Family Law Newsletters

Areas of Concern During Divorce Proceedings

Numerous questions are raised during divorce proceedings. Whether the parties are represented by counsel or are representing themselves, numerous issues should be discussed.

Fraud During a Marriage or Relationship and Transmissions of a Serious Disease

Many states have recognized a cause of action for fraud during a marriage or relationship. Specifically, some states have recognized a plaintiff’s claim that they were induced to have sex with a defendant based upon the defendant’s representations as to his health or fertility. The states permit this claim on the basis that the plaintiff did not actually consent to have sexual relations with the defendant.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003

In 2003, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was enacted. The Act authorizes fines and/or jail terms of up to two years for any doctor who performs a partial-birth abortion. Partial-birth abortion is defined as an abortion in which the baby is delivered past the baby’s navel outside the body of the mother or after the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother. Most partial-birth abortions are performed between 20 and 26 weeks.

Preferences Created by the Indian Child Welfare Act

The purpose of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is to preserve and strengthen Native American families and culture. The ICWA attempts to accomplish that purpose by creating a legal preference for the placement of Native American children in Native American homes.

Right of Putative Father to have his Child Bear his Surname

In some instances, a putative father who gains custody or visitation of his child may want the child’s surname changed from that of the mother’s to his own. Neither parent has a paramount right over the other to assign to the child a particular surname, even in those jurisdictions that statutorily mandate the child’s surname initially is to be that of the mother.