Federal Law Cannot Be Used to Block Legal Adoption, Justices Say

The heartrending battle over who should gain permanent custody of a three-year old Cherokee girl known in court papers as “Baby Veronica”—her adoptive parents or her biological father—appears to be over after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to rehear the case.  The denial clears the way for the child’s transfer from her father in Oklahoma to her adoptive parents in South Carolina. The two side have been fighting for custody for over two years now. Initially, the courts in South Carolina sides with the biological father, Dusten Brown, based on a federal law that makes it difficult for non-Native Americans to adopt a child that has any Indian ancestry. After the decision, Baby Veronica went to live with her father, but her adoptive parents did not give up the fight. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 5 to 4 that the father could not use a federal law to block a legal adoption. The high court also considered and noted the fact the Mr. Brown had not provided financial assistance to his child before the adoption and that he had signed away his parental rights as a...

3 Common Reasons Why Couples End Up Hiring A Divorce Lawyer

It’s an unfortunate reality that many marriages simply don’t work out. However, because of the nature of marriages, a divorce can be emotionally draining and stressful. Hurt feelings and resentment lead to disagreements over asset division and intense conflict. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming trying to work through everything. Because of the potential complications, it’s absolutely essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable divorce lawyer or family attorney providing expert advice and guidance throughout the entire process. There might be financial issues, property disputes, child-custody disagreements and many other aspects to work out, and the attorney can help every step of the way. An Experienced Family Attorney Can Represent Your Interests With more than 25 years of experience in Broward Country, the Law Firm of Evan. H. Barton & Associates can help you navigate through the difficulties of a divorce. We provide information to help our clients make informed decisions about divorce-related issues, such as pre- and post-nuptial agreements, child support and restraining orders. To set up a free consultation, Call Us At 954-385-9160 Today! Although there are many reasons that people consider divorce, here are some of the major causes: 1. Finances Sometimes, people just have incompatible notions when it comes to finances. One spouse might be frugal and try to save money, while the other likes to spend it. One might plan long term, while the other prefers living for today. Maybe one spouse runs up credit. There might be damage done to credit rating, loss of savings or just the daily tension of constant disputes. Over time, the level of conflict becomes too much to sustain a...

5 Reasons to Have Your Own Lawyer Even in an Amicable Divorce Case

Sometimes divorcing couples try to save money and hassle by having one lawyer handle their divorce case. However, if you have children, or if you own property, the risk is simply too great to make up for any money saved. If you have children, having your own child support lawyer is absolutely critical, no matter how amicable you and your spouse are being. Here are 5 reasons why you should always have your own representation if you’re going through a divorce. 1. Are You Really as Confident as You Say You Are? Nobody wants to come across as an emotional wreck even in a traumatic situation like a divorce. Sure, some people may applaud your commitment to “keep it amicable,” but you may very well regret your decision later on. Whose idea was it to “share” a lawyer? If it was your idea, you may have a bit more control over how things play out, but there are no guarantees. If it was your spouse’s idea, do you honestly think he or she will play fair while holding all the cards? (read more about child custody here) 2. Without Your Own Counsel, You Have Limited Recourse Afterward When a divorcing couple shares a lawyer, you might find the process of getting divorce less contentious. But a few years down the road you may conclude that you in fact did not get a fair deal. You may simply have to accept it, because once you both sign the final divorce agreement, you’re committed. Changing your mind gives you little to no basis for going back to court and trying to change...

Couples in their 60s splitting up at a Record Rate, New Report Says

Even as the divorce rate continues to fall, there is one age group that is moving in the opposite direction.  According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), divorces rates are on the rise among older couples and have been for the past two decades now. The new numbers found that more than 15,000 married men and women aged 60 and older decided to call it quits in 2011, which is more than triple the breakup rate for older couples back in 1991. Why is this happening? There was a time when young men were far more likely to file for a divorce than older ones. But that trend has reversed itself, since older men are now more likely to initiate a divorce than younger ones (50 to 34 percent, according to the ONS). There are many plausible explanations for this turnaround. Researchers believe that longer life expectancy, dual incomes, and separate savings all play a part in the dissolution of long-term marriages. Many couples report that they simply do not want to live together after they retire. Moving is also an common bone of contention, as some spouses prefer to relocate to retirement communities, while others are happy where they...

What is the Purpose of a Child Support or Family Lawyer?

A family lawyer helps navigate a wide array of legal issues regarding marriage and children. Many of these areas can be emotionally draining and painful, so it helps to have a competent and qualified legal team on hand to make the process a little easier. Here are some of the legal issues that a family lawyer might deal with: Divorce Divorce is often a very difficult process for both parties, causing hurt feelings that are dragged out over a long period of time as various legal issues are dealt with. A good family lawyer will guide you through the process and make you aware of all of the aspects that you need to consider. Knowing what your options are and understanding the process can at least diminish some of the emotional turmoil. Some of the issues that might be involved in a divorce include pre and post-nuptial agreements, asset valuation, alimony and child support and possibly obtaining a restraining order. Having experts to work through the legal complexities of these issues is an essential part of moving on with your life. Child Support Florida law obligates all parents to financially support their children until they are 18 years old. Support is extended if the child has not yet graduated high school, in which case it lasts until they turn 19. This ensures that every child has what they need in regard to food, clothing and shelter, daycare or after-school care, when necessary, and healthcare. It also recognizes a child’s legal right to share in the financial good fortune of their parents. The purpose of a child support lawyer is...

After His Son Nearly Drowns in Swimming Pool, Usher May Face New Custody Fight

A year after he was awarded primary custody of his two young sons, recording star Usher Raymond IV, better known simply as Usher, is facing a new custody battle after one of his boys nearly drowned in a swimming pool.  The singer’s ex-wife, Tameka Raymond, is accusing the star of creating a ‘dangerous environment’ for their two children—four-year-old Naviyd, and five-year-old Usher Raymond V. After losing a bitter divorce in November 2009, Ms. Raymond was permitted limited custodial rights. But that could change in light of the near tragedy that occurred at her ex-husband’s home, when her older child, Usher Jr., got his arm stuck in the drain of the outdoor pool.  Although still in intensive care, the child is expected to make a full recovery. After asking for an emergency hearing in a Georgia court, the star’s ex-wife alleged that Usher is ‘abdicating’ his parental responsibilities by allowing others to care for their kids.  The father was not at home at when the accident occurred. He did, however, rush to the hospital to be with his son as soon as he learned of...

Should You Call a Child Custody Attorney During a Divorce?

Battles over child custody during a divorce are stressful and emotionally draining. If the custody of your child is contested, it’s absolutely necessary to hire a child custody attorney to represent your interests. The laws concerning these cases are complicated, and parents are often unaware of their legal rights. What can I learn from a child custody attorney? Specific circumstances differ in each case of child custody and divorce. You may not understand how the laws pertain to your particular situation. For example, in infant custody battles, a new mother can be awarded full custody automatically, while the father is granted visitation. Some parents may agree on visitation schedules in which the father can see the child every other weekend. However, it is a common case that the father seeks full or joint custody. Enhanced visitation rights are also an option. The court will generally award custody rights to the mother and visitation rights to the father, unless extenuating circumstances exist. A child custody attorney will work with both parties and explain how child custody laws relate to their particular case. Neither the mother nor father of the child has the ability to choose the amount of child support awarded to the custody holder. Seeking counsel on these laws is advisable before entering the courtroom. What can a divorce attorney do for me? Divorce attorneys can help you manage the process of the custody case. If your situation changes unexpectedly, for instance, if the amount of child support payments is no longer practical, a divorce attorney can take the necessary steps to have the amount adjusted. For example, if...

Handling Divorce When You Are the Parent of a Special Needs Child

Some studies suggest that parents of special needs children have higher divorce rates, while other suggests that is not the case. However, if you are the parent of a special needs child and are separating or going through the divorce, those statistics don’t matter: you are the one dealing with it. The divorce attorney you choose can help you through this difficult transition if you choose carefully and allow him or her to do their job protecting your rights and your children’s future. Here are some other tips on coping as a divorcing parent of a special needs child. Carefully Explain the Situation in Terms Your Child Understands If you are the parent of a developmentally delayed child, explain what’s going on in terms that he or she can grasp. Fortunately there are plenty of children’s books explaining divorce at every level of simplicity, and your local librarian should be able to help you find them. Children with normal development, but with physical challenges should be told what is going on, with dignity and respect for your spouse. Your spouse is a parent too, and taking the “high road” when discussing him or her may be difficult, but it is best in the long run. Try to Maintain Routines as Much as Possible If Thursday after school has always been grocery shopping day, try to maintain that routine. If your spouse has always been the one to drive your children to school, try to maintain that if at all possible. The more children can count on their routines involving school, church, home, and social activities remaining steady, the less...

10 Steps You Should Take When Your Marriage is Headed Toward Divorce

Divorce is one of life’s most stressful events. However, you should make the effort to protect your rights and interests and try to make things as easy on your children as possible. Here are 10 steps to take when you believe that divorce is in your future. 1. Choose Your Lawyer Carefully Look for a family attorney with several years of experience handling divorce and family matters, like the ones at the Law Firm of Evan H. Baron & Associates. He or she should understand the advantages of settling without a trial, but should be ready to work aggressively on your behalf if a trial is necessary. 2. Assess Your Finances Any divorce lawyer will tell you that knowing what you own and what you owe is essential to a fair divorce settlement. Gather any documentation you have, make a list and estimate the value of: Your home Bank accounts Vehicles Valuable items like antiques and artwork Pension plans Inheritances You can estimate your marital debt by obtaining a copy of your credit reports, which you can get for free once a year. 3. Document Your and Your Spouse’s Income Income tax forms, pay stubs, and bank statements can give you information about income. If your spouse is self-employed, you will probably need to look closely at bank statements for information on income. 4. Make a Preliminary Post-Divorce Budget Preparing a preliminary post-divorce budget now will help prevent unpleasant surprises later. Estimate your expenses for purposes of negotiating your divorce settlement. Your divorce lawyer may be able to help you be more thorough about estimating future expenses. 5. Establish...

5 Reasons Why a Divorced Parent May Request Changes in Child Custody

Children change significantly as they grow up, and their needs changed too. When parents divorce, they should not consider their parenting plan to be carved in stone. If one or both parents believe a change should be made, each parent should contact a family attorney to discuss the case. At the Law Firm of Evan H. Baron & Associates, we have the experience necessary to handle these cases lawfully, and while preserving the dignity of all parties. Here are 5 reasons common why parents ask for changes in their parenting plan and child support. 1. A Parent Experiences a Significant Change in Income When one parent loses their job, they may be unable to fulfill child support obligations. Contacting a child custody lawyer right away is prudent so that another plan can be worked out. On the other hand, if one parent experiences a significant increase in income, child support payments can be modified accordingly. 2. One Parent Is Relocating It’s best if changes to a parenting plan when a parent relocates are made with the assistance of a family attorney. Sometimes parents believe they have worked out a fair plan on their own, but if the changes are not filed with the courts, a parent may later renege on the agreement and set the stage for a complicated and expensive legal process. 3. A Parent Remarries or Has Another Child Sometimes the remarriage of a parent, or the situation of a parent having another child may warrant changes to a parenting plan. For example, if the parent the child lives with most of the time becomes the parent of...