Family Law

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  • Is There an Advantage to Filing First for Divorce?

    The Stevens Firm, P.A.
    Ben Stevens
    26 May 2015 | 5:30 am
    When it comes to procedure in divorce and separation cases, most people are not familiar with the process. After all, how can you know how to do things that you’ve never encountered before? One example of this is the filing process. Are there advantages to filing first for divorce? Or should you wait for your spouse to file, preferring to respond rather than lead the charge? There are several advantages to filing first: Advantage #1  The first advantage of being the initial party to file is that you control when the action begins. Rather than being placed in a defensive/responsive…

    New Jersey Family Law
    Charles Abut
    28 May 2015 | 6:12 am
    This New Jersey divorce was properly arbitrated [as opposed to litigated] to conclusion. Therefore, the appellate court had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal and was correct in dismissing it.      Shelley v. Shelley, New Jersey App. Div., May 28, 2015      

    New Jersey Family Law
    Charles Abut
    28 May 2015 | 5:55 am
    If New Jersey child support is calculated after June 30, the proper method is to use year-to-date income from all sources and then divide the total by the number of weeks employed.     Tango v. Christen, New Jersey App. Div., May 26, 2015  
  • Military Pension: What Happens to It in Divorce?

    Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law | Delray Beach Lawyer Janet Langjahr
    Janet Langjahr
    26 May 2015 | 8:15 pm
    Husband and Wife marry. Wife enters the armed forces. Wife decides to make a career in military service. Husband and Wife travel extensively for Wife’s career. Twenty years go by. Wife retires. Wife begins to collect her military pension. Husband files for divorce. Husband seeks half of Wife’s military pension. Wife, shocked and angry, vigorously opposes. After all, she earned that pension. It’s hers. As bitter a pill as it may be for Wife to swallow, that’s not the law. A military pension, like any retirement account or benefit accrued during the course of a marriage,…
  • How to Handle Summer Visitation

    The Stevens Firm, P.A.
    Ben Stevens
    27 May 2015 | 5:30 am
    Summers can be a challenging time for parents who no longer live together. The children are home from school, parents are left finding child care and, sometime most challengingly, planning vacations. When considering how to handle summer visitation with the least amount of stress, keep in mind the importance of communication. Experts are clear that the keys to making the summer scheduling process a success are communication and good planning. The reality is that when parents stop living together, whether due to divorce, separation, or other circumstances, everyone’s schedules must…
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    The Stevens Firm, P.A.

  • Connecticut Moves Toward Fast Track Divorce

    Ben Stevens
    29 May 2015 | 5:30 am
    The Connecticut House recently passed an important measure that would make it much easier and much less expensive for certain couples to secure a divorce. The legislation was approved by an overwhelming majority of legislators, a group that felt the rules made things unnecessarily difficult for young, childless couples without many assets to fight over. The measure, which passed 135-12, says that couples meeting certain stringent qualifications can now apply for a fast track when it comes to divorce. The fast track allows these couples to avoid the current 90-day waiting period for divorces…
  • Can You Stay on Your Spouse’s Health Insurance After Divorce?

    Ben Stevens
    28 May 2015 | 5:30 am
    Given the importance of health insurance, it is quite common for couples to worry about the impact that separation or divorce can have on their access to healthcare. A frequent concern is whether the demise of the marriage will result in the demise of your health insurance. Can you stay on your spouse’s health insurance after divorce? The basic question that people are concerned about is whether they can maintain their same insurance after a South Carolina divorce. The short answer, no. The long answer, still no – with one exception. If your spouse works for the State of South Carolina,…
  • How to Handle Summer Visitation

    Ben Stevens
    27 May 2015 | 5:30 am
    Summers can be a challenging time for parents who no longer live together. The children are home from school, parents are left finding child care and, sometime most challengingly, planning vacations. When considering how to handle summer visitation with the least amount of stress, keep in mind the importance of communication. Experts are clear that the keys to making the summer scheduling process a success are communication and good planning. The reality is that when parents stop living together, whether due to divorce, separation, or other circumstances, everyone’s schedules must…
  • Is There an Advantage to Filing First for Divorce?

    Ben Stevens
    26 May 2015 | 5:30 am
    When it comes to procedure in divorce and separation cases, most people are not familiar with the process. After all, how can you know how to do things that you’ve never encountered before? One example of this is the filing process. Are there advantages to filing first for divorce? Or should you wait for your spouse to file, preferring to respond rather than lead the charge? There are several advantages to filing first: Advantage #1  The first advantage of being the initial party to file is that you control when the action begins. Rather than being placed in a defensive/responsive…
  • Memorial Day 2015

    Ben Stevens
    25 May 2015 | 5:30 am
    The Stevens Firm, P.A. is closed today in honor of Memorial Day. Our families have members who have served or are serving in the military, and we want to sincerely thank our country’s military veterans for their honor, bravery, and dedicated service to our country. Our office will reopen tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. To learn more about the history of Memorial Day, click here. The post Memorial Day 2015 appeared first on The Stevens Firm, P.A..
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    Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law | Delray Beach Lawyer Janet Langjahr

  • A Rare Equitable Distribution Property Division After the Death of the Husband

    Janet Langjahr
    28 May 2015 | 9:38 pm
    New York Husband and Wife are having an unusual divorce. It consists not of one case, but of two separate but related cases. Husband filed one case and Wife filed the other. The Husband’s case was for divorce, but its scope was limited. The Wife’s case was for equitable distribution or property division. (In Florida, this is known as a bifurcated divorce.) The New York family court heard the entire divorce case, and issued an oral ruling granting Husband a divorce. The final judgment “on paper” was not issued at that time, however. The New York family court went on to hear the…
  • Military Pension: What Happens to It in Divorce?

    Janet Langjahr
    26 May 2015 | 8:15 pm
    Husband and Wife marry. Wife enters the armed forces. Wife decides to make a career in military service. Husband and Wife travel extensively for Wife’s career. Twenty years go by. Wife retires. Wife begins to collect her military pension. Husband files for divorce. Husband seeks half of Wife’s military pension. Wife, shocked and angry, vigorously opposes. After all, she earned that pension. It’s hers. As bitter a pill as it may be for Wife to swallow, that’s not the law. A military pension, like any retirement account or benefit accrued during the course of a marriage,…
  • US-Born Teen Returned from Mexico Under Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

    Janet Langjahr
    24 May 2015 | 1:38 pm
    Texas Husband and Wife have Daughter. Husband and Wife divorce. Husband allegedly absconds with US-born Daughter to Mexico in 2007, when Daughter is about 5 years old. Wife seeks Daughter’s return through Mexican legal authorities under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, but Daughter cannot be located for eight years after her disappearance. Mexican family court is made aware of another girl (Girl) with the same first name, approximate age and general appearance as Daughter. Mexican family court orders that Girl be taken into custody, to be…
  • How Many Fathers Does It Take to Make Twins?

    Janet Langjahr
    22 May 2015 | 7:58 pm
    New Jersey Mother has toddler twins. The twins’ putative (believed) Father is not in the picture. Mother files a family court case for child support. To prove the identity of the Father, Mother is ordered to have the twins undergo a DNA Paternity Test. And the DNA Paternity Test reports that one of the twins is the biological offspring of the putative Father … but not the other twin! This may sound astonishing. But it is actually a recognized phenonomenon that occurs in a significant minority of pregancies, where the Mother has two or more sexual partners within five days of each…
  • Support Payments Hit the Information Superhighway

    Janet Langjahr
    21 May 2015 | 8:40 pm
    Need to make an alimony or child support? Odds are that you can do that online today. But, what if you prefer the old-fashioned way, say a paper check? Well, that could be a no go, at least in Spartanburg, NC. They no longer accept real, uh, traditional checks. Credit cards, fine. Electronic checks; those work too. Just no paper. According to the local government, their new online payments system saves the government quite a bit of money, speeds up collections, and frees up considerable staff time. So what’s wrong with that? Probably not much for the vast majority of people paying…
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    Family Law Prof Blog

  • GAL's in CT

    Family Law
    29 May 2015 | 5:59 am
    From the Connecticut Law Tribune: During testimony before the legislature last year, it seemed like the loudest voices in the debate over family court reform were those of divorcing parents angry at a legal system they believed had failed them....
  • Information in Adoptions

    Family Law
    28 May 2015 | 5:57 am
    From Sioux City Journal: A military couple is suing the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, accusing the agency of illegally hiding the serious medical and mental health issues of a 6-year-old boy they adopted six years ago. The...
  • Child Support in Nebraska

    Family Law
    27 May 2015 | 5:56 am
    From Lincoln Journal Star: As lawmakers measure their fiscal footprints this year, Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks says she's trying to stop $80 million from disappearing. That's one selling point of a bill she sponsored that would bring Nebraska in...
  • Life Events & Divorce

    Family Law
    26 May 2015 | 4:52 am
    From Fox News: Late last month, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Rebekah Gregory made headlines with the sad news that she was separating from her husband—who was also injured in the blast—less than one year after their dream wedding. Without knowing...
  • CA Child Custody Case

    Family Law
    25 May 2015 | 4:54 am
    From Bakersfield Now: A Bakersfield woman continues to try and regain sole custody of her 8-year-old daughter in an unusual child custody battle. The girl is currently living with the father, 56-year-old Nicholas Elizondo, who is a registered sex offender....
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    Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

  • Conduct not to level of stalking to support protection order

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    23 May 2015 | 8:13 am
    Recent Case:  Respondent’s conduct did not rise to the level of stalking to support an order of protection. Respondent appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting a full order of protection in favor of Petitioner.  Respondent argues the trial court erred in granting a full order of protection under Section 455.040 because Petitioner failed to prove by a preponderance of evidence that Respondent’s actions constituted “stalking” under Section 455.010(13). Holding:  Reversed Because of the potential stigma that may attach to an individual who is labeled a “stalker” under…
  • Domestic Partnership does not constitute marriage for termination of spousal support (aka alimony)

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    4 May 2015 | 12:08 pm
    Recent case: Missouri law states that remarriage terminates spousal support unless expressly agreed or ordered otherwise. Domestic partnership does not qualify for this purpose. Ex-Husband appeals the circuit court’s judgment denying his motion to terminate or modify maintenance. First, movant argues that the circuit court erred in denying his motion to terminate maintenance because his ex-wife remarried. Second, movant argues that the circuit court erred in denying his motion to modify maintenance because movant proved a substantial and continuing change in circumstances, while Respondent…
  • No spousal support (alimony) award that leaves paying spouse negative income

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    27 Apr 2015 | 12:07 pm
    Recent Case: Trial Court error in awarding Wife spousal support amount that left Husband with negative budget, Court must also consider Wife’s ability to contribute Husband appeals from the trial Court’s judgment awarding $1,000 in monthly maintenance to his former spouse.  Husband asserts that the trial court abused its discretion in that the award exceeds his ability to pay. When determining the amount of maintenance, a trial court must balance the reasonable needs of the spouse seeking maintenance against the ability of the other spouse to pay. Here, the trial court acknowledged that…
  • Employer required to garnish child support

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    6 Apr 2015 | 8:29 am
    Recent case: Employer is required by law to comply with child support wage garnishment orders from the Family Support Division The employer of a father ordered to pay child support appeals the trial court’s judgments in favor of the Department of Social Services Family Support Division after the employer failed to comply with income withholding orders. The trial court ruling was affirmed. When a wage garnishment for child support is sent to an employer, the employee has 30 days to contest the order based only on mistakes of fact as to the identity of the employee or the amount of the…
  • Attorney fee expenses cannot be considered part of reasonable monthly expenses in maintenance modification

    Kansas City Divorce Attorney Mark Wortman
    22 Feb 2015 | 8:48 am
    Recent case: Attorney fees are not a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that supports a modification of maintenance, especially when the fees are for the modification case. Husband appeals the judgment modifying the divorce decree increasing his maintenance obligation from $4000 to $4400 per month. Holding: Reversed and remanded to trial Court The trial court erred in including attorney fees in its calculation of Wife’s reasonable monthly expenses. In order to modify maintenance, the Court must find that there is a substantial and continuing change in circumstances from when…
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    Divorce Discourse

  • Do You Control Your Priorities?

    Lee Rosen
    28 May 2015 | 4:30 am
    One of our lawyers was complaining about his iPhone failing to notify him when e-mails arrive. His comment started us talking about how he manages his e-mail. He explained that he looks at his phone every time an e-mail arrives. He gets notified with each arriving e-mail. He gets a notification more than 100 times per day—lots more. He told me that he needs to know when e-mails arrive. He’s constantly arranging details that require his immediate attention, he explained. He’s a good, smart, effective litigator. He’s well on the way to being a master of the universe. He’s in…
  • How to Eliminate the Stress of Payroll

    Lee Rosen
    27 May 2015 | 4:30 am
    The seasons are, in some places anyway, marked by the changes in the weather. Spring, summer, fall, and winter, and then it starts again. Most owners of small law firms barely notice. For those lawyers, the interval that matters is payroll. Instead of watching the leaves change, they’re watching the cash flow. The payroll is due on the 15th and the 30th, and the tension level starts to rise right after each payroll comes due. The tension builds from the first of the month and increases each day until the funds are set aside for the next paychecks. Thankfully, sometimes the tension gets…
  • His Breath Cost Him a Client

    Lee Rosen
    26 May 2015 | 4:30 am
    Can we talk? Maybe we should go somewhere private? This is personal. I hate to be the one to tell you, but you need to know. I’m telling you this for your benefit. I’m telling you because I care. Here’s the situation: Your breath stinks. Yep, it smells. Smells a little? No, not really. It’s more than a little. Think open sewer in an overcrowded, impoverished city somewhere in India. This is bad. This is not a breath mint problem. Do you hear me? How do I know? Because that woman who hired a different lawyer told me. “I would have hired him,” she said, “but his breath was…
  • No More Remembering to Cancel “Free” Trials

    Lee Rosen
    21 May 2015 | 4:30 am
    I’m obsessed with the latest technology. I buy lots of gadgets. However, my biggest tech obsession is new software. Many days, I download apps to my phone, install apps on my MacBook, and sign up for new software services. I keep up with what’s happening by reading a bunch of blogs and keeping a close eye on Hacker News and Product Hunt. Many of the software services I sign up for offer a free trial. I’m all about a free trial. I sign up for stuff constantly. However, sometimes these services require a credit card for the free trial, or they require you to pay (crazy, I know) for use…
  • Here’s Why Most Law Firms Don’t Grow

    Lee Rosen
    20 May 2015 | 4:30 am
    Many folks start their practices alone. They’re working solo—literally—and have no one to talk to at the office. You end up bouncing jury arguments off of the cleaning crew. Life is good. It’s simple. The biggest problem you have at that stage is getting more clients. The mission is simple, and you’re focused. Then you hire someone. The world changes. The minute you hire someone, your biggest problem becomes communication. Communication will continue as your biggest problem…forever. The need to communicate will never subside, and it’ll never happen without effort. Early…
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  • YikYak | Latest Social Media Tool Spews "Hate-Mail" & Cyberbullying

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    12 May 2015 | 5:42 am
    Cyber-bullying is out of control. The New York Times reports on Yik Yak the latest App used on college campuses to bully, harass, shame, embarrass and (yes) threaten coeds, college professors and others. Yik Yak allows users of the app to post anonymously--without a profile. Yik Yak is sorted by small geographical spaces (for example, a college campus).
  • Scotland Refuses to Allow Mother to Use Deceased Daughter's Eggs

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    11 May 2015 | 5:09 am
    In Scotland, Brody Family Law has posted that a mother has launched a judicial review challenge to the refusal by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Agency to permit her to have her dead daughter's frozen eggs, so that she can carry her own grandchild. It's not like this hasn't happened before!
  • Monitoring Community Living for the Disabled

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    6 May 2015 | 7:03 am
    The lack of uniformity in policies regarding monitoring of licensed community living arrangements across states and the fact that many states require only minimal supervision raise concerns for parents of developmentally disable adolescents and young adults. For instance, California requires multiple home visits per year, some of which must be unannounced. Illinois only requires that the state check on its licensed community living arrangements once every three years. No unannounced visits are required.
  • Domestic Violence | Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Reporting

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    27 Apr 2015 | 6:09 am
    The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., with a staff of about 80 and a daily circulation of 85,000, won the most prestigious of the Pulitzer Prizes for journalism awarded on Monday, a Gold Medal for Public Service reportage. The 7-part series begins: "In South Carolina, more than 300 women were shot, stabbed, strangled, beaten, bludgeoned or burned to death over the past decade by men, dying at a rate of one every 12 days while the state does little to stem the carnage from domestic abuse."
  • Service of Process by Facebook or Email?

    Jeanne M. Hannah
    24 Apr 2015 | 9:34 am
    Should courts allow service of process by Facebook or other social media, by text, or by email? Some might Should courts allow service of process by Facebook orother social media, by text, or by email? Some might say, “Well why not? So many people are finding their future spouse online. Why is it crazy to allow them to use the Internet to post notice of a divorce proceeding via social media?
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    Divorce Law Journal

  • Ky. S. Ct Published Opinion - writ of prohibition denied to prevent enforcement of order unsealing divorce records

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

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

    Diana L. Skaggs
    12 May 2015 | 12:33 pm
    W.R.L., ET AL. V. A.H. A child born out of wedlock lived with A.H. as a family member for several years. A.H. participated in co-parenting the child , until A.H.’s relationship with the child’s mother ended. A.H. continued to have visitation with the child until the child’s mother got remarried and prevented A.H. from seeing the child. Finally, the child’s step-father filed a petition to adopt the child. A.H. moved to intervene in the step-father’s adoption proceeding. The Appellate Court held that A.H. did not have standing to intervene in the custody case. The right to seek…
  • Ky Published Opinion - Agreement to Pay for Parochial School

    Diana L. Skaggs
    12 May 2015 | 12:28 pm
    CAGATA V. CAGATA Husband and wife entered into an agreement at the time of dissolution, as part of a Marital Settlement Agreement, providing Husband would pay the costs of the children’s tuition, books, fees and uniforms for parochial high school, unless extraordinary financial circumstances prevented him from paying for it. The Trial Court found the agreement was unambiguous, there were no extraordinary financial circumstances, and ordered Husband to pay the cost of parochial high school. The Appellate Court affirmed the Trial Court, holding the agreement was an enforceable contract and…
  • Ky Published Opinion - Emergency Custody, DeFacto Custodian, and Grandparent Visitation

    Diana L. Skaggs
    12 May 2015 | 12:25 pm
    ROBISON V. THEELE, ET AL. Mother lived with her parents (hereinafter “grandparents”), and passed away after treatment for cancer, which mother underwent during dissolution proceedings. Father exercised visitation regularly during the proceedings and mother’s cancer treatment. At the time of the Mother’s death, the Trial Court awarded Grandparents a “status quo ex parte” order to keep Father’s visitation in place. Subsequently, the Trial Court awarded de facto custodian status to Grandparents, gave Grandparents sole custody, and granted Father supervised visitation with his…
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    International Family Law

  • Forced Prenuptial Agreements: Australian Cases

    21 May 2015 | 12:05 pm
    Jeremy D. MorleyCourts around the world generally reserve the right to invalidate prenuptial agreements that were entered into under duress.The meaning of “duress” can be extremely hard to determine in specific cases.Can there be duress when a young impecunious foreign woman moves to another country to marry a rich man who then demands that she sign a “take it or leave it” prenuptial agreement? Yes, says an Australian court in a very recent decision in Brisbane, Australia.Can there be duress when the man gives a prenuptial agreement to his wife-to-be just three days before the…
  • Latest U.S. Hague Abduction Convention Compliance Report

    20 May 2015 | 9:49 am
    The U.S. Department of State Office of Children’s Issues has issued its annual report on International Parental Child Abduction which covers compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the reporting cycle for statistics is January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014).              Some notable points are as follows:            -In 2014, 781 abduction and access cases were resolved, 273 involving Mexico, 33 cases involving…
  • Hague Abduction Case Dismissed: Child Taken from Greece to New York

    18 May 2015 | 9:55 am
    Jeremy D. MorleyThe United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Judge Pamela Chen) in Adamis v. Lampropoulou (decision dated May 14, 2015) dismissed the petition brought under the Hague Abduction Convention by the Greek father of a 12 year old boy who was habitually resident in Greece and was taken to and retained in New York by the respondent mother. My office represented the respondent mother.This case raised difficult issues of consent and of the age and maturity exception, which ultimately the judge sensibly determined on the basis of the credibility of the parties…
  • Lifestyle Clauses in International Prenuptial Agreements

    14 May 2015 | 12:47 pm
    Jeremy D. MorleyClients sometimes propose all kinds of provisions for prenuptial agreements that are intended to control their beloved’s future activities. These so-called “lifestyle” terms may state that they’ll have some sex, lots of sex, no sex or kinky sex. They might give a “bonus” for losing weight, staying faithful, or being nice to a mother-in-law or they could include a penalty for adultery, or for not doing the dishes. Such terms in U.S. prenuptial agreements might very well not be upheld. In prenups for international people they might also create danger. Merely by…

    4 May 2015 | 1:46 pm
    Jeremy D. MorleyIn the case of Ferrari v. Romania, the European Court of Human Rights (Third Section),(Application no. 1714/10) has ruled (judgment dated 28 April 2015) that Romania violated Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by failing to resolve a Hague Abduction Convention case expeditiously. Unfortunately, although it was apparent that the thrust of the problem was that the Court of Appeal misapplied the Hague Abduction Convention, the European Court focused on delays in the Romanian process more than on the Romanian appeal…
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    Family Lore

  • To Have and Have Not

    29 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    This week my posts on Marilyn Stowe’s Family Law & Divorce Blog are all about our two-tier family justice system: one for the rich, one for the poor:Second class litigants - The perils faced by those who can't afford proper legal representation, as demonstrated by Re Baggaley.A small ray of light is extinguished - The Court of Appeal's decision in K & H (Children) that the court had no power to order HMCTS to provide funding for legal representation outside the LASPO scheme.How the other half litigate - In stark contrast to Re Baggaley, we have G v G, demonstrating how…
  • Divorce Facts

    28 May 2015 | 8:52 am
    The breakdown of a marriage is a distressing time and divorce law solicitors must handle the situation carefully and with much consideration. On average 42% of marriages end in divorce, in this infographic we place the spotlight on the facts surrounding divorce, some of which may come as a surprise!
  • Supreme Court decision on habitual residence in Scottish case

    22 May 2015 | 11:22 pm
    The Supreme Court has handed down a decision in a Scottish child abduction case that has some noteworthy things to say about a child's habitual residence.AR v RN (Scotland) [2015] UKSC 35 concerned two children who had been brought to Scotland from France by their mother, with their father's consent, with the intention that they live in Scotland for about a year. However, some four months later the relationship between the parents broke down and the mother applied for a residence order in Scotland.  The father argued that the initiation of those proceedings was a wrongful retention…
  • Waxing poetical

    22 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    This week I am moved to poetry, albeit briefly, on Marilyn Stowe’s Family Law & Divorce Blog, where my posts include the following:A little light on legal services orders - From Mr Justice Moylan in the 2013 case EM v AK.Are the family courts biased? - Answer: "No". (But please do still read the post.)Mediation limitations - I gloat over being right about the limits of mediation as a method of resolving family law disputes.The tangled web of modern families - As demonstrated by the case EN (Mother) v AH (Father).Right, I'm off to wander lonely as a cloud. Wherever you…
  • One thing missing...

    19 May 2015 | 7:47 am
    Michael Gove sworn in as lord chancellor - The Guardian, 19th May 2015
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    Toronto Family Lawyer Blog

  • Recognition of Foreign Divorces in Canada

    Andrew Feldstein
    29 May 2015 | 1:38 pm
    Essa v Mekawi, 2014 ONSC 7409 This case addresses whether a foreign divorce should be recognized in Ontario for family law purposes. Background The Applicant Wife and Respondent Husband were married in Egypt on December 20, 2003.  The Wife joined the Husband in Canada in August 2004, where he worked as an engineer.  The parties lived in the Greater Toronto Area for three years.  In August 2007, the parties returned to Egypt with their two Canadian-born daughters.  The children were both under the age of two when they left Canada. The family moved to Saudi Arabia in 2009.  In September of…
  • Financial Disclosure – Credit Card Statements

    Andrew Feldstein
    22 May 2015 | 1:05 pm
    Pilkington v Barrack, 2014 CarswellOnt 18887 (O.S.C.J) This case addresses the level of financial disclosure that is required in order to determine a party’s income for spousal support purposes. Specifically, this case considers when it is necessary to provide credit card statements. Background The parties had been separated for four years and were preparing for trial. The issues in dispute included spousal support payable by the Husband to the Wife and the Husband’s income for spousal support purposes. In his sworn Financial Statement, the Husband submitted that he earned $1.7 million…
  • Mediation / Arbitration for Family Law Disputes

    Andrew Feldstein
    15 May 2015 | 9:07 am
    McClintock v Karam, 2015 ONSC 1024 This case considers the appropriateness of mediation/arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution process for family disputes. Specifically, the case addresses when a mediator should be disqualified from also acting as the arbitrator in a case. Background The Applicant Mother and Respondent Father were married in 2001 and divorced on December 22, 2006. The parties entered into a Separation Agreement in 2008. The parties agreed to joint custody of their young daughter, who was to primarily reside with the Applicant Mother. The agreement stipulated that if…
  • Interest Payable from Pension Transfer and Equalization Payment

    Andrew Feldstein
    11 May 2015 | 6:45 am
    Heringer v Heringer, 2014 ONSC 7291 This case addresses the issue of interest payable with respect to a lump sum transfer from either spouse’s pension in satisfaction of an equalization payment. Background The parties were married in 1980 and separated in 2007. The parties resolved their matrimonial matter in 2012 by way of Minutes of Settlement. The Respondent Husband was a member of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and had a defined benefit pension plan which was administered by OPTrust. The parties agreed to “a global settlement payment of $137,000.00 payable by the…
  • Jointly Retained Experts: Mowers v Acland

    Andrew Feldstein
    1 May 2015 | 12:13 pm
    Mowers v Acland, 2015 ONSC 1313 This case addresses the issue of jointly retained experts. Background The parties in this matter jointly retained an expert in their family law matter in his capacity as a chartered business valuator. “The engagement letter provided for a valuation report setting out [the expert’s] conclusion as to the fair market value of shares in two corporations, and for an income determination report setting out his estimate of the income available to the respondent for support purposes” (paragraph 1). The Respondent in this matter brought a motion to expand the role…
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    Illinois Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Divorce and Stress: The Path to a Less Stressful Divorce

    3 May 2015 | 7:37 pm
    As part of my law practice I am fairly heavily invested in the study of psychological issues in divorce, including issues such as personality disorders and the pathology of parental alienation. Included in my approach to the psychology of divorce is the study of how to make life changes less stressful and how to manage a divorce and custody case with tools to lessen the severe stresses that a contested divorce involves. Reading an article from a prominent psychologist neuroscientist and author, the following observation was made: “The stress of divorce is … equivalent to the stress of…
  • DuPage Divorce: Grandparent Alienation

    27 Apr 2015 | 7:30 am
    I have represented, along with alienated parents, the grandparents that have been kept out of the lives of their grandchildren. For many years, Illinois did not recognize the right of grandparents to assert a petition for Grandparent Visitation. Illinois, however, currently has a Grandparent visitation statute that permits, under certain circumstances, grandparents petitioning a court for the right to have visitation with their grandchildren. Recognizing the seriousness of the issue, leading Parental Alienation expert and author Dr. Amy Baker has written on the issues concerning Grandparent…
  • Kane County Divorce: Custody Forensics

    7 Apr 2015 | 8:00 pm
    My practice is devoted, in part, to complex custody litigation. I have always believed that to practice in this area at a high level, a focus, if not a passion, for clinical issues was required in order to best serve my clients and their children's best interests. For over a decade I have been a member of the American Psychological Association, and other professional associations focused on psychology and legal issues. I was particularly pleased this year to be admitted by invitation and application to Forensic Forum. Forensic Forum is a select group of clinicians, judges and lawyers that…
  • Kane County Divorce: Approaches to Healing: the Unexpected Divorce

    4 Mar 2015 | 6:31 am
    One aspect of my practice is helping my clients manage what can be one of the biggest traumas in unexpected divorce. As a divorce and child custody attorney, I am not involved in the practice of therapy, but any experienced and dedicated lawyer in this filed understands that one has to be mindful of the traumas and difficulties our clients face in managing an unexpected divorce. Part of this caring and management involves coaching, support, caring, and, for some, a referral to a skilled clinician for therapy. Canadian therapist Justice Schanfarber just published an interesting…
  • 27 Feb 2015 | 5:19 am

    27 Feb 2015 | 5:19 am
    I reviewed an interesting article this morning on men, and how men fare in society in light of divorce and changing roles in life in a man's middle aged years. Divorce is difficult and traumatic for both men and women, but it seems some women have a resiliency that allows them to move forward in life more successfully than men, generally. The article points out that women traditionally have been better suited to forming relationships with other people, and have certain social skillsets that many men lack in middle age. Further, the majority of women in divorce are awarded the residential…
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    New York Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

  • The infant plaintiff (plaintiff) has a history of head trauma...cont

    19 May 2015 | 12:02 pm
    A Bronx County Brain Injury Lawyer argued that while Dr. EG is not a medical doctor, there is no magic to the MD degree aside from automatically qualifying by study alone. They noted that a psychologist has been found qualified to testify concerning the limitations resulting from TBI and that the diagnosis of mental disorders and the treatment of associated mental, emotional and behavioral symptoms have been held to be within the scope of practice of the professions of psychology. Following oral argument, the hearing court granted defendant's motion, ruling that while a neuropsychologist is…
  • The infant plaintiff (plaintiff) has a history of head trauma

    17 May 2015 | 10:08 am
    The infant plaintiff (plaintiff) has a history of head trauma. In the year 2000, he was struck in and above the left eye by a baseball when he was tagged while sliding headlong into first base. He apparently was not treated for this personal injury. On June 16, 2001, a portion of a bathroom ceiling fell, striking plaintiff in the head and neck. An ambulance report states that he was found, semiconscious, on the floor by his mother and complained that his neck & back hurt. He was taken to LM Medical Center's emergency room, where bruising was noted around the neck and back. A head CT scan was…
  • Administration for Children's Services (ACS)

    15 May 2015 | 10:07 am
    On June 8, 2009, a physician at XXX Medical Center reported that Respondent-mother’s (hereafter RM) seven month old child was brought to the hospital after her boy friend (hereafter BF) found the child in an abnormal sleeping position and when he repositioned the child he had an abnormal pulse. The child was brought to the hospital at 4:53 p.m. at which time he was pulse-less and all attempts to revive the child were unsuccessful; the child was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m. On June 9, 2009, Medical Examiner KN reported that the official cause of death for the child is whiplash, shaking and…
  • Defendants move for summary judgment...cont

    9 May 2015 | 1:52 pm
    The doctor noted that in 2004 the plaintiff underwent a left femoro-popliteal by-pass for severe peripheral arterial disease in his lower left extremity. The surgeon explained that the majority of these grafts fail within three to five years. After the graft by-pass, the plaintiff went to the hospital complaining of left leg pain and swelling on August 23, 2004; September 10 and 15, 2004; April 17, 2005; May 2, 2005; November 14, 2005; January 22, 2007 and May 4, 2007. The Court notes that in medical records for May 4, 2007, approximately one month before the alleged fall, the plaintiff…
  • Defendants move for summary judgment...cont

    7 May 2015 | 1:47 pm
    Shortly thereafter, CUCS found a non-elevator accessed apartment, on the second floor of a newly constructed building, located at 1615 Hobart Avenue in the Bronx. The building was owned by defendant LPI. The plaintiff viewed the apartment and subsequently executed a lease on February 24, 2007. After living in the apartment for about four months, the plaintiff alleges he fell going up the stairs in the common area of the building on June 14, 2007, at approximately 1:00 p.m. After he fell, he picked himself up and proceeded to his apartment. He felt immediate pain to his leg but the pain…
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    New Hampshire Family Law Blog

  • Guardian ad Litem Reports are Confidential

    Kysa Crusco
    18 May 2015 | 9:53 pm
    After you receive the GAL report and read it, your first instinct might be to share the document with family, friends and perhaps professionals such as therapists or teachers. It is important to hold back on this urge because the GAL report is confidential. Circuit Court Rule 2.15 states: “Written reports of the guardian ad litem shall be kept in an envelope marked confidential within the court file, and shall only be disclosed to parties or attorneys to the action.” The GAL Report is not part of the public court file that is accessible to any person with enough curiosity to…
  • Lessons from the Superbowl on Co-Parenting

    Kysa Crusco
    10 Feb 2015 | 6:48 pm
    A court will look to many factors under RSA 461-A:6 when making an initial determination of parental rights and responsibilities. Provided that each parent is capable of providing a safe, loving home, one of the most important factors that will be considered is the ability of each parent to support the relationship of the children with the other parent. Three specific factors under the statute read: "The ability and disposition of each parent to foster a positive relationship and frequent and continuing physical, written, and telephonic contact with the other parent, including…
  • Spenard: Voluntary Unemployment, Financial Affidavits and Post-Trial Evidence

    Kysa Crusco
    15 Jan 2015 | 7:24 pm
    In the Matter of Susan Spenard and David Spenard was decided on October 17, 2014 The Facts Husband and Wife married in 1998. During the marriage the Husband worked in real estate and owned several businesses and the Wife worked as an entertainer. Before the parties’ divorce decree was issued, the Husband sold a promissory note that he had failed to disclose on his financial affidavit. During the divorce trial, the Wife argued that she could no longer work at all due to medical issues. She failed to present any expert testimony to back up her claim, however, and the Court found that she…
  • Courthouse Divorce File: What's Private?

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

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

  • How To Respond To Being Served Divorce Papers

    Shawn Garrison
    28 May 2015 | 2:01 pm
    Being served with divorce papers, particularly when the request for a divorce comes as a surprise, can be one of the most overwhelming experiences a man ever faces. Filing for divorce is the first step in legally dissolving a marriage and whoever files first is at an advantage in many states. While it is normal to be confused and even frightened after being served with divorce papers, it is critical to act quickly and decisively to make sure you put yourself on the right track going into the divorce process. Here is a primer on what to look for, and how to respond, when you are served with…
  • DadsDivorce LIVE: Shared-Parenting Legislation

    Shawn Garrison
    27 May 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Nearly 20 states are currently considering passing shared-parenting legislation that would lead to more equal parenting time after divorce or separation. One of those states is Texas, where a “50/50 custody bill” is making its way through the legislature that would level the custody playing field for each parent by allowing judges to more easily grant equal time. Cordell & Cordell Texas family law attorney Kelly Burris joined DadsDivorce Live to explain the bill’s significance and how it would lead to an increase in the number of shared-parenting arrangements in the…
  • The Role Counselors And Therapists Can Play In Divorce

    Shawn Garrison
    26 May 2015 | 1:31 pm
    Divorce is probably the most emotional thing a family will ever go through. Children, even ones that are well-adjusted, often need someone to talk to besides their parents about the situation. One of the best things you can do for your kids in divorce is to find a qualified counselor to help them through the process. In fact, counselors and psychologists often play important roles during divorce for both families with children and individuals who might need counseling themselves. Put your children’s interests first Depending on the situation, you can ask a court to mandate counseling for…
  • How To Calculate Alimony

    Shawn Garrison
    23 May 2015 | 5:00 am
    Question: How can I calculate how much alimony I might have to pay after divorce? Answer: While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue. Alimony or spousal support is not necessarily required in a divorce. Generally, courts will first make a determination as to whether the spouse is eligible or entitled to alimony. This can vary from state to state. Miami divorce lawyer Christina Lapadula Once the court determines that your spouse is eligible for alimony, it will most likely look at certain factors to determine an appropriate award of…
  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News – May 22, 2015

    Shawn Garrison
    22 May 2015 | 1:55 pm
    Dads Divorce, sponsor Cordell & Cordell and sister site have teamed up to present a series of weekly recap videos to keep you informed on the latest news and top stories. This week, six Cordell & Cordell attorneys were named Pennsylvania Rising Stars by Super Lawyers, a rating service recognizing outstanding attorneys. Those attorneys included Amy Humbert, Richard Julius, Courtney Knox, Jason Lasser, Jana Palko, and Jamie Spero. Dads Divorce published a new article answering six frequently asked questions about summer parenting time. Many divorced parents fail to…
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    Alabama Divorce & Family Law Attorney Blog

  • Tips for Ex-Spouses Attending Child’s Graduation after Divorce

    Steven Eversole
    29 May 2015 | 7:46 am
    If a separated couple has children and both parents want to play a role in child’s life, it is almost impossible for exes to totally avoid interaction. Essentially, the fact a couple has a child together means the parties will all have to figure out a way to get along, and, in many cases, the parties will have to attend various events together for many years to come. In other words, you will also need to stay connected with the other parent of your child, and it is better for your child and your own emotional well-being if you are not fighting with your now ex-spouse for the rest of the…
  • Celebrity Chef Alton Brown Finalizes Divorce

    Steven Eversole
    24 May 2015 | 7:44 am
    Celebrity divorces make big news. While a normal couple’s decision to get a divorce might not be of much interest to anyone other than the couple themselves and friends and family of the couple, people love celebrity gossip. According to a recent news article from E Online, Food Network star and celebrity chef Alton Brown and his wife have just finalized their divorce. Brown is best known for his cooking instruction television shows, Good Eats and Cutthroat Kitchen, and his role as a judge on the Next Food Network Star and host of Iron Chef America. There has been a lot of speculation on…
  • Telling Your Spouse You Want a Birmingham Divorce

    Steven Eversole
    19 May 2015 | 7:41 am
    Many people consider getting a divorce for a significant amount of time before telling their spouse they no longer wish to be married. It is never an easy decision, and even if a person has fully made up his or her mind and wishes to get a divorce, it can be hard to find the best way to tell the spouse about this decision. A recent news feature from Huffington Post takes a look at this issue and discusses the best way to tell your spouse you want to get a divorce. The first thing you should do is try to prepare for what you are about to do. You should spend time thinking about your spouse’s…
  • Bobby Flay Gets Personal in Prenuptial Fighting During Divorce Hearing

    Steven Eversole
    16 May 2015 | 7:35 am
    Asking your fiancé to sign a prenuptial agreement can lead to a lot of stress and fighting, and, in some cases, even cause the couple to break up prior to their wedding day. Even if a prenuptial agreement is executed, and there is a divorce, there is often fighting involving the other spouse’s efforts to have the signed agreement invalidated on various grounds during a divorce proceeding. One of the first things to understand about prenuptial agreements is that they are generally only for people who already have a significant amount of money, and not for people hoping they will one day…
  • Actor Patrick Dempsey and Spouse List Mansion for Sale in Divorce

    Steven Eversole
    12 May 2015 | 10:42 am
    Patrick Dempsey, best known for his starring role on Gray’s Anatomy, is getting divorced from his spouse, Jillian Fink, and the couple has listed their home (dubbed the “McDreamy McMansion”) for sale and are asking for $14.5 million for the residence. While this is a far more expensive marital home than most couples can even dream of affording, it does illustrate some of the complexities in dealing with high wealth divorces in Alabama and across the United States. According to a recent news article from The Daily News, the couple has been married for 15 years. Fink is a make-up artist…
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    Domestic Diversions

  • Rebounding from hard times: how do I bounce back from adversity

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

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

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

    David C. Sarnacki
    16 Apr 2015 | 2:00 pm
    The Wall Street Journal covers the push for legislation in about 20 states to give fathers more child custody rights in divorce cases.
  • How does it feel to be you?

    David C. Sarnacki
    8 Apr 2015 | 9:39 am
    On Being highlighted Bill Murray’s answer at a 2014 Toronto International Film Festival press conference. Trent Gillis reports Bill Murray’s remarks as (excerpt): So, what’s it like to be me? You can ask yourself, “What’s it like to be me?” You know, the only way we’ll ever know what it’s like to be you is if you [...]
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    Pennsylvania Family Law


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

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

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

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

    Mark Ashton
    5 May 2015 | 9:03 am
    Lowe v. Lowe 2015 Pa. Super. 35 On September 20, 2013 a Father files a Motion (sic) to Modify a Custody Order.  A hearing is scheduled that same day in Allegheny County on November 14.  Mother is pro se.  Father is represented.  The attorney for Father advised Mother that he was filing to adjourn the November hearing and would appear on October 30 to submit that request.  Father’s counsel does not appear at the October 30 preceding but simply phones the Court to tell them he was “pulling” his motion.  The Mother sat through the list that day and informed the Court at the end that…
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    One (Divorce) Lawyer's Perspective

  • Flipping a Chef’s Prenup

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

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

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

    Michael Viola
    12 Jan 2015 | 12:33 pm
    Although I have not yet seen the movie Big Eyes, I am familiar with the premise of the movie. This movie tells the story of the relationship between Margaret Keane and her second husband, Walter Keane. Ms. Keane is known for her paintings (usually of children) with very large eyes. This “based on a true story” film, shows the rise in popularity of the paintings, how Walter took credit for the paintings, and how Margaret eventually brought a law suit to reclaim her own artwork. The purpose of this blog is not to provide a review of the movie, but rather to look at certain facts in…
  • A New Day is Dawning

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

  • Second Opinion Divorce Consultations

    Sean Stephens
    19 May 2015 | 6:42 am
    If you received a serious medical diagnosis and a recommendation for surgery, you’d likely seek a second opinion. You’d want it because a misdiagnosis with your health can have significant consequences.  If your mechanic recommends expensive car repairs, you’d likely want to to verify the recommendation with another mechanic.  To ensure your long term financial well being, you may want a second opinion from an independent financial adviser to make sure your portfolio is structured to meet your goals.  So why is it that clients are reluctant to get a second advisory…
  • Helping People During Divorce – Father and Daughter Reunited

    Sean Stephens
    30 Apr 2015 | 6:09 pm
    I have previously blogged about my passion to help people through difficult divorce and custody cases.  I previously wrote about helping to reunite a father and his children, and helping get a fair property award and my client’s legal fees paid in the process.  I just finished another satisfying case and helped reunite a father with his daughter after a year and a half of no contact. My client was entitled to substantial parenting time by court order, and the other party  unilaterally cut him off from all contact with his daughter. His mother was very involved with her granddaughter,…
  • Stephens & Margolin LLP moving to new offices located at 1000 SW Broadway building August 4, 2014!

    Stephens Margolin
    24 Jul 2014 | 11:31 am
    We’re Moving! As of August 4th, 2014, Stephens & Margolin LLP will be open for business at 1000 SW Broadway Suite 1250, Portland, OR 97204. The staff of the 1000 Broadway Building went out of the way to make us feel welcome!  
  • Parenting Class Update For Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington County, Oregon

    Sean Stephens
    23 Jul 2014 | 4:13 pm
    This post is to summarize the current parenting class requirements for Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington County courts. I previously blogged about the parenting class requirement for parents in divorce, custody, and parenting time cases. The 2008 article can be found at this link.  The rules and websites have changed, and thank you to all of the readers who let me know the old post was out of date. The current information follows: MULTNOMAH COUNTY PARENTING CLASS What’s the class called? Parents Helping Children Cope with Family Change Who must take the class? Everyone who is a…
  • Helping People During Divorce – Parenting Time Enforcement

    Sean Stephens
    23 Dec 2013 | 2:15 pm
    I love helping people through difficult court cases. Saying this at a social gathering can be a conversation stopper, but it’s true. I previously blogged about my passion to help, and about helping one particular client through a very difficult case, and having the court award him $25,000 from his ex wife for his legal bill. Many people in his situation would have given up, but he didn’t. One of the most satisfying cases I’ve worked on in the previous 19 years involved helping a father wrongfully cut out of his children’s lives regain time and his relationship with his…
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    Rochester Family Lawyer

  • Service of Divorce Summons Over Facebook

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

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

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

    8 Feb 2015 | 7:07 pm
    I have previously written about constructive emancipation issue and also addresses some of the applicable law in another post.  Generally, a child can become emancipated through his actions when the child either refuses to have contact with the parent or voluntarily abandon’s parent’s home. However, what happens when a child engages in abusive conduct directed toward the non-residential parent? In a recent decision, Cornell v. Cornell, 2015 NY Slip Op 25030 (Sup. Ct. Monroe Co. 2015), the court held that where a child’s conduct directed at the parent is abusive and…
  • Duration of Residency in New York as Prerequisite to Divorce Action

    18 Jan 2015 | 7:04 pm
    In order to have a valid divorce action in New York, certain residential requirements have to be satisfied. Domestic Relations Law §230 requires that: 1. You and your spouse were married in New York, and either of you is a resident of New York when the divorce action is started and has been a resident of New York for a continuous period of one year immediately before the commencement of the divorce action; 2. You and your spouse have resided in New York as husband and wife, and either of you is a resident of New York when the divorce action is started and has been a resident of New York for…
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    Seattle Divorce Mediation | Whole Mediation | (206) 568-5337

  • How To Successfully Parent After A Divorce

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

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

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

    Debra Synovec
    28 Jan 2015 | 12:39 pm
    Video Series Part 3 Divorce: Mediator and Attorney Team from Cimira Studios on Vimeo. A common misconception in divorce mediation is that if you’re using a mediator, you don’t need an attorney; for some couples that may be true. However, often times attorneys/legal advisers play an important and necessary role in the early stage mediated divorce process. While an attorney is the legal advocate for the client, a mediator acts as a neutral guide and facilitator for the divorcing couple. Mediators and attorneys play different but crucial roles in the divorce process. A mediator provides a…
  • Explaining Divorce Mediation

    Debra Synovec
    27 Dec 2014 | 3:54 pm
    Video Series Part 2 Divorce Mediation from Cimira Studios on Vimeo. Divorce is usually an emotional, confusing, and overwhelming time for each person involved. Mediation is a process that provides a safe and productive method for couples to get results, come up with solutions, and avoid messy, expensive courtroom situations. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “mediation” as “intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise”.  Specifically, a divorce mediator works with the divorcing couple and facilitates healthy conversation between them…
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    Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Court Refuses to Find Florida Mother in Contempt for Violating Timesharing Order

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

    20 May 2015 | 10:42 am
    Generally, in order to obtain a modification in your timesharing agreement, both parents must be placed on notice that the court's ruling may bring about a change in the current plan. In some situations, a court may alter the timesharing arrangement without notice if an emergency exists. The 3d District Court of Appeal recently overturned a Miami-Dade County trial court order because the mother did not have proper notice, and the conditions for an emergency change did not exist. After several years of marriage, Tal Bronstein and Elizabeth Bronstein divorced in 2012. The couple had one minor…
  • Dealing with Items One Spouse Sells During a Florida Divorce

    13 May 2015 | 10:44 am
    Divorce can bring out many complicated issues, particularly when it comes to money. On the one hand, a nefarious spouse may try to deplete assets before the case is finalized. On the other hand, spouses continue to have bills and financial obligations that often require dissipating marital assets to pay. Regardless of what a spouse's true motives may have been, the dissipation of marital assets should only be included in an equitable distribution of assets if the trial court specifically finds that the dissipating spouse engaged in intentional misconduct, the 4th District Court of Appeal…
  • Geographic Considerations and Imputing Income in Florida Child Support Cases

    6 May 2015 | 10:33 am
    When a parent voluntarily chooses not to work, or to take a job that is below his or her true professional ability, the law calls for the courts to ascertain what that parent's true earning capacity is in order to assess the proper amount of child support owed to that parent's children. As a recent 1st District Court of Appeal case points out, the court cannot base its ruling on just any jobs, but only those jobs for which the parent is qualified and that are located in Florida. The case involved a child support dispute between former spouses Glenn Broga and Linda Broga, who divorced in the…
  • Florida DCA Rules that Full Faith and Credit Clause Requires Trial Court to Hear Same-Sex Divorce Case

    28 Apr 2015 | 10:48 am
    In the most recent case involving same-sex couples who married in other states and seek to divorce in Florida, the 2d District Court of Appeal concluded that a southwest Florida trial court was wrong to dismiss a woman's dissolution of marriage petition. The court ruling decided that, under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Florida courts should entertain same-sex spouses' divorce petitions just as they would hear a petition for dissolution filed by a heterosexual spouse who married in another state. This case involved Danielle and Krista Brandon-Thomas, who married…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • Narcissism: Is it all about you?

    Guest Contributor Gregory Ramey, PhD, Child Psychologist and Dayton Daily News Columnist
    23 May 2015 | 1:06 am
    Rates of Narcissism Increasing With College Kids and Children I grew up during a time when my generation was encouraged to “do your own thing.” I wonder if we’ve taken that advice to the extreme. Lots of different trends support the view that we’ve become incredibly self-absorbed, with a focus on what we want rather than on a concern for others. Status, power and physical attributes seem to be of highest priority. Academic researchers have documented increasing rates of narcissism among college kids and an inflated sense of self-worth among children in general. Cosmetic surgery for…
  • Children, App Technology, and Messaging Safely

    Robert L. Mues
    17 May 2015 | 2:33 am
    How vulnerable Are Children In Today’s App Technology-Driven Internet World? New Certified Messenging Chat App For Children Provides Safe Monitoring For Parents And Encourages Responsible Social Media Development Summer is coming. These are the words that children ages 6-17 dream of hearing everyday as they’re leaving school.  Ten to fifteen years ago, summer meant baseball, bikes, and adventures outside with your friends.  The recent changes in technology have also brought about changes in interest among younger individuals in our population.  Today, summer means iPads, TV’s,…
  • Mother’s Day – Valuable Tips For New Stepparents

    Robert L. Mues
    8 May 2015 | 11:41 pm
    The Challenges of Blending Families – Important Advice For Mother’s Day Patience Is Key When Stepmothers And Grandmothers Are Raising Their Grandchildren As Their Own Says Author Kate Fogerty NOTE: I was considering writing a new article about Mother’s Day so I began by looking through the Ohio Family Law Blog archives. Some advice is timeless. This one from seven years ago is still on point. Here is a reprise of “Mother’s Day – A Very Special Day!” We wish all Mother’s and Grandmother’s a wonderful Mother’s Day filled with smiles,…
  • 3 Ways to Save a Bad Marriage

    Guest Contributor Gregory Ramey, PhD, Child Psychologist and Dayton Daily News Columnist
    2 May 2015 | 12:03 am
    You got married hoping for a soul mate, but ended up in a relationship that feels like a roommate. You know that marriages are never perfect. You expect occasional disagreements and a certain boredom that comes after a while from living together. The experts say that a good marriage partner does four things very well:  communicates, resolves problems, builds trust, and does nice things for their spouse. You rarely have those experiences with your partner. You think about divorce, but you’re scared.  You tolerate a known meaningless marriage to avoid an unknown future. Maybe this is as…
  • Prenuptial Agreement: Is it Enforcable If You Dispose of It?

    Robert L. Mues
    25 Apr 2015 | 2:01 am
    Does Tearing up Your Executed Prenuptial Agreement in Ohio Revoke or Invalidate it? Recently, a New York court held that a husband could enforce a prenuptial agreement against his wife upon divorce, even though at the time the parties had no intention of ever being bound by the agreement and he ripped up his photocopy of the agreement at the same time his wife ripped up her original.  Braha v. Braha, 2014 NY Slip Op 51532. QUESTION: The question presented here is, would the case yield the same result if it was adjudicated in Ohio? DISCUSSION: In Braha, the parties stated that they entered…
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    NJ Family Legal Blog

  • G is for Gift ( including gifts from Grandparents)

    Jennifer Weisberg Millner
    6 May 2015 | 10:24 am
    Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo “What happens to gifts that were received during our marriage” is a question that is often asked early on in a divorce case. The answer can be as varied as the type of gift, from whom it was received as well as to whom the gift was given. Under New Jersey’s equitable distribution statute, “all property, real, personal or otherwise, legally or beneficially acquired during the marriage by either party by way of gift, devise or bequest shall not be subject to equitable distribution, except that interspousal gifts shall be subject to equitable…

    Eric S. Solotoff
    23 Apr 2015 | 7:42 am
    We have all had this happen.  Letters get written back and forth to try to settle a matter and/or you just file a motion because the issue is clear based upon the law and the facts.  Or, the parties, for whatever reason, just wont resolve an issue because one or both is being unreasonable.  So you come to court to argue your motion and the judge urges you to settle again before hearing argument.  Ok, settlement on the courthouse steps is not uncommon, but often, a review of the motion papers should make it clear whether there is any prayer or a consensual resolution.  Worse yet, after…
  • F is for service- Facebook Style

    Jennifer Weisberg Millner
    7 Apr 2015 | 10:09 am
    The recent news concerning social media is all about the service of a divorce complaint via Facebook.  A New York judge recently granted permission to a woman to serve a divorce complaint via her husband’s page on the social media giant. This marks a perhaps first, but not surprising new step in the use of social media. First, the misconception- many people believe that this means that a divorce can be filed via social media.  It doesn’t.  What it means is that after the divorce complaint has been filed, it can be served online.  This method is a natural extension of what is…

    Eric S. Solotoff
    13 Mar 2015 | 10:39 am
    It is not uncommon to get in an expert report from the other side that makes you scratch your head.  Maybe it is well written  Maybe it is very interesting.  Hopefully the math is right.  Maybe it is even very persuasive.  The reason why you are scratching your head, however, is that the factual basis of the report seems to have bare no relation to the actual, provable facts of the case.  Rather, the report relies on supposition, innuendo, theory, hypothetical facts, etc.  What it doesn’t rely on, however, is the actual facts of your case. So what do we do?  We complain to the…
  • E is for Exemption: Who Gets it?

    Jennifer Weisberg Millner
    13 Mar 2015 | 10:14 am
    April 15th is bearing down on us, and as divorced and separated parents get ready to file tax returns, the question of the dependency exemptions comes up.  According to IRS rules, only one taxpayer may claim a dependency exemption for a child for a tax year. Two parents cannot split this dependency exemption. Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo Generally, the child is the qualifying child of the custodial parent.  In other words, the parent who cares for the child and has the child over 50% of the time is entitled to claim a child as a dependent on his or her tax return as a matter of right. The…
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    Texas Family Law Blog

  • Premarital Education Course

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

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

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

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

    6 Sep 2013 | 8:08 am
    Many people believe that there is a statutory “cap” or maximum amount of child support permitted under Texas law.  This belief is only partially correct.Texas has enacted statutory guidelines which apply various percentages – depending on the number of children the parent must support – but only to the first $8,550.00 of an obligor’s monthly net resources. See Tex. Fam. Code §§ 154.125 et seq. (before Sept. 1, 2013, the percentages were applied only to the first $7,500).So, for example, if you receive annual income of more than $102,600.00, your income in excess of that…
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    Lewis Kannegieter Law, Ltd. » » Blog

  • 3 Legal Documents Every Graduating Senior Needs to Ensure Parents Can Act On Their Behalf In An Emergency

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

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

    17 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    Many people desire to pass down their personal home for the benefit of their children after their death. Yet when you take a true accounting of the taxes and other costs your loved ones may face, it’s often becomes clear that your heirs stand to inherit much less than you probably hoped. That’s why many of estate planning clients in are interested to know how they can protect their assets from “death taxes” and other costs their heirs may face after their passing. One tool often suggested is a qualified personal residence trust. By using a QPRT, an individual basically places a…
  • When is the trial?

    3 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    When parties reach a negotiation impasse, I often hear one party say “Let’s just go to trial and have the Judge decide that.” Unfortunately the parties don’t often realize just how long they will be waiting. After a trial the judge has up to 90 days (3 months!) to make the decision. But first you need to get to the trial. In a divorce case, it may be several months (or over a year) before you even get there. First you need to work through the court process – attempt mediation, complete evaluations, have a pre-trial, etc. Then you need to have your trial. Each county handles their…
  • Considerations When Passing Down Real Estate in Minnesota

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

  • Surviving Safeguarding

    29 May 2015 | 2:49 pm
    Suesspicious Minds has already plugged the Surviving Safeguarding site, but I’m really very impressed with this particular post : 10 Golden Rules to survive Safeguarding and with the inspiring story of this mum in her blog Surviving Safeguarding – or there and back again. So pleased that some people find their way to the good advice and take it on board and that this lady is now helping others by passing it on.
  • Does it matter what we call it?

    25 May 2015 | 1:29 pm
    A long and rather rambly post about allegations of sexual assault and rape in the context of family proceedings – I have written it in two sittings and have struggled with it greatly, not least as a result of a horrible head cold descending and clouding my thinking. But I have decided to post it anyway, including what I suspect are some repetitive passages – because I want it off my chest, and I know that many of my readers will offer constructive views on this difficult topic, even if they are views that disagree with my own. I don’t have the answers, I am really only…
  • I were wrong

    25 May 2015 | 1:49 am
    Sadly, the Great Wheeze that was Q v Q is no more. It has been comprehensively dismantled by the Court of Appeal in K & H (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 543 as a spot of creative but impermissible judicial law-making (see Suesspicious Minds here and judgment here). Of course that is a sport that all our best judges have indulged in from time to time, and our own President is not immune from its attractions (think Re X (A Child) (Time Limit : Surrogacy) [2014]). Although it had it’s own neat internal logic : court = public body >> public body must act compatibly with art 6 (&…
  • A bit o bank holiday bloggin’

    24 May 2015 | 2:03 pm
    I’ve been remiss. I’m sorry. I have struggled lately to find time to blog. My priorities have been work and family (not that they weren’t before, but the working out of it has left rather less slack available for blogging of late) and The Transparency Project, and I have been recharging my batteries by carving out time to mess about with kids and in the garden before conking out at 8pm almost every non-school night again. Tonight however, after three consecutive 8pm bedtimes on the trot, I am still up at nigh on 10pm. And whats more, I have a shiny new purple bike with a…
  • Playing by Aussie Rules

    15 May 2015 | 5:27 am
    I blogged last week over on the Transparency Project about a lecture I attended by an Australian Judge Ian Kennedy AM, where he provided really useful materials used down under for the standardised anonymisation of judgments in family matters. I am certainly going to use these as a starting point when I next get passed the buck, and will suggest to the judiciary that they do likewise. Here are the guidelines in use in Australia : Anonymisation Guidelines.
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    Ontario Family Law Blog

  • Separation Agreements - An Investment In Yourself

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

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

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

    Brian Galbraith
    3 Feb 2015 | 8:47 am
     “We don’t agree on much, but we want to protect the kids” By Toni Nieuwhof Does this sound familiar?  Parental conflict in a family may be high whether you’re separating, living separate and apart under the same roof, or working through conflict as a married couple.  And it comes as no surprise to you that the emotional health and well-being of your children is affected by out-of-control conflict under any of the above scenarios.  Depending on the personalities of you and your spouse, and the norms of the families you grew up in, it…
  • Top Five Reasons Why You Need a Will

    Brian Galbraith
    22 Mar 2014 | 7:30 pm
    by Toni Nieuwhof “Oh yeah, I need to make that appointment.”  I hear this so frequently from successful people who generally have made sound financial choices.  Let’s face it – it’s difficult to conjure up a sense of urgency about a future event – death – one that we expect is half a lifetime or decades away.  Why do you need to have a will now? Let’s start with a fictitious case.  You have been separated from your spouse for 3 years.  Once it was clear there was no turning back, you moved on and are now in a stable…
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    Dads Divorce

  • Video: Cordell & Cordell News – May 29, 2015

    Shawn Garrison
    29 May 2015 | 1:01 pm
    Dads Divorce, sponsor Cordell & Cordell and sister site have teamed up to present a series of weekly recap videos to keep you informed on the latest news and top stories. This week, Cordell & Cordell posted a radio appearance Joe Cordell made on “Business for Breakfast.” Mr. Cordell discussed the importance of planning for divorce.  Divorce should always be treated as a nuclear option, but when an individual realizes that a divorce is unavoidable, there are steps that can be taken to put themselves at a financial advantage. Dads Divorce added a video to…
  • How To Respond To Being Served Divorce Papers

    Shawn Garrison
    28 May 2015 | 2:01 pm
    Being served with divorce papers, particularly when the request for a divorce comes as a surprise, can be one of the most overwhelming experiences a man ever faces. Filing for divorce is the first step in legally dissolving a marriage and whoever files first is at an advantage in many states. While it is normal to be confused and even frightened after being served with divorce papers, it is critical to act quickly and decisively to make sure you put yourself on the right track going into the divorce process. Here is a primer on what to look for, and how to respond, when you are served with…
  • DadsDivorce LIVE: Shared-Parenting Legislation

    Shawn Garrison
    27 May 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Nearly 20 states are currently considering passing shared-parenting legislation that would lead to more equal parenting time after divorce or separation. One of those states is Texas, where a “50/50 custody bill” is making its way through the legislature that would level the custody playing field for each parent by allowing judges to more easily grant equal time. Cordell & Cordell Texas family law attorney Kelly Burris joined DadsDivorce Live to explain the bill’s significance and how it would lead to an increase in the number of shared-parenting arrangements in the…
  • The Role Counselors And Therapists Can Play In Divorce

    Shawn Garrison
    26 May 2015 | 1:31 pm
    Divorce is probably the most emotional thing a family will ever go through. Children, even ones that are well-adjusted, often need someone to talk to besides their parents about the situation. One of the best things you can do for your kids in divorce is to find a qualified counselor to help them through the process. In fact, counselors and psychologists often play important roles during divorce for both families with children and individuals who might need counseling themselves. Put your children’s interests first Depending on the situation, you can ask a court to mandate counseling for…
  • How To Calculate Alimony

    Shawn Garrison
    23 May 2015 | 5:00 am
    Question: How can I calculate how much alimony I might have to pay after divorce? Answer: While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue. Alimony or spousal support is not necessarily required in a divorce. Generally, courts will first make a determination as to whether the spouse is eligible or entitled to alimony. This can vary from state to state. Miami divorce lawyer Christina Lapadula Once the court determines that your spouse is eligible for alimony, it will most likely look at certain factors to determine an appropriate award of…
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    Marilyn Stowe Blog

  • Cardinal condemns gay marriage vote

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    29 May 2015 | 10:28 am
    A prominent Catholic cardinal has condemned the Irish referendum in favour of gay marriage, describing the result as “just incredible”. Cardinal Raymond Burke is patron of religious organisation the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a prominent canon lawyer and noted conservative. In an address to the Catholic Newman Society at Oxford University earlier this week, the 66 year-old prelate said last week’s vote had had placed the nation at loggerheads with divine law by redefining marriage. He declared: “I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have…
  • A week in family law: ending adoption delay and more by John Bolch

    John Bolch
    29 May 2015 | 8:22 am
    Not a lot of family law news, but then it has been a short week… An appeal by the Lord Chancellor against an order that Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) pay the cost of an advocate cross-examining a child on behalf of an unrepresented father has been allowed by the Court of Appeal, which held that the court had no power to order HMCTS to provide the funding. However, the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson suggested a change in the law should be considered to make public funding available to appoint a lawyer where cross-examination is required in certain cases. Hopefully,…
  • Court dismissed mother’s contact appeal

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    29 May 2015 | 5:41 am
    The mother of a three year-old girl has failed in a bid to prevent her father from seeing his child. A (A Child) concerned a couple who had been married since 2009. Their daughter, ‘R’, was born in January 2012 and the couple moved into a new home shortly afterwards. But their relationship had begun to deteriorate and on the Christmas Day 2013, a row erupted during which the father threw books at the mother. She left home, taking their daughter with her. The couple were reconciled for a few weeks in January, during which time the husband accepted a police caution for assaulting the…
  • Foster carers of Turkish siblings made special guardians

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    29 May 2015 | 4:10 am
    The foster parents of two siblings have been made their permanent carers despite the objections of the children’s Turkish father. His Honour Judge Duggan granted Blackpool Borough Council’s request for such an order after ruling that it would not be in the children’s best interests to live with their father. The children’s mother was a woman from Blackpool who met the father over the internet in 2007. Family life was divided between England and Turkey, although as the father could not permanently move to England, their son and daughter stayed primarily with the mother. The local…
  • Parents fail to win care of their son

    Stowe Family Law Web Team
    28 May 2015 | 11:00 pm
    The Family Court has denied a couple’s application for the return of their two year-old son. The boy, identified in the judgment as ‘AB’, was taken into foster care by the local authority immediately following his discharge from hospital when he was born. This action was taken because the parents had “not been able to demonstrate an ability to care for any” of their previous three children. Concerns about the couple’s ability to care for their children had been raised by the local authority because there were “risks relating to domestic violence, lack of supervision and failure…
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    Michael C. Craven | Divorce Lawyers Chicago

  • A Better Divorce Is Possible When Chicago Divorce Lawyers Use Mediation

    Michael C Craven
    20 May 2015 | 7:00 am
    Dissolving a marriage takes time; it is a process that may be equal to the time and effort it took to build the relationship once upon a time. Couples often find themselves in drawn out battles in the courtroom, costing each party a hefty total. Emotionally, the courtroom can become a source of distress and heartache for the divorcing parties. Rather than see the case through in a courtroom, many divorcing couples and their divorce lawyers in Chicago find success with mediation. Mediation As An Alternative To Court Mediation is an alternative process to litigation and a trial. Instead, the…
  • Does Your Religion Recognize Divorce?

    Michael C Craven
    5 May 2015 | 5:30 am
    The United States constitution mandates that there be separation between church and state. In the U.S., a divorce is considered a civil, non-religious matter and once a judge signs the final divorce papers, a couple is considered divorced. However, divorce documents may not be sufficient in the eyes of certain religions. Even if you do not consider yourself to be particularly religious, it is important to know and understand the difference between a religious and civil divorce. This blog post will highlight how the Catholic and Jewish religions view divorce. Judaism In Judaism, a man and…
  • Understanding Fault and No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

    Michael C Craven
    21 Apr 2015 | 5:15 am
    As a divorce attorney, I am frequently asked what requirements are needed in order to file for a divorce. Specifically, I am asked if one spouse must be guilty or have done something wrong before a divorce can be requested. Although these answers vary from state to state, in Illinois there must be grounds for a divorce. There are two types of grounds in Illinois, fault grounds and no-fault grounds. No-fault grounds are more commonly known as irreconcilable differences. In the case of irreconcilable differences, either spouse may file for divorce, regardless of who was at fault for the…
  • Utilizing Chicago Divorce Attorneys To Develop A Solid (Yet Flexible) Co-Parenting Plan

    Michael C Craven
    7 Apr 2015 | 7:09 am
    As a Chicago divorce attorney, I have seen firsthand how difficult dissolving a marriage can prove for my clients. A common challenge when working through the divorce process is agreeing on an effective co-parenting plan for your children. Divorcing with children brings a whole set of parameters to work through. Even if you and your spouse are on amicable terms, consulting with Chicago divorce attorneys can offer a comprehensive range of benefits as you strive to effectively construct a solid co-parenting plan. Your Chicago divorce attorney can help you understand your rights as a parent, yet…
  • Who Should Pay For College Tuition After Divorce in Illinois?

    Michael C Craven
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:34 am
    Who Should Pay for College Tuition After Divorce? Sending your child off to college is inevitably filled with many emotions for both you and your child – excitement, anxiety, and, for many, overwhelming feelings about paying for tuition. Regardless of your marital status, the ever-increasing price of college tuition can make paying for your children’s education a daunting task. I know the stress first-hand as the father of two children presently in college. In my role as both the father of college-aged children and as a divorce lawyer in Chicago, I am often asked who should pay for…
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    Scaling the Summit: Divorce, Families, & Options

  • 3 Prenup Drafting Tips from the Appeals Court: Pisano v. Pisano

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

    26 May 2015 | 8:16 am
    Guest Post by Beth Aarons, a Mediator and Collaboratively trained attorney who is of counsel to Skylark Law & Mediation, PC and who also has her own practice in Newtonville.  Beth is available for consultation on adoptions, like the one discussed below:In a recent slip opinion Adoption of a Minor, SJC-11797, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) determined that a known sperm donor of a child born to a married same-sex couple is not a legal parent of the child who would be entitled to notice of the child’s adoption.J.S. and V.K., two women legally married to each other,…
  • The KISS Principle and Vine: Explaining our Work in 6 Seconds

    21 May 2015 | 7:00 am
    In yesterday's post we talked about the KISS principle and the value of simple explanations.  In keeping with this theme, below are four Vine videos that explain how we encourage people to resolve conflict outside of court.  Vine is a video app that has a 6 second limit, so we have to keep it simple:Family Conflict Resolution explained in 6 seconds: Court Resolution explained in 6 seconds: Mediation explained in 6 seconds: Collaborative Law explained in 6 seconds: If you want to keep up with other videos we post on vine in the future follow us here.
  • Settling Conflict with the KISS Principle in 5 Simple Steps

    20 May 2015 | 7:00 am
    There is a design principle in engineering that was made popular by the U.S. Navy in the sixties called "Keep It Simple, Stupid" or KISS for short.  The KISS principle is about valuing simplicity in design in order to make things less likely to break and easier to fix when they do break.  As a fan of this principle, I was very impressed with Rackham Karlsson's recent blog post: Collaborative Divorce in the Simplest Terms Possible in which he does just that, explains Collaborative Divorce as simply as possible.Rackham's post has inspired me to try and explain the work…
  • Alimony: You get what you Need!

    12 May 2015 | 6:44 am
    In Reed v. Reed, a recent unpublished (Rule 1:28) decision, the Appeals Court provided a summary of the current definition of need in Massachusetts.  Alimony is defined in the Alimony Reform Act as "the payment of support from a spouse, who has the ability to pay, to a spouse in need of support for a reasonable length of time, under a court order."  This means that need is one of the three main components of alimony and when it comes to calculating alimony:Need "is not based on the minimum life necessities of the spouse, but rather is measured by 'the amount necessary to…
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    Lawdiva's Blog

  • No Justice for Murdered Surrey Hockey Mom

    Georgialee Lang
    27 May 2015 | 10:45 pm
    If you ask a resident of British Columbia what the murder capital of Canada is they may well tell you it’s Surrey. But they’d be wrong. The latest statistics tell us that it is Regina, Saskatchewan, followed by Toronto, Ontario. However, that is cold comfort for victims of violent crimes across Canada, and in particular the family of Julie Paskall, the 53-year old Surrey mother who was attacked while waiting in the Newton arena parking lot to pick up her 16-year old son who was refereeing a hockey game. Her son left the arena expecting to see his mom waiting for him as she…
  • Mr. No-Pay: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

    Georgialee Lang
    24 May 2015 | 7:03 pm
    Family law lawyers now have access to information that can transform a case from an up-hill battle to a slam-dunk, and it’s all thanks to the internet. Case in point: I have a client whose ex-husband, a venture capitalist, stopped paying his child support about one year ago. Exhibiting the patience of a saint, my client bided her time, hopeful her ex would reinstate his payments and make up the arrears. Didn’t happen. She then contacted my office and the legal process began. Her ex was obliged to provide the usual financial documents including income tax returns and corporate…
  • Disbarred and Disgraced Lawyer Strikes Again

    Georgialee Lang
    22 May 2015 | 4:56 pm
    Former lawyer Janice L. Jessup, who practiced on Long Island New York has a dreadful discipline history which led to her resignation and disbarment in 2010. Rather than slinking away into oblivion she is again in the news for stealing $1.2 million dollars from an elderly, mentally and physically challenged client. In 2008 she faced 13 charges of professional misconduct involving making false statements of fact and law; engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; representing a client without adequate preparation; conduct adversely reflecting on her fitness as…
  • Ex-Lawyer on Trial for Throwing His 2nd Wife Off a Cruise Ship and Putting a Hit on Wife #3

    Georgialee Lang
    20 May 2015 | 8:13 pm
    Lonnie Loren Kocontes, age 55, formerly a lawyer in California, and later in Florida, is approaching his day of reckoning for his unfathomable deviant behaviour. He lured his second ex-wife, Micki Kanesaki, to join him on a Mediterranean cruise in 2006, where he strangled her and threw her body overboard. He reported her missing and then quickly hopped a flight back to California to reunite with his newest wife. Ms. Kanesaki was a paralegal who had worked with Mr. Kocontes. They married in 1995 and divorced in 2001 but remained on good terms and continued living together on and off until the…
  • Looking for a Lawyer? Buyer Beware

    Georgialee Lang
    19 May 2015 | 9:35 am
    The practice of law is both a profession and a business. Many lawyers rely on their winning track record and high ethics to gain a reputation that engenders word-of-mouth referrals. Other attorneys buttress their status in the profession with advertising, but Yellow Page ads, popular for so many years, have gone the way of the dodo bird. Today’s lawyers utilize television, radio, and the internet to entice potential clients. Many of these ads fall into the cruelly boring “conservative, balding, male lawyer standing in front of a bookcase” category. While others are innovative, even…
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    Law Office of Steven L. Fritsch

  • Child Custody for Unwed Couples

    Steve Fritsch
    18 May 2015 | 10:40 am
    Children are born in all sorts of circumstances. Sometimes the couple is married, but in many cases they are not. The couple might be unmarried, but still be “together” during the early years of the child’s life and then break up leaving the question as to how much time the child will spend with each parent. Sometimes, a child is born, and initially the father has little or no involvement, and the mother, by default has primary custody. In these types of cases, fathers need to work with a child custody lawyer in order to help define their place in the child’s life. In…
  • Register or Dissolve California Domestic Partnerships

    Steve Fritsch
    12 May 2015 | 1:48 am
    In California, domestic partners enjoy nearly all the rights held by married spouses under state law (federal law does not recognize domestic partnerships). Because California does not recognize common law marriage, partners wishing to obtain the protections of marriage who are unable or unwilling to marry must register with the Domestic Partners Registry. Register a California Domestic Partnership Domestic partnerships are only available under specific circumstances. Opposite-sex couples can only enter into a domestic partnership if at least one person is over the age of 62. Same-sex couples…
  • What is a Divorce Mediation Agreement?

    Steve Fritsch
    11 May 2015 | 11:23 am
    A divorce mediation agreement allows spouses to resolve their divorce without having to go to court. Instead of each spouse having their attorney present their positions to a judge to decide, they negotiate a settlement with the help of a trained, neutral mediator. Mediation has three key benefits: Reducing the time it takes to finalize the divorce Reducing legal costs Reducing the bad feelings often created during contested divorce hearings What Is Resolved in Mediation? The goal of divorce mediation is to resolve every issue in the divorce so that a finalized divorce agreement can be…
  • Legal Separation and Divorce: The Differences

    Steve Fritsch
    11 Dec 2014 | 3:05 am
    Legal separation and divorce both create a world where a couple lives apart. In both, either the husband or the wife initiates a court proceeding. The couple’s assets are divided, child custody is settled and one spouse may be required to pay alimony or child support to the other.   But a couple that is legally separated remains married, while a divorce formally ends the marriage.   What is a Legal Separation?   When one spouse moves out of the family home, the couple may consider themselves separated. They may even work out a separation agreement that divides up their…
  • Uncontested Divorce in California

    Steve Fritsch
    10 Dec 2014 | 3:02 am
    Divorce in California does not always have to involve long trails of paperwork and countless court dates. If a divorce is uncontested, parties can in many cases fill out a simple group of documents, wait six months and get a divorce judgment handed to them by the court. But before anyone assumes that the process takes care of itself and can be casually completed, the State of California has certain restrictions and guidelines. These safeguards help to guarantee that only parties that have truly reached agreement on all important matters can get an uncontested divorce in California. So even if…
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    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, P.L.L.C. » Blog

  • Perils of Using Social Media to Discuss Your Car Accident

    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
    11 May 2015 | 7:49 am
    Many people do not think twice about voicing their opinions, sharing their thoughts, and updating friends on their day-to-day activities via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The problem is that posting your personal information on the various social media sites could create problems for you as well, particularly in injury cases. Information you post is accessible by everyone, and possibly those that shouldn’t. This is the case when social media platforms are used to provide details about a car accident or injury claim. Posting pictures of your accident, discussing your claim online, and…
  • Winter Holiday Period Raises Probability of Drunk Driving Car Accidents

    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
    17 Dec 2014 | 11:41 pm
    With the holiday season upon us, it is a good time to remember that the winter holidays can be a dangerous time on the road as the potential for drunk driving car accidents increases. Summer holidays (Independence Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day) are actually more dangerous in terms of fatal accidents overall, the National Safety Council says, but alcohol plays a bigger factor in winter holidays. The four-day Thanksgiving holiday period sees the most overall fatal car crashes, with an average of 416 each year, but New Year’s has the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired traffic deaths, at…
  • What’s the leading type of distracted driving in Arizona? Hint: It’s not texting

    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
    16 Dec 2014 | 8:36 am
    You might be surprised to learn that texting-while-driving is not the primary cause of thousands of car accidents in Arizona involving distracted driving, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. In fact, texting while driving is halfway down the “other” factors list in a DPS news release concerning more than 19,000 traffic stops and 2,400 collisions from January through mid-September 2014 blamed on distracted driving. The DPS says the biggest driver distractions leading to collisions were:  Distractions outside of the vehicle (393 crashes) Reaching for objects (238) Cell…
  • The Estate Planning Docs YOU Need for YOUR Aging Parents

    Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
    8 Nov 2014 | 7:19 am
    As our parents age, legitimate concerns will arise as to whether they have an estate plan, including all the right documents, and whether everything is in order. Do not assume your parents have already taken these steps; many people die “intestate” – without a will. Essentially, should your parent pass away without a will, the state will be responsible for distributing the estate, which can be a long and complex process – and potentially a costly one for the surviving family. An Individual Estate Plan: Asset Preservation and Estate Distribution No cookie-cutter estate plan will be…
  • Why It Is Important To Get Answers To Your Divorce And Support Questions

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

  • What is a traumatic brain injury?

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    29 May 2015 | 4:42 am
    Many people may have heard of traumatic brain injury and wondered what it is. They may also wonder what traumatic brain injuries have to do with car accidents. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have been labeled a serious public health problem by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Traumatic brain injuries can occur when the head of the victim suffers a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Because a traumatic brain injury can be an open or closed injury, sometimes TBIs are not immediately detected and may go unnoticed. TBIs can lead to…
  • Can a property owner be liable for inadequate security?

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    22 May 2015 | 4:49 am
    Many people seem to have a basic understanding of the fact that a property owner can be held liable for damages or injuries suffered by someone else if an accident occurs on the owner's property. However, many people do not understand the full potential extent of premises liability. In reality, premises liability refers to much more than simple slip-and-fall accidents or other accidents that occur due to dangerous property conditions or poor maintenance of the property. When a crime occurs on a property owner's premises and someone is injured or harmed by the crime, the property owner can…
  • Number of alcohol-related crashes tends to rise in summer

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    15 May 2015 | 9:20 am
    During the long, difficult winter, many Virginians are eager to enjoy the summer months. They look forward to grilling food outdoors and having parties on back patios. Alcohol will be a big part of these parties and, unfortunately, many people will drive away from these parties when they are too intoxicated to make good driving decisions. Statistics compiled by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles show that the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents tends to rise in the summer months. The figures from 2013 show a total of 253 fatalities and 5,288 injuries in alcohol-related crashes.
  • Ford recalls over half a million vehicles due to car door defect

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    8 May 2015 | 5:34 am
    Consumers are protected by products liability laws when harmed by a defective or dangerous product. Automaker Ford recently increased the number of vehicles it is recalling for door latch problems by an additional 156,000 vehicles, bringing the total number of vehicles recalled for the defect to 545,906. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided the directive for Ford to add the most recent number of vehicles to the recall. The defect involves a broken pawl spring tab that prevents the car door from properly latching. Because of the defect, the car door can open while the…
  • Understanding products liability for dangerous children's toys

    Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC
    1 May 2015 | 6:11 am
    Consumers buy a wide variety of products every day, and new products continue to be developed and manufactured. Not all products are safe, however, and many do not function as intended. Other products may have a proper design but, due to problems in the manufacturing process, end up defective and dangerous. Among the common products that cause injury to consumers each year are dangerous children's toys. Products liability is an important legal concept that protects consumers from suffering financial harm, on top of the already suffered physical harm, from their use of a defective or dangerous…
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    Children and the Law Blog

  • Federal Government Investigates Dallas Truancy Courts

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

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

    Lauren Fisher
    2 May 2015 | 12:18 pm
    For young children in high stress home environments, the effects can be long-term and dramatic.  A new study at the University of Washington found causal evidence that the stress response system suffered extreme, persistent effects based on early caregiving environment.  The study offers new insight to prior, non-human studies of impact on brain development. An article in UW Today  explained: “The research is part of the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, launched in 2000 to study the effects of institutionalization on brain and behavior development among some of the…
  • It’s Gotta Happen… Just Not. In. My. Back. Yard.

    Esther Kim
    27 Apr 2015 | 5:52 am
    In a recent effort to keep juvenile delinquents out of secured detention facilities, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services stared a program called Close to Home, placing juvenile delinquents who do not pose risks to the public in group homes within the community. While this is a positive move toward reforming the country’s treatment of juveniles, South Ozone Park in Queens, New York, feels they’ve been targeted by the government to be a “dumping ground” for shelters and group homes: In the first phase of the initiative, begun in 2012, the…
  • Texas Senate Passes Bill to Decriminalize Truancy

    Esther Kim
    21 Apr 2015 | 8:04 am
    Very recently, the Texas Senate voted and passed a bill to decriminalize truancy, which is currently treated as a Class C misdemeanor, resulting in a criminal record.  Texas is one of 2 states who prosecute children for tardies and unexcused absences in adult court. While this new bill will encourage pre-court truancy prevention measures, it fails to completely remove the option to file criminal charges.  However, leaving the option to file may be the only way to get this bill on its way.  Public school districts are still in support of truancy prosecution, as they believe it is the only…
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  • So Your Child Is Interested In Motorcycles?

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

    Biker Law
    19 May 2015 | 10:49 am
    When you think motorcycle safety gear, a helmet is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But, in reality, protective gear involves so much more! In light of our All The Gear, All The Time (ATGATT) campaign, we’ve compiled a list of must-haves for every motorcyclist wanting to stay safe on the road. Helmets Did you know there are actually two requirements to legally ride without a helmet in Florida? You must be older than 21 and you must have an insurance policy that exceeds $10,000 in medical benefits. We know, we know. There is nothing better than the wind in your hair, the wind…
  • Michael Brehne in Supra Fast Supra Furious 2

    Christine Hetzel
    11 May 2015 | 6:32 am
    Michael Brehne, Esq. of 911 Biker Law was recently asked to be in a short film filmed locally in Central Florida. Check out the short film! The post Michael Brehne in Supra Fast Supra Furious 2 appeared first on .
  • Harley Softail Saddlebags – offer style and function

    Christine Hetzel
    16 Apr 2015 | 1:15 pm
    The Harley Softail is without a doubt one of Harley’s most famous and popular shaped bike. The slightly lower back-end is highly recognizable discreetly dominating the road underneath it while the powerful engine roars like the king of the jungle. In your mind you imagine a convoy of riders taking off into the sunset. This is the dream that Harley created that ignites a bright spark in the hearts of fans who desire to own one. It is only suitable that one of the most desired motorbikes on the road come with the best accessories available. Harley Softail bags are some of the quality…
  • 19th Annual Leesburg Bikefest 2015

    16 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    The 19th Annual Leesburg Bikefest April 24th-26th Attention all bikers, the annual Leesburg Bikefest is upon us! For those who’ve attended Bikefest before, you know it’s a great time. For first-timers, prepare yourself for 3 days of unforgettable action. For those on the fence about going, ask yourself, “What’s better than motorcycles, live music, hot body contests and tattoo expos, all in one place?” I’ll tell you the answer: NOTHING. So mark your calendars, get off work and call the babysitter. This is one weekend you don’t want to miss. The Annual Leesburg Bikefest is the…
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    Family Law Express Brief

  • The Hidden Costs of a Divorce

    Katherine Patricia Finch
    19 May 2015 | 3:04 am
    When a marriage just simply isn’t working any longer, sometimes the best solution is divorce. If you are considering taking this step, it is very important to look at the financial implications this will have on you and your partner/family. With so many marriages ending in divorce these days, almost everyone has heard horror stories of disastrous divorces leaving people with not only enormous stress and broken hearts, but also empty wallets! But how much does a divorce actually cost? The answer is entirely dependant on each couple’s case. However, no matter how complex the divorce may be,…
  • How can we more accurately capture the reality of a family dynamic?

    Valerie Cortes
    13 Feb 2015 | 10:23 pm
      This is one response from the Expert Interview Series: Dr. Travis Gee. Refer to the table of contents for the whole series of questions posed to Psychologist Dr Travis Gee, on the topic of Family Reports and the Psychology Industry in Family Law. 9. How do you think a Family Report is beneficial in assessing the best interest of a child? Should this process be changed? If so, how would you change such process? To quote a recent chapter in a large handbook of articles on evaluations, the best-interests principle is “An indeterminate standard incapable of being operationalized.”…
  • Implications to Pre-Nuptial Agreements – the Pole Dancer Case: Wallace v Stelzer

    Prajesh Shrestha
    11 Dec 2014 | 6:32 am
    In January 2011, the Family Court decision of Wallace v Stelzer 1 brought much needed certainty to the, often convoluted, area of pre-nupital agreements also known as Binding Financial Agreements or ‘BFA’. Wallace, also known as the ‘Pole Dancing Case’, held that the 2010 amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 concerning pre-nup arrangements were valid, thus, settling a vexed issue of law. In Wallace, the applicant husband met the respondent wife at a Sydney club where the latter worked as a pole dancer. They were in a de facto relationship for seven years and eventually married in…
  • How do family reports gain insights into a family dynamic given the short time available?

    Valerie Cortes
    6 Dec 2014 | 1:11 pm
    This is one response from the Expert Interview Series: Dr. Travis Gee. Refer to the table of contents for the whole series of questions posed to Psychologist Dr Travis Gee, on the topic of Family Reports and the Psychology Industry in Family Law. 8. As a psychologist, what are the apt methodologies of completing a family report and not obstructing the development of justice for all parties involve? As mentioned above, wherever mental health issues are raised, properly-conducted psychometric assessments early in the piece are important, because of possible contamination where ‘clinical…
  • Everything you need to know about Family Trusts: Part 2 – Avoiding Pitfalls

    Dinesh Munasinha
    7 Nov 2014 | 9:17 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…
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    The Sampair Group | Legal Blog

  • Out Of State Child Visitation Concerns

    Sampair Legal Blog
    29 May 2015 | 1:06 am
    When a couple divorces it is not uncommon for one of the parents to move out of state. This can create problems with visitation, especially if the distance between families is great. These circumstances can also make it hard for the kids to maintain a regular visitation schedule with the out of state parent, which may lead to a breakdown in the parent/child relationship. In order to avoid that harmful result, it is critical to account for the possibility of a parent moving to another state when the divorce is finalized. You can do this in your decree, and should also be aware of the dangers…
  • The Evolution Of Divorce

    Sampair Legal Blog
    28 May 2015 | 1:03 am
    Differences in religious beliefs and ethnic backgrounds can impact the way a person views divorce. For example, some religions frown on divorce and so some couples seek an annulment rather than a dissolution of their marriage. There are also differences in the way divorce cases take place today than just a few short years ago. Initially a divorce was granted by finding fault with one of the parties’ actions. Essentially, in the past a divorce was only granted if one party could show that they were wronged in some way by their spouse. Today though the process is a no fault process in nearly…
  • Do I Need A Prenuptial Agreement?

    Sampair Legal Blog
    27 May 2015 | 1:02 am
    Every significant transaction should be reduced to writing. When you make an agreement with another person or entity, the typical way to memorialize that agreement is by having both parties sign a contract. The contract will set forth the rights and obligations of each party, and is looked to for answers when a dispute arises. In family law matters, a common contract is a prenuptial agreement. The days of these types of agreements being only for the very wealthy are long gone, and a prenuptial agreement can actually be written for most marriages. Some research even shows a prenuptial…
  • Can I Ask For Changes After The Divorce Decree Is Filed?

    Sampair Legal Blog
    26 May 2015 | 1:01 am
    When you file for divorce you do so by filing a document referred to as a Petition. The Petition sets forth your requests in the case, and your spouse will be required to file an Answer to the things you are seeking. Somewhere between the Petition and the final Decree of Dissolution dissolving your marriage, you will appear in Court and have the Judge make a final decision as to all the issues in the case. Some cases get to this point faster than others, while some require additional work by way of interviews, depositions, and asset discovery. Regardless of how you get to the end of your case…
  • How To Choose A Child Custody Arrangement That Works For You

    Sampair Legal Blog
    25 May 2015 | 1:00 am
    Determining that divorce is the best answer to resolving your marriage issues is only the first of many hard decisions. Throughout the process there will be many issues that require resolution, and some will be more difficult than others. A divorce decides such things as property distribution, spousal support, who pays which debts, where the kids will live, how much visitation the non-custodial parent gets, and how much child support is paid. Hands down the most complex and contested issues have to do with money and kids. Figuring out a child custody arrangement that works for you takes time…
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  • An update on the Dallas Buyers Club dispute.

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

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

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

    Candice Lau
    27 Apr 2015 | 7:30 pm
    One thing that people can have difficulty with understanding is that in a Family Law property settlement between a couple, most of the assets are clearly defined: house, cars, personal property, shares etc. But there is another asset which does need to be taken into consideration, and that is superannuation. There are a number of superannuation schemes that have different characteristics. For example, many public servants have what is called a defined benefit, so that when they reach a certain age they will receive either a pension or a lump sum which is preordained. Many other people have…
  • Understanding Copyright law

    22 Apr 2015 | 3:46 pm
    What is Copyright? Copyright is the exclusive right of owners to protect certain creative works from being copied by others without the owners’ permission. What types of work does copyright apply to? Copyright applies to artistic and creative works such as music, sound recording, text (for example, in books, reports and webpages), films, television commercials, radio programs, podcasts and computer programs. When does copyright apply? In Australia, copyright protection exists automatically from the moment content is created in a tangible form. This means the content has to be either written…
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