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Facts: Child was born to unmarried parents. At age 5, Aunt and Uncle obtain custody of Child. Nine months later, Aunt and Uncle petition for termination of parental rights and adoption. Father consented to the termination and adoption. Mother, who was incarcerated, contested the termination. A guardian ad litem, who is a lawyer, was appointed to represent Child. At the trial, Mother, who was still incarcerated, participated by phone. Counsel for Aunt and Uncle informed the…
One common trait among the best family-law attorneys is that we are always looking to improve. Despite our success, we are rarely satisfied. Even after a positive outcome, we examine the case critically to observe things that, with the benefit of hindsight, we would have done differently. We are constantly learning. The constant drive to improve is one reason the best lawyers study caselaw — and one reason smart lawyers read this blog. Letters, motions,…
Facts: The parties divorced after 45 years of marriage. At the time of trial, Husband was 72 years old, and Wife was 67. Wife worked little outside the home during the marriage, instead fulfilling her role in the marriage as a homemaker and stay-at-home parent. The proof showed that Husband would have a net income of $6000 per month, while Wife’s net income would be $1000 per month. After considering their respective expenses, Husband would have…
Facts: Mother and Father, the parents of two children, divorced in 2011. Mother would have been ordered to pay $773 per month for child support, but the child-support worksheet provided a downward deviation to zero dollars because of Mother’s agreement to “take responsibility for [the children’s] college education fund.” The worksheet included this comment: Child support will not be necessary. Neither party wishes to accept money from the other parent. Mother never paid child support;…
This article by Carla Bruce-Eddings in The New York Times is interesting. Dealing With Interfering Grandparents How to navigate a challenging relationship. Parenting can often feel like trying to survive amid barely controlled chaos, so having a wise, experienced grandparent to help out can be lifesaving. But if that grandparent has trouble adhering to basic boundaries, it can feel as if the chaos has maddeningly multiplied. When families expand, there is a significant shift in…
Facts: This is the third appeal from this divorce where Wife was awarded alimony. I summarized the first appeal of the alimony award here. The second appeal did not involve alimony. During this 25-year marriage, the parties lived a lavish lifestyle and accumulated a sizable marital estate. At the time of divorce, Wife was 48 and earning $50,000 per year, while Husband was 50 and earning $400,000 per year. After the first appeal,…