Spouses as Witnesses in Divorce Proceedings

Introduction In general, either spouse can testify in a ''no fault'' divorce proceeding, in a fault-based divorce proceeding, in a property settlement hearing, or in proceedings relating to custody determinations. While such testimony can be highly relevant in a divorce proceeding, there are some rules (including the marital communications and anti-marital facts privileges) that come into play when considering the Read More

Impact of Bankruptcy Laws on Divorce Generally

Traditionally, the entire gamut of matrimonial law has been a creature of state law, not federal law. As such, federal courts generally may not intervene in the marital area unless a particular issue comes into conflict with federal law. Bankruptcy is one such area, and it can arise because of the effect that divorce has on spouses' property ownership and financial situation. In divorces involving a complex asset Read More

Property Division in Divorce: Valuation of Marital Property

In divorce cases, courts usually must divide the parties' marital property between them. Marital property usually includes both marital assets and marital debts, and generally consists of all property acquired by both or either of the spouses during the marriage, other than property acquired by inheritance or gift from a third party. State divorce laws handle marital property differently depending on whether the Read More

Is a Gestational Carrier Right for Me?

Growing a Family Many prospective parents consider a gestational carriers or gamete donation because they can’t conceive and/or carry a child themselves. Thanks to advances in science and medicine, patients can receive donated eggs, sperm, or embryos, and gestational carriers can carry embryos related to one or both intended parents. However, what may be relatively simple scientifically can be relatively complicated Read More

Potential Pitfalls to Avoid in Surrogacy or Gamete Donation

Science has given prospective parents a plethora of reproductive options that did not exist before. However, some options, although medically or even legally permissible, can be extremely complicated, risky, and/or expensive to pursue. The following is a list of assisted reproduction choices that could have potentially negative legal consequences. It is extremely important to talk with an attorney (prior to taking Read More

The Basics of Using a Sperm Donor

For couples experiencing male infertility or for lesbian couples, the decision to utilize a sperm donor is an important one that should be carefully thought out and discussed prior to moving forward. From the legal perspective, here are FAQs about using a sperm donor. Disclaimer: The information contained herein is related solely to North Carolina law.  What is the difference between an anonymous, known, and Read More

Embryo Custody Battles

What happens to frozen embryos after a couple splits up? An Illinois court is determining whether a woman can have custody of and implant embryos over the objection of her ex-boyfriend, who provided the sperm that created the embryos. If the woman is successful, she will be permitted to get pregnant and presumably have a child who will be the genetic child of her ex-boyfriend, who maintains that he has a Read More

Talking to Your Children about a Gestational Carrier

Many clients are undecided or concerned about when and how to tell their child that he or she was conceived or born through a gestational carrier or gamete donation. Most research seems to indicate that children cope best with the information under the following circumstances: The parents address their own comfort levels with the circumstances of their child’s conception or birth and prepare themselves and each Read More

Keeping It in the Family

Tips for intended parents who are considering a gestational carrier that is a friend or family member. Choosing a gestational carrier is a huge decision that takes many factors into consideration. However, most of the time it ultimately comes down to “what feels right.” Many intended parents choose a stranger for this journey, but others (for emotional, financial, or other reasons) prefer to use a friend or family Read More

Making Gestational Carrier Conversations Less Awkward

Talking Eggs and Sperm Engaging in conversations that are full of words like “sperm” and “vaginal delivery” and “abortion” are very awkward for many people, particularly when they don’t know each other very well. Conversations about money and compensation can also be difficult for many. A gestational carrier arrangement often combines two of the most personal aspects of life (reproductive choices and finances) and Read More