3 Least Known Family Laws – and Why You Should Learn Them

Encinitas, CA – It pays to learn Family Law, even if you’re not a lawyer. You know, just in case you ever find yourself embroiled in a difficult case.

Family Law

But let’s face it. All Family Law cases are difficult. Since the family is typically breaking down, the laws bring with them plenty of emotional strife, such as in the case of divorce proceedings.

You probably have at least some familiarity with other commonly known Family Laws like domestic violence disputes, child protection orders, and adoption proceedings. But there are exist a few other Family Laws on the books that you probably aren’t so familiar with.

Here are a few of those laws now. Knowing about them can help you navigate the legal system in case you ever find yourself facing one or more of the below situations.

Filial Support Laws

You probably know all about child support. That is when a parent is forced to provide monetary assistance to one or more children, usually as a product of divorce.

But did you know that some children can be forced to pay for their parents, instead of the other way around?

Depending on the state you live in, Filial (or responsibility) Laws are in place to force adult children to fund care for their ill or disabled parents.

While these laws are rarely implemented, they have resulted in many suits where children of indigent parents are sued, sometimes for up to $50,000 or more.

In most cases, they are used to force children to pay for their parents only when they should be able to do so. As in, they have the money, they just choose not to pay for whatever reason.

The laws are not intended to force people to pay when they are unable to do so, though some unfortunate horror stories have inevitably occurred.

The law is based on England’s Poor Act of 1601 that stated that parents, grandparents, and children had to step up and help every poor, old, lame, blind and impotent person if they could reasonably do so. Only people who had no family members to speak of could be eligible for public assistance.

Only about a dozen states have these laws on the books and fewer still actually enforce them, going so far as to recommend criminal charges for offenders.

Still, you should know about Filial Laws in case you or someone you love gets a letter threatening a lawsuit. If that ever happens, be sure to contact a qualified Family Law attorney.

Adoption and Safe Families Act

Family Law isn’t always about forcing someone to pay money or the breaking down of relationships. Sometimes it involves the transition of individuals into a new family formation.

Case in point, the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) was introduced by then President Bill Clinton on November 19, 1997.

The law makes it possible for special needs children to have an easier time being adopted and acclimated to the new family home.

The act ensures that the new parents receive monetary and social assistance so that the focus remains on the child and his or her development.

Thanks to this little known Family Law, special needs kids aren’t passed over or forgotten about during the adoption process, and the new family is able to bond much faster and more easily.

This is good news for any families who are considering adoption, but may be wary of choosing a special needs child. You now know that you have support in place to make this time extra special for all involved.

Paid Family Leave Law

In states like New Jersey and California, companies are forced to pay for individuals to take time off work to care for a new child or ill relative, sometimes for up to six weeks.
During this time, the worker will collect a little more than half of their standard pay. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

Unfortunately, not many people know this law exists. To date, less than 200,000 people have taken advantage of the law in New Jersey since 2009. This means that if they do have to miss work to care for a new addition to the family or a sick relative, they simply go unpaid.

The lesson here is to keep up with Family Law. You don’t have to devour law books (that’s my job as an Encinitas Divorce Attorney), but you are encouraged to read blogs, articles and learn as much as you can.

After all, you never know when you may need to navigate the choppy waters of the legal system all on your own. Of course, it is always to your advantage to seek the help of a qualified Family Law attorney.

If you are engaged in a Family Law dispute or you have questions that need answers, contact Encinitas Family Attorney John Griffith and get the help you need. Call the attorneys at Griffith, Young & Lass for a free consultation at 858-345-1720.

© 2016 Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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