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Equitable Distribution of Property
Posted on 30 Dec 2008 by Tida Wasch

In common law property states, property following a marriage is divided by the equitable distribution method. Contrary to widespread belief, “equitable” does not mean equal. Instead, “equitable” means a division of assets according... Read More

Annulment v. Divorce
Posted on 8 May 2009 by Tida Wasch

You may be amazed by the number of potential clients who meet with you to request to have their marriage annulled. Many people believe that their marriage can be annulled because it has not lasted for very long. Others need an annulment rather than a... Read More

Who Gets the Marital Home?
Posted on 8 May 2009 by Tida Wasch

Deciding who will receive the marital home is one of the most difficult issues in a divorce. Generally, the parties’ home is the most valuable asset of the marriage. It is also often the center of family life, especially if there are young children... Read More

Tax Issues Related to Child Custody Agreements
Posted on 24 Oct 2008 by Tida Wasch

When you prepare a child custody agreement for your client, the party entitled to claim the child is often a highly contested issue. After you have worked so hard to obtain the dependency exemption for your client, you need to be absolutely certain that... Read More

Dividing Property in the Divorce Context
Posted on 12 Jun 2008 by AME3bg

While laws differ in each state with regard to dividing property in the context of a divorce, two primary methods exist: community property division and equitable distribution. Community Property Division In community property states, each spouse... Read More

Drafting Property Settlement Agreements
Posted on 12 Jun 2008 by AME3bg

If parties to a divorce are able to agree on how to divide their assets, a formal property settlement agreement or separation agreement should be prepared. Detailed lists of who gets what should be included in this agreement. Usually, attorneys use form... Read More

Paternity and the Uniform Parentage Act of 2002
Posted on 10 Dec 2008 by Tida Wasch

Whether you are approached by the mother or the putative father, you will likely deal with quite a few paternity issues in your family law practice. A paternity determination may be requested by the mother, the putative father, the child, or a court.... Read More

Property Distribution in a Community Property State
Posted on 27 May 2009 by Tida Wasch

If you live in one of the nine community property states, property is not necessarily distributed equitably in a divorce action. Instead, marital property must be characterized as either community or separate prior to any distribution. Asset Characterization... Read More

Parental Alienation Syndrome
Posted on 5 Jun 2008 by AME3bg

Custody clients often voice concerns about the other parent’s making derogatory remarks about the client to adversely influence the opinion of the parties’ child. When do mere derogatory remarks turn into a harmful psychological phenomenon... Read More

Glossary of Child Support Terms
Posted on 5 Jun 2008 by AME3bg

This Glossary of Common Child Support Terms is intended to provide a listing of acronyms and definitions of terms used by child support workers to facilitate communication and understanding with regard to child support. Read More

Issue Spotting for Domestic Partners
Posted on 20 Jun 2008 by AME3bg

Committed but unmarried couples should consider making the following legal documents part of their portfolio: Powers Of Attorney A durable power of attorney and a living will (sometimes called a "durable power of attorney for health care"... Read More

Tax Relief for the Injured or Innocent Spouse
Posted on 17 Feb 2009 by Tida Wasch

If your client and the other spouse file a joint tax return while the divorce is pending in order to obtain more favorable tax treatment, it is important to understand that generally both parties are jointly and severally liable for any mistakes or omissions... Read More

Who Pays for College after a Divorce?
Posted on 12 Jan 2009 by Tida Wasch

When parents divorce, there are many financial, as well as emotional, issues to consider. When a household is split in two, whether both parents work or not, there is a direct impact on their finances. There are now two households, including more than... Read More

Drafting Separation and Related Marital Agreements
Posted on 5 Jun 2008 by AME3bg

Approaches to drafting agreements will differ, depending upon the type of agreement being drafted. 1. Determine what information you will need to put into the agreement. (a) In the case of a Marital Settlement Agreement, you will need the terms... Read More

Stepparent Adoptions
Posted on 8 May 2009 by Tida Wasch

If you spend any time at all practicing family law, you will likely find that assisting clients with adoptions is one of the most rewarding aspects of your practice. The process is pretty simple overall, and the clients are generally very positive and... Read More

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  • Blog Post: Family Law Overview

    Family law embraces the branch of civil law that includes the legal relationships among family members, including husbands, wives, parents, children, and domestic partners. A family law attorney or a family law lawyer specializes in the family law relationships that encompass adoption, child custody...
  • Blog Post: Drafting Separation and Related Marital Agreements

    Approaches to drafting agreements will differ, depending upon the type of agreement being drafted. 1. Determine what information you will need to put into the agreement. (a) In the case of a Marital Settlement Agreement, you will need the terms of the property division, terms for child custody...
  • Blog Post: Divorce Models

    When we consult with our clients, we discuss at length the advantages and disadvantages of the traditional model (litigation), mediation, and collaboration, and strategize to reach the best decisions according to the unique circumstances of each particular matter. MEDIATION Usually considered...
  • Blog Post: When Is a Child Emancipated?

    Most Property Settlement Agreements entered into between divorcing parties deal with the issue of emancipation of a child, which is the cut off date for a parent’s child support obligation. Intertwined with this issue is college or secondary education and each parent’s responsibility toward...
  • Blog Post: Parental Alienation Syndrome

    Custody clients often voice concerns about the other parent’s making derogatory remarks about the client to adversely influence the opinion of the parties’ child. When do mere derogatory remarks turn into a harmful psychological phenomenon that psychologists have labeled the "parental...
  • Blog Post: Glossary of Child Support Terms

    This Glossary of Common Child Support Terms is intended to provide a listing of acronyms and definitions of terms used by child support workers to facilitate communication and understanding with regard to child support.
  • Blog Post: Dividing Property in the Divorce Context

    While laws differ in each state with regard to dividing property in the context of a divorce, two primary methods exist: community property division and equitable distribution. Community Property Division In community property states, each spouse is entitled to one-half of all the property acquired...
  • Blog Post: Drafting Property Settlement Agreements

    If parties to a divorce are able to agree on how to divide their assets, a formal property settlement agreement or separation agreement should be prepared. Detailed lists of who gets what should be included in this agreement. Usually, attorneys use form agreements, such as those found in Lindey on Separation...
  • Blog Post: Recapture of Excess Front-Loaded Alimony Payments

    Under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 71, recapture requirements apply if excess alimony payments are front-loaded into the first three post-separation years. Their purpose is to discourage divorcing spouses from improperly characterizing property settlement payments as alimony. In this context, "recapture"...
  • Blog Post: Issue Spotting for Domestic Partners

    Committed but unmarried couples should consider making the following legal documents part of their portfolio: Powers Of Attorney A durable power of attorney and a living will (sometimes called a "durable power of attorney for health care") will give partners the right to handle the...
  • Blog Post: Tax Issues Related to Child Custody Agreements

    When you prepare a child custody agreement for your client, the party entitled to claim the child is often a highly contested issue. After you have worked so hard to obtain the dependency exemption for your client, you need to be absolutely certain that you draft the agreement to avoid any unfavorable...
  • Blog Post: The Initial Divorce Interview -- What Do I Do?

    Every time you meet a potential new client for the first time, it feels like a job interview. Both you and the client are sizing each other up to determine if you want to work together. Therefore, it is very important to make a good first impression. It is also essential to be yourself while showing...
  • Blog Post: The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

    Prior to adoption of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), there was a great deal of confusion and unfairness in the issuance and enforcement of child and spousal support orders. Sometimes, a noncustodial parent would end up paying support under orders from two or more states at the same...
  • Blog Post: Tax Consequences of Spousal Support

    Whether you represent the payor or the payee in a divorce or legal separation that includes spousal support, it is important to be aware of the potential tax consequences. The IRS has very clear and detailed guidelines on what constitutes alimony for tax purposes. Properly designated alimony payments...
  • Blog Post: Paternity and the Uniform Parentage Act of 2002

    Whether you are approached by the mother or the putative father, you will likely deal with quite a few paternity issues in your family law practice. A paternity determination may be requested by the mother, the putative father, the child, or a court. Also, the state may bring a paternity action when...
  • Blog Post: Court-Appointed Guardian ad Litem

    If you are just starting out in the family law area, you may want to consider getting on your local court-appointed guardian ad litem lists. As a guardian ad litem, you will protect the interests of your ward, who may be a minor or a mentally incompetent or elderly person. What does a guardian ad...
  • Blog Post: Divorce and Financial Matters

    Besides knowing the law and empathizing with your client’s emotional state, a family law practitioner must have a pretty solid foundation in how to prepare a household budget and when and if bankruptcy should be considered. Why? Because, next to custody disputes, the division of debts and the client’s...
  • Blog Post: Equitable Distribution of Property

    In common law property states, property following a marriage is divided by the equitable distribution method. Contrary to widespread belief, “equitable” does not mean equal. Instead, “equitable” means a division of assets according to what the court deems fair under the unique...
  • Blog Post: Who Pays for College after a Divorce?

    When parents divorce, there are many financial, as well as emotional, issues to consider. When a household is split in two, whether both parents work or not, there is a direct impact on their finances. There are now two households, including more than one mortgage and/or rent payment, double utilities...
  • Blog Post: Tax Credits Related to Children

    In addition to the tax exemption for minor children, there are several tax credits to consider when negotiating a divorce settlement for your client. Some credits are tied to which parent is entitled to the tax exemption, and some are not. Therefore, it is important to know the requirements for all exemptions...
  • Blog Post: Classification of Gifts, Inheritance, and Life Insurance in the Context of Divorce

    When your client provides you with a list of all assets and debts of the marriage, be sure to have gifts, inheritance, and life insurance policies listed separately from other items obtained during the marriage. Some states have specific rules for the distribution of these types of assets, while others...
  • Blog Post: Division of Business and Professional Interests

    It is becoming more common for divorcing parties to own or have an interest in a small business, such as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a closely held corporation. But how does the court divide these types of assets? Characterization of the Property In general, business assets follow...
  • Blog Post: Tax Relief for the Injured or Innocent Spouse

    If your client and the other spouse file a joint tax return while the divorce is pending in order to obtain more favorable tax treatment, it is important to understand that generally both parties are jointly and severally liable for any mistakes or omissions on the return. If you or your client discovers...
  • Blog Post: Grandparents’ Custody Rights

    Traditionally, grandparents have had no rights to custody, or even visitation, of their grandchildren. Within the last several years, however, grandparents have been gaining rights in this area. In fact, most states allow visitation, and several now allow custody, in certain situations. Custody ...
  • Blog Post: Annulment v. Divorce

    You may be amazed by the number of potential clients who meet with you to request to have their marriage annulled. Many people believe that their marriage can be annulled because it has not lasted for very long. Others need an annulment rather than a divorce for religious reasons. In any case, it is...