Get our app
Account Sign up Sign in

Family matters

Marriage, divorce, and parenting help at your fingertips. We're here for you.

Evan and Rebecca M.
Rocket Lawyer members since 2012

Family matters FAQs

  • How common are Prenuptial Agreements?

    Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular. Marriage and divorce specialists often attribute this to the trend of people waiting to get married until they are a bit older. When couples are young and have few assets, they don't think about it much. On the other hand, older couples may have accumulated some individual assets as well as debt. As more women have entered the workplace, more women have been requesting Prenuptial Agreements (traditionally men were more inclined to request a prenup).

    While it is difficult to put an exact number on how many couples currently have Prenuptial Agreements, most agree that the number is increasing. Prenups help protect existing assets (such as assets you want to be reserved for your children from a previous relationship) and each other from accumulated debt that was acquired before the marriage. Mutual debt and assets acquired after the marriage may need to be protected with other agreements or the settlement may be out of your control should a divorce occur.

  • I'm thinking about adopting a child, where do I start?

    The adoption process is often complicated. It is usually not something that should be rushed into with minimal thought. The first two questions to ask yourself include:

    Why do I want to adopt? If I'm adopting with a partner, are we on the same page? If I'm adopting alone, do I have the support I'll need (family and financial)? What might our lives look like in five, ten or 20 years?

    What kind of adoption am I interested in? Do I want to adopt within the US or apply for international adoption? What age of child might I want to adopt? Would I be okay with birth-family involvement?

    Once you have decided that you want to adopt and who you might want to adopt, you'll want to:

    • Hire adoption help. You may choose to work with an adoption agency and/or an adoption attorney.
    • Save money and get your finances in order. While adopting a foster child may be only a few grand, other adoptions may cost thousands. International and newborn adoption often cost the most.
    • Network. You may need to make an online adoption profile. You may also benefit from connecting with other adopting parents.
    • Start your background checks and home study. You'll need to be able to pass a background check and show that you have the means (and home) suitable to care for a child. You may even need to pass a physical.

    After you have done your research and prepared in every way possible, also be prepared to be patient and open to change your plans if needed.

  • How do I hire someone to care for my elderly parent?

    To be honest, the first thing you need to consider is how care will be paid for and how much is available for long-term care. Do they have long-term care insurance? Do they have Medicare funding? Are you paying? Do they have savings that you may have access to? Nursing home care costs range from $6,000 to $12,000, per month. In-home care costs roughly $12 - $30 per hour (or about $170 for an eight-hour day, not counting food and other living expenses). As you can see, the cost is a huge factor when determining the kind of care you can afford to provide for your parent.

    If you need to access their finances, you'll need a Power of Attorney.

    The next step is to decide what kind of elderly care you need. Your parent may choose to "age in place," in a senior community, in assisted living, with a family member, or in a nursing home. You'll also need to decide if they need a medical caregiver or a companion caregiver. The first is licensed to provide a certain level of medical care whereas a companion caregiver provides companionship, house cleaning, shopping, meal preparation, and such. If you choose to hire someone to work in their (or your) home, consider using a Home Health Care Contract to outline the term of your agreement.

    When considering candidates to provide in-home care:

    • Verify the information provided on their application and perform a background check
    • See if the caregiver and your parent get along
    • Require that they sign a contract and provide tax information
    • Have them sign a Confidentiality Agreement to protect your family information
    • Arrange for how transportation will be provided
    • Ensure that you have a backup caregiver that can work when needed
    • Write interview questions and take notes during interviews
    • Consider a trial period such as 30 or 90 days to see how well the relationship works
    • If you are to be their employer, research how you need to pay and report to the IRS since they would be considered a "household employee"

    While finding a good caregiver may be stressful and challenging, it benefits everyone if you take your time and do your research to find the best person possible to care for your loved one.

Ask a lawyer

Our network attorneys are here for you.
Characters remaining: 600
Rocket Lawyer Network Attorneys

Legal guides

  1. Legal Tips for a Safe Halloween
    2 min read
  2. Do I Need a Lawyer for Adoption?
    2 min read
  3. Do I Need a Family Lawyer?
    2 min read
  4. International Adoption Information for U.S. Citizens
    2 min read
  5. Hague Adoption Process for U.S. Citizens Who Wish to Adopt
    2 min read
  6. Applying for a Hague Certificate for a Completed International Adoption
    1 min read
  7. Required Medical Examinations for an International Adoption
    1 min read
  8. Steps After an Adopted Child Arrives in the U.S.
    1 min read
  9. Applying for an Adopted Child's Citizenship
    1 min read
  10. Adoption Credit
    4 min read
  11. Legal Issues at Different Life Stages
    4 min read
  12. What Term Life Insurance Covers and Why You May Want It
    4 min read
  13. Preparing for Back-to-School COVID Safety Requirements
    2 min read
  14. Estate Planning Essentials for New Parents
    4 min read
  15. Legal Checklist for New Parents
    4 min read

Looking for something else?