Archive for October, 2008

Homosexual Marriages and Divorce

Monday, October 27th, 2008

According to the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, there is no agency of the federal government that recognizes same-sex marriages. However, on a state level, Massachusetts, California and Connecticut recognize same-sex marriages and Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, Washington, DC, Oregon and Washington State created “legal unions” for same-sex couples wishing to have what could be termed a “marriage” with similar marriage rights or limited rights under marriage.

So now you are married. You and your spouse are having problems and want to seek a divorce. Is a same-sex couple afforded the same rights and/or responsibilities as a heterosexual couple when it comes to divorce? The answer is not as clear cut as one would think.

Since not all states recognize same-sex marriages, and no federal agency recognizes same-sex marriage, it is difficult to say how to best proceed with divorce. Seeking the advice of a lawyer who has experience in same-sex marriages or divorce would be very sapient. A lawyer who has experience in this field would be able to protect you in a divorce and advise you as to what you are or are not entitled to.

Shopping for a Divorce Lawyer?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

When shopping around for a divorce lawyer, what qualities are most important to look for? This is often a highly charged question with surprisingly little answers. Word of mouth would seem like a good way to go; however, what one person feels is a great quality, another might not.

All local bar associations offer lawyer referral services. It is best to check with your local bar association to find a lawyer in your area and see if they have a free consultation. If so, you may find that you clique right away or would not even stand another minute in their presence. Sometimes you may have to meet with a few lawyers to find the right one for you. But remember, hiring a divorce lawyer that will work for you and not just for the money they make is the reward.

Find a lawyer who will listen to you as well as have suggestions; but one that does not over-power your comments. A lawyer who is too aggressive may also be that way in a courtroom and a judge may not care for that personality type. After all, you will have to live with the final outcome regarding your divorce Ad Vitam Aeternam (for all time). Be prepared and be diligent.

Parental Behavior During and After Divorce

Monday, October 20th, 2008

When a couple divorce it is easy to put the children in the middle of disputes. However, the couple must love their children more than they hate each other. Allowing children to be used as pawns in a divorce action is no different than child abuse.

Parental alienation is very quickly utilized when a mother will say, “if your father would only give me more money then I could buy you that outfit”, or “see, your father never picks you up when he says he will”. Rather than push the child away from their parent, it would best serve the adults and more importantly the children, for parents to get along as best as possible.

Remember, adults are the decision makers here, children don’t usually have a say in whether the parents should or should not divorce; nor should they. The children should be protected in every way possible before, during and after the divorce. It is the parents’ duty to facilitate this.

Smoking - A Factor in Custody Awards?

Friday, October 17th, 2008

With some of the states recently passing legislation regarding smoking in public places, how does smoking affect custody? Courts have a “duty” to protect the innocent of a divorce - the children. Some courts liken parental smoking to child abuse and neglect.

Studies show that secondhand smoke can produce life-threatening issues in children.

Mom will no longer be around to make dad go outside to smoke. Living in his new one-room apartment, rather than a five-bedroom family home, dad may feel he has a right to smoke where he chooses, which includes the very living space his children will visit.

Make sure you check your local courts and laws dealing with parental smoking and how that could affect custody. If you have any concerns a little research goes a long way in protecting your children.