Remarrying and starting a new family is an exciting time in most people’s lives. Many families have adopted the terms “bonus children” or “bonus parent” to highlight the happiness that comes from an expanding family. Stepparents can and often do take on an important and involved role in children’s lives. Sometimes the stepparent is more involved and a better influence than one of the biological parents. In these situations, many parents want to learn about the possibility and likelihood of the stepparent adopting the child.
Stepparent adoption is the most common type of adoption. The process involves multiple steps which can be executed with relative ease depending on the willingness of the biological parent.
The first step in any stepparent adoption is to address the rights of the biological parent. If the parent has been absent from the child’s life for an extended … Read More »
In any separation, one of the most difficult issues to address is the marital residence. Whether secured by a mortgage or owned free-and-clear, the home typically represents the most valuable asset owned by a couple. In this buyer’s market, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to simply sell a house and split the profits. Sometimes, the parties want one parent to stay in the house until their kids finish school to avoid pulling them from their childhood home. In other cases, there simply may be no realistic way to sell the house for a profit. This reality often leads parties to consider continuing jointly owning their house beyond their separation and divorce, whether that is for two, five, or even ten years.
While on its face this approach seems practical, deciding to retain joint ownership over the marital residence after … Read More »
You and your spouse have decided to separate. You have decided who will move out and even who will have custody of your children. Inevitably, the discussion will turn to support, both child and spousal. How much is enough? Why should he get spousal support if I have the kids? Why should I pay at all? In some of these discussions, one party throws out the dreaded “B-word”—bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is more than what you declare when you lose at Monopoly or what takes all your money on “Wheel of Fortune.” Bankruptcy is the government’s way of allowing people to get rid of their debt and have a chance at a fresh start. But what effect does bankruptcy have on a person’s support obligations? Consider the following three situations.
Situation One: Rick and Kate are discussing their Property Settlement Agreement, and have decided … Read More »