Archive for January, 2012

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs: Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was originally defined as “violence by one spouse against the other spouse.” However, this definition has evolved over time and while the exact legal definitions may vary from one state to the next, they often include violence against parents and children, and between siblings, same-sex partners and members of the same household, regardless of kinship. This type of violence includes psychological harm and threatened acts of violence, as well as physical acts, such as stalking, assault, battery, rape and homicide, and is marked by one individual’s attempt to dominate and control another, often through a pattern of intimidation says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. The family relationships include parents of a child or children, married couples, and domestic partners. This type of violence occurs among all economic classes, religions, genders, nationalities and ethnicities.

Restraining orders

In general, domestic violence restraining order laws establish who can file for an order, what protection or relief a person can get from such an order, and how the order will be enforced.  While there are differences from state to state, all protective order statutes permit the court to order the abuser to stop hurting or threatening you (“cease abuse” provisions).  The majority of states’ orders can also instruct the abuser to stay away from you, your home, your workplace or your school (“stay away” provisions).  You generally also can ask the court to order that all contact, whether by telephone, notes, mail, fax, email or delivery of flowers or gifts, is prohibited states Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs: Domestic Violence

State & Federal Regulations

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) has provisions designed to improve both victim services and arrest and prosecution of batterers. As described by the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, VAWA created a national domestic violence hotline and allocated substantial funds for a number of different kinds of initiatives and programs, including shelters and other services for battered women, judicial education and training programs, and programs to increase outreach to rural women expresses Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. VAWA not only reauthorized STOP grants, which support programs designed to improve law enforcement and prosecution response to domestic violence, but also mandated that domestic violence advocates be involved in the planning and implementation of these programs.

What is Domestic Violence Law?

It may be classified under both Criminal law and Tort law, and certain aspects overlap with Family law. This area of law deals with violence that occurs in a family setting or within an intimate relationship, referred to as domestic violence, domestic abuse and spousal abuse. Not all states define all acts of domestic violence as crimes subject to criminal punishment says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Even when these acts are prosecuted as criminal violations, they may also be classified as torts, with the available option of civil litigation and the pursuit of money damages. Many victims of domestic abuse refuse to prosecute their abuser due to intimidation, fear of reprisal, the associated stigma and the emotional and psychological damage they have been repeatedly subjected to. Therefore, many states now mandate prosecution of the offender by district and city attorneys without the cooperation of the victim.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs: Domestic Violence

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Discusses Paternity Laws

In law, Paternity is defined as the legal acknowledgment of the parental relationship between a man and a child usually based on several factors. Jurisdictions differ widely on when a judgment establishing paternity or a support obligation based on the presumption can be set aside on the grounds that the husband was not in fact the father say Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Under early common law, a child born out of wedlock was considered filius nullius — the child of no one. If paternity was established at all, the parents suffered the indignities of criminal “bastardy” proceedings, and the child had few legal rights. Perhaps prodded by a soaring increase in out-of-wedlock births, society has begun to recognize the social and fiscal costs of ignoring these children.

What is “paternity establishment?”

When an unmarried mother gives birth, the biological father of the child does not automatically have any of the legal rights or duties that go along with fatherhood. The law allows the mother, child, father or State of Utah to legally establish that a man is the father of a child. When this occurs, the child’s paternity has been established. “Paternity establishment” gives unmarried parents all of the same rights and duties that married parents have when a child is born. “Paternity” means fatherhood; in particular, fatherhood that is recognized legally states Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Discusses Paternity Laws

Rights & Responsibilities

The law requires both parents to support their child. This is true even when parents are not married to each other. Paternity establishment allows the child to receive financial support from both parents. Paternity establishment permits the child to be added to the father’s, as well as the mother’s, medical insurance. A child may need to know if she/he has inherited any special health problems expresses Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Paternity establishment may help doctors to research the child’s family health history. In case a child or parent needs a donor for a transplant, knowing who the members of the immediate family are is important. Without paternity establishment, a child is not legally entitled to any of his/her father’s benefits including: Social Security insurance benefits, inheritance rights, veteran’s and other benefits. When paternity is established, the biological father has the same rights as a father of a child born in a marriage. Paternity establishment permits the father to pursue the rights that go along with fatherhood, including custody, parent-time (visitation), and decision-making regarding the child. Parents provide the child with citizenship and/or nationality. If the father was not born in the United States, his/her place of origin may provide important rights to the child once paternity is legally established.

DNA Testing – Establishment of Paternity

Paternity testing is DNA analysis to determine whether or not a given man is the biological father of a given child. There are many different reasons people want to have a paternity test. Sometimes alleged fathers are told many years later that a previous relationship resulted in the birth of a child, and they want to make sure they are actually the biological father. According to the American Association of Blood Banks, there were 354,011 reported parentage testing cases, translating into approximately 991,000 individuals being tested. This was a 3.9% increase over the previous year. With so many people taking parentage tests, it is important to understand the implications says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Discusses Paternity Laws

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Advice on Child Support

When married parents’ divorce or separate, or when only one of the unmarried parents of a child has custody, the court may order the “non-custodial” parent (the parent with whom the child does not live) to pay a certain portion of his or her income as child support says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. This is not the only scenario in which child support might arise. Less frequently, when neither parent has custody, the court may order them to pay child support to a third party who cares for their child. No matter what situation gives rise to the need for child support, it might help to think of the legal right to child support as being possessed by a child (which it technically is), for his or her proper care and upbringing, regardless of who actually receives child support payments.

What is it?

A subset of family law and as in Child Custody law, overlaps with divorce law. Child support is court-ordered payment by one parent to the custodial parent of a minor child after divorce or separation as a contribution to the costs of raising the child. This is a provision to ensure that the child should receive equal support from both parents which it would have received if there was no divorce. Usually, the amount of child support is based on the income of both parents, the number of children, the expenses of the custodial parent, and any special needs of the child says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Most states have child support guidelines that establish the ordinary support required to raise and care for the child. It may also include health plan coverage, school tuition or other expenses, and may be reduced during periods of extended visitation such as summer vacations.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Advice on Child Support

Terms

Child support generally continues until the child reaches 18 years, graduates from high school, is emancipated or, in some cases, for an extended period such as college attendance. The amount and continuation of support may be changed by the court upon application of either party depending on a proven change of circumstance of the parents or child expresses Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Child support is not deductible from gross income for tax purposes nor is it taxed as income. Child support orders are issued by the family court, which bases the amount of the support on the state child support guidelines. These guidelines establish the amount of support that must be paid, based largely on the non-custodial parent’s income and the number of children. The court will also take into account other relevant factors, such as the custodial parent’s income and the needs of the children. The court can deviate from the guidelines if there are significant reasons for doing so.

Visitations

Child support and visitation are independent obligations states Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. One cannot stop paying support if visitation is denied, nor can visitation be denied for nonpayment of child support. A person who denies ordered visitation or fails to pay ordered child support can be held in contempt of court and states have various remedies, which vary by state, for pursuing claims against parents who owe back child support. Such remedies may include driver’s license suspension, wage garnishment, and attaching unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, and federal tax refunds, among others.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Advice on Child Support

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Talks About Adoption Law

Adoption law differs from state to state, and federal laws also affect many procedures connected with the adoption process. It’s important that adopting and placing parents, as well as those searching for family members, learn what these laws allow and don’t allow. If you have a question about the laws in your state, contact an Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs familiar with adoption law in your area. There are different types of adoption — including a look at agency versus private adoption, open versus closed adoption, and more Adoption rules and laws are not uniform and therefore, vary from state to state. However, there does exist a general legal consensus that in order to adopt, the prospective adult adoptive parent must prove to be a fit parent. Although it is still more difficult for a single person or a same-sex couple to adopt than a married couple, laws and attitudes are gradually evolving.

What is Adoption Law?

Adoptions may proceed through adoption agencies or personally, through a family member. And the proceeding may differ based upon who handles the adoption, the child’s age, and whether there is a familial relationship. Regardless of the originating procedures, an adoption must be finalized by a local court judge (or “surrogate” in some jurisdictions) handing down a court order after a hearing. An official decree will then be issued to the adoptive parents and in many cases they may obtain a birth certificate where they are legally displayed as the parents. Adoption law is a subset of Family Law. These are the laws that govern the process individuals must go through to establish a legal parent/child relationship when it does not exist biologically states Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Talks About Adoption Law

Duties

The rights, duties, and obligations of adoptive parents will be the same as those of a natural parent, and their adoptive child will take the family surname. In some states, delinquent child support payments will remain in effect even after the child has been adopted says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. In some adoptions, the relationship between a child and his/her natural parent(s) is severed entirely, although not in “open adoptions” where the relationship is maintained on various levels, to include emails, letters, pictures and even visits.

Regulations

According to the legislature’s official summary, there are no policy changes related to adoption in this bill, only a reorganization of the current law. Chapter 11 (§§63.1-220 through 63.1-238.02) of Title 63.1 of the Code of Virginia is repealed. Reorganizes the statutes into a new Chapter 10.2, with Articles 1 through 6, consisting of new Sections 63.1-219.7 through 63.1-219.55. The new articles are: General Provisions, which applies to all types of adoptions; Agency Adoptions; Parental Placement Adoptions; Stepparent Adoptions; Adult Adoptions; and Records. Prior to this change, all of the types of adoptions were lumped into the same code sections, creating confusion among the courts, parties and agencies involved. These changes separate each type of adoption into individual articles, which clearly identify all of the procedures necessary to complete the process says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Several of the larger code sections were split into the parts that apply to each specific type of adoption.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Talks About Adoption Law

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs: Child Abduction

Child Abduction is the offense of wrongfully removing or wrongfully retaining, detaining or concealing a child or baby. Abduction is defined as taking away a person by persuasion, by fraud, or by open force or violence. There are two types of child abduction: parental child abduction and abduction by a stranger. Parental child abductions are the most common type states Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs.  When one parent abducts his/her child(ren) from the other parent it is often during or after a divorce action and is meant to circumvent the court or act in defiance of a court order regarding legal custody of the child(ren). Parental child abductions may occur within the same city, within the same state, country, or internationally.

What is Child Abduction?

Child abduction is the abduction or kidnapping of a child (or baby) by an older person. Several distinct forms of child abduction exist: i) A stranger removes a child for criminal purposes: for child sexual abuse, torture, or murder, for extortion, to elicit a ransom from the child’s caretakers. ii) A stranger removes a child, usually a baby, with the intent to rear the child as their own. iii) A parent removes or retains a child from the other parent’s care says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs: Child Abduction

What is Child Abduction Law?

Laws regarding parental abductions vary knows Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. In some states and countries this is a criminal offense, but not in all. In many U.S. states, if there is no formal custody order and the parents are not living together, the “abduction” of the child from the other parent is not considered a criminal offense. However, many states have made the abduction of a child across state lines by a parent a crime. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, abduction is generally distinguished from kidnapping, because kidnapping requires the use or the threat of force when taking and/or holding the kidnapping victim. Congress has enacted many civil and criminal laws to address abductions, kidnapping, interstate and international child custody and visitation disputes. The U.S. is also a party to a treaty aimed at resolving international child abduction cases. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) drafted the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act in an effort to bring state law uniformity to this issue. When a stranger abducts a child, it can be for different reasons: abuse; torture; murder; extortion; ransom; or to raise the child as his/her own. Stranger child abductions are the least common.

Child Passport

The U. S. State Department announced its new policy on the issuance of passports for children under age 14. The Department will no longer issue such passports simply on the application of one parent: either both parents must come in and apply, or there must be a written consent from the other parent to let the child go abroad. Actually, this is the effect of a statute that Congress passed back in 1999, and it was not until June 4, 2001 that the State Department got around to issuing its regulations changing the long-prevailing practice recognizes Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs: Child Abduction