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How to Modify Joint Custody of Kids and Be the Sole Custodian

You currently share custody of your children, but maybe you'd like to change that. You'd prefer to be the sole custodian and want to know how to make that happen.

The general answer is that you will have to apply with the court that awarded joint custody, and you should probably prepare for some opposition. Let's consider here what kind of conditions or changed circumstances might justify a change in a custody arrangement and how to prepare to make your case for being the sole custodian.

Protecting Your Kids When Divorcing an Alcoholic

If you have kids and are divorcing an alcoholic or considering it, prepare for some additional difficulties. An alcoholic parent who is still drinking but is in denial may want to have custody of your children. But you know that the person can be a danger to the kids. If it is difficult to trust them and they are prone to drinking, then you must find a way to protect your children.

Laws vary from state to state, so you will have to research your local statutes and talk to an attorney near you. But let's look at some general principles when it comes to excessive drinking, raising children, and divorce.

Managing Divorce From an Angry Spouse

Divorce is difficult. It usually does not bring out the best in people. Is your former true love jealous, superficial, greedy, a cheat, or just plain angry and crazy? If you don't know this already, you may find out soon.

Still, one of you will have to be reasonable, so you may as well choose that role. Your goal now is to dissolve your union as neatly and fairly as possible, and staying calm will really help. So, in addition to signing up for yoga or fight club or therapy to manage the emotional overload, take some practical steps to protect yourself and your assets.

Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Support?

For parents who have been the victims of domestic abuse, or whose children have been, it can seem imperative to get as far away as possible from their abuser. But your child still needs financial support and you should not let fear of an abuser prevent you from seeking child support. You can get help to handle this. Domestic violence does not exempt or create support obligations, although it may impact the application and process.

Can I Adopt With an Arrest or Conviction?

You're considering adoption but have an arrest or conviction in your past. Are you automatically disqualified? The simple answer is no. But adoption is a complicated process and the realistic answer to your question is more complex.

An arrest or conviction may not disqualify you but it might. The nature of the crime alleged, when it happened, how it was resolved, and how forthcoming you are, will all make a big difference in a decision. Let's consider the factors and how to handle disclosure.

Remember the lovely Michigan judge who sentenced three children to juvenile detention because they refused a court order to spend time with their father? She's back in the news, only this time she's the one being taken to task rather than the other way around.

A special master of Michigan's Judicial Tenure Commission found Judge Lisa Gorcyca committed several acts of misconduct in her handling of the visitation case, including "[f]ailing to act in a patient, dignified, judicial manner by making disparaging comments to the children about themselves, their siblings and their mother" While Gorcyca's punishment has yet to be determined, the report had some harsh words for the judge who contends her treatment of the children was merely "stern language."

Naming Power: 3 Reasons to Legally Change Your Name

Naming has power. To name a thing is to bring it to life and to give it a shape, whether it is living or inanimate. That is why, when people's lives change or they grow up and are old enough to have power over their own names, they sometimes change them. There are many reasons to go through a legal name change, most of which fall under a few general categories we'll consider here.

Family Court and Counsel FAQ

Family court is obviously the place where people address family legal matters. These courts cover a wide range of cases with quite different qualities, some of which overlap with other areas of the law.

There are happy matters like adoptions and sadder stories like divorce, but all family law matters have one thing in common. The people involved are emotional, even more so than in other types of cases arising in criminal or injury law.

Families are complicated. And so is the prospect of legally extricating yourself from your family. There is no technical definition of "disown" in the law, and whether you can sever your rights and responsibilities to your relatives depends on your relation to them. For instance, it may seem odd but it might be easier for kids to walk out on their parents than the other way around, legally speaking.

So if you've had enough of your folks, or think junior has overstayed his welcome, here's what you need to know about legally renouncing your family ties.

There are plenty of emotional reasons to steer clear of someone who is separated from their spouse, but not legally divorced yet. They're not ready for a new relationship yet; they're using you to hurt their ex; they might get back together with their spouse; heck, they're probably still living together!

These are all good reasons, and they don't even touch on the legal ramifications of what would still be an extramarital relationship. So what do you need to know about dating someone who is legally separated?