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

When Financial Discovery Gets Complicated

hats_153049007Many family law attorneys are used to doing it all and wearing many different hats. But financial discovery can get complicated enough to warrant bringing in a specialist. Continue reading

If We Die, Where Will the Kids Go?

kid_137155350For every parent, the most important function of his or her will is the nomination of a guardian for minor children. Continue reading

Protecting Privacy During Divorce

privacy_200393443-001Going through a divorce is difficult on many levels. Your client may feel like his or her personal life is laid bare for everyone to see. As an attorney, you can’t protect your client from the emotional exposure involved in divorce, but you can take measures to protect your client’s financial laundry from being publicly aired. Continue reading

Love and Marriage…and Prenups

prenup_153168603It may not seem very romantic to discuss prenups right before Valentine’s Day, but some people consider them to be an important bridge to cross on the way to happily married life.  Continue reading

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