Thinking Ahead: Pre-Birth Custody and Visitation

91584560When parents aren’t living together as a child’s birth approaches, the family may benefit from having pre-birth orders spelling out what will happen at the hospital and beyond. Continue reading

Stressed Out? Find Support in a Professional Group

178736564This blog post is adapted from Achieving Professional Camaraderie in Family Law Practice by M. Dee Samuels, Esq., published in CEB’s Practice Under the California Family Code: Dissolution, Legal Separation, Nullity.

Anger, distrust, and hostility may spill over from clients to attorneys, who at times find themselves as stressed and as polarized as their clients. Here’s how a group of women family law attorneys I belonged to discovered a way to deal with those stresses. There are lessons here for all attorneys. Continue reading

Divorce Equality?

75627516Before they could legally marry, many long-term same-sex couples thought of themselves as “married,” but if these couples did marry when they were able to and then got divorced, they learned that California law doesn’t think the same way.

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Sometimes You’re Legally Right and Legally Wrong

459956463The following is a guest blog by Alan M. Goldberg of the Law Office of Alan Goldberg. Alan’s practice includes Appeals, Civil Trials, and Family Law. You can follow Alan on Twitter @AlanMGoldberg.

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Are Parents Required to Pay for College?

185939630The following is a guest blog post by Maggie LaBranch, a solo practitioner located in San Jose, California. Her passion in law shines in making personal connections and building relationships in her family law and trusts and estates practice.

The case of the New Jersey teenager who left home and then sued her parents for payment of continuing private high school tuition, living expenses, and future college costs put fear into parents nationwide. Even the judge noted the “potentially slippery slope” involved in the 18-year-old teen’s case, which she ultimately dropped. But it brings up the related issue of parental obligations for the education and living expenses of their older teens in the context of separation and divorce. What are these obligations under California law?

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No Good Seed Goes Unpunished: Sperm Donor Ordered to Pay Child Support

183925792Many men who donate sperm have no intention of being a father to any potential child and particularly no intention to pay child support for that child. But intentions aren’t enough; compliance with the state’s parentage law is. Continue reading

Danger Ahead: 7 Child Custody Clients to Avoid

For each attorney, there are many cases that he or she ought to turn down. One reason to decline a case is a client that is likely to be nothing but trouble for you. Continue reading

The Engagement Is Off! Who Keeps the Ring?

163836521The recent Supreme Court decision that permitted same-sex marriages to resume in California may mean more engagement rings will be given here than ever. It’s a good time to brush up on the law—do you know who gets to keep the ring if the engagement is broken?
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Going to the Chapel or Staying Alive: Marital Deduction for Registered Domestic Partners after Windsor

blog_78156121It may not be too soon to draw some inferences from the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v Windsor extending federal law benefits of marriage to lawfully married same-sex spouses.  Continue reading

The Best Interest of the Tribe?

hands_146966132Update: On June 26, 2013, the U.S Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the South Carolina Supreme Court and remanded the case for further proceedings based on its holding that 25 USC §1912(f) (part of the Indian Child Welfare Act) doesn’t apply when the parent opposing the adoption never had custody of the Indian child.

An episode of A&E’s series Longmire (“The Dog Soldier”) delved into the complicated world of Indian child fostering and adoption. The show got the law wrong, but that’s not surprising in this complicated area. Although the Supreme Court may offer some clarity in its upcoming decision on the appeal of Adoptive Couple v Baby Girl (SC 2012) 731 SE2d 550, it would take the wisdom of Solomon, invoked wistfully by Justice Kennedy, to fashion a happy outcome for one Indian child. Continue reading

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