Can You Still Access Your Child’s Education Records After a Divorce?

Can You Still Access Your Child’s Education Records After a Divorce?

FERPA: What governs parental access to educational records?

ferpa educational recordsThe Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA“) is a federal statute that grants parents certain rights concerning their child’s educational records until the child turns 18 years old, at which point the rights transfer to the child. FERPA  has two main goals, one of which is to grant parents access to their children’s educational records. The other goal is to limit the access of outsiders to such records. The Ohio Student Records Privacy Act is the equivalent state statute. While the Ohio Student Records Privacy Act only applies to public schools in Ohio, FERPA applies to all educational agencies receiving federal funds.

The rights afforded to parents under both statutes include the right to access their child’s education records, to seek to have the education records amended, and some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records.

“Education records” refer to the records maintained by an educational agency, institution, or agent of such and covers all permanent educational records  made by and kept on behalf of the school system. Examples include grades and disciplinary records. Under both statutes, schools must have procedures in … Read More... “Can You Still Access Your Child’s Education Records After a Divorce?”

My Child Just Graduated High School. What are the Estate Planning Considerations?

My Child Just Graduated High School. What are the Estate Planning Considerations?

Basic Estate Planning Documents For the Just-Turned 18 Year Old. Is it necessary?

estate planning documents HIPPA AuthorizationHigh School graduation is a culmination of one’s academic accomplishments at a scholastic institution.  It is also usually a time of change.  Upon graduation, one’s life is going to change and progress into another phase.  It may also be a time of change when it comes to estate planning documents, both when it comes to the graduate and the graduate’s parents.

Parents are considered by law the natural guardians of their minor children.  Minor children are those under the age of 18.  Therefore, those under the age of 18 have no great need for estate planning documents .  However, what happens when one reaches the age of 18?  He or she is now a legal adult and the parents no longer have a legal right to speak on behalf of or act on behalf of the child.  Therefore, when a child becomes a legal adult, one should strongly consider basic estate planning documents for the child.

Documents for the 18 Year Old to Consider:

A power of attorney for health care and possibly a living will in addition would allow the parent to speak for the … Read More... “My Child Just Graduated High School. What are the Estate Planning Considerations?”

The First Amendment and the Digital Age: Can the Court stop you from posting online? The Ohio Supreme Court Addresses this Question

The First Amendment and the Digital Age: Can the Court stop you from posting online? The Ohio Supreme  Court Addresses this Question

Civil Stalking Protection Order (CSPO) Ruling In Ohio!

Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Civil Stalking Protection Order (CSPO) Usage, and Social Media First Amendment Rights

cspo civil stalking protection order first amendment social mediaSocial media sites have become important platforms for exercising free speech rights protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Despite overall agreement as to the importance of such platforms, there is debate over the extent to which such speech can be restricted. One side argues that there are not enough measures in place to protect against violent or false content, while the other argues that such measures could unfairly restrict potentially valuable content.

On June 16, 2020, the Ohio Supreme Court spoke on this controversy in its decision, Bey v. Rasawehr, Slip Opinion No. 2020-Ohio-3301, where the Court held that a civil stalking protection order (CSPO) restricting future postings imposed an unconstitutional prior restraint on protected speech. Click here to read the opinion.

What happened in the case?

Following the deaths of his father and brother-in-law, appellant Jeffrey Rasawehr began posting on social media sites as well as local news sites that his mother and sister contributed to the deaths of their respective husbands. A billboard located near his sister’s house contained … Read More... “The First Amendment and the Digital Age: Can the Court stop you from posting online? The Ohio Supreme Court Addresses this Question”

Supreme Court Rules: LGBTQ People are Protected from Job Discrimination

Supreme Court Rules: LGBTQ People are Protected from Job Discrimination

Divided Supreme Court Rules On Sex Discrimination Protection For LGBT Workers

discrimination LGBT civil rights actIn a landmark ruling, a divided Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2020 that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace also protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation. The case, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia can be accessed by clicking here. The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key protection of the Civil Rights Act  of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex also encompasses discrimination against LGBT workers.

The decision was written by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch (who was appointed to the Court by President Trump). Chief Justice John Roberts also joined the court’s four liberal justices composing the majority. Dissenting were Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”

“The lawmakers who drafted and enacted the legislation

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Child Visitation Exchanges – Tips to Avoid Problems!

Child Visitation Exchanges – Tips to Avoid Problems!

Visitation Exchanges. Do this to Avoid Friction with your Ex!

visitation exchanges custodyVisitation exchanges and custody exchanges can be uncomfortable and sometimes downright combative depending upon the relationship between the parents. They can also be stressful to your child as well. The overall objective needs to be to keep things civil and reduce friction all the way around.

Here are some common-sense tips of what to do, or not do in visitation exchanges:

  1. Coordinate Drop Off/Pick Up Location: In high conflict cases, the less you have to interact with your Ex the better. One common approach is agreeing upon making the switch at school, a daycare center, babysitters or friend’s house.  Other options are at a public place such as a park or restaurant. In extreme situations, some folks will make the exchange outside the local police department. You need to figure a spot that is practical and reduces possible danger
  2. Bring a Third Party: Some folks will bring a witness to observe the drop off/pickups and to act as an observer and help reduce any friction. If you do this, please be smart in who you choose. Typically, a family member or a mutual friend works best (assuming they get along
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Study Finds that Same-Sex Weddings have Generated $3.8 billion Over the Last 5 Years

Study Finds that Same-Sex Weddings have Generated $3.8 billion Over the Last 5 Years

Same-Sex weddings Have Generated Billion in Local and State Economic Activity in U.S. According to Study

same-sex marriage same-sex weddingsIt is estimated that there are 513,000 married same-sex couples in the United States. There are 28 United Nations’ member states that recognize the right of same-sex individuals to marry.  According to a study released on May 25, 2020 by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law at UCLA , same-sex weddings have generated $3.8 billion in local and state economic activity in the United States since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage five years ago this month in Obergefell v. Hodges. Click here to read the Supreme Court decision.

In June 2015, when the Supreme Court issued its decision in Obergefell, there were an estimated 242,000 same-sex married couples in the U.S. The number of married same-sex couples has more than doubled since then. An estimated 513,000 same-sex couples are married as of March 2020. The researchers used data from the government’s American Community Survey.

Researchers found the average cost of a same-sex marriage was $11,000 (compared with $15,000 for heterosexual couples), coming to over $3.2 billion. In addition, researchers estimated their out-of-state guests spent over $540,000 over the … Read More... “Study Finds that Same-Sex Weddings have Generated $3.8 billion Over the Last 5 Years”

6 Tips of How to Effectively Communicate with Your Spouse During a Divorce

6 Tips of How to Effectively Communicate with Your Spouse During a Divorce

Communications With Your Spouse During A Divorce Need Not Be Stressful Or Difficult

communications divorceDivorces can be very difficult and stressful. Emotions can often run rampant. Those may include anger, blame, hurt feelings, confusion, sadness, and depression. Trying to maintain civil communications between you and your spouse is important. No black or white approach works in every case. You know the factual background which caused the marriage to breakdown. You know if your spouse has been abusive or can be a bully or meanspirited. Hopefully, these tips will be useful in establishing appropriate communications.

In many cases the parties elect to have their lawyers shoulder the majority of the communications. Nonetheless, some level of communications will likely need to occur, especially if you have children.

  1. Be Civil and Respectful: Avoid arguments and be professional. As difficult as it may be, “bite your tongue” and don’t escalate issues. Truthfully, whether you are right or wrong on a point isn’t that important in the long run.
  2. Set Boundaries: As you transition from being married to divorced, try to establish boundaries to agree upon the way the 2 of you will primarily communicate and about what topics.
  3. Consider Email Communications: Email is a frequent
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