Monthly Archives : March 2019

  • What you need to know in Same Sex Marriage and Divorce

    Divorce is a common way to dissolve a marital relationship, even in a same-sex marriage. When same-sex couples cannot eliminate their marital conflicts, divorce is always a sure conclusion. Before going through a divorce, the couple has to come to an agreement, so that any consequences may be alleviated.

    Marriage in America

    Back in 2015, federal laws concerning same-sex marriages changed. That year, same-sex marriage was proclaimed legal in the United States. Before this happened, same-sex couples could only get their marriage licenses in certain states. Some even just decided to go through civil partnerships that gave them the same or similar benefits.

    The changed laws enabled ever state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples unless certain issues arise. Some consequences depend on any issue added to the mandate and on the state itself. It is necessary for the couple to have a lawyer to make sure same-sex couples have the same rights enjoyed by couples of the opposite sex.

    Equal Rights During Same-Sex Divorce

    Obtaining and keeping equal marriage rights in a same-sex marriage is usually challenging, based on the issue. The difficulty takes place in child or spousal support, division of property, and child custody.

    In a same-sex divorce, the process supports the biological parent of the child. The rights to visit the child may not apply if just one parent has the legal rights in a particular state.

    The judge should understand that same-sex couples have the same problems as couples of the opposite sex. This applies to financial support after the marriage comes to an end.

    Acquiring property is complicated and can even result in problems if the same-sex couple ends their marriage through divorce. Depending on the state, both spouses have equal rights to the property. Some states do not permit both same-sex spouses to have their names on the house’s deed without going through more processes. Plus, it is hard to determine whom to name as the owner of specific properties.

    Because of such difficulties, it is always better to have an alternative divorce solution. This is better when the court doesn’t completely understand what is truly important for same-sex spouses. This may lead to arbitration, mediation, or a different process provided by the state involved.

  • Key Differences Between Divorce and Legal Separation

    Dissolving a marriage involves stages and the first stage is usually legal separation. Next step would be divorce. If the couple decides to go through these stages, they should know the basic differences between them.

    Legal Divorce

    If the couple cannot go on with the marriage because of their differences and conflict, they may resort to pushing through with legal divorce in the state where they reside. When one spouse happens to have moved to a different state, the spouses should decide which state in which to divorce. A lawyer, divorce documents, and a plan to go through the process are required to begin the legal divorce steps. It usually takes longer to conclude a divorce when there are property, children, and debts. An ADR (alternate divorce resolution) could help the situation. The divorce lawyer will elaborate on the best options.

    Legal Separation

    When a married couple decides to discontinue their marriage, they can choose to separate the legal way before finally ending it. The couple could file separation legally, contact a lawyer, or get in touch with the courts. The couple could also prefer to have the matter brought to the court and present it to the judge to make sure that the entire process is legal before they move on. The separation involves dividing the household into two different locations. It also separates properties and income. Even so, the marriage is still valid, and the situation usually leads to child custody confrontations until the divorce process begins.

    The Differences

    Legal divorce:

    • The couple is not married anymore when this concludes
    • The marriage dissolves in the state where the process starts and ends.

    Legal separation:

    • The first stage before a divorce
    • The couple is still married
    • May live in different households

    Why There are Couples Who Just Remain Separated

    Here are some reasons couples have for remaining separated and not going through a divorce:

    • Religion. The couple’s faith may not support divorce at all or it may not allow either spouse to remarry.
    • Social security
    • Insurance
    • Tax Benefits
    • A chance of reconciliation

    It is always best to hire an experienced lawyer before starting either process. Knowing and understanding what the steps are will make the process easier and smoother for both parties.

  • Essentials of Family Leave and Paternity Leave in the USA

    It is not easy to be a new dad in the United States of America. When it comes to paternity leave, it is still generally difficult for a father to bond with the new baby. Yes, there may be bills for family leave in America, but just a few cities and states have passed family leave laws. Everyone should understand that if there is no paid leave for new parents, children, families, and the entire society gets hurt.

    Paternity Leave Laws (State and Federal)

    Currently, only New Hampshire, New York State, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and California have laws that require employers to provide their employees paid leave. Washington’s paid leave law has been passed but it won’t take effect until 2020. For fathers who work in the rest of the US, they only receive paid leave if their employers are considerate enough to offer it.

    The FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), established in 1993, gives most new parents leave without the threat of being fired. Employees who qualify are those who have worked more than 1,240 hours and a year for a company that has 50 employees. Those who are employed by small businesses and those who work part-time are not counted. Just about 60% of workers in America can avail of the leave under the Leave Act. Sadly, the FMLA doesn’t require the employer to pay the new father while he is spending time at home with the new baby. Even if the father has a legal right to avail of the leave, he must be able to afford it.

    Companies Offering Parental Leave

    Here are some of the companies that offer parental leave to their employees:
    • Walmart (offers family leave)
    • Netflix (offers allow unlimited paternity leave to fathers during the first year the child is adopted or born)
    Only 41% of American workers work for companies that give paid paternity leave and 9% of workers work for such employers. Usually, companies use paternity leaves to retain their employees whose experience, skills and knowledge are valuable. Employees who earn not as much have more difficulty in getting paid paternity leave. Despite many advocacies and proposals for passing the family leave bill, there is still no way for low-income employees to avail of paid paternity leave.

    Paternity Leave Laws

    Below are the paternity leave laws implemented by state:
    1. California
    • The state passed the very first American paid parental leave law in 2002.
    • By 2004, parents were given 55% of their salary for a leave of up to six weeks.
    • In 2018, parents were given 60% or 70% of their salary.
    • Percentage may increase by 2021.
    2. New Jersey
    • Parents can receive two thirds of their salary for a parental leave of up to six weeks.
    3. Rhode Island
    • In 2013, it passed temporary caregiver insurance or paid family leave.
    • The leave took effect in January 2014.
    • Now, Rhode Island law gives 4 weeks of wage replacement at 60% of the employee’s salary.
    4. New York State
    • Most generous paid leave
    • Parental leave can even start eight weeks after the baby’s birth.
    • Parents receive half their salary.
    • Weekly payment their salary rises yearly
    • It is projected for the salary percentage to rise to 67% by 2022
    5. Washington DC
    • Depending on income, parents on leave can receive up to 90% of their salary
    • Law will take effect in 2020
    6. Florida, Ohio, North Carolina
    • Passed their parental leave for their municipal employees

    If employers give parental leave to parents, the family system and society, in general, will benefit. The government just needs to figure out how to fund it efficiently.