to support Husband’s claim that the pension plan was included in a catch-all provision for personal property division. The record reflects that the court failed to distribute this property and, therefore, the court’s judgment is not final.
  • Missouri Attorney General issues statement on same-sex marriages

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    27 Jun 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today issued the following statement related to the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds issuing marriage licenses to several same-sex couples: “While I personally support the goal of marriage equality, my duty as Attorney General is to defend the laws of the state of Missouri. While many people in Missouri have changed their minds regarding marriage equality, Missourians have yet to change their constitution. “Cases currently pending in Jefferson City and Kansas City regarding the constitutionality of Missouri’s ban against…
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    Divorce Discourse

  • Don’t Give Up

    Lee Rosen
    18 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    It’ll take longer than you think. It’ll be harder than you imagined. It’ll be more frustrating than you’d hoped. It won’t be easy. Don’t give up. People will slow you down. They’ll frustrate you. They’ll break your heart. You’ll abandon plans and create new approaches. It’ll be much harder than you expected. Don’t give up. You’ll bump into your limitations. You’ll have to learn new things. You’ll learn them the hard way. It’ll drive you to the brink. Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up. Don’t Give Up is a post from: Divorce Discourse This…
  • Websites Don’t Generate New Clients

    Lee Rosen
    17 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    Building a website doesn’t help. It’s not going to get you business. There’s danger in believing that because you’ve built a website, you’ve built your business. You haven’t. Your website makes you findable. It doesn’t cause anyone to go looking for you. Of course, that is not what the website vendors tell you. They want you to believe that the website is like a money machine. You put in your credit card, and you withdraw cash. That’s not the way your website works. The Secret Ingredient to Getting New Clients You need awareness before you’ll have clients. You need other…
  • Sell Them After You Sold Them

    Lee Rosen
    16 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    You buy a house or sign a lease. The next day (if not sooner), you wonder whether you did the right thing. You buy a car. A few hours later, you question your decision. You agree to marry your spouse. Soon, you’re filled with uncertainty. Are you doing the right thing? It’s buyer’s remorse. We all get it. It’s normal. What Is Buyer’s Remorse? Wikipedia says: Buyer’s remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such as a car or house. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over…
  • 10 Warning Signs That Your Practice Is in Trouble

    Lee Rosen
    15 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    Law firms, like all businesses, get into serious trouble. They follow a pattern when they go down the tubes. You can see the evidence if you know where to look. You can see the beginnings of the death spiral by taking note of some signals. The signals are subtle, but once you realize their significance, they’re pretty obvious. Here are the things I look for: 1. The greeting. When I show up or call, is there a system for dealing with me? Do I feel like I was expected, or am I an interruption? Regardless of whether the practice has 50 employees or just one, you get a feeling of whether…
  • Bury That Negative Review With Positivity

    Lee Rosen
    12 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    It’s like a sharp punch to the gut. That’s how a negative review on Google, Yelp, Avvo, or one of the other review sites can feel. It’s especially hurtful when the review isn’t consistent with reality. It happens sometimes. It’s painful. Then, in some jurisdictions, defending yourself is difficult. Due to confidentiality issues, state bar rules, or common sense, it’s sometimes better to simply leave the negative review alone and pass on the opportunity to comment. That’s the situation one of my friends recently found herself in. A very negative review was posted, and she was…
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  • Gmail Accounts Compromised by Russian Hackers | How to Fix This

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    11 Sep 2014 | 7:12 am
    Two lawyers on the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Listserv alerted members to a serious problem with Gmail today. This news and their advice is something I want to pass along to my readers. Email security is always imperative, especially given how often documents with sensitive information are exchanged by a lawyer and client.
  • Post-nuptial Agreement Unenforceable | Against Public Policy

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:40 am
    An Illinois appellate court affirmed a trial court ruling that a postnuptial agreement was unenforceable as against public policy where the agreement gave a third party “counselor” sole power to determine custody and other issues including property and support. In the words of the appellate court, the agreement was so one-sided and “draconian” that it was substantively unconscionable.
  • Young Parents Struggle with Computerized Work Scheduling

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:52 am
    The New York Times a typical last-minute scramble, Jannette Navarro, a 22-year-old Starbucks barista and single mother, scraped together a plan for surviving the month of July without setting off family or financial disaster.
  • College Programs Available for Young Adults with Intellectual Challenges

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    24 Aug 2014 | 7:46 am
    Over 200 United States universities have a program for people with intellectual disabilities, but the admissions are highly competitive. Every year more than one hundred people apply for fewer than 10 openings.
  • Mother's Refusal to Facilitate Relationship with Dad Leads to Loss of Custody

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    7 Aug 2014 | 7:39 am
    A parent's effort to destroy the children's relationship with the other parent shows that the father went from supervised parenting time to sole legal and primary physical custody--with a relocation to Arkansas. The mother was allowed parenting time one weekend per month to be exercised in Arkansas.
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    Divorce Law Journal

  • Groundbreaking Ky Guardian ad Litem Opinion from Ky Supreme Court Yesterday

    Diana L. Skaggs
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:09 am
    Morgan v. Getter, et al. Digest to follow.
  • Publshed Family Law Opinion from Ky Supreme Court Today

    Diana L. Skaggs
    21 Aug 2014 | 8:45 am
    Rumpel v. Rumpel The Supreme Court reaffirms the American Rule against shifting fees, recognizing CR 37.03 and KRS 403.220 as exceptions to the rule. In this case, $50,000 of attorney fees were awarded to the Wife under CR 37.03 and KRS 403.220. The Supreme Court held that the Trial Court misapplied CR 37.03 by imposing discovery sanctions on Husband for denial of a request for admission. The Trial Court should have considered Husband’s grounds for denial. As in this case, when a party reasonably believes he might prevail on a matter, or has a legitimate reason for denial of a request for…
  • Published family law published opinion from Ky Court of Appeals today. Tax dependency exemption agreement is modifiable.

    Diana L. Skaggs
    8 Aug 2014 | 11:08 am
    Smith v. Lurding The appellant argued that the tax exemption for a child was non-modifiable because it was a bargained-for property right. The court looked to the language of the Agreement and held that the tax exemption was indeed modifiable because of the 4 corners doctrine. The agreement about the tax exemption was within the Agreement’s paragraph on child support. The Agreement itself expressly allowed modification for the child support provision. Additionally, the court indicated that allocation of a tax exemption for a child may be modifiable in any circumstance under KRS 403.180(6)…
  • Ky Court of Appeals, July 18, 2014, Published Opinion Reversing Order Reinitiating Contact With Mother

    Diana L. Skaggs
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:15 am
    OSTER VS. OSTER The Appellate Court reversed and remanded a Trial Court Order for reinitiation of contact between a mother and her two children. The Appellate Court first held that the Trial Court’s  original order conditioning reinitiation on compliance with all therapeutic recommendations was never modified, set aside, or reversed. Therefore, the mother was bound by it. The mother’s noncompliance with the original order was enough to bar reinitiation of contact. The court reiterated the principle that when there is a previous denial of visitation, there is no presumption visitation is…
  • Published Ky Child Support Business Income Opinion from Court of Appeals June 20, 2014

    Diana L. Skaggs
    23 Jun 2014 | 10:25 am
    Hawkins v. Hawkins The appellate court affirmed the family court’s decision to exclude income from W’s limited partnership in child support calculations. The court held that income generated from an ownership interest in a limited partnership may be considered income in calculating child support. In this case, W had no control over the distribution and there was no evidence in the record showing  a cash distribution (K1 line 19), so the court found the family court properly determined the income from the partnership, while taxable income, was not disposable income. The appellate…
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    International Family Law

  • Notes on Algeria and International Child Custody

    18 Sep 2014 | 8:49 am
    Jeremy D. MorleyAlgeria is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.A well-publicized 2012 case of an abduction from New Zealand to Algeria demonstrated the difficulties of securing the return of children from Algeria. Although Article 29 of the Algerian constitution states that, “All citizens are equal before the law. No discrimination shall prevail because of birth, race, sex, opinion, or any other personal or social condition or circumstance,” Article 2 of the constitution provides that Islam is the religion of the state.The United…
  • Manga and the Hague Abduction Convention

    17 Sep 2014 | 7:36 am
    Jeremy D. MorleyThe Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a manga-style booklet explaining the Hague Abduction Convention, which it has sent to Japanese embassies and consulates. Much of the booklet is actually well done. However, some have claimed that the booklet is racist. The cover appears to show a Western-looking man beating an Asian-featured child; the same Western man removing a child; and a Japanese woman with no money worrying about her daughter. 
  • Mother's Arrest at D/FW Airport Shows Difficulties of International Custody Disputes

    16 Sep 2014 | 1:05 pm
    By JULIETA CHIQUILLO14 September 2014 Like many divorces, Padmashini and Dean Drees’ breakup in 2004 was bitter.There were mutual allegations of abuse, suspicions of infidelity and a nasty fight over custody of the couple’s toddler son, Drew.But when Padmashini Drees traveled with Drew to India seven years ago and didn’t return, the family’s problems reached the U.S. State Department and the FBI.Though custody battles tend to be messy, international cases like the one involving the Dreeses can drag on for years. The U.S. Supreme Court has wrestled with at least two disputes since…
  • Malaysia Child Custody: Next Step in 5+ Year-old Case

    12 Sep 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Court strikes out appeal by Muslim husband in interfaith custody caseBY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITORPublished: 10 September 2014 Court of Appeal today struck out an appeal by Muslim convert Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah who was found in contempt of court for his refusal to hand over his daughter to the mother in a unilateral conversion case.A three-man bench led by Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi said it was trite law that the court could not hear an applicant who has yet to…
  • How to Win a U.S. Hague Abduction Convention Case

    11 Sep 2014 | 2:02 pm
    by Jeremy D. MorleyHere are some tips for attorneys and clients faced with instituting or defending child abduction proceedings under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, whether in the United States or internationally.In a nutshell, a Hague Convention application may be made when a child is taken or retained across an international border, away from his or her habitual residence, without the consent of a parent who has rights of custody under the law of the habitual residence, if the two countries are parties to the Convention. The child must be…
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    Divorce and Family Law in Tarrant County, Texas

  • Who Do You Want to Decide Your Future?

    1 Sep 2014 | 4:27 pm
    Here's a simple rule for divorces:  Despite what some people think, divorces are not simple or clear cut, unless there are literally no kids and no assets.  That eliminates cases where there kids, but you think you can agree on everything; they are still complicated.  That rule also eliminates cases where there's a retirement plan, real estate, debts, jointly owned assets or many other complications.For most divorces, that means that someone has to make some decisions.  The possibilities are you, your spouse, you and your spouse together or a judge, in most cases.  So…
  • DIY -- Danger!

    1 Aug 2014 | 5:48 pm
    For various reasons, more and more people are choosing to handle divorces and other family law issues without using an attorney.  Sometimes it's just to save money.  With so much information available on line, many people decide they can produce their own legal documents. Sometimes, it works out fine.  That's especially true when the parties have a short marriage or have virtually no assets. However, when there are children involved, or when there are assets such as retirement accounts, real estate, bank accounts, investments or separate property, you need a…
  • Should You Keep your Plans a Secret?

    1 Jul 2014 | 7:41 pm
    If you are considering filing for divorce, one decision you have to make is how and when to break the news to your spouse.  Sometimes your partner wants a divorce also. Sometimes he or she may know it's coming, based on prior discussions or actions. And sometimes your spouse is clueless (about this topic).So, should you keep your plans secret until you are ready to spring into action, or should you wait until it is to your advantage to spring it?  That can actually be a difficult decision and it certainly depends on the facts and circumstances of your case.Here are some…
  • Tuesday Tips: Deadlines

    22 Apr 2014 | 9:24 am
    Who likes deadlines?  Raise your hands. Sometimes they motivate us and sometimes they are a pain.Like them or not, we are often stuck with them in life.  If you get into the legal system,  you will run into many deadlines and you really do have to pay attention to them.  There are serious consequences, if you miss deadlines.  Here are a few to watch for:Answer date.  If you are served with papers, they often require an answer.  If you don't respond in time, you may lose.Discovery deadline.  There may be deadlines for sending discovery requests out and…
  • Tuesday Tips: Death and Taxes

    15 Apr 2014 | 9:03 am
    On April 15, it's easy to remember the old saying that the only things certain in life are death and taxes.Maybe it's also a good time to remember why people get married (other than the more favorable tax treatment!).  If you are married, talk to your spouse today, or any day or everyday, about why you're glad you're married.  You might get a nice dividend!
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    Family Lore

  • Post-referendum hangover cure

    19 Sep 2014 | 3:27 am
    What better way to recover from a post-referendum hangover than read a bit of family law? OK, I can think of a few. Well, a lot, actually. Still, if you are so inclined, here are some of my efforts this week on Marilyn Stowe’s Family Law & Divorce Blog:Has mediation turned the corner? - Last week National Family Mediation reported a significant rise in the take-up of its services in the first six months of 2014. Does this mean that mediation is at last going to reach the levels its adherents hope for?Will 50,000 children benefit from the child maintenance reforms? - Looking behind the…
  • Conference for legal and social care professionals launches reports to support safeguarding unaccompanied, migrant children

    19 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    A conference held today (Friday 19 September) will call for co-operation between different actors in legal and judicial proceedings involving unaccompanied and trafficked migrant children.‘Working together to ensure the protection and reception of unaccompanied children in Europe’ will recommend the development of children’s courts and highlight the need for multi-agency participation.The conference launches a new tool for professionals, including social workers, police, immigration officers and lawyers in the form of a standards report which to help ensure that these children are fully…
  • Bar Council report claims LASPO 2012 damages access to justice

    18 Sep 2014 | 2:47 am
    Bar Council report claims LASPO 2012 damages access to justice - The Bar Council, 18th September 2014(This is actually serious stuff, but I couldn't resist the Fawlty Towers reference, sorry.)
  • Book Review: Children and Families Act 2014

    15 Sep 2014 | 5:03 am
    Children and Families Act 2014Family Justice Under the New LawNoel Arnold£49.95 - Law Society Publishing: September 2014I should begin this review with a confession. I have never particularly been a fan of books written about new statutes. They often seem to be hastily-written (for obvious reasons) and do little more than paraphrase the statute concerned. Accordingly, it was with a little trepidation that I went to open the cover of Children and Families Act 2014. Should I have been worried? Read on...Before opening that cover, I checked the blurb on the back. This informed me that the book…
  • Why do enduring marriages often fail in middle age?

    12 Sep 2014 | 8:48 am
    According to a comprehensive recent study carried out into divorce in middle age, researchers noticed that their results not only backed up their initial expectations, but proved that the growing trend they anticipated had quickly become a torrent.To quantify this torrent, the researchers found that middle aged divorce rates had doubled between 1990 and 2010, and now account for more than a quarter of all the divorces filed in the UK each year. Interestingly, remarriages are 2.5 times more likely to end in divorce than first marriages.But what exactly can account for this dramatic rise in…
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    Toronto Family Lawyer Blog

  • Pustai v Pustai, 2014 ONCA 422

    Andrew Feldstein
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:44 am
    This case addresses the issue of variation of support and the notion that an order of the court is final subject to section 17 of the Divorce Act. Background The parties were married on August 25, 1989 and had four children together.  The parties separated on March 31, 2001 after 11.5 years of marriage.  At the time of separation, the Appellant was 38 years old and the Respondent was 36 years old. The parties had entered into Minutes of Settlement, dated January 16, 2009, some of which were incorporated into a Consent Order, dated February 21, 2008.  The order provided that the husband…
  • Refraining Orders and the Family Responsibility Office (FRO)

    Andrew Feldstein
    12 Sep 2014 | 7:17 am
    Ontario (Director, Family Responsibility Office) v Korakianitis, 2014 ONSC 2369 This case addresses the issue refraining orders and the Family Responsibility Office (FRO).  In particular, this case dismisses the concept “too big to fail” and addresses enforcement tools used by the FRO. Background In 2008, the father was ordered to pay child support of $10,112 per month and spousal support of $8,800 per month flowing from the Order of Justice Quigley dated October 15, 2008.  The Order Arrears for this support total in excess of $2 million.  As such, the Family Responsibility Office has…
  • Exclusive Possession Of A Matrimonial Home Outside of Ontario

    Andrew Feldstein
    5 Sep 2014 | 1:48 pm
    Potter v Boston, 2014 ONSC 2361, 239 ACWS (3d) 286 This case addresses the issue of the matrimonial home and whether exclusive possession of the home if situated outside of Ontario can be granted under section 24 of the Family Law Act. Background The parties in this matter were married in 1982 and separated 26 or 28.5 years later.  There was one child of the marriage, namely Lexi.  The parties purchased a condominium in Florida and title to the property was registered in the husband’s name alone.  The parties’ primary residence was in Stoufville, Ontario, which the wife claimed was the…
  • Variation of Interim Custody Pending Trial Due To Parental Alienation

    Andrew Feldstein
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:20 am
    Violante v Beun, [2014] WDFL 2907, 241 ACWS (3d) 161 This case addresses the issue of a variation of interim custody on the eve of trial due to a parent’s significant alienating behaviour. Background This case involves the issues of custody and access.  In particular, the father brought a motion to change temporary custody of the child of the marriage.  The parenting capacity assessor reported significant alienating behaviour by the mother.  As such, the parenting capacity assessor recommended an immediate change in custody.  The father launched this motion to change temporary custody…
  • Raso v Di Egidio: Are Marriage Counselling Record Privileged?

    Andrew Feldstein
    22 Aug 2014 | 9:40 am
    Raso v Di Egidio, 2014 ONSC 3362, 240 ACWS (3d) 685 This case addresses the issue of whether or not marriage counselling records are privileged. BACKGROUND The parties separated in September 2011 and had one child together.  The parties attended marriage counselling sessions with Dr. Aston for approximately two months prior to their separation.  The wife consented to the release of Dr. Aston’s records, but the husband declined. ANALYSIS Justice Henderson found that Rule 20(5) of the Family Law Rules gives the “court authority to order the production of privileged documents even in the…
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    Maryland Family Law

  • Why Mediation?

    Heather Sunderman
    16 Sep 2014 | 9:51 am
    You may have seen the news that Mark Sanford and his wife are attending mediation to help resolve their marital issues. Why choose mediation? For many couples, it can be a more humane, empowering and lower cost way to resolve their differences. That is not to say that mediation is cheap, particularly since it can take multiple sessions, but is far less expensive than a fully-litigated divorce and custody matter.   Mediators have different styles; some will make suggestions for your situation, and others are more passive, allowing the spouses to drive the…
  • Mirsky Policastri LLC at the Power Conference

    Heather Sunderman
    2 Sep 2014 | 12:25 pm
    Thanks to all who stopped by our table! 
  • Back to school routines

    Heather Sunderman
    20 Aug 2014 | 1:39 pm
    The start of a new school year is a good time to re-think your routines and make adjustments.  If you have a good relationship with your child's parent you may be able to work out changes to your visitation/access schedule as well.  It is very common for parents to make modifcations to the schedule, as kids needs change as they get older. Keep in mind your court order will dictate the enforceable schedule.  However, a regular and significant deviation from your court order may give rise to a modification of the order and thus make the "informal" schedule…
  • What is Custody?

    Heather Sunderman
    13 Aug 2014 | 8:32 am
    Parents often talk about wanting "custody" of their kids, but what does that really mean? Custody could be different things to different people, so it is better to instead be specific about what each parent's rights are. Legal custody means the right to make major decisions for your children afftecting their health, education, and religious upbringing. Day to day parenting decisions, like what to serve for dinner, what time bedtime will be, etc, are made by the parent who the child is with at that time. For that reason, legal custody decisions don't tend to come…
  • Choosing an attorney

    Heather Sunderman
    6 Aug 2014 | 6:11 am
    There are many questions you should consider asking any attorney you are considering working with.  For example, will the attorney have the time to put into your case, and the necessary knowledge in the specific area of law? Is it important for your lawyer to be tech-savvy?  Some lawyers are generalists, others only practice in one or more specific areas of law.   If your case is complex, you should consider hiring an attorney with a lot of experience in that area.  Sometimes, clients want to know "how many" cases the attorney has won...but what does…
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    New Hampshire Family Law Blog

  • In Re Serodio and Perkins: You May Enforce a Prenup without a Copy of the Prenup

    Kysa Crusco
    8 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    In the Matter of Cheryl Serodio and Arthur Perkins: Existence of Prenuptial Agreements can be proven without providing the written, executed agreement. The New Hampshire Supreme Court issued its opinion on August 22, 2014. The Facts Wife filed for divorce from Husband in 2010.  In 2011, Husband filed a motion to have a prenuptial agreement enforced.  Husband did not present the family court with a copy of the agreement with Wife’s signature, because he alleged that Wife held the sole, signed copy, and she had lost it. Wife filed a motion to dismiss…
  • Proposed Changes to a Parent's Right to Counsel in Abuse/Neglect Cases

    Kysa Crusco
    5 Sep 2014 | 1:48 pm
    A few years ago, during the state's fiscal crisis, the legislature did away with the statute requiring that any parent accused of abusing or neglecting their child in a child protection case be appointed an attorney to represent them. I posted here about my view that all parents should be entitled to counsel in abuse neglect proceedings. The issue was argued before the New Hampshire Supreme Court in In Re C.M, where the Court held that parents do not have a constitutional per se right to counsel, though appointment of counsel should be considered on a case by case basis. In July 2013, the…
  • Norberg v. Norberg: Alimony Cannot Be Waived By Agreement

    Kysa Crusco
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:32 pm
    When negotiating a settlement, it is important to keep in mind that New Hampshire law does not allow parties to waive future alimony. The 1994 case of Norberg v. Norberg is controlling. It explains that although property division is not modifiable, alimony is an entirely different matter. Even if the parties enter into an agreement that expressly waives their right to seek alimony, the court retains the authority to revise its orders under RSA 458:14.  How this factors into settlement negotiations will depend on the facts of your case. First, whether you go to trial or…
  • In Re Lyon: Extension or Renewal of Alimony to be Made as Justice Requires

    Kysa Crusco
    9 Jul 2014 | 9:49 pm
    On May 30, 2014, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued an opinion In the Matter of Lyon. This decision clarifies the standard to be applied in requests to extend or renew alimony.  The Facts Husband and Wife divorced in May 2007. They entered into a permanent stipulation that was incorporated into their divorce decree that required Husband to pay to Wife $3,000 per month in alimony from January 1, 2007, through June 30, 2007, and $5,000 in monthly alimony from July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2012, “or until the death of either party, whichever first occurs.” A month before…
  • Unmarried Parents Get Equal Protection for New Hampshire Appeals

    Kysa Crusco
    7 Apr 2014 | 7:19 pm
    Miller v. Todd, a parenting case between two parties who were never married, raised the issue of whether Supreme Court Rule 3 is unconstitutional because it treats married and unmarried parents differently for the purposes of an appeal. At the time, only parents who were married were entitled to a mandatory appeal from an initial determination of parental rights and responsibilities. A mandatory appeal provides that the case “shall be accepted by the supreme court for review on the merits.” Although an appeal from a final divorce decree or final decree on legal separation is a…
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    Dads Divorce and Fathers Rights Blog

  • Lives in One State, Baby Lives in Another

    19 Sep 2014 | 7:52 am
    Question: I live in one state but have a three-month-old baby that lives in another state with her mother. I'm very concerned about how the courts will split parenting time between the mother and me. Can joint custody be given in this situation? How would that work when we live in separate states?
  • Take the Survey About DadsDivorce's Upcoming Changes

    19 Sep 2014 | 7:34 am
    DadsDivorce readers will notice a new red banner at the top of the various pages on the site. This announces a survey regarding the DadsDivorce redesign and possible changes that will be made. Readers, whether frequent or infrequent, are encouraged to share their information through this survey to better inform the DadsDivorce team as to what changes should be implemented, what items should be left alone and how we want to go about making those particular changes to the site. Only certain questions are mandatory, so feel free to answer those questions that most apply to your use of the…
  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News - September 19, 2014

    19 Sep 2014 | 6:29 am
    DadsDivorce and MensDivorce as well as their sponsor, Cordell & Cordell, present a news video for the week of September 19, 2014. This week, Cordell & Cordell announced another free upcoming seminar, a Men's Divorce School event, which will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Those interested should register online. DadsDivorce published an article about a father who has time planned with his kids and and an ex who wants to know all schedule details. MensDivorce released another Attorney Bites video at the site. Check out the news video below. Cordell…
  • Week with the Kids & Ex-Wife Wants to Know All Details

    17 Sep 2014 | 5:37 am
    Question: I'm planning for a scheduled week with my kids where we'll go on day trips like visiting the zoo or the beach as well as just hang out.  My ex is now saying that she wants my complete schedule and that I need to tell her our every activity for the week. She already agreed to me having time with the kids, so do I need to provide all of this?
  • Deployed, Sent Divorce Papers & Told He Had a Daughter

    15 Sep 2014 | 2:58 am
    Question: My estranged ex left me after I was deployed overseas in the Navy. She never contacted me except to send me divorce papers and let me know, for the first time ever, that I have a daughter. I have never gotten to meet or see my daughter. What can I do? How can I find her?
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    Alabama Divorce & Family Law Attorney Blog

  • Rumpel v. Skaggs: Issues that Arise when One Spouse Owns a Share of a Business

    Steven Eversole
    18 Sep 2014 | 8:32 am
    Our Birmingham divorce lawyers understand that when one spouse owns a business with other people, there may be significant litigation required to value the marital assets. Rumpel v. Skaggs, a case from the Supreme Court of Kentucky, involved a husband and wife who were married in 1994.  At the time of the wedding, the husband (“Plaintiff”) was working as a police officer.  Plaintiff retired from the police two years later with a full pension. After retirement, Plaintiff, along with a business partner, formed a corporation to purchase several acres of land.  The land was a strip mall. …
  • Balogh v. Balogh: Prenuptial vs Postnuptial agreements

    Steven Eversole
    15 Sep 2014 | 8:31 am
    In Balogh v. Balogh, an appeal argued before the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the parties were married in 1981.  At the time of the wedding, the wife owned two properties in New Jersey.  She sold one of the properties in 1992 for just less than $90,000.  The other property was a vacant lot that she had purchased for just under $30,000. The husband, at the time of the marriage, owned a piece of property that he soon sold for $40,000.  According to the husband’s testimony, the couple built a home on the wife’s vacant lot.  Both husband and wife were highly educated. During the marriage,…
  • Richter v. Richter: On Personal Jurisdiction in Divorce Cases

    Steven Eversole
    11 Sep 2014 | 8:29 am
    Richter v. Richter, a case from the Alaska Supreme Court, involved a couple who were married in 2010 in California.  They separated in 2011 and filed for divorce. At trial, the husband (“Defendant”) argued that the court lacked jurisdiction over him, because he was a resident of Idaho. As your Birmingham divorce lawyer can explain, in order for a court hear a case, it must have jurisdiction over both the subject matter and the parties involved in the litigation.  In the case of a divorce, the parties are normally required to have lived in the state for a statutory length of time before…
  • Dalton v. Dalton: On the Rules of Evidence in Divorce Proceedings

    Steven Eversole
    7 Sep 2014 | 8:27 am
    Dalton v. Dalton, an appeal from the Supreme Court of Maine, involved a couple who were married in 2002 and divorced in 2013.  The couple had three children together at the time of this action, including a ten-year-old daughter and a set of twins who were seven years old. Our Birmingham divorce attorneys understand that a dissolution of marriage where there parties have minor children can be a complicated and emotionally difficult process. After a two-day hearing, the trial judge granted the couple a divorce based upon grounds of irreconcilable differences.  In the State of Alabama, a…
  • Child Custody and Protections for Deployed Service Members

    Steven Eversole
    3 Sep 2014 | 6:07 am
    Divorce is always complicated and personally challenging, but for service members, the process of divorce can be even more difficult. In addition to the complexities of asset division, service members who are stationed overseas may find it more difficult to protect their rights in custody disputes. A recent interstate dispute involving child custody has raised the issue of the rights of service members dealing with complex family legal issues and the Service Members Civil Relief Act. The Service Members Civil Relief Act temporarily suspends any judicial and administrative proceedings and…
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    Domestic Diversions

  • Who has the power to change your life?

    David C. Sarnacki
    15 Sep 2014 | 9:50 am
    CNN celebrated Positive Thinking Day (September 13th) by offering “five expert tips to help you think yourself well.” The point is to take responsibility for your happiness and to do something. Sara Cheshire included these tips (excerpt): Be aware of your automatic reactions Catch and reframe your thoughts Don’t believe everything your mind tells you Let go of fear Find [...]
  • Top tips for conscientious conscious capital uncoupling

    David C. Sarnacki
    8 Sep 2014 | 2:30 pm
    The Wall Street Journal focuses divorcing couples on financial planning for “getting unmarried.” Veronica Dagher offers and discusses these tips (excerpt): 1. Know What You Own and Make Copies. . . . 2. Save and Budget. . . . 3. Watch and Establish Credit. . . . 4. Watch the Timing. . . . 5. Consider Selling the Family Home. . [...]
  • Who do professionals recommend as one of the best divorce lawyers and divorce lawyers in Grand Rapids?

    David C. Sarnacki
    18 Aug 2014 | 4:36 am
    Best Lawyers in America announced that once again, David Sarnacki was selected by judges and lawyers as one of The Best Lawyers in America. He was honored in three practice areas relating to divorce litigation and divorce mediation: 1. Collaborative Law: Family Law. 2. Family Law. 3. Family Law Mediation.
  • Changing minds: Listen, show you understand the other person’s side, ask to see your side, suggest another outcome

    David C. Sarnacki
    17 Aug 2014 | 7:18 am
    Real Simple suggests how to go about changing someone’s mind. Amy Spencer writes (excerpt): The essential rule when trying to convert someone is: Don’t — at least, not at first. “Just listen,” says Dennis Ross [author of "The Missing Peace"] . . . . . . . After listening, show that you get it. *** Next, nudge the other [...]
  • Top 5 admissions: Are you trying to kill your children?

    David C. Sarnacki
    20 Jul 2014 | 5:52 am
    CNN’s Kelly Wallace shows how many otherwise good parents admit to choices that put their kids at risk of serious injury and death.
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    Florida Divorce & Family Law Blog

  • Florida Most Expensive State to File Divorce

    2 Sep 2014 | 1:13 pm
    I read online recently that Florida is the most expensive State to File for Divorce in. Here are the top ten: 10. Tennessee, $302 9. Utah, $310 8. Pennsylvania, $317 7. Arizona, $321 6. Louisiana, $324 5. New York, $335 4. Illinois, $337 3. California, $395 2. Minnesota, $402 1. Florida, $409 The price is actually higher than that because everything is electronically filed now and if
  • Same Sex Divorce Not Granted in Tampa, Florida

    15 May 2014 | 6:01 am
    In March I blogged about a case in Tampa, Florida wherein a gay couple was wishing to have a divorce granted by a Judge. The couple was married in Massachusetts and had a valid marriage in Massachusetts. They moved to Florida and are now residents of the State of Florida. They came to settlement terms and simply requested that the Judge ratify their agreement and grant them their divorce.
  • Same Sex Marriage and Divorce in Florida?

    27 Mar 2014 | 9:19 am
    Every now and then I come across an article that I think is interesting to the masses and not only to those people who believe that a divorce or separation is imminent. Today in Hillsborough County a same sex couple is attempting to dissolve their union that was solemnized in Massachusetts a few years ago. They have come to an agreement and are seeking an uncontested dissolution of their
  • 5 things that will drive divorcees nuts

    27 Nov 2013 | 7:25 am
    I Recently came across an article about the things that drive divorce people crazy. I find that the five things that his writer finds to be annoying about their own divorce to be truly universal with most of the people and cases that I deal with on a daily basis. I am constantly telling my clients to take the high road, to not get bogged down in the little stuff and that they should in all
  • Designation for other Legal Purposes v. School Designation

    14 Aug 2013 | 1:05 pm
    Florida is a progressive state in that it does not recognize a primary parent or even a majority parent. We have time-sharing of children and in most cases, except those very unique cases, the parties also share parental responsibility. Because Florida is a progressive state, and because other State and Federal Laws have not caught up to the laws here in Florida, there is a requirement that
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    NJ Family Issues

  • An expert offers an inadmissible net opinion if he or she cannot offer objective support for his or her opinions, but testifies only to a view about a standard that is personal

    16 Sep 2014 | 3:29 am
    Law Lessons from Davis v. Brickman Landscaping, __ N.J. __ (2014), Nos. A-22/23/24 September Term 2012, September 15, 2014: An expert may not provide an opinion at trial that constitutes “mere net opinion.” Pomerantz Paper Corp. v. New Cmty. Corp., 207 N.J. 344, 372 (2011). The rule prohibiting net opinions is a “corollary” of New Jersey Rule of Evidence 703, State v. Townsend, 186 N.J. 473, 494 (2006), which provides that an expert’s testimony “may be based on facts or data derived from (1) the expert’s personal observations, or (2) evidence admitted…
  • In some cases, the jury is not competent to supply the standard by which to measure the defendant’s conduct

    16 Sep 2014 | 3:28 am
    Law Lessons from Davis v. Brickman Landscaping, __ N.J. __ (2014), Nos. A-22/23/24 September Term 2012, September 15, 2014: “[A] negligence cause of action requires the establishment of four elements: (1) a duty of care, (2) a breach of that duty, (3) actual and proximate causation, and (4) damages.” Jersey Cent. Power & Light Co. v. Melcar Util. Co., 212 N.J. 576, 594 (2013). The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing those elements, Buckelew v. Grossbard, 87 N.J. 512, 525 (1981), “by some competent proof,” Overby v. Union Laundry Co., 28 N.J. Super. 100, 104…
  • The customs of an industry are not conclusive on the issue of the proper standard of care

    16 Sep 2014 | 3:26 am
    Law Lessons from Davis v. Brickman Landscaping, __ N.J. __ (2014), Nos. A-22/23/24 September Term 2012, September 15, 2014: The Court has long held that “[t]he customs of an industry are not conclusive on the issue of the proper standard of care; they are at most evidential of this standard.” Wellenheider v. Rader, 49 N.J. 1, 7 (1967). Such industry standards are not dispositive because “to allow [an industry] to set its own standard of conduct is tantamount to allowing it to set the limits of its own legal liability, even though those limits are below a level of care…
  • A return of service raises a presumption that the facts recited therein are true

    15 Sep 2014 | 4:58 am
    Law Lessons from First Horizon Home Loans v. Martinez, App. Div., No. A-1646-12T3, September 12, 2014: A return of service “raises a presumption that the facts recited therein are true.” Resolution Trust Corp. v. Associated Gulf Contractors, Inc., 263 N.J. Super. 332, 343 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 134 N.J. 480 (1993). That presumption, however, is rebuttable upon clear and convincing evidence that the return is false. Id. at 344 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The “uncorroborated testimony of the defendant alone is not sufficient to impeach the…
  • Default judgment taken in the face of defective personal service is generally void and will usually be set aside

    15 Sep 2014 | 4:56 am
    Law Lessons from First Horizon Home Loans v. Martinez, App. Div., No. A-1646-12T3, September 12, 2014: If, after the hearing, a court concludes defendants were never served with the summons and complaint, they may be entitled to have a default judgment vacated pursuant to R. 4:50-1(d). Id. at 425 (noting that default judgment taken in the face of defective personal service is generally void and will usually be set aside under R. 4:50-1(d)); Rosa v. Araujo, 260 N.J. Super. 458, 462 (App. Div. 1992), certif. denied, 133 N.J. 434 (1993); see also Driscoll v. Burlington-Bristol Bridge Co., 8 N.J.
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    Pennsylvania Family Law


    Mark Ashton
    3 Sep 2014 | 8:24 am
    We periodically report on macro trends in housing prices because our clients typically have a lot of their wealth invested in their homes.  And each time we have a case, one of the questions that comes about is:  Stay or go? We recently happened upon some data that gives us insight into home values measured over roughly 20 years.  In the early 1990s Toll Brothers began to build luxury homes in central Chester County, about 30 miles Northwest of central Philadelphia and accessible to the city both by train and turnpike.  These were big homes ranging in size from 3100-6300 square feet on…

    Aaron Weems
    3 Sep 2014 | 7:52 am
    This week I obtained a Divorce Decree on behalf of a same-sex spouse in Montgomery County.  What makes this Decree interesting and worth noting is that I believe it to be one of the first examples of a Pennsylvania court exercising full faith and credit to dissolve an out-of-state civil union under the Divorce Code, rather than a marriage. The parties in this case have been separated for over three years and neither sought any economic damages from the other. After their civil union in New Jersey (which they obtained prior to New Jersey legalizing same-sex marriage), the couple found…

    Aaron Weems
    30 Aug 2014 | 8:23 pm
    My colleague and long-suffering Mets fan, Robert Epstein, in our Roseland office wrote a blog post in July about an interesting New Jersey case. A litigant to a divorce case tried to have his daughter appear in court on his behalf through an executed Power of Attorney. It is a very interesting attempt at circumventing the Court’s requirement that litigants appear in court. As Bob points out, there are a host of issues which are impacted by using an appointed “attorney-in-fact” in a divorce case: the certification of discovery; being subject to cross-examination, and; lack of…

    Aaron Weems
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:30 am
    Though I could count the instances on one hand, I have had a few cases in my career where a client had a legitimate concern about their former spouse or their child’s parent attempting to abduct the child. Usually this fear stems from long-standing threats designed to leverage access to the child against some financial demand. In those instances, the demand related to issues surrounding child support: either the filing for it or expenses related to the child. Fortunately, nothing ever happened and the fear subsided. Based on data from the FBI, 76% of kidnappings are perpetrated by a family…

    Mark Ashton
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:21 pm
    A Superior Court decision reported last month lends new insight to questions of what kind of record lawyers and judges must make in a child custody case.  The requirement of a thorough record has been a mainstay of appellate law for many years but the landscape shifted somewhat when the General Assembly passed its latest custody statute, effective in 2011. In S.W.D. v. S.A.R., the Armstrong County court had issued a custody order following a hearing in January, 2010.  Mother was awarded primary physical custody and Father had partial custody two nights per week and every other weekend from…
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    Family Law Guy

  • Exercising Self-Help in Custody Cases

    25 Aug 2014 | 3:17 pm
        Kathleen Aubain is in the Oneida County Jail in New York for violating a court order.  Aubain has a two and a half year old daughter, Isabellah Rose Campos with Eric Campos.  All three were living in Arizona.  Campos has custody of Isabellah. Aubain’s mother says the only reason Campos has custody is because Aubain didn’t bring Isabellah back to him at the end of her custodial time.    
  • Child Custody And Religion (Again): What Should Happen When One Parent Converts?

    15 Aug 2014 | 3:48 pm
    We've got another child custody and religion case from New York, about, at least ostensibly,  what should happen when one parent, but not the other, decides to "change horses mid-stream" in terms of the child's religious upbringing.   A closer reading of the facts suggests that other facts played a much greater role in the decision than the religion issue did, and that the judge may have used
  • Grandparent Custodial Rights

    12 Aug 2014 | 1:38 pm
        Interesting read regarding grandparent rights.  The Court of Appeals upheld a Dependency Court order granting a grandmother visitation rights.  It’s a case right here in Los Angeles County involving DCFS. rights come up relatively regularly, but I don't believe that this case will necessarily significantly broaden the law
  • Interference with Child Custody

    21 Jul 2014 | 5:07 pm
      Maria Jose Carrascosa, 48, is a native of Spain and lived in Fort Lee, New Jersey. She had a child, a daughter, with Peter Innes while in New Jersey and the couple separated in 2004.  They signed a parenting agreement prohibiting either parent from taking the child out of the country without the consent of the other.  In 2005, while custody was still unresolved, Carrascosa took the child, then
  • Should a Very Young Child Give Preference Testimony?

    15 Jul 2014 | 5:19 pm
        Professional basketball player, Chris Bosh, has been in a custody battle over his young year old daughter with the child’s mother, Allison Mathis.  Apparently Mathis is requesting that their daughter, Trinity, (either four or five years old), testify in court.
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    Rochester Family Lawyer

  • Temporary Maintenance and Payment of Additional Expenses by Monied Spouse

    7 Sep 2014 | 7:38 pm
    One issue that comes up fairly often in divorce cases is the issue of whether the monied spouse who is paying temporary maintenance is also responsible for additional expenses incurred by the non-monied spouse. At least some of the prior decisions held that when the temporary maintenance is being paid, the recipient was responsible for his or her living expenses, including any mortgage payments or housing expenses. However, it appears that at least some of the appellate decisions hold otherwise. In Vistocco v. Jardin,116 A.D.3rd 842 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.), the parties were married in 1995 and had…
  • Standard of Living, Diminished Income, Spousal Maintenance and Child Support

    5 Jul 2014 | 6:31 pm
    The courts in New York have had some difficulty dealing with situations were a claim of recently diminished income has been presented to the court in response to a temporary spousal support application. In most situations, the courts would either impute income or deny downward modification. The courts have been concerned with the parties’ standard of living for the non-monied spouse and the children despite  the claims of the income-producing spouse of diminished resources and/or income. One trial decision, S.A. v. L.A., 2 Misc.3d 7441 (Sup. Ct. Westchester Co.), illustrates the…
  • Updates to New York’s Child Support Standards Chart

    3 May 2014 | 2:19 pm
    According to the Child Support Standards Chart, prepared by New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Division of Child Support Enforcement, and released March 12, 2014, the 2014 poverty income guideline amount for a single person as reported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services is $11,670 and the 2014 self-support reserve is $15,755. These numbers are highly relevant for child support calculations and may have a role in determining child support arrears in situations where payor’s income is less than the guideline amount for a single person.
  • Surrogacy and Adoption

    3 May 2014 | 1:38 pm
    One area where New York still lags behind other states has to do with surrogacy contracts. New York does not recognize surrogacy contracts statutorily since it deems the underlying surrogacy contracts to be against public policy, and they are void and unenforceable in New York. See N.Y. Dom. Rel. L. § 122. However, what happens to a child born as a result of such contract? In a recent decision, Matter of J.J., 2014 N.Y. Slip. Op. 24089 (Fam. Ct. Queens Co. 2014), New York Family Court held that a child born as a result of a surrogacy contract can be adopted in the State of New York,…
  • Transmutation of Separate Property into Marital Property

    23 Mar 2014 | 7:16 pm
    One of the basic theories in equitable distribution and divorce litigation is that of transmutation. Transmutation theory holds that by their actions, the parties are able to modify the status of the property they own from separate property to marital property. Most of the time transmutation occurs when the parties commingle separate property with marital property or place what otherwise be separate property into both parties’ names.  This was demonstrated in Fehring v. Fehring, 58 A.D.3d 1061 (3rd Dept. 2009), where the money received on account of personal injuries by the husband,…
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    Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Alimony That Requires Wife to Dip into Assets to Pay Monthly Expenses is Too Low, Appeals Court Says

    10 Sep 2014 | 10:06 am
    Alimony can serve as an important lifeline, especially for divorcing spouses who subsist on fixed incomes. A recent 5th District Court of Appeal ruling highlights the basic concept of alimony law in Florida, saying that alimony must be large enough to allow the recipient spouse to meet her living expenses without having to spend her assets just to pay her monthly bills. In the 5th DCA's recent decision, it sent a divorce case back to the trial court after deciding that the alimony imposed on the husband would not be enough to meet the wife's monthly expenses. The divorce in question regarded…
  • Appeals Court Clarifies Standard for Parental Abandonment Finding, Revives Grandparents' Adoption Petition

    3 Sep 2014 | 10:14 am
    A recent 4th District Court of Appeal ruling clarified the proper factors for determining if a parent has sufficiently abandoned his child to allow the courts to terminate his parental rights and gave a pair of grandparents' effort to adopt their grandchild new life. The appeals court's ruling explained that, in order to terminate a parent's legal rights to his child, the law requires proof that the parent showed an intent to reject his parental obligations, but it does not necessarily require evidence that the parent willfully disregarded the child's safety. Sultan Shakir fathered a child in…
  • Court OKs $100 Bond for Injunction that Froze $3 Million in Assets

    26 Aug 2014 | 11:04 am
    A wife successfully managed to obtain a freeze of $3 million of her husband's assets while posting an injunction bond of only $100. The 3d District Court of Appeal upheld this low bond because Florida's courts were in the position only of enforcing an order in an underlying divorce case situated in Argentina, which meant that the Florida courts should defer to the Argentinian rule, which disfavors imposing bonds on the economically weaker spouse in a divorce. Carolina Maneiro filed for divorce from her husband, Jorge Cermesoni, in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2011. Both were Argentinian…
  • Failure to Foster Relationship with Child's Father Not Grounds for Mandating Psych Evaluation of Mother

    19 Aug 2014 | 11:38 am
    Psychological and physical evaluations can be important tools for courts as they analyze a parent's fitness. The law, however, also maintains several hurdles on the permissibility of such examinations because of their invasive nature. The case before a court must implicate the parent's mental or physical condition, and the parent must be on notice of the potential of an evaluation before the court may order such a step. In a recent case from southwest Florida, a mother's appeal allowed her to escape such an evaluation when the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that her case did not meet…
  • Florida Appeals Court Refuses to Divide the Remains of Child of Divorced Parents to Facilitate Dual Burials

    12 Aug 2014 | 10:38 am
    An ex-husband's attempt to force his ex-wife to share the cremated ashes of their son failed to succeed in either a Palm Beach County trial court or the 4th District Court of Appeal. The recent decisions make clear that the remains of the couple's son did not legally constitute property and were not subject to the rules of property division. The 2007 divorce of William and Lili Wilson was a relationship marked by contentiousness, litigation, and tragedy. They battled over items as small as home videos and a baseball card collection. Then, in 2010, disaster struck when Wellington polo magnate…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • Beta Marriage Concept – A Trial Union for 2 Years?

    Robert L. Mues
    20 Sep 2014 | 12:43 am
    Can Beta Marriage Avoid A Complicated Divorce? Time magazine recently published an article discussing the concept of a “beta marriage” and millennials.  For those unfamiliar with the word “Beta” let me explain.  In the tech world, the word “beta” is often affiliated with a trial period, in other words, it’s something that’s tested before it’s released or finalized.  For example, when a video game company is nearing the release of a new video game, they’ll often release a “beta version” to a select few individuals.  This version is played and enjoyed as if…
  • Divorce Assets In Ohio – Survivorship Benefits For Spouse

    Joseph E. Balmer
    13 Sep 2014 | 12:53 am
    What Happens in Ohio if a Divorcee Dies Before Transferring Property or Assets as Divorce Court Ordered? How Assets are to be Divided After the Passing of a Spouse During the Divorce Decree The question was recently  posed to me as to what happens if, after a valid and enforceable Decree of Divorce, Dissolution or Legal Separation is filed, one of the spouses or ex-spouses dies before the division of assets can be fully completed.  Does the ex-spouse or spouse still retain an interest in an asset that has been released by the Court Order?  Two possible scenarios may arise, and each will be…
  • Military Divorce Rate Climbs – Are Multiple Deployments at Fault?

    Robert L. Mues
    6 Sep 2014 | 12:28 am
    Recent Study Reveals Increased Length In Deployments Will Increase The Risk Of Military Divorce A recent study conducted by the RAND Corporation with the Department of Defense sponsorship found that increased length in deployments will increase the risk of divorce.  The study goes into detail regarding marriages originating prior to and after the September 11, 2001, attacks.  The study found that couples who married prior to the attacks and had one of the spouses deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan were over 20% more likely to divorce than couples who married after the September 11 attacks.
  • An Interview with Michael Newsom, Fatherhood Coordinator for the Montgomery County Child Support Enforcement Agency

    Anne Shale
    30 Aug 2014 | 12:15 am
    Let us first look at some important statistics published by the National Fatherhood Initiative. The Effects of Father Absence in the Home of Minor Children: Children of Father-Absent homes are: Five times more likely to live in poverty. Three times more likely to fail in school. Two times more likely to develop emotional or behavioral problems. Two times more likely to abuse drugs. Two times more likely to be abused and neglected. Two times more likely to become involved in crime. Three times more likely to commit suicide. Compare the facts with children having Father’s involved in their…
  • Divorce: Sudden Divorce Syndrome in Ohio

    Robert L. Mues
    23 Aug 2014 | 1:10 am
    Can Sudden Divorce Syndrome Impact You Both Emotionally And Legally? What You Need To Know Sudden Divorce Syndrome (SDS) refers to a situation that occurs, most often in a man’s life, where his spouse, without any signs, wants a divorce.  Perhaps the most publicized SDS (Sudden Divorce Syndrome) case involves Mr. Martin Paul, who told his story in a recent MSN living article.  Mr. Paul discusses how he was nearing retirement, wasn’t having any ill feelings towards his wife, and had even been planning numerous vacation and relaxation events for himself and his wife together.
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    NJ Family Legal Blog


    Robert A. Epstein
    16 Sep 2014 | 1:52 pm
    Change is finally here – On September 10, 2014, Governor Chris Christie signed into law substantial and significant amendments to New Jersey’s alimony law.  The law took immediate effect on that date.  I previously blogged about the now effective changes after the legislature passed the bill during the Summer, and we have prepared an Alert on the final bill that you can read here. Stay tuned for blog posts that more specifically address the changes to the alimony law regarding the duration of alimony, retirement, cohabitation, loss of income and more. …

    Robert A. Epstein
    15 Sep 2014 | 6:34 am
    Overshadowed by New Jersey’s enactment of alimony reform, on which we have previously blogged and will shortly provide an update, on September 10, 2014 Governor Christie also signed into law the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act.  Collaborative Law is a form of alternative dispute resolution where, as described by the law, an attorney is retained “for the limited purpose of assisting his client in resolving family disputes in a voluntary, non-adversarial manner, without court intervention.”  In other words, the goal and stated intent by both parties is to resolve…

    Robert A. Epstein
    10 Sep 2014 | 7:03 am
    An article today on Time’s website discussed the findings of a study comparing the behavioral trends of children of divorce from wealthy and lower income families.   The study, which was conducted by researchers at Georgetown University and the University of Chicago, divided a sample of approximately 4,000 children into three groups by income.  Interestingly, the study also analyzed at what age children are most prone to behavioral issues following divorce. The report ultimately concluded that children of divorce from higher-income families exhibit greater behavioral issues than those…

    Robert A. Epstein
    8 Sep 2014 | 5:44 am
    Some concepts never cease to amaze, especially when reality television is involved.  Promising an idyllic setting for a “quickie” divorce, the Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, is welcoming couples who want to end their marriage while surrounded by golf courses, swimming pools, hiking trails and spa treatments.  While one can appreciate the calming influence that such an environment may have on an otherwise potentially emotional and stressful situation, I am not quite sure how playing a round of 18 holes is going to help. The way it works is as follows –…

    Robert A. Epstein
    8 Sep 2014 | 5:43 am
    Almost every client that walks through my door wants to know how quickly his or her divorce will last and how much it is going to cost.  The best answer that I can generally give is, “it depends.”  It depends on you and your spouse, it depends on the other lawyer, it depends on the facts and legal issues, it depends on the judge, it depends on the county.  So many factors come into play that there really is no definitive answer.  In connection with that inquiry, clients want to know about mediation, usually because he or she has heard that it is a cheaper and quicker way…
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    Lewis Kannegieter Law, Ltd.

  • Child Support in Minnesota

    8 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    In 2006, the Minnesota state legislature approved a drastic overhaul of the state’s child support guidelines based on an “income shares” model. (See Minn. Stat. 518A) The new child support guidelines were to be used for all new cases filed after January 1st, 2007, limited modifications in 2007, and for all cases after January 1st, 2008. Whereas the old system used a fixed percentage of the obligor’s net income based on the number of kids (25% for 1, 30% for 2), the new law is a bit more complex and considers several different factors. The new law also looks at three distinct…
  • But My Child Wants To Live With Me

    4 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    After a divorce is final and the custody arrangements are made, a child may find himself unhappy and wish to move in with the noncustodial parent. Of course, the noncustodial parent may be sympathetic to the child’s wishes and move for a change in custody. However, there are several hurdles that the moving parent must overcome in order to be successful in this motion. The child’s wishes alone will not be enough for the court to grant the change. First, in an affidavit, the parent must relate facts that if true, would be sufficient to warrant a modification of custody. Custody may be…
  • Divorce and Retirement Assets

    14 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    In a divorce, marital property is divided between the spouses. Marital property includes all things that have been accumulated during the marriage, including real estate, vehicles, savings accounts, and retirement assets. Retirement assets can often be overlooked. In order to reach an equitable division of property, it is important to understand what assets are available, what the value of these assets are, and what makes the most sense in dividing these assets. There are many different types of retirement assets. Some, such as IRAs and 401(k)s are easy to determine the true value just by…
  • How To Get Through Probate Faster and With Less Hassles In Minnesota

    23 Jun 2014 | 8:00 am
    Minnesota attorneys are well aware of the hassles and headaches which families face when a loved one’s estate goes into probate. The process can drag out, eating up not just time but also resources that would have otherwise gone to beneficiaries. Appointed personal representatives find themselves with burdensome responsibilities which can compound their grief. In order to navigate the process as quickly and smoothly as possible, we recommend you keep the following in mind: Probate Tip #1: Work With An Experienced Attorney It may be tempting to navigate probate in Minnesota alone, but a good…
  • Will My Spouse Have to Pay My Lawyer’s Fees?

    9 Jun 2014 | 8:00 am
    A frequent question I hear is “Will my spouse have to pay my attorney’s fees?” My answer to this is “Don’t count on it.” In Minnesota, attorney’s fees can be awarded one of two ways: need-based or conduct-based. Need-based awarded mean that one party cannot afford the fees and that the other party has the means to pay. In many cases this can be a problem as neither party can really afford additional fees. Conduct-based fees are awarded when the court finds a party to be acting in bad faith and unreasonably contributing to the length or expense of the proceeding. As…
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    Iowa Law Blog

  • The Best Lawyers in America: Mark Landa

    Samantha Gronewald
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Mark Landa has been selected to be included in the 21st Edition of the The Best Lawyers in America for his work in the practice area of Environmental Law.  Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on a peer-review survey comprising more than 5.5 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys.  Mark has been included in Best Lawyers every year for over a decade.  Congratulations, Mark!
  • Notable Utility Related Bills Passed in 2014 Session

    Amanda James
    4 Aug 2014 | 3:03 pm
    The 2014 session of the Iowa General Assembly brought a few changes to the public utilities law practice in Iowa. Lawmakers focused their utility related discourse on tax credits for renewable energy, renewable fuels and solar energy, purview of the Iowa Utilities Board, water service requirements, delinquent customer accounts, and notice requirements for underground facilities. Below is a summary of notable utility related bills passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad. WIND ENERGY/ COGENERATION TAX CREDIT: The production tax credit for wind energy and other…
  • Finding Fault On-line in a No-Fault State

    Samantha Gronewald
    4 Aug 2014 | 1:04 pm
    Iowa is a "no fault" state.  Generally, this means that the conduct of either party leading up to the divorce cannot be used as a factor in awarding a property settlement or alimony.  The conduct of a party is; however, still relevant when it comes to issues such as child custody and visitation.  With social networking on the rise, your on-line conduct is something that will likely be closely scrutinized by your soon-to-be ex-spouse.  According to, a third of all U.S. divorce filings in 2011…
  • U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Pregnancy Discrimination Case

    Liz Overton
    25 Jul 2014 | 10:26 am
     On July 1, 2014, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Young v. UPS, Inc. to decide “whether and in what circumstances, an employer that provides work accommodations to nonpregnant employees with work limitations must provide work accommodations to pregnant employees who are ‘similar in their ability or inability to work.’” Young was a UPS “air driver” who became pregnant in 2006.  An air driver is responsible for delivering letters and packages for immediate delivery.  The letters and packages were typically light weight;…
  • Amanda James Joins Sullivan & Ward, P.C.

    Samantha Gronewald
    1 Jul 2014 | 9:04 am
    Amanda James has joined Sullivan & Ward, P.C. as an associate attorney.  Amanda graduated from Drake University Law School in 2008.  Since that time, she has focused her practice on public utility and regulatory work.  She will continue her work in these areas at Sullivan & Ward, P.C. 
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    Pink Tape

  • Performing Dog

    Lucy Reed
    16 Sep 2014 | 6:47 am
    I recall now (following my last post) that you all quite like it when I whinge and whine. So here goes, especially for you (as a much younger Kylie would have said). A whine about the law of unintended consequences. Bundles : Bundles now have to be agreed (*maniacal laughter*), prepared and lodged so early they practically need a pre-birth conference. Timetables are now under so much pressure that documents for a particular fixture have to be squeezed in at the 11th hour in order to make that fixture stand. Consequence? The index NEVER contains the most recent documents which are the very…
  • Information Commissioner v Fat Controller

    Lucy Reed
    14 Sep 2014 | 3:12 pm
    This week was a week of altogether too much train travel and Friday took the biscuit. (NB : This is a bit woe is me. I feel much better now…) Care brief (legal aid) for client who needs continuity of counsel. Distant court at out of town location. Ordered to be at court at 8.30am. No. That isn’t a typo. Travelled down the night before to make said 8.30 start, missing a fourth consecutive bedtime with the kids, aware that the Legal Aid Agency are almost certain to reject any claim for train or b&b or the taxi to court (even though it is not possible to get to on foot)…
  • The Children Act : Ian McEwan

    Lucy Reed
    12 Sep 2014 | 2:33 pm
    I wasn’t going to read this book, fearful of the same galling disappointment when Silk (in series 3) started to lose its sense of realism and go off into flights of legal fancy. But then I read Ian McEwan’s piece in the Graun on Saturday about the coming about of the book and decided to trek up to my local bookshop with kids in tow to buy this in anticipation of a long train journey. And here I am less than a week later and I’ve polished it off in two sittings. And I don’t have that sinking feeling I had by the end of Silk Series 3. It was pretty accurate as to law I…
  • Family Law Awards Voting Deadline is Monday!

    Lucy Reed
    3 Sep 2014 | 1:10 pm
    If you have not yet voted for your chosen candidate for the various Jordans Family Law awards you’d better get your skates on – the deadline is midnight on Monday. You can vote here for your choice of Commentator of the year Legal exec / paralegal of the year Support service of the year and the profiles of those shortlisted are here.
  • No Surprises There Then

    Lucy Reed
    3 Sep 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Took a trip to London this week and in the process missed both the evidence given on behalf of the family bar by FLBA Chair Susan Jacklin QC (and others) to the Justice Committee in the course of their LASPO enquiry and a chance to attend the open court hearing of the Ashya King case. Ah well. You can catch up with the evidence given by the FLBA and others on Parliament TV here, and read about the concerns expressed by – well, all of them – in a raft of articles in the Gazette and elsewhere. In short, it’s been a bit of a disaster since LASPO. As I say – no surprises…
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    Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

  • Doctor Loses License for Failure to Pay Child Support

    James J. Gross
    16 Sep 2014 | 10:41 am
    The Maryland Board of Physicians has suspended the medical license of Rockville eye surgeon, Michael Duplessie, for failure to pay child support. Duplessie, however, has left the country and opened an office in Kuwait. Duplessie owes more than $100,000 in past due child support.  The mother has several judgments against him. The Board says it has used its power to suspend a medical license in only four other cases.
  • Husband Jailed for Hiding Assets in Divorce

    James J. Gross
    11 Sep 2014 | 1:04 pm
    Promising that his wife would not get anything from him in his divorce, including child support, Steven K. Zinnel, 50, of California, filed bankruptcy in 2005.  He also asked the FBI to investigate his wife. That backfired when investigators learned that Zinnel himself was hiding millions of dollars of business and real estate assets in other people’s names. Federal officials said he was a narcissist and accused him of fraud on both the bankruptcy and family courts.  He was sentenced to 17 years and eight months in prison, fined $500,000 and forced to forfeit $2.8 million in assets.
  • Honey Maid Ad Targets Blended Families

    James J. Gross
    9 Sep 2014 | 8:26 am
    Honey Maid, which makes those delicious graham-crackers, is celebrating families that have been reconfigured by divorce. The company’s new advertising campaign is intended to send a message that: “Just because a family has broken up doesn’t mean they are broken.” Gary Osifhin, a marketing director with Honey Maid’s parent company, Mondelez International, points out that one in ten of the 73 million children in America live with a step-parent.  And 42% of American adults are part of a blended family.
  • Divorce Selfies

    James J. Gross
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:54 am
    Chris Gayomali reports that, shortly after their divorce, Keith Hinson and Michelle Knight of Florida took a picture of themselves, smiling and holding their divorce decree outside the courtroom. They posted it to Instagram with the caption, “We are officially un-married. Here’s to the most friendly, respectful, and loving split imaginable. We smile not because it’s over, but because it happened.” This will probabaly start a new trend of divorce selfies.
  • Four Prescriptions for a Happy Marriage

    James J. Gross
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:16 am
    John Gottman says there are just four prescriptions for a happy marriage: Turn toward your partner (both physically and psychologically). Say positive things. Celebrate the hard times you’ve been through. Look at the Goldfinch (look if your partner says there’s a Goldfinch in the backyard). The good thing is that these simple steps are within your control.  They are not hard to define like a “spark” or “that special something.”
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    Fathers' Rights Not Just Every Other Weekend

  • Child Support Collection Scam

    James J. Gross
    10 Sep 2014 | 11:13 am
    Stuart Cole and Mark Simpson set up several businesses including “Child Support Services” to collect child support payments, according to Howard Ain of WRKC in Cincinnati. Their business would come up first in an Internet search.  Many people thought they were a government agency. First they would obtain information about the payor.  Then they would send a letter saying “‘If you would like this to go away you can contact us at the number provided.”  The next letter would say that your driver’s license was suspended.  The next would say an arrest warrant has been…
  • Enforcing Visitation Schedules

    James J. Gross
    4 Sep 2014 | 11:19 am
    If a parent is withholding visitation in Maryland, DC or VA, and there is a custody order in place, we have to file a motion to show cause why that parent should not be held in contempt of court. Many clients have noticed the disparity in the enforcement of child support orders and visitation orders by the courts. Oklahoma has passed a new law that says a parent who denies visitation to a parent who is current on child support can face fines and be held responsible for attorney fees, mediation costs and court costs. There is a court form available at the clerk’s office and a hearing must be…
  • Lottery Intercept

    James J. Gross
    3 Sep 2014 | 11:15 am
    When lottery winners in Arkansas owe child support, they will find that amount deducted from their winnings. Arkansas passed a law in 2009 that requires the lottery to cooperate in identifying debtors who owe child support. The state has collected $26,382 in past due child support.  The Lottery also collects any unpaid state taxes.
  • Gambling Intercept

    James J. Gross
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:56 am
    Since 2011, Louisiana has collected more than $2 million in child support from intercepting the winnings of non-custodial parents at the state’s 19 gambling casinos. Other states with similar laws include Colorado, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio and West Virginia.
  • Jobs Over Jail-Time

    James J. Gross
    25 Aug 2014 | 11:33 am
    Clermont County, Ohio, has found a more practical solution than putting parents who can’t pay child support in jail.  It finds them jobs. Ohio was hit hard by the recession.  The jobs program, called Success Through Employment Program or STEP, was started in 2007 with a grant from the Ohio prison system.  It has a 47% placement rate. Once the parents find a job, they are able to help support their children, which makes a lot more sense than putting them in jail.
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    Family Law Source by Brian Vertz

  • Father Reasonably Withheld Support for College Tuition

    Brian Vertz
    14 Sep 2014 | 11:37 am
    Parents who are divorcing in Pennsylvania often express willingness to pay for their children’s college tuition when the time should come.  Some parents even put their commitment in writing. Yet, as this case demonstrates, circumstances may change from the time of the divorce settlement to the time when children matriculate in college, and an effective agreement will anticipate those changes.  The Superior Court of Pennsylvania examined one of those agreements in Mazurek v. Russell, 2014 PA Super 130 (June 24, 2014). In 2010, Mother and Father executed a marital settlement agreement, in…
  • Child Support Agreement Does not Limit Father’s Obligation

    Brian Vertz
    7 Sep 2014 | 11:41 am
    A recent Pennsylvania Superior Court decision considers: (a) whether a father’s child support obligation is limited by a settlement agreement; and (b) whether the court should assign an earning capacity to a mother who provides full time care for a special needs child. Morgan v. Morgan, 2014 PA Super 176  (Pa.Super.2014) Mother and Father in this case were divorced, and settled their economic claims by written agreement in Maryland in 2003.  The marital settlement agreement contained provisions for alimony and child support, which were fixed until July 1, 2007.  The settlement…
  • College Support Agreement Enforceable in Pennsylvania

    Brian Vertz
    7 Sep 2014 | 11:35 am
    Divorced and separated parents in Pennsylvania with children going off to college may wonder who is responsible for paying the tuition. A recent Superior Court court decision reminds us of the law governing college support in Pennsylvania. W.A.M. v. S.P.C., 2014 PA Super 139 (Pa.Super.2014) When Mother and Father divorced in Missouri in 2001, they settled their claims by written agreement, including a provision for child support. Their child support clause followed the contours of Missouri law, which requires the payment of child support until a child graduates from college or reaches age 22,…
  • Can Grandparents Have Custody if Both Parents are Working?

    Brian Vertz
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:51 am
    Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren in Pennsylvania, while the parents work, might wonder if they have legal custody rights under the law. A recent decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court (non-precedential) may contain an answer to that question.  In J.L. F.L .and L.L. v. A.A.M., No. 530 MDA 2014 (August 28, 2014), the mother and father resided with father’s parents when their son was born.  Father and Mother became separated, and initially agreed to a week-on, week-off custody arrangement. Mother then moved 4 hours away when her boyfriend’s job was…
  • Reality vs. Paternity: 17 Years is Too Late to Ask for DNA Paternity Test

    Brian Vertz
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:59 pm
    Men who pay child support in Pennsylvania to mothers who were never their wives may wonder whether the children they support are their own. These days, it is easy to administer a home paternity test and quickly learn whether there is a blood relation between the child and the man who is paying support. Yet, it’s a Pandora’s box, and once opened, the consequences might not be as one intended.  That’s what happened in a recent Superior Court decision (unpublished), D.S. v. S.S., No. 2037 WDA 2013 (August 22, 2014)(non-precedential). In D.S., a child was born in 1996 to an…
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    Blog entries

  • Lives in One State, Baby Lives in Another

    19 Sep 2014 | 6:52 am
    Question:I live in one state but have a three-month-old baby that lives in another state with her mother.I'm very concerned about how the courts will split parenting time between the mother and me.Can joint custody be given in tRead More...
  • Take the Survey About DadsDivorce's Upcoming Changes

    19 Sep 2014 | 6:34 am
    DadsDivorce readers will notice a new red banner at the top of the various pages on the site. This announces a survey regarding the DadsDivorce redesign and possible changes that will be made.Readers, whether frequent or infrequent, are encouraged to share their information through this survey to better inform the DadsDivorce team as to what changes should be implemented, what items should be left alone and how we want to go about making those particular changes to the site.OnRead More...
  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News - September 19, 2014

    19 Sep 2014 | 5:29 am
    DadsDivorce and MensDivorce as well as their sponsor, Cordell & Cordell, present a news video for the week of September 19, 2014.This week, Cordell & Cordell announced another free upcoming seminar, a Men's Divorce School event, which will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Those interested should register online.DadsDivorce published an article about a father who has time planned with his kids and and an ex who wants to know all schedule deRead More...
  • Week with the Kids & Ex-Wife Wants to Know All Details

    17 Sep 2014 | 4:37 am
    Question:I'm planning for a scheduled week with my kids where we'll go on day trips like visiting the zoo or the beach as well as just hang out. My ex is now saying that she wants my complete schedule and that I need to tell her our every activityRead More...
  • Deployed, Sent Divorce Papers & Told He Had a Daughter

    15 Sep 2014 | 1:58 am
    Question:My estranged ex left me after I was deployed overseas in the Navy. She never contacted me except to send me divorce papers and let me know, for the first time ever, that I have a daughter.I have never gotten to meet or see my dRead More...
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    Marilyn Stowe Blog

  • Domestic violence: campaigners call for legal aid change

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Campaigners gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London yesterday to publicise their challenge to the current legal aid rules. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) effectively eliminated legal aid for all family law cases between individuals, such as divorce. While there is an exception in the Act for domestic violence cases, campaign group Rights of Women claim the evidence level required to qualify for legal aid is too high. As things stand, if someone wishes to allege domestic violence, they must produce certain evidence against their partner.
  • International Surrogacy: A Guide by Joanna Kay

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:17 am
    Babies Gammy and Pipah, the twins born under a surrogacy arrangement, are back in the news today. The commissioning couple took Pipah to live with them in Australia and left Gammy, who has health issues, with the surrogate mother who is based in Thailand. The surrogate mother has now said that she hopes to travel to Australia to see baby Pipah.  Their story highlights the difficulties involved in international surrogacy. Different countries have different surrogacy laws.  For example, in the UK, making a commercial surrogacy arrangement is a criminal offence whereas in some other countries…
  • What family lawyers were talking about this week… by John Bolch

    John Bolch
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:44 am
    It has been a fairly quiet week for family law news. I think perhaps that the possibility of a different kind of divorce – between Scotland and the rest of the UK – has occupied the minds of family lawyers (and many others), rather more than anything else. Still, there have been some gongs-on: As I mentioned here in this post, data from National Family Mediation (‘NFM’), the largest provider of family mediation in England and Wales, has shown a significant rise in the take-up of its services in the first six months of 2014. Jane Robey, Chief Executive of NFM, said: “Whilst family…
  • Restoration of legal aid is ‘imperative’

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:35 am
    The restoration of legal aid for civil and family law cases is “imperative”, a new report claims. The Bar Council conducted an online survey of legal practitioners in April to assess the effects of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). They also conducted interviews with several professionals between May and July. The conclusion of the report called for an expansion of the parameters required for a case to be eligible for “exceptional funding”. The Bar Council recommended that such an expansion include cases which are of “overwhelming importance to…
  • Chinese province launches trial divorce service

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:04 am
    A marriage guidance counsellor in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi has launched a ‘trial divorce’ scheme to help struggling couples. Spouses in the region who have grown tired of each other can opt for a ‘trial divorce’, separating for a period of time rather than legally ending their marriages. To date counsellor Tong Xin has launched trial divorce in provincial capital Nanchang, nearby Jiujiang, and other locations within Jiangxi. The counsellor told People’s Daily: “Many cases of divorce were driven by impulse. ‘Trial divorce’ gives the two sides a chance…
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    Michael C. Craven | Divorce Lawyers Chicago

  • The Baby Boomer Divorce Trend

    Michael C Craven
    9 Sep 2014 | 1:27 pm
    Baby Boomer Divorces I recently read an article that the divorce rate was on a slight decline from the generally accepted 50 percent rate. Although it is difficult to obtain completely accurate divorce statistics, as a divorce lawyer, I was interested to search deeper into the topic. While I struggled to find credible sources to confirm the precise national divorce rate, I found a commonality among all studies regarding divorce trends: baby boomers have the highest, and still growing, divorce rates among all age groups in the nation. Divorce trends among baby boomers Until the 1970’s, no…
  • The Media Glamorizes Celebrity Divorce

    Michael C Craven
    13 Aug 2014 | 12:31 pm
    Media’s Glamorization of Divorce In the past weeks, each time I’ve searched ‘divorce’ online, endless articles about Jay-Z and Beyonce’s apparently broken relationship come up. The articles speculate every aspect of their divorce, from warning signs of their rocky relationship, rumored infidelity, how their divorce will affect their concert tour, what will happen to their daughter and more. Even though there has never been an official separation or divorce announcement, fans across the world quickly devour these articles. Similarly, every time I pass by magazines for sale, I…
  • Fighting for Sole Custody: When is it Worth The Battle?

    Michael C Craven
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:49 am
    Obtaining Sole Custody In divorce cases that involve children, two different types of custody can be granted: joint or sole custody. Through my experience as a divorce lawyer in Chicago, I have seen that the majority of cases settle with a joint parenting agreement. However, I recognize the importance of my clients understanding all custody options so that they can make informed decisions. What is sole legal custody? Oftentimes, people think that if a parent has sole custody of a child, this means that the child lives with that parent the majority of the time. While a parent with sole custody…
  • Health Care Power of Attorney Make-Over

    Michael C Craven
    10 Jul 2014 | 11:36 am
    Health Care Power of Attorney As a Chicago divorce attorney with a background in estate planning, I am aware of the benefits of estate planning before, during and after divorce.  A Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) is an important part of an estate plan. Illinois’ General Assembly unanimously passed Senate Bill 3228 and it was sent to the Governor for his signature June 27.  The bill amends the HCPOA Act. Once signed by Governor Quinn, the new law will become effective January 1, 2015. A HCPOA is used by individuals to name another person, known as a health care agent, to make health…
  • Celebrity Style Separation: “Conscious Uncoupling”

    Michael C Craven
    2 Jul 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Conscious Uncoupling Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin have been receiving an unusually large amount of attention surrounding their announcement to separate. This attention isn’t stemming from the public’s shock about the decision, but rather about how they have decided to separate – by ‘consciously uncoupling’. While reactions have ranged from confusion to criticism, as a Chicago divorce lawyer, the previously little-known concept is intriguing. What is conscious uncoupling? The term, officially coined by marriage therapist Katherine Woodward Thomas in 2009, refers to a mindset to…
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    Scaling the Summit: Divorce, Families, & Options

  • MA SJC Rules on Parent Coordinator Orders: Asks Probate Court to make a Rule

    15 Sep 2014 | 9:01 am
    In the case of Bower v. Bournay-Bower, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that Judges in the Probate and Family Court cannot grant a Parent Coordinator binding authority over the objection of one of the parties.  However, the SJC went much further then necessary in order to open the door for what might be the "appropriate circumstances" to order a Parent Coordinator.In Bower, the SJC summarized the trial judge's order as requiring a parent coordinator to:"hear the parties' current and future disputes regarding custody and visitation in the first instance, before the…
  • Collaborative Law Intro Training 2014

    7 Aug 2014 | 4:40 am
    Kelsey & Trask's Justin Kelsey will be one of the presenters at the upcoming 2014 Collaborative Law Training:presents an Introduction to Collaborative Law Practice 2014:An Interdisciplinary, Interactive, Step-by-Step Training to Offer A Better Approach to Conflict Resolution.This is a three day introductory training taking place on September 11, 12 & 13, 2014 which will proceed step-by-step through the collaborative process. The program is designed for social workers, psychologists, and other licensed mental health professionals, financial professionals, family law…
  • A Lecture in Myanmar

    6 Aug 2014 | 6:51 pm
    For 9 days this past July, Valerie Kua, an associate at Kelsey & Trask, P.C., had the opportunity  to visit the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (formerly Burma) through the Seed of Hope Foundation.  As part of this visit, on Friday, July 18, Valerie presented a lecture on the American legal system at the University of Mawlamyine.Myanmar is the second largest country in Southeast Asia bordering Laos, Thailand, China, Bangladesh and India.  Then known as Burma, Myanmar became an independent nation in 1948 and has spent much of that time in civil war.  Today Myanmar is…
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: 7 More Lessons from the SJC

    1 Aug 2014 | 8:28 am
    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has released another opinion that addresses some of the questions still surrounding the Alimony Reform Act of 2011. Zaleski v. Zaleski - SJC 11391 (2014). In Zaleski, the Appeals Court addressed four primary issues in the lower court's decision:Rehabilitative Alimony ordered instead of General Term Alimony - AFFIRMEDHusband's bonus income not included in alimony amount calculation - REMANDEDWife ordered to maintain life insurance for her child related obligations - REMANDEDProperty Division not exactly equal - AFFIRMEDWe've summarized the take-away…
  • Can Alimony continue past Retirement in Massachusetts under the new law?

    24 Jul 2014 | 9:52 am
    Part of the significant ground-swell of support for a change to Massachusetts alimony laws came after the Pierce decision, which ordered alimony to continue past retirement.  While a quick reading of the new alimony statute might lead you to believe otherwise, there are a number of scenarios in which alimony could (and in many cases) will still continue past retirement age.The Alimony Reform Act of 2011, which became effective on March 1, 2012 provides for multiple types of alimony, and for maximum amounts and duration of alimony.  Any alimony orders that were in effect prior…
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    Lawdiva's Blog

  • Debunking the Myths About Canada’s Proposed Prostitution Law

    Georgialee Lang
    18 Sep 2014 | 11:35 am
    The Harper government’s new prostitution Bill C-36, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, has polarized stakeholders as evidenced in the ongoing hearings before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, with no consensus among social service agencies who provide support to prostitutes, among prostitutes themselves, or among legal analysts and lawyers who study the issues. Those who condemn Bill C-36 and favour full legalization of prostitution in Canada focus their remarks on the following arguments: 1. Prostitutes choose to work in the sex industry and…
  • Divorce Fraud Leads to 17 years in Prison

    Georgialee Lang
    11 Sep 2014 | 4:39 am
    California businessman Steven Zinnel, age 50, thought he could get away with cheating his wife, his two teenage children, and the bankruptcy court, but he was wrong….boy was he wrong! Zinnel and his wife, of Gold River, separated in 1999. By 2001 their uncoupling got even more ugly when he told his wife she would get nothing, no assets or support because he was filing for bankruptcy. Zinnel systematically funnelled millions of dollars into the names of other persons and true to his word, filed for voluntary bankruptcy in 2005. He also laundered money through shell corporations in order…
  • Happy Ending for Local Child Abduction Case

    Georgialee Lang
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:37 am
    Not all abduction cases end in the disappointment of “no return” or even death, like little Amber Lucius. Early last month I became involved in a child abduction case that spanned the globe from Portugal to Vancouver to Corner Brook Newfoundland. The parents of a nine-year-old girl named Lauren moved from their long-time home of Vancouver to Portugal three years ago. They settled in and Lauren’s mom who was a Canadian citizen applied for and was granted Portuguese citizenship as did Lauren, who was born in Canada. Their new life began, Lauren was registered in school and by…
  • Alberta Child Who Was Abducted Found Dead

    Georgialee Lang
    6 Sep 2014 | 2:08 pm
    In a heart wrenching story out of Alberta today, we learned that nine-year-old Amber Lucius was abducted by her mother, and later found dead in a truck parked on a country road in Millet, a farming community outside of Calgary with a population of 2,000. Her mother was with her when she was discovered. How could this have happened and what can be done to prevent the violence that rears its ugly head in high-conflict custody battles between warring parents? Amber’s parents, Laura Coward and Duane Lucius, were married in 2004 and separated three years later in 2007. In the beginning of…
  • Airplane Carrying Abducted Child Ordered to Return to the US

    Georgialee Lang
    5 Sep 2014 | 3:43 pm
    Linda Liu no doubt thought she had made good on her clandestine departure from Washington DC after she successfully boarded an American Airlines jet last evening bound for Beijing with her 4-year-old son and her mother. That is, until the Federal Bureau of Investigation was alerted and the airline was ordered to return to its home base despite completing five hours of its flight to China. After Ms. Liu (also known as Wenjing Liu,) a Chinese citizen, and  her husband, William Ruifrok, an American citizen,  separated in 2013 they entered into a custody agreement that provided for joint…
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    Farzad Family Law

  • Family Code 218 Overrules Marriage of Boblitt Decision and Allows Post Judgment Discovery

    Robert Farzad
    30 Aug 2014 | 9:21 am
    Family Code 218 will become law on January 1, 2015 and will overrule the Boblitt decision. But did the California legislature overcomplicate this law? Family Code 218 is not law yet. It will become law on January 1, 2015. What is it? Simply put, Family Code 218 is intended to overrule a decision called Marriage of Boblitt, which was decided in February of 2014 by the California Court of Appeal in Sacramento. Leave it to those Northern California types to come up with this decision, right? First, let’s look at some important background information to understand how we got here. Common…
  • California Family Law Vexatious Litigant Motions Stop the Harassment

    Robert Farzad
    20 Aug 2014 | 8:54 pm
    Vexatious litigant motions in California family law cases can be a savior against an uncontrollable ex spouse or parent who keeps taking you back to court on frivolous requests. Learn more about them in this article. California family law cases can be stressful. But when you have an ex-spouse or parent who is a vexatious litigant, that stress can go to another level. Tell me if this sounds familiar? He or she keeps filing frivolous requests with the family court, causing hearing dates and you win at every one. But the person won’t stop. This process has caused you stress, money and you have…
  • Parental Conflict After Divorce and an Interview with Dr. Max Wachtel.

    Robert Farzad
    6 Aug 2014 | 8:56 pm
    Parental conflict during and after divorce doesn’t have to be an end to co-parenting and effective communication. Learn how to manage conflict and use it to evolve. There is so much emphasis placed on the goal of “no conflict” parenting today. But is the elimination of parental conflict after separation or divorce realistic? Especially after a father and mother have gone through a bitter separation or divorce? In this article, we will discuss where parental conflict starts, how decisions today make a big impact on future conflict, how to use parental conflict to become a better…
  • Parental Gatekeeping and Breaking Barriers in Child Custody Disputes

    Robert Farzad
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:59 pm
    If you want to learn about parental gatekeeping in child custody disputes in California, you came to the right place. We hope you enjoy this article. Parental gatekeeping in California child custody disputes is an old and ongoing problem. Maternal gatekeeping is more dominant than the paternal kind but both can create barriers toward co-parenting, communication, quality time between a parent and child and, ultimately, alienation of affection. In this comprehensive article, we will address parental gatekeeping in child custody disputes, what it is, how it is used, the intent behind it and what…
  • What are Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer at the Consultation and Before Hiring One?

    Robert Farzad
    28 Jun 2014 | 10:58 pm
    You got questions? But are they the right ones? Here, we go through what we believe to be the first five questions to ask a divorce lawyer at a consultation and before you hire one. Here are the top five questions to ask a divorce lawyer at a consultation and before you hire one, to determine if he or she is a good fit for you. We know this entire selection process can be stressful, which is why we wrote this article to help you get started. These questions are only intended for California divorce attorneys. If you have a matter out-of-state, please consult with an attorney in your state.
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    Arizona Family Law

  • Collaborative Divorce One Way to Avoid the Courts

    JacksonWhite Law
    18 Sep 2014 | 11:00 am
    In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Mike Miller, it gave some insight into receiving a collaborative divorce instead of going to the courts. The Facts about Collaborative Divorce Collaborative divorce began in the 1980s in Minneapolis when lawyers decided to avoid the courts during a divorce. Instead, clients and their attorneys “pledge not to go to court.” The result of this pledge promises that new attorneys would need to be obtained to start the process all over again. As Miller said, this provides “a real incentive to reach a settlement.” Collaborative divorce…
  • California Giving Legal Rights to Nontraditional Families

    JacksonWhite Law
    16 Sep 2014 | 11:00 am
    There are two bills that California is looking to pass that help give more rights to nontraditional families. Bill for Custodial Rights for Gay Parents The governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed legislation that replaces references to marriage as “between a man and a woman” with the word “spouse.” This new legislation is the result of California legalizing gay marriage. However, custodial rights of children for these couples have yet to be addressed by legislation. But a new bill that Senate is looking at might change this. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is behind the AB2344 bill,…
  • Why Divorces Are More Common with Female Firstborn Children

    JacksonWhite Law
    11 Sep 2014 | 11:00 am
    In a study done by the National Longitudinal Study of Youth in 1979, it found that couples that tend to get divorce usually have had a firstborn daughter instead of a son. However, in a recent study done by researchers Amar Hamoudi and Jenna Nobles, firstborn daughters may not be the cause of divorce but just happen to be a concurrence of events. Stress during Pregnancy that Leads to Divorce The new study found a link between daughters and divorce as a result of stress during pregnancy. These researchers found that if a pregnant woman is having stress due to relationship issues, female…
  • Why Divorces Are More Common with Female Firstborn Children

    JacksonWhite Law
    9 Sep 2014 | 11:00 am
    In a study done by the National Longitudinal Study of Youth in 1979, it found that couples that tend to get divorce usually have had a firstborn daughter instead of a son. However, in a recent study done by researchers Amar Hamoudi and Jenna Nobles, firstborn daughters may not be the cause of divorce but just happen to be a concurrence of events. Stress during Pregnancy that Leads to Divorce The new study found a link between daughters and divorce as a result of stress during pregnancy. These researchers found that if a pregnant woman is having stress due to relationship issues, female…
  • The Scapegoat or Cinderella Effect

    JacksonWhite Law
    4 Sep 2014 | 8:26 am
    Recent studies show that it is not uncommon for one-two children to receive abuse, while their siblings remain perfectly healthy. Judith Cohen, a medical director for a hospital, explains that employees at the hospital have definitely seen signs of this. There are various reasons these children could be singled out, from gender or physical features to behavioral issues. This phenomenon is referred to as scapegoating or the Cinderella phenomenon. Daphne Young, vice president of communications and prevention education at Childhelp, explained “It’s hard to tell what turns on the switch, but…
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    Fairfax Family Law Blog

  • Despite higher car accidents risk, teens' cars are often unsafe

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    18 Sep 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Driving is probably one of the most common, yet also most dangerous, activities that Virginia residents engage in on a daily basis. The risk of car accidents is great and can result from any number of factors, including road conditions, weather conditions, a driver's own bad driving habits or loss of control, or a negligent or distracted driver. Many people often focus on inexperience when discussing the potential dangers related to teenage drivers yet few sources have discussed safety in terms of a teen driver's car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Arlington, Virginia, recently…
  • Understanding a traumatic brain injury

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    10 Sep 2014 | 12:14 pm
    Many Virginia residents are well-aware of the risks posed by a traumatic brain injury (TBI), as seen in increased education efforts and improved equipment and policies in sporting events. Unfortunately, many people still do not understand the facts about traumatic brain injuries. Knowing how and when a TBI can occur and what can be done in response is one of the best ways to reduce the number of people who suffer long-term damage after a head trauma. The definition of a TBI is an injury suffered by a person when he or she experiences trauma that causes damage to the brain. The two ways of…
  • When can someone be liable for a dangerous property condition?

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    4 Sep 2014 | 7:58 am
    Owners and even residents, in some cases, owe a duty of reasonable care to people who come onto the property with the owner's consent and at the owner's invitation. This category of people generally consists of customers or patrons-people whose presence on the property benefits both the property owner and the visitor. Because store owners or the owners of other public places are specifically intending for members of the general public to frequent their premises, they are responsible for ensuring that the premises are safe and do not pose unreasonable hazards to those who come onto the…
  • Legal remedies available to those injured by a defective product

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    27 Aug 2014 | 1:23 pm
    It can come as a shock to realize that a product that you purchased and used, thinking it was safe for its marketed purpose, caused injury, harm or illness to you or a loved one. Unfortunately, harm resulting from an unsafe or defective product is all too common. Anyone injured as the result of their use of a product should be aware of the potential legal remedies that exist to protect their rights and interests. Filing a products liability lawsuit is a way to both recover financial compensation that can address the losses and damages sustained and also to encourage companies to improve their…
  • Tragic rear-end collision results in death of man

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    20 Aug 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Because rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car crashes, many people think they are not as serious as other types of collisions, such as a head-on collision. However, a rear-end collision can result in serious injury or even death in many cases, depending on the sequence of events after the initial crash. Many car accidents have a domino-effect, which can end up resulting in a serious accident that involves several vehicles. A rear-end collision in Virginia ultimately ended up causing the death of one man and serious injuries to two children when all three occupants were…
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  • Ready for the Road: How to Obtain Your Motorcycle License

    Biker Law
    25 Aug 2014 | 1:18 am
    Image courtesy of markus spiske / Flickr Creative Commons The bike life is addicting. People from across the world are intrigued by the freedom that riding a motorcycle offers. It is just as adventurous as it is relaxing. Some bikes are built for speed and provide the necessary thrill that often gets sucked right out of life. Others are built for cruising and allow the riders to take a well-needed step away from the fast-paced lives they already lead. The best thing about the bike life is that it doesn’t discriminate. Both men and women are riders. There is a space for anyone and everyone…
  • Top 4 Roads That you Need to Ride Once in Your Lifetime

    Dewayne Jasper
    4 Aug 2014 | 1:32 am
    Today’s Blog post is written by Dewayne Jasper who has been riding for over 6 years and currently rides a Kawasaki Ninja ZX6Rand had a pleasing experience throughout the tour, breath taking scenic views. We all have that one motorcycle trip that we’ve been planning for years. You may have dreamt of going to Europe, riding through villages centuries old on your dream bike, or just enjoying a scenic ride through the Grand Canyon.  If you need help planning your next motorcycle trip, here is a list of our favorite roads you should consider riding at least once in your lifetime. Pacific…
  • Tips for Making an Injury Claim After an Accident

    Biker Law
    21 Jul 2014 | 1:12 am
    An evening ride can turn horribly wrong in a matter of seconds. A biker swerves onto the shoulder to avoid getting sideswiped by an SUV and gets ejected off her bike and onto incoming traffic.Her biker buddies drop their bikes to avoid hitting her. They all suffer road rash, broken bones and other serious injuries. It’s a story ripped straight from the headlines and is told more often than we realize. The number of people killed in motorcycle crashes in Florida and nationwide is steadily increasing, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Florida, Texas and California have…
  • Tips on Buying your First Motorcycle

    Biker Law
    7 Jul 2014 | 12:54 am
    If you’re interested in purchasing an alternative mode of transportation, a motorcycle can be a great option. Motorcycles are fuel-efficient, have low insurance costs, and most drivers find them more exciting than driving a car. Before you make the purchase, here are a few tips to consider when buying your first motorcycle. Image Courtesy of the US Navy Assess Your Needs One of the first things you should do when considering a motorcycle purchase is assess your needs. Will you be driving long distances? Will there be lots of traffic? How often will you be taking the highway? These questions…
  • Moped Laws in Florida

    Biker Law
    16 Jun 2014 | 1:03 am
    With increases in gas prices and warm summer months ahead, more people are turning to mopeds as an economical way to get from one destination to the next. Mopeds are slow-moving motorized bicycles with speeds of no more than 30 mph on level ground. In Florida, a moped is defined as having: A seat for the rider 3 wheels or less A motor of two-brake horsepower or less Pedals that allow the rider to propel the vehicle An automatic power drive system that doesn’t require the rider to manually change gears Displacement of 50 cc or less Image Courtesy of Steven Worster on Flickr Operating a moped…
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    Family Law Express Brief

  • What is Family Violence according to the Family Courts?

    Julie cheung
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:41 pm
    Following 2012 family law reforms (often referred to as the family violence amendments to the family law act), the definition of family violence  has significantly expanded. This article will look at the definition of family violence (also known as domestic violence) in more detail to see what kinds of behaviour could fall under this new definition. More generally, this article aims to create a greater awareness of the different types of family violence that are now considered by the family law courts as family violence. This includes a range of behaviours that most people would not…
  • Family Law Reform in Australia: Experts and Lobby Groups

    Valerie Cortes
    12 Sep 2014 | 7:44 am
    Although there are various government agencies whose specific role it is advise and recommend on family law changes to government, there are also numerous individuals considered experts in the broader field of family law who have been relied upon to provide advise and recommendations. The federal government has at times relied on research grants afforded to various experts in family law reform, in order to review (and at times endorse) the options available for reform at that point in time. This approach has however at times been controversial when governments have selected notably partisan…
  • Everything you need to know about Family Trusts: Part 1

    Dinesh Munasinha
    20 Aug 2014 | 8:02 pm
    The notion of having a Family Trust is viewed by many as too complicated, prone to high risk, a facilitator of family disputes and with little to ultimately gain in financial terms. There have also been a number of high profile cases in the public domain of Family Trusts that have not been set up or managed properly, at times leading to significant tax penalties and family disputes for those involved. However, it need not be that way. For those who set a Family Trust properly , it is considered one of the best legal tools to help better distribute the wealth of the family and make substantial…
  • Relocation After Divorce – Factors the Courts Consider

    Joe Azzi
    20 Aug 2014 | 3:01 am
    Relocation is indeed a very important aspect that tends to arise with instances of divorce. It basically refers to the post separation process whereby a parent decides to move (or relocate) from the region in which he/she previously raised their children with their partner. As expected, one parent moving a distance away from the other is bound to cause problems – particularly concerning shared custody. One of the primary reason this is such a disputed issue is that it is not clearly addressed in family law; in other words there is no concrete structure to enforce it by as we see with other…
  • Do Not Resuscitate: Who Decides?

    Manisharaj Kaur Pannu
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:14 am
    A ‘DNR order’ (Do Not Resuscitate) is a medical order to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques. Various terms have been used to describe such an order including ‘No CPR’, NFR (not for resuscitation), NFAR (not for attempted resuscitation), DNAR (do not attempt resuscitation), and AND (allow natural death). Such an order informs the health care team that in the event of a cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation will not be conducted.1. Measures will then be provided to promote comfort during the dying process. Given the seriousness of the consequences of a DNR…
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    The Sampair Group | Legal Blog

  • Engagement Rings and Divorce

    Sampair Legal Blog
    9 Sep 2014 | 1:18 am
    When you get engaged you are not thinking about the possibility that your marriage could end. The engagement ring is a hopeful and joyous symbol and a promise of commitment.  An engagement is a time of anticipation and happiness. When your marriage ends, the engagement ring can become a point of contention because it is so valuable. It is also an important symbol of the intentions that went into the marriage. What happens to it and who has the right to own it after a divorce are important questions. Because the engagement ring is such a symbolic and emotional item, you may wonder why someone…
  • Co-Parenting When Communication is Difficult

    Sampair Legal Blog
    8 Sep 2014 | 1:15 am
    Co-parenting is often challenging. However when you have an ex who is very difficult to communicate with, co-parenting becomes infinitely more difficult.  Co-parenting is essential in helping your child thrive after divorce. When parents can communicate and work together, children feel more secure after the end of the marriage. Successful co-parenting is built on trust and open communication, so making it work when communication breaks down is not ideal. If you are in this situation, you have to do the best you can under the circumstances. Follow these tips to improve or manage your…
  • How to Get Your Kids to Go on Visitation

    Sampair Legal Blog
    5 Sep 2014 | 1:13 am
    Agreeing out your parenting time plan takes a lot of work and once it is in place, you hope things will go smoothly. While most kids adapt to the new schedule, some have some difficulty with it and some may even refuse to go on scheduled parenting time visits. Don’t be surprised if you are faced with tantrums, refusals to go with the other parent, refusals to communicate at all with the other parent, and complaints about how horrible visitation is. It’s really hard to make your child go when he makes it clear how much he does not want to. You’re torn between your child’s expressed…
  • Divorce Vocabulary

    Sampair Legal Blog
    4 Sep 2014 | 1:10 am
    When you go through a divorce, you may encounter many legal terms you are unfamiliar with. Understanding what these terms mean will make it easier to go through the process. Community Property: All assets acquired during marriage in Arizona are community property and are divided equally in the divorce. Default Hearing: When the respondent does not respond to the divorce papers, the case continues without him and a default hearing is held to complete the divorce. Dissolution of Marriage: This is another term for a divorce. Early Resolution Management Conference: Every case where the parties…
  • How to Establish Paternity in Arizona

    Sampair Legal Blog
    3 Sep 2014 | 1:08 am
    Determining a child’s paternity has important implications for both parents and child. It is important for a child to know who his father is and be able to develop a bond and relationship with him. This also creates extended family relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Determining paternity eases questions in the adults’ minds and creates clear family relationships and responsibilities. Establishing paternity is also important because it creates several legal rights: The child has the right to inherit from and receive benefits through her father The father has the…
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  • Do I Need a Barrister?

    Flo Mitchell
    17 Sep 2014 | 4:18 pm
    Barristers are different from solicitors in a variety of ways and are employed for different reasons. Most barristers work out of chambers located in the city, and are trained specifically in the justice and court system. As a result, they spend most of their time in the court room. Barristers combine a thorough understanding of the law and the rules of the courts, which they develop from frequent appearances in court and tribunals. They act as the legal representative of a client and provide advice and opinions in complex legal matters. Barristers are highly trained in advocacy work and can…
  • What is misrepresentation?

    Flo Mitchell
    11 Sep 2014 | 7:20 pm
    Misrepresentation is a false statement of fact made by one party which induces the other party’s decision to enter into the contract. A contract is usually rendered void when a person has been induced to enter into it through misrepresentation. If you have been the victim of a misrepresentation, an experienced misrepresentation lawyer is essential for pursuing the case as they will know how to proceed and can advise you about the expected outcomes. There are three types of misrepresentation that can occur: • Innocent – a misrepresentation made entirely without fault; • Negligent…
  • Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution

    4 Aug 2014 | 12:01 am
    Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures are suitable for settling disputes out of court and are generally faster and less expensive than litigation. ADR gives parties in dispute the opportunity to work through disputed issues with the help of a neutral third party. When used correctly, ADR puts the parties in control, by giving them an opportunity to voice their perspectives and have a say in the final decision. It also focuses on the issues that are most important to the people in the dispute and helps them come up with creative and flexible options by establishing what each party…
  • How to Recover a Debt

    16 Jul 2014 | 10:42 pm
    How to Recover a Debt If someone owes you money and won’t pay there are strategies you can use to recover the debt. Having an effective method to ensure debts are paid is vital for the longevity of any business, while the right course of action depends on the size of the debt and your ability to prove you are owed the money. If payment has not been received within a set time after a final notice has been sent to the debtor, enlist the help of a debt recovery lawyer to assist with proceedings. To recover a debt you can issue a letter of demand to the debtor, that states there are outstanding…
  • Defamation vs Free Speech

    2 Jul 2014 | 11:06 pm
    Defamation vs Free Speech According to Brian Martin, Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong, the law of defamation hinders free speech and protects powerful people from scrutiny. He actively investigates “suppression of dissent” and writes articles on his findings. In his informative leaflet, Defamation law and free speech, which can be found on his website, he focuses on providing information and options for people who may be threatened by legal action or who may be worried about something they want to say. Martin defines defamation as anything that injures a…
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