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The question of whether your child can testify in a divorce proceeding depends on several factors. Among the most important variables a judge will consider when deciding whether to allow a child to testify is their age and maturity. Basically, judges must ensure that witnesses are competent to testify, much like when a defendant is ruled competent to stand trial.

If a child is found to be competent and able to testify, the next consideration a court may take into account is the purpose for calling the child as a witness. Courts are generally reluctant to put a child in the position of providing testimony in a divorce for the purposes of division of property, but will do so regularly to help decide custody matters (if the child is old and mature enough).

Between the people and the property, there are a lot of moving parts in a divorce. And while we often focus, for good reason, on the easy-to-spot issues like custody, child and spousal support, and who gets the house, we often forget to keep our eye on smaller financial issues like retirement benefits, investment funds, or inheritance.

Whether you're the beneficiary of an inheritance before the divorce or you're concerned about your children's inheritance after the divorce, here's how courts generally handle inheritance issues in a divorce.

Whether your ex will be able to read your diary during a divorce will depend on a few factors, and might even require a judge's order. During a divorce, the separating couple can actually learn quite a bit of private information about their soon-to-be former spouse. In addition to combing through the other side's financial records during a divorce, personal matters can often be relevant when it comes to child custody, and potentially other issues if a fault based divorce is sought.

However, despite how private a person's diary may be, legally, there may be good cause for requiring someone to turn it over during a divorce, or other legal matter. However, disclosure of a diary can be rather problematic and often requires balancing privacy rights with relevance. Although states do allow for divorces to be conducted "under seal," meaning that the documents filed with the court will be confidential, the requirements for doing so are generally rather burdensome.

We know that courts prefer not to separate siblings when issuing custody orders. But what if one sibling wants custody of another? In some cases, an older sibling will want to remove a younger one from a dangerous or unhealthy parent. In other cases, a younger sibling may think they're better suited to care for a disabled older sibling.

There are legal ways to gain custody of a sibling -- here's how.

Alcohol plays a large part in many of our lives, from weekly happy hours and power lunches for work, to a beer at a ballgame or glass of wine with dinner. So it's not surprising that alcohol use could be a factor in a divorce. Booze doesn't always reveal our best selves, and excessive drinking can create or exacerbate tensions within a relationship.

So who decides when alcohol use becomes abuse, and how? And can those determinations affect child custody decisions? Here's a quick look at alcoholism and child custody.

It's no surprise that when parents go through a nasty divorce, the children suffer the most. However, to the surprise of many, that suffering is not limited to mental and emotional distress. A recent study, released this year, has shown that a link exists between children of bitter divorces and long term weakening of the immune system.

The study's findings are rather straightforward. Adults who were children when their parents separated are more likely to suffer from a weakened immune system if the parents were no longer on speaking terms after the divorce. Significantly, the study noted that if the divorce was amicable, the immune systems were on par with individuals whose parents remained married. The study attributes the weakened immune system to the prolonged stress associated with bitter separations.

Here are three tips to help stop a contentious divorce from causing your kids unnecessary stress.

When a person decides to pursue legal action to resolve a dispute, they often envision having their day in court in front of a judge and jury. However, the vast majority of cases never get that far. Most cases settle before trial, and many will settle without the parties ever seeing the inside of a courtroom.

Attorneys and courts have increasingly turned to alternative dispute resolution (also known as ADR) to help people resolve their legal disputes. ADR can include mediation, arbitration, and judicial settlement conferences. These processes allow the parties to a dispute to come together to negotiate a compromise in a confidential meeting.

Here are five of the top frequently asked questions about mediation.

Divorces are rarely easy, and marital property and alimony decisions can be particularly difficult. Age can become a factor in those decisions, especially when retirement and disability benefits come into play. Add to that mix a federal statute governing ex-spouses' access to military retirement benefits and you've got yourself a Supreme Court case.

Howell v. Howell might not be the most glamorous case on the Court's docket, but for veterans and their exes, it could mean a big difference in spousal support and marital property payments. Here's what you need to know.

Child custody issues are sensitive subjects because of the huge emotional consequences. When a custodial parent dies, custody matters can be that much more emotionally charged.

Although child custody laws vary from state to state, generally, when a custodial parent dies, a non-custodial parent can obtain custody without much legal difficulty. Even though the process may seem straightforward, consulting an experienced family law attorney is always advisable to comply with local laws and to be advised of potential consequences.

When it comes to what evidence can be used during a divorce case, text messages are fair game. However, text messages may be irrelevant to the proceedings, depending on the reason for wanting to use them as evidence.

Text messages are usually wanted to prove infidelity. Unfortunately for the victims of infidelity, only a handful of states allow infidelity to actually have any impact on a divorce.