Family Law

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  • Spartanburg Family Law Attorneys Speaking at Hot Tips Seminar

    The Stevens Firm, P.A.
    Ben Stevens
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Spartanburg family law attorneys Ben Stevens and Jenny Stevens will both present again this year at the South Carolina Bar‘s premier family law seminar, Hot Tips from the Coolest Domestic Law Practitioners. This program will take place at the Bar’s Conference Center in Columbia on September 26th, and it features powerful, practical, fast-paced and entertaining presentations from an outstanding faculty of judges and attorneys from all across South Carolina. This year marks the ninth consecutive year that Ben Stevens has spoken at Hot Tips, and he will discuss ”Dealing…
  • Call for Papers

    Family Law Prof Blog
    Family Law
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:54 pm
    Download Call for Papers here (Friday, September 19th Deadline) for the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting. MR
  • Court must account for all property in Missouri divorce

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

    Divorce Discourse
    Lee Rosen
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    Referrals. Who doesn’t want referrals? How can you get some more and have a cheese blintz at the same time? I’m about to tell you. Today we’re spending some time working on something lucrative and, as a bonus, it’s high in fat. That’s an unbeatable combination. Why blintzes, you might ask? Because the food of 19th-century Jews in Eastern Europe is suddenly trendy. Yes, everything old is new again, and that includes building your referral network. Today we’re going to build a small group that will generate referrals for the rest of your professional life. You’re going to have fun…
  • Post-nuptial Agreement Unenforceable | Against Public Policy

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

  • Spartanburg Family Law Attorneys Speaking at Hot Tips Seminar

    Ben Stevens
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Spartanburg family law attorneys Ben Stevens and Jenny Stevens will both present again this year at the South Carolina Bar‘s premier family law seminar, Hot Tips from the Coolest Domestic Law Practitioners. This program will take place at the Bar’s Conference Center in Columbia on September 26th, and it features powerful, practical, fast-paced and entertaining presentations from an outstanding faculty of judges and attorneys from all across South Carolina. This year marks the ninth consecutive year that Ben Stevens has spoken at Hot Tips, and he will discuss ”Dealing…
  • Medical Decisions for Minors After Divorce

    Ben Stevens
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Though most parents try to work together when it comes to sick children, there are some cases where the parents are completely opposed to one another’s views and no amount of talking will resolve the dispute. If you find yourself at odds with a former spouse over medical decisions for minors, it is important that you understand your rights on what can be a very difficult issue. Check your custody agreement or Order If you are having a dispute with the other parent about medical decisions regarding your child, look first to your custody agreement or the Court Order from your divorce case.
  • How Does Child Support Wage Garnishment Work In South Carolina?

    Ben Stevens
    27 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    If you’ve fallen behind on your child support payments in South Carolina you may be worried about the possibility of wage garnishment, which is also called wage withholding or payroll deduction. Keep reading to learn how child support wage garnishment works and how much money might be taken from your paycheck. What is wage garnishment? Garnishment refers to the withholding of a person’s income. Wage garnishment works by siphoning off a portion of a person’s paycheck to be applied to a debt, in this case, child support arrearages. Unlike a lawsuit that results in a judgment against a…
  • When Is My Divorce Final?

    Ben Stevens
    26 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    If you’re in the midst of a South Carolina divorce, you already know that it can be lengthy, expensive and emotionally draining process. The official end of the divorce marks a new period of your life and, as a result, can be a welcome relief when it finally arrives. For these reasons, you’re most likely wondering “when is my divorce final?” Step 1 The first step towards finalizing the divorce is the final hearing. Of course, it should go without saying that if your divorce is contested and there are issues to be resolved, this hearing is extremely important. If you have…
  • What Is Beta Marriage and Why Does It Matter?

    Ben Stevens
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Millennials (people who reach young adulthood around the year 2000) have a much different view of marriage than their parents. A recent survey surprisingly found that almost half of millennials said they would support a marriage model that involved a two-year trial — after which the union could be either formalized or dissolved with no divorce or paperwork required. This concept has become known as “beta marriage”, just as in the computer industry, a “beta test” is the final stage of testing for a computer product prior to its commercial release. The thought is…
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    Family Law Prof Blog

  • Call for Papers

    Family Law
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:54 pm
    Download Call for Papers here (Friday, September 19th Deadline) for the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting. MR
  • The Family Law Scholars and Teachers Conference

    Family Law
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:56 am
    Dear Friends and Colleagues, We would like to invite you to a working-paper conference that we are planning to hold in the days before the AALS mid-year family law conference in Orlando next summer. Our group, the Family Law Scholars...
  • Girls Don't Cause Divorce

    Family Law
    5 Aug 2014 | 5:11 am
    From Slate: For years, researchers have observed a correlation between U.S. couples with daughters and their likelihood of divorce, which tends to be somewhat higher than for couples with sons. In both academic circles and in popular culture, this trend...
  • Pot & Child Custody

    Family Law
    4 Aug 2014 | 3:28 am
    From DelawareOnline: DENVER – A Colorado man loses custody of his children after getting a medical marijuana card. The daughter of a Michigan couple growing legal medicinal pot is taken by child protection authorities after an ex-husband says their plants...
  • Fernández & Wong: "Free to Leave? A Welfare Analysis of Divorce Regimes"

    Family Law
    2 Aug 2014 | 1:51 am
    Raquel Fernández & Joyce Cheng Wong have a new paper entitled "Free to Leave? A Welfare Analysis of Divorce Regimes." Here is the abstract: During the 1970s the US underwent an important change in its divorce laws, switching from mutual...
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    Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

  • Court must account for all property in Missouri divorce

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

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

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    17 Jun 2014 | 12:27 pm
    Recent Case:  Father was awarded sole custody and Mother ordered to pay attorney fees due to defective relocation notice. Missouri’s relocation statute requires a parent who intends to relocate the child for a period of more than 90 days to provide the following information, in writing, at least 60 days before the proposed relocation: (1) The intended new residence, including the specific address and mailing address, if known, and if not known, the city; (2) The home telephone number of the new residence, if known; (3) The date of the intended move or proposed relocation; (4) A brief…
  • 60 day Notice required for relocation, not Motion to Modify

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    14 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    Case Law Update:  Motion to Modify is not required to relocate, but 60 day notice must be given to the non-moving parent, who then may file an objection. Under Missouri law the address designated as the minor child’s primary residence for educational and mailing purposes is considered a sub-issue of custody. A change to the residential designation is a change to the terms related to joint physical custody, such as the parenting time schedule, and it is not a change to the custodial arrangement itself. In a recent case, the court determined Mother was required to comply with the Missouri…
  • Unequal Division of Marital Property Appropriate in Some Circumstances

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    2 Apr 2014 | 10:51 am
    In a Missouri Divorce, the Court must divide all of the property and debt acquired during the marriage.  The property does not necessarily need to be divided equally, but it must be divided equitably (fairly).  In determining this, the Court must consider all relevant factors, including the economic circumstances of each spouse, the contributions of each spouse to the acquisition of the property, the value of non-marital property, the parties conduct during the marriage, and any child custody arrangements.  The trial Court has broad discretion in making property division. In a recent case…
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    Divorce Discourse

  • How to Turn Breakfast Into Business

    Lee Rosen
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    Referrals. Who doesn’t want referrals? How can you get some more and have a cheese blintz at the same time? I’m about to tell you. Today we’re spending some time working on something lucrative and, as a bonus, it’s high in fat. That’s an unbeatable combination. Why blintzes, you might ask? Because the food of 19th-century Jews in Eastern Europe is suddenly trendy. Yes, everything old is new again, and that includes building your referral network. Today we’re going to build a small group that will generate referrals for the rest of your professional life. You’re going to have fun…
  • How Great Lawyers Talk Themselves Right Out of Getting Hired

    Lee Rosen
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    Who will retain you? How good are you at predicting which initial consultation is going to turn into a client? Thinking you’re good at predicting retainers may cost you more than you gain. It could be that making predictions is costing you money. Quiz Time Let’s figure out if you’re good at predicting which of your initial consultations will turn into clients and which will become faint and distant memories. Imagine that you met with three prospective family law clients today: First, there was the woman with some kind of mental illness. She has been in and out of hospitals.
  • Let Them Go: Don’t Even Try to Retain a Quitting Employee

    Lee Rosen
    21 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    She asked, “Can we talk?” “Sure, I said.” She came in, closed the door, and sat down across from me. She had me at “Can we talk?” I already knew. I already had the sinking, queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Of course, had I read “13 Signs a Lawyer Is About to Quit,” I’d have seen it coming. “Oh, crap,” I thought as I listened to her. What Happened When I Quit I know both sides of this story. In 1989, I quit my job, and the firm talked me into staying. I’d been with the firm for two and a half years. I was ready to go. I interviewed for other jobs and got an…
  • Get a Free Copy of My Book—Today Only!

    Lee Rosen
    20 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    Should you write a book as a marketing tactic? (I’ve got a free copy of my book for you below—keep reading.) Yes, you should, right after you maximize your return from networking, your website, public speaking, media relations, and about 10 other tactics with a better return on your investment. For now, it should probably be on the back burner. Book writing is pretty low on my list of marketing approaches ranked by financial return. However, it is a good approach for some. It works really well for certain personality types. If you’re a writer and have the motivation to write a…
  • How I Get My Work Done by Freelancers, Step by Step

    Lee Rosen
    19 Aug 2014 | 4:30 am
    We needed a new website, and the vendor quoted us $35,000 and said it would take six months of work. Two weeks later, the site was up and running, and we spent a grand total of $500. How did that happen? How can you do the same thing? How can you get stuff done fast and at a reasonable price? Of course, getting our site built was slightly more complicated than I just described, but not by much. In our case, we already had a website. It was on a proprietary platform. We wanted to simplify things by moving to WordPress. We wanted a site we could tweak ourselves. We wanted something that we…
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  • Post-nuptial Agreement Unenforceable | Against Public Policy

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

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

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

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

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    27 Jul 2014 | 9:29 am
    John Mills, skilled family lawyer and mediator, beloved family member of our Family Law Section's member Evelyn Redmond, passed away yesterday, July 26, 2014. Richard Victor and Scott Bassett, two members of the jass band known as "The Bare Assets," have uploaded some video and audio files of performances.
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    Divorce Law Journal

  • Publshed Family Law Opinion from Ky Supreme Court Today

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

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

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

    Diana L. Skaggs
    23 Jun 2014 | 10:25 am
    Hawkins v. Hawkins The appellate court affirmed the family court’s decision to exclude income from W’s limited partnership in child support calculations. The court held that income generated from an ownership interest in a limited partnership may be considered income in calculating child support. In this case, W had no control over the distribution and there was no evidence in the record showing  a cash distribution (K1 line 19), so the court found the family court properly determined the income from the partnership, while taxable income, was not disposable income. The appellate…
  • Published Family Law Opinion from Ky Court of Appeals May 30: Divorce Settlement Incorporated in Decree Which Reserved Child Support Does Not Extinguish Pendente Lite Arrearage

    Diana L. Skaggs
    2 Jun 2014 | 8:29 am
     Wolfe v. Wolfe Parties entered into a mediation agreement and  advised the trial court that all issues had been settled with the exception of child support. The parties agreed they would supply income information for the child support worksheet. The mediation agreement was silent as to the child support arrearage. The parties dissolution of marriage was entered incorporating the mediation terms. The decree was also silent as to the child support arrearage. After the final degree was entered, the arrearage was brought to the court’s attention in a Motion for Reconsideration. The trial…
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    International Family Law

  • Prenuptial Agreements in Japan

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:13 pm
    ByJeremy MorleyWe have represented many international clients who have entered into marriage contracts or prenuptial agreements with Japanese spouses. We always work in collaboration with Japanese counsel in such matters as appropriate and as instructed by our clients.Prenuptial agreements are not common in Japan. They have never been a part of Japanese culture, even for the upper classes. -A cynic would say that wealthier spouses do not demand a prenuptial agreement because they believe that if there is a divorce they will be able to avoid disclosure of their assets or divert their…
  • Beware of Child Abduction to Egypt

    28 Aug 2014 | 11:41 am
    Mum trapped in Egypt with no way out after rescuing abducted daughter Samantha Landy Herald Sun August 26, 2014 8:48PM A MELBOURNE woman who travelled to violence-plagued Egypt to rescue her abducted daughter has been trapped in the country for more than a year — and the Australian Government says there is nothing more it can do to help her. Amaal Finn’s five-year-old daughter, Zareen, is unable to leave Egypt due to a travel ban placed on her by her father — Ms Finn’s estranged husband, Mazen Baioumy.Ms Finn says Zareen was left in Egypt with Mr Baioumy’s family against her wishes…

    28 Aug 2014 | 10:59 am
    byJeremy D. MorleyPeople with assets and international connections who are contemplating a divorce, as well as the spouses of such people, should first consult us for Strategic International Divorce Planning advice. Here is what we do for a motivated client (always working with local counsel as appropriate):1. Analyze the Family’s Entire Economic Picture.This is exactly what any divorce lawyer does in a conventional divorce situation but the strategic international lawyer will pay particular attention to any connections that the family has with other countries, to assets that are…
  • India: A Safe Haven for International Child Abduction

    21 Aug 2014 | 1:39 pm
    India is a safe haven for international child abductors. India is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Convention is the fundamental international treaty that protects the rights of abducted children and serves to have them returned promptly to the country of their habitual residence. It has been adopt4d by more than 90 countries. India’s Law Commission expressly recommended that India should adopt the treaty but the Indian Law Ministry opposed it on the ground that it would hurt Indian parents who take their children to…
  • Getting Your Child Back After a Summer Visit Overseas

    3 Aug 2014 | 3:10 pm
    by Jeremy D. Morley*Many children whose parents are separated are spending this summer away from home on vacation in the country of origin of one of their parents. Usually such visits are great, providing excellent and important benefits to the children and their parents.But sometimes – and it happens all too often – as the date to return home draws near, problems arise. Children announce that they don’t want to go home and they refuse to do so. Or parents with temporary possession of a child insist that it would be best for the child to stay and not go back to live with the other…
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    Family Lore

  • The show must go on...

    29 Aug 2014 | 6:33 am
    Well, it's been a strange day. At about 6pm last night we had a complete web outage which, it seems, will not be fixed until Monday, at the earliest. At first, of course, I fell into a panic, wondering how on Earth I would manage. Gradually, though, I began to appreciate the freedom of not being tied to my internet master. A return to a simpler way of life. However, this afternoon I realised that I had a duty to keep you good people informed of my efforts this week over on Marilyn Stowe's Family Law & Divorce Blog. I therefore succumbed to the purchase of a mobile Wi-Fi, which I am using…
  • Family Lore Clinic: Can you include debts on a consent order?

    28 Aug 2014 | 5:49 am
    Due to Google encrypted search stripping out keyword search information I don't get to know many of the questions people ask that lead them to Family Lore these days, and hence I don't do many of these Family Lore Clinic posts. However, here's one search term that recently slipped through Google's net: Can you include debts on a consent order?The answer to this one is quite simple: yes, you can include debts in a consent order (as usual, I am using the term 'consent order' to mean the order setting out an agreed financial/property settlement following divorce or dissolution of civil…
  • A little holiday reading...

    22 Aug 2014 | 2:27 am
    Whilst I have been taking a bit of a break this week from blogging on Family Lore, I have still been writing for Marilyn Stowe's Family Law & Divorce Blog. My posts there include:Who needs the law anyway? - What would happen without a family justice system.A little more on the reform of divorce - As mentioned in the President's 13th View from his chambers.Important cases: Stack v Dowden - A look at Stack v Dowden, obviously...Important cases: Jones v Kernott - ...followed by a look at Jones v Kernott.I hope you find something there of interest.Have a good weekend and Summer bank holiday.
  • Self-congratulatory

    20 Aug 2014 | 5:05 am
    MoJ and DfE publish 'A brighter future for Family Justice: a round up of what’s happened since the Family Justice Review', 20th August 2014
  • So much for a day of rest...

    17 Aug 2014 | 12:27 am
    13th View from the President's Chambers: The process of reform: an update - Family Law, Sunday 17th August 2014
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    Toronto Family Lawyer Blog

  • Raso v Di Egidio: Are Marriage Counselling Record Privileged?

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

    Andrew Feldstein
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:42 am
    Starr v Starr, 2008 CarswellOnt 11318 (Ont. SCJ) This case addresses the issue of setting off child support arrears against monies owed by the recipient to the payor. BACKGROUND The parties in this case separated in September 1992.  The wife, after separation, made allegations that the husband had sexually abused one of the children of the marriage.  Soon after, the allegations grew to include all three of their children.  Criminal charges were laid against the husband, but the charges were withdrawn.  The wife would soon move to British Columbia where she alienated the three children…
  • Mediation / Arbitration Agreements: Fishman v Fishman

    Andrew Feldstein
    8 Aug 2014 | 10:12 am
    Fishman v Fishman, 2012 ONSC 4765 Fishman v Fishman, 2012 ONSC 4765 addresses the issue of mediation/arbitration agreements and to what extent the parties to the agreement are bound. BACKGROUND The parties were married in November 2001 and separated in June of 2005 or 2006.  The wife claimed that the husband owed $69,963 in child support arrears as of April 1, 2012.  Meanwhile, the husband claimed that the parties had entered into an arbitration/mediation agreement on February 27, 2009 and he wished to participate in the mediation/arbitration process with respect to the issue of access. …
  • Married Spouses and Unjust Enrichment: Martin v Sansome

    Andrew Feldstein
    1 Aug 2014 | 11:13 am
    Martin v Sansome, 2014 ONCA 14, 118 OR (3d) 522 This case addresses the issue of unjust enrichment in the context of married spouses and its remedial framework. BACKGROUND The parties began living together in 1988 and had a daughter in 1989.  They were married in 1996, but separated in 2007.  The parties agreed to purchase the family farm that the husband grew up on.  The wife’s name, however, was struck from the agreement the day prior to closing.  The wife was then required to sign a domestic contract that waived all rights to the farm.  The wife was sent to other counsel for…
  • Voluntary Early Retirement and Spousal Support: Walts v Walts, 2013 ONSC 6787

    Andrew Feldstein
    25 Jul 2014 | 1:07 pm
    Walts v Walts addresses the effect of voluntary early retirement on spousal support. Background The parties were married on May 12, 1979 and separated April 20, 2007.  The parties were married for nearly 28 years and had three children together.   The parties entered into a separation agreement in which Mr. Walts waived his right to interest in wife’s pension and indicated that he was satisfied with financial disclosure.  Furthermore, Mr. Walts agreed to pay spousal support in the amount of $1,584 per month.  Mr. Walts, however, desired to retire at age 55 and brought a motion to…
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    Illinois Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Kane County Divorce: Co-Parenting Strategies

    7 Aug 2014 | 3:10 pm
    In my practice there are many cases where a co-parenting outcome is not appropriate. Behavioral issues, parenting deficits, or mental health issues require that the fit and healthy parent be awarded the primary custody of the minor children, for the children's own developmental wellbeing. However, in some cases a co-parenting or shared parenting model is appropriate, and I have developed, in consultation with some excellent clinical co-parenting models, some very beneficial shared parenting agreements for parents. From tiem to time, articles come along that discuss strategies for shared…
  • Shared Parenting Challenges and Benefits

    11 Jul 2014 | 6:48 am
    My practice centers, in part, on complex custody litigation, sometimes involving psychological issues, addiction issues, domestic violence, and negative parenting behaviors. In some cases, I need to aggressively manage a custody case for my clients to ensure the optimum result for the client and the children. This may mean sole legal custody and restricted visitation for the other parent. In other cases, where the parents are loving, competent, and willing to cooperate, a shared parenting plan can really work out well. I have developed a number of shared parenting models that I can apply to…
  • How to Spot a Narcissist: Illinois Divorce

    2 Jul 2014 | 6:16 pm
    Marriage and Family Therapist Holly Brown has written a spot on article about identifying and avoiding a long term relationship with a narcissist. If you are in a marriage with a narcissist, and need counsel as to how to end a marriage that is causing you and the children emotional suffering, contact our offices. Michael Roe is one of the country's leading lawyer specialists on personality disorders and divorce. In the meantime, here are the signs of the narcissistic personality to be aware of: How to Spot a Narcissist By Holly Brown, LMFT A lot of people assume narcissists are easy to spot,…
  • Divorce Financial and Retirement Asset Planning

    28 Jun 2014 | 11:29 am
    The article below highlights some of the issues and concerns that attach to a divorce after a lengthy marriage. Under Illinois law, retirement assets are divisible between the parties; there is a common practice that IRA's, 401(k)s and pensions are to be valued as of the date of the divorce, and allocated between the divorcing spouses equitably. A person's retirement plan is a lifeline to the future. For many, it is their most important asset, even more emotionally valuable than a house or investment account. With this in mind, it is critical that the identification, valuation, and allocation…
  • Kane County Divorce: Women and Financial Life After Divorce

    20 Jun 2014 | 4:29 pm
    Studies confirm that women can suffer economically much more, over time, than men after divorce. You may be receiving child support and spousal support (maintenance), or a combination of the two called in Illinois "unallocated support," but maintenance is sometimes periodic and reviewable, and you likely cannot rely solely on both these income sources to sustain you and your children. Men that have careers tend to, over time, increase their incomes and save more for future years, while women tend to struggle to maintain an adequate financial roof over their heads over time. Because Illinois'…
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    Maryland Family Law

  • Back to school routines

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

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

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

    Heather Sunderman
    4 Aug 2014 | 6:07 am
    It's back to school season again! Every new school year begins with hopes and dreams. Are you planning for your child to go to college? What would happen if you and your spouse split? Could you still afford it? Would the other parent contribute to costs. Some states have laws which require divorced parents to contribute to their child's higher education. Maryland does not, however it is common for separation agreements to contain provide requirements that a parent contribute to college education. Before reaching an agreement, you will need to consider many "what…
  • Announcement

    Heather Sunderman
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:01 pm
    I have exciting news to share with my readers, I have moved to new firm home!  I am now leading the family law practice of Mirsky Policastri LLC. I will still be practicing family law, including divorces, separation agreements, prenuptial agreements, custody, child support, domestic violence, adoptions and guardianships. The new contact information is: Mirsky Policastri, LLC, 600 Jefferson Plaza, Suite 440, Rockville, MD 20852, phone (301) 664-7710, fax (301) 861-0835.  You can also explore the website. 
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    Dads Divorce and Fathers Rights Blog

  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News - August 29, 2014

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:10 am
    DadsDivorce and MensDivorce as well as their sponsor, Cordell & Cordell, present a news video for the week of August 29, 2014. This week, Cordell & Cordell Principal Partner Joseph Cordell talked about the importance of fathers and their parental rights on Love 860 radio, based in the Atlanta area. Mr. Cordell also contributed a column about financial advisors and preparing for clients going through divorce to Financial Advisor magazine.  DadsDivorce outlined five different hobbies men can try out after a divorce. MensDivorce highlighted a profile…
  • 4 Beliefs that Can Turn Divorce into a Nightmare

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Divorce rituals change from culture to culture and over time. In some areas of Japan, couples write their separation wishes on paper and flush them down the toilet, along with the marriage.  In the United States, changes in our belief systems have had a radical effect on the state of divorce, especially for those with children. To prevent yourself from making mistakes that can seriously affect you and your family, you will need to clean out some old beliefs and embrace the future. Kids Need Moms First  There was a time when dad worked and mom stayed at home to raise the family. By…
  • Ex's Parents Want Shared Parenting Rights - How Do I Prevent This?

    27 Aug 2014 | 1:52 am
    Question: My ex has a children's services case in which it states that she is not allowed to have physical contact with our two children.  Originally, we had a shared parenting plan in the divorce, so she's now requesting that her parents keep the children during her time instead of them just staying with me. Is there a way I can legally keep them from going to their maternal grandparents' house?
  • DadsDivorce Live: Discussing Post-Divorce Strategies with Honoree Corder

    26 Aug 2014 | 1:06 am
    Divorce author, coach and motivator Honoree Corder speaks with DadsDivorce online editor Katie Davis about useful post-divorce strategies and steps. Corder also discusses her most recent book, "If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules," and expands on important lessons for newly divorced men and, in particular, fathers. NOTE: DadsDivorce will hold book giveaways for three different copies of Corder's books. Three winners will be selected, and each winner can decide which book they'd like to receive. These books include "If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules" and "The Sucessful Single…
  • Parenting Time, Divorce Decrees & a Frustrated Parent

    25 Aug 2014 | 2:50 am
    Question: My ex has not wanted to comply with parenting times in terms of picking our children up or dropping them off as it states in the divorce decree. Because this violates the decree, am I allowed to keep my ex seeing the kids during upcoming parenting time?
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    Alabama Divorce & Family Law Attorney Blog

  • Facing Divorce at a Young Age

    Steven Eversole
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:03 am
    Divorce can occur at any stage of life, whether you are in your twenties or facing retirement. Couples who married young and who are considering divorce while still in their 20s or early 30s will likely face different challenges than their older counterparts. If you are young and considering divorce, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and obligations as you move forward. While it may be difficult to watch others getting married as you watch your marriage dissolve, understanding your rights and options can help you prepare for a better future. When divorcing at a…
  • Divorce Trend: Social Networking Clauses in Prenuptial Agreements

    Steven Eversole
    23 Aug 2014 | 7:29 am
    Prenuptial agreements are one way to clearly outline how assets and debts will be divided in the event of divorce. Clarifying these details from the outset can help to better understand expectations between both spouses, while protecting your rights in the event of a marriage dissolution. While prenuptial agreements primarily outline financial agreements in the event of divorce, new “social media clauses,” spell out how spouses are allowed to behave online. According to reports, a new trend of social media clauses in prenuptial agreements involve the inclusion of language about posting…
  • Who is Responsible for Student Loans After Divorce?

    Steven Eversole
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:20 am
    Student loan debt is becoming an increasing financial burden for young Americans. When you sign the original loan document, it may seem perfectly feasible to pay off that debt over years, even decades. But what happens to loan debt in the event of divorce? Who is responsible for paying them off? Can lenders turn to an ex-spouse for debts accrued before the marriage? As with any debt or question involving marital property, the results can vary. However, there are some general rules when it comes to the distribution of student loan debt. Prenuptial agreements are one way to ensure  you and…
  • Five Tips for Successful Co-Parenting

    Steven Eversole
    16 Aug 2014 | 8:40 am
    After a divorce has been finalized and a custody order is in place, parents will have to learn the art of “co-parenting.” It could take months or even years, depending on how well you, your spouse, and your children adjust. Co-parenting can be complicated, but is important to create stability for your children and to develop a long-term solution post-divorce. Both parents will have to learn to put differences aside and face the many challenges of parenthood, even while living in different households. Though co-parenting is never easy, both parents should make an effort to make positive…
  • Prenuptial Agreements and Estate Planning

    Steven Eversole
    12 Aug 2014 | 8:36 am
    A romantic proposal, engagement, wedding planning, and the enticement of a long and happy future may not ring effortlessly with a discussion about divorce, death, or estate planning. Still, many couples realize that planning for their financial future requires a frank and honest discussion about division of property, especially when couples have children from a prior marriage or hold significant assets. Prenuptial agreements are not just about protecting assets in the event of divorce. The document can be a much more powerful tool to ensure that your assets are properly directed in the event…
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    Chicago Family Law Blog

  • DOMA Defines "Marriage" as Union of Man and Woman

    13 Aug 2014 | 4:08 pm
     The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law by President Clinton on September 21, 1996. DOMA defines “marriage” to consist exclusively as a heterosexual union of a man and a woman. Further, DOMA directs federal agencies to recognize only opposite-sex marriages for the purposes of enacting any agency programs.      Statutory Language Among other pertinent provisions, DOMA states: “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the…
  • The Right to Sue Family Members

    13 Aug 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Over the years, intra-family immunity from lawsuits against other family members developed; “parental immunity” and “spousal immunity.” Some have suggested that these immunities were part of a body of rules that historically limited tort recoveries in general. At one time, there was even a certain stigma to bringing a lawsuit against another family member for damages. This radically changed in the latter half of the 20th Century, when courts (and laws) began to expand liabilities and recoveries for a number of reasons. Not all states recognized the doctrines of…
  • Spousal Rights Regarding Personal Injury Awards

    11 Aug 2014 | 7:01 am
    Upon termination of a marriage by divorce, one of the most difficult problems is often division of the couple’s real and personal property. Although there are considerable differences in the way states treat property acquired by spouses while married, there are two common types of distribution schemes.  Community Property v. Equitable Distribution “Community Property.” Nine states follow community property principles: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin (also Puerto Rico). The underlying principle is that property…
  • Tax Issues Relating to Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and Divorce

    30 Apr 2013 | 12:49 pm
    An increasingly large portion of the assets of married couples consist of rights to payments and stock from pension plans.  In many states such assets are subject to division during a divorce.  Divorce and division of property are generally controlled by state law, but pension plans are controlled by federal law in many respects.   Pension Plans and ERISA A major advantage of saving for retirement through a pension plan is that contributions from employees and employers for plans such as a 401(k) plan are not taxed as income until distributed by the plan, usually after…
  • Severing the Parental Rights of Inmates and the Constitutionality of Restricting Visitation

    30 Apr 2013 | 12:40 pm
     According to the Child Welfare League of America, an estimated 200,000 children have a mother in prison, and at least 1.6 million children have a father in prison. As such, many children have been forced to enter the foster care system, and there has been a significant increase in the number of children visiting their incarcerated parents.   Such overwhelming statistics have influenced federal adoption law and, more recently, played a role in a notable U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of restricting prison visitation by the children of inmates.   Adoption…
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    NJ Family Issues

  • Statements made by a child relating to any allegations of abuse or neglect

    27 Aug 2014 | 3:49 am
    Law Lessons from New Jersey Department Of Children And Families, Division Of Youth And Family Services v. R.C., App. Div., No. A-6381-11T2, August 26, 2014: The Division bears the burden of proving abuse, which it must do by “a preponderance of the evidence” at a fact-finding hearing. N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.46(b)(1). In such a hearing, “only competent, material and relevant evidence may be admitted.” N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.46(b)(2); see also N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. P.W.R., 205 N.J. 17, 32 (2011) (quoting N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.46(b)). Although hearsay evidence is generally…
  • Even where a prevailing party is entitled to an award of attorney’s fees, such claim is waived if not properly asserted

    26 Aug 2014 | 7:15 am
    Law Lessons from Costa Engineering Corp. v. Homsi, App. Div., No. A-4318-12T3, August 25, 2014: Even where a prevailing party is entitled to an award of attorney’s fees, such claim is waived if not properly asserted. See Burnett v. Cnty. of Bergen, 402 N.J. Super. 319, 345-46 (App. Div. 2008), aff’d as mod. and rev’d in part 198 N.J. 408 (2009). NOTE from Paul G. Kostro, Esq.: If you are interested in Mediation; or have issues relating to Divorce, Domestic Violence, Child Support; Landlord-Tenant Matters; Contracts; Business Formation or Disputes; or Other Legal Matters,…
  • While incorporation of a marital settlement agreement into a divorce decree does not render it immutable, nor its terms solely governed by contract law, nevertheless, if found to be fair and just, it is specifically enforceable in equity

    26 Aug 2014 | 5:23 am
    Law Lessons from Piscopo v. Piscopo, App. Div., No. A-3897-12T3, August 25, 2014: Marital settlement agreements “`are generally favored by the courts as a peaceful means of terminating marital strife and discord so long as they are not against public policy.’” Dolce v. Dolce, 383 N.J. Super. 11, 20 (App. Div. 2006) (quoting Konzelman v. Konzelman, 158 N.J. 185, 194 (1999)); see also Weishaus v. Weishaus, 180 N.J. 131, 143-44 (2004). While incorporation of a marital settlement agreement into a divorce decree “does not render it immutable, nor its terms solely governed…
  • Courts are generally obligated to enforce contracts based on the intent of the parties, the express terms of the contract, surrounding circumstances and the underlying purpose of the contract

    26 Aug 2014 | 5:21 am
    Law Lessons from Costa Engineering Corp. v. Homsi, App. Div., No. A-4318-12T3, August 25, 2014: The role of the court is to give “juristic effect” to the intention of the parties as expressed in the contract. George M. Brewster & Son, Inc. v. Catalytic Constr. Co., 17 N.J. 20, 27-28 (1954) (citing Corn Exch. Nat’l Bank & Trust Co. v. Taubel, 113 N.J.L. 605 (E. & A. 1934)); see also Domanske v. Rapid-Am. Corp., 330 N.J. Super. 241, 246 (App. Div. 2000). “The polestar of construction of a contract is to discover the intention of the parties.” Kearny…
  • A civil RICO claim is governed by a four-year statute of limitations

    22 Aug 2014 | 10:52 am
    Law Lessons from Lee v. Carabetta, App. Div., No. A-2412-12T2, August 21, 2014: In New Jersey, a civil RICO claim is governed by a four-year statute of limitations: Since Federal RICO is followed so closely in N.J.S.A. 2C:41-1 et. seq. and since New Jersey’s Antitrust Act, N.J.S.A. 56:9-14, also has a four-year statute of limitation and is followed by the New Jersey RICO statute, this court feels compelled to follow federal law in the case at bar and apply the four year federal statute of limitations for actions brought under New Jersey civil RICO claims. [Matter of Integrity Ins. Co.,…
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    Pennsylvania Family Law


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

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

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

    Aaron Weems
    25 Aug 2014 | 11:33 am
    What You Imagine Regularly Happens to Your Ex-Wife   Among some of the more frustrating situations I have seen clients deal in their cases is the presence of “other money,” usually in the form of a new spouse or the other party’s parent who contributes money which isn’t considered “income” under Pennsylvania’s Support Guidelines and, therefore, not included in determining the receiving party’s net income available for support. In other words, the court will not necessarily consider an ex-wife’s rich new husband when determining the child support obligation. For as…

    Mark Ashton
    20 Aug 2014 | 8:51 am
    A decade ago, a debt crisis was looming; erected upon the twin foundations of mortgage and consumer debt.  The downturn of 2008-2009 shifted that as lenders realized that much of the debt they had issued could not or would not be repaid.  While the availability of credit has been more limited in recent years in the consumer and commercial markets, lenders have shifted to student loans as a substitute. The difficulty here is that these loans are based on little more than assumed levels of post-graduation earnings.  As we have seen, the job market for college graduates is not what it once…
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    Family Law Guy

  • Exercising Self-Help in Custody Cases

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

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

    12 Aug 2014 | 1:38 pm
        Interesting read regarding grandparent rights.  The Court of Appeals upheld a Dependency Court order granting a grandmother visitation rights.  It’s a case right here in Los Angeles County involving DCFS. rights come up relatively regularly, but I don't believe that this case will necessarily significantly broaden the law
  • Does Marriage "No Longer Work" For Most Americans?

    30 Jul 2014 | 4:17 pm
    Professors June Carbone and Naomi Cahn assert, in their Marriage Markets, that marriage is no longer a functional institution for many Americans, and that American children are bearing the brunt of that breakdown.    Thoughts, anyone?
  • Interference with Child Custody

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

  • Court OKs $100 Bond for Injunction that Froze $3 Million in Assets

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

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

    12 Aug 2014 | 10:38 am
    An ex-husband's attempt to force his ex-wife to share the cremated ashes of their son failed to succeed in either a Palm Beach County trial court or the 4th District Court of Appeal. The recent decisions make clear that the remains of the couple's son did not legally constitute property and were not subject to the rules of property division. The 2007 divorce of William and Lili Wilson was a relationship marked by contentiousness, litigation, and tragedy. They battled over items as small as home videos and a baseball card collection. Then, in 2010, disaster struck when Wellington polo magnate…
  • Broward, Palm Beach Courts Join 2 Others in Ruling State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

    5 Aug 2014 | 1:33 pm
    A Palm Beach County probate case and a divorce action in Broward County might not necessarily seem to have much in common, but two rulings in those cases issued earlier this month share a common link, for each addressed the timely issue of same-sex marriage. Additionally, as the Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald reported, each judge in those cases concluded that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage ban is unlawfully discriminatory. The recent rulings follow on the heels of two prior decisions, one each in Monroe and Miami-Dade Counties, that also determined that the marriage ban violated the U.S.
  • Default Judgments and Divorce Proceedings in Florida

    28 Jul 2014 | 8:11 am
    Seeking to end a marriage is often emotionally difficult. It can also be logistically difficult when your spouse is located somewhere far away and does not respond to the legal documents sent to him/her. Default judgments can be useful to allow you to move on with your life, but they require careful attention to the procedural rules the law has established. In a recent 2d District Court of Appeal case, the court reversed a wife's default judgment because she made new claims in her amended petition for dissolution, but did not serve that petition on her husband. When Loraine Barry filed for…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • An Interview with Michael Newsom, Fatherhood Coordinator for the Montgomery County Child Support Enforcement Agency

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

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

    Robert L. Mues
    16 Aug 2014 | 12:55 am
    Property Division in Ohio Can Be Complicated In Marriage Breakup – Hire A Experienced Divorce Lawyer Early Depending upon the issues in a marriage breakup, dividing assets and debts is usually a preliminary topic of conversation.  This can be a complex and lengthy discussion depending upon the nature of the assets, length of the marriage, and title of the property. The first aspect of analyzing how the court may divide property pertains to whether or not the property was acquired before or after the date of marriage. If the property is separate pre-marital property, that property…
  • School Year Preparations For Child And Parent

    Robert L. Mues
    9 Aug 2014 | 12:36 am
    How To Prepare For A Successful School Experience – 10 Practical Back To School Tips for Parent And Child Transitioning Into A Separation or Divorce School is right around the corner for many children and their parents.  This time of the year, while always somewhat stressful for children, can bring even more anxious unknowns for a child when their parents are separated.  Regardless of your relationship with your former spouse there are some steps you can take to ensure your children, and their teachers are prepared for the coming year. The first thing to remember is even if you’re…
  • Fine Art of Listening So Kids Will Talk

    Guest Contributor Gregory Ramey, PhD, Child Psychologist and Dayton Daily News Columnist
    2 Aug 2014 | 12:43 am
    Communicating with your kids is all about talking in a way that they will listen, but also listening in a way that they will talk. Listening isn’t easy, as many parents ignore the Law of Moderation, either talking too much or not saying enough in response to their kids’ comments. If you say nothing, youngsters don’t know if you really understood them. If you respond too aggressively, kids feel like you may be dismissing their concerns. Here are the five keys to effective listening. Give your full attention.Conversations with kids often seem to happen at inconvenient times, such as when…
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    NJ Family Legal Blog


    Eric S. Solotoff
    22 Aug 2014 | 11:45 am
    For the last few years, at the end of the year, I have reprised a very popular post that I did in the early days of this blog about the New Year’s Resolution Divorce.  We sometimes joke that the early part of the year is “the busy season.”  In fact, earlier this year, Robert Epstein blogged that March was found to be the peak time for divorce filings. In our experience, the end of the summer/early fall is the second busy season (I’m sure that the nearness in time to the Jewish New Year is purely coincidental.)  These are some of the reasons that we think or have…

    Robert A. Epstein
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:38 am
    In recent years, we have been repeatedly cautioned by government leaders and renowned economists that the wealth gap and income inequality in America is only getting worse.  As part of the widening gap, some experts describe a slow disappearance of the middle class, with individuals/families who formerly fulfilled that category now moving either up or down on the wealth scale. Ultimately, experts conclude that the “rich getting richer” is not the sole source of such inequality, but also, among other factors, that many of the blue collar jobs once relied upon by middle class…

    Eric S. Solotoff
    15 Aug 2014 | 7:07 am
    Many of you have heard the term “parental alienation.”  The term is a lightening rod and the accusation made all too often for conduct, while terrible, that is not parental alienation.  In fact, I have heard a few judges say that they get allegations of parental alienation in a large majority of their cases – creating a “boy that cried wolf” effect whereby judges don’t take seriously real alienation. That said, in many cases, what is being labled as “alienation” is the improper involvement of the children in one way or another.  Some times,…

    Eric S. Solotoff
    8 Aug 2014 | 7:37 am
    In the domestic violence statute, there is a presumption that the abused should get custody.  In the custody statute, the prior history of domestic violence is simply one of the many factors that a court must consider.  There really has not been a reported case that addresses the confluence of these two statutes until July 28, 2014, when the Appellate Division decided R.K. v. F.K. In that case, the mother obtained a Final Restraining Order (FRO) against the father in 2008 and was awarded custody subject to the father’s parenting time.  In 2010, a plenary hearing was held in the…

    Robert A. Epstein
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:44 am
    A power of attorney can be a necessary, if not critical mechanism by which to accomplish certain activities in one’s life, where the person instilled with such power acts as an agent on behalf of the appointing individual.  For instance, elderly or disabled individuals often designate someone, often a relative, with a power of attorney to handle financial affairs, real estate matters, and even court proceedings.  Indeed, the appointee can do whatever he or she is allowed to do pursuant to the written POA, which can be tailored to a specific situation.  The written POA is signed by…
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    Lewis Kannegieter Law, Ltd.

  • But My Child Wants To Live With Me

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

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

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

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

    19 May 2014 | 8:00 am
    A divorce officially starts with the service of the Summons and Petition. The Summons is a very short document (2-3 pages) which notifies the other party (the Respondent) that a divorce lawsuit has been started. The Summons identifies any real estate owned by the party, provides notice of parent education requirements, encourages alternative dispute resolution, and provides temporary restraining provisions. Once the divorce has been started, neither party is to harass the other, change insurance coverage or beneficiaries, or dispose of marital assets. The petition lays out the facts of the…
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    Durham Family Law


    21 Aug 2014 | 8:19 am
    In this recent article,  Dr. Pauline Boss describes an alternative to ending a relationship because it’s not everything we wish for.  She describes this as making a "conscious choice".  In all intimate relationships, there  will be aspects of the other partner than are less than stellar.  Yet, with the knowledge that no one is perfect and in the hope that  one's marriage vows have some lasting meaning, the thing to do is to give careful consideration to the perceived failings of your partner and decide if, in fact, he or she is 'good enough".  If…
  • A Simple Communications Model to Use

    29 Apr 2014 | 8:24 am
    Cathy Heenan, Ed.D. recently posted an article in her blog that introduces a model you can use with your spouse when emotions are running high and you need to be able to solve a dispute.Here's what you need to do:If you can agree with what is being said, simply say..."I agree."If you agree with part of what is being said, begin with, "I agree with [the part you in fact agree with].  I do have trouble with [the part you don't agree with]."Try out this model and see if it helps you to reach some agreement at a time when it is so important to do so.
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - A Persisitent Threat to Women in the USA

    24 Mar 2014 | 7:11 am
     In a recent New York Times OP-ED Nicholas Kristof informs us that in the United States, domestic violence claims the life of an American Woman every six hours and strikes 25% of all American women in their lifetimes.  Such shocking statistics clearly demonstrate that this is a huge problem which deserves very serious attention.  Mr. Kristof identifies 3 steps that are needed to fight this plague:First, we must end the silence. victims must be encouraged to report violent episodes and then given support once they have done so.Second, we must ensure the law…
  • What is the role of the custody evaluator?

    21 Jan 2014 | 6:56 am
    I just finished reading an excellent article  by Gary Direnfield, MSW, RSW entitled Unraveling Custody/Access Assessments/Evaluations.  In this article Gary provides his reader with a succinct explanation of the role and responsibility of the evaluator as well as explaining when and how custody evaluations come about.  The important take away is that parental action or sometimes, inaction lies at the base of the need to call in a custody evaluator and that always it is best for parents to come to their own parenting decisions rather than place the burden on the Court. …
  • Happy New Year!

    3 Jan 2014 | 1:04 pm
    2013 was not a blogging year for me.  2014 will be different as I set the intention to post a new article at least once per month.  If there are topics you would like for me to address please send your suggestions to me at with the Subject Line: Blog suggestions.
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    Iowa Law Blog

  • The Best Lawyers in America: Mark Landa

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

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

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

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

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

  • Absurdities in the Gay Marriage Debate....

    14 Aug 2014 | 1:17 pm
    Regardless of one's position on gay rights, every thinking being has to admit that married people need to have a place to get divorced when their marriage falls apart and they meet the standards for divorce in their home state. If they were legally married somewhere, and move to a state that does not allow gay marriage, you can't just leave them in limbo when the relationship falls apart because you don't like how or when they married. For 48+ years, California has allowed heterosexual couples to get divorced so they can move on to other bad relationships, or marriages. As many comics and…
  • Shasta Superior Court Family Judge Gibson Denies Existence of Constitution

    11 Jul 2014 | 10:19 am
    OK, so the headline is a slight exaggeration, but the effect is the same: Shasta's Judge Gary Gibson doesn't seem to think you have a Constitutional right to refuse to be a witness against yourself, and God protect the attorney who tells you about that right. [Or at least California's Commission on Judicial Performance, which rarely does anything as far as I can tell, might protect you] We all know about 5th Amendment rights: Basically, the part where you can't be compelled to provide testimony against yourself. Right there, just a couple of amendments below the gun rights part: Been…
  • Divorce and the Founding Fathers..... :)

    6 Jan 2014 | 9:44 am
    According to Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, yesterday was the anniversary of the first legal divorce recorded in what was to become the United States of American. It happened January 5th, in 1643, as a result of the husband abandoning his wife and two children for another woman. Not sure that this signifies anything, other than that divorce is a long standing tradition.
  • Paul Daniel Marks elected to the Family Law Bar Board of Directors

    20 Nov 2013 | 8:02 pm
    On Tuesday night, I was elected by a vote of my peers to the Board of Directors of the San Diego Family Law Bar Association. This is a new organization formed last summer, and is the largest organization of family law lawyers in the county. For decades, the San Diego County Bar Association had a committee of its members who were certified family law specialists - close to 200 of us. I had served a full term on the Executive Committee of that group in the 1990's, and was later appointed to fill out the term of a lawyer who retired. In each case, I was filling a slot for a North County…
  • Divorce and Finances in a Rising Economy....

    18 Sep 2013 | 7:31 pm
    According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the divorce rate has increased as the economy has improved. This is a situation known to every experienced family law lawyer. When people have few assets and money is tight, they may fight more but they don't feel comfortable terminating their marriages. With the drop in house equity and many houses being upside down, and one or both partners unemployed, at least one of the parties recognizes that there isn't enough money to enable them to maintain two households. So, they stay together until they feel more positive about their finances. In…
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    Pink Tape

  • Transparency Project is GO!

    Lucy Reed
    28 Aug 2014 | 2:53 am
    You may recall my musings on transparency some months ago, here : Proto-Manifesto. Well, the Transparency Project is now live. Lots to do, lots to think about. Exciting, daunting etc…. web :  twitter : @seethrujustice
  • Hashtag keepitoutofcourt

    Lucy Reed
    20 Aug 2014 | 2:21 pm
    I’ve noticed that the MoJ twitter account has a fondness for the hashtag #keepitoutofcourt *. So they will no doubt be doubly pleased today. Firstly, because in an innovative new form of Non Court Dispute Resolution that really does qualify for the now out of favour epithet “alternative”, fathers have begun taking justice to the MoJ along with their tents. To be more precise they are setting up camp on the Lord Chancellor’s roof. Keeping it out of court there. And out of doors it seems… Secondly, because there are some stonking statistics that prove that people…
  • Views both sought and offered

    Lucy Reed
    17 Aug 2014 | 2:37 pm
    The Thirteenth View is with us. Just in case anyone was wondering what was the significance of last week’s shower or unheralded attachments and zip files – View the Thirteenth explains all. And there is more Transparency up for consideration. Your views are sought. I can’t see a deadline. I can’t…I just…sorry…*goes in search of something medicinal*
  • Stuff

    Lucy Reed
    15 Aug 2014 | 2:27 pm
    Been a bit rubbish with the blogging lately. Been busy trying to work out how to staunch the loss of income caused by legal aid cuts and changing patterns of briefing as a result of the impact of legal aid cuts on sols…all whilst being cascaded upon from a great height. I’ll get back to you when I find an answer… Anyhoo. I’m a joiner, so I’m passing it on. You’re welcome. Interim Report of the Financial Remedies Working Group (feat. cameo performance from yours truly) : map#report map#annex1 map#annex2 map#annex3 map#annex4 map#annex5 map#annex6 map#annex7…
  • Aspirational Acronyms

    Lucy Reed
    14 Aug 2014 | 2:21 pm
    I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a document entitled “Guidance to LFJBs on Quarterly Performance Reporting Template”. It’s a crackin’ read I can tell y’all. So: Local Family Justice Boards have to report quarterly on their performance. And of course, as is the rage these days, they must do so by means of a template. And it’s a template that they need some guidance to conquer… Yes, you’ve guessed it. This is about statistics. Damned statistics. I have to keep checking that the paramountcy principle hasn’t been sneakily amended on 22…
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    Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

  • Divorce Selfies

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

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

    James J. Gross
    7 Aug 2014 | 10:12 am
    Boca Divorce Attorney Jodi Furr Colton brought my attention to a Psychology Today study that correlates heightened aggression between spouses with their blood sugar. The researchers gave 107 married couples voodoo dolls and pins for 21 days.  They were told to place as many pins in the doll as needed each night depending on how angry they were with their spouse.  They also blasted each other with noises through headphones while completing assigned taskes.  Their blood glucose levels were monitored. It appears that the lower your blood sugar, the more hostile and cranky you are.  Others…
  • Send in the Divorce Lawyers

    James J. Gross
    6 Aug 2014 | 7:47 am
    Greta Van Susteren has an idea for breaking the political deadlock in Congress.  On Gretawire she writes that every day of the year divorce lawyers sit down with warring spouses (who HATE each other) and manage to hammer out agreements. She says it is not that hard to get people to work out solutions. All it takes is effort and perseverance.  She says divorce lawyers can do it so why can’t politicians. Van Suteren’s message to Congress?  “Get to work!  Sit down and talk…figure it out!”  Maybe we should send some divorce lawyers to help Congress figure it out.
  • Contribution to Mortgage Payments

    James J. Gross
    5 Aug 2014 | 8:40 am
    Roger Broseus, Ph.D. married Isadel Broseus in 1970.  They had a child in 1981.  They jointly owned a three-bedroom house in Gaithersburg.  In 1985 Roger took the minor child and left the martial home.  He obtained custody of the child and use and possession of the family home and moved back in.  Isadel was forced to leave and rent an efficiency apartment.  Her car was repossessed for failure to make payments. Roger made the mortgage payments on the house during the four years between separation and divorce.  Roger asked the court to order isadel to reimburse him for a portion of these…
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    Fathers' Rights Not Just Every Other Weekend

  • Gambling Intercept

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

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

    James J. Gross
    21 Aug 2014 | 11:39 am
    The average cost of raising a child to age 18 is $245,340 for a two-parent, middle-income family, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And that doesn’t include costs for giving birth or paying for college.  The annual calculation includes housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, child care, education and miscellaneous. If you add in 2.4 percent projected inflation, the cost is $304,480.  The estimate rose 1.8 percent from last year.
  • Man Jailed for Child Support that Employer Failed to Pay

    James J. Gross
    10 Jul 2014 | 12:50 pm
    Clifford Hall, 43, of Houston was sentenced to six months in jail for failure to pay child support. After exhausting his appeal rights, he turned himself in and began serving his sentence last week. But then AT&T, his employer, provided an affidavit that it had withheld the incorrect amount from his paychecks. He was released from jail.
  • Custody of Children

    James J. Gross
    2 Apr 2014 | 8:21 am
    Guest post by David Williamson Mothers Obtain Child Custody More Often than Fathers In 82% of cases, mothers get custody of the children.  One reason for this may be, that On a purely statistical stand point, mothers are the primary up-bringer of the children (data:  2009). Even in cases where both parents work, statistics show mothers spend twice as much time engaged in primary childcare responsibilities than the fathers with mothers at 12.9 hours a week and fathers at 6.5 hours. Court Involvement in Child Custody In terms of how courts involve themselves in the custody process, a mere 4%…
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    Family Law Source by Brian Vertz

  • Can Grandparents Have Custody if Both Parents are Working?

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

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

    Brian Vertz
    21 Aug 2014 | 7:26 am
    Pennsylvania residents who are getting divorced may face the daunting task of answering discovery: interrogatories and document requests. Some may wonder why they must produce personal information, such as checking account records that show purchases made long after a marital separation, or tax returns that include the income of a new spouse. Will the Pennsylvania courts enter a protective order to prohibit the discovery of personal information? A recent en banc decision of the Superior Court may shed light on this question. Typically, discovery issues cannot be appealed, so there is little…
  • Child Support Taken from Retained Earnings of Business

    Brian Vertz
    23 Jul 2014 | 12:38 pm
    When a business owner in Pennsylvania owes child support, he or she may consider whether to include the retained earnings that are not distributed to owners in calculating child support.  A recent decision of the Superior Court (non-precedential) answers this question by making reference to a previous child support decision.  In M.J. v. S.J., No. 747 WDA 2013 (July 16, 2014), the owner of a consulting business organized as a Subchapter S corporation argued that retained earnings should not be included in his income when calculating child support. His argument may have had merit, but…
  • Parents Held in Contempt of Custody Order for Chronic Tardiness and Spurious CYF Investigations

    Brian Vertz
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:46 am
    Pennsylvania parents who have custody orders may experience frustration when the other parent does not comply.  A recent decision of the Superior Court (unpublished) affirmed the Montgomery County courts, holding both parents in contempt for various violations of their custody order.  In M.B. v. L.G., No. 2947 EDA 2013 (July 18, 2014), the father of a ten year old child filed a custody contempt petition against the child’s mother when she filed a frivolous PFA petition to thwart his custody rights, and initiated a CYF investigation that resulted in an unfounded report. The father…
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    Blog entries

  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News - August 29, 2014

    29 Aug 2014 | 1:10 am
    DadsDivorce and MensDivorce as well as their sponsor, Cordell & Cordell, present a news video for the week of August 29, 2014.This week, Cordell & Cordell Principal Partner Joseph Cordell talked about the importance of fathers and their parental rights on Love 860 radio, based in the Atlanta area. Mr. Cordell also contributed a column about financial advisors and preparing for clients going through divorce to Financial Advisor magazine. DaRead More...
  • 4 Beliefs that Can Turn Divorce into a Nightmare

    28 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Divorce rituals change from culture to culture and over time. In some areas of Japan, couples write their separation wishes on paper and flush them down the toilet, along with the marriage. In the United States, changes in our belief systems have had a radical effect on the state of divorce, esRead More...
  • Ex's Parents Want Shared Parenting Rights - How Do I Prevent This?

    27 Aug 2014 | 12:52 am
    Question:My ex has a children's services case in which it states that she is not allowed to have physical contact with our two children. Originally, we had a shared parenting plan in the divorce, so she's now requesting that her parents keep theRead More...
  • DadsDivorce Live: Discussing Post-Divorce Strategies with Honoree Corder

    26 Aug 2014 | 12:06 am
    Divorce author, coach and motivator Honoree Corder speaks with DadsDivorce online editor Katie Davis about useful post-divorce strategies and steps. Corder also discusses her most recent book, "If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules," and expands on important lessons for newly divorced men and, in particular, fathers.NOTE: DadsDivorce will hold book giveaways for three different copies of Corder's books. Three winners will be selected, and each winner can decide which book they'd lRead More...
  • Parenting Time, Divorce Decrees & a Frustrated Parent

    25 Aug 2014 | 1:50 am
    Question:My ex has not wanted to comply with parenting times in terms of picking our children up or dropping them off as it states in the divorce decree.Because this violates the decree, am I allowed to keep my ex seeing the kids during upcoming pareRead More...
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    Marilyn Stowe Blog

  • ‘Use a solicitor’ Law Society urges

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    31 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    The Law Society has launched a campaign encouraging members of the public to use qualified solicitors for family and other legal disputes. Use a Professional Use a Solicitor is designed to highlight the expertise of solicitors, as well as their regulated and insured status, in contrast to McKenzie friends and similar unqualified legal advisors. The campaign will feature case studies highlighting the role of a solicitor in different types of legal dispute, including both family law and wills and probate cases. Campaign advertisements will appear in different locations, including both bus and…
  • Family law and open justice by David Burrows

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    30 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Family lawyers and judges are in a muddle over how much privacy there should be in family proceedings. In the recent case of Mrs Cooper-Hohn and Mr Hohn, the judge gave a 177 paragraph judgement at an interim stage of the proceedings to explain why she would not permit the press – who were allowed into court – to report the parties’ financial information (personal or business). Mrs Justice Roberts, described her job as ‘to find a way through somewhat rocky terrain where, as everybody appears to agree, there is no clear roadmap’. The way though this terrain is not difficult to find.
  • What does a family lawyer do? By Debbie Laidlaw

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Debbie Laidlaw is a family lawyer in the Stowe Family Law Leeds office. In this special feature, she describes a typical working day in the life of a busy solicitor I and other solicitors here at Stowe Family Law act for clients who are suffering a relationship breakdown and looking for advice in relation to their legal rights as a spouse; civil partner or cohabitee. Some come to us for help with arrangements for their children and some are looking to protect themselves in relation to potential financial claims, either before or after a marriage or civil partnership. Some worry about divorce…
  • What family lawyers were talking about this week… by John Bolch

    John Bolch
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:37 am
    After the feast last week, this week we have the famine. Still, with both a Bank Holiday and summer vacations I suppose that is only to be expected… Family lawyers have claimed that the government’s scheme to fund a free mediation session for separating couples will do little to increase the number of people resolving disputes out of court. As mentioned in this post, last week Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes has announced that a single free mediation session will be funded by the government for both parties if one of them is already legally aided. However, Jo Edwards, chair of…
  • Campaigners: ‘change civil partnership conversion rules’

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:14 am
    A petition from a same-sex couple in Devon has persuaded the government to look again at the rules governing same-sex partnerships. The law enabling same-sex marriage in England and Wales was passed last year. Couples who were already in a civil partnership at the time the law came into force will be able to to convert their partnership into a marriage from December this year. However current plans do not allow formal ceremonies to mark the occasion and the conversions will only be allowed to take place in registrar’s offices during normal working hours. Same sex couples have complained…
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    Tripp Atkins, Greenville Divorce Lawyer, Greenville, SC Divorce Lawyer

  • My Spouse Won’t Leave…Can I Still File for Divorce?

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

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

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

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

    Tripp Atkins
    8 Apr 2014 | 6:47 am
    Oftentimes, there are issues that must be addressed early on in a case.  Some of those issues include custody of minor children, child support, visitation, determining who gets to reside in the marital home and spousal support.  This relief comes through a Temporary Order.  Either party may file what is called a Motion for Temporary Relief.  Once filed, a hearing will be scheduled and the motion must be served on your spouse at least five business days prior to the hearing.  South Carolina Family Court Rule 21 states that the only evidence the Judge will consider at the temporary hearing…
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    Michael C. Craven | Divorce Lawyers Chicago

  • The Media Glamorizes Celebrity Divorce

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

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

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

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

    Michael C Craven
    17 Jun 2014 | 12:30 am
    Step by Step As a divorce attorney, I understand that the cost of a divorce can often be expensive. However, if someone cannot afford the full services of a divorce lawyer, there is a cost-efficient, yet still effective, option – Limited Scope Representation. The state of Illinois expanded the rules regarding Limited Scope Representation just over one year ago. These new rules allow people with limited means to pay for a portion of the legal services needed for their cases rather than hiring an attorney for the entire duration of their cases. Limited Scope Representation, which is permitted…
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    Scaling the Summit: Divorce, Families, & Options

  • Collaborative Law Intro Training 2014

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

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

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

    24 Jul 2014 | 9:52 am
    Part of the significant ground-swell of support for a change to Massachusetts alimony laws came after the Pierce decision, which ordered alimony to continue past retirement.  While a quick reading of the new alimony statute might lead you to believe otherwise, there are a number of scenarios in which alimony could (and in many cases) will still continue past retirement age.The Alimony Reform Act of 2011, which became effective on March 1, 2012 provides for multiple types of alimony, and for maximum amounts and duration of alimony.  Any alimony orders that were in effect prior…
  • Can the Court order less than the 30-35% formula for Alimony in Massachusetts?

    23 Jul 2014 | 8:04 am
    The Alimony Reform Act of 2011 added a formula to Massachusetts Alimony determinations:"Except for reimbursement alimony or circumstances warranting deviation for other forms of alimony, the amount of alimony should generally not exceed the recipient’s need or 30 to 35 per cent of the difference between the parties’ gross incomes established at the time of the order being issued. Subject to subsection (c), income shall be defined as set forth in the Massachusetts child support guidelines."M.G.L. c. 208 s 53(b) (emphasis added)Mathematical formulas are convenient and many…
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    Lawdiva's Blog

  • Nasty Judge’s Sexism Leads to New Trial

    Georgialee Lang
    30 Aug 2014 | 12:08 pm
    There is no place for mean-spirited judges in Canadian courts, but regretfully a few slip through the vigorous screening process and become tyrants in an institution where they preside as untouchables. Mr. Justice Jean-Guy Boilard, of the Quebec Superior Court, is a case in point. A former crown prosecutor, he was appointed to the Quebec court in 1977, beginning a career steeped in controversy. Boilard retired in 2012 but not before leaving a legacy of arrogant, pompous, and derisive in-court commentary attacking the lawyers who had the misfortune of drawing him as their judge. His behavior…
  • Divorce Can Be Deadly

    Georgialee Lang
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:53 pm
    In 1967 psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe examined the medical records of over 5,000 patients in their research to determine whether stress causes illness. A positive correlation was found resulting in the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, also called the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. The Scale identifies life events and ranks them based on the the level of anxiety they instill. The death of a spouse rates highest at 100 units, with divorce right behind. Holmes and Rahe later adapted their testing to children, finding that the death of a parent ranked highest, followed closely by…
  • Judge Trashes New York Landmark “Carnegie Deli” in Divorce Ruling

    Georgialee Lang
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:43 am
    I was in New York city last fall and near the top of our agenda was a trip to the Carnegie Deli, a landmark in mid-town since 1937 and run by the Levine family since 1976. Its claim to fame is kosher pastrami, corned beef, and their famous cheesecake, all of which they can ship almost anywhere in the world. It’s a very kitschy little place with uneven floors and plastic table cloths, but there is always a line-up. I didn’t expect the Carnegie Deli to be featured in a divorce post, but it seems that Marian Harper Levine and her husband Sandy, who now runs the deli with her, were…
  • Silicon Valley Tycoon Convinces Court His Wife’s Scam is Designed to Avoid Pre-Nup

    Georgialee Lang
    18 Aug 2014 | 8:40 pm
    Clyde Berg and his brother Carl Berg are two very wealthy men. They developed and built huge campuses for a number of successful Silicon Valley businesses, and sold their firm for $1.3 billion. But the old adage that money does not buy happiness is clearly illustrated in the divorce proceedings between Clyde, age 75, and his estranged wife, Ellena Berg, age 38. The first obvious comment is why a man in his 70’s thought he could sustain a relationship with a woman more than thirty years younger than him. After ten years of marriage and an iron-clad prenup, Ms. Berg accused her husband of…
  • Enraged Husband Attacks Wife in Court After Child Support Order Pronounced

    Georgialee Lang
    15 Aug 2014 | 5:14 pm
    Catherine Gonzalez, age 23, was forced to go to court to get an order that her husband pay child support, an application that is brought routinely in family law courts across North America, when a parent refuses to pay support voluntarily. Her husband Paul Gonzalez Jr., a former Marine, was enraged when Judge Geoffrey Cohen made the order and stormed out of the Judge’s chambers. But he returned, and attacked his wife, in front of Judge Cohen and her lawyer, pummeling his wife with his fists. Ms. Gonzalez suffered significant injuries including a broken nose, a broken jaw, a torn lip, a…
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    Farzad Family Law

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Military Divorce Statistics

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

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

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

    Steve Fritsch
    14 May 2014 | 12:47 pm
    If you are planning a divorce in California, regardless of whether you are a likely recipient or provider of spousal support, you should be aware of the basics of how California courts calculate spousal support. There are two types of spousal support, in California: temporary and permanent. Temporary support is payment to the lower-earning spouse during the divorce proceedings. Once the proceedings are complete, any spousal support is considered permanent. The goal of permanent spousal support is to position the lower-earning spouse at or as close as possible to the marital standard of…
  • How does California law treat divorces after ten or more years of marriage?

    Steve Fritsch
    7 Apr 2014 | 3:37 am
    There are numerous implications of divorce, according to California law, if you’ve been married for ten or more years. Non-lawyers make many assumptions about those laws. Here is a brief discussion of the assumptions people make: Some of them are false and some of them are true. False Assumptions If you divorce after 10 years of marriage, spousal support must be paid indefinitely. True Assumptions The court retains jurisdiction. You may be eligible for social security benefits if you do not remarry. Let’s discuss what each one means for you. Spousal Support in Perpetuity, If the…
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    Arizona Family Law

  • Do Rapists have Child Custody Rights?

    JacksonWhite Law
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:00 am
    In seventeen states and Washington, D.C., there is no law that explicitly restricts the parental rights of men that have children through rape.  This has created quite a legal issue as seen in the case below. Case of Parental Rights for Rapist One of the cases occurred in Massachusetts where a 14-year-old girl was raped and impregnated by a 20-year-old male, Jaime Melendez, in 2009.  In 2011, the male pleaded guilty to rape and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. In 2012, family court ordered Melendez to pay child support until the child was an adult.  The past two years have resulted…
  • Standard of Living Considered For Spousal Maintenance

    JacksonWhite Law
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:00 am
    Spousal maintenance is an issue that frequently comes up during a divorce.  It is commonly referred to as alimony and consists of one spouse making frequent payments to the other spouse as ordered by the courts. In a recent blog in The Huffington Post, it gave light to the common idea that after a divorce, individuals should still be able to “enjoy the standard of living to which they have become accustomed.” In California, their law says that the standard of living for spouses needs to be considered when determining spousal maintenance.  However, it can be frequently overlooked.
  • Child Support Awarded to American Idol Runner-Up Clay Aiken

    JacksonWhite Law
    21 Aug 2014 | 11:00 am
    After an extensive amount of time in the courts, it was decided in July of 2014 that Clay Aiken, former runner-up on American Idol, is to receive child support from his five-year-old son’s mother. In 2008, Aiken and his then best friend, Jaymes Foster, decided that they would have a kid together.  Foster had been the executive producer of Aiken’s last three albums through RCA. Although Aiken has identified himself as a homosexual, they agreed to have a son and raise the son together. However, since 2008, they have been fighting over the custody.  Aiken has complained that he has not…
  • Missing Boy Found Shows Signs of Abuse

    JacksonWhite Law
    21 Aug 2014 | 8:25 am
    On June 14, a 12-year-old boy went missing in Detroit. When he was found in his basement 11 days later signs of abuse were discovered. His father, Bothuell IV, was shocked he was found in the basement after he had previously release a plea to find him. The Boys Tragic Life: When found, Charles “Charlie” Bothuell V, had signs of abuse and neglect from his father and step-mother. He was transported to the hospital where doctor observed circular scars on his body. The young boy claimed he was disciplined with a PVC pipe. Using the pipe, his father would dig it into the boys’ skin. This…
  • Child Custody Issues Arise Over Unborn Child

    JacksonWhite Law
    19 Aug 2014 | 9:02 am
    Former “The View” hostess Sherri Shepherd and husband Lamar Sally, are in the process of a brutal divorce. Like most divorces, included in the squabble is child custody. Things get tricky for the former hostess, because the child is unborn and the mother to be doesn’t want anything to do with the child. Ultimately, a judge will choose who will be responsible for the care and financing of the conceived child, which is being conceived with a surrogate. Shepherd has no intention of raising the child or paying one cent. The baby was created with Sally’s sperm and a donated egg. Because of…
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    Fairfax Family Law Blog

  • Legal remedies available to those injured by a defective product

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

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

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    15 Aug 2014 | 7:12 am
    More and more research has surfaced lately regarding the dangers of trauma to the head. Head injuries are common concerns for children, the elderly, athletes and those involved in car accidents or other serious falls. A brain injury can be an incredibly debilitating injury that often requires extensive treatment and long-term care, especially if symptoms go unnoticed and treatment is delayed for a significant period of time. For this reason, many coaches and sports teams are doing what they can to reduce the risk of a head injury occurring in the first place. In Virginia, the football players…
  • Property owners may be liable to trespassers in some cases

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:48 pm
    Most Virginia property owners want to be the ones to decide who can come onto their property and when. However, many property owners must also deal with the possibility or risk of trespassers. When a trespasser enters a person's property and is injured by a dangerous condition, it's possible for the property owner to be held liable for damages under the legal theory of premises liability. These cases are relatively rare, however. The key questions in determining whether the property owner will be held liable concern the likelihood or frequency of trespassing. Generally, courts find that…
  • Truck collides with six vehicles at Fairfax gas station

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:46 pm
    Large trucks and tractor trailers are an important part of interstate commerce. Due to their role in transporting all kinds of goods and cargo across the country, they are commonly seen on Virginia's roads and highways. Unfortunately, it is all too common to hear of a truck crash. When a truck accident occurs, the amount of damage and harm that results is often quite significant because the size and weight of such vehicles creates a greater impact. Recently, a multi-vehicle accident occurred at a Fairfax gas station when a large truck crashed into several vehicles after crossing the median on…
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    911 Biker Law - Tampa and Orlando Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

  • Top 4 Roads That you Need to Ride Once in Your Lifetime

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

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

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

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

    Biker Law
    9 Jun 2014 | 1:21 am
    For motorcycle owners, summertime means an opportunity for long days filled with riding. Whether you’re taking a cross-country road trip or simply exploring what’s in your own backyard, there are a few things that every rider should do to prepare for the season. Image Courtesy of Craig Howell If your bike has been in storage over winter, it’s important to have a thorough maintenance check of your bike. Before servicing your bike, refer to the owner’s and service manuals for inspection lists that will help tailor your maintenance to your bike’s specific model. You can either take…
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    Family Law Express Brief

  • Everything you need to know about Family Trusts: Part 1

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

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

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

    Julie cheung
    5 Aug 2014 | 7:07 am
    Over the years, the Australian government introduced reforms aiming to remove discrimination against same-sex couples and providing same-sex couples the same entitlements as heterosexual de-facto couples. The reforms have emphasised the importance of the roles of both parents in the welfare of the child. Effectively this means when same-sex parents separate, the biological parent does not have an advantage over non-biological parents in seeking parenting orders. As you will see below, this is because the Family Court regards the best interest of the child as the main consideration when…
  • Everything you need to know about Child Contact Centres

    Tony Ko
    4 Aug 2014 | 6:05 am
    A child contact centre is a place co-parents can bring their children for change-overs or visitation. It serves as a neutral and safe environment for separated families. Child contact centres provide rooms with toys and games for visitation. They also have trained staff for the supervision of visitation. Staff can also help facilitate change-overs if needed. If the situation requires, staff can completely handle the change-over process, removing the need for co-parents to meet. Who can use a child contact centre? A court may sometimes order change-overs and visitations to be supervised. This…
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    The Sampair Group | Legal Blog

  • Addiction and Custody

    Sampair Legal Blog
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:51 am
    If you share a child with an addict you are probably primarily concerned about your child’s safety and what kind of access your ex will be permitted to have with your child. Family court judges are well-versed in the problems of addiction and understand its impact on children. If you know or believe your ex is an addict, tell your attorney. Together you can evaluate the level of danger and whether Child Protective Services should be contacted. You attorney can request that the court order an evaluation of your ex to determine if he or she has an addiction and/or poses a danger to your…
  • Staying Involved When You Are a Non-Custodial Parent

    Sampair Legal Blog
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:50 am
    If your parenting plan is arranged so that your child primarily lives with your ex or spends the most time with him or her, you may wonder how you can continue to stay involved in your child’s life and make a difference. The first thing to understand is that no matter how your parenting time is divided, you are your child’s parent and are extremely important! It sounds like a cliché, but it isn’t the quantity of time, but the quality of time that you spend that matters. There are lots of ways to stay involved in your child’s life and ensure that your child feels deeply connected to…
  • How to Change Attorneys in Your Divorce Case

    Sampair Legal Blog
    27 Aug 2014 | 1:47 am
    When you are dealing with a divorce case, you want to work with an attorney who makes you feel comfortable, understands your needs, and gets the results you want. Sometimes you choose an attorney and later realize that he or she isn’t exactly what you had hoped for.  Your attorney might not return your calls, suggest compromises you are uncomfortable with, or simply be unable to really hear what you need. If you are working with an attorney that you are not happy with, it is your right to seek to change your representation. If your case has already been filed with the court, you will need…
  • Child Support Enforcement in Arizona

    Sampair Legal Blog
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:16 am
    Child support is an important obligation and is ordered by a court so that a child can have a stable standard of living and have his or her needs met completely. Because of this, child support enforcement is taken seriously by the courts of Arizona. If a parent does not make his or her child support payments, there are a variety of ways the order can be enforced. Arizona courts can enforce the order and Arizona Department of Child Support Enforcement both have the authority and ability to deal with parents who do not pay. The DCSE Child Support Evader program can help only when more than…
  • What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Arizona?

    Sampair Legal Blog
    25 Aug 2014 | 1:15 am
    Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either spouse can seek a divorce at any time simply by stating that the marriage is irretrievably broken, without casting blame or pointing fingers. This means that you’re not required to show that your spouse was at fault when you seek a divorce. No-fault divorces eliminate the acrimony involved when one spouse has to publicly blame the other for the end of the marriage. It is possible to contest a no-fault divorce however, and the court will hear testimony and determine if in fact the marriage is beyond repair if it is contested.
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