Family Law

Overview

Family law generally concerns domestic relations and family-related matters such as marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, adoptions, paternity, guardianships, domestic abuse, surrogacy, child custody, child abduction, the dissolution of marriage and associated issues. According to U.S. Census data the make-up of the American family has been changing. For instance, the 2000 Census revealed that less than a quarter of American families are married couples with minor children compared with 45% of such households in 1960.

A large percentage of marriages end in separation or divorce. When a couple decides to terminate their marriage, one of the parties will petition the court for a divorce. Besides seeking a legal termination of the relationship, the couple will also ask the court to divide the marital assets, grant child custody to one or both parents, and impose child and spousal support obligations, if applicable.

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  • Is There a 50-mile Relocation Rule in the Metropolitan Area? April 21, 2014 One of the most difficult tasks facing family law judges is balancing the competing interests of each parent and the children in relocation cases. However, two recent Second Department decisions might indicate that a 50-mile rule is emerging. In Katz…
  • Transparent with our hands behind our backs April 21, 2014 A post from the point of view of those of us who would like to improve the quality of publicly available information and inform debate about family law. Transparency is progress. Anonymity is necessary. The case recently reported by Christopher…
  • The approximation rule April 21, 2014 A significant shortcoming of the Model Marriage and Divorce Act and "best interest factors" statutes in general is that they provide no guidance about how the factors are to be applied in particular cases. That decision is simply left to each…
  • Alabama's Expungement Law Makes Front Page of Montgomery Advertiser April 20, 2014 If you are following the new law regarding expungement of arrests for certain offenses in Alabama, you will want to read this article: http://tinyurl.com/kadqjzo The article does an excellent job of explaining the rationale behind the law as well as…
  • Post-Engagement Break-Ups: Who Keeps the Ring? April 19, 2014 Even before a marriage is finalized, engaged couples may already face a host of legal issues. While a prenuptial agreement can prevent some complications later on, property issues may arise before a couple ever says "I do." In a recent case, a couple…