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Documents Every Graduating Senior and College Student Needs

Now that high school graduation is upon us, it’s a time for celebration and reflection for parents and students alike. For parents, you now face the fact that your little bird is leaving the nest.  Is he or she ready? Legally, they are adults now and entitled to privacy protections. This means that even though your child may be relying on your financial support, privacy laws prohibit financial institutions, medical providers and colleges from disclosing private information concerning your child unless authorized. In case of an emergency, your child needs the following documents in place for you to be able to help them and make decisions on their behalf:
  1. Durable Power of Attorney: This document allows you to manage their financial affairs (either immediately or in the future) should they travel abroad or become mentally or physically unable to do so. This includes managing their financial accounts,  renewing their car registration, or filing a tax return on their behalf.
  2. Medica…
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Mother's Day: A Time for Reflection and Celebration

This is the time of year that we celebrate motherhood, not only the day-to-day life of being a mom, but also the journey itself.  For some, infertility challenges that journey.  Thankfully there are more options than ever for those who want to become a mother. For many, like myself, the solution was adoption.  I am so thankful for the miracle of adoption, but is it right for you?  The following questions may help you find your answer.
Are you emotionally prepared for adoption? As with making any family planning decision, adoption requires a lot of self-reflection. It also requires that you come to terms with any grief you are experiencing resulting from infertility issues. A friend who adopted told me that she decided to adopt because the chances of becoming a parent were much higher than IVF. That’s true, but there are other challenges to consider. Open adoption is now the norm and it is recommended by experts in the field. Consequently, birth parents will become a part of your famil…

Tips for Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

Over 60% of parents have not chosen a guardian for their children. If you have not designated a guardian legally and clearly, then you are putting your children at risk of being raised by someone that you don’t trust or that you would never choose. Most of us cringe at the thought of a court appointed person or Judge who has never met us, determining who will raise our children and manage the money that we’ve carefully set aside for their care. Start the conversation with your child’s other parent about who should raise your children and who should manage the money that you’ve left to them. Consider having a guardian of the person (who parents them) and guardian of the estate (who manages the money). Let’s face it some of us are better at “parenting” than investing and managing significant sums of money. Who immediately comes to mind as a good candidate? Now, press a little harder.
        1. Do your children know them? Ideally, your guardian selection will be someone your children alr…

Texas State Affairs Committee hears testimony on two adoption bills

On March 27, 2017, Ms. Cochran-Green testified before the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee on two adoption-related bills, SB 329 and
SB 1362.  You can watch the live testimony here. Ms. Cochran-Green's testimony is the Part 1 of the State Affairs Meeting on March 27.  Her testimony is in the second hour and she testified separately on each bill.

SB1362 is authored by Sen. Campbell in which she proposes to changes to the voluntary adoption registry.  Ms. Cochran-Green testified her opposition to the bill because much of the proposed bill is already codified in the Texas Family Code and is common practice among adoption agencies.

SB329 is authored by Senator Creighton in which he proposes to allow adult adopted persons to obtain their original birth certificates at the age of 18.  Ms. Cochran-Green supports this bill as it allows adopted persons in closed adoptions primarily from the 1930s-1990s to seek reunions with their birth parents and obtain medical history that is neede…

We now have a Mobile App!

The Law Office of Jennifer R. Cochran P.C. just launched a mobile app which can be downloaded to any smart phone via Appsme here or clicking on the Appsme button on the sidebar.  Now, you can stay up to date on adoption and family law news, office announcements, and blog posts without having to scroll through all those "posts" on our favorite but distracting social network!

Nothing Says I Love You Like a Prenup

The term “Prenuptial Agreement" is about as popular as the term “Mother-In-Law”.  People are afraid to talk about them before getting married for fear of tainting the relationship, or worse, breaking up the engagement.  Truth be told, “prenups” aren’t just for celebrities anymore.  They are particularly important for couples in second marriages, blended families, or those who want to protect a business, family gifts, or inheritance.

BEFORE you say "I do" and ride off into the sunset, consider the following reasons for a prenup:
To determine financial obligations amongst yourselves should the marriage end versus relying on the expensive process of court intervention.  Couples can make decisions on how they manage their assets better and cheaper than the courts.  For example, you can set spousal maintenance in advance if you know that one spouse will sacrifice their career to be a stay-at-home parent and raise the children. Going through the process of negotiating a pren…

Nationwide adoption agency closes abruptly

The adoption community has been shocked by the abrupt closing of Independent Adoption Center, a nationwide agency that has been placing children with families for 34 years. If you have been affected by the closure, Jennifer Cochran-Green recommends the following:

1)  Call a family or civil litigation attorney in your local area/state immediately to review the contract you signed with the agency and advise you on what legal remedies you have in your particular situation. If you've already been matched, you are most likely able to proceed to finalization.
2) Request your file from the branch that you have been working with as soon as possible. Contact the person you have been corresponding with or the Branch Manager to arrange for pick up.
3) Prepare to submit a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding.  Once a trustee is appointed, they will send out notices to creditors and clients of the proceeding.  Gather all of your receipts indicating how much money you have paid the IAC, statements y…