Category: Family Law

Child Support and Special Needs Children: The importance of a special needs trust when parents of special needs children are getting divorced or establishing a child support order.

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Individuals with special needs may be eligible for government assistance programs like SSI and Medicaid.  SSI is intended to provide financial assistance for food and shelter and Medicaid provides health insurance coverage. Child support payments impact eligibility for these programs and the establishment of a special needs trust when the child becomes an adult can be critical to maximizing child support payments and government benefits for the child.

When the child is a minor and receiving SSI:

When a minor is residing with a parent, his parent’s financial resources are taken into… Read the rest

How to Get Attorney Fees Paid in a Divorce

Who Can Receive Attorney Fees?

Either party can be awarded attorney’s fees (in full or in part) in a divorce action or any action arising from the initial divorce, if the court finds the award to be ‘equitable.’

How Does the Court Determine What is Equitable?

The court considers the parties’ marital assets and income, any award of temporary spousal support, the conduct of the parties, and any other relevant factors the court deems appropriate in deciding what is ‘equitable.’

Will I be paid in Full or in Installments?

The court may specify whether the award of attorney’s… Read the rest

Sofia Vergara and the Fate of an Embryo

Actress Sofia Vergara recently had a public dispute with her ex-fiance Nick Loeb over their frozen embryos. It has been reported that Vergara and Loeb created two embryos. An embryo is created in a lab by fertilizing a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm. When the couple parted ways, Loeb sued Vergara for control of the embryos. Loeb would like to use the two embryos to have children through the use of a surrogate, whereas Vergara wishes to keep the embryos frozen. Prior to creating the embryos, the couple had signed a contract that stated that both parties had to agree to bring the embryos to term. Should… Read the rest

The Craigslist Sperm Donation and Ohio

In Kansas, Jennifer Schreiner and Angela Bauer, a lesbian couple, posted an ad on Craigslist seeking a sperm donor. The cost of artificial insemination can range from $300 to $700 a try and it can take four or more tries to be successful, a cost prohibitive process for some aspiring parents. Hence, the couple was likely seeking a less expensive alternative to a sperm bank. William Marotta, a married man, hoping to help the couple out, responded that he would be a willing donor.

The three signed a contract waiving Marotta’s parental right and responsibilities, the donation was made and Schreiner… Read the rest

Should Embryos be a Commodity?

Assisted Reproductive Technology refers to all treatments where the egg or embryo is handled outside the body.

The most common treatment is IVF (in vitro fertilization). With In vitro fertilization, the egg is fertilized with the sperm in a laboratory and the resulting embryo is implanted in the uterus. IVF can be done using the intended mother’s egg or a donor’s egg and the intended father’s sperm or a donor’s sperm. It can also be done with a donated embryo. With surrogacy, a woman carries the intended mother’s embryo.

Most fertility clinics that store the genetic material of patients… Read the rest