Posts Tagged ‘Child’

Child Support and Custody (and visitation)

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Custody and visitation go hand-in-hand because if one parent has physical custody, the time that the child spends with the other parent is called visitation.  Most people are comfortable with how these work together.

Most people are also comfortable with the idea that the parent who has physical custody of the child can receive child support from the other parent.

Sometimes the visiting parent, who is also ordered to pay child support, may not be making those child support payments on time.  That is a problem all by itself and it can be handled through the courts.

But making or not making child support payments is only one factor to be considered when determining visitation.  Not making child support payments alone should not keep a parent from having visitation with his or her child.

The bottom line is that if the court has allowed visitation with the child, the custodial parent cannot deny visitation just because the visiting parent is not current in his or her child support payments.

So, what do you do if you are reading this and you are in the position where you are behind in your child support payments and your child’s custodial parent won’t let you see your children?  The specific action will depend on what court orders are already in place concerning custody, visitation and support.

If you don’t have copies of the orders, you can go to the clerk’s office and request copies.  (this is also a good place to mention that these orders are very important and you should keep copies in a safe place so you have access to them when needed).

My suggestion is to then take those orders with you when you consult with an attorney.  That attorney will be able to read the orders, listen to your story, and give you a plan of how to go about trying to get what you want based on the laws that pertain to your situation.

From a very personal standpoint, I find it very sad when a father wants to see his children, but he doesn’t even try because he is behind in child support.  It is sad for the father, it is sad for the grandparents and other family members, but most of all, it is sad for the child.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at

Is an adopted child considered blood line in a will?

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

I found this question on the internet awhile ago, and thought that others might have the same question themselves.

In this case, there wasn’t a lot of information other than the fact that this man had adopted his wife’s child, but wanted to make sure that all of his inheritances in his Will would pass only to his bloodline.

Legally, as soon as you adopt a child, it is considered YOUR child for all intents and purposes.  By law, there is no distinction between a child by blood and a child by adoption.  Generally, when the adoption is finalized, the child loses the legal connection to the birth parents and gains the legal connection to the adoptive parents.

This is different than the status of a step-child.  A step-child is not considered your child for any legal action, even though you were the parent for the child’s entire life.

There are ways of drafting your Will, Trust or other estate planning documents to create your desired end result.

You can disinherit any of your children by putting the language into the document.  It doesn’t have to be an adopted child.  I have had clients who wanted to make sure that one of their children did not get anything when they died because of things that child did, or perhaps they have already given one child more than his or her share and now wanted to make sure that what was left would go to another child.

Some people also give different amounts to different children by naming them specifically along with a percentage of the estate value

In this man’s case, he could write his Will so that his adopted child did not inherit something that he felt strongly should be kept in the blood line.

I’ve also had clients who wanted to make sure that their step-children were treated the same as their biological children.    I had one client who wanted to make sure that their son’s step-daughter was treated as any of their other grandchildren.

This is relatively easy to accomplish with the right drafting, but you need to make sure it is done correctly or you will not get your desired result.  Even worse, you might end up with a document that causes your family to spend lots of dollars, even the entire value of your estate, in litigation to fight over what you really meant when you wrote that you wanted your things to go to ‘your bloodline’.   This is one good example of why it is important to go to an Estate Planning professional instead of trying a ‘do it yourself’ plan that you find in the store, on software, or on the internet.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at