» Custody Law

Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 24, 2014 – An existing state statute lets faith-based adoption agencies decline services to same-sex couples. When the U.S. Supreme Court denied same-sex marriage appeals on October 6, its historic decision paved the way for gay marriage in several states — including some, like Virginia, where the political climate has been relatively unreceptive to the unions. But while local court clerks in the commonwealth now have straightforward instructions to start performing same-sex marriages, the ways the benefits of some other laws will be made available to same-sex couples in the Old Dominion remain unsettled. […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 18, 2014 – Upon her passing, Ruth T. Bedford left $40 million to her beloved alma mater, doubling its endowment. Unexpected gifts often prove the most gratifying, but sometimes the magnitude of an unforeseen act of charity can leave the recipient stunned. And stunned is how the administrators of the all-girls Foxcroft School near Middleburg, Virginia, felt when they learned that Standard Oil heiress Ruth T. Bedford bequeathed their institution $40 million when she died in June. Bedford, who was 99 when she passed away, served with the Red Cross during the London Blitz, […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 31, 2010 – Obtaining an ex-spouse’s tax return is not always an easy task, and often, the other side ignores requests for information. Divorcing parties should first make such a request politely to increase the chances of receiving the requested material. Antagonizing the other spouse is usually counterproductive, even though it is his or her statutory duty to provide the information requested. Ignoring such a request may be viewed as stalling, and the spouse seeking to obtain a fair support amount may find it necessary to refer to the various sanctions the law […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 29, 2014 – Not every marriage can be saved. But as divorce mediator Gerald Maggio explains, families who choose divorce mediation can save themselves from serious emotional strain and financial difficulty. “Time and time again, we see how financial trauma from litigated divorce can change the course of peoples’ lives,” said Maggio, a licensed mediator who specializes in creating fair and cost-effective mediated agreements. “Litigated divorces can take years to finalize, and they can cost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.” Maggio explained that many families run through retirement savings and […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 28, 2014 – Parental cash assistance for a down payment can actually shield a family’s wealth from probate in the future. The recent recession seriously impacted the U.S. economy and noticeably changed the socio-economic fabric of the country. In that environment, more young adults opted to live with their parents in order to save money. Now that the economy is recovering, another change has helped reverse the earlier trend: more parents helping their grown children accumulate a down payment for a house of their own — an act that also fits in with some […]


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Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 27, 2014 – Who has the right to the engagement ring if an engagement is terminated? Most couples think that when a man presents a woman with a diamond ring, the ring belongs to the fiancée even if the engagement is broken. That is not necessarily the case. In California, there are specific rules dealing with ownership of the ring and the right to its recovery if the couple decides not to marry. “Diamonds may not always be forever,” said Gerald Maggio, an Orange Country divorce attorney. “If an engagement is called off, under […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 22, 2014 – California Divorce Mediators, a divorce mediation practice in Orange County, California, offers dedicated divorce mediation options for couples experiencing extreme levels of conflict. “We believe every couple deserves the opportunity to choose a cost-effective divorce,” said Gerald Maggio, founder of California Divorce Mediators. “By matching the circumstances of a particular couple to the correct mediation process, we can bring even hostile couples through to a sustainable divorce agreement.” According to a study from Pepperdine University, the characteristics of high-conflict couples include constant arguing, quick hostility and verbal aggression. The study […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 21, 2014 – A Virginia program that puts noncustodial parents to work, rather than in jail, for nonpayment is showing results. The Intensive Case Monitoring Program (ICMP) channels noncustodial parents who have shirked their child support obligations into careers, not incarceration. Recently, the program has expanded to more jurisdictions in Virginia — and as the ICMP has ramped up its presence through the commonwealth, so too, has it increased the amount of money Virginia has collected for child support. The ICMP operates under the auspices of the Division of Child Support Enforcement. It was […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 23, 2014 – In their information about the process of divorce, the California Courts recommend that all couples consider mediation. “It is unsurprising that the California Judicial Branch officially recommends divorce mediation,” said Gerald Maggio, a California divorce attorney and mediator. “Right now, California family court judges are dealing with an enormous backlog of cases. And many are divorce cases that wind up up simply as a division of debts because the couple has spent all of their assets on divorce attorneys.” In the State of California, all divorces take a minimum of […]


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Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 16, 2014 – California Divorce Mediators, formerly Orange County Divorce Mediators, has launched a new website dedicated to helping divorcing couples gain a better understanding of divorce mediation. “We want to help families find ways to reduce the cost of divorce and to avoid the damaging conflicts created by traditional litigated divorce,” remarked Gerald Maggio, founder of California Divorce Mediators. “Many divorcing parties are not very knowledgeable about divorce mediation, and that is one reason we have created this website.” Private divorce mediation is a process whereby divorcing parties work with a court-approved […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 15, 2014 – Probate filings for musician Lou Reed’s estate were recently entered in the Surrogate’s Court, Manhattan’s probate court. With an estate worth over $30 million and assets still earning millions in royalties and other income, Reed was among a small number of individuals who relied only on a will for estate planning. Reed left only a 34-page will, signed in April 2012. Reed passed away on October 27, 2013 from liver disease, at the age of 71. “A well-written trust can make estate administration quicker and more private,” said Lisa McDevitt, an […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 8, 2014 – The divorce rate in the United States is rising, a trend credited in large part to the economic recovery of the past several years. During the 18-month recession, the divorce rate plunged to a 40-year low. Since then, the divorce rate has recovered, rising each year. In 2012, the most recent year for which U.S. Census Bureau data is available, 2.4 millions Americans divorced. “When times are tough, unhappy couples are more likely to stay together for financial reasons,” said Lisa McDevitt, a divorce attorney in Florida. “With the economy in […]


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Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – According to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, children with divorced parents are more likely to be obese. Researchers studied more than 3,000 third-graders, comparing children of divorced parents to children of married parents and children of parents who never married. The children with divorced parents were 54 percent more likely to be obese. The research does not conclusively identify why children of divorce have the highest rate of obesity. But researchers speculate that decreased time and money for healthy meals may contribute to the problem. “Children […]


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Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 22, 2014 – Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill to help foster children age 16 or older get around by car. The bill, HB 977, is a continuation of legislators’ efforts to improve the lives of Florida’s foster children and enable them to engage in normal age-appropriate activities. The 2013 legislative session saw the passage of a bill that trimmed the rules and regulations surrounding foster care that often made it difficult for children to participate in enriching activities with their peers, such as sleepovers and school field trips. Another 2013 bill extended […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 18, 2014 – Myriads of studies and scholarly articles chronicle the advantages of mediation versus litigation for families enduring issues involving their children. Evidence suggests that these benefits are realized as much for the child as the parents involved, citing that children involved in low-conflict custody and visitation issues experience less psychological difficulties than those involved in high-conflict disputes. Fueled by his desire to advocate for the rights and safety of children, the Honorable Michael Ian Bender, a former Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County and an attorney who concentrates in family […]


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Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 15, 2014 – Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals (DCA) recently ruled that deterioration in a former spouse’s health can usually support a reduction in his or her alimony obligation. In Garvey v. Garvey, a former husband sought to modify his alimony obligation to his former wife after his multiple sclerosis (MS) began causing significant health problems. The decision hinged on whether the alimony agreement had been made in anticipation of such a turn in his health. “I think the Fourth DCA made the right decision here,” said Attorney O. Reginald Osenton, who is […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 13, 2014 – Corruption charges against a former Virginian governor and his spouse could push their marital issues into the spotlight. As court-bound corruption scandals go, the trial of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell that began July 28 seems a generally familiar tale. As usual, a once-promising politician’s career has been torn asunder by allegations of financial impropriety, but his wife’s alleged direct involvement has made the case both complex and unusual. Maureen McDonnel is also facing corruption charges, and the accusations could very well put the interests of each half of the marriage […]


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Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 13, 2014 – It is vitally important to protect assets when planning to marry. Protective measures do not indicate a lack of trust; they give both parties to the contract control over their future finances. “Many engaged couples are uncomfortable signing a prenup, as they feel it is not romantic and indicates a lack of trust between partners. The truth of the matter is, if you take control of your future financial situation now, you will not be faced with any unexpected surprises if the marriage were to break down,” explained Gerald Maggio, an […]


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Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 8, 2014 – A Florida woman’s recent divorce taught her a tough lesson in commingling of assets. In the context of family law, “commingling of assets” is the act of combining a non-marital asset with a marital asset. The asset that couples most often commingle is cash. That is exactly what happened in the case of Sorgen v. Sorgen, which was recently decided by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals (DCA). Attorney O. Reginald Osenton, who is not involved with the case, explained how the case illustrates the legal ideas behind it. “Mrs. Sorgen […]


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Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 6, 2014 – Florida’s same-sex marriage ban suffered two legal defeats in July, and a ruling on a third case is still pending. On July 17, 2014, a circuit judge in Monroe County said the law violates the U.S. Constitution. Just over a week later on July 25, a Miami-Dade judge followed suit in a separate case. Each of those rulings, which would have permitted marriages to proceed in their respective counties, was stayed pending appeal by the state. A still-pending ruling on a federal case in Tallahassee would apply statewide. Attorney O. Reginald […]


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