Family law is an area of the law that deals with family-related issues and domestic relations which include, but are not limited to:
- The nature of marriage, domestic partnerships, civil unions;
- Issues that may arise during the marriage such as spousal abuse, child abuse, child abduction, adoption, legitimacy, surrogacy, adultery, and bigamy;
- The termination of the relationship and such matters including divorce, annulment, property distributions, alimony and child custody, visitation, and child support awards.
Family law rules relate to both relationships between family members as well as a family and society. Family law reflects shared values by society pertaining to how people who are related should treat one another. Family law attorneys can assist people with prenuptial agreements, divorce, paternity, child custody, child support, and in some instances, adoption. When you are faced with an important decision pertaining to a family relationship, seek the legal advice of one of our experienced attorneys.
A marriage is a relationship between or among individuals, usually recognized by civil authority and/or bound by the religious beliefs of the participants. Because marriage often has the dual nature of a binding legal contract plus a moral promise, it is often difficult to characterize. In some form or another, marriage is found in virtually every society. Marriage has traditionally been understood as a monogamous union. In some parts of today’s world, a polygamy is a common form of marriage. However, all states prohibit marriage to more than one person. Marriage is also prohibited between close family members. A few of the more common restrictions are:
- A marriage between blood-related siblings, parent and child, an aunt or uncle and niece and nephew. 2. Generally the minimum age requirement for marriage is 18 years old, although some states permit marriage at a younger age if parents consent to the marriage. 3. One or both parties must meet state residency requirements.
- It is mandatory in most states that a formal ceremony of some kind be performed with witnesses and a religious or licensed official. Federal and state laws give married couples many benefits. Such benefits include:
- Decision-making powers about your spouse in case of disability 2. Claimant rights for loss of consortium (loss of interest that one spouse is entitled to receive from the other, including companionship, cooperation, affection, aid, and sexual relations) 3. Certain tax advantages 4. Inheritance rights under state intestate succession laws 5. Federal benefit rights include disability, unemployment, social security, veterans’ pension, and public assistance benefit 6. Creating a marital estate fund 7. Receive family rates on insurance 8. Avoid deportation of a non-citizen spouse
In some instances, many couples find it advantageous to consult an attorney about entering into a premarital or prenuptial agreement. This is useful as it allows them to work through financial issues and the potential disagreements that can be created prior to marriage.
Common-law marriage is a marriage that results from the actions of a couple despite the fact that they have not obtained a marriage license or fulfilled the requirements of a state’s statutory marriage laws. Typically this means that a couple has lived together for a significant period of time while having an agreement to be married and presenting themselves to the public as husband and wife. No state stipulates the exact time period, but generally, a ten-year-old relationship is required. The evidence to prove the necessary intent includes such things as sharing the same last name, filing joint tax returns, and referring to each other as husband or wife.
Not every state permits common-law marriages. As a result of the laws of different states, actions that can result in common law marriage in one state may not provide any legal rights or protections in another. In states which recognize common law marriage, once the requirements are satisfied, the marriage is treated in the exact same manner as any other marriage. Therefore, a valid common law marriage must typically be ended through a formal divorce process.
A Premarital/Prenuptial Agreement (referred to as “prenup” for short) is a written contract between two people drawn up before marriage. It generally details any and all property either party owns (along with any debts) and what each person’s property rights will be after marriage and sometimes whether alimony will be paid if the couple should divorce. Also, a prenuptial agreement may state what is to be done about property distribution should one of them die. The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act provides for the division of property due to separation, divorce and death, alimony, wills, ownership of property as well as management and control, and life insurance benefits.
If you need to file or have been served with divorce paperwork at Island Law Office, PC, LLO, we can help. We understand your situation and can discuss your options and the progress of your case. When a marriage comes to an end, there are complex matters involving the division of property, child custody, visitation and support. When faced with a divorce, contact Island Law Office, PC, LLO and let us help you.
Bell Island is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law and has lived in Scotts Bluff County since 1994. Bell started in the Scotts Bluff County Public Defender's office and opened his own practice in 1999. Bell continues to represent clients in the areas of Criminal Law, DUI, Divorce and Family law, and Probate, matters. Read More
If you would like to schedule an initial consultation contact a Nebraska family law attorney, representing clients in Gering, Nebraska at the Island Law Office, PC, LLO. Give us a call at (308) 633-4040.