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Lafayette Family Law Blog

Suit over 'stolen' semen may be unprecedented

A Harris County civil court jury may have broken some new legal ground last week in a case that likely will have some significant implications for family law in Texas.

At the heart of the case were two claims made by a Louisiana man. First, the man said that an ex-girlfriend had in essence stolen frozen sperm specimens he had on deposit with a Texas fertility center. Second, he accused the center of breach of contract because it inseminated the woman with the sperm without his consent. The woman went on to have a child who is now five years old.

Technology aims to tie together loose divorced family strings

The pace at which we put our computers to work to help solve the most niggling aspects of our complicated lives is astounding. Even if you are a relative Luddite, chances are you have succumbed in some way to the technological revolution that is going on around us.

It was just over a year ago that we wrote a post about one online service that had recently made it to market. SupportPay was touted as the means through which divorced parents could coordinate all of the various, scattered elements of their child-rearing obligations in one place. Tracking child support payments, child pick-up scheduling, taxes, which parent pays for what could be centralized.

Parents don't forfeit rights in suspected child abuse cases

A sense of community-wide social conscience can be a dicey thing. On the one hand, everyone is an individual and the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. On the other, the legitimate exercise of society to identify and impose common norms through legislation is also guaranteed.

Sometimes individual and community consciences can conflict and it can lead to some awkward, even confrontational situations. For example, every state has child welfare laws on the books that are intended to prevent the youngest, most vulnerable members of society from suffering neglect or abuse.

If you feel threatened, a protective order may help

Every state in the country and the District of Columbia has laws on the books that provide for the issuing of protection orders. Human relationships are fraught with emotion and while cultural and legal norms are that reason should be the prevailing behavior, that ideal is not always met.

In Louisiana, 11 statutes and articles of law exist that make it possible for a private citizen to seek a court order for protection against someone else's behavior. The exact nature of the order, the circumstances under which one or another would apply, how long it might apply, and the form punishment might take if the order is violated depends on what law is being used.

Can the other parent move away with my child?

Life is full of changes. People get new jobs, new relationships and new ideas for their futures. Many of these changes require moving from one state to another; however, when child custody orders are in place, there are limits on what parents can do without permission from the other parent and/or the court.

If your ex is planning to move away with the child you share custody of, then you should know that you have rights and the court has final say over the matter. The other parent usually cannot decide to move out state with the child without permission from you and/or the court.

Twins with 2 dads shows paternity testing's value

There are many variations on the theme of family these days. About the only thing that remains traditional about the process of creating a family is the fact that it requires the egg of a woman and the sperm of a man to get things going. Beyond that the door is wide open. Egg and sperm may get together in the bottom of a Petri dish. The zygote may be implanted in a womb, but not necessarily that of the woman who provided the egg.

One other tradition that enjoys some staying power is the state's desire to make sure that a child has the support he or she is bound to need to hopefully become a productive member of society. Paternity is a big focus of attention in this scenario, as we noted in a post last year. Regardless of the process that was taken to bring a child into the world, the court wants to be sure the best interests of the child are served.

Handling division of debts in divorce: work with experienced advocate

When people think of divorce as it is portrayed in the media, there is a tendency to think about how much money or property each party will be getting as part of the divorce settlement or order. This is natural, because people are fascinated by the sheer amount of money involved when the rich and famous end their marriages.

What is often not considered is that divorce involves not only the division of assets, but also the division of debts. And while the rich and famous may not have to worry too much about significant debts in divorce, many more ordinary couples do. 

Positive answers to common co-parenting questions

If asked about your concerns related to co-parenting, you may respond, “Where do I start?” Co-parenting is often a complex and challenging venture. Thankfully, many individuals have successfully navigated their own co-parenting relationships and may be able to provide you with positive and affirming answers to many of your most pressing concerns.

Certainly, if you have legal concerns about your co-parenting relationship, it may be best to ask your attorney about these issues directly. However, many co-parenting concerns are more practical than they are legal in nature. For example, you may be concerned about how to best support your children given the challenging makeup of your co-parenting relationship.

If you and your fiancee or spouse want to avoid divorce

If you are either happily engaged or married, you may be surprised at how often you worry about the possibility of divorce. This is a normal concern. No matter how wonderful things may be now, the unexpected may lead you and your romantic partner to grow apart. However, the fact that this worry is normal does not make it easy to stomach. Thankfully, there are things you can do to ease your concerns.

For better and for worse, there is really no way to make a marriage “divorce-proof.” Yet, there are things that couples can do to lessen the likelihood that they will grow apart in unhealthy and/or unhappy ways.

Fears co-parents tend to share

Nearly 100 years ago, Franklin Roosevelt insisted that the only thing that the American people had to fear is fear itself. That observation tends to ring true when applied to many issues in life. Certainly, one can justify numerous fears that extend beyond the core issue of fear itself. However, when determining how to move forward in healthy and productive ways, fear itself does tend to manifest as one’s greatest obstacle.

This is generally true in terms of co-parenting. Certainly, if your child’s other parent is abusive, you have reason to fear beyond fear. If this is so, you may benefit from speaking to your attorney about modifying your child’s custody or placement agreement. However, if your child’s other parent is not abusive, fear may be one of the primary challenges you are navigating on a regular basis.

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