Family Law | O'Keeffe O'Brien Lyson Attorneys - Part 4

Family Law

February 6, 2017

The Basics of Serving as a Personal Representative

Personal representatives handle the estates of deceased persons. As defined by section 30.1-18-03 of the North Dakota Century Code, they have a fiduciary duty to administer the estate according to the terms of the will or laws of probate. They have the legal power to collect the assets of the […]
February 3, 2017

Adopting Your Step-Child

The process for adopting a child can be long and complex, but when a step-parent wishes to legally adopt his or her step-child, the process can be simpler and quicker. According to the Children’s Bureau, step-parent adoption is the most common type of adoption. To Adopt or Not to Adopt? […]
January 23, 2017

Distribution of Marital Property in a Divorce

If you and your spouse are preparing for a divorce and are able to come up with a fair division of your assets, the courts in North Dakota will honor that agreement. Often, negotiating a divorce settlement with your spouse outside the courtroom is the best way to achieve a […]
December 2, 2016

Child Custody Tips: How to Gracefully Share the Kids During Holidays

The upcoming Holiday season should be all about giving thanks, but it is often difficult for divorced families to get in the holiday spirit, particularly when it means sharing their children. For those who celebrate Christmas, divorced and separated couples need to remember to help their kids focus on being […]
October 20, 2016

Wrongful Death: Damages Must be Proven in Court

Under North Dakota law, a wrongful death is one that arises from the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another. The act that causes death may be negligent, reckless, or intentional. Wrongful death claims can be made in a variety of circumstances, including fatal car accidents, medical malpractice, and dangerous […]
October 6, 2016

Are Stepparents Entitled to Visitation Rights?

Stepparents often play a crucial role in raising children and form strong bonds with them, but unless they have legally adopted a child, they likely have no legal right to make decisions on the child’s behalf. However, if a child’s parent and stepparent get divorced, 23 states now have laws […]
September 30, 2016

When It May be Time to Write a Will

Many people drag their feet when it comes to writing a will. If you have not yet made one or have not updated it for many years, there are several triggering events that should serve to remind you that it is time to organize your estate plan: Getting Married (or […]
August 4, 2016

Things a Child Custody Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can’t)

A divorce is an extremely difficult time, and a divorce attorney is much better equipped to handle the many issues that can crop up, including child custody. Here are some things an experienced child custody attorney can do that you likely cannot: Negotiate with the Other Side – Calmly No […]
July 26, 2016

Divorce Mediation: What is it, and How Does it Work?

Just as no two marriages are alike, no two divorces will be the same. Some divorces are more complicated than others, some are contested while others are not, and some will settle through an agreement between the parties, while others will require an alternative approach for the parties to come […]
July 8, 2016

Common Mistakes People Make When Drafting a Will

Wills are necessary, but intimidating. Trying to put all your wishes into one legal document is often a daunting task, just as interpreting a will without the help of the individual who drafted it can be tricky business. That is why getting it right is essential. Here are some common […]
June 22, 2016

How to Divorce, Even If Your Spouse Won’t Sign the Papers

When a person (known as the petitioner) decides to obtain a divorce and serves divorce paperwork upon his spouse, one of three things will typically happen: If your spouse answers and agrees with your petition, you have what is known as an uncontested divorce. If your spouse answers and disagrees […]
June 20, 2016

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

When you’re contemplating divorce and looking for an attorney, remember one thing: you don’t have to hire the first one you meet. Choosing the right divorce attorney is one of the most important personal and financial decisions you are likely to ever make. Some questions to consider asking during your […]
May 31, 2016

Legal Tips for Getting a Divorce

Divorce is a painful process, but there are certain things couples can do to make a difficult experience run as smoothly as possible. Prepare for the divorce. The best way to make sure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible is to be prepared for the process. This includes knowing […]
May 27, 2016

Legal Tips for Choosing a New Daycare

The demand for daycare is both widespread and problematic. According to the New York Times, approximately 12 million American children age four and under are cared for on a daily basis by someone other than a parent, not counting the millions of school age children who require care when school […]
May 5, 2016

How Do Unmarried Fathers Establish Paternity?

Paternity is legally determining the father of a child. Because every child deserves the financial and emotional support of both a mother and a father, establishing paternity is extremely important. Why Establish Paternity? Establishing paternity creates a legal relationship between a father and a child, and is particularly important for […]
May 3, 2016

North Dakota’s Abortion Lawsuit Fund In Danger of Being Drained

Lawyers representing North Dakota’s only abortion clinic have announced that they will seek litigation costs from the state after the U.S. Supreme Court refused last month to review lower court rulings overturning the state’s ban on abortion at six weeks of pregnancy. Federal law allows attorneys in civil rights cases […]
April 21, 2016

Tips for Preparing for Divorce

Every day dozens of couples decide to end their marriages. Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, may be pursued for a number of reasons, including spousal abuse, an unfaithful spouse, or irreconcilable differences, and North Dakota recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds. Regardless of the reasons for a divorce, spouses should […]
April 5, 2016

Are There Advantages to Legal Separation Over Divorce?

These days, more and more couples are deciding to remain separated rather than divorce, even though they no longer wish to be married. Sometimes choosing to legally separate instead of get a divorce is a good financial decision, although other reasons may also come into play. Financial Benefits One of […]
March 8, 2016

ND Fetal Heartbeat Law Blocked by High Court

North Dakota’s “fetal heartbeat” law, the toughest ban on abortions in the nation when it was enacted in 2013, has been blocked permanently when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a lower court’s ruling that overturned the law. The law banned abortions as soon as a heartbeat was detected […]
January 26, 2016

Minnesota Revamps “Best Interest of the Child” Factors

To meet the diverse needs of children and promote their healthy development, a number of important statutory changes have been made to Minnesota law. These changes were made to support the principle that children need safe, stable, and nurturing relationships with both of their parents. The 12 New Best Interest […]
December 31, 2015

Would I Benefit from a Financial Power of Attorney?

By assigning Power of Attorney, family members are protected when difficult times of life require important decision making.  This can help make financial and business decisions easy and clear when a family member is no longer in a condition to make decisions. What is a Power of Attorney? A Power […]
December 11, 2015

Types of Child Custody to Consider for Your Family

Deciding a child’s best interest in a child custody case can be difficult. The first step to making the best decision is knowing the various different types of child custody options to consider. First, it’s important to understand that there are two components to custody. Physical Custody – refers to […]
December 7, 2015

How Do I File for Divorce? Tips to Make the Painful Process Less Stressful

Going through a divorce is never an easy process. Many losses are experienced when ending a relationship, such as the loss of a home, security, finances, comfort, etc. During this process, emotions are running rampant and initializing the legal proceedings can feel very stressful.  In an effort to ease the […]
November 2, 2015

Should I Choose A Traditional Divorce Process or the Collaborative Law Process?

The end of a marriage is a difficult time. It’s often filled with fighting, chaos, and uncertainty. Many decisions must be made including property divisions and custody arrangements. Before any of these decisions can be discussed, you and your spouse must decide what divorce process to pursue, the traditional divorce […]
October 26, 2015

How to Make a Safe Escape from an Abusive Relationship

Being in an abusive relationship can be a very scary and emotional time. While domestic violence and abuse is a problem, it is often overlooked, excused, or denied. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner or constantly have to watch what you say, chances […]