Family Law

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  • Really? That’s Why You’re Getting a Divorce!

    Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law | Delray Beach Lawyer Janet Langjahr
    Janet Langjahr
    30 Jun 2015 | 8:21 pm
    Sometimes, there’s a clear smoking gun leading to a divorce. One spouse catches the other cheating, getting drunk or high again after swearing it off, one spouse loses their shirt again at the gaming table, etc. But sometimes it’s a lot fuzzier than that, or just a combination of relatively minor things. Below are some unlikely things that are anecdotally correlated with divorce (for reasons not always known): Commutes over 45 minutes one-way High incidence of divorce in a person’s family or social circle Firstborn child is female, based on the US census The wife developed a…
  • The Impact of Social Media on Divorce & Child Custody Cases

    The Stevens Firm, P.A.
    Ben Stevens
    3 Jul 2015 | 5:30 am
    Several weeks ago, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers released the results of its recent survey of its Fellows, which includes The Stevens Firm’s Senior Partner, Ben Stevens, about the impact of social media and technology in divorce cases. This survey interestingly, but not surprisingly, found that: 99% of its Fellows cited a rising number of text messages used in cases; 97% of its Fellows had seen an increase in evidence from smart phones and other wireless devices in divorce cases over the last three years; and 70% percent used more evidence from applications (Apps),…
  • Same-Sex Marriage Is Sea Change in Family Law - Texas Lawyer

    family law news - Google News
    2 Jul 2015 | 12:32 pm
    Texas LawyerSame-Sex Marriage Is Sea Change in Family LawTexas LawyerFamily lawyers are ready to represent same-sex couples with drafting marriage agreements, becoming parents and getting divorces after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in late June. Attorneys say they expect that litigation will ensue
  • Canada's 'Broken' Adoption System Leaves Children Stranded

    Family Law Prof Blog
    Family Law
    3 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    From CBC News: A childless couple are giving up on adoption after battling what they say is a broken system that leaves thousands of Canadian children stuck in provincial care instead of placing them with willing families. "It wasn't impatience...
  • Are You Wasting Your Twitter Biography?

    Lee Rosen
    Lee Rosen
    2 Jul 2015 | 4:30 am
    I’ve been spending considerable time on Twitter lately, tweaking it to promote this site. I’ve been following more people and, as a result, reading more Twitter biographies. Using the word “biographies” seems excessive. A Twitter “biography” is short, like everything else on Twitter. The site gives you 160 characters to work with. Let’s not go down the path of debating whether Twitter is a smart investment of your time. If you’re debating the value of Twitter, then it’s likely not the right place for you. My experience tells me that, like any marketing tactic, you’ve…
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    The Stevens Firm, P.A.

  • The Impact of Social Media on Divorce & Child Custody Cases

    Ben Stevens
    3 Jul 2015 | 5:30 am
    Several weeks ago, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers released the results of its recent survey of its Fellows, which includes The Stevens Firm’s Senior Partner, Ben Stevens, about the impact of social media and technology in divorce cases. This survey interestingly, but not surprisingly, found that: 99% of its Fellows cited a rising number of text messages used in cases; 97% of its Fellows had seen an increase in evidence from smart phones and other wireless devices in divorce cases over the last three years; and 70% percent used more evidence from applications (Apps),…
  • South Carolina Family Law Decisions from ABA Family Law Quarterly

    Jonathan Lounsberry
    2 Jul 2015 | 5:30 am
    The Winter 2015 edition of the Family Law Quarterly (published by the ABA Section of Family Law) provided the annual “Family Law in the Fifty States,” a review of the state of family Law from across the United States in the following areas: adoption; agreements; alimony and maintenance; alternative dispute resolution; assisted conception; attorneys; child abuse; child custody and visitation; child support; dissolving of the marital relationship; domestic violence; marriage; names; paternity; property division; and torts. I look forward to this edition of the Family Law Quarterly each…
  • Legal Benefits of Marriage Now Available to Same-Sex Couples

    Ben Stevens
    1 Jul 2015 | 5:30 am
    When people think about marriage, what first comes to minds is often thoughts of weddings, romance, and the like. However, it is important to remember that marriage is a legal relationship that conveys many important rights to spouses. Now that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, let’s take a look at some of the more important federal legal benefits of marriage that married same sex couples can now enjoy, just as their heterosexual brethren have enjoyed for years. They will now be able to: Sponsor their husband/wife for immigration benefits; File income taxes jointly; Have joint…
  • Parent’s Motives are Important in Child Custody Relocation Cases

    Jenny Stevens
    30 Jun 2015 | 5:30 am
    If a “typical” child custody case can be consider an emotional and expensive roller coaster, then a “relocation” child custody case can be like a Giga Coaster in terms of emotional turmoil, time commitment, attorney’s fees, costs, and Guardian ad Litem fees. Child custody relocation cases usually occur in one of three circumstances following an initial separation or divorce: (1) the custodial parent decides to get remarried to a new spouse who lives in another city, state, or even country; (2) the custodial parent decides he/she wants to move in order to be closer to his/her family…
  • International Child Relocation

    Ben Stevens
    29 Jun 2015 | 11:00 am
    Custody Implications of International Relocation of Children The growth of technology has made the world smaller and more intertwined, and it is now quite common for people from different countries to marry or otherwise have children together. However, when these relationships end, state and international laws regarding child custody arise, particularly in cases involving international child relocation. At The Stevens Firm, P.A., we help mothers and fathers enforce their custody rights across borders. Our international child relocation attorneys understand the nuances involved in seeking…
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    family law news - Google News

  • Same-Sex Marriage Is Sea Change in Family Law - Texas Lawyer

    2 Jul 2015 | 12:32 pm
    Texas LawyerSame-Sex Marriage Is Sea Change in Family LawTexas LawyerFamily lawyers are ready to represent same-sex couples with drafting marriage agreements, becoming parents and getting divorces after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in late June. Attorneys say they expect that litigation will ensue
  • Charities launch damning report on children's rights in the UK - Family Law Week

    2 Jul 2015 | 3:13 am
    Charities launch damning report on children's rights in the UKFamily Law Week"We work with some of the country's most vulnerable children and their families. Our experience of getting help and support to families early can prevent situations from reaching crisis point. Spending on preventing harm to vulnerable children, rather
  • Mr Justice Mostyn issues new statement on the efficient conduct of financial ... - Family Law (registration)

    2 Jul 2015 | 2:44 am
    Mr Justice Mostyn issues new statement on the efficient conduct of financial Family Law (registration)Mr Justice Mostyn (with the authorisation of the President of the Family Division) has released a 'Statement on the Efficient Conduct of Financial Remedy Hearings Allocated to a High Court Judge whether Sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice or Elsewhere'.
  • Police must reassess their approach to child protection - Family Law Week

    2 Jul 2015 | 1:34 am
    Police must reassess their approach to child protectionFamily Law WeekHer Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has said that in a time of changing communities – both real and virtual – the police service must reassess their approach to child protection, or risk failing another generation. HMIC emphasises that and more »
  • Wheaton Family Law Attorneys Appointed to DuPage County Bar Association ... - PR Web (press release)

    30 Jun 2015 | 8:42 pm
    PR Web (press release)Wheaton Family Law Attorneys Appointed to DuPage County Bar Association PR Web (press release)The DuPage County family law firm of Anderson & Associates, P.C. is proud to announce that Attorneys Kiley M. Whitty, Dennise L. McCann and Christopher J. Maurer have been appointed to take on leadership positions within the DuPage County Bar ...and more »
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    Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law | Delray Beach Lawyer Janet Langjahr

  • Really? That’s Why You’re Getting a Divorce!

    Janet Langjahr
    30 Jun 2015 | 8:21 pm
    Sometimes, there’s a clear smoking gun leading to a divorce. One spouse catches the other cheating, getting drunk or high again after swearing it off, one spouse loses their shirt again at the gaming table, etc. But sometimes it’s a lot fuzzier than that, or just a combination of relatively minor things. Below are some unlikely things that are anecdotally correlated with divorce (for reasons not always known): Commutes over 45 minutes one-way High incidence of divorce in a person’s family or social circle Firstborn child is female, based on the US census The wife developed a…
  • Nine Year Old Boy Removed from Parents’ Custody Based on … His MDs’ Somewhat Vague Misgivings

    Janet Langjahr
    28 Jun 2015 | 8:51 pm
    Washington Husband and Wife have 9 year old Son together. Son is in the hospital. That’s not all that unusual for Son. According to Husband and Wife, Son suffers from cytomegalovirus, contracted while in Wife’s womb, autism with sensory distortions, cerebral palsy, microcephaly, seizures, ADHD, ODD, OCD, digestive problems, food and oral aversions, scoliosis, immune system dysfunction, brain calcifications, hearing loss, etc. Son uses a wheelchair. Son has undergone several surgeries of different types, all, presumably, performed by health care professionals. Son’s…
  • Gay Marriage Now the Law of the Land

    Janet Langjahr
    26 Jun 2015 | 9:46 pm
    In a ruling with far-reaching impact, the US Supreme Court has overturned the law of several states and legalized gay marriage across the nation. Florida began allowing gay marriage earlier this year. Benefits to gay people in committed relationships will range from the obvious emotional ones to all the economic benefits and rights legally married heterosexual couples have long enjoyed, from spousal pension and retirement, social security spousal and survivor benefits, spousal health care benefits, spousal inheritance rights, health care decision-making rights for a spouse, and on and on.
  • Wedding Jitters? Divorce Premonition? Why Didn’t I Go For That Prenup?

    Janet Langjahr
    25 Jun 2015 | 8:12 pm
    Couples are always shocked when their marriage falls apart. Or are they? Really? A recent survey of about sixteen hundred divorced couples in the UK actually suggests quite the opposite. More than half of the survey participants revealed that they had serious doubts about going through with their marriage right up until their wedding day. Astonishingly, only thirty-six percent of the survey participants felt optimistic about their marital future. Fifteen percent reported actually feeling physically ill. Yet ninety percent never uttered a word to their intended. About thirty percent unloaded…
  • Jilted Adulteress Sues for Payment for Her Professional Services When Boyfriend Nixes His Divorce

    Janet Langjahr
    24 Jun 2015 | 9:13 pm
    Eighty-eight year old Husband and seventy-seven year old Wife have a less than perfect marriage. It seems Husband has been stepping out on Wife, with more than one other woman, in fact. Husband is a retired, successful advertising executive, who sold his agency for big bucks. Girlfriend is a retired fundraiser. Girlfriend has been assisting Husband with promoting his autobiography, among other tasks. Ironically, Girlfriend also assisted Husband with shutting down a former mistress … who threatened Husband with a $3 million lawsuit which would have brought her to Wife’s attention.
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    Family Law Prof Blog

  • Canada's 'Broken' Adoption System Leaves Children Stranded

    Family Law
    3 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    From CBC News: A childless couple are giving up on adoption after battling what they say is a broken system that leaves thousands of Canadian children stuck in provincial care instead of placing them with willing families. "It wasn't impatience...
  • Nation's First Gay Divorce Firm

    Family Law
    2 Jul 2015 | 4:42 pm
    From CBS Philly: PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia attorney has opened what he says is the first LGBTQ divorce firm. Philadelphia lawyer Conor Corcoran, who bills himself as the nation’s first gay divorce attorney, says he is ready to serve...
  • Despite the Supreme Court Ruling, Ministers Will Not Be Forced to Marry Gay Couples

    Family Law
    2 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    From Although the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on Friday, ministers will not be forced to marry gay couples, said a professor who specializes in constitutional law. "As of today, there are no laws in the state of...
  • Puerto Rico Amends Laws After U.S. Ruling on Gay Marriage

    Family Law
    1 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    From ABC News: Thousands of people in Puerto Rico celebrated Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling to allow gay marriage as authorities rushed to approve legislation extending marriage rights in the socially conservative U.S. territory. Just hours after the court's decision,...
  • New York Legislature Passes Alimony Laws

    Family Law
    30 Jun 2015 | 6:00 am
    From The Wall Street Journal: The New York state Senate passed sweeping revisions Wednesday to alimony laws that change how some payments are set and eliminate a long-debated requirement that judges calculate the lifetime value of a license or professional...
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    Lee Rosen

  • Are You Wasting Your Twitter Biography?

    Lee Rosen
    2 Jul 2015 | 4:30 am
    I’ve been spending considerable time on Twitter lately, tweaking it to promote this site. I’ve been following more people and, as a result, reading more Twitter biographies. Using the word “biographies” seems excessive. A Twitter “biography” is short, like everything else on Twitter. The site gives you 160 characters to work with. Let’s not go down the path of debating whether Twitter is a smart investment of your time. If you’re debating the value of Twitter, then it’s likely not the right place for you. My experience tells me that, like any marketing tactic, you’ve…
  • The Client Calls Make Her Miserable

    Lee Rosen
    1 Jul 2015 | 4:30 am
    She practices family law, and she sent me an e-mail. Here’s what she said: I hate being “pinged” by my clients most of the day. I love to do legal work. I never have the opportunity because I am always answering burning questions such as, What do I do if my ex is 10 minutes late returning the child? Can I sue my spouse for slander? My spouse doesn’t deserve anything, so why does she get half of my retirement? Do I have to come to court? Obviously, some of these questions might have a kernel of merit. I run out of patience dealing with some of my clients’ daily lives.
  • Graduates, Take a Break From Bar Exam Studying

    Lee Rosen
    30 Jun 2015 | 4:30 am
    Dear recent law school graduate, You’re studying for the bar exam. Good. Studying will help. Your determined effort will alleviate some of your anxiety while simultaneously improving your odds of passing. These are hectic days for you. You’re reading, reviewing, attending lectures, and talking to other stressed-out graduates. You’re busy. You’re on overload. You’re spending all of your time studying and worrying. Sadly, that’s not good enough. The Good and Bad News Today, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news? You’re going to pass the bar exam. The bad…
  • Does Your Insecure Website Cost You Visitors?

    Lee Rosen
    29 Jun 2015 | 4:30 am
    I told you to do it, and I sure hope you did. On August 8, 2014 (that’s almost a year ago now, so you’ve had time), I told you to update your website/blog to provide a secure connection to your website and be sure the little lock shows up when people type your website address into their browser. Why the Lock Matters Way back then, Google told us that it was using “HTTPS as a ranking factor.” Now it’s really kicking in, and the sites that failed to take action are suffering. Since Google usually keeps its ranking algorithm a secret, it’s important that we listen when the company…
  • Make Your Business Card Memorable and Useful

    Lee Rosen
    25 Jun 2015 | 4:30 am
    Let’s talk about the sad, short life of a lawyer’s business card. It gets shipped to you from the printer. It sits in a box. Eventually, it comes out of the box and goes into your fancy metal or leather business card holder. It spends considerable time getting jostled about while living in your pocket or purse. Some cards spend months or even years living in the shipping box and then in the case, never seeing the light of day. Finally, in one glorious moment, the card emerges from the case. It sees sunshine (or fluorescent bulbs) briefly before it’s shoved into the pocket or purse…
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  • Relocation | 100 Mile Rule | As the Crow Flies

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    30 Jun 2015 | 5:00 am
    Under the 100 mile rule limitation in determining a child’s change of residence, the 100 mile rule means radial miles rather than road miles. Road miles refers to the distance between two points along the shortest route of public travel, while radial miles refers to the distance between two points as measured along a straight line.
  • Same Sex Marriage a Right in all 50 States after U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    27 Jun 2015 | 7:03 am
    Same Sex Marriage a Right in all 50 States after U.S. Supreme Court Ruling. The New York Times coverage of the story and related human interest stories are rich with detail.
  • Judicial Interview of Minor Child in Custody Cases

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    26 Jun 2015 | 8:24 am
    A newly released opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals in a custody case (for publication) raised some interesting and noteworthy issues. The issues noted in this post are: (1) The effect of a parent who made repeated referrals to...
  • Joint Custody and Vaccinations

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    26 Jun 2015 | 5:14 am
    The California legislature has voted that unvaccinated children who do not have a medical exemption will not be permitted to attend public schools. They will have to receive their schooling at home or in private home-schooling groups.
  • Relocation | Child Custody & the 100 Mile Rule

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    24 Jun 2015 | 11:05 am
    Michigan's Court of Appeals released Eickelberg v Eickelberg--a case about child custody, relocation and Michigan's "100 Mile Rule," saying "It is what it is!" The 100-mile rule is really clear and means that a parent may not move more than 100 miles from the residence where the children lived at the commencement of a child custody dispute.
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    Divorce Law Journal

  • Published Family Law Opinion from Ky Supreme Court - Whether a child testifies is in the discretion of the trial court and six hour time limit on trial was reasonable

    Diana L. Skaggs
    15 Jun 2015 | 9:47 am
    ADDISON V. ADDISON After significant ongoing litigation over custody, the Trial Court ordered that custody be transferred to Father and that Mother have supervised visitation. The Court of Appeals reversed because of the arbitrary time limitation at trial. Upon discretionary review the Ky Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and reinstated the trial court’s judgment. Time Limitations As the Trial Court judge was familiar with the case, set the time limit sufficiently in advance of trial, and had significant experience with modification hearings, six hours was a reasonable time…
  • Published Family Law Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals:Burden of proof that child support has been paid rests on obligors

    Diana L. Skaggs
    8 Jun 2015 | 12:00 pm
    SALLEE V. SALLEE The Appellate Court vacated and remanded the Family Court’s denial of a Motion for Contempt for Father’s failure to pay child support. The Family Court incorrectly placed the burden of proof on the Mother/obligee to prove an arrearage was owed. Once the child support obligation is established, the child support obligor, in this case Father, carries the burden of proof. The Family Court also failed to make the findings of fact required by CR 52.01. Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell
  • Published Family Law Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals: Written Findings Required in Domestic Violence Proceedings

    Diana L. Skaggs
    1 Jun 2015 | 11:01 am
    BOONE V. BOONE The mandate for written findings of fact and conclusions of law applies to DVO cases. CR 52.01 and KRS Chapter 403, along with the holding in Keifer, require findings in family law cases be reduced to writing. DVOs affect child custody, therefore they fall within the purview of CR 52.01. In this case, although adequate findings were made orally from the bench, the Appellate Court remands the case to the Trial Court for written findings of fact and conclusions of law. Keifer v. Keifer, 354 S.W.3d 123, 126 (KY. 2011). Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell
  • Ky. S. Ct Published Opinion - writ of prohibition denied to prevent enforcement of order unsealing divorce records

    Diana L. Skaggs
    19 May 2015 | 9:19 am
    DANIEL E. BAILEY, JR. (M.D.) V. HON. ALLAN RAY BERTRAM, JUDGE, MARION CIRCUIT COURT, DIVISION II, ET AL. Parties filing a medical negligence claim against a physician moved to intervene in the doctor’s divorce case solely to unseal portions of the sealed divorce records. The intervening parties claimed the divorce may have impacted the doctor’s treatment of the patients in the malpractice action. The Trial Court granted the motion to intervene and ordered the divorce records to be unsealed. The doctor filed a writ of prohibition against the enforcement of the Trial Court’s Order. The…
  • Ky Published Opinion: Reasonable Parenting Time

    Diana L. Skaggs
    18 May 2015 | 8:29 am
    HUDSON V.COLE Father, a Michigan resident, and Mother, a Kentucky resident, live five hours apart, but were granted joint custody. The Trial Court ordered Father to have parenting time one weekend a month in Kentucky, in line with the “Parenting Time Assessment” report submitted by an expert appointed to conduct a custody assessment. The Trial Court found expert’s parenting time schedule to be in the child’s best interest and adopted it as a Court Order. Father argued that under KRS 403.320  he should have reasonable visitation, unless it the court found his visitation would…
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    International Family Law

  • Split Circuits: The Grave Risk Exception to the Hague Abduction Convention

    1 Jul 2015 | 8:57 am
    Jeremy D. MorleyThere is considerable uncertainty in the United States as to whether a respondent in a Hague Abduction Convention case, who asserts the “grave risk” exception as a shield against an order that a wrongfully removed or retained child must be returned to the country of habitual residence, must prove that the courts and other authorities of the nation of habitual residence are unable or unwilling to protect the child.The “grave risk” exception in Article 13(b) of the Hague Convention authorizes a court to deny a petition to return the child to his or her habitual residence…
  • Ineffective Access Rights in Japan under Hague Abduction Convention

    19 Jun 2015 | 8:10 am
    Jeremy D. MorleyThere is great misunderstanding about the ability of a parent outside Japan to obtain access to a child in Japan through the Hague Abduction Convention. The Hague Convention contains only one provision (Article 21) concerning visitation. That Article states little more than that an application to make arrangements for organizing or securing rights of access may be presented to the Central Authorities of Contracting States.Japan’s statute implementing the Convention into Japanese law states that an application may be filed under the Convention for visitation only (a) with…
  • New “Grave Risk” Hague Abduction Case

    17 Jun 2015 | 9:40 am
    Jeremy D. MorleyIn a just-issued opinion on the “grave risk” exception to the Hague Abduction Convention, the Seventh Circuit has affirmed the denial of a Hague return petition based on the district court’s finding of sexual abuse by the petitioner.  Ortiz v. Martinez, --- F.3d ----, 2015 WL 3650649 (7th Cir. 2015).The appellate ruling was based entirely on its application of the clear error standard, under which “we will not overturn the district court's factual findings unless, after reviewing all the evidence, we are ‘left with [a] definite and firm conviction that a mistake…
  • International Child Travel: USA has No Exit Controls

    15 Jun 2015 | 1:13 pm
    Jeremy D. MorleyWhen seeking or opposing an order to prevent or limit a child’s international travel outside the United States it is important to understand that the United States has no exit controls (except to the very limited extent of the Prevent Departure Program). The Secretary of State’s office now expressly and helpfully advises judges that “the United States does not have exit controls.  This means that U.S. citizens may leave the country without interference from or detection by the U.S. government.  Additionally, the Department of State cannot track a child’s…
  • Washington State Ruling: Egyptian Child Custody Law Violates Human Rights

    11 Jun 2015 | 8:54 am
    Jeremy D. is “clear and convincing evidence that Egyptian child custody laws violate fundamental principles of human rights.” Therefore, Washington State should not treat Egypt as a “state” for purposes of the Uniform Child Custody & Jurisdiction Act.So ruled the Superior Court of Washington for King County yesterday based on the expert evidence of international family lawyer Jeremy D. Morley and another expert.The Washington court found, inter alia, that Egyptian family courts apply specific Sharia law rules to child custody cases, under…
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    Divorce and Family Law in Tarrant County, Texas

  • Don't Try These at Home: Good-Sounding Ideas that Lead to Conflict

    1 Jul 2015 | 8:25 am
    Although I am all for compromise, creativity and maximum contact with the kids for both parents, I have to recommend against using the following, based on my experience in actual cases.1.  Frequent phone calls to the children.  Many parents want to be able to call the children, or worse, want the children to call the parent, every evening or at other times and frequencies.  Almost always, that leads to arguments.  The parent who has the children doesn't want to interrupt their activities.  Sometimes the kids are out somewhere, but the other parent doesn't believe it,…
  • Creative Ways to Pay Your Attorney

    1 Jun 2015 | 10:37 pm
    One of the main reasons why people change attorneys in the middle of  divorces and other court cases is inability to pay for the attorney.  Attorneys prefer to not withdraw and often will be patient up to a point, but they can't work and not be paid.  It's best to deal with the issue early on.What can you do if you think you can't afford to pay your attorney?  Here are some options to consider.1.  First, do a realistic evaluation up front.  Sure, you want the best attorney available, but can you afford that attorney? Look at your income and resources, including…
  • Tuesday Tips: How an Attorney Helps in Mediation

    26 May 2015 | 1:38 pm
    Mediation is a great process for resolving disputes. I'm not neutral on the topic because I am also a mediator, and I have been promoting mediation for over 20 years.  It's a peaceful way to resolve cases and the parties usually come out with agreements they are satisfied with.  One of the reasons why mediation can work is that the mediator is strictly neutral.  The mediator must avoid taking sides, but that also limits the amount of help a mediator can provide to a party in mediation.  One of the mediator's chief  roles is to keep the parties talking. The mediator is…
  • Tuesday Tips: Help Your Attorney Help You!

    19 May 2015 | 1:13 pm
    In every divorce, there are financial issues.  They may be about a home, investments, a business or businesses, retirement assets, bank accounts, employment benefits, debts or taxes, among other things.  Dividing assets and liabilities is at the heart of every divorce.  Some cases are more or less complicated than others, but finances are always involved.In addition, when there are children, child support is often a consideration and that brings up the income of each party.  You will need pay stubs, tax returns and a monthly budget.All of that means when you are getting…
  • Tuesday Tips: Don't Try to Do-It-Yourself Without Your Own Attorney!

    12 May 2015 | 12:59 pm
    In these days with a contagious "do-it-yourself" attitude about so many things, many people have taken that approach to getting divorced.  That may be a mistake, unless it is a very short marriage, with little or no assets, and no kids.Part of the motivation is to save money.  That's understandable, but keep in mind that you don't have to hire a high-priced lawyer to get good representation.  For smaller estates and parent-child issues, and even for more complicated estates,  younger, less-expensive attorneys can be fully capable of providing quality representation for…
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    Family Lore

  • A hot week

    3 Jul 2015 | 12:00 am
    Well, the weather was hot. I'll leave it to you to decide whether my posts on Marilyn Stowe’s Family Law & Divorce Blog were:Special treatment - Why are lawyers being singled out for special treatment by the Government?Rocket science - The complexities faced by family lawyers.When a loan is income for child support - The Upper Tribunal decision in DR v SSWP and NR.The truth about Magna Carta and legal aid cuts - Sir Nicholas Mostyn tells it straight, in his speech at the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference in Sydney.Have a good weekend.
  • Disappointing government mediation data highlights role of judges in boosting take-up

    29 Jun 2015 | 3:24 am
    The family court system has an ace to play to help salvage government plans to increase the take-up of family mediation, says a leading family charity after new official data showed mediation has yet to return to pre-legal aid cut levels.New Ministry of Justice figures show fewer separating couples now attend family mediation than before the devastating legal aid changes of 2013, despite government measures of the past 12 months aimed at encouraging people to seek settlements away from courtrooms.“In their bid to boost the take-up of mediation, Ministers have already played a number of…
  • [Insert post title here]

    26 Jun 2015 | 12:00 am
    Posts attributed to me this week on Marilyn Stowe’s Family Law & Divorce Blog included:Respecting the human rights of a terror suspect is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of what makes us better - Well, that was my original title of the post anyway, as prompted by the 'ankle tag' case DD v Secretary of State for the Home Department.“It is not enough to show that a child could be placed in a more beneficial environment for his upbringing.” - My original title for a post on the “unusual and difficult case” of Re S & T (Children).Lord Chancellor gives speech - As I…
  • Of course...

    23 Jun 2015 | 5:22 am
    Michael Gove: Justice system fails society's poorest - BBC News, 23rd June 2015
  • Carl Gardner's no fault divorce Bill

    19 Jun 2015 | 6:58 am
    My long-term fellow legal blogger, friend and occasional Twitter sparring-partner Carl Gardner has drafted a no fault divorce Bill, which you can peruse here.The Bill was prepared at the suggestion of campaigner and policy researcher Ellie Cumbo, who explains her thinking here.As I have often said, we really need no fault divorce, to reduce unnecessary animosity and bring our system into line with the modern world. Carl's Bill does a great job, much simpler and better than the ill-fated Family Law Act 1996 (not that that's difficult!).I commend it to the House.
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    Toronto Family Lawyer Blog

  • Admissibility of Expert Evidence: Westerhof v. Gee Estate, 2015 ONCA 206

    Andrew Feldstein
    3 Jul 2015 | 7:05 am
    This case addresses the admissibility of expert evidence.  Specifically, it considers whether Rule 53.03 of the Rules of Civil Procedure applies to all expert witnesses or only those who are retained for the purpose of preparing for litigation.  This case is relevant for family law proceedings because rule 53.03 is reproduced in Rule 20.1 of the Family Law Rules. Background The Ontario Court of Appeal heard two appeals together regarding the admissibility of expert evidence.  Both cases were civil cases regarding motor vehicle accidents. At the jury trial of Westerhof v Gee Estate, the…
  • Recognition of Foreign Divorces

    Andrew Feldstein
    26 Jun 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Kadri v. Kadri, 2015 ONSC 321 This case addresses whether a divorce under Sharia law should be recognized in Ontario. Background The parties are Sunni Muslims and were married in Lebanon in 1988. They had lived together in various countries throughout their marriage including Canada, France, England, and Lebanon. They have three adult children together. According to the Vital Statistics and Civil Status General Department of the Republic of Lebanon, the Legal Islamic Sunni Court of Bekaa annulled the parties’ marriage in October 2008 and granted a License of Divorce on March 2, 2009. In…
  • Retroactive Lump-Sum Award and Tax Consequences

    Andrew Feldstein
    21 Jun 2015 | 5:01 am
    Hume v. Tomlinson, 2015 ONSC 843 This case addresses the issue of whether a retroactive lump-sum support award should be reduced to reflect the tax consequences to the support payor and the support recipient and, if it should be reduced, by how much. Background In December 2014, Madam Justice Toscano Roccamo of the Superior Court of Justice ordered the Respondent Husband to pay the Applicant Wife retroactive spousal support from March 2012 to the date of the application. The Court referenced the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAGs) and fixed the quantum of spousal support at the SSAG…
  • Spousal Support, Material Change in Circumstance

    Andrew Feldstein
    12 Jun 2015 | 12:13 pm
    Bhandhal v Bhandhal, 2015 ONSC 1152 This case addresses the issue of varying spousal support, material change in circumstance, Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. Background The parties were married for 18 years and 7 months. The Applicant Husband moved to vary his spousal support order after having paid support to the Respondent Wife for 18 years and 10 months. There were no children of the marriage. Mr. Bhandhal was 55 years of age and in very poor health. His doctor had advised him that he might not pass an upcoming vision test, which would result in him losing his job. Mr. Bhandhal was a…
  • Calculating Income – RRSP Income and Unreasonable Business Expenses

    Andrew Feldstein
    5 Jun 2015 | 9:20 am
    Ludmer v. Ludmer, 2014 ONCA 827 This is a case from the Ontario Court of Appeal that addresses both family law issues and intentional torts. In particular, the Court of Appeal considered whether business expenses and RRSP proceeds should be included in the calculation of income for support purposes. Background The Appellant Husband, and Respondent Wife, were married for nearly 20 years before they separated in 2005. They had two children in university at the time of their 2012 trial and had agreed upon issues of custody and access. The outstanding issues related to property and income. At…
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    Maryland Family Law

  • Summer is in full swing!

    Heather Sunderman
    23 Jun 2015 | 9:28 am
    At this point, all of the schools in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are out for summer. If both parents work, you are already familiar with putting together the schedule of camps, babysitters and vacation plans. It can be a delicate balance, and sometimes starting to plan as early as January or February is necessary! However, it is common for parenting plans and custody orders to allow the parties to alternate choosing vacation or camp weeks, for example. April and May are common deadlines for choosing, which can make planning difficult, especially if you don't have the…
  • Divorce tips for women

    Heather Sunderman
    6 Feb 2015 | 7:23 am
    I was recently interviewed by Connie Donahue of Woman Around Town to give tips for women considering divorce. You can read the article here. I would appreciate any feedback you have. What advice has helped you in divorce or separation?
  • Is your child's college savings account marital property?

    Heather Sunderman
    9 Jan 2015 | 8:11 am
    Now that you and your spouse have created a college savings plan for your spouse, what would happen if you divorce or separate? In Maryland, marital property is determined by how the property was acquired, so if the account was funded during the marriage, with marital funds (like one’s salary) then it would be considered marital under Maryland law. However, it is extremely common (and is often my recommendation to my client) for the spouses to agree to keep that account for the benefit of the children. In the case of such an agreement, you may want to think about having procedures to ensure…
  • Saving for College

    Heather Sunderman
    8 Jan 2015 | 7:51 am
    Is saving for college your New Year's Resolution? Most parents would agree that saving money for their child’s education is important, but the biggest challenge is taking the first step. One easy way to start is with a 529 account, and Maryland’s College Savings Plan is worth checking out. There are potential state tax savings with such an account, and you can get started with as little as $25 per month. The Plan just released its annual report, showing overall investment growth of over 18%, and a fee reduction was recently announced. Maryland also offers a pre-paid plan, which is…
  • Free speech and threats to be argued before the Supreme Court

    Heather Sunderman
    1 Dec 2014 | 8:49 am
    Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing the matter of Elonis v. U.S. In this case, a man from Pennsylvania was sentenced to four years over threats he made to his wife. Soon after his wife obtained a protective order, Mr. Elonis posted to facebook that his wife should fold up the order and see if it was thick enough to stop a bullet. He also made numerous other posts about slitting his wife's throat and leaving her a "bloody mess." Some of the postings were made similar to rap lyrics, and Mr. Elonis maintains that he did not intend to threaten his wife and was merely…
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    New York Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

  • A Kings Workers Compensation Lawyer

    2 Jul 2015 | 3:33 pm
    “An insurer's duty to defend is broader than its duty to indemnify, such that an insurer may be obligated to defend its insured even if, at the conclusion of an underlying action, it is found to have no obligation to indemnify its insured”. “An insurer must defend its insured whenever the allegations of a complaint in an underlying action ‘suggest a reasonable possibility of coverage’. The duty to defend an insured is not triggered, however, “when the only possible interpretation of the allegations against the insured is that the factual predicate for the claim falls wholly within…
  • A Kings Workers Compensation Lawyer

    29 Jun 2015 | 3:45 pm
    A Kings Workers Compensation Lawyer said that, in an action to recover damages for personal injury, and a third-party action, inter alia, for a judgment declaring that the third-party defendant Insurance Company is obligated to defend and indemnify the defendant third-party plaintiff, in the main action, the third-party defendant Insurance Company appeals, as limited by its brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County, dated November 25, 2009, as denied that branch of its motion which was for summary judgment declaring that it is not obligated to defend and indemnify the…
  • A Kings Premises Liability Lawyer

    27 Jun 2015 | 3:45 pm
    A Kings Premises Liability Lawyer said that, in an action to recover damages for personal injury, the defendant appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County, dated July 14, 2009, which, upon a jury verdict, is in favor of the plaintiff and against it in the principal sum of $508,000. The plaintiff was allegedly injured when she fell in a hole in the street while alighting from a bus owned and operated by the defendant, New York City Transit Authority (hereinafter NYCTA). The hole was located at the curb line, next to the sidewalk. The plaintiff alleged that the bus driver parked…
  • Co-defendant did not appear or oppose...cont

    24 Jun 2015 | 3:17 pm
    Insurance Law § 5104(a) provides that, "when an insured injures someone in a motor vehicle accident, the injured party is subject to the serious injury requirement in the No-Fault Law and cannot sue for noneconomic loss unless the serious injury threshold is met,". Insurance Law § 5102(d) defines "serious injury" as: "a personal injury which results in death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; a fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system ["permanent loss"]; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member…
  • Co-defendant did not appear or oppose

    21 Jun 2015 | 3:44 pm
    By notice of motion filed on June 24, 2010, defendant moves under motion sequence three, for an order dismissing plaintiff's complaint, pursuant to CPLR § 3212, on the basis that plaintiff's injuries do not satisfy the "serious injury" requirement of New York Insurance Law § 5102(d). Plaintiff opposes defendant's motion. Co-defendant did not appear or oppose the defendant's motion. On September 22, 2008, plaintiff filed a summons and verified complaint with the Kings County Clerk's Office. By verified answer, dated December 5, 2008, defendant joined issue. On April 29, 2010, a note of issue…
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    Dads Divorce » Articles

  • DadsDivorce LIVE: White House Council On Boys & Men

    Shawn Garrison
    1 Jul 2015 | 2:07 pm
    The proposal for a White House Council on Boys and Men was originally inspired in response to the creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls. According to Coalition to Create a White House Council On Boys and Men Commissioner Terry Brennan, the current generation of boys will be the first that is less educated than their fathers. Boys are expelled and are dropping out of school more often. And the suicide rates as boys grow and mature is increasing at a concerning rate. The Coalition to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men has come up with five areas it feels are at a…
  • 4 Things Recent Research Has Taught Us About Fatherhood

    Shawn Garrison
    30 Jun 2015 | 1:10 pm
    There is no shortage of research regarding the importance of engaged fathers. Over the years there have been numerous studies that prove, without a doubt, it is crucial for children to have Dad involved in their lives. However, there is a growing interest in the science of fatherhood. Specifically, more research is being devoted to the physiological changes dads experience through different stages of fatherhood. Moreover, researchers are fine-tuning how they measure fathers’ contributions to the upbringing of their children. The result is that we know more about dads – their importance,…
  • Who Decides The Meds A Child Takes When Custody Is Split?

    Shawn Garrison
    29 Jun 2015 | 11:54 am
    Question: What rights do I have when it comes to deciding what medications my child takes? My son has ADHD and my ex and I disagree about what medication he needs to take. We have split custody and I am the primary parent. Answer: I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general tips on your situation. In most states, including Wisconsin where I practice law, if parents have joint legal custody of a child, they must make major decisions together regarding that child. The decision to medicate a child…
  • Is Remarriage Valid If Divorce Is Still Pending?

    Shawn Garrison
    28 Jun 2015 | 5:00 am
    Closeup of a man signing divorce papers. Question: My ex and I filed for divorce in 2000 and have both since remarried. I recently found out that the divorce is still pending. Is it possible the divorce didn’t go through and what does that mean for my new marriage? Answer: I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general tips on your situation. Wisconsin divorce lawyer Anne Scipior If not all of the steps required by state law to obtain a divorce were completed, it is possible that your divorce…
  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News – June 26, 2015

    Shawn Garrison
    26 Jun 2015 | 1:51 pm
    Dads Divorce, sponsor Cordell & Cordell and sister site have teamed up to present a series of weekly recap videos to keep you informed on the latest news and top stories. This week, Cordell & Cordell posted a column Principal Partner Joe Cordell wrote for the Huffington Post about the progress the shared-parenting movement has made in 2015. Currently, nearly 20 states are considering measures that would help balance the custody playing field for divorced fathers. Dads Divorce published a new article detailing the basics of military divorce. Military families going…
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    Alabama Divorce & Family Law Attorney Blog

  • An Historic Look at Divorce Rates in the United States

    Steven Eversole
    29 Jun 2015 | 9:03 am
    People love to refer to statistical trends in marriage and divorce rates in the United States, even when those rates are not based on actual surveys and data but merely rumors and unsubstantiated hearsay. We often hear that the divorce rate in the United States is 50 percent, and the marriage rate is going down with the current “hook up generation” being more concerned with causal dating then entering into committed relationships. However, according to a recent news feature from the Washington Post, the marriage and divorce rates for the past 144 years may not look like what people expect…
  • Talking to Children About Divorce

    Steven Eversole
    25 Jun 2015 | 8:57 am
    Many people know they are not happy in their marriage and want to get a divorce. However, they decided to stay together for the sake of the children. While this may seem like the only way to make the best of a bad situation, it might actually not be what is best for the children, especially when it is obvious that at least least one parent is miserable all the time. It may actually be best to get a divorce, so the children can spend time with each parent with the parents being happy during that time. It other words, it could be better to spend time with two happy parents separately than…
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger Discusses Divorce

    Steven Eversole
    22 Jun 2015 | 8:51 am
    Arnold Schwarzenegger has being going around the country and appearing on various media outlets to promote his latest movie, “Terminator Genisys.” While most of the interviews focused on the movie, his interview on the Howard Stern Show took on a more personal nature, according to a recent news feature from CNN. Stern asked Schwarzenegger about his divorce from famous journalist Maria Shriver. Stern specifically asked if this was Schwarzenegger’s first real personal setback in his life. In response to this, Schwarzenegger said it was the “biggest setback” and the “biggest…
  • Life After Divorce for Men

    Steven Eversole
    17 Jun 2015 | 8:39 am
    There is no question going through a divorce can be a very emotional process. While some divorce cases involve a great deal of arguing and litigation, even the most civil divorce proceedings can still result in emotional upheaval. However, once the divorce has been granted, many of people find themselves still trying to deal with the pain and get their lives back on track. According to a recent news article from the Huffington Post, many men are often struggling to work things out in their lives following divorce. The author of this article looked at some of the steps men have successfully…
  • Yale-New Haven Hosp. v. Nicholls: Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)

    Steven Eversole
    14 Jun 2015 | 10:08 am
    These days, we see many commercials on television and on the Internet for so-called legal “self-help” services. This is where you pay hundreds of dollars to an online company, and they help you prepare legal documents while telling you they are not performing a legal service and are not responsible for anything that happens. While this was traditionally done with corporate formation documents and drafting of last wills and testaments, you can now go online and pay one of these companies to complete your divorce petition. First, our Birmingham divorce attorneys urge you not to do this.
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    Domestic Diversions

  • Marriage is for Old Folks? U.S. Supreme Court says No, disagrees with Nina Simone

    David C. Sarnacki
    26 Jun 2015 | 9:19 am
    From today’s United Supreme Court decision in OBERGEFELL v. HODGES Justice Kennedy offers these comments on marriage (excerpt): . . . Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could [...]
  • Rebounding from hard times: how do I bounce back from adversity

    David C. Sarnacki
    25 May 2015 | 10:01 am
    The June 1, 2015 issue of Time Magazine has an article on The Art of Resilience (page 36), which includes a sidebar with 10 expert tips (page 42). The top three tips for rising above difficulties, setbacks, stress, loss and suffering were (excerpt): 1. Develop a core set of beliefs that nothing can shake 2. Try to find [...]
  • Writing “longer, easier to understand — and grumpier” court decisions

    David C. Sarnacki
    5 May 2015 | 5:45 am
    The New York Times notes three trends in U.S. Supreme Court opinions (length, clarity, tone) and references Brown v. Board of Education’s 4,000 words with Citizens United’s 48,000 words. The article discusses a linguistic software study scheduled for publication in the Washington University Law Review (computer scientists Daniel Rockmore and Keith Carlson, and law [...]
  • The evolving future of marriage

    David C. Sarnacki
    19 Apr 2015 | 6:21 am
    In case number 14-571 , the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the case of Michigan residents April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse. Arguments are scheduled for April 28th, and a decision is expected by late June. The briefs submitted to the Supreme Court highlight two issues: 1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require [...]
  • From courtroom to the capitol: Fathers rights in custody cases

    David C. Sarnacki
    16 Apr 2015 | 2:00 pm
    The Wall Street Journal covers the push for legislation in about 20 states to give fathers more child custody rights in divorce cases.
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    Pennsylvania Family Law


    Aaron Weems
    26 Jun 2015 | 6:36 am
    In February we mentioned the introduction of a bill in the Pennsylvania state Senate which would allow the termination of a rapist’s parental rights, but preserve the victim’s (and state’s) ability to seek child support. The bill progressed through the Senate by unanimous vote recently and is now headed to the state House of Representatives for consideration. This was introduced by Republican Senator Randy Vulakovich of the 38th District (Allegheny Co.; Pittsburgh area) and is an important bill to protect the rights and dignity of rape survivors and their children. Though…

    Aaron Weems
    22 May 2015 | 12:42 pm
    One of the consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania and elsewhere is that all of the old methods for getting around a same-sex marriage ban or lack of recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships became obsolete or actual impediments to other legal actions under the new laws.  In what is easily one of the best examples of this form of unintended consequence is the case of Bill Novak and Norman MacArthur, two men in their late 70’s who have been a couple for more than fifty years and who have been, for the past fourteen years, father and son. When they moved to…

    Mark Ashton
    19 May 2015 | 10:19 am
    On April 29, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges.  This case addresses the question of whether there is a constitutional right to marry that transcends the historic power of states to regulate who can marry.  If you go to the website of the U.S. Supreme Court you can read and listen to the arguments including the questions posed by the justices.  It is an interesting argument once you get passed the first few minutes where there are a series of exchanges referencing older cases touching on the constitutional decisions. But while we wait for a decision,…

    Aaron Weems
    17 May 2015 | 9:07 am
    Recently the Superior Court considered a case in which a party died during the pendency of a support action. In the divorce case for Moser v. Ronald R. Renninger, et al., No. 1065 MDA 2014, the husband and wife were separated with the wife having filed for divorce and sought spousal support against the husband, receiving an interim support order of $394.10 per month plus arrears in an unspecified amount. As an interim order, this matter was scheduled for an evidentiary hearing and designated complex which allowed the parties to conduct discovery (typically “simple” support cases do not…

    Aaron Weems
    6 May 2015 | 11:44 am
    401(k) retirement plans are commonly divided in divorces by way of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order which prevents the transfer of the funds from the plan participants account to the other spouse from being a taxable event such as it would be if they simply withdrew money from the account. If you participate in a 401(k) plan then you are probably well aware that withdrawing money before you reach retirement age subjects you to a 10% penalty on the amount of money you withdrew and you have to pay income tax on the withdrawal. For many divorce cases, however, the use of the 401(k) funds is…
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    One (Divorce) Lawyer's Perspective

  • Legally Separate, Get Divorced, or Annul a Marriage

    Michael Viola
    15 Jun 2015 | 1:08 pm
    With the clarification that LGBT couples have the legal right to marry in many states and to have the marriages entered into in other states legally recognized, same sex couples have been marrying. For some couples, the legal recognition of their marriage means they have the legal right to get divorced.  One such couple, WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson apparently have gotten married and, according to this article, less than 1 month later may have decided to legally end their relationship. What interests me about this announcement is not that they may be seeking to legally…
  • Why Wait So Long?

    Michael Viola
    5 Jun 2015 | 12:03 pm
    It was reported on that actor Ed Asner has filed for divorce from his wife Cindy although they have been separated for 8 years. The media, presumably People’s readership, and anyone else who is curious, was wondering why he would file for divorce after they have been separated for so long and, conversely, why didn’t one of them file when they first separated?  Without getting into any psychological reasons why people don’t file for divorce, despite being separated, let me share some thoughts from my 25 years experience as a family law attorney. So, if husband and…
  • Flipping a Chef’s Prenup

    Michael Viola
    29 May 2015 | 8:30 am
    According to this article, as part of her pending divorce action with chef Bobby Flay, actress Jennifer March, intends to challenge the prenuptial agreement which could otherwise limit what either March or Flay would be entitled to receive incident to a divorce or the death of a party.  Through a prenuptial agreement, parties decide what will happen in the event of the death of one of the parties or in the event of their separation or divorce.  The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to address these issues in a way that differs from what the law would otherwise provide.  In a divorce…
  • Khloe’s Divorce to be Dismissed?

    Michael Viola
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:07 am
    It is old news that Khloe Kardashian filed for divorce from her husband Lamar Odom back in 2013. According to this article, however, there is a possibility that her divorce action could be dismissed by the Court in Los Angeles. It would appear from this article, that under California law, a party has an affirmative duty to keep a divorce action moving; otherwise, the case could be dismissed. It would appear that she started her action in December 2013 and, if nothing else is filed by the end of April, her case will be dismissed. It is not clear from the article what either Khloe or Lamar…
  • Truly Special Service

    Michael Viola
    6 Apr 2015 | 3:40 pm
    In most divorce cases, a party is served with the divorce complaint by mail or through personal service.  As reported in this article, a NY judge allowed a person to be served with notice of a divorce action via Facebook.  Anyone having difficulty serving a divorce complaint on the other side should not start posting things on Facebook and assuming they have good service. Service is the way in which a person is given notice that a law suit has been initiated.  Some form of notice is required in every type of law suit. This makes sense because a person should know if someone is suing him or…
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    Rochester Family Lawyer

  • Allocation of Child Care Costs in Child Support Cases

    13 Jun 2015 | 6:56 pm
    Under New York law, child support consists of two elements: “basic” child support and the “add-ons.”  Domestic Relations Law §240 (1-b)(c)(4) and Domestic Relations Law §240 (1-b)(c)(6) provide that when a custodial parent is working, seeking work, or is in school or training which will lead to employment, reasonable day care expenses will be allocated in a ratio equal to the each parent’s income to the combined income. The parties occasionally dispute whether child care expenses are reasonable.  Most often, these disputes tend to focus on the cost and need for daycare.
  • Terminating Spousal Support Provisions After Divorce Due to Change In Circumstances

    1 Jun 2015 | 7:37 pm
    In New York, spousal support, also sometimes referred to as “alimony” or “spousal maintenance” can be granted in a divorce case to either spouse by the court pursuant to Domestic Relations Law §236. Alternatively, the parties can agree to a specific amount of maintenance, its duration, and the circumstances under which it will terminate in their settlement agreement. Factors that a judge or the parties will consider in determining spousal support, among others, include: The duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties; The present and future…
  • Service of Divorce Summons Over Facebook

    10 May 2015 | 7:28 pm
    As the world is changing with emerging technologies, the courts are starting to accept new technologies and social media. In a recent decision, Baidoo v. Blood-Dzraku, 2015 NY Slip Op 25096 (Sup. Ct. New York Co. 2015), the court permitted service of divorce summons over Facebook. In New York State, summons must be served in all divorce cases. In a typical New York divorce case, the defendant must be served with the summons personally and an affidavit of service describing the circumstances of the service must be filed. However, there are frequently circumstances where the party seeking…
  • Enforcement of Payment Obligations Pursuant to Judgment of Divorce

    28 Mar 2015 | 5:15 pm
    One of the issues that occurs in cases where a party is ordered to make spousal maintenance or child support after the judgment of divorce is entered, is that party may fail to make such payments. This brings up a question of what remedy should be utilized under those circumstances. A recent decision of Keller v. Keller, 2015 N.Y. Slip. Op. 02453 (2d Dept. 2015) demonstrates how the court approaches a contempt application based upon payor’s failure to pay child support and related expenses. In Keller, a contempt application was brought after the money judgment for child support went…
  • Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements

    1 Mar 2015 | 1:29 pm
    Prenuptial agreements can be used to resolve issues related to spousal maintenance, equitable distribution, and other issues that may come up in the event the parties decide to divorce. While I have previously written about different issues involving validity and enforceability of prenuptial agreements, and how the courts would analyze them, a recent case raised an issue of what happens to the prenuptial agreement if a claim is made that the parties verbally agreed to revoke it. In Braha v. Braha, 45 Misc 3d 1211(A) (Sup Ct. Kings Co. 2014), the wife claimed that the parties agreed to revoke…
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    Seattle Divorce Mediation | Whole Mediation | (206) 568-5337

  • Four Styles of Mediation

    Debra Synovec
    9 Jun 2015 | 12:23 pm
    There is no set formula when it comes to divorce mediation. Each couple’s circumstances, goals, and issues are different, making the process unique to every situation. I have been mediating for over 25 years and have never seen the same divorce circumstances twice.  A mediator uses their expertise combined with mediation techniques to help each unique couple create a successful plan. Four types of mediation are: Transformative mediation theorizes that the process has the capability to transform and change the individuals involved. This inner transformation is affected by “empowerment”…
  • Dogs and Divorce

    Debra Synovec
    5 May 2015 | 3:40 pm
    A divorce affects more than the two people. Everyone knows that divorce impacts families, friends, children, business relationships, neighbors and others. However it’s not always humans who are affected—pets may be an important piece to the divorce puzzle. Mediation helps separating couples reach outcomes based on each individual’s needs, wants, and lifestyle, and can help reach an agreement for custody of pets. When going through a divorce that involves furry companions keep the following in mind: Who owns the pet? If one of you had the dog or cat before you met each other and married,…
  • How To Successfully Parent After A Divorce

    Debra Synovec
    6 Apr 2015 | 6:27 pm
    Divorce is difficult and a divorce becomes even more difficult when children are involved. While separation can be the best option for the individual, it creates conditions within the family that largely affect your kids for the rest of their lives. Divorcees must learn to work together even though they are no longer legally bound to make the transition as easy on the children as possible. Mediation is an effective strategy during the separation process, but is also incredibly helpful after the divorce is finalized. Post-divorce mediation allows parents to discuss child support, logistics,…
  • Post Divorce Mediation

    Debra Synovec
    25 Mar 2015 | 4:35 am
    Divorce is not an end-all situation. Life brings many changes, situations often arise involving your former spouse that will need to be addressed long after the papers have been signed. With all the factors that connect a couple when they are legally married, many issues carry over after the divorce is final. Loose ends can be left untied even after the divorce is final, and new issues often arise between the divorced couple. Mediation is often a helpful approach for couples that have run into issues after their divorce has been finalized. Rather than using litigation that can be time…
  • Divorce Mediation Can Help During Tax Season

    Debra Synovec
    24 Feb 2015 | 12:30 pm
    Along with the many other difficulties involved in a divorce, tax season can be an especially tricky time. Although taxes are probably the last thing on your mind when divorcing, the issues involved will have an impact on your tax return as well as your spouse’s tax return. Tax rules are complicated enough, and the legalities of divorce can only make them more problematic. Divorce mediation can help alleviate this process by emphasizing communication between the couple and efficiently coming up with solutions to filling out tax returns. “Many couples going through a litigated divorce are…
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    Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Long-Term Marriages and Permanent Alimony in Florida

    26 Jun 2015 | 8:32 am
    The law regarding alimony contains several nuances. One of these is a statutory rule that says that the amount of evidence a spouse must offer in order to obtain permanent alimony differs based upon how long the couple was married. This rule recently led to the reversal of a Tampa court's decision to deny a wife permanent alimony, since the 2d District Court of Appeal concluded that the lower court denied the wife's permanent alimony request based upon the wrong standard of proof. In Irene and Randy Banks' case, theirs was a long-term marriage, having wedded before NASA launched the first…
  • Your Child's Education and Your Florida Divorce

    18 Jun 2015 | 10:43 am
    Two of the most important decisions many parents will make regarding their children center around the children's education and their religious affiliation. Two recent cases, one from the 3d District Court of Appeal and one from the 2d DCA, demonstrate the importance of documenting the entirety of your and your spouse's agreement regarding your children's education, and of understanding exactly how tuition payments may affect child support calculations. If both parents agree that their child (or children) should attend private school for some or all of their education, the marital settlement…
  • Job Loss and Its Impact on Your Child Support in Florida

    12 Jun 2015 | 8:12 am
    The recent economic recession created financial hardships for many, including numerous people who lost their jobs. When you lose your job, you have many things you must deal with. If you owe child support and you're unemployed, there are certain situations in which your child's support may be calculated based upon an income you don't have. In a recent case from Martin County, the 4th District Court of Appeal highlighted the rules for child support obligations in these situations. The case involved the support of the one child of Miguel Perales and Jennifer Heard, born in 2009. Each parent…
  • Dealing With Florida Timesharing Issues Between a Parent and a Non-Parent

    5 Jun 2015 | 8:17 am
    As a certain popular television show illustrates, the "modern family" comes in many diverse versions. With more families who are not like the Cleavers of Leave it to Beaver fame, there are more situations when a person prominently involved in the care of a child may not have a biological relationship to that child. A recent case from North Florida brought this scenario front and center, as the 1st District Court of Appeal issued a ruling highlighting the legal rule that says, when a natural parent and a non-parent are locked in a custody dispute, the courts must look beyond just the "best…
  • Court Refuses to Find Florida Mother in Contempt for Violating Timesharing Order

    27 May 2015 | 6:38 am
    Family law cases can arise from a variety of origins. Unfortunately, one of these bases for filing, especially in contempt matters, is vindictiveness against one's "ex." A 2d District Court of Appeal decision recently upheld a Sarasota trial court's refusal to hold a mother in contempt. Even though the father proved the mother's violation of the couple's timesharing plan, the trial court was free not to hold the mother in contempt, which it did in order to discourage more "vindictive and vexatious" actions between these parents. This case is very instructive regarding what options judges have…
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    NJ Family Legal Blog


    Eliana Baer
    30 Jun 2015 | 2:09 am
    You have planned for months.  You and your children are going to take the vacation to end all vacations this summer.  Well, the summer is here, but the whimsical dreams about lazing on the beach and hiking through the rain forest may be dashed if you don’t “know before you go.” Indeed, increased concern about international child abductions has lead the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department to institute certain policies and procedures for single parents travelling internationally with a child.  Parents should pay mind to these special considerations, particularly…

    Robert A. Epstein
    19 Jun 2015 | 1:01 pm
    When an attorney asks me to consent to an adjournment of a pending court date, deadline, or otherwise, I generally consent as a matter of professional courtesy unless there is a good reason not to (perhaps there is someone else who can fill in for the attorney who is familiar with the matter, or consent was already given on an earlier occasion in connection with the same court date and, quite frankly, enough is enough).  We as family lawyers have all stood in each other’s shoes on many occasions for better or worse, and also know that a family judge, or appellate court may not kindly…

    Eric S. Solotoff
    19 Jun 2015 | 8:29 am
    In the highly scheduled, some say overscheduled, world of suburban children, figuring out where they are supposed to be and when is a constant battle. It is hard enough to do in an intact family, much less in divorced families where the parties are tasked to co-parent.  I know this week, just the addition of end of school year parties and changes of other birthday parties due to weather or family emergencies has turned our week on end.  Add another level of difficulty when the parties’ communication is strained at best, horrific/abusive, at worst and/or if the parties live at great…

    Eric S. Solotoff
    18 Jun 2015 | 10:56 am
    We have an adversary who loves to say, when responding to motions that we have filed, that the best defense is a good offense.  He has even taking to giving official attribution to the person that came up with that line.   The gist of the statement is that our client is going on the attack to divert from his/her own wrong doing.  But really what it is is a tactic to create a smoke screen.  If permitted at argument, I was prepared with a few quotes of my own (“the lady doth protest too much, methinks”; and “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a…

    Eric S. Solotoff
    17 Jun 2015 | 8:00 am
    Part of my passion (some say illness) for what I do is to read almost every new case that is decided – whether it is precedent setting (reported) or not (unreported).  I am always looking for an interesting take on an issue, or to be reminded about some nuance of the law, and otherwise, sometimes just for wonderment about how people act toward each other. Today was no different.  I was reading a new reported decision, P.M. v. N.P. that was decided today.  The case is about the potential recusal of a trial judge when their law clerk gets hired by the attorney for a litigant in a…
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    Texas Family Law Blog

  • Impact of SCOTUS Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

    29 Jun 2015 | 12:38 pm
    On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in Obergefell v. Hodges  ruled that all 50 states and the District of Columbia must issue marriage licenses and recognize marriages regardless of whether the spouses are both male or female. In effect, this ruling guarantees equal protection under the law to same-sex couples concerning not only marriage, but the property rights and other legal presumptions arising from marriage.As the majority of the Court’s justices have stated:“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love,…
  • Premarital Education Course

    18 May 2015 | 10:50 am
    Couples applying for a marriage license in the State of Texas are encouraged to attend a free premarital education course.  Couples who take the course can waive a portion of the marriage license fee and waive the 72-hour waiting period typically required between issuance of a marriage license the marriage ceremony.  Topics covered in the course include conflict management, communication skills, and the key components of a successful marriage.  Providers of the course in Travis County include By: Sarah F. Berry
  • How Should a Texas Employer Handle a Wage Withholding Order/Notice?

    30 Jul 2014 | 9:29 am
    You’ve just received a document entitled “Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support,” or some similar title, related to one of your employees.  Now what? First, do not ignore this document! A Texas employer who knowingly fails to withhold court-ordered child support may be subject to a $200 fine for each pay period during which it failed to withhold income and remit child support to the appropriate agency. You are required to begin deducting for child support during the first pay period following your receipt of this Order/Notice. Under Section 158.206 of the Texas Family…
  • Identify Theft Meets eFiling: Protecting Sensitive Data in Pleadings

    28 Apr 2014 | 10:07 am
    What’s a lawyer to do?Texas statutes require that all pleading include certain identifying information for named parties: full legal names, portions of social security numbers, and portions of drivers’ license numbers, while family law matters include dates of birth, dates of marriage, maiden names, home addresses, vehicle identification numbers, or even bank names and partial account numbers in orders related to the parties’ property. Obviously, that type of “sensitive data” in a publicly available record could lead to identity theft by the unscrupulous. And most pleadings are…
  • Effect of Powerball/Lotto Win on Child Support Obligations?

    5 Mar 2014 | 2:55 pm
    A recent Powerball winner may be about to find out that winning isn’t everything, after all.According to news sources, Pedro Quezada, a resident of New Jersey, owes a judgment for unpaid child support in an approximate amount of $39,000.00.  Before the $338 million in lottery funds are released to him, it seems that the State of New Jersey will deduct the amounts owed for his child support obligations.  See, in another twist of fate, Mr. Quezada’s…
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    Lewis Kannegieter Law, Ltd. » » Blog

  • ICE – In Case of Emergency

    30 Jun 2015 | 6:23 am
    You’ve heard the buzz about having a contact labeled “ICE” in your phone, just in case of that car crash where someone needs to be contacted, pronto. What about further identification for medical personnel? Sure, they have your driver’s license…did you ever change that address when you moved? And they could probably find your auto insurance in the glove box…if you printed out a new one. How about your medical insurance card or Health Care Directive? By carrying “In Case of Emergency” information at all times, you can avoid issues that may arise during an emergency…
  • Should you consider a prenuptial agreement?

    16 Jun 2015 | 6:16 am
    Getting married is an exciting life event.  But in today’s society with a rise in blended families, later in life marriages, and high divorce rates, more couples are choosing to protect their futures with a prenuptial (antenuptial) agreement. A prenuptial (before the marriage) agreement can determine spousal rights to property in the event of death or divorce.  Commonly thought to be only for the rich and famous, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be an essential planning tool for those with significant property or children from other relationships.  Having a well-drafted…
  • 7 Reasons To Hire An Attorney For Your Uncontested Divorce

    2 Jun 2015 | 6:23 am
    A common misconception is that a divorce attorney is only needed when there are disagreements between the spouses. But when there is a complete agreement on all divorce issues many couples think a divorce attorney is an unnecessary expense. Instead they get free forms from the court, pay for forms over the Internet, or even hire a paralegal or other non-lawyer to draft the forms for them.  Unfortunately going without a lawyer can create a complicated mess that you may not be able to fix.  With my years of family law experience I have heard all the stories of “uncontested divorces gone…
  • 3 Legal Documents Every Graduating Senior Needs to Ensure Parents Can Act On Their Behalf In An Emergency

    19 May 2015 | 6:41 am
    It’s graduation time, which means your “baby” is all grown up and preparing to head out into the real world.  But before your son or daughter packs up for summer vacation or even their first semester of college, I want you to think about what it means having a child who is an “adult” in the eyes of the law. From a legal standpoint, I can tell you that it means you’ll now need written permission to make important medical or financial decisions on his or her behalf. For example, if your daughter is having a problem registering for fall classes because she she’s missing medical…
  • Talking to Your Parents About Meeting with an Estate Planning Lawyer

    5 May 2015 | 7:41 am
    Across the country, folks often put off their estate planning for many reasons.  Whether it’s facing your own mortality, or that of your parents, the prospect of needing a will or trust isn’t something that many of us want to think about.  The reality, though, is that when we continue to put off the estate planning process, things only tend to get more complicated. Considering a parent’s need for estate planning may not be a pleasant thought, but it is so very important in ensuring that they are taken care of.  After all, it’s not just about what they will leave behind after death,…
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    Pink Tape

  • When journalists ignore source material it is public debate which pays the price

    23 Jun 2015 | 11:53 am
    This is re-posted from a post I wrote on the Transparency Project blog here. Christopher Booker wrote about the case of Ethan Williams in The Telegraph this weekend, in an article entitled : When judges defy instinct, it is children who pay the price – We were presented with two flatly opposing views of the story of Rebecca Minnock, who went on the run with her son. You can read the background to this case in our blog post here : The Missing Mum Case. Most lawyers would be surprised to read a headline that suggested it is somehow wrong for judges not to rely on instinct. We…
  • A short rant….and….breathe!

    22 Jun 2015 | 2:57 pm
    This has been brewing for some time. I need to get it off my chest because it is impeding the drawing of a breath of fresh air, like a particularly difficult phlegm bomb (sorry, that is disgusting but it does rather convey the unhealthy and rather unpleasant irritant to my wellbeing that this has become). The Family Court is variously criticised for – relying on instinct / preconceptions / stereotyped gender based assumptions* about childrens needs (court is biased in favour of mothers / against fathers) not relying on instinct / preconceptions / stereotyped gender based assumptions…
  • You can run but you can’t hide

    21 Jun 2015 | 6:20 am
    This is a guest post by Sarah Phillimore, who blogs at Child Protection Resource. NB I will allow comments on this post as I usually do, but I will not permit comments which are offensive or insulting (robust challenge is ok as ever) and I will not permit comments which I consider are or may be impermissible or inappropriate for legal reasons.   The sad case of Rebecca Minnock has provided manufacturers of stilts for nonsense with a bonanza couple of weeks. See this post from the Transparency Project if the details of this case have escaped you so far. Various online groups have…
  • Social Work, the Courts and the Consequences of Transparency

    16 Jun 2015 | 10:30 pm
    UNISON have published the results of a survey of around 1000 of their social worker members, the results of which are striking. Of those sampled (just over 1000 responders of a 10000 random sample of members) less than a third were aware of the Transparency Guidance and that social workers could be named in judgments, or that this could lead to naming in the media. My first question then – what planet are social workers living on? Why are they not being provided with this information and how have they not noticed it being talked about in court, if nowhere else? Sorry, that was three…
  • Rethinking Child Protection Strategy

    15 Jun 2015 | 2:06 pm
    Apologies that I do not have time to craft a full blog post and am essentially regurgitating the press release below – however I have heard Dr Devine speak at the Multidisciplinary Conference organised with the Transparency Project earlier this month, and it is a VERY interesting project. We were treated to a bit of an advance preview of some of the preliminary findings arising from the project’s meta-analysis and some of the statistics were eye-watering. So. In all it’s untinkered with glory, behold the press release from UWE : Researchers from Bristol Law School at the…
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    Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

  • US Supreme Court Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

    James J. Gross
    26 Jun 2015 | 8:52 am
    The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision today legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. The decision was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who says in the last paragraph: No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.
  • The Tale of the Two Kayaks and Other Divorce Trainwrecks

    James J. Gross
    24 Jun 2015 | 12:07 pm
    We went to a birthday party for one of our neighbors last night. Sooner or later at parties, people around me start telling me their divorce trainwreck stories. One woman told me about how she and her ex fought over who would get the two kayaks. “Why didn’t you take one and let your ex take one?” I asked. “They were a matched pair.” “ So,” I said, “Just buy another matched pair.” “They were hand-made and unique.” It ended up that the husband bought the wife’s kayak for $750. More divorce trainwreck stories.
  • It’s Splitsville for Celebrity Couple

    James J. Gross
    11 Jun 2015 | 1:04 pm
    Marriage is on the rocks for Marge and Homer Simpson. The celebrity cartoon couple will legally separate in the upcoming season when Homer leaves Marge and the kids for his pharmacist. No word on whom Homer and Marge will hire for lawyers, but we’ve got room for just one more good case.
  • Divorce Quotes

    James J. Gross
    17 Apr 2015 | 1:50 pm
    “Wherever a new disagreement emerges, so does new hope for enlightenment, on both sides of the fence.” — Mike Dooley, Notes from the Universe
  • Md Legislature Adds Mutual Consent to Grounds for Divorce

    James J. Gross
    16 Apr 2015 | 8:05 am
    The Maryland General Assembly has added “Mutual Consent” as new grounds for absolute divorce in Maryland, eliminating the waiting period, if (1) the parties do not have any minor children in common; (2) the parties execute and submit to the court a written settlement agreement signed by both parties that resolves all  issues relating to alimony and the distribution of property; (3) neither party files a pleading to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing required under the Maryland rules; and (4) both parties appear before the court at the absolute divorce…
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    Family Law Source by Brian Vertz

  • Emotional Connection Does Not Guarantee Award of Marital Residence

    Brian Vertz
    23 Jun 2015 | 2:12 pm
    According to the old saying, “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” Perhaps that’s true in some context, but in a Pennsylvania divorce decision that was recently published by the Superior Court, possession of a marital home during separation did not dictate the outcome.  In Markle v. Markle, No. 968 WDA 2014 (June 22, 2015)(non-precedential), the marital […]
  • Market Risk in Dividing Retirement Assets upon Divorce

    Brian Vertz
    14 Jun 2015 | 12:54 pm
    Divorcing spouses in Pennsylvania might be well-advised to consider the risks associated with various retirement vehicles, as they decide which assets to retain or divide in equitable distribution.  A recent non-precedential decision of the Superior Court, Wyatt v. Wyatt (No. 1228 MDA 2013, June 11, 2015), illustrates this point. In Wyatt, one of the spouses […]
  • Spousal Support of Foreign Nationals – The I-864

    Brian Vertz
    30 Apr 2015 | 6:52 am
    Back in 2012, I reported on a Pennsylvania Superior Court case, Love v. Love, in which Pennsylvania recognized a support obligation arising from sponsorship of a foreign national spouse.  Now, the ABA Family Law Quarterly has published an article, entitled “The I-864 Affidavit of Support: An Intro to the Immigration Form You Must Learn to […]
  • Equal Custody Trumps Long Commute to School

    Brian Vertz
    12 Apr 2015 | 5:51 pm
    When one parent moves to a new neighborhood after having equal shared custody, the move might cause a longer commute time for a children traveling to and from school.  In a recent published decision, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania considered whether it was reasonable to shift primary custody to one parent in order to limit […]
  • Father Reasonably Withheld Support for College Tuition

    Brian Vertz
    14 Sep 2014 | 11:37 am
    Parents who are divorcing in Pennsylvania often express willingness to pay for their children’s college tuition when the time should come.  Some parents even put their commitment in writing. Yet, as this case demonstrates, circumstances may change from the time of the divorce settlement to the time when children matriculate in college, and an effective […]
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    Ontario Family Law Blog

  • Complaints Against The Children's Aid Society

    Brian Galbraith
    3 Jul 2015 | 8:47 am
    By Lynn Kirwin Nobody listens to me! If my grandchild needs protection, why won’t the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (the Society) do something?  The biological mother and father hold greater rights than grandparents in child protection laws or custody/access disputes.  As a grandparent, (unless you also qualify as a parent) you are entitled to be informed of the reasons for a decision made by the Society, but you are not entitled to have a voice in decisions made by the Society about your grandchild.  Complaints against the Society and the right to…
  • Travelling with the kids? Get consent!

    Brian Galbraith
    26 Jun 2015 | 10:18 am
    By Thea Cameron. Planning a trip across the Canadian border with the kids this summer without the other parent?  You need a notarized travel consent! If you are separated, trips without the other parent are the new normal. There is nothing worse than being stopped at the border with your kids in tow because you don’t have the right paper work. Your holiday could end before it starts. Here’s what to include: 1.      Full names and birth dates of each parent and each child.  2.      Specific dates for travel and mode of…
  • Separation Agreements - An Investment In Yourself

    Brian Galbraith
    11 May 2015 | 7:08 am
    By Anna Preston It is no secret to anyone involved in the legal industry that family court is an expensive method to resolve the issues arising from separation. Frankly, it can hemorrhage a family financially.  One way to avoid huge court costs is to engage in the negotiation of a separation agreement.  This enables you to keep your dispute private, and out of court.  While some believe they can draft their own agreement, it is not always wise to do so.  If a dispute arises in future about the terms of your home made agreement, the courts may toss your agreement aside,…
  • Kids and Divorce

    Brian Galbraith
    13 Apr 2015 | 10:05 am
      By Toni Nieuwhof You may have come to the point where you admit to yourself that your marriage is over. You haven't admitted it to anyone else because you were trying to make it work for the sake of your kids. But despite your best efforts to make the marriage work, the conflict between you is unbearable.   So, how do you separate in a way that protects your kids? You worry that your marital conflict is starting to affect not only your relationships with them, but also their behavior at home and at school.  What can you do to help them?   According to the Canadian…
  • Divorce Fears

    Brian Galbraith
    24 Mar 2015 | 7:36 am
    By Thea Cameron, Lawyer Separation and Divorce: these words bring up feelings of pain, disappointment, fear, and uncertainty.   Are you worried about the way this will impact your children, and what the financial implications will be - How will my children cope? Can I afford to stay in the home?  This is normal.  You don’t want to be the next casualty of divorce. I have seen firsthand many families destroyed by a messy divorce. It especially saddens me to see kids caught in the middle. The good news is that there is a way for couples to “divorce…
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    Dads Divorce

  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News – July 3, 2015

    Shawn Garrison
    3 Jul 2015 | 3:00 pm
    Dads Divorce, sponsor Cordell & Cordell and sister site have teamed up to present a series of weekly recap videos to keep you informed on the latest news and top stories. This week, Cordell & Cordell linked to a blog post by NFL Hall of Fame running back and Cordell & Cordell celebrity spokesperson Barry Sanders about the importance of finding trustworthy legal representation during the divorce process. It is difficult for many guys to grasp the complicated legal concepts and determine the best course of action in their case without professional legal help.  Dads…
  • Divorce Dilemma: LGBT Community Discovers Divorce Equality

    Shawn Garrison
    2 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    By “Dad X” The LGBT community has fought for marriage equality for years, decades, probably forever. The Supreme Court ruling will now be fought against by certain states, towns, cities and individual magistrates. On the LGBT side, there will be attorneys carrying on the fight. Of course, with the joy of freedom and citizen responsibility of marriage finally extended to all citizens, comes a price – divorce. It’s long been known that too often men get the short end of divorce from biased judges basing their decisions on re-runs of Leave it to Beaver. So how will these “family…
  • DadsDivorce LIVE: White House Council On Boys & Men

    Shawn Garrison
    1 Jul 2015 | 2:07 pm
    The proposal for a White House Council on Boys and Men was originally inspired in response to the creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls. According to Coalition to Create a White House Council On Boys and Men Commissioner Terry Brennan, the current generation of boys will be the first that is less educated than their fathers. Boys are expelled and are dropping out of school more often. And the suicide rates as boys grow and mature is increasing at a concerning rate. The Coalition to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men has come up with five areas it feels are at a…
  • 4 Things Recent Research Has Taught Us About Fatherhood

    Shawn Garrison
    30 Jun 2015 | 1:10 pm
    There is no shortage of research regarding the importance of engaged fathers. Over the years there have been numerous studies that prove, without a doubt, it is crucial for children to have Dad involved in their lives. However, there is a growing interest in the science of fatherhood. Specifically, more research is being devoted to the physiological changes dads experience through different stages of fatherhood. Moreover, researchers are fine-tuning how they measure fathers’ contributions to the upbringing of their children. The result is that we know more about dads – their importance,…
  • Who Decides The Meds A Child Takes When Custody Is Split?

    Shawn Garrison
    29 Jun 2015 | 11:54 am
    Question: What rights do I have when it comes to deciding what medications my child takes? My son has ADHD and my ex and I disagree about what medication he needs to take. We have split custody and I am the primary parent. Answer: I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general tips on your situation. In most states, including Wisconsin where I practice law, if parents have joint legal custody of a child, they must make major decisions together regarding that child. The decision to medicate a child…
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    Marilyn Stowe Blog

  • A week in family law: Figure, figures, figures… and more

    John Bolch
    3 Jul 2015 | 10:35 am
    It’s mostly been about statistics this week, but there has been some other news… The first statistics came from a Crown Prosecution Service report, which indicated that a record number of people have been prosecuted for offences categorised as “violence against women and girls” in England and Wales. The report showed there were more than 107,000 such prosecutions in the year to April, up 16,000 (18%) on the previous year. The figures are for crimes “primarily” against women, but male victims are also included. They include cases of rape, domestic violence and “honour” crime.
  • Doctors given permission to turn off life support for toddler

    Marilyn Stowe
    3 Jul 2015 | 7:35 am
    Yesterday I was contacted by Telegraph journalist Camilla Turner. She wanted my views on an unusual – and frankly rather heart-breaking – case which has just gone before the High Court in London. The case concerned an 18 month-old toddler who – sadly – choked on a plastic cap while at home with his mother in February, then went into cardiac arrest. Doctors saved the boy’s life but he was left, thanks to serious brain damage, in a “deep coma and completely unresponsive”. Doctors reached the conclusion that nothing g more could be done for him, leaving his parents with an awful…
  • Government plans to scrap child poverty act

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    3 Jul 2015 | 6:04 am
    The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has announced plans to scrap the Child Poverty Act. Iain Duncan Smith told Parliament this week that the legislation, which defines poverty reduction targets, would be replaced with a new requirement to monitor “worklessness” and “educational attainment”. The first measure would include an assessment of the number of children living in unemployed households, while the second would measure GCSE results. The announcement met with anger from charities and campaigners on child poverty issues, Children & Young People Now reports. Peter Grigg…
  • Vulnerable client guide for solicitors published

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    3 Jul 2015 | 4:07 am
    The Law Society has published a guide for solicitors on how to deal with clients who have physical or mental health problems. Meeting the needs of vulnerable clients seeks to help identify vulnerable clients early and communicate with them more effectively. It lists certain “vulnerability indicators” including age, learning disabilities, difficulty understanding complex information, and heavy reliance on others. There is advice on how to deal with third parties such as advocates and carers. While it may be relatively simple to identify “mobility problems, physical or sensory…
  • Adult children owe parents over £3,000

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    2 Jul 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Almost a quarter of elderly parents are still owed money by their adult children, a new study suggests. In a survey of more than 1,000 parents over 65 years-old, 23 per cent claim that their children are still in their debt. The average amount owed is around £3,100. One in ten of those surveyed said that their children owed them more than £5,000. The number of parents who made such claims varied from region to region. For example, in the North East of England, 36 per cent of respondents – more than one in three – said their adult children owed them money. In Scotland, only one in five…
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    Divorce Attorney in Chicago

  • “Til Death (Or Divorce) Do Us Part”

    18 Jun 2015 | 3:32 pm
      Due to the diverse issues covered in a divorce case, divorce lawyers must have intimate knowledge of the statutes and cases governing not only family law, but also many other areas of the law. As a result, family law extends well beyond just family law.   One area that requires more advanced knowledge is estate planning; and as a Chicago family law attorney, I recommend that my clients review their estate plan preceding and following a divorce.   Power of Attorney for Health Care   In Illinois, a power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to designate a person…
  • A Better Divorce Is Possible When Chicago Divorce Lawyers Use Mediation

    20 May 2015 | 7:16 am
    Dissolving a marriage takes time; it is a process that may be equal to the time and effort it took to build the relationship once upon a time. Couples often find themselves in drawn out battles in the courtroom, costing each party a hefty total. Emotionally, the courtroom can become a source of distress and heartache for the divorcing parties. Rather than see the case through in a courtroom, many divorcing couples and their divorce lawyers in Chicago find success with mediation.   Mediation As An Alternative To Court Mediation is an alternative process to litigation and a trial. Instead,…
  • Does Your Religion Recognize Divorce?

    5 May 2015 | 6:05 am
    The United States constitution mandates that there be separation between church and state. In the U.S., a divorce is considered a civil, non-religious matter and once a judge signs the final divorce papers, a couple is considered divorced. However, divorce documents may not be sufficient in the eyes of certain religions. Even if you do not consider yourself to be particularly religious, it is important to know and understand the difference between a religious and civil divorce. This blog post will highlight how the Catholic and Jewish religions view divorce. Judaism In Judaism, a man and…
  • Understanding Fault and No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

    21 Apr 2015 | 12:34 am
    As a divorce attorney, I am frequently asked what requirements are needed in order to file for a divorce. Specifically, I am asked if one spouse must be guilty or have done something wrong before a divorce can be requested. Although these answers vary from state to state, in Illinois there must be grounds for a divorce. There are two types of grounds in Illinois, fault grounds and no-fault grounds. No-fault grounds are more commonly known as irreconcilable differences. In the case of irreconcilable differences, either spouse may file for divorce, regardless of who was at fault for the…
  • Utilizing Chicago Divorce Attorneys To Develop A Solid (Yet Flexible) Co-Parenting Plan

    7 Apr 2015 | 6:29 am
    As a Chicago divorce attorney, I have seen firsthand how difficult dissolving a marriage can prove for my clients. A common challenge when working through the divorce process is agreeing on an effective co-parenting plan for your children. Divorcing with children brings a whole set of parameters to work through. Even if you and your spouse are on amicable terms, consulting with Chicago divorce attorneys can offer a comprehensive range of benefits as you strive to effectively construct a solid co-parenting plan. Your Chicago divorce attorney can help you understand your rights as a parent, yet…
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    Scaling the Summit: Divorce, Families, & Options

  • Collaborative Law Training with Justin Kelsey

    2 Jul 2015 | 6:47 am
    Currently, four of the attorneys at Skylark Law & Mediation are trained in Collaborative Law, an out-of-court dispute resolution process.  The Collaborative Law process may be used to resolve conflict in all types of matters, including family, business, and probate disputes.  The Collaborative Law training is an excellent opportunity to add valuable skills to your conflict resolution toolbox. Justin Kelsey, the owner of Skylark Law & Mediation, PC, will be one of the trainers at the upcoming 2015 Introductory Collaborative Training presented by the Massachusetts…
  • Divorce Mediation Training with Justin Kelsey

    2 Jul 2015 | 6:37 am
    At Skylark Law & Mediation, PC all of our attorneys and staff are trained mediators.  Even for those who do not mediate, the skills involved in mediation training assist in all forms of conflict resolution and negotiation.  If you are interested in learning more, check out the upcoming Family Law Mediation Workshop 2015 - offered by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. Justin Kelsey, the owner of Skylark Law & Mediation, PC and an MCFM Certified Mediator will be one of the trainers on the first day. For more information or to register click here.
  • Top 6 Out-Of-Office E-mail Notices

    2 Jul 2015 | 5:45 am
    Getting an out-of-office auto-reply to an e-mail you send can be frustrating, especially when you were hoping for a quick response to your inquiry.  However, they are a necessary evil in a world where everyone expects instant replies to electronic communications, at least for those of us who still intend to take vacations from the office. I expect that my colleagues or clients will feel some disappointment when they get that immediate reply to their e-mail only to discover it's not a real reply but rather a notice that I won't be available for the next few days.  About two years ago…
  • SCOTUS rules on Marriage Equality: the tl;dr version

    26 Jun 2015 | 9:50 pm
    The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states on Friday, June 26, 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges, a 103 page decision which we read so you don't have to.  You should, but seriously, most of you probably won't.  Many people will just read that headline and know that there has been an important change in the status of legal relationships in the U.S.  Both the majority and dissents agree on one thing, this is a significant and far-reaching decision. For a good overview of the decision itself and the legal impact, visit our friend's blog over at Finn &…
  • 3 Prenup Drafting Tips from the Appeals Court: Pisano v. Pisano

    29 May 2015 | 8:40 am
    The Appeals Court ruled, in Pisano v. Pisano, on numerous issues involving a bifurcated trial, a prenuptial agreement, temporary alimony and family loans.  The primary issues in the case all could have been prevented by inclusion of clear provisions in the Prenuptial Agreement.  This is not a criticism of the drafters, because in many instances the soon to be married couple don't want to deal with these types of specifics.  However, this case demonstrates the importance of clear and thoughtful decision-making and drafting when creating a Prenuptial Agreement. 1. Trial Judge's…
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    Lawdiva's Blog

  • Winnipeg Family Law Lawyer Critically Injured in Bomb Explosion

    Georgialee Lang
    3 Jul 2015 | 6:31 pm
    Earlier today a bomb exploded at Winnipeg family law firm, Petersen King. The National Post reports that lawyer Maria Mitousis, age 35, is the only victim and has lost a hand in the blast. Other sources suggest she may also lose her other hand. She was rushed to hospital in critical condition. No other details are available, such as whether the bomb was mailed or couriered to the firm and police are on the scene. The firm has had its share of misfortune over the past several years. The “King” of Petersen King is lawyer Jack King, the wife of Madam Justice Lori Douglas who became…
  • Will Your Marriage Survive? Predictors of Divorce

    Georgialee Lang
    2 Jul 2015 | 9:17 pm
    Social scientists in the United States say that how a couple deals with conflict in their relationship is a good predictor of whether the couple’s marriage will survive. Dr. John Gottman from the University of Washington and Dr. Robert Levenson from the University of California were able to predict divorce with 93 per cent accuracy in their 14-year study involving 79 couples. Couples who acted defensively or stonewalled their partner during arguments, or were contemptuous or critical were most likely to see their marriages come to an end. The researchers found that the most dangerous…
  • Goldie Hawn’s Ex Accuses Her of Parental Alienation

    Georgialee Lang
    29 Jun 2015 | 2:04 pm
    How could you not fall in love with Goldie Hawn? She was the giggly blonde, with her bikini and body paint on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, a role that launched her career. Do you also remember the Hudson Brothers? Bill, Mark and Brett were three very handsome young men who hit the pop charts in the early 70’s and later appeared on their own television show. Their stars were rising at about the same time that Goldie Hawn’s career took off. Bill and Goldie married in 1976, a marriage that lasted only four years, but produced two talented children, Kate Hudson, age 36, now a…
  • Waiting for Canada’s New Euthanasia Law

    Georgialee Lang
    28 Jun 2015 | 9:31 am
    A perfectly healthy 24-year old woman in Belgium will be killed by her doctors only because she has “suicidal thoughts”. She does not suffer from any terminal disease or physical illness. While Nazi Germany pioneered legal euthanasia, Switzerland was an early adopter, followed by Columbia in 1997, Holland in 2002 and Belgium in 2003. Belgium’s original law applied only to adults, but in February 2015 they extended the law to include children. The United Kingdom’s Daily Mail quotes the woman as saying: ‘Death feels to me not as a choice. If I had a choice, I would…
  • Is US Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling a Threat to Democracy?

    Georgialee Lang
    26 Jun 2015 | 3:29 pm
    Today’s gay marriage decision from the United States Supreme Court has the potential to create an even greater divide between America’s already polarized electorate. In a 5/4 decision, the Court invented a new civil right under the banner of equal protection and due process of the law pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment, by ruling that individual States cannot ban same-sex marriage. The decision is neither unexpected nor surprising, however the chasm between the slim majority and the minority opinions is startling. Mr. Justice Scalia characterizes the decision as a threat to American…
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    Fairfax, Virginia Family Law Blog

  • Is it possible to prevent a brain injury?

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    1 Jul 2015 | 5:53 am
    The idea of preventing a brain injury may seem foreign to many Virginians. Isn't a blow to the head that typically happens in just a split second something that cannot be prevented? Not necessarily, according to the Brain Injury Association of America. There are ways to prevent a possible brain injury. Making smart transportation choices is always wise when it comes to preventing brain injuries. For example, bike helmets protect the head against possible trauma in the event of an accident. Most bike accidents happen within five blocks of a rider's home and therefore it is essential to always…
  • Safety research ongoing to prevent future truck accidents

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    24 Jun 2015 | 6:53 am
    All Virginia drivers want the roads to be safe, but this simple desire is not sufficient to ensure that the roads are in fact safe. Fortunately, there are also agencies that help study, promote and prevent accidents. The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety is one such agency, and their goal is to prevent motor vehicle crashes, as well as the related injuries and fatalities, that might occur at work. How do they do this exactly? One way the NIOSH Center operates to prevent car and truck accidents is through conducting specialized research to aide future recommendations regarding prevention…
  • Wet roads present elevated risk of Virginia car accidents

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    17 Jun 2015 | 10:36 am
    Rain is often welcome for its cooling effects during a hot Virginia summer, but rain can pose risks for drivers on the road. Wet roads create a greater risk for car accidents and factor in over one million accidents annually nationwide. There are strategies that drivers in Fairfax can use to help reduce the risks of wet-road related car accidents. One tip is to avoid cruise control when it is raining. A driver's ability to control a vehicle's speed to help prevent the vehicle from losing traction is reduced if a driver is relying on cruise control and does not have his or her foot actively…
  • Are used drop-side cribs dangerous products?

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    10 Jun 2015 | 7:56 am
    As a family prepares to welcome a new baby into their lives, hand-me-downs are often very welcome. Gently worn clothing and toys from friends and family members can present a huge cost savings for a Fairfax, Virginia family as new baby expenses mount. What about a hand-me-down crib? A crib is often one of the pricier items a baby needs, and some families may think a second-hand crib sounds like a great way to save money. Before acquiring an older crib, however, families should first ensure that the crib is not a drop-side crib, which is a potentially dangerous product. A drop-side crib is a…
  • Recovering damages after brain injuries is sometimes possible

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    8 Jun 2015 | 1:22 pm
    Last week's post on this Fairfax personal injury law blog discussed the prevalence and consequences of traumatic brain injuries on victims and their families. A TBI can derail an individual's life plans and force his family to evaluate how best to manage his potentially permanent disability. In addition to the heavy emotional burdens that a TBI can inflict upon a victim and his loved ones, the financial costs of supporting a victim's long-term care can be overwhelming. When TBIs are caused by the negligence or recklessness of other parties, the victims of those serious traumas may have rights…
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    Children and the Law Blog

  • Kids and justice

    Lauren Fisher
    19 Jun 2015 | 1:17 pm
    A fascinating new study from the University of Manchester finds children may have a sense of justice at a very early age.  An article by Sindya N. Bhanoo in the New York Times reported: Children as young as age 3 will intervene on behalf of a victim, reacting as if victimized themselves, scientists have found. “The children treated these two violations equally,” said Keith Jensen, a psychologist at the University of Manchester in England and an author of a new study appearing in the journal Current Biology. With toys, cookies and puppets, Dr. Jensen and his colleagues tried to…
  • New book: Children, Sexuality, and the Law

    Lauren Fisher
    4 Jun 2015 | 2:58 pm
      In the newly released book Children, Sexuality, and the Law, Professors Ellen Marrus and Sacha M. Coupet take on the challenging and often taboo subject of the way our legal system treats children and sex. The text approaches the subject through diverse perspectives of psychology and legal theory, dealing with issues like adolescent consent and First Amendment expression. Children, Sexuality, and the Law is the first book of its kind, and takes the conversation beyond traditional thought of children as victims of adult sexual deviance, exploring the concept of children as “agents and…
  • Federal Government Investigates Dallas Truancy Courts

    Lauren Fisher
    12 May 2015 | 12:03 pm
      Photo by Christina Ulsh Late last March, the Department of Justice announced a federal investigation of the Dallas County Texas Truancy courts.  Based on preliminary investigations, the Justice Department estimated that in 2014, Dallas County prosecuted over 20,000 children for missing class.  Punishing students for truancy may be understandable, but in Dallas students can be arrested in front of their classmates, sent to court, and charged outrageous fines.  The Justice Department is investigating the processes used by the Dallas court.  Reports indicate students with valid…
  • Girls Behind Bars

    Lauren Fisher
    6 May 2015 | 9:40 am
      Photo by Richard Ross An increasing number of detained juveniles are girls.  Author and photographer Richard Ross interviewed and photographed over 250 girls detention facilities in his new book, Girls in Justice.  Ross found girls who had suffered horrific abuse, and most were first arrested for running away or for larceny theft.  In the Mother’s Jones article on the book, Ross said “We confine and often demonize a group of kids who have been abused and violated by the very people who should be protecting and loving them . . . These girls in detention and…
  • Early Stress Causes Long-Term Impact

    Lauren Fisher
    2 May 2015 | 12:18 pm
    For young children in high stress home environments, the effects can be long-term and dramatic.  A new study at the University of Washington found causal evidence that the stress response system suffered extreme, persistent effects based on early caregiving environment.  The study offers new insight to prior, non-human studies of impact on brain development. An article in UW Today  explained: “The research is part of the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, launched in 2000 to study the effects of institutionalization on brain and behavior development among some of the…
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  • Top 5 Most Important Motorcycle Parts to Maintain

    Drew A
    26 Jun 2015 | 7:26 am
    Motorcycle Parts to Maintain All motorcycle owners should be familiar with their bike parts. Motorcycle parts knowledge entails the functions of the parts, selection of the right parts based on bike model and riding habits as well as the maintenance of parts. Proper maintenance of your bike is not only crucial to your safety but it can also save you money by extending the life of certain parts. A helmet and jacket can help protect you in a fall but properly maintained, quality parts can be the difference between life and death. All it takes is one malfunction to cause a fatal accident. Here…
  • Motorcycle Accident Insurance Payout- Safety Gear Can Affect Your Outcome

    Biker Law
    30 May 2015 | 1:46 pm
    In Florida, everyone who rides a motorcycle under the age of 21 must wear a helmet that meets the DOT (Department of Transportation) requirements. If you are over the age of 21, wearing a helmet is optional as long as your insurance policy covers $10,000 or more in medical benefits as a result of a motorcycle accident. But, while wearing a helmet may be optional, it could affect the amount compensation you receive for injuries if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. The other driver involved can try to prove your injuries were caused by not wearing a helmet or other safety gear, your…
  • Cost of Safety vs Cost of Injury

    Drew A
    29 May 2015 | 5:20 am
    The post Cost of Safety vs Cost of Injury appeared first on .
  • So Your Child Is Interested In Motorcycles?

    Biker Law
    27 May 2015 | 4:30 am
    Has your child been begging you to ride a motorcycle or dirt bike? Before you panic, take a deep breath because there are plenty of motorcycle and dirt bike schools and summer camps all over Florida. By receiving instruction from seasoned professionals, your child will learn to safely and responsibly operate a motorcycle, and you’ll receive peace of mind knowing your child is prepared for the open roads. Adventure Rider Training has been providing positive, low-stress motorcycle instruction to Central Florida residents for over ten years. ART utilizes both national (Motorcycle Safety…
  • All The Gear All The Time

    Biker Law
    19 May 2015 | 10:49 am
    When you think motorcycle safety gear, a helmet is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But, in reality, protective gear involves so much more! In light of our All The Gear, All The Time (ATGATT) campaign, we’ve compiled a list of must-haves for every motorcyclist wanting to stay safe on the road. Helmets Did you know there are actually two requirements to legally ride without a helmet in Florida? You must be older than 21 and you must have an insurance policy that exceeds $10,000 in medical benefits. We know, we know. There is nothing better than the wind in your hair, the wind…
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    The Sampair Group | Legal Blog

  • 5 Things Not to Do During Your Divorce

    Sampair Legal Blog
    3 Jul 2015 | 1:40 am
    Avoid making these mistakes as you are moving through the divorce process. Getting pregnant. Having a baby with your spouse or anyone else will infinitely complicate not only your life, but your divorce. Refusing to see a therapist. There are lots of ways a therapist might be useful in your divorce. If either of you are on the fence about the divorce, marriage counseling can help you find clarity. A therapist can help you deal with the difficult emotions and decisions you face. A therapist can also be a crucial way to help your children find their way through the divorce. Making big…
  • 5 Problems with Having a Friendly Divorce

    Sampair Legal Blog
    2 Jul 2015 | 1:39 am
    Although divorce by its very nature indicates there is a deep relationship rift, many people strive to have a friendly divorce. Most of the time, this is an excellent goal. The more civil and smooth the divorce process is, the easier it is for everyone to heal and for your children to adapt and move on. While a friendly divorce is often best, there can be some real issues with this type of divorce. -          Dishonesty. While you might think everything really is ok and you and your ex are going to move through the divorce process with good intentions, it is possible your ex is…
  • Coping With the Other Parent’s New Relationship

    Sampair Legal Blog
    1 Jul 2015 | 1:38 am
    Most people who divorce or go through a custody case at some point move on and enter into new relationships. As a parent, you may have concerns about how your ex’s new relationship is going to affect your children. It’s important to remember that in most cases, the new relationship just takes some adjustment and is usually not detrimental to your children. The best way to handle a new relationship is to set up some ground rules before either you or your ex get involved with anyone new. -          Agree to wait to introduce your children to new love interests until the…
  • Getting Over Divorce Regret

    Sampair Legal Blog
    30 Jun 2015 | 1:36 am
    It’s very common to make decisions about your divorce and then experience regret after the fact. This can happen within days, weeks or even months after the decision. There are lots of reasons to experience regret, but the most important thing you can do is try to move past it. -          First, talk to your lawyer to make sure everything is finalized and you are unable to change things. It is important to find out whether the decision is truly final so you can stop wondering. You can also discuss opportunities to modify court orders in the future if you truly feel that the…
  • 3 Benefits of Co-Parenting You May Not Be Aware Of

    Sampair Legal Blog
    29 Jun 2015 | 1:35 am
    When you are working through a divorce or custody case, setting up a parenting plan can take a lot of time and effort. Often it is one of the most emotionally challenging aspects of the case. Many parents are able to come to an agreement about co-parenting and those who cannot are provided with orders from the court to follow. You are probably aware that co-parenting is usually considered to be the most beneficial plan possible for your family. No matter how your parenting plan comes into being, it has some benefits you may not have thought about. It teaches your child independence. While you…
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  • What is involved in dissolving a partnership?

    Flo Mitchell
    22 Jun 2015 | 5:35 pm
    Partnerships involve two or more people who are in business together, with the aim of making a profit. Partners share ownership of the assets and liabilities of the business, and have rights, responsibilities and obligations. Personal liability in a partnership is unlimited, which means that if one of your partners can’t afford to pay their share of the debts, you will be liable for that amount. Partnerships need to come to an end for all sorts of reasons including disputes of profit share, day to day control of the business, disagreement in the direction of the business and financial…
  • Drink driving offences in NSW

    Flo Mitchell
    18 Jun 2015 | 8:17 pm
    Everyone knows that driving under the influence (DUI) is an offence in NSW, but not everyone understands exactly what the implications are if you are caught. It is very easy to feel like you are ok after a couple of drinks, but when you are breathalysed, end up being over the limit. We have put together a short guide to help you understand the ins and outs of drink driving. What are the limits? There are three blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits, which are zero, under 0.02 and under 0.05. Your BAC measures how much alcohol you have in your system, the units of measurement being grams of…
  • An update on the Dallas Buyers Club dispute.

    Flo Mitchell
    24 May 2015 | 7:22 pm
    If you read our article on the DBC dispute, you would have the full background to this case by now. If you downloaded Dallas Buyers Club illegally, you have probably read a variety of different news articles which all say different things. Here is an update of the legal dispute and how it will affect you. Recap of the dispute For those that are not across the issues, a short summary of the DBC dispute is as follows: DBC asked iiNet to provide a list of names and addresses of all of the users (identified by their IP addresses) who downloaded Dallas Buyers Club (what is known as preliminary…
  • A short overview of the Dallas Buyers Club dispute.

    Flo Mitchell
    17 May 2015 | 4:15 pm
    It’s well known that Australians are some of the greatest copyright infringers in the world. The reasons behind this include Australians always being the last to have access to shows, prices for pay TV being too expensive and the inability to ‘binge watch’ as series are played on a week by week basis. Dallas Buyers Club LLC (which we will call DBC for the purposes of this article) have decided to take action against anyone who downloaded the movie illegally. DBC has already filed over 66 lawsuits in the United States of America and has in some cases sought settlement sums of up to…
  • Prenuptial Agreements – is it time to ‘get real’?

    4 May 2015 | 6:05 pm
    No one ever plans for divorce. But unfortunately, it happens…a lot. Many couples are deciding to ‘get real’ and sign a prenuptial agreement. In June 2000, prenuptial agreements were officially sanctioned by legislation in Australia to enable couples to think about and plan their future rights and responsibilities through a binding financial agreement. The ability to sign a prenuptial agreement extends beyond marriage and is also open to de facto and same-sex couples. Prenuptial agreements can be signed by couples before they get married. If one spouse has significantly more assets than…
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