Children Divorce Law Family Law

Divorce and the Holidays

(United States law) The holidays can be a joyous and loving time for millions of people across the world. Unfortunately, with nearly 50 percent of all marriages ending in divorce, the holidays can also be a painful and even depressing time. If you and your former spouse have children together, your relationship doesn’t end once you sign the divorce papers. This is especially the case during the holiday season.

Depending on the nature of your divorce, this can be a very emotional and heated time between you and your former spouse. However, no matter how much you and your former spouse may argue and fight, it is important to put emotions aside and think of your children’s well being before your own.

This is by no means an easy task. Fortunately, there are a few helpful tips for divorced parents during the holidays. If you and your spouse are recently divorced or have been divorced for years, consider the following as you approach the holiday season and the New Year:

  • Do not prevent your child from seeing or having fun with his or her other parent
  • Spell out holiday custody arrangements in your custody agreement so you have your arrangement in writing
  • Work on letting go of your anger toward your former spouse
  • Try to keep as many traditions as possible following the divorce. Too much change right away can be difficult for your children to handle.
  • Do not treat the holidays as a competition with your former spouse. That doesn’t instill good habits with your children.
  • Know the details of where your child will be during the holidays and coordinate with your former spouse
  • Work on establishing traditions with your children so they have something to look forward to and remember for years to come
  • If you can, celebrate the holidays with your former spouse. If you two can stand to be together for just a few hours it can be very beneficial for your children.

Sharing custody of your children can be difficult, but with a little help and planning, you can get through the holiday season with as little stress and drama as possible.

Carlos is an avid legal blogger who is interested in raising awareness for the ways a divorce lawyer can help individuals come to fair terms with their former spouses.

Child Custody Children Divorce Law Family Law

Indiana’s Parenting Time “Nightmare Before Christmas”

It’s that time of year again. People run all over town to do their Christmas shopping, to decorate their homes, and attend holiday parties to spread cheer among their friends and themselves. However, this is also the worst time of year for lawyers, parents, and most importantly, children, because of what is known around our office as “Indiana’s Parenting Time ‘Nightmare before Christmas.’ ”

Child Custody Children Family Law

How to Prepare for a Custody Trial

(US family law procedure and generally) When a relationship ends, whether it is a marriage or two people living together, the emotional and financial toll it takes on the parties can be overwhelming. The impact of a break up is multiplied when the couple is embroiled in a dispute over custody of their children.

People fail to realize that a judge hearing a child custody case does not know either of the parties or the circumstances that brought them to court. A judge’s decision in a case is based only on the evidence presented by each side in the dispute; therefore, it is essential that you be prepared to provide your lawyer with the information, witnesses and documents she needs to prove that you are entitled to have custody of your children.

Do Not Involve the Children

If the children are living with you, do not bring them to court unless your attorney or the judge instructs you to do so. A child custody case is a dispute between the parents that affects the children. The children should not be made parties to the dispute.

Parents who speak negatively to their children about the other parent in an effort to win the children to their side are only hurting themselves. Judges hearing a custody case will usually speak to the children privately at some point in the proceedings. One reason for the interview is to determine if either of the parents has attempted influence the children.

Maintain a Diary

Your lawyer needs an accurate account of the facts and circumstances in the relationship both you and your partner had with the children. You should prepare a diary for your lawyer of current and prior incidents that have a bearing on the question of custody or the relationships you and your spouse have with the children.

Each diary entry should begin with the date, location and names of people who were present. After this preliminary information, there should be a brief, factual description of what occurred including statements that were made. Keep the description as accurate as possible and limit it to occurrences having to do with the issue of custody.


Witnesses who have information that bears upon your relationship with your child are more important than testimony from your high school classmate saying you were a wonderful person when she last saw you 15 years ago. The following are examples of useful witnesses in a custody case:

• Counselors who have treated you or your child
• Your child’s teachers
• Guidance counselors at your child’s school
• Friends and neighbors who have witnessed your interaction with your child
• Doctors and other health care workers

Documents and Other Evidence

Documents such as letters and photographs that are related to the issue of custody should be gathered and shown to your attorney. Keep in mind that not every piece of evidence can or should be used be used in court, so do not get upset if your attorney decides not to use something you believe the judge should see or hear. For instance, you may have a tape recording of a conversation you secretly recorded between your spouse and the children that your attorney refuses to use in court. Your attorney will probably advise you that such secret recordings are illegal in most states.

Listen to Your Lawyer

A family law attorney knows the custody laws in your state and the rules for the admissibility of evidence in child custody cases. Following your attorney’s instructions and advice is the best way to achieve a successful result.

Karen White knows how stressful custody trials can be. Seeking help from a Dallas family lawyer can bring good results to your divorce and custody trial cases.


Recent Ruling on Circumcision – A Violation of Individual Liberties or Protection for Children?

At the end of June, a judge in Cologne, Germany ruled that male circumcision is illegal. Not only is it illegal, but motivation behind the circumcision is of no value in this area of Germany. The judge made this ruling based on his conviction that the religious practices and beliefs of parents who do circumcise should not trump a baby or a child’s right to have bodily integrity. This ruling was handed down after a four year old Muslim child in Cologne was brought to the emergency room with severe bleeding only two days after being circumcised. The judge felt it was his responsibility to protect young boys and babies who cannot protect themselves from such an act. However, this ruling does not apply to medically indicated circumcisions.

Circumcision: A Deeply Religious Practice

Circumcision is in many religions, such as the Jewish and Muslim religions, a required and sacred act. Understandably so, this court ruling has Jews and Muslims in Germany in an uproar. One Jewish leader even went so far as to compare this ruling to the start of the Holocaust where religious freedom was completely ignored. Jewish leaders say they will continue to practice their religious beliefs, including that of circumcision. Jewish menare traditionally circumcised as babies at eight days old. Eight days is what God instructed of them in the Bible, and it has been found that at eight days of age a newborn has an intrinsic ability to clot their blood. Muslim boys are traditionally circumcised between the ages of four and twelve.

Is the Cologne Jude Right or Wrong?

Is this judge really protecting the bodily integrity of young boys in Germany, or has he crossed the line and encroached on the religious freedoms of many? One could agree with the judge and argue that when these young men reach a certain age they can make a religious decision for themselves as to whether or not to be circumcised. However, as parents we do have the right to make many decisions, religious or not, for our children until they are of a certain age.

Adding to the Heavily Debated Circumcision Topic

Circumcision has always been a widely debated global topic, and the ruling of this judge only adds fuel to the fire. Parents of boys have likely been a part of this debate in one way or another, no matter where they live. There are valid and scientific facts on each side of the debate. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have stated there are medical benefits to circumcision such as lessening the likelihood of bladder infections, penile cancer and sexually transmitted diseases later in life. However, there are arguments on the other side questioning parental and religious rights to do this to children, as well as the risk of infection, emotional trauma, infringement on the child’s freedom of religion, and possible decreased sexual enjoyment later in life. One point that cannot be refuted is that this is a very emotionally charged and debated issue.

Cologne Judge’s Ruling Puts a Halt on most German Circumcisions

It is important to note that this ruling on circumcision only applies to the Cologne area of Germany. However, it has doctors and hospitals all throughout the German countryplacing a temporary ban on the practice of circumcision. Many health professionals are afraid of what this ruling means for the entire country, and therefore are not performing circumcisions until the dust settles and the ruling is either successfully appealed, or at the very least made more clear.

Will a German Circumcision Ban lead to an American Circumcision Ban?

With German doctors wondering what this means for the rest of the country outside of the area of Cologne, perhaps we should be wondering what this means for the United States and the rest of the world. Is it possible that such a ruling could eventually be handed down somewhere, or even all over, the United States? After all, many German or European trends, policies and ideas in law, medicine and government have made their way to the United States over time.

This article was written on behalf of Kramer Law Firm.

Children Claims Domestic Violence Family Law

Woman Charged with Abuse for Locking Daughter in Closet

Jacole Prince of Kansas City, Missouri has been charged with abusing her 10-year-old daughter after the girl was found locked in a closet that smelled of urine.

Prince, 29, is facing assault, endangerment and child abuse charges. All of the charges are felonies.

Anonymous Caller Reported Abuse

An anonymous caller contacted the child abuse hotline claiming that three children lived at Prince’s home, but one was confined in a closet. The agency notified the police.

In response to the anonymous call, police officers met social workers from the Missouri Children’s Division outside of Prince’s apartment. When they arrived at the home, neighbors told them that Prince had left the home with two girls.

When a social worker told the neighbors that three girls lived at the home, the neighbors insisted that only two children lived with Prince. Prince told them she only had two daughters. Neighbors claimed that they had lived near Prince for several years but had never seen a third child.

When questioned by police, the neighbors insisted that the other two daughters were always clean and seemed well-cared for.

Officers Discover Girl Locked in Closet

When officers entered the apartment, they discovered a crib set up against a closet door in a bedroom. The closet door was tied closed. When an officer asked if anyone was in there, they heard the girl respond, “Yes.” The officers opened the door to the closet and discovered the girl standing inside. The closet reeked of urine.

The girl was taken to a local hospital. The hospital staff reported that the girl weighed only six pounds more than she did at her last hospital visit six years earlier. When questioned by investigators, the girl explained that she had no room of her own and that she was forced to remain in the closet most of the time. She claimed that she often went without food for days. She also did not have access to a restroom and had to relieve herself in the closet.

The girl told officers that she wasn’t allowed out of the house because she “messes herself.” She claims that Prince gets mad and punches her on the back when she pees on herself.

According to reports, the girl was suffering from several skin injuries and failure to thrive. At 32 pounds, the girl weighs just over one-third of the weight of a typical 10-year-old child. It is unclear how long the girl had been confined to the closet.

Authorities say that the anonymous phone call to the child abuse hotline likely saved the child’s life.

Children Placed in Protective Custody

Prince was arrested on Friday, June 22. The other two children were placed in protective custody.

Prince acknowledged that she did not let the girl leave the house. She claims that she was embarrassed by the girl’s appearance and feared she would be in trouble if anyone saw her condition.

Prince’s boyfriend has not been charged. He has denied knowing that the girl had been locked in the closet. He is not the biological father of the victim. Police are attempting to locate the victim’s biological father.

Prince was arraigned on Monday, June 25. She entered a plea of not guilty.


This article was written on behalf of Stokes Injury Lawyers, a group of Atlanta wrongful death attorneys who will fight for you and your family.



Child Support Children Divorce Law Domestic Violence Family Law

How To Evaluate Your Family Lawyer

If you are in need of some legal assistance for a divorce, child custody or even an adoption issue, you will need to retain the help of a family lawyers. To ensure that you are making the right decision and are choosing a lawyer who will be able to help you out of whatever sticky situation you have found yourself in, you will need to put them through an evaluation process that should give you all the answers you need.

Step 1: Begin by asking around for referrals. If you know anyone who has gone through a legal battle similar to the one you are about to embark on, ask who they used to represent them. Lawyers that receive several recommendations are generally a good bet.

Step 2: Arrange a meeting with each family lawyer that you are interested in hiring. Make sure that, when you arrive at the meeting, you have prepared a list of questions that you wish to ask. These questions should surround their experience, how many cases they’re working on at the moment, which courts they generally practice at, and so on.

Step 3: If you are satisfied with your initial meeting, you should call your state bar association to enquire as to whether there have been any complaints filed against the lawyer. The bar association should also be able to tell you whether the lawyer has been sanctioned.

Many people also like to use the initial meeting with their family lawyers to evaluate their personality and demeanor. Whilst this is not an imperative part of your decision regarding legal representation, it can give you a good idea of what kind of person you are dealing with. Remember that a good relationship increases your chances of a more favourable outcome.


Launch of The Care Inquiry in the UK

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) has announced that it is taking part in The Care Inquiry, which it describes as a timely and important opportunity to consider how the care system is working for children in care (and for those on the edge of care). It is a chance to think together about recent trends, current challenges and opportunities and future strategy.

The Inquiry has a vital focus on the achievement of stability and a positive sense of identity and belonging for children in care and for those raised by family members as an alternative to care. It has the potential to make a significant contribution to our collective understanding of these issues, to build on recent, welcome reforms and to inform future policy development.

BAAF believes that every child has a right to loving and secure family relationships and that secure attachments to carers are essential to children’s mental health and psychological development. It believes that every effort should be made to enable children to live in their own birth families and kinship network, providing that this is consistent with the child’s welfare.

BAAF believes that where it is not in the best interests of children to live within their family of origin, an alternative family should be found which can provide continuous care, stability and life-long commitment. And it believes that children have a right to have their needs understood, assessed and reviewed so that where it is necessary for them to live away from home, their placements can be planned and their needs met.

Further reading:-

Children Divorce Law

Children should come first in divorce

The overwhelming majority of Britons believe that putting children’s interests first or avoiding conflict are the most important factors when going through divorce, according to a new survey from Resolution, the national family law association.

Four out of five (78%) say that putting children’s interests first would be their most or second most important consideration in a divorce, while 53% would prioritise making the divorce as conflict-free as possible.

Despite this, over four-fifths of people (81%) believe that children end up being the main casualties of divorce, and 40% believe that divorces can never be without conflict – a figure that rises to nearly half (47%) of those who are currently divorced themselves. Nearly half (45%) think that most divorces involve a visit to court, despite the increasing availability of non-court alternatives,

In stark contrast to some of the high-profile divorce cases in recent years, financial factors are not seen as particularly important, with only 1% saying that being financially better off than their partner would be the most important consideration should they divorce.

Children Family Law

How The Health Care Law Frees Your Young Adult Children From Bad Jobs

(US law) The Employment Scene for Younger Workers

Unemployment is a major problem for younger Americans. The unemployment rate has risen by nearly 5 percent over the last ten years for those in the 20-24 age bracket. There have also been increases for other age brackets in the wake of the Great Recession, but the youngest workers are suffering to a larger degree than those workers of other ages. The unemployment rate for 2011 was over 14 percent for those aged 20-24 years.

Many people who are not included in the unemployment numbers are actually still in what would be considered the underemployed category. This includes those people who are employed below their level of education or experience as well as those who are working less than a full-time schedule. If the number of underemployed were added to the unemployed numbers for those who are under 25, the number would be even more disconcerting.


Why Do Younger Adults Often Stay in Bad Jobs?

Some of the major employers in the fast food and retail sectors that provide jobs for the underemployed young adults of America provide some benefits for their employees. These are frequently not ideal jobs that allow younger adults to take advantage of their educations or talents, nor do they provide the income that is necessary to achieve the independence desired by these young people and their parents. Many of these employees stay in what some would consider to be dead-end jobs, and their parents’ houses, because of the benefits. One of the most important benefits that a job can provide is health insurance.

There are a few reasons why workers might want to keep the insurance a job provides, in spite of the employment itself providing little in the way of advancement or the cultivation of useful experience. Some of these individuals have medical conditions that they would not be able to manage without employer-sponsored insurance. Insurance for those with preexisting conditions is frequently unavailable, or, if it is available, it is cost-prohibitive. The self-employed also have to pay more than those who are in group plans. A gap in insurance coverage could lead to costly medical bills, and insurance companies would not be required to pay for any illnesses developed during the gap. Those who are self-employed are forced to pay higher premiums for the same coverage. All of these facts can discourage young adults from taking any employment risks, and keep them in unfruitful occupations.


How Can the New Health Care Law Help Young Workers?

The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, promises to alleviate some of these concerns. Younger workers will see some benefits after the new program is implemented that could help their economic and employment options greatly.

Younger workers can now stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26. Some complain that this encourages increased dependence. This would not necessarily be the case. Those who could not afford a break in coverage previously can now have insurance while taking a job in their field that may not offer benefits. These workers could then get beneficial experience in their profession that would have otherwise been spent in a non-related service industry.

More employers are likely to provide insurance. With the tax penalties that will result if insurance is not offered, young workers are more likely to have insurance while working for employers that can advance their careers. They will not be pigeonholed into keeping jobs that do not reflect their interest or expertise merely because they need the benefits.

One final benefit that Obamacare provides that will help free young workers from bad jobs is the end of restrictions based upon preexisting medical conditions. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit will be more likely to strike out on their own and start their own business or try to invent the next big thing because the fear of being uninsurable will be gone. All of society could benefit from this provision. While there are many people who complain about some of the provisions of the bill, younger workers could benefit more than most.

Child Custody Children Family Law

The Legal Implications of Child Custody During Divorce

(US law and generally) No doubt, the greatest victims of divorce are the children. The impact of a custody decision on a child’s mental and physical health is enormous. Disturbances in the parent / child relationship cause depression, anxiety, antisocial behavior, and may impair the child’s ability to form healthy relationships as an adult. Notable studies (Brook, Zheng, Whiteman, & Brook, 2001) have unequivocally linked angry parenting practices with the expression of anger and aggression in very young children.

There is a persistent and harmful misconception that joint custody predictably provides better long-term outcomes for children of divorce. It is well documented through years of scientific research that actual custodial arrangements are secondary to other issues. Instead, the greatest factors influencing child adjustment are the levels of parental conflict and the quality of parenting that the child receives.

Complex Child Custody Laws Require Effective Legal Assistance

Although child custody laws vary from state to state, most integrate a similar list of statutory factors that assist judges in performing a comparative fitness analysis. While consideration of these factors is mandatory, judges are given great leeway in decision-making. With this in mind, it becomes imperative to realize that bitter parents who litigate child custody often get distracted hurling accusations against each other.

This scenario provides very little useful information to the presiding judge, who needs to know which parent is the best suited for custodial status. While it is certainly necessary to point out negative factors and justifiable reasons for limiting visitation or decision-making authority, it is also crucial to give the judge positive information he or she can use.

Delays in the case are damaging for children and should be avoided. The American Bar Association advises judges and attorneys that, “When litigation proceeds at what attorneys and judges regard as a normal pace, children often perceive the proceedings as extending for vast and infinite periods. The passage of time is magnified for children in both anxiety levels and direct effect.”

Gender Bias

With the abolishment of the Tender Years Doctrine, a new presumption that favors gender neutrality is indicated in most state statues. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that perceived gender bias still exists in our family court system. Sometimes this bias is against the mother, especially if she works full time or becomes labeled an over protective parent. Fathers may experience the same frustration when the child is young and he has had limited involvement in day-to-day care.

Divorce and child custody issues cause a tremendous amount of financial and emotional stress, igniting volatile battles between the sexes outside the courtroom too. Political action groups advocate for the constitutional rights of both mothers and fathers, frequently ignoring the fact that the law requires the child’s best interests to be paramount to that of either parent.

Implications for the Future

Divorce and child custody issues are vulnerable to trends that favor public opinion. The law today is substantially different than it was twenty years ago. The way that law is practiced is also changing. The hardball litigation tactics used by older generations are being gradually replaced with a preference for negotiating child custody cases when possible.

In fact, only a minority of cases proceed to trial. These will typically involve complicated issues such as domestic abuse, child neglect or a personality-disorder parent. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges publishes a bench guide for assessing safety in these situations and offers recommendations for developing a plan that works.


Was Your Child Attacked by the Neighbor’s Dog? (Guest post)

(US law and generally0 Dogs have always been referred to as “man’s best friend”, and this saying usually holds true. Unfortunately, they are still animals and at times may attack a person. A dog bite can be a very serious injury, and sadly, the majority of these attacks happen to children. Any parent whose child is attacked by a dog needs to take action immediately. Most dog attacks are not fatal, but it is still imperative to handle the situation correctly. Once a parent knows their child is safe, they should take steps to make sure the dog’s owner is held liable for the damage their dog caused.

Take Care of the Child

The utmost important thing for a parent to do after a dog attacks their child is get immediate medical help. Even if the dog bite doesn’t seem that serious, there is a great chance of infection and possibly even rabies. The dog should also be reported to law enforcement and animal control services. In South Carolina, a dog that bites a person is required to be quarantined for ten days at a veterinary clinic. During these days, the dog will be monitored for rabies. This will give everyone an idea of whether or not a child needs to be given a rabies vaccination.

Collect Information

Any time a child is bitten by a dog the parent should do their best to gather as much information as possible. The first thing to find out is where the dog lives and who its owner is. It is strongly recommend that pictures be taken of the injury as well as any torn clothing. This will be very important if the necessity arises to get reimbursement for medical bills from the owner. A dog owner can sometimes even be held criminally liable if serious injury occurs, so these pictures may also help law enforcement. A parent should also get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident.

Contact a Lawyer

Contacting a lawyer is very important, even if a child’s injuries are not life-threatening. South Carolina attorneys Howell & Christmas point out that the state has a strict liability stance on owners whose dogs bite other people. This means that if a person is in a public area or lawfully on private property and is attacked by a dog, the dog’s owner is liable for the injuries, even if it occurred in their own yard. This does not apply if someone is bitten due to breaking the law or provoking a dog. It is also important to remember that a child can suffer future serious psychological issues related to dogs due to this attack. If a parent waits until these issues become apparent, they may not be able to sue for any counseling bills their child may require. This is because the statute of limitations on these cases is only three years. Contacting a professional attorney quickly will ensure a parent can cover their child’s medical bills, any lost income due to having to care for their child’s injuries, and any future medical bills that may arise from the attack.

Any owner whose dog attacks a person is liable for that attack in most states. Even if a child’s injuries are minimal, a parent should still contact an attorney. No parent should have to pay a doctor bill that was caused by another person’s negligence. Taking action against a careless dog owner is also usually the only way that the owner will start taking their dog owner responsibility more seriously. In the end, having a competent attorney will ensure that a person doesn’t have to pay for injuries caused by another person’s disregard, and handling the issue correctly may ensure that other children don’t become victims of that particular dog.

Katie Hewatt is a legal researcher and contributing author for the legal team of Howell & Christmas. This group of personal injury lawyers also specialize in dog bite cases. They take each case seriously, no matter how severe the injury is, and will help you receive the compensation you deserve for pain, medical bills, emotional stress, and scarring.

Child Custody Children Divorce Law

Divorce and Drinking in CA: Will a DUI Affect My Custody Rights?

When parents are going through a divorce that involves a battle for the custody of children, there are considerations when DUI charges are pending or were present in the past. California courts are concerned with the safety, well-being and proper care of the children. Having physical custody of a child involves many responsibilities. Ultimately, the goal of the court system is to place children in a home that offers optimum parenting skills.

If you are trying to obtain legal custody and not physical custody, a DUI may still be a serious consideration. Decisions about a child’s health, education and many other details of their daily life may be better handled by the parent that shows responsibility through their own actions.

What Else May a DUI Charge Imply?

Our Walnut Creek DUI lawyer in California suggests that the court will want to know your background as a parent. If you have a current DUI charge, is it because you are a partier? If so, will parenting take a backseat to the lure of your social life? Was the child present in the car when you were stopped for the violation? Even if you had just dropped off your child or were just arriving to pick up her up, that is a serious situation and concern for the court when making custody decisions.

Current DUI Charge

The wisest decision you can make when faced with a DUI charge while a custody hearing is in progress, is to get an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with DUI cases. If you live in Northern California, contacting an attorney local to the area is essential to helping you achieve a favorable outcome. In fact, if this DUI is your first offense, a California court may allow a plea bargain that will reduce the charge so that no DUI will be entered on the records.

While the DUI charge may enter into the decision about custody, facing the charge and making an effort to resolve the issue will also have an impact, and hopefully, a positive one. Calling an attorney as early as possible after a DUI arrest is important because he or she can counsel you in many ways if they are involved in the case from the beginning. You could even choose a lawyer who is experienced in both DUI and child custody issues.

Past DUI Charges

Some other things to think about if you have past DUI charges on you record are: How did you handle those? Did you have more than one? Was it determined that you had a drinking problem? If so, did you complete a program to conquer the addiction and did that result in no additional DUI charges? A continuing history of DUIs is extremely detrimental to a custody hearing.

Another issue that may have adverse effects on your child custody case is if the DUI charge was coupled with other charges. Did the DUI involve an accident? Were any criminal charges filed? Were people hurt or was property damaged? All of these factors will be considered in your ability to care for your children.

Finding the Best DUI Attorney

As a parent facing a custody battle and a DUI issue, you will undoubtedly need the best attorney you can afford. Sharing custody of your children, at least part of the time, is a big incentive to get an attorney on your side as soon as the DUI charge is filed. A qualified legal team will be instrumental in helping you by offering the best possible options and alternatives in your specific situation. Knowing all your options and what actions you need to take is vital to the success of both your DUI charge and your custody hearing.

Karla M. Somers has worked as a child advocate and family mediator for divorce in New York. She is a contributing writer for the Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson, a dedicated Walnut Creek DUI lawyer team who is passionate about DUI defense and parental rights cases. They can answer your questions and help you put legal matters behind you.


Benefits of Hiring a Child Support Lawyer

(US family law and general legal info) Child support laws are in place to ensure that adequate financial aid is given to the children from their parents, who are not staying with their children. Usually, child support is associated with divorce or separation, wherein both the parents are not raising their child together. Thus, a financial aid is generally paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to meet the financial requirements for care and support to the child. Child support amount can include expenses such as food, clothing, medical care, health insurance, education, housing, and other special needs of the child.

A child support lawyer is a specialist lawyer, who has studied family laws and gained legal experience in handling cases related to divorce and child support. If you are facing a separation or divorce case with children, you may need help of an experienced family lawyer.

Benefits of Hiring a Child Support Lawyer
Representing your divorce case may or may not be simple. If the decision is not mutual, it is likely to be emotionally distressing. You may not be able to represent your divorce case on your own. Thus, appointing a lawyer for the same is a wise option. One more reason to appoint an attorney to handle your divorce and child support case is that the divorce laws are complicated, and those related to child support are complex too. In addition to being complex, child support laws are different in every state of the United States.

A lawyer experienced in child support cases can be abreast with all the updates and has expertise in calculating the child support amounts. In case, there is any difference in the calculated figure and the amount announced by the court, your lawyer can protest the same. Your lawyer can also educate about other factors involved in child support such as how to make the payments, whether or not the child support can be recalculated, and when does the child support will stop etc.

Responsibilities and Duties
Job as a child support lawyer entails performing various tasks right from evaluating your case, advising you, conducting counsellings with you and your spouse for possible ways to handle the case.

Child support cases are filed with Department of Child Support Services. A lawyer has to oversee all the cases related to child support with the department. He has to be involved in advising department staff. He advices parents related to legal issues, and who are involved in support actions and paternity.

He prepares for the pleadings, hearings, motions and conducts discovery required for the case trail, and other legal proceedings. Creates and maintains accurate case records. He is also involved in negotiating settlements with your spouse.

A child support lawyer similar to other types of lawyers, focuses on one arena of the legal system representing child support. Such cases are associated with divorce and separation cases. These lawyers obtain a Juris Doctorate degree and should be active member of the state bar association. A child support lawyer will explain to you your rights related to visitation and the extent to which you can be held liable for child support, depending upon your monthly income and other relative factors.

This Guest post is written by Lords Screw. He is a writer for

Child Custody Children Divorce Law Family Law

Parents Access Rights ‘Enshrined’ in Law

One of the reasons that divorce law is so complex is that very often the rules are a matter of fine interpretation. Deciding what is the best case for a child as young as two or three can come down to a few difficult paragraphs of wording or just a better argued case.

Sometimes, however, the law is perfectly clear cut and in an attempt to simplify divorce legislation, the government has recently put through an amendment which will ‘enshrine’ the rights of both parents to have access to a child. In essence, what was once a complex and subtle issue is to be made explicit and the law will serve the rights of both parents in most circumstances. So do these changes make sense? Has the government made the right move?

Protecting Fathers
Though at all times family law experts attempts to set out the proper, just way of dealing with an issue, this amendment will undoubtedly benefit fathers seeking access rights. In just under 10% of divorce cases children reside ‘mainly’ with their father and this legislation seeks to correct this bias.

Of course, this should not overrule what is in the child’s immediate interest if, say, a father or mother is violent or unfit for the role, but it does give genuinely willing fathers a leg-up.

Admin over Justice
Plenty of family law solicitors have expressed their discontent with the changes and they claim that the new legislation is simply not required – in calculating the interests of the child, courts already take into account the benefits of having influence from both parents.

When parents are given rights to access, disputes start arising over whether the right to access should be equal or properly apportioned. Undoubtedly, this will put a good deal of extra strain on courts for what will be more or less the same end result.

The Paramountcy Principle

After all is said and done, what realistically and legally matters is the interest of the child – this is the paramountcy principle. Though there are many cases in which both mothers and fathers fall unfortunately the wrong side of the legislation, family law experts do understand and appreciate the benefit of enabling joint access wherever possible. Though these changes might redress the balance between those living with dad and those living with mum, the statistics really aren’t the point – what matters is the child’s well-being and at the moment, judges do all they can to ensure fair access to children.

Though we’ll have to wait and see what the real effects of these changes will be, it’s likely that they will be pretty unpopular throughout the justice system and, as happened in Australia, we might well see a reversal of the law in the future.

Clough and Willis Solicitors have a dedicated team of family law specialists who are headed by a Resolution accredited specialist who can advise on divorce settlements and agreements. We can also advise on the appropriateness of referring the dispute to a mediator and deal with negotiation of child arrangements on your behalf. If required, we represent both parents and grandparents within Court proceedings.


Family Law Update Puts Emphasis on Children’s Best Interests

A new bill of law has been announced in the Queen’s Speech at the state opening of Parliament regarding children and families. The bill will see plans implemented in order to allow parental leave to now be shared between a child’s parents, make the process for adopting international families easier and also provide a greater number of choices for children with special educational needs. Finally, it will improve the access given to children by their fathers in the wake of a divorce. Ministers are now planning to introduce more flexibility following an independent report being published in May 2011, recommending that the right to request such flexibility be extended to people with parental responsibilities to children below the age of 16. Changes to the law surrounding adoption will now prevent local authorities from delaying the process in order to find a perfect match if a suitable one is currently available. Compensation will be available to families who suffer as a result of the new procedures not being followed.

Ethnicity of the child’s prospective adopters and a child will now take second place in the majority of cases in order to speed up the process of finding a child a permanent family. Furthermore, the government plans an introduction of a number of further recommendations which are contained in a final report of the Family Justice Review published at the end of last year. These include adjustments such as a limit of six months by which care cases must be completed, making it explicit that case management decisions can only be made after the interests of the child have been taken into full consideration. It’s hope that this will focus courts on issues which are essential to deciding whether or not to implement care, and get rid of any unnecessary procedures in family court proceedings by removing the requirement for interim care and supervision orders.

To further bolster the positive improvements being made in legislation, the government will also introduce changes to ensure that a child maintains a relationship with both parents following a family separation, but only in circumstances where it is both safe and in the best interests of the child. Professionals working in the legal field have met the adjustments in law with varying opinions. Some state that the proposals do not to work in the best interests of the parents, while others say that the law could’ve taken the best interests of the child even further. Further reading on the children & families feature in the Queen’s Speech 2012 is recommended.