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Family Law Newsletters

Adoption and Safe Families Act – Permanency Plans and Hearings

The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) requires states to conduct a permanency hearing within 12 months of a child’s placement in foster care and at least every 12 months thereafter for as long as the child is in foster care. The date of the child’s placement in foster care is the earlier of the following two dates: the date of the first judicial finding that the child is abused or neglected, or 60 days after the removal of the child from his or her home.

International Adoption – Advance Processing

The United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends that all prospective parents file an application for "Advance Processing" before they identify a foreign child to adopt. Advance Processing is a procedure whereby the USCIS pre-approves the prospective parents’ application to adopt a child.

Parental Liability for a Minor’s Torts

A parent may be liable for a minor’s torts. The parent may be found liable if the parent was negligent in their actions. The parent may be liable for an injury inflicted by the minor, if the injury was the natural and probable consequence of the parent’s negligent act. The injury should be reasonably foreseeable due to the parent’s negligence.

Post-Decree Modification of Child Custody

A court is guided by one principle when deciding the issue of child custody. That principle is the best interest of the child. The best interest of the child is determined by examining the child’s relationship with the parents and important family members, the child’s health and social development, and the child’s general well-being.


A separation constitutes the living apart of spouses. The spouses are not yet permitted to remarry because they are still legally married. The separation can be either legal or non-legal in nature. A legal separation generally refers to a separation that is ordered by a court.


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