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10 reasons to consider adoption

Your spouse brings up adoption one weekend, and you feel intrigued. You've never really considered it before. You do want to start a family, but you never thought about bringing in a child in that fashion.

The more you think about it, the more you like the idea, but you're just not sure if it's right for your family. You know this isn't something to take lightly. You need to know exactly where you stand before starting the process.

What is a spendthrift trust used for?

You want to leave your heirs something when you pass away, but you're concerned that your heirs might spend the money or use the assets in a way that isn't wise. How can you protect your assets and beneficiaries?

What can you do to make sure your heirs don't spend more than they should at one time? The answer is a spendthrift trust. A spendthrift trust is an account overseen by at least one trustee. This person controls the assets you leave behind, and the beneficiaries, as a result, cannot spend money without an actual distribution. The trustee has the authority to make distributions in accordance with the agreement you put in place.

What is the importance of a home study?

If you have decided to adopt a child from abroad, there are some things you'll need to do. You will need to submit a home study with any application you make, which shows what your home environment is like. The home study reviews you personally along with your family. This helps the foreign country's adoption services and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services determine if your home is a good, suitable place for a child.

What is included in a home study for international adoptions?

Inheriting a house could lead to serious conflict

Your parents passed away, and they left you and your two siblings the house. You have a brother and a sister.

The house is not all you got, but everything else could easily get divided. The minor possessions. The bank account. The investment portfolios. All of the other financial assets. Your parents did a great job of dividing everything into three and so you did not run into any problems.

Protecting students: When a custody dispute involves the school

It's a hard situation to deal with when parents are fighting over custody of their children. When the school is involved, that's even more difficult. The staff at any school with children involved in a custody dispute need to know much about the situation to make sure the staff doesn't make errors.

The most common issue for parents is a lack of access to school records. Just because a person is a parent it doesn't mean he or she does have access to those records. If the court did not grant the right to obtain school records, the school shouldn't hand them over. Likewise, if the court didn't forbid it, then the school should release those documents in accordance with the law.

Gray divorce: Sometimes surprising

As someone who is 50 or older and considering divorce, you may wonder what it would do to you financially. You're part of a group of people known as "gray divorcees," and you could end up facing financial ruin if you're not cautious when you separate.

It's a fact that around 56 percent of married women rely on their spouses to make decisions about financial planning and investing. That could mean that they don't fully understand what could happen if they divorce, because they aren't fully aware of what they could lose.

Are you ready for a 50-50 parenting plan?

Many modern parents want to have a 50-50 custody plan for their kids. Indeed, family and child psychologists -- in addition to medical researchers -- tend to agree that the more time a child spends with both parents, the better the outcome for the child. That said, the 50-50 arrangement, in which the child lives half the time with one parent and half the time with the other, will not work for all parents and children.

Here are a few things to consider when evaluating whether an equal parenting plan will work for you and your family.

Parental alienation: An unacceptable factor in some divorces

There is little worse than having a once-loving child tell you that he or she is scared of you or doesn't want to be around you. For parents dealing with parental alienation, this may be a way of life until the situation comes back under control.

Parental alienation can happen because one ex-spouse wants to hurt the other or because the parent wants a child all to him- or herself. It might happen for no good reason at all.

Divorce after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

No one gets a divorce to take advantage of tax benefits. Divorce and separation are two of the most stressful and painful life events, and while property division and support are weighty factors, they generally are not what drives the decision to end a marriage. Yet divorce can bring about some major tax consequences, and the newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("TCJA") could make an already tumultuous time in one's life beset with traps for the unwary. This article will highlight some of the recent changes to Federal tax law that potentially have a significant impact on divorce settlement negotiations.

Can grandparents get custody of their grandkids in Texas?

Children growing up in divorced families may have one problem that they deal with over and over again; there are more people who want to see them than they can see when they're split between two homes. When parents divorce, it sometimes makes it harder for children to see their extended family members. This is true either due to the time constraints or because of ill feelings among family members.

Regardless of what's happened, grandparents may want to know what they can do to guarantee some time with their grandchildren. In Texas, continuing contact is normally allowed when a parent approves of visitation. If a parent refuses to allow access, Texas law does not legally entitle grandparents to see their grandchildren.

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