Family Law

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  • Every child is entitled to a permanent and stable home

    Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog
    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…
  • Student Loans and Divorce

    The Stevens Firm, P.A.
    Ben Stevens
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Everyone’s heard about the growing student loan problem facing the country. Millions of young people are left to take out more and more educational debt to finance increasingly expensive undergraduate and graduate degrees. While college can be pricey by itself, the financial burden associated with a medical, legal or business degree can be truly enormous. How does divorce impact such educational debt? Who is left footing the bill for student loan debt when a marriage ends? Premarital Student Loans and Divorce A common misconception is that once a couple marries, all debts, including student…
  • Gupta-Kagan: "Non-Exclusive Adoption and Child Welfare"

    Family Law Prof Blog
    Family Law
    30 Oct 2014 | 6:36 am
    Josh Gupta-Kagan has posted Non-Exclusive Adoption and Child Welfare, Alabama Law Review (forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: This Article proposes that child welfare law permit the non-exclusive adoption of foster children who cannot reunify with their parents —...
  • Penalties for Failing to Pay Child Support in South Carolina

    The Stevens Firm, P.A.
    Ben Stevens
    29 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Though you may have heard stories about it, most parents do not have a good understanding of the penalties for failing to pay child support and just how wide-ranging the possible punishments can be. Keep reading to get a better idea of the kind of tools the government can use to collect money owed for child support. Go after your money If you aren’t making child support payments in accordance with your Court Order, one of the first things that can be done is to go after your money. This happens in several different ways, the most common of which is wage garnishment / income withholding.
  • The Downsides to Representing Yourself in a Divorce Case

    The Stevens Firm, P.A.
    Ben Stevens
    28 Oct 2014 | 7:05 am
    In an attempt to save money during a South Carolina divorce or separation, it might cross your mind to try to represent yourself. Many people assume acting as your own lawyer (known as “pro se” representation) is a good way to save big bucks. However, while it may save some expense on the front end by not paying legal fees, if you are considering representing yourself in a divorce case, you should certainly consider the costs associated with acting as your own attorney. Don’t understand the law The first downside to representing yourself in a South Carolina divorce or separation is the…
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    The Stevens Firm, P.A.

  • Halloween Safety Tips for Children

    Ben Stevens
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Today’s the big day. Tricks? Treats? Both? I will be taking our kids tonight for our annual pilgrimage to a local scare-the-ever-loving-heck-out-of-you haunted house. For those of you with younger children who still enjoy trick-or-treating, consider the following Halloween safety tips: Don’t let your kids eat any candy until you inspect it There are many good reasons to implement this policy, whether to check for food allergies or to ensure nothing sinister is going on. Make sure your children know that no matter how tempting it may be, they should not eat any candy until you have…
  • Student Loans and Divorce

    Ben Stevens
    30 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Everyone’s heard about the growing student loan problem facing the country. Millions of young people are left to take out more and more educational debt to finance increasingly expensive undergraduate and graduate degrees. While college can be pricey by itself, the financial burden associated with a medical, legal or business degree can be truly enormous. How does divorce impact such educational debt? Who is left footing the bill for student loan debt when a marriage ends? Premarital Student Loans and Divorce A common misconception is that once a couple marries, all debts, including student…
  • Penalties for Failing to Pay Child Support in South Carolina

    Ben Stevens
    29 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Though you may have heard stories about it, most parents do not have a good understanding of the penalties for failing to pay child support and just how wide-ranging the possible punishments can be. Keep reading to get a better idea of the kind of tools the government can use to collect money owed for child support. Go after your money If you aren’t making child support payments in accordance with your Court Order, one of the first things that can be done is to go after your money. This happens in several different ways, the most common of which is wage garnishment / income withholding.
  • The Downsides to Representing Yourself in a Divorce Case

    Ben Stevens
    28 Oct 2014 | 7:05 am
    In an attempt to save money during a South Carolina divorce or separation, it might cross your mind to try to represent yourself. Many people assume acting as your own lawyer (known as “pro se” representation) is a good way to save big bucks. However, while it may save some expense on the front end by not paying legal fees, if you are considering representing yourself in a divorce case, you should certainly consider the costs associated with acting as your own attorney. Don’t understand the law The first downside to representing yourself in a South Carolina divorce or separation is the…
  • Which Parent Can Make Children’s Medical Decisions?

    Ben Stevens
    27 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Though most parents try to work together when it comes to handling children’s medical decisions, there are some cases where the parents are completely opposed to one another’s views and no amount of talking will resolve the dispute. If the parents are still married, they have equal decision making ability for their children, but if they are not, it can be confusing to understand these rights with regard to such a tricky issue. Check Your Agreement or Order If you and the other parent have a dispute about children’s medical decisions, look first to your custody agreement or court…
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    family law news - Google News

  • Chief Judge Brenda Weaver Receives Award for Creating the Appalachian ... -

    31 Oct 2014 | 8:51 am
    Chief Judge Brenda Weaver Receives Award for Creating the Appalachian Fetchyournews.comOn October 23rd, Chief Judge Weaver, Chief Juvenile Judge John E. Worcester, and members of the Family Law Center's staff, attended a banquet at the State Bar of Georgia Headquarters and accepted the honor. This award is presented by the Access to ...and more »
  • Re DM [2014] EWHC 3119 (Fam) - Family Law Week

    31 Oct 2014 | 6:15 am
    Re DM [2014] EWHC 3119 (Fam)Family Law WeekAs Miss Cavanagh, who today appears on behalf of the local authority, points out, that passage, as so much in modern family law does, has its origins in the Cleveland Report. At page 246 of that report, paragraph 4(e) states: "Parents should be
  • G (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1365 - Family Law Week

    31 Oct 2014 | 5:59 am
    G (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1365Family Law WeekDr Squier had apparently mentioned on the phone to the mother's solicitors at the time of instruction that there were "some problems arising from the family court" but had not expanded on the matter. Their subsequent ... No application was made or
  • West Sussex County Council v H [2014] EWHC 2550 (Fam) - Family Law Week

    31 Oct 2014 | 5:59 am
    West Sussex County Council v H [2014] EWHC 2550 (Fam)Family Law WeekThe jurisdiction issue has arisen in the context of care proceedings issued in April 2014 in the Family Court sitting in Brighton. The matter has been case managed by the Designated Family Judge, Her Honour Judge Jakens, and the IRH is fixed for and more »
  • First ever 'families test' for government published - Family Law

    31 Oct 2014 | 3:14 am
    First ever 'families test' for government publishedFamily LawThe guidance has been drawn up in consultation with families groups. This approach makes clear that all departments need to fully understand how government policies support strong family relationships and will allow departments to identify and take and more »
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    Family Law Prof Blog

  • Happy Halloween!

    Family Law
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:55 am
  • Gupta-Kagan: "Non-Exclusive Adoption and Child Welfare"

    Family Law
    30 Oct 2014 | 6:36 am
    Josh Gupta-Kagan has posted Non-Exclusive Adoption and Child Welfare, Alabama Law Review (forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: This Article proposes that child welfare law permit the non-exclusive adoption of foster children who cannot reunify with their parents —...
  • Seymore: "Openness in International Adoption, Columbia Human Rights Law Review"

    Family Law
    29 Oct 2014 | 10:26 pm
    Malinda L. Seymore has posted Openness in International Adoption, Columbia Human Rights Law Review (forthcoming), on SSRN. Here is the abstract: The growth in international adoption has been spurred, at least in part, by the desire of adoptive parents to...
  • Social Neuroscience

    Family Law
    29 Oct 2014 | 2:05 am
    From cafe. com: In Part 1 of this interview, married neuroscientists John and Stephanie Cacioppo discussed her research on love. Here, John explains his research and some paradoxical behaviors of the lonely. MG: You are one of the founders of...
  • Gupta-Kagan: "The New Permanency"

    Family Law
    28 Oct 2014 | 8:40 am
    Josh Gupta-Kagan has posted The New Permanency, U.C. Davis J. of Juv. L. & Pol'y (2015 Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Permanency is a pillar of child welfare law; children generally do better with legally permanent caretakers than...
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    Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

  • Rule that a 20% change in child support amount grounds to modify does not apply if original amount was agreed deviation from Form 14

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    20 Oct 2014 | 1:38 pm
    Recent Case:  Party seeking modification of previous agreed order must show that they cannot support the child in the manner contemplated at the time of the agreement.  20% rule does not apply. In a recent case from the Missouri Court of Appeals, Father appeals the judgment of the Court rejecting the Family Support Division’s proposed modification of the support amount.  The previous judgment for child support included an agreed amount for child support.  The parties considered the Form 14 child support amount, but rejected it in favor of their agreed amount.  Subsequently Father tried…
  • Modified Child Support retroactive to personal service of the Motion

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    6 Oct 2014 | 1:50 pm
    Recent Case:  Retroactive support can only go back to the date of service of the Motion, 20% change in child support amount is grounds for modification, child support can continue if child incapacitated. Father appeals the judgment and decree of modification of dissolution of marriage entered by the Circuit Court. Father claims that the trial court erred in: (1) extending his child support obligation; (2) failing to make sufficient findings to order his support obligation to continue past the presumed date of emancipation; (3) modifying the judgment without finding a significant and…
  • 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…
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    Divorce Discourse

  • Podcast: The 10 Dumbest Things New Solos Do

    Lee Rosen
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:50 am
    Solo Practice University ran a guest post I wr0te – The 5 Dumbest Things New Solos Do. It got a fair number of comments and even a follow-up post – We’ve Got Blowback. Inspired by the feedback, I recorded a podcast and expanded from five dumb things to ten. You can listen in the player here on the site or click over to iTunes and subscribe. Enjoy. Podcast: The 10 Dumbest Things New Solos Do is a post from: Divorce Discourse This article Podcast: The 10 Dumbest Things New Solos Do first appeared on Divorce Discourse.
  • Is Your Brain Too Busy to Think? 10 Steps for Getting It Back to Work

    Lee Rosen
    30 Oct 2014 | 4:30 am
    Do you ever get away by yourself to think? Life is busy. We’re getting through the week—work, kids, the spouse, the house, the yard—those things are a challenge, and we mostly end up with an unfinished to-do list. We spend our days attending to the urgent matters, and we rush from thing to thing. It doesn’t leave much time for anything else. In fact, when we do find time, we often fill it with mind-numbing activity like watching a comedy/drama TV show about a forensic anthropologist or a naval investigator. When are we supposed to grab hold of the big picture? When are we…
  • I’m Your Boss, Not Your Friend

    Lee Rosen
    29 Oct 2014 | 4:30 am
    Whether it’s you and one employee or you plus dozens of employees, it’s important to remember that you’re the boss, not a friend. That’s tricky when you’re small. It gets easier as you grow. You’ve got to remember that you’re not friends. You can be close, but you’re in a manager/employee relationship that is very different from a friend/friend relationship. The Difference Between Friends and Employees Friends are a good thing, and most of us can use more of them. (Anyone want to be my friend?) But being friends is very different from being the boss. What’s different?
  • How to Be a Better Lawyer in Just 10 Minutes

    Lee Rosen
    28 Oct 2014 | 4:30 am
    You spent three years in law school learning to think like a lawyer. Now it’s time to stop. Not permanently, but for 10 minutes. Let’s spend 10 minutes together thinking like a PERSON instead of a lawyer. It’s not just ANY person we’re talking about. It’s a specific type of person. It’s your typical client. We’re going to think like the person you represent. Take a break. Push back the laptop. Put the phone on silent. Go quiet for 10 minutes. Let’s go. Put Yourself in Your Client’s Shoes Sit back and release your identity as a lawyer. Stop analyzing issues and…
  • Reorganize Your Day Around Your Body to Get More Done

    Lee Rosen
    27 Oct 2014 | 4:30 am
    There are times of day when we’re more productive. Your time and my time are likely different. We all run on different cycles. These productive periods tend to be the same each day. We repeat them day after day. I’m most productive from about 7 in the morning until 9. I can keep going until 11, but I feel myself slowing down as each of those two additional hours passes. By 11 AM, I’m done with my most productive period of the day. It’s time to check Facebook and Twitter and start planning lunch. I typically walk to lunch and back, and moving my body some revives me a bit, so I get…
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  • Obtaining Records from Department of Defense

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    25 Oct 2014 | 3:05 pm
    Thanks to Mark S. Sullivan, a retired Army Reserve JAG colonel for instructions in how to obtain witnesses and documents from the Department of the Navy.
  • Michigan Adoption Subsidies | New, Time-limited Rights for Adoptive Parents

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    23 Oct 2014 | 1:05 pm
    The Michigan Legislature has enacted Public Act 308 of 2014. It is effective immediately. The new law allows adoptive parents of foster children with certain health conditions an additional way to receive adoption assistance. However, there is only a brief window in time for adoptive parents who have an adoption assistance agreement signed and in effect before January 1, 2015 to obtain this assistance.
  • New Form | Affidavit of Parentage

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    14 Oct 2014 | 5:17 pm
    Parentage may be established at the time of birth or later when the mother and father of the child execute an affidavit of parentage. The form for this was updated in October 2013--more than a year after the enactment of the Revocation of Parentage Act.
  • Domestic Violence Danger | Trolling Lawyers

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    5 Oct 2014 | 6:16 pm
    When lawyers pay to obtain information about recently filed divorce cases and send a letter soliciting contact with the defendant without regard to whether he or she knows about the filing and without regard as to whether a victim of domestic violence is safe, the party filing the divorce may be at risk for domestic violence. Not long ago, a Massachusetts court upheld the conviction of a man who shot his wife 18 times, including 10 shots to the head. One of his claims on appeal? He did it "in the heat of passion," so should not have been convicted of murder.
  • In Re AJR | Michigan Supreme Court Ruling on Step-Parent Adoptions

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    25 Sep 2014 | 6:39 pm
    The Michigan Supreme Court has finally handed down its decision in In Re AJR--a step-parent adoption case. According the the supreme court, the constitutional rights of a noncustodial parent ["NCP"] who has joint legal custody trump the right of a child or children to live in an intact family despite the failure that NCP to pay regular and substantial support and to maintain a regular and substantial parent-child relationship in the two years prior to filing of the step-parent adoption petition.
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    Divorce Law Journal

  • Published UCCJEA Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals Today

    Diana L. Skaggs
    24 Oct 2014 | 9:07 am
    Danaher v. Hopkins Trial court's denial of petition to register a foreign custody judgment was affirmed. A court must enforce a foreign judgment only when the issuing state had jurisdiciton under the UCCJEA. Because North Carolina did not have initial jurisdiciton it does not have exclusive continuing jurisdiction.  Trial court's finding that Kentucky is the home state of the child was affirmed. Reversal of a factual finding requires it to be clearly erroneous and not supported by substanial evidence which is not the case in this matter. Father also appealed from a second order requiring a…
  • Published Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals Today: Order requiring mother to have a passport issued for child affirmed

    Diana L. Skaggs
    24 Oct 2014 | 8:42 am
    Benton v. Sottingeanu An order requiring a parent to obtain a passpot for a child does not require specific findings of fact where no modification of parenting time is made. The court must consider the child's best interests. Federal law permits a court to order a passport where a joint custodian refuses consent. Court's order requiring mother to insure issuance of passport was affirmed. The court of appeals noted numerous safeguards were imposed by the trial court  to monitor international travel, including that mother would retain the passport, a hearing regarding travel would be held once…
  • Fourth Published Family Law Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals Today

    Diana L. Skaggs
    17 Oct 2014 | 9:39 am
    Waddle v. Waddle Award of grandparent visitation reversed because court failed to apply the modified best interest standard to consider the objection of mother who is presumed fit. Court must presume a fit parent is making decisions in the best interest of the child. Case was remanded for a new evidentiary hearing at which grandparents must provide clear and convincing evidence that visitation is in the child’s best interest and trial court must use Walker factors and provide written findings of fact.
  • Third Family Law Published Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals Today

    Diana L. Skaggs
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:52 am
    Luu v. Murphy, et al Child custody award to de facto custodians reversed. Substantial evidence of record does not support the conclusion that appellees were child's primary caregivers and primary financial supporters. Trial court appears to have based its ruling on testimony of the appellees that they "believed" they were no longer just babysitting the child but that they were keeping her on a permanent basis. During three of the months appellees had the child it was clear that this was meant to be a temporary babysitting arrangement. Mother's temporary absences from West Virginia did not…
  • Second Family Law Published Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals Today

    Diana L. Skaggs
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:33 am
    Shelton v. Shelton Trial court denied father's motion to reduce child support. Father had burden of proof to show substantial and continuing change of circumstances. Even though at time of agreement youngest child was age two and no income was imputed to mother and at time of hearing child was age four and mother was still not working, trial court was unable to find father's income from self-emloyment due to lack of documentation. The court's conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to find a change in circumstances that would justify modification was affirmed.
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    International Family Law

  • International Prenuptial Agreements: Necessary But Dangerous

    8 Oct 2014 | 1:29 pm
    Lawyers representing international clients who plan to marry and who want the protection of a prenuptial agreement should always consider the international ramifications of any proposed agreement. While conventional domestic prenuptial agreements raise grave malpractice concerns for family lawyers, the concerns become a hazardous minefield when the issues are multi-jurisdictional. In many ways the world is rapidly shrinking and globalizing. “The World is Flat” is not only the catchy title of a bestselling book, but it also highlights the fact that international borders matter far less to…
  • Relocation of Children Under New York Law

    7 Oct 2014 | 2:01 pm
    In what circumstances may a custodial parent relocate to another state (or country) and take the children? What law applies and how will the Court make this decision?  "In reality, cases in which a custodial parent's desire to relocate conflicts with the desire of a noncustodial parent to maximize visitation opportunity are simply too complex to be satisfactorily handled within any mechanical, tiered analysis that prevents or interferes with a simultaneous weighing and comparative analysis of all of the relevant facts and circumstances...We hold that each relocation request must be…
  • Divorce Law in Korea

    6 Oct 2014 | 2:02 pm
    Jeremy D. MorleyGrounds for Divorce in KoreaA divorce may be obtained in Korea based on the mutual consent of the spouses. Art. 834, Korean Civil Code. Both spouses need to agree and appear in court in Korea. Alternatively, the grounds for a judicial divorce in Korea are:            1. An unchaste act (adultery);            2. Malicious desertion;            3. Extreme maltreatment by the other spouse or by…
  • There are Two Ways to Prepare for an International Divorce

    29 Sep 2014 | 2:07 pm
    Are you someone who always runs at the last minute to catch a plane? Or do you prefer to arrive at the airport ten minutes early and relax?This is a question that ‘marketing guru’ Seth Godin asks so as to illustrate the benefits of sensible planning in business.In my area -- international family law -- it raises these questions:• Do you think it’s better to wait until you’re served with divorce papers before running to a lawyer in a panic?• Or would be better to plan in advance?• If you and/or your spouse are internationally connected, would it be best to wait until your…
  • GPSOLO Magazine Article: Parental-Tug-Of-War

    26 Sep 2014 | 2:15 pm
    International family law is expanding as people travel more and spend time with people from different countries. International personal relationships produce an abundance of conflict and litigation. It is hard enough for people to live together when they share a similar background, but it is far harder when they are from different countries, cultures, religions, ethnicities, educational experiences, languages, traditions, and family structures. The resulting pressures may become especially acute when international couples have children and disagree about such matters as child-rearing methods,…
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    Family Lore

  • Munby puts the boot in...

    31 Oct 2014 | 9:17 am
    Government ‘washing its hands’ of legal aid problem for vulnerable parents - The Guardian, 31st October 2014
  • Of ornithology and omnibuses

    31 Oct 2014 | 2:57 am
    This week on Marilyn Stowe’s Family Law & Divorce Blog I spotted a bird and some buses, but I couldn't find any sign of a plan:It's called planning - Or rather lack of it - the government's shambolic handling of the legal aid debacle.An unusual and surprising case - AA v TT, as described by Mr Justice Holman.Sacrificing fairness (and a parrot) on the altar of certainty - Considering the recent speech by Sir Nicholas Mostyn to Jordan's family law conference.Definitely not a dull day... - Especially if you fancy a bus trip. Or, a day in the life of a family law reporter.Have a good…
  • Justice Minister visits largest mediation provider as new ‘free mediation’ scheme is set to begin

    29 Oct 2014 | 5:56 am
    Simon Hughes and Jane Robey prepare NFM information leaflets for despatch Justice Minister Simon Hughes met mediators and helpline staff during a visit to the head office of National Family Mediation (NFM), England and Wales’ largest provider of family mediation.With a new government scheme to fund more free mediation sessions set to begin on 3 November, the Minister heard how NFM expects a further rise in demand for its family services.Mr Hughes helped Chief Executive Jane Robey prepare some of the charity’s information leaflets for despatch to families to help them learn more about what…
  • As a divorce lawyer, I could not possibly approve of this shampoo commercial

    28 Oct 2014 | 12:05 am
    Well, that's not a headline I ever expected to write. In China, however, a commercial that ambitiously attempts to sell shampoo whilst simultaneously reducing the divorce rate there has reportedly been viewed more than 40 million times in the past month. Glad I never opened that Beijing branch office...If you can bear four and a half minutes of sickly romance, here's the ad:
  • Jack Bruce

    25 Oct 2014 | 10:03 am
    It was with great sadness that I just learned of the passing of the great Jack Bruce. As my small tribute, here he is playing one of my favourite Cream songs:
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    Toronto Family Lawyer Blog

  • Custody, Access and Alienation: McAllister v Norman, 2014 ONSC 4065

    Andrew Feldstein
    31 Oct 2014 | 1:07 pm
    This case addresses the issue of custody and access in the context of alienation. Background The parties in this matter had one child together.  The Mother wished to move with the child from Kitchener, Ontario to Casselman, Ontario and provided strong assurances to the court that she would facilitate contact between the Father and child.  Relying on such assurances, the court permitted the mother to move and ordered joint custody, primary residence with the mother and extensive regular access between the father and child.  The Father claimed that the mother obstructed the essential terms…
  • Custody and Access With Respect To Relocation

    Andrew Feldstein
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:18 pm
    Boudreault v Charles, 2014 ONCJ 273 This case addresses the issues of custody and access with respect to relocation. Background The parties lived with the Respondent since February of 2010 and separated in February of 2012.  The parties in this proceeding are the parents of a three-year-old child.  The Father was convicted of an assault while the mother was holding the child and has never had unsupervised access.  Further, the Father is in significant default of child support and a costs order.  The Applicant Mother brought a motion seeking permission to move with the child to Montreal at…
  • Annulment in the Context of the Formal Validity of a Marriage

    Andrew Feldstein
    17 Oct 2014 | 1:02 pm
    Matthews v Mutiso, 2014 ONSC 4010 This case addresses the issue of annulment in the context of the formal validity of a marriage. Background The parties were married in London, Ontario on October 19, 2012 after having met in person for the first time on October 15, 2012. The marriage was witnessed by a couple who were friends of the Applicant. By October 24, 2012, the husband had returned to the United Arab Emirates. The parties visited each other on two other separate occasions, from December 14, 2012 to December 26, 2012, and from March 18, 2013 to March 26, 2013. Thereafter, the parties…
  • What Constitutes a Settlement

    Andrew Feldstein
    10 Oct 2014 | 1:49 pm
    Halpern v Halpern, 2014 ONSC 4246, 243 ACWS (3d) 672 This case addresses the issue of what constitutes a settlement. Background The parties were married in January 1999 and separated in October 2011. There was one child of the marriage, born in December 2001. In May 2014, the parties attended a settlement meeting. The husband claims that, while the wife was out of the room, counsel for the wife presented him with an oral offer to which husband’s counsel sent a letter accepting the oral offer. Thereafter, the husband brought a motion for summary judgment seeking to confirm settlement.
  • Lump Sum Spousal Support

    Andrew Feldstein
    3 Oct 2014 | 11:31 am
    Racco v Racco, 2014 ONCA 330, 373 DLR (4th) 240 This case addresses the issue of lump sum spousal support. Background The parties were married in June 1989 and separated in 2011.  The parties had two children together.  “During the marriage the parties developed a very successful real estate business in the Oakville-Burlington area” (paragraph 3).  The couple marketed themselves as a team, “Team Racco”, and had combined net incomes of $537,211 in 2008, $377,286 in 2009 and $319.696 in 2010 (paragraph 3).  In early 2011, the husband was charged with sexual assault of a female…
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    Sanns Mediation World of ADR

  • Alimony Reform: Changes to NJ Alimony Law

    Marvin Schuldiner
    7 Oct 2014 | 8:16 pm
    On September 10, 2014, NJ Governor Chris Christie signed Public Law 2014, Chapter 42 into law.  This law makes changes to NJ’s alimony statues.  The legislature had been discussing this issue for several years and finally was able to come to consensus between the factions who wanted a formula (similar to child support) and those who […] No related posts.
  • How do I get a Pre-nup?

    Marvin Schuldiner
    6 Oct 2014 | 8:03 pm
    When some couples or people think about getting married, they want to protect their assets in case things don’t work out.  To accomplish this, they execute a pre-nuptial agreement or a pre-nup.  Such an agreement pre-specifies things such as assets protected from equitable distribution, limits to equitable distribution, limits on alimony and more.  Negotiating a […] No related posts.
  • Name Change in a Divorce in NJ

    Marvin Schuldiner
    21 Jul 2014 | 2:32 pm
    New Jersey law allows either spouse in the divorce process to change their name.  N.J.S.A. 2A:34-21 reads in pertinent part: The court, upon or after granting a divorce from the bonds of matrimony to either spouse … may allow either spouse … to resume any name used by the spouse … before the marriage …, or […] Related posts: Divorce from Bed and Board New Jersey has a law on its books from 1907... Power-of-Attorney Restricted in Divorce Cases A Superior Court Judge in Ocean County ruled that unless... Expectations During a Divorce One of the biggest causes of anxiety for…
  • Power-of-Attorney Restricted in Divorce Cases

    Marvin Schuldiner
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:12 am
    A Superior Court Judge in Ocean County ruled that unless a person has been declared incompetent and needs the assistance of a guardian, that person must appear in court for a divorce in person.  In a case of first impression, Judge Lawrence Jones made his ruling in Marisco v. Marisco (FM-15-1152-13-N).  The decision was made a year ago, […] No related posts.
  • Expectations During a Divorce

    Marvin Schuldiner
    16 Jul 2014 | 7:25 am
    One of the biggest causes of anxiety for people considering a divorce is the unknown expectations about the process.  Elinor Robin explains in this Huffington Post article about some expectations to have: Expect the courts to move in strange ways — it’s not like TV portrays court. Expect that divorce will take you into uncharted […] No related posts.
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    Illinois Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • False Allegations of Domestic Violence in a Child Custody Case

    19 Oct 2014 | 6:05 am
    The State of Arizona considered recently an addition to its list of factors in determining the award of custody to a parent in a divorce case. This proposed addition addresses an issue that I have seen many times in my many years of managing high conflict custody cases: the false allegation of domestic violence in a contested custody case. A false allegation of domestic violence in a custody case often takes the form of an initial filing for an Emergency Order of Protection prior to, or at the same time, that a divorce is being filed. The parent filing the falsely alleged OP believes that…
  • Spousal Support in Divorce: The New Law in Illinois

    8 Oct 2014 | 9:32 pm
    A new law in Illinois as of January 1, 2015 changes how spousal support is determined for divorcing couples whose combined gross income is less than $250,000. This new law raises some interesting issues with respect to the global finances of divorce, so let's examine briefly the new law of spousal support in Illinois. The law, which was developed by the Illinois State Bar's Family Law Section Council, creates a protocol for calculating maintenance based on the income of the parties and the length of the marriage. The law that has been in use for years essentially placed a high degree of…
  • DuPage Divorce: Mediation

    6 Oct 2014 | 10:12 pm
    One of the interesting aspects of divorce litigation is the requirement that parents mediate their child custody issues, with the judge assigning a mediator in the initial weeks of the case should the parents not have an agreement as to legal custody (joint vs sole) and parenting time. In some cases mediation is beneficial. I am a trained mediator, but I can also say that mediation is not a panacea, it is not always a process that results in resolution. Many times, mediation fails. So, when the parents are bitterly oppositional, or when the issues are just not amenable to mediation, what…
  • Kane County Divorce: BPD Help

    5 Oct 2014 | 10:47 pm
    I found this post today on a BPD support blog, and it mentions Bill Eddy's landmark book on Divorce and BPD/NPD, Splitting. The gentleman writing in to the blog is experiencing the surreal and chaotic behaviors of a spouse conducting a distortion campaign against him. His questions may have some resonance with some of you. _____________________ " I bought William Eddy's book on divorces and have read most of it. I also talked with Michael Roe (who wrote the foreword to the book), but he doesn't practice in San Diego, -- he's in Illinois, but was very helpful to me in at least getting me to…
  • Illinois Divorce Law Blog Once Again Top Divorce Blog

    25 Sep 2014 | 11:10 am
    Law Office of Michael F. Roe's Illinois Divorce Law Blog has once again, for 2014, been named a "Top 50 Divorce Law Blog" by Criminal Justice Degrees Schools, which annually analyzes and rates professional blogs. My approach to the blog is to inform my clients and readers of the blog, to educate other professionals in the field, and to illuminate important issues in divorce and custody. Some of these important issues include issues that arise in complex custody cases, cases with high conflict issues, and critical issues in some cases, like Parental Alienation or new legislation that affects…
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    Maryland Family Law

  • 31 Oct 2014 | 11:54 am

    Heather Sunderman
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:54 am
    Happy Halloween! Halloween means it's time to look at your custody access schedule and make holiday plans if you haven't already. Advance planning can help make the holidays less stressful and more fun for everyone!
  • Maryland E-filing underway

    Heather Sunderman
    24 Oct 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Last week, I posted about the start of e-filing in Maryland. Those of us who are used to e-filing in other jurisdictions see this an inevitable change sweeping our court system over the next few years. I have had occaisaion to use the Maryland e-filing system in a couple of cases, and I find it fairly easy to naviagate. There is a bit of a backlog in Anne Arundel with the new system, however there can also be a similar backlog with paper filing. Obviously, the hope is that in the long run, this will greatly increase efficiency, and may also help to reduce costs as couriers are not…
  • Early voting in Maryland begins today

    Heather Sunderman
    23 Oct 2014 | 1:30 am
    Today begins early voting, which has expanded to even more locations throughout Montgomery County. Need info in making a choice? The League of Women Voters offers non-partisan information about the candidates. For information about our local judges facing election, read here or my previous post here. 
  • Don't trip over those loose ends!

    Heather Sunderman
    16 Oct 2014 | 1:37 pm
    There are many things to consider while going through a divorce and separation. Even once you have a comprehensive agreement, or a final judgment of divorce, there still may be other steps to take. For example, you or your spouse may need to execute a deed for property, transfer car titles and registration and divide financial accounts. One thing that is frequently left until the last minute: QDRO's!  A QDRO is a specialized order of court which directs a retirement plan administrator to transfer a retirement benefit. It is best for this order to be ready for the divorce hearing. If…
  • E-Filing in Maryland Begins Today!

    Heather Sunderman
    14 Oct 2014 | 10:50 am
    Today marks the first day of e-filing in Maryland, which is now mandatory for Anne Arundel County courts, the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals. More counties will be added in coming years. Many attorneys are already familiar with the concept of e-filing, as it has been in place in some jurisdictions for a while now. Locally, the Federal court system and the District of Columbia have had mandatory e-filing for attorneys. Most of these e-filing systems, such as the new system in Maryland, exempt self-represented persons from e-filing. For me, the most exciting…
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    New Hampshire Family Law Blog

  • Courthouse Divorce File: What's Private?

    Kysa Crusco
    14 Oct 2014 | 8:25 pm
    “All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”  ― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Gabriel García Márquez: a Life The public thirsts for gossip, apparent in websites like TMZ and Perz Hilton. Celebrity splits are big news such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon. While most of us do not enjoy celebrity status, the small town rumor mill can be just as virulent as celebrity gossip. Divorce litigants should beware the rules regarding public access to their divorce file. Anyone can head down to the local…
  • Maves and Moore: What Constitutes Income for Child Support Purposes?

    Kysa Crusco
    22 Sep 2014 | 7:26 pm
    The New Hampshire Supreme Court issued in the Matter of Janice E. Maves and David L. Moore on August 14, 2014 The Facts Husband and Wife divorced in 2004.  At the time of the divorce, Husband was awarded the parties’ Farm, which was initially used as a commercial campground and contained condos that were rented seasonally. The Farm was an S-type corporation, with Husband as primary shareholder.  At the time of the divorce, Husband was ordered to pay $650 per month in child support for their only child, which was increased to $950 in 2008.  The parents shared…
  • 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…
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    Dads Divorce and Fathers Rights Blog

  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News - October 31, 2014

    31 Oct 2014 | 8:38 am
    DadsDivorce and MensDivorce as well as their sponsor, Cordell & Cordell, present a news video for the week of October 31, 2014. This week, Cordell & Cordell highlighted a new flat-fee billing option for Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. DadsDivorce answered a reader's question regarding their right to change the locks on their home after their wife moved out. MensDivorce published a new Attorney Bites video on the importance of recordkeeping during a custody action. Check out the news video below. Cordell & Cordell, Flat-Fee Divorce:…
  • Is a 401k Awarded From a Previous Divorce During Our Marriage Subject to Property Division?

    29 Oct 2014 | 7:39 am
    Question: My wife and I are divorcing, both our second marriage. During our marriage, my wife received a QDRO awarding her a 401k from her previous husband. Is her 401k awarded from a previous marriage during our marriage subject to property division? Can I claim anything else in the QDRO which was signed by the judge during our marriage?
  • Consequences of Changing the Locks on the Marital Home

    27 Oct 2014 | 3:40 am
    Question: My wife moved out of the marital home 90 days ago and has not returned nor has any plans to return. Both of our names are on the title to the home. Can I change the locks without legal repercussion? 
  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News - October 24, 2014

    23 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    DadsDivorce and MensDivorce as well as their sponsor, Cordell & Cordell, present a news video for the week of October 24, 2014. This week, Cordell & Cordell Principal Partner Joe Cordell added a new article to his column with Financial Advisor Magazine on preparing financial advisors to testify as an expert witness. DadsDivorce answered an Ask a Lawyer question regarding custody rights for a guy who's ex-fiance moved to another state, then informed him she was pregnant. MensDivorce published a new article from Colorado divorce attorney Carrie Westbrook on the…
  • Pregnant Fiancee Moved To Another State, Says I'll Never See My Child!

    22 Oct 2014 | 2:39 am
    Question: I recently broke it off with my fiancé who has now moved to another state and told me she is pregnant. She has said I will never see my child because we aren’t married and don’t live near each other. What rights do I have, and what is the honest outlook that I may get custody of the child when he/she is born?
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    Alabama Divorce & Family Law Attorney Blog

  • Thomas v. Thomas: On Temporary Support Orders in Divorce Cases

    Steven Eversole
    27 Oct 2014 | 8:41 am
    The division of martial property can be one of the more complex aspects of any divorce proceeding.  In Thomas v. Thomas, a case from the Delaware Supreme Court, Husband was an independent contractor for a financial services company with an annual income of around $60,000 per year. Wife had two part-time jobs at which she earned $16,700 annually. In March of 2012, Wife filed a motion for interim alimony.  In that motion, Wife stated that she had inherited $450,000.  The parties had agreed that Wife’s inheritance was her separate property and not part of the martial estate.  Husband…
  • In re: C.C. v. L.J.: Termination of Parental Rights Cases in Alabama

    Steven Eversole
    24 Oct 2014 | 8:41 am
    In re: C.C. v. L.J., an appeal from the Alabama Supreme Court, deals with the very complex process a court can use to terminate the parental rights of a biological parent.  In this case, mother filed a petition with juvenile court to establish paternity of the child involved in the case.  In the same petition, mother attempted to terminate the parental rights of father. Mother stated in her petition that father had already filed a petition with the circuit court and that court ordered a DNA test.  The DNA test established that father was the biological father of the child, but father…
  • In re Paternity of D.M.Y.: On Calculating a Child Support Arrearage

    Steven Eversole
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:41 am
    One of the most adversarial family law cases involves a situation where one parent is not making their court-ordered child support payments on time or at all.  In re Paternity of D.M.Y., an appeal from the Supreme Court of Indiana, dealt with the issue of child support arrearage. In 1999, the trial court found father to be the biological father of two of mother’s children.  The court ordered that mother would have full physical custody and father would pay $146 per week in child support.  In November of 2010, the court declared that father owed more than $21,000 in unpaid child…
  • McAdam v. McAdam: On Divorce Settlement Agreements and Contempt of Court

    Steven Eversole
    18 Oct 2014 | 8:36 am
    Sometimes a divorce settlement can be reached in an amicable manner in which parties agree to all terms and can go on with the rest of their lives without years of litigation.  Unfortunately, that is often not the case.  McAdam v. McAdam, an appeal heard in the Supreme Court of the State of Wyoming, was one of those cases. In McAdam, Husband and Wife were granted a divorce under what is known as a stipulated decree.  The decree was granted by the trial court in May of 2011.  In that stipulated decree, both Husband and Wife agreed to list the martial home for sale with a professional real…
  • Explaining Divorce to Your Children

    Steven Eversole
    16 Oct 2014 | 7:58 am
    The decision to divorce usually arrives after months, years, even decades of complications and distance growing between married couples. While you and your spouse may have a clear understanding of why you have made the decision to divorce, the answers may not be so clear to your children. How much do you need to tell your children about the divorce? What reasons should or shouldn’t you provide when telling your children about the split? Though every situation is unique, it is important to consider the possible repercussions of revealing some or all of the reasons for divorce. While you may…
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    Domestic Diversions

  • The true cost of Facebook: your marriage?

    David C. Sarnacki
    10 Oct 2014 | 9:49 am
    Ozy highlights a Boston University study suggesting Facebook is “a positive, significant predictor of divorce rate and spousal troubles.” Apparently, Henry David Thoreau* was right about true cost: “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Anne Miller writes (excerpt): While previous studies suggested that Facebook and its ilk [...]
  • 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 [...]
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    NJ Family Issues

  • The failure of a supporting spouse’s income to keep pace with inflation might, depending on a review of all of the facts, be considered a changed circumstance

    20 Oct 2014 | 3:53 am
    Law Lessons from DiPasquale v. Sampson, App. Div., No. A-6188-12T2, October 17, 2014: A prima facie demonstration of changed circumstances is required to support a request for a modification of child support. Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139, 157-58 (1980); Smith v. Smith, 72 N.J. 350, 360 (1977) (quoting Schiff v. Schiff, 116 N.J. Super. 546, 561 (App. Div. 1971), certif. denied, 60 N.J. 139 (1972)). “Only after the movant has made this prima facie showing should the respondent’s ability to pay become a factor for the court to consider.” Lepis, supra, 83 N.J. at 157. Events that…
  • Summary dispossess

    17 Oct 2014 | 7:39 am
    Law Lessons from Bejoray, Inc. v. Academy House Child Development Center, __ N.J. Super. __ (App. Div. 2014), Docket No. A-5162-12T3, October 16, 2014: The summary dispossess statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:18-51 to-61, was designed to provide landlords with a swift and simple method of obtaining possession. Carr v. Johnson, 211 N.J. Super. 341, 347 (App. Div. 1986). Nevertheless, either party to a summary dispossession proceeding may move to have the matter transferred to the Law Division. If it deems the issues before it of “sufficient importance,” the court may in its discretion grant the…
  • Where a party has gained an unfair advantage by virtue of a fraudulent misrepresentation, and monetary damages alone will not satisfy the injury sustained by the aggrieved party, courts have looked to the equitable remedy of rescission to eliminate the damage

    17 Oct 2014 | 5:46 am
    Law Lessons from Bejoray, Inc. v. Academy House Child Development Center, __ N.J. Super. __ (App. Div. 2014), Docket No. A-5162-12T3, October 16, 2014: Rescission is a claim or remedy “rooted in considerations of equity.” Rutgers Cas. Ins. Co. v. LaCroix, 194 N.J. 515, 527 (2008) (citing Stambovsky v. Cohen, 124 N.J. Eq. 290, 295 (E. & A. 1938)). “Where a party has gained an unfair advantage by virtue of a fraudulent misrepresentation, and monetary damages alone will not satisfy the injury sustained by the aggrieved party, courts have looked to the equitable remedy of…
  • The Second Injury Fund is a special compensation fund that makes benefit payments to workers already partially disabled who subsequently experience a work related injury which when combined, render them totally disabled

    16 Oct 2014 | 3:48 am
    Law Lessons from Nag v. State Of New Jersey And Second Injury Fund, App. Div., No. A-0812-13T3, October 15, 2014: The Second Injury Fund is a special compensation fund “that makes benefit payments to workers already partially disabled who subsequently experience a work related injury which when combined, render them totally disabled.” Rosales v. State Dep’t of the Judiciary, 373 N.J. Super. 29, 35 (App. Div. 2004). NOTE from Paul G. Kostro, Esq.: If you are interested in Mediation; or have issues relating to Divorce, Domestic Violence, Child Support; Landlord-Tenant Matters;…
  • The payment of college costs differs from the payment of child support for a college student

    16 Oct 2014 | 3:47 am
    Law Lessons from Gropper v. Gropper, App. Div., No. A-4105-12T3, October 15, 2014: The child support factors set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(a) differ from the factors outlined in Newburg v. Arrigo, 88 N.J. 529, 545 (1982) (setting forth twelve factors to weigh when reviewing whether a parental responsibility for college expenses exists). While there is similarity between the two standards, there also are differences, warranting review when fixing a college cost obligation. See Jacoby v. Jacoby, 427 N.J. Super. 109, 121 (App. Div. 2012) (“The payment of college costs differs from the…
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    Pennsylvania Family Law


    Mark Ashton
    30 Oct 2014 | 8:57 am
    In the past decade, Americans have racked up a prodigious amount of debt and it is fairly common for clients in divorce to not really understand how their debt is structured. Was the U.S. Airways VISA joint or husbands with wife designated as an authorized user? When trying to disentangle a couple’s financial relationship it is important for lawyers to know these things. Credit cards are also a fertile ground for fraud. We have seen several instances where a spouse without access to his/her own credit, applied for a card or credit line on behalf of their mate without the inconvenience of…

    Aaron Weems
    29 Oct 2014 | 7:33 am
    To the best of my knowledge, using Facebook as a way to serve legal papers or proving notice of a lawsuit or other legal issue has not been addressed by Pennsylvania courts, but that doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. Recently, two different states took two different approaches to the use of Facebook as a method of legal notice. This month, a court in Oklahoma ruled that a woman could not use Facebook to notify the father of her child that she was pregnant in advance of putting that child up for adoption. The basic facts are that the couple had a brief sexual relationship resulting in a…

    Aaron Weems
    9 Oct 2014 | 6:55 am
    Missing: Billy Hanson (Age 9) About a month and a half ago I wrote about parental kidnappings and Pennsylvania’s statute designed to prevent such situations.  Based on numerous reports going back to mid-September, it unfortunately appears that such a situation is occurring right now out of Seattle, Washington. Around September 12th, Seattle area newspaper blogs and other forums began reporting about a situation involving a nine year old boy and his biological father. Billy Hanson had been visiting his father, Jeffrey Hanson, in the Seattle area during August and was scheduled to return to…

    Aaron Weems
    2 Oct 2014 | 5:57 am
    Seven years after becoming a signatory state to the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, Congress passed and the President signed into law implementing legislation which will gives the treaty the procedural rules to operate. The purpose of the treaty is to provide a relatively uniform and consistent process among the signatory states for enforcement of foreign support orders. The U.S. still has yet to ratify the treaty, though Secretary of State John Kerry points out in the linked press release that the Senate has already given its…

    Aaron Weems
    28 Sep 2014 | 12:51 pm
    It is well established in Pennsylvania that it is against public policy to allow parents to bargain away child support for their children, but what about “taxing” themselves whenever they file a custody action? That is essentially the question raised in the Huss v. Weaver case before the Pennsylvania Superior Court. The Superior Court ruled in favor of the enforceability of a $10,000.00 payment due to the mother each time the father filed a custody modification action. It is pointed out in an article written by Gina Passarella of the “The Legal Intelligencer” (registration required)…
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    One (Divorce) Lawyer's Perspective

  • A New Day is Dawning

    Michael Viola
    28 Oct 2014 | 7:40 am
    I remember back when I was first starting to practice law. At that time, there were three possible locations for a family law matter in Philadelphia: some matters were in City Hall, some were at 1801 Vine Street, and other matters were at 1600 Walnut Street. At some point in the 1990’s, Family Court was to be consolidated into a single building: 34 South 11th Street. This location was just to be for Domestic Relations Matters. Juvenile and Dependency proceedings and Adoption proceedings were to remain at 1801 Vine Street. Since that move, the needs of Family Court in Philadelphia have…
  • Maybe I am just being picky….

    Michael Viola
    12 Jun 2014 | 12:06 pm
    There is a new reality-TV show on Bravo called “Untying the Knot” In this show, matrimonial attorney Vikki Ziegler, Esquire, who practices law in  New York and New Jersey at the firm of Ziegler and Zemsky LLC, works with clients on the resolution of the economic issues related to the dissolution of their marriage.  From what little I watched from the only two episodes that have aired, the show does not deal with the litigation of divorce matters such as the division of marital property and alimony. Rather, the program promotes Ms. Ziegler as a mediator.  This is where I have…
  • Coming up on the end of another year

    Michael Viola
    22 Nov 2013 | 10:10 am
    As I write this post, Thanksgiving Day is less than a week away. Christmas and New Years Day will be upon us sooner than we would like. For many this is the time of the year when people get together with their families (family of birth, or family by choice) to enjoy the holidays. For married couples who are separated, this can be a difficult time of year. When there are children involved, there can be squabbles about where the children should be for the holiday. Parents can’t afford to get what they want for their children because they do not have enough money. Children are often caught…
  • Learning Lessons

    Michael Viola
    17 Jun 2013 | 1:16 pm
    So one of the latest stories that has been circulating the internet concerns the pending divorce of Harold Hamm, the founder and CEO of Continental Resources, a prominent US oil company.   One such article, found here, lists 10 facts that you need to know about the divorce. Really, some of the fact are more about the company and some are about the people involved.  However, there are lessons to be learned by anyone who is involved in a divorce case – even those not worth billions of dollars.  Through this article I want to highlight some of those lessons. 1. Hamm is America’s…
  • Parents and Their Children

    Michael Viola
    21 Jan 2013 | 1:49 pm
    Here is a link to a great article entitled, “8 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kid.” These suggestions are applicable to intact families as well as those where the parents of the children are not living together, i.e. divorced, separated, never married, etc.Filed under: Child Custody, children, Other thoughts, Parental Rights Tagged: Child Custody, children, Yahoo
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    Rochester Family Lawyer

  • Credit for Payments Made to Satisfy the Other Spouse’s Legal Obligations

    25 Oct 2014 | 6:14 pm
    It is common for parties to make payments on their debts while their divorce action is pending.  Generally, each party is responsible for their own debts incurred after commencement of the divorce action, and, most of the time, the parties are jointly liable on any marital debt that preceded commencement of the divorce action. However, there are situations where one party is forced to make payment for the debts owed by the other party. Thus, it is important to know if one spouse pays for the other spouse’s legal obligations, does that spouse receive a credit for those payments? In…
  • Tracing Method of Dividing Defined Contribution Retirement Assets

    28 Sep 2014 | 7:12 pm
    I have previously written about division of marital retirement assets which is traditionally done by computing a time based coverture fraction pursuant to the New York Court of Appeals’ decision in Majauskas v. Majauskas, 61 N.Y.2d 481 (1984). Majauskas was the seminal New York case that decided that the portion of the spouse’s pension or a retirement plan such as 401k, earned during the marriage, is marital property subject to equitable distribution. To the extent that a pension was earned or 401k contributions were made during the marriage, they are, for purposes of New York law,…
  • 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.
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    Whole Mediation Blog

  • Knowledge Resources for Divorce Professionals

    Debra Synovec
    28 Oct 2014 | 3:25 am
    Knowledge Resources for Divorce Professionals Lots of learning going on in the fields of mediation and collaborative law.  Last weekend I attended the nation’s largest annual gathering of International Academy of Collaborative Professionals at a conference in beautiful Vancouver B.C.  One week before this I attended the Academy of Professional Family Mediators 2014 Conference  (APFM) in wonderful San Diego, CA. Both brought together hundreds of family and divorce professionals from all over the world for discussions, workshops, forums, sessions and networking events. One thing I would…
  • Useful Skills in Mediation

    Debra Synovec
    25 Sep 2014 | 7:43 pm
    Mediation is a constructive, efficient strategy for divorcing couples to reach mutual agreements that will be carried on after the divorce is final. Divorce mediation provides separating couples with a safe space to discuss arrangements facilitated by a neutral third party. How you come to the mediation table can make a big difference on whether you and your spouse are able to come up with an effective solution. These attributes are useful ways of being in a successful divorce mediation: Patience This is perhaps the most difficult skill to achieve, especially for those who are naturally want…
  • Tips for Co-Parenting During the School Year or Anytime

    Debra Synovec
    2 Sep 2014 | 1:36 am
    One of the most difficult parts about divorce is how it affects the family unit—especially when children are involved. Joint custody may not be easy, but it’s the best way to provide your children with the close parent relationships they deserve. At Whole Mediation, we provide divorce mediation that can help separating couples create an agreeable, mutually beneficial parenting strategy. With the school year back in full swing, follow these co-parenting tips for a cordial relationship with your ex for your children’s sake: Keep the kids out of it The issues that come with a breakup…
  • Divorce Rates in the United States

    Debra Synovec
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:38 am
    Half of all marriages end in divorce. Is this statement really true? It’s been embedded in our minds time and time again, but is the statistic accurate? The answer is actually no, however it’s close. According to, the divorce rate in the U.S. from first marriages is 41 percent—not quite 50, but definitely close. However, the divorce rate for second marriage is 60 percent and third marriage is 73 percent. The defined divorce rate refers to the number of divorces per 1,000 married persons. The divorce rate in America has decreased steadily since 2000 according to the…
  • Four Tips for a Better Divorce Mediation

    Debra Synovec
    26 Jun 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Mediation is a productive dispute resolution process used by divorcing couples  to come to a mutual agreement. The mediator facilitates the discussions and guides the divorcing couple toward solutions and at the same time both parties have a chance to express feelings and needs with dignity. Divorce mediation is an economical alternative to hiring lawyers and dealing with drawn out legal proceedings and court dates. While divorce mediation can be highly effective and less time consuming than legal procession, the attitude of each party is crucial to ensuring productive mediation sessions and…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • Artemis Center Provides Assistance To Victims Of Domestic Violence

    Anne Shale
    24 Oct 2014 | 11:47 pm
    An Update on Dayton’s Domestic Violence Resource Agency – The Artemis Center in Montgomery County, Ohio As the month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I chose to update an Ohio Family Law Blog article I had posted six (6) years ago on October 25, 2008.  Click here to read it. On Friday, October 10, 2014, I again travelled to Artemis Center to meet with and interview the new Executive Director, Judy Strnad.  Ms. Strnad is a graduate of DePaul University and received a Master in Social Work degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago. The new Director has over…
  • Same-Sex Marriage Case Declined By U.S. Supreme Court

    Robert L. Mues
    18 Oct 2014 | 12:03 am
    The U.S. Supreme Court’s Refusal to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage Cases has Broad Implications The United States Supreme Court recently declined to take up an issue regarding same-sex marriage.  By declining to take these cases, the court has allowed men and women to have entered into same-sex marriages in eleven states that previously didn’t allow same-sex marriages. By refusing to take up the appeals of these cases, they have in essence upheld the rulings that all allowed same-sex marriage.  Those new eleven states that are now required to recognize and issue same sex marriage…
  • Foster Home Placement For Children: The Psycho-Legal Considerations

    Guest Contributor, Daniel Pollack
    11 Oct 2014 | 12:20 am
    Foster Care Placement For A Child – What Effect Will Other Children In A Foster Home Have? A healthy 3-year-old is placed in a foster home. A month later, a 16-year-old with a history of borderline personality disorder is placed in the same home. Without permission, the 16-year-old decides to give the 3-year-old a bath. Tragically, the 3-year-old drowns. Whatever the exact circumstances, and the foster parents’ behavior and liability aside, was it negligent of the agency initially to place the teenager in the same home as the young child? When a child is placed in a foster home,…
  • Bitcoins and Hiding Assets in a Divorce Action

    Robert L. Mues
    3 Oct 2014 | 10:31 pm
    Protect Your Assets – Talk To A Divorce Attorney To Avoid Being Ripped Off By Bitcoins Concealment Bitcoins are defined as a crypto-currency and are the first of their kind.  Crypto-currency is just a fancy term for “encryption” meaning only authorized parties can read it. This essentially allows individuals to store bitcoins without any link to themselves, drastically differing from bank accounts or stocks. Bitcoins, unlike traditional currencies like the US Dollar, aren’t backed by governments and aren’t influenced by monetary policy. This makes bitcoin more like gold…
  • Divorce During Pendency: Living Separately or Living Together?

    Anne Shale
    26 Sep 2014 | 11:04 pm
    Should Couples Live Separately Or Together Through A Divorce Or Dissolution? – List Of Factors Crucial In Each Case The parties agree the marriage is not working; the decision is made by one of the parties to initiate a divorce proceeding.  Do the parties live separately or together during the pendency of a divorce?  There are many factors to be considered: Finances:  If there is adequate income available to cover the living expenses of two (2) households, it is probably easier and less emotionally draining to live separate and apart while the divorce is taking place.  This…
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    NJ Family Legal Blog

  • The ABC’s of Family Law- A is for “Assets”

    Jennifer Weisberg Millner
    23 Oct 2014 | 5:24 am
    “What’s included” is a question which I hear many times each week as I meet with clients who are thinking about or embarking on the path of divorce or separation.  What assets are included in the marital estate is defined by statute in New Jersey.  Essentially, anything that was acquired by either party during the marriage by either party, regardless of whose name the asset is titled, is part of the marital estate and subject to equitable distribution.   There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, and those exceptions include assets that were acquired by way of a…

    Robert A. Epstein
    15 Oct 2014 | 11:24 am
    In the return of our New Jersey Family Law Podcast Series, we are proud to present our fifth installment discussing child support and emancipation.  This has been a hot topic in recent months, especially following the Rachel Canning lawsuit from earlier this year.  Enjoy! Listen to the Podcast and download the transcript here. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Robert A. Epstein is a partner and Eliana T. Baer is an associate in Fox Rothschild LLP’s Family Law Practice Group. Robert practices in the firm’s Roseland, New…
  • Pre-School: Is it School, or is it Day Care? And which parent gets to decide?

    Jennifer Weisberg Millner
    10 Oct 2014 | 6:49 am
    In the days of my childhood, formal education began in Kindergarten when, finally, I got to ride the bus with the big kids.  Not so much any more.  The vast majority of children now go to some type of pre-Kindergarten program during which they have the opportunity to learn the basics of the alphabet, numbers and the like. Given the fact that many intact families have two working parents, and that in most single parent households, the parent works outside the home, work related child care and pre-school often simultaneous.  So then, in the case of two parents who are apart, who gets to…

    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…
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    Lewis Kannegieter Law, Ltd. » » Blog

  • Considerations When Passing Down Real Estate in Minnesota

    20 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    Do you have a cherished cabin, vacation home, or other property which you wish to pass down to your loved ones someday? Surprisingly to many people, leaving a home to family members can create a number of unexpected consequences for those who don’t fully weigh their options and plan far enough ahead. The vacation home may be very valuable, in terms of money, tradition, or both. Of course, where its value lies may be different for each heir. Let’s say that a couple in Monticello wants to leave their beloved cabin to their children. They see this as an act of love, providing future…
  • Family Court: What to Expect

    6 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    Going to court can be a stressful experience for anyone, but it can be especially trying for people dealing with the emotionally charged issues of divorce and child custody. It may help reduce the stress if you’re aware of what you can expect from the different types of events held in the courtroom. In many counties, several different cases will be scheduled for the same time. The short and easy hearings will probably be heard first. During this time, you and your attorney may make a final effort to work through any disagreements with the other side. Keep in mind that the judge is not…
  • Preparing Your Business For The Unexpected In Minnesota

    22 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    For many small business owners in Minnesota, typical business planning centers on where you are now and how to ensure growth in the future. What often goes overlooked, however, is how to properly protect your business after you are gone. Sure, you may have thought about who will take over in the event of retirement, but have you thought about what would happen if you became incapacitated or unexpectedly pass away? For many people, their business is their greatest asset. Certainly you want the peace of mind knowing your business will stay protected and produce income to support your family if…
  • 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…
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    Iowa Law Blog

  • An Employer's Responsibility when Domestic Violence Invades the Workplace

    Liz Overton
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:42 pm
     In the wake of domestic violence charges against NFL players and the public’s outrage at the NFL’s response as a business owner you may be thinking how you might respond when faced with an employee charged with domestic violence or an employee who is a victim of domestic violence.  Or maybe you believe domestic violence does not affect your workforce. According to an article published by the ABA, one out of every four women will be a victim of domestic violence.  Additionally, almost 50% of employed victims of domestic violence report that they lost their jobs due…
  • 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;…
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    Pink Tape

  • Trends in Family Appeals

    Lucy Reed
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:17 pm
    The response to my FOI request regarding family appeals is in. It’s one of those odd requests where they say you can’t have what you want under FOI, but we’re going to give most of it to you anyway. What I really wanted to get a handle on was the trends in family appeals, particularly from LiPs, since LASPO. My hypothesis was that there would be more appeals by LiPs, and probably a lower conversion rate from permission applications to full appeal and to successful appeal. So, here’s what we have. Numbers of family appeals from DJs are on an upward incline: Apr 11-Mar…
  • The curious incident of Article 8 in the Night time

    Lucy Reed
    29 Oct 2014 | 4:24 pm
    This post was written by Sarah Phillimore of St John’s Chambers, Bristol. Sarah blogs at Child Protection Resource and tweets as @svphillimore. Re A (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1104. McFarlane LJ considered an appeal from the decision of a Circuit Judge from a long running and acrimonious private law dispute, which had left the Circuit Judge extremely despondent about the failings of the family law system. The ‘bald facts’ of the case were described thus (para 52): this is an unimpeachable father, who has been prevented from having effective contact with a daughter who has enjoyed…
  • “Understanding Re Y and pondering horizontality” or “Why I need a lie down”

    Lucy Reed
    29 Oct 2014 | 4:23 pm
    In the time it has taken me to chew the fat and mouth off extensively on twitter about Re Y [2014] EWCA Civ 1287 everyone else has actually written their blog posts on the topic. And very good they are too. Firstly, there is Sarah Phillimore, who wrote a blog post entitled The Curious Incident of Article 8 in the Night Time, that I then sat on, because I wanted to publish it simultaneously with this one (sorry Sarah, I thought I’d get round to this sooner). Secondly there is David Burrows’ post: Forget Convention Rights in Private Children Proceedings. Thirdly there is Laura…

    Lucy Reed
    23 Oct 2014 | 2:39 pm
    I recently made a FOI request to CAFCASS in order to see what was happening in terms of the trends of complaints from parents. I thought (rightly) that there was likely to have been an increase in complaints post LASPO driven by the increase in LiPs, and I wanted to find out if my hunch was right. The response is now in : see The response was interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, as expected there is an upward trend in complaint numbers, although perhaps not as stark as I had thought it might be. 2011/12 : 1,265 2012/13 : 1,495 2013/14 : 1,596 2014 (to 21/10) : 769…
  • Upselling : Would you like some humour with your travel madam?

    Lucy Reed
    23 Oct 2014 | 1:59 pm
    I hate that I even know what upselling is. I have a train station branch of Pumpkin to thank for that – a notice on the back of an open staff room door, reminding the poor staff to “upsell” at every opportunity. You know how it goes: “A tea please” “Is that a large tea madam?” “Oh yes please. Good idea just before a long train journey”. “Would you like a muffin with that madam?” “Oh yes. Do you know, even though there is a wall of enormous muffins right in front of me as I order it had never occurred to me I might want a…
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    Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

  • Divorce Classes

    James J. Gross
    31 Oct 2014 | 7:28 am
    We have court-ordered parenting classes for people going through divorce in Maryland, but Oklahoma is trying something different.  Their classes will discuss divorce and emphasize reconciliation in an attempt to convince people to stay married. State Senator Rob Standridge, who sponsored the new law, says not every marriage can be saved, and the law is not designed to force couples to stay together.  But some couples can successfully reconcile and that may be best for their children. Do you think we ought to try something like this in Maryland?
  • Divorce Quotes

    James J. Gross
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:59 am
    “Basically it costs as much to get unmarried as it does to get married.” Bruce Cameron, Cameron Law PLLC, The Huffington Post
  • They Never Mentioned That in School

    James J. Gross
    29 Oct 2014 | 11:55 am
    When I was a chemical engineering student, we used slide rules and stayed up all night to work out problems with accuracy to the third decimal point. My first job out of school was with Proctor & Gamble.  I was assigned to design a Toluene storage system.  Toluene is a toxic, highly flammable, liquid chemical used in making soap. I used temperature and pressure to calculate the volume of the tank we needed to store the Toluene within three decimal points. I gave the numbers to Tom, the flat-topped, draftsman with horn-rim glasses, assigned to draw up my design.  Tom was more…
  • How to Put Your Divorce in Perspective

    James J. Gross
    24 Oct 2014 | 9:19 am
    “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”—Mark Twain
  • Legal Fees

    James J. Gross
    14 Oct 2014 | 8:01 am
    Divorce lawyer Morris Green answered his phone on the second ring as was his custom. “Morris!,” said the angry voice on the other end, “This is Ivana Copernica.  I’m calling you about your client, Stanton Fields.  Did you know that he has taken $10,000 out of his pension plan?” “Yes, I did know,” Green replied calmly. “He can’t do that.” “Why not?” “Because it’s marital property and my client did not agree,” said Ivana. “I don’t think that your client’s consent is required.  Marital funds are expended by one party or the other in almost every divorce. …
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    Fathers' Rights Not Just Every Other Weekend

  • Better Relationships with Children Ups Child Support Collections

    James J. Gross
    30 Oct 2014 | 10:55 am
    Emily DeVoe at WECT.Com describes the success of a program in New Hanover County, North Carolina, called Partnership for Fatherhood. “We found out that a lot of fathers weren’t paying their child support–they didn’t have a relationship with their children–and so we said, ‘If they have a relationship with their children, maybe then they will pay their child support because they will have a relationship and be committed to their child,’” Angelina Bernard of the Department of Social Services said. One of the program’s goals is to build better…
  • Jobs Not Jail

    James J. Gross
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:12 am
    A report by attorney Lisa Lane McDevitt on the Law Firm Newswire describes a Virginia program that puts noncustodial parents to work instead of in jail for nonpayment of child support. The Intensive Case Monitoring Program (ICMP) attempts to find careers for parents who are behind in their child support.  Since the pilot program in 2008, the ICMP is now in 31 courthouses in Virginia. Instead of sending parents to prison, the court orders them into the program where a case manager works with community partners to help them find a job, housing, education and other services. McDevitt says that…
  • “Deadbeat” TV Show

    James J. Gross
    17 Oct 2014 | 11:12 am
    “Deadbeat” is a new reality tv show filmed in Jefferson County District Court in Louisville, Kentucky.  It will feature child support hearings with parents who are more than $1,000 behind in child support. The show’s producer says he is performing a public service by exposing a problem and ultimately helping the children recover unpaid child support. Opponents of the show say that nothing good can come from it and worry that the show may cause the judges to hand down harsher penalties to show off for the cameras.
  • 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…
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    Blog entries

  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News - October 31, 2014

    31 Oct 2014 | 7:38 am
    DadsDivorce and MensDivorce as well as their sponsor, Cordell & Cordell, present a news video for the week of October 31, 2014.This week, Cordell & Cordell highlighted a new flat-fee billing option for Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada.DadsDivorce answered a reader's question regarding their right to change the locks on their home after their wife moved out.MensDivorce published a new Attorney Bites video on the importance of recordkeeping durRead More...
  • Is a 401k Awarded From a Previous Divorce During Our Marriage Subject to Property Division?

    29 Oct 2014 | 6:39 am
    Question:My wife and I are divorcing, both our second marriage. During our marriage, my wife received a QDRO awarding her a 401k from her previous husband.Is her 401k awarded from a previous marriage during our marriage subjecRead More...
  • Consequences of Changing the Locks on the Marital Home

    27 Oct 2014 | 2:40 am
    Question:My wife moved out of the marital home 90 days ago and has not returned nor has any plans to return. Both of our names are on the title to the home.Can I change the locks without legal repercussion? Answer:While I cannotRead More...
  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News - October 24, 2014

    23 Oct 2014 | 4:00 pm
    DadsDivorce and MensDivorce as well as their sponsor, Cordell & Cordell, present a news video for the week of October 24, 2014.This week, Cordell & Cordell Principal Partner Joe Cordell added a new article to his column with Financial Advisor Magazine on preparing financial advisors to testify as an expert witness.DadsDivorce answered an Ask a Lawyer question regarding custody rights for a guy who's ex-fiance moved to another state, then informed hiRead More...
  • Pregnant Fiancee Moved To Another State, Says I'll Never See My Child!

    22 Oct 2014 | 1:39 am
    Question:I recently broke it off with my fiancé who has now moved to another state and told me she is pregnant.She has said I will never see my child because we aren’t married and don’t live near each Read More...
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    Marilyn Stowe Blog

  • Senior judge criticises lack of legal aid for parents

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:41 am
    The President of the Family Division has criticised the lack of legal aid for parents facing the possibility that their son will be adopted. While ruling on D (A Child), Sir James Munby said that he had to grapple with “the profoundly disturbing fact” that the boy’s parents could not afford to hire a lawyer, yet still did not qualify for legal aid. Sir James said it would be “unconscionable” and “unjust” to require the parents to face the possibility of “the permanent loss of their child” with no legal representation whatsoever. He said it would constitute a violation of…
  • What family lawyers were talking about this week… by John Bolch

    John Bolch
    31 Oct 2014 | 9:18 am
    As reported on this blog, the Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, has shelved plans to nearly double the fee for filing a divorce petition. It had been proposed that the current fee of £410 would be increased to £750, in an effort to reduce the Civil and Family Courts’ £150m annual deficit. The proposal met with considerable criticism, particularly as the true cost of an uncontested petition is only £270. Critics also expressed fears that that raising the fee could force people to stay in broken marriages for longer. Thankfully, it appears that we have had a little common…
  • Marilyn Stowe on BBC News: Metro Mayor, mind-reading and more

    Marilyn Stowe
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:14 am
    Last night, I had the pleasure of being a guest on BBC News to talk about today’s headlines, appearing twice on The Papers. One item that particularly caught my attention was the Prime Minister’s wish to keep interest rates at “rock bottom” forever. It’s certainly a nice thought. Especially for young, first time buyers. The issue of house prices effects people all over the country, but particularly in the north. Despite what some may say, there is a huge north/south divide in this country. If Cameron’s wish for permanently low interest rates comes true, that can only be a good…
  • Rise in children needing social services

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    31 Oct 2014 | 5:27 am
    Close to 11 per cent more children were referred to social services in the year to March than in the preceding 12 months, a government report reveals. A total of 657,800 children were referred over the 12 months, up from 593,500 the previous year. Close to a quarter of those referrals were made by the Police. Nearly 400,000 children were officially classed as being in need at the end of March – five per cent more than on the same day the previous year. More than 47 per cent had been subjected to abuse or neglect . and just under 19 per cent had been referred to due to family problems. More…
  • Divorce study launched in Saudi Arabia

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    30 Oct 2014 | 11:00 pm
    The government of Saudi Arabia has announced it will launch a new study on the growing divorce rate in the country. Surveys will be given to all men seeking a divorce, and they will not be issued one until they have filled it out. Questions will include how many marriages the husband has been in throughout his life, how long each lasted and why they ended. The Saudi Ministry of Justice hopes the study will give them information which will help them stop the divorce rate from escalating further. According to official statistics, there were 33,954 divorce cases issued in 2014. Reports from…
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    Tripp Atkins, Greenville Divorce Lawyer, Greenville, SC Divorce Lawyer

  • Help! How Can I Get Started Seeking Financial Assistance from my Spouse?

    Tripp Atkins
    22 Oct 2014 | 1:52 pm
    Question: My husband has deserted me and refuses to help me financially. He has moved in with his mistress and won’t have any contact with me! How do I file for spousal support? He is refusing to help me. Answer: You should consult with a lawyer immediately so that you can move forward with the Family Court to get some immediate relief. Unfortunately, the only way to obtain the relief you are seeking is to file an action with the Family Court for divorce/separation and request this relief through a Motion for Temporary Relief. I strongly suggest hiring a lawyer because alimony is a…
  • My Spouse Won’t Leave…Can I Still File for Divorce?

    Tripp Atkins
    14 Aug 2014 | 6:53 am
    Recently, this question was posted as a comment on a blog post, “I want a divorce because my husband is a verbal and physical abuser when he drunks. Be won’t leave the house. Can I still file for divorce?” South Carolina has five grounds for divorce: physical abuse, habitual drunkenness, adultery, desertion, and the no fault ground of living apart continuously for a period in excess of one year.  If you do not qualify for one of the fault-based grounds for divorce you could also file for separate support and maintenance. The desertion ground and no fault ground for divorce…
  • How do South Carolina Family Courts divide property and debts in divorce cases

    Tripp Atkins
    18 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    There are two main division methods in divorce law nationwide: community property and equitable apportionment states.  South Carolina is an equitable apportionment state. So, what does that mean? Equitable Apportionment means that South Carolina Family Courts have jurisdiction in a divorce case to divide up the marital assets and debts acquired during the marriage.  Our Code of Laws state that, during a marriage, spouses acquire a special equity and ownership right in the marital property and those rights are subject to apportionment between the spouses.  (See SC Code §20-3-610).  …
  • What should I expect at the initial consultation with my divorce lawyer?

    Tripp Atkins
    16 Jul 2014 | 6:33 am
    When you meet with a lawyer to discuss your divorce case you want to know something tangible.  You have hundreds of questions and worries floating around in your head.  How much with this cost?  What is the worst case scenario?  Will I lose my kids?  How long with this take?  And many more. The initial consultation is a time for you and the lawyer to get to know more about one another.  Your lawyer will likely ask you to complete a new client intake form.  This will ask information about you such as your address, date of birth and other personal information.  It will likely as for…
  • When should you seek modification of your child support?

    Tripp Atkins
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    A while back, I made a rare visit to the county jail to meet with a client.  Several years ago, he and his former wife reached an agreement in their divorce about custody, visitation and child support.  Things were pretty good – as far as divorces go. Fast forward a few years…his dependable job and income went away with the recession along with his income.  He wasn’t able to keep his bills current and he quickly fell behind in his child support.  He kept in contact with his former wife and did other things to try to help when he couldn’t make a child support payment.  But he…
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    Michael C. Craven | Divorce Lawyers Chicago

  • Power of Attorney Health Care Agent

    Michael C Craven
    30 Oct 2014 | 11:02 am
    Choosing a Health Care Power of Attorney Agent In my recent blog post about the changes to the Health Care Power of Attorney Act, I emphasized the importance, especially for those going through a divorce, of having a Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) in an estate plan. An HCPOA allows a person to designate another person, called the health care agent, to make health care decisions for that person in the event that he or she can no longer make the decisions due to injury, illness or incapacity. When someone is chosen to be a health care agent, he or she is taking on a lot of…
  • Spousal Education Gaps and Divorce

    Michael C Craven
    9 Oct 2014 | 9:32 am
    Education and Divorce Recently, a report was published in the August issue of the American Sociological Review about an extensive study regarding divorce trends among spouses with differing levels of education. The report prompted me to think back upon the evolution of my cases during my years as a Chicago divorce lawyer. The study, which used data of marriages formed in the nation from 1950-2004, found that marriages where the wife has more education than her husband are no longer more prone to divorce than couples with equal education levels or where the husband has more education. Why is…
  • 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…
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    Scaling the Summit: Divorce, Families, & Options

  • Appellate Questions on Alimony Termination – You Decide!

    28 Oct 2014 | 10:49 am
    There are three appeals pending before the Massachusetts SJC which will significantly impact how the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 is interpreted by the courts.  All three cases have to do with whether the Act can apply to Judgments or Agreements entered prior to the Act’s effective date (March 1, 2012).  Each case deals with a slightly different component of this issue:Doktor v. Doktor (SJC-11727) presents the question of whether the Act's provision regarding termination of general term alimony upon full retirement age (see M.G. L. c. 208, § 49f) applies to a divorce judgment…
  • 3 Things that Mediation is NOT

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:20 am
    Mediation has become a popular alternative to court proceedings, with mediators resolving disputes of all kinds ranging from private family matters to the very public NFL lockout.  But there is still a significant amount of confusion about what is mediation and what can a mediator do for you.  Some of the most common misconceptions follow:1. Mediation is NOT Arbitration!Many people assume that the purpose of a mediation is to have a trained third party help them make decisions by choosing a solution when they can't agree, and this misconception has been popularized by shows like…
  • Collaborative Law is Growing!

    9 Oct 2014 | 12:36 pm
    If you follow our posts at all you're probably aware that attorney Justin Kelsey is a Collaboratively trained Divorce attorney and Mediator.  But did you also know that three other attorneys at Kelsey & Trask, P.C. are Collaboratively trained as well?Full time Associate, Valerie Kua, and of counsel Jonathan Eaton have both taken the Collaborative Training and regularly use those skills in their family law practice to settle both Collaborative and cooperative cases (if you don't know the difference click here).  In addition, of counsel to Kelsey & Trask, P.C., Beth…
  • Divorce Support Groups in Massachusetts

    8 Oct 2014 | 9:04 pm
    Going through a divorce is the second most stressful life event next to the passing of a loved one. When a loved one dies, we have numerous traditions and rituals that ensure that we have support to help us grieve.  In contrast, divorce is too often experienced alone.  While we encourage our divorce clients to seek support of friends, family and therapists, that doesn't work for everyone.  Sometimes friends and family don't understand, and therapy isn't the answer for everyone.When some options don't work, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to go through your divorce…
  • Why Aren't You Getting Collaborative Cases?

    24 Sep 2014 | 7:50 am
    There are many reasons that there are currently fewer Collaborative cases than there are mediation and litigation cases.  Just to name a few of the challenges: the process is newer and less well known to the general public; there is still confusion about the cost and benefits of the process; and there aren't as many practitioners trained in the process as there are in mediation (and no additional training is "required" to go to court).  Collaborative Law, like mediation, requires that both parties choose the process.  If one party wants to go to court then the other essentially…
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    Lawdiva's Blog

  • When Surrogacy and Adoption Goes Wrong

    Georgialee Lang
    29 Oct 2014 | 5:02 pm
    Several months ago we read about a couple from Australia who hired a Thai surrogate so she could bear the child they always wanted. During month three of the surrogate’s pregnancy the couple were informed that the 21 year-old surrogate was having twins, one of whom tested positive for Down’s syndrome. According to the surrogate, the parents-to-be implored her to have an abortion but she refused. When the twins were born the agency who arranged the surrogacy delivered the “healthy” twin girl to the couple, leaving behind the baby boy who also had a congenital heart…
  • Family Law Lies Endanger “Save China’s Tigers” Charity

    Georgialee Lang
    28 Oct 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Stuart Bray met his wife Li Quan in 1990 and quickly embraced her passion to save China’s tigers and to develop a breeding program to reintroduce China’s tigers back to their wild reserves. Each of them invested huge sums of money, time, and energy into their joint charity called “Save China’s Tigers” which was established in the United Kingdom in 2000. Mr. Bray had a successful career in finance and banking before leaving the Deutsche Bank with a libel judgment in his favour for $20 million pounds. Ms. Quan and Mr. Bray began living together in 1997 and married in 2001.
  • How Family Law Court Costs Escalate…

    Georgialee Lang
    22 Oct 2014 | 10:33 am
    One of the main reasons the middle class is abandoning family courts in droves is because of the bank-draining costs of litigation. While it may appear straight forward to bring a claim for parenting or child support, there are a myriad of legal skirmishes that accompany these claims, that are difficult to predict, and hence, make it impossible to estimate the amount of legal fees for any particular court case. Typical preliminary court applications that may unpredictably drive up court costs include a challenge to a court’s jurisdiction to even hear and adjudicate a particular case, or…
  • Nevada Media Tells Tale of Vancouver Same-Sex Divorce Debacle

    Georgialee Lang
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:01 pm
    Television station KLAS Las Vegas featured a story last evening that told of a “divorce debacle” in our British Columbia Supreme Court. Earlier this year I was retained by a woman in Nevada who, like many others, took advantage of Canada’s same-sex marriage laws. Vivian and her same-sex partner were married in Whistler, British Columbia in 2004, returning to their home state of Nevada, where both were accomplished professional women. Along the way, Vivian’s partner adopted two children to whom Vivian played an equal mothering role during their marriage. Regrettably,…

    Georgialee Lang
    5 Oct 2014 | 4:24 pm
    I admit it…I’m a crime junkie. I’ve read every true crime book written by Ann Rule and Jack Olsen. I’m also a big fan of America’s Most Wanted, and I frequently peruse the FBI Most Wanted List. Don’t hate me when I tell you that I follow the executions in the States, even though I’m against capital punishment. Having established my credentials to review Vancouver lawyer Joan McEwen’s new book “Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry” Heritage House Publishing 2014, I should also add that I’m a criminology graduate and have been married to a police officer for…
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    Farzad Family Law

  • How to Protect Your Child From a Narcissistic Father or Mother?

    Robert Farzad
    29 Oct 2014 | 10:13 pm
    Protecting children from a narcissistic father or mother comes with challenges because, with a narcissistic parent, it’s all about their way or no way How to protect your child from a narcissistic father or mother starts with understanding what drives such personality types to do what they do. We have written in the past about the subject of divorcing a narcissist for women and for men, including how a narcissist handles divorce and reacts to it. This article isn’t about your divorce or the divorce process. It’s about your child. What we write here isn’t legal advice. These…
  • Lying on Income and Expense Declaration Forms – Why is it Done and How do You Prove it?

    Robert Farzad
    10 Oct 2014 | 9:15 pm
    An income and expense declaration is a mandatory and often used form in California divorce or paternity cases. But how do spouses or parents lie on the form, hide information and what can be done about it? Lying on income and expense declaration forms in a divorce, child support or spousal support case is one of the dumbest things a spouse or parent can do. Those who do it and do so willfully seem to believe that they will get away with it. This assumption generally comes from one or some of the following: The other spouse or parent won’t have time or money to dig into the truth, The…
  • 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…
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    Law Office of Steven L. Fritsch

  • California Child Custody Mediation

    Steve Fritsch
    27 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    Child custody is never a simple matter. Even parents with the best of intentions may disagree over how to divide legal and physical custody of their children. And even when the parents agree that one of them should have full custody, there is still the question of visitation time for the other parent. In California, a parenting plan spells out the custody and visitation arrangements for the parties and their children. The plan itself can be fairly broad—leaving the parents room to make adjustments as they go—or highly specific, providing a strict schedule for alternating custody or…
  • California Visitation and Custody Arrangements

    Steve Fritsch
    23 Oct 2014 | 7:53 am
    Child custody arrangements are often the most contentious part of any divorce proceeding. In California, a family court judge must consider “the best interests of the child” in determining custody arrangements. There is no fixed definition of “best interests”; the court must look at all facts and circumstances, including the child’s age, family and community ties, as well as the parents’ relative ability to provide financial and emotional support. It is important to understand that child custody arrangements fall into two categories: legal and physical custody. Legal…
  • Military Divorce Statistics

    Steve Fritsch
    14 Aug 2014 | 10:25 am
    It’s no secret that divorce is on the rise not just in the United States, but all over the world. In decades past the concept of divorce used to be unheard of, but now a significant amount of marriages end in divorce in as little as ten years. If those types of statistics are surprising, you will likely be floored by information that was recently discovered about divorce statistics among those men and women who are serving or have served in the United States Armed Forces. The following Infographic was complied from various sources to include detailed information about military divorce…
  • Filing in California for a Military Divorce

    Steve Fritsch
    1 Jul 2014 | 2:50 pm
    Serving in the military can be difficult on a marriage, especially when spouses are separated for extended periods of time. If a divorce is warranted, be aware that in California, military divorce procedures can differ greatly from normal civilian divorces, especially if the service member is deployed on active duty or stationed overseas. Specific federal laws, as well as California rules govern the divorce process and the separation of property. The grounds for filing for a divorce are the same for civilians and those in the military, though to file in California, one of the spouses must…
  • How are Custody and Visitation Rights Determined

    Steve Fritsch
    19 May 2014 | 1:00 pm
    California courts used to grant automatic custody rights to mothers. This is no longer the case, even if the child or children are very young. Custody and visitation rights are now secure for non-married parents, disabled parents, and parents of every lifestyle, religious perspective and sexual orientation. Given that the system tends to be inclusive of many different kinds of parents, you will likely need to agree to a custody plan with your former spouse. In all instances, the parents are either able to come to a custody agreement or the parents are unable to come to a custody agreement.
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    Mesa Divorce Lawyer

  • Judge Tells Bethenny to Stop Wearing Children’s Pajamas

    JacksonWhite Law
    23 Oct 2014 | 11:15 am
    The former “Real Housewives” star and husband Jason Hoppy are in the process of divorce. It seems the judge is not a fan of Bethenny Frankel or her Instagram. In fact the Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gesmer told the star “no more pajamas!” while in divorce court Thursday. Pajamas and Instagram  The judge was speaking in regards to Frankle’s Instagram account. She had posted a questionable picture in July. The picture displayed the 43 year old star in her daughters Hello Kitty PJ’s with a ruffled top, shorts, and slippers. The caption read: “This is my daughter’s…
  • Kris and Bruce Finally File For Divorce

    JacksonWhite Law
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:21 am
    The Momager to the Kardashians and Bruce Jenner both filed divorce documents on Monday after being separated for some time. The two decided the division of the $225 million dollars. For most of their married life their finances were kept separately. This was considered unusual because there was no prenuptial agreement, but it seemed Bruce did not care about the separate accounts. Divorce Agreement Kris will keep the Hidden Hills mansion while Bruce will reside in the Malibu mansion. Bruce purchased the home located in Malibu after the two have been separated. Things got messy when discussing…
  • Man sentenced to 6.5 years in prison for child abuse

    JacksonWhite Law
    16 Oct 2014 | 8:19 am
    David Michael Stokes was “super nervous” as he addressed the Circuit Judge Robert Hodges. He entered the court room with the intent to enter a “best interest” plea of guilty to one felony count of aggravated child abuse. Normally, this charge would result in 30 years behind bars-but his plea agreement changed that. Instead the 23-year-old was sentenced to serve a little of 6.5 years in prison. He will also pay a fine of $1,000 and other various costs. Child Abuse in 2013 In march of 2013 Stokes allegedly harmed his girlfriends daughter. The young girl was almost 2 years old at the…
  • Man Divorces Wife for Desiring Too Much Sex

    JacksonWhite Law
    14 Oct 2014 | 8:03 am
    What seems to be every man’s dream, turned out to be on mans nightmare. In fact the man hated it so much, he filed for divorce: too much sex. Sex and Divorce There are many divorces filed where the couples are engaged in a sexless marriage, but it is rare to hear of a divorce due to excessive sex. One man filed a divorce in a Mumbai family court stating he could no longer stand his wife’s “excessive and insatiable desire for sex.” The husband approached the courts in India back in January, and originally stated his wife was “aggressive, stubborn and autocratic”. He also explained…
  • Divorce In Style: Luxury hotel offers divorce package

    JacksonWhite Law
    9 Oct 2014 | 8:54 am
    Located in New York, Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa is known for its stunning high end weddings. This fancy resort will soon be offering couples the opportunity to divorce in style. One of their newest packages will serve a quickie divorce in a beautiful setting. The Package For $5,000, the divorcing couples can un-do their “I do’s.” The $5,000 gets each spouse their own luxurious room, access to the resort’s spa, tennis courts, swimming area, golf courses, and a lawyer. The hotel website often has hotel suites that sell for $500 or more a night. Each room has views of “breathtaking…
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    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, P.L.L.C. » Blog

  • The Estate Planning Docs YOU Need for YOUR Aging Parents

    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:19 am
    As our parents age, legitimate concerns will arise as to whether they have an estate plan, including all the right documents, and whether everything is in order. Do not assume your parents have already taken these steps; many people die “intestate” – without a will. Essentially, should your parent pass away without a will, the state will be responsible for distributing the estate, which can be a long and complex process – and potentially a costly one for the surviving family. An Individual Estate Plan: Asset Preservation and Estate Distribution No cookie-cutter estate plan will be…
  • Why It Is Important To Get Answers To Your Divorce And Support Questions

    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:16 am
    If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to “know before you go.” What you do early in the process can have a big impact the final outcome of a divorce, whether in a settlement or in court. Are you concerned about the amount of spousal support or child support you could be due? Are you wondering if you will be able to keep the family home, or how the marital property will be split in a divorce? These are legitimate concerns, and divorces vary widely. Your first step is to discuss your situation with a legal professional who is skilled in family law, and has years of…
  • That Medication Mistake Can Be Deadly!

    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:13 am
    Our elderly parents are often in a condition that we just cannot manage at home. Cases of dementia, serious illnesses, physical incapacitation and other medical or mental problems lead us to the decision to place our loved one in a nursing home for professional care and treatment. We choose a nursing home that we expect to provide the level of care and medical treatment our loved one needs, including nutrition, exercise, medical care and oversight, as well as various types of social interaction, based upon the condition and needs of the person. Unfortunately, one common form of elder abuse…
  • Protecting our Roads AND Your Rights

    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:05 am
    Drunk driving laws were put in place to protect those traveling on our streets, roads and highways from the dangers of intoxicated drivers. The law also protects your rights – but how? Obviously, driving while heavily intoxicated endangers other motorists. No matter how much legislation is passed or penalties increased, cases exist in which a driver is accused of being over the limit and is facing charges for DUI. No one would recommend that you drink and drive, but a driver may be illegally stopped by law enforcement and charged with DUI when no driving conduct could be attributed to…
  • Signs of Abuse and Where to Turn For Help

    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
    8 Oct 2014 | 7:52 am
    Domestic violence can impact any person of any age, ethnicity, or economic level, and both women and men are victims of abuse. Abusive behavior is unacceptable, whether it is physical or emotional, as well as being illegal. The first step in dealing with this very difficult issue is to acknowledge that it is taking place. If you are in fear and walk on eggshells so that your partner does not explode, it is time to take action. Your own life or that of your children could be in danger, as another factor in domestic abuse is the tendency for the abuse to escalate from angry blow-ups to physical…
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    Fairfax Family Law Blog

  • If you've been harmed by a defective product, we can help

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    22 Oct 2014 | 11:26 am
    Even though we expect the products we use every day to be carefully designed and manufactured to be safe and not cause harm when used for their intended purposes, this is unfortunately not always true. Some of the most commonly defective products include automobiles, home appliances and prescription drugs and medical devices. There is a process of testing and evaluating products to help protect against dangerous defects, but problems still occur frequently. Many companies will issue product recalls once they receive reports of a defective product, but these recalls do nothing to help…
  • What should I do immediately after an auto accident?

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    15 Oct 2014 | 11:30 am
    Many Virginia residents may know that certain steps should be taken after an auto accident without knowing exactly what those steps are or why they are important. For victims of a car accident who decide to file a car accident claim, however, knowing what to do and actually doing those things can make a significant difference in the potential success of a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. One of the most important things to do after an accident is to not leave the scene of the accident. All drivers should remain on the scene in order to speak with police and emergency personnel…
  • Treatment and prognosis for traumatic brain injuries

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    9 Oct 2014 | 1:08 pm
    Head injuries can result from sports contact, falls, motor vehicle accidents, and other various incidents. Unfortunately, head trauma that results in a traumatic brain injury can have serious effects and implications on a person's life as many symptoms are quite disruptive of normal functioning and can be long-term or even permanent. It is important to receive treatment for a head or brain injury as quickly as possible after the injury is suffered in order to minimize potential damage. Although it is generally impossible to reverse brain damage that has already been suffered as a result of…
  • How can I prove liability for a slip-and-fall accident?

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    2 Oct 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Property owners must maintain their properties in good condition, especially if the properties are frequented by consumers or the general public. Should property owners fail to comply with this responsibility and someone suffers an injury from a dangerous property condition, the property owner may be held liable in a premises liability lawsuit. Slip-and-fall accidents are some of the most common types of accidents that result in premises liability lawsuits. These kinds of accidents occur when someone either slips or trips and injures him- or herself as a result of conditions like torn…
  • We can help you sue for compensation after a consumer injury

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    25 Sep 2014 | 10:18 am
    If you have been injured by a product you bought or a medication you took, you might not know where to turn. It can be quite shocking to realize that a product or medicine you believed to be completely safe actually resulted in consumer injury. Unfortunately, defective products are far more common than many people realize and consumers have the right-and in some ways, the responsibility-to hold the manufacturers of those products accountable for their mistakes or negligence. Products liability cases are the kinds of lawsuits that refer to dangerous or defective products that have caused harm…
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    Children and the Law Blog

  • Tennessee passes law to punish pregnant women using drugs

    Lauren Fisher
    27 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    Starting July 1st of this year, women in Tennessee who use drugs during pregnancy can be charged with assault.  I have worked with children who were born with drugs in their system, and it is as if their mother’s have put a permanent roadblock to their success.  As a child advocate, this law makes sense to me.  As a woman, it terrifies me. Every year, thousands of babies are born with drugs in their systems.  Long-term health implications include low birth weight, risk of developmental problems, mental retardation, and seizures, among others.  From a financial standpoint, the average…
  • Holding it down in Rikers Island, NY

    Esther Kim
    15 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    In a juvenile facility in Rikers Island, New York, juvenile detainees are routinely subject to violence and told to “hold it down,” which means to keep it quiet and not report the violence or injuries to other prison guards or the infirmary.  Furthermore, most of the staff and officers are not trained in how to deal with the children: “Historically here in New York, we’ve never trained our staff to do these things, even though we had an expectation somehow they would know… How do you manage a 16- and 17-year-old differently than an adult when we’ve never…
  • Stuck between a rock and a hard place: Juvenile Waivers

    Esther Kim
    13 Oct 2014 | 9:46 am
    Seven high school football players in New Jersey have been charged with committing violent sexual hazing, including aggravated sexual assault. The boys await their first hearing this week, and if prosecutors are successful in requesting waivers, some or all of the boys might be tried as adults in criminal court. Whether a case is moved into the adult system depends on several factors, including the history of the teenager, his age and the nature of the charge. They may also consider a victim’s opinion, said Laura Cohen, a professor at Rutgers Law School who is focused on juvenile justice…
  • Day 2 of the 13th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference

    Alexandra Wolf
    16 May 2014 | 9:01 am
    It’s the second day of the 13th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference here at the University of Houston Law Center! Mr. Larry McClaugherty, a pharmacist and owner at McClaugherty Consulting Services opened the conference with a discussion on psychotropic medications and children.  Next, Professors Jill Campbell and Susham Modi, clinical supervising attorneys for the Immigration Clinic at the University of Houston Law Center, will follow with a presentation on immigration and juvenile law.  Professor Campbell has conducted various outreach programs throughout the Houston area on the subject…
  • 13th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference

    Alexandra Wolf
    15 May 2014 | 10:17 am
    This morning marked the start of the 13th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference presented by the Center for Children, Law and Policy at the University of Houston Law Center and the Southwest Regional Juvenile Defender Center.  Nearly 100 attorneys from all across the country involved with and interested in juvenile justice have come to participate in the conference. Kicking off the two-day conference was the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) director for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Mr. Bart Lubow, who reviewed the Casey Foundation’s JDAI program in Harris County and around…
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    Family Law Express Brief

  • Overview of the AIFS Independent Children’s Lawyer Study

    Jessica Goddard
    25 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Independent Children’s Lawyers (ICL’s) have been a hotly debated issue within Family Law in Australia. The recent controversies surrounding ICL’s have necessitated inquiry and the Australian Government’s response has been an Australian Institute of Family Studies study into the effectiveness of ICL’s commissioned by Attorney General Nicola Roxon and the Attorney General’s Department. The study, examining the extent to which the involvement of an ICL in family law matters improves outcomes for involved children, was concluded with the release of a final report in May 2013 by the…
  • Family Reports and the Psychology Industry in Family Law: Expert Interview

    Valerie Cortes
    18 Oct 2014 | 7:37 pm
      Dr Travis Gee Family Law Express has had the privilege to interview a Brisbane-based psychologist, Dr. Travis Gee, on his views of the psychology industry within the context of Family Law. Dr. Travis Gee is an Honorary Life Member of the Australian Counselling Association, of which he is an Executive Board member. Dr. Gee is currently in private practice. Dr. Gee extensive and broad experience has included him teaching in universities in both Australia and his native Canada, and he has prepared independent reports in criminal cases involving so-called ‘repressed…
  • Hearsay – What is it and when can you use it?

    Susan Jayne
    10 Oct 2014 | 10:21 pm
    Hearsay is often colloquially referred to as ‘he said, she said’. It is a statement being used to prove the truthfulness of something based on the fact that somebody else said it was true. If you were in the Family Court for instance, and you said “I saw John read his daughter a bedtime story”, this would not be hearsay because you are talking about something you personally witnessed. However, if you said “Jenny said that John read his daughter a bedtime story”, it would be hearsay because you are trying to prove that John read his daughter a bedtime story based on the fact…
  • Unacceptable Risk: Standard of Proof in Determining Child Abuse in Family Law

    Manisharaj Kaur Pannu
    6 Oct 2014 | 6:34 am
    Cases involving child abuse are amongst the most difficult cases faced by courts dealing with Family Law matters. They are equally difficult – both from an emotional and evidentiary perspective for the parties involved. The nature of child abuse in a family context – the fact that the perpetrator is often a family member, the child is young and hence more impressionable, less aware and less accurate in their recollection of events, and the lack of corroborating evidence due to the secrecy of the abusive act – makes such cases difficult to prove. 1 , 2 However, it is is irrefutable…
  • 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…
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    The Sampair Group | Legal Blog

  • Travel Tips for Parents After Divorce

    Sampair Legal Blog
    27 Oct 2014 | 9:33 am
    After your divorce or custody case is over, you may be unclear about what the rules are when it comes to traveling with your child. Can you take your child out of state? Can you take your child out of the country? Do you need permission to travel from the other parent? Your attorney can tell you what your order says. In general, unless there are restrictions or clear directions in the order for travel, you can travel with your child. When you are planning a trip with your child, pay attention to the parenting schedule. You can only plan trips during your regular parenting time. Many orders…
  • Create Reasonable Expectations for Your Attorney

    Sampair Legal Blog
    24 Oct 2014 | 9:31 am
    Your attorney is your best source of information and advice in your divorce case. He knows the facts in your case, understands your point of view, and is familiar with the judge and the law. You can expect your attorney to be able to explain the law, offer recommendations, and solve many of your legal problems. While there is a lot your attorney can do for you, there are some things that are beyond his abilities and it’s best to have the right expectations. Your attorney cannot be your therapist. Although you will spend a lot of time talking about your divorce with your lawyer, her role is…
  • Divorce with Adult Children Living at Home

    Sampair Legal Blog
    23 Oct 2014 | 9:25 am
    When people talk about kids and divorce, they generally mean children under 18. But when you divorce with kids, there are guidelines for how to divide your time and organize things so that the best interests of the children are taken care of. More and more parents are now divorcing with adult children still living at home. In fact, the Pew Research Center reports that 36% of adults ages 18 to 36 live at home with their parents. When those parents divorce, it has an impact on the adult children, but there are no rules or guidelines in place to help navigate the situation. Adult children…
  • House Rules After Divorce

    Sampair Legal Blog
    22 Oct 2014 | 9:23 am
    Once you and your spouse are living separately, your child has two separate homes. Most parents are anxious to establish their own rules and their own way of life after a divorce, but expecting your child to navigate two homes with two rules can be difficult. If possible, the best way to navigate two separate homes is to work together as parents to create rules for your child in both homes. Things are never going to be exactly the same, but the big things should be consistent, so that your child can stay in a routine and be able to understand expectations easily. Rules that should apply in…
  • Health Insurance After Divorce

    Sampair Legal Blog
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:21 am
    Divorce brings many changes and one of the things it can affect is your health insurance. If you have coverage through your spouse’s plan, you will still have access to health insurance after your divorce is final, but you will need to make decisions about your health insurance options. You have many choices for coverage available to you. COBRA If you would like to continue your current coverage on your spouse’s plan, you may be able to do so under a federal law called COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). If your spouse’s company has more than 20 employees, you are…
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  • Obtaining an Injunction Against the Relocation of a Child

    29 Oct 2014 | 6:47 pm
    An injunction is a court order that requires a party to do something or refrain from doing something. Failing to comply with an injunction can result in criminal or civil penalties, including possible imprisonment. A parent can seek an injunction from the Family Court to prevent their child’s other parent from taking them out of the State or overseas, however, it is important to be able to prove that the parent who is taking the child has no plans of returning. The following could be used to show that a parent taking a child out of the State or overseas and has no plans to return: if…
  • De Facto Relationships Defined

    13 Oct 2014 | 2:08 pm
    De facto is a Latin expression meaning “concerning fact.” In law, it often means “in practice of actuality, but not officially established.” The Department of Human Services defines a de facto relationship as any relationship where two people over the age of 18 who are not married or in a registered relationship are living together as a couple. The relationship is considered de facto from the time you start living together as a couple. At this point there have not been any cases where the Court has ruled that a de facto relationship existed where the couple had never lived together,…
  • Why do I need a will?

    8 Oct 2014 | 3:27 pm
    Around 50% of Australians do not have a will, but when unexpected events occur, a valid will ensures your children are taken care of, tax is minimised and your estate is distributed in your chosen way. These days, wills are inexpensive and easy to write with the help of a lawyer. Here are 4 reasons why making a will should be your No. 1 priority. Minor children are taken care of If you have children under the age of 18, a will can be used to nominate guardians and can detail how you would like your children’s education and maintenance to be managed. You can also designate the assets you…
  • Should I Sign a Partnership Agreement?

    22 Sep 2014 | 2:55 pm
    Partners are joint owners of a business. They are equally responsible for the decisions made on behalf of the business and have the same goals. However, partners are not always equal, like for instance, in some law firms where there are senior and junior partners. From a legal point of view, however, all partners remain equal. Without a written agreement, all partners: Take equal responsibility for the business’s activities and trading; Share profits equally; and Cover losses equally. Partnership agreements ensure that there is a written record of the duties and responsibilities of partners…
  • 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…
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    - Jack K Robinson, Attorney

  • Learn How To Effectively Co-Parent – Part 3

    Jack Robinson
    13 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Learn How To Effectively Co-Parent It is important to learn how to effectively co-parent because it will prevent children from being “Caught In The Middle” when parents get divorced. Research suggests both difficult and promising news: Children from families of divorce may suffer painful consequences, and yet children who are surrounded by support and given the skills and information needed to cope with the situation suffer fewer painful consequences. Once parents are committed to effectively co-parenting, they will realize  that it is important to learn how to effectively…
  • Learn How To Effectively Co-Parent – Part 2

    Jack Robinson
    8 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Learn How To Effectively Co-Parent It is important to learn how to effectively co-parent because it will prevent children from being “Caught In The Middle” when parents get divorced. Research suggests both difficult and promising news: Children from families of divorce may suffer painful consequences, and yet children who are surrounded by support and given the skills and information needed to cope with the situation suffer fewer painful consequences. Once parents are committed to effectively co-parenting, they will realize  that it is important to learn how to effectively…
  • Here Is How To Be A Better Friend – Part 2

    Jack Robinson
    6 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Friends: people who know you well, but like you anyway. Unknown In this 2 part post, I listed 25 ideas I have seen on what it takes to be a better friend.  Would love to hear you ideas or suggestions to add to or improve this list 1. Always be there, even in silence. 2. Be kind and listen. Be fun and light. Be serious when needed, love extensively, and forgive always. 3. Don’t be scared to tell each other the truth no matter how difficult it may be. 4. Guide each other in times of need with your honest opinions. 5. A true friend is someone who always listens and is genuinely interested in…
  • Learn How To Effectively Co-Parent – Part 1

    Jack Robinson
    6 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Learn How To Effectively Co-Parent It is important to learn how to effectively co-parent because it will prevent children from being “Caught In The Middle” when parents get divorced. Research suggests both difficult and promising news: Children from families of divorce may suffer painful consequences, and yet children who are surrounded by support and given the skills and information needed to cope with the situation suffer fewer painful consequences. While it is important to learn how to effectively co-parent can be done but it does take effort.  Co-parenting is a phrase used…
  • Here Is How To Be A Better Friend – Part 1

    Jack Robinson
    2 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Friends: people who know you well, but like you anyway. Unknown In this 2 part post, I listed 25 ideas I have seen on what it takes to be a better friend.  Would love to hear you ideas or suggestions to add to or improve this list 1. Always be there, even in silence. 2. Be kind and listen. Be fun and light. Be serious when needed, love extensively, and forgive always. 3. Don’t be scared to tell each other the truth no matter how difficult it may be. 4. Guide each other in times of need with your honest opinions. 5. A true friend is someone who always listens and is genuinely interested in…
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