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Portland Divorce & Family Law Lawyer, Maine


John H. Branson Lawyer

John H. Branson

VERIFIED
Criminal, Accident & Injury, Divorce & Family Law, Business, Estate

Branson Law Office, P.A. provides legal advice and assistance to both individuals and business clients in a wide variety of areas, including civil lit... (more)

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800-647-9650

Richard F. van Antwerp

Family Law, Wills & Probate, Corporate, Workers' Compensation, Trusts
Status:  In Good Standing           

James C. Hunt

Family Law, Wills & Probate, Corporate, Workers' Compensation, Land Use & Zoning
Status:  In Good Standing           

Douglas J. Alofs

Family Law, Wills & Probate, Corporate, Workers' Compensation, Land Use & Zoning
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Marianna M. Fenton

Business Organization, Family Law, Wills & Probate, Corporate, Workers' Compensation
Status:  In Good Standing           

Darby C. Urey

Family Law, Wills & Probate, Corporate, Workers' Compensation, Land Use & Zoning
Status:  In Good Standing           

Charles W. March

Family Law, Agriculture, Civil Rights, Corporate, Workers' Compensation
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Lawrence B. Goodglass

Family Law, Wills & Probate, Corporate, Workers' Compensation, Land Use & Zoning
Status:  In Good Standing           

Cara L. Biddings

Family Law, Wills & Probate, Corporate, Workers' Compensation, Land Use & Zoning
Status:  In Good Standing           

James S. Kriger

Family Law, Wills & Probate, Corporate, Workers' Compensation, Land Use & Zoning
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LEGAL TERMS

DEFAULT DIVORCE

See uncontested divorce.

HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD

A person who supports and maintains, in one household, one or more people who are closely related to him by blood, marriage or adoption. Under federal income ta... (more...)
A person who supports and maintains, in one household, one or more people who are closely related to him by blood, marriage or adoption. Under federal income tax law, you are eligible for favorable tax treatment as the head of household only if you are unmarried and you manage a household which is the principal residence (for more than half of the year) of dependent children or other dependent relatives. Under bankruptcy homestead and exemption laws, the terms householder and 'head of household' mean the same thing. Examples include a single woman supporting her disabled sister and her own children or a bachelor supporting his parents. Many states consider a single person supporting only himself to be a head of household as well.

PHYSICAL CUSTODY

The right and obligation of a parent to have his child live with him. Compare legal custody.

GUARDIAN

An adult who has been given the legal right by a court to control and care for a minor or her property. Someone who looks after a child's property is called a '... (more...)
An adult who has been given the legal right by a court to control and care for a minor or her property. Someone who looks after a child's property is called a 'guardian of the estate.' An adult who has legal authority to make personal decisions for the child, including responsibility for his physical, medical and educational needs, is called a 'guardian of the person.' Sometimes just one person will be named to take care of all these tasks. An individual appointed by a court to look after an incapacitated adult may also be known as a guardian, but is more frequently called a conservator.

BEST INTERESTS (OF THE CHILD)

The test that courts use when deciding who will take care of a child. For instance, an adoption is allowed only when a court declares it to be in the best inter... (more...)
The test that courts use when deciding who will take care of a child. For instance, an adoption is allowed only when a court declares it to be in the best interests of the child. Similarly, when asked to decide on custody issues in a divorce case, the judge will base his or her decision on the child's best interests. And the same test is used when judges decide whether a child should be removed from a parent's home because of neglect or abuse. Factors considered by the court in deciding the best interests of a child include: age and sex of the child mental and physical health of the child mental and physical health of the parents lifestyle and other social factors of the parents emotional ties between the parents and the child ability of the parents to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing and medical care established living pattern for the child concerning school, home, community and religious institution quality of schooling, and the child's preference.

MARRIAGE

The legal union of two people. Once a couple is married, their rights and responsibilities toward one another concerning property and support are defined by the... (more...)
The legal union of two people. Once a couple is married, their rights and responsibilities toward one another concerning property and support are defined by the laws of the state in which they live. A marriage can only be terminated by a court granting a divorce or annulment. Compare common law marriage.

FOSTER CHILD

A child placed by a government agency or a court in the care of someone other than his or her natural parents. Foster children may be removed from their family ... (more...)
A child placed by a government agency or a court in the care of someone other than his or her natural parents. Foster children may be removed from their family home because of parental abuse or neglect. Occasionally, parents voluntarily place their children in foster care. See foster care.

SEPARATE PROPERTY

In community property states, property owned and controlled entirely by one spouse in a marriage. At divorce, separate property is not divided under the state's... (more...)
In community property states, property owned and controlled entirely by one spouse in a marriage. At divorce, separate property is not divided under the state's property division laws, but is kept by the spouse who owns it. Separate property includes all property that a spouse obtained before marriage, through inheritance or as a gift. It also includes any property that is traceable to separate property -- for example, cash from the sale of a vintage car owned by one spouse before marriage-and any property that the spouses agree is separate property. Compare community property and equitable distribution.

FAMILY COURT

A separate court, or more likely a separate division of the regular state trial court, that considers only cases involving divorce (dissolution of marriage), ch... (more...)
A separate court, or more likely a separate division of the regular state trial court, that considers only cases involving divorce (dissolution of marriage), child custody and support, guardianship, adoption, and other cases having to do with family-related issues, including the issuance of restraining orders in domestic violence cases.