family law

Child custody

 

Child custody: an overview

In cases of divorce, the court of jurisdiction for the divorce proceedings also determines child custody arrangements. Under the common statutory provision, if the spouses have children together while married, the parents have joint guardianship over that child and the parental rights are equal. Each parent has an equal right to the custody of the child when they separate.

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U.S. Constitution and Federal Statutes

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Divorce

divorce and separation: an overview

A divorce formally dissolves a legal marriage. While married couples do not possess a constitutional or legal right to divorce, states permit divorces because to do so best serves public policy. To ensure that a particular divorce serves public policy interests, some states require a "cooling-off period," which prescribes a time period after legal separation that spouses must bear before they can initiate divorce proceedings.

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Category: Family Law

Adoption

adoption: an overview

Adoption refers to the act by which an adult formally becomes the guardian of a child and incurs the rights and responsibilities of a parent. At the conclusion of the formal process, a legal relationship between child and guardian will have formed. The legal relationship results in the adoptee becoming the legal heir of the adopter and terminates any legal rights then in existence with the natural parents.

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Federal Material

U.S. Constitution and Federal Statutes

Federal Agency Regulations

Federal Judicial Decisions

State Material

State Statutes

State Judicial Decisions

International Material

Conventions and Treaties

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Useful Offnet (or Subscription - $) Sources

  • Good Starting Points in Print:
    • Cahn & Hollinger, Families by Law: An Adoption Reader. New York: New York University Press (2004).

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Incompetence

Definition

1.  Lack of legal ability to do something, especially to testify or stand trial.  Also known as "incompetency."  May be caused by various types of disqualification, inability, or unfitness.  Someone who is judged incompetent by means of a formal hearing may have a guardian appointed by the court.  Sometimes the sole disqualification is age; see minority.

 

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