Marriage and Divorce / Edition 3

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Unfortunately in today's society, marriage and divorce has become a synonymous phrase for 50% of married couples. You don't begin a marriage expecting it to end, but when you find yourself there, you may ask yourself:

-Will I have to hire a lawyer and go to court?
-How will I divide our assets?
-Who will get custody of the children?
-How much will it cost?
-Where do I go from here?

This third edition of Marriage and Divorce discusses the current laws governing marriage and divorce, including the related issues of child custody, visitation, and support. Margaret C. Jasper has expanded each chapter with further discussion of topics including cohabitation, property rights, parental rights, and financial issues.

This easy-to-use guide is written for people at all levels of experience and education who are seeking legal advice without having to immediately contact a legal representative. With this Legal Almanac, Jasper provides you with the information and tools that will make the experience of divorce less overwhelming, less expensive, and perhaps a little easier.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195376562
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/17/2008
  • Series: Legal Almanac Series
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

MARGARET C. JASPER is an attorney engaged in the general practice of law in South Salem, New York, concentrating in the areas of personal injury and entertainment law. Ms. Jasper holds a Juris Doctor degree from Pace University School of Law, White Plains, New York, is a member of the New York and Connecticut bars, and is certified to practice before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

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Table of Contents

About the Author     vii
Introduction     xi
The Evolution of Marriage
In General     1
Early Roman Law     1
Marriage and Divorce Formalities     1
The Julian Marriage Laws     1
Introduction of Canon Law     2
English Ecclesiastical Law     2
Lord Hardwicke's Act     3
American Colonial Law     3
Modern Day Marriage Law     3
In General     3
Ceremonial Marriage     4
Common-Law Marriage     5
Abolition of Common-Law Marriage in America     7
Marriage Statistics     8
The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act     8
UMDA Provisions     9
General Provisions     9
Marriage     9
Dissolution     10
Custody     11
Effective Date     11
The Prenuptial Agreement
In General     13
The Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements Compared     14
Validity and Enforcement     14
Proper Execution     15
Disclosure     15
Duress     16
Maintenance and Support Provisions     16
Unconscionability     16
Illegal or Invalid Provisions     17
The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act     17
The Postnuptial Agreement     17
Separation and Divorce
In General     19
History of Divorce in America     19
Divorce Statistics     20
Separation     21
Annulment     22
Void Marriage     22
Voidable Marriage     23
Uncontested Divorce     24
Divorce Based on Fault     25
Fault Divorce Grounds     25
Adultery     25
Cruelty     26
Abandonment     26
Constructive Abandonment     27
Imprisonment     27
Defenses     27
No-Fault Divorce Grounds     28
New York Conversion Divorce     28
Maintaining a Divorce Action     28
Residency Requirement     28
Preparing and Filing the Divorce Papers     29
The Defendant's Response     30
Judgment of Divorce     30
Property Distribution and Financial Issues
In General     31
Marital Property     31
Debts     32
Income Taxes     32
Business Interests     32
Employee Pensions     33
Disposition of Separate Property     33
Equitable Distribution Law     34
Community Property Law     34
The Effect of Marital Fault on Property Distribution     35
The Uniform Marital Property Act     35
Alimony and Spousal Maintenance     36
Child Support
In General     37
Child Support Agreement     37
Federal Child Support Guidelines     37
Establishing the Support Order     38
Modification of the Support Order     38
Child Support Enforcement     39
Federal Initiatives     39
State Child Support Enforcement Programs     39
Locating the Non-Custodial Parent     40
Establishing Paternity     40
Establishing a Support Order     40
Collecting Support     41
Interstate Child Support Enforcement Legislation     41
Taxation Issues     42
Tax Aspects of Child Support     42
Tax Benefits     42
Dependency Exemption     42
Earned Income Credit     42
Child Care Tax Credit      42
Medical Expenses Deduction     43
Head of Household Filing Status     43
The Emancipated Child     43
Child Custody
In General     45
Persons Entitled to Petition for Custody     46
Biological Parents     46
Non-Biological Parents     47
Adoptive Parent     47
Stepparent     47
Psychological Parent     48
Equitable Parent     48
Determining Child Custody     48
Factors Considered     48
Child's Preference     49
Psychological Evaluation     50
Types of Custody Arrangements     51
In General     51
Sole Custody     51
Joint Custody     52
Split Custody     52
Modification of a Custody Order     53
Custody Rights of Same-Sex Parents     53
In General     53
Rights of Homosexual Parents Following Heterosexual Divorce     55
Visitation     55
The Non-Custodial Parent's Right to Visitation     55
Visitation Schedule     55
Supervised Visitation     56
Transportation Issues     56
Age as a Factor     56
Relocation of the Custodial Parent     57
Visitation Rights of Third Parties     57
Visitation Rights of a Non-Legal Parent     58
Grandparent Visitation     59
Custodial Interference     59
In General     59
Interstate Custody Litigation     60
Forum Shopping     61
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act     61
Home State     62
Significant Connection     62
Emergency Situation     62
Vacuum     62
The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act     62
Cohabitation and Same-Sex Relationships
In General     65
Statistics     66
The Cohabitation Agreement     66
The Cohabitation and Prenuptial Agreements Compared     67
Scope of the Agreement     68
Property Ownership and Disposition     69
Accumulated Property versus Pre-Cohabitation Property     69
Real Estate     70
Inherited Property     71
Debts     71
Household Expenses     71
Credit Cards     71
Bank Accounts     72
Income Taxes      72
Mortgage Interest Tax Deductions     73
Dependent Child Deduction     73
Partner Support     73
Resolving Disputes     74
Parenting Issues     74
Naming the Child     74
Adopting a Child     74
The Co-Parenting Agreement     75
Domestic Partnerships     75
Domestic Partnership Registries     76
Domestic Partnership Benefits     76
Types of Benefits Offered     77
Tax Consequences of Benefits     77
Same-Sex Relationships     78
Same-Sex Marriage     78
Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution     79
The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996     80
The Vermont Civil Union Law     80
Benefits and Responsibilities     80
Eligibility     82
Terminating the Vermont Civil Union     82
Table of State Marriage Statutes: Statutory Citations     85
Table of Marriage Statutes: Age Requirements     89
Table of Marriage Statutes: Waiting Period Before Issuance of License     93
Table of Marriage Statutes: Duration of License Validity     97
Table of Marriage Statutes: Common-Law Marriage      101
Sample Prenuptial Agreement     105
Sample Financial Disclosure Statement     109
Statement of Client's Rights     123
Statement of Client's Responsibilities     127
Sample Separation Agreement Simple form-no Children     129
Table of Divorce Statutes: Legal Grounds for Divorce     139
Table of Divorce Statutes: Residency Requirements     143
Sample Summons (Form A-1) and Verifield Complaint (Form A-3) for Divorce     147
Sample Poor Person Order     155
Sample Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage     157
Table of Divorce Statutes: Property Division Rules     159
Sample Qualified Domestic Relations Order     163
Table of Divorce Statutes: Spousal Support Factors     167
Child Support Worksheet     171
Sample Qualified Medical Child Support Order     179
Sample Income Deduction Order     183
Table of Divorce Statutes: Custody Criteria     185
Sample Joint Custody Agreement     189
Table of Divorce Statutes: Third Party Visitation Authorized by state     193
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (Selected Provisions)     197
The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (Selected Provisions)      207
Sample Cohabitation Agreement     211
Sample Co-Parenting Agreement     215
Table of State Laws Concerning Same-Sex Marriage     219
The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996     223
Glossary     225
Bibliography and Additional Reading     235
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