Category Archives: Parenting & Families

About Genealogy

Have you ever thought about what your family had been like beyond your parents? Or ever wondered why you have a certain characteristic or last name? Maybe it’s time to dabble in something called genealogy.

About genealogy
Genealogy is the study of an individual’s family and tracing their lineage back several generations. This is usually done by taking information such as one’s familial stories and going through historical records and other forms of information to come to a conclusion. As a rule, all researchers or genealogists start with the individual themselves and work backwards through their parents, then their grandparents, etc. Original and reliable sources and family context are key to properly linking an ancestor to a descendant.

Once done or the genealogist has found a sufficient amount of data for their client, the person’s heritage is laid out in the typical “tree” chart. However, some also prefer their family histories in narrative form.

Some of the documents used in searching for an individual’s family are the following:
• Birth records;
• Death records;
• Adoption records;
• Court records;
• Marriage and/or divorce records;
• Telephone directories;
• Church records;
• Medical records;
• Biographies;
• Diaries;
• Photographs; and
• Family stories.

However, some would say that this kind of study is circumstantial at best since there are no other ways to properly determine someone’s family tree. After all, there are so many other people that have the same last name and they may not be related at all.

Despite this though, genealogy is a very popular topic nowadays, so much that there are several websites on the Internet dedicated not only to help professionals gather data but for casual genealogists and curious people to learn more about it.

Why pursue your family history? There are a lot of reasons for wanting to know about your family. Some are genuinely curious about where they had come from, while other people feel the need to impart something about their ancestors onto the next generation. There are even those who would want to find their relatives and tracing their family trees is a good way to do so.

Genetic genealogy
Possibly one of the most reliable sources of information on your family is right there in your body: DNA.
Most of us are familiar with DNA testing due to its frequent appearances in crime dramas, but a lot don’t know that it can be used to help determine one’s lineage as well. These kinds of DNA tests are called genetic genealogy tests, and tend to focus on the paternal (Y-DNA) and maternal (mtDNA) lines of a person to see if there’s a common ancestry with another person.
Other uses for genetic genealogy testing is to determine someone’s ethnic and biogeographical origins, though these tests are less common.

Getting started on your own project
Can you trace your own family tree? Yes, you can. It may take some time and dedication, but working on your own will not only save you some money but also may be rewarding in the long run.

Here are some tips to tracing your lineage:
• Always work backwards- start with yourself and your name, then your parents, and then your grandparents.
• Keep records, and ask for identification documents, diaries and even family heirlooms.
• Try to know what your last name means and where it comes from.
• Consider using a genealogy software from the Internet. They’re made especially to let people record their family data and print it out in any format they wish.
• When in need, ask a professional genealogist! They’re always happy to help someone who wants to know where they’ve come from.
• Have fun! Sometimes the journey can be more rewarding than the conclusion, especially when it’s about your family.

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If you’re looking to get your marriage dissolved, but you don’t know which procedure to choose, then it’s best to know about them first, especially divorce.

What makes divorce different
Annulment is a legal procedure that makes a marriage void, meaning it completely invalidates the union. That means that once filed and processed, there had been no marriage at all in the eyes of the law. Meanwhile, legal separation happens when a couple are allowed to live apart from each other yet are still considered married in the eyes of the law.

What makes divorce different from these two is the fact that not only does the couple have their union legally dissolved and the two individuals are allowed to marry again, but records of their previous marriage still remain.

Kinds of divorce
1. Fault and no-fault For grounds of a divorce, you must have proof that your spouse has done something that isn’t allowed within a marriage, such as cheating or adultery, and desertion, which are called “faults”. This used to be the only way to dissolve a marriage, though some jurisdictions still require proof of fault to allow a divorce.

The latter is the opposite of fault divorce. In jurisdictions that allow this, there’s no need to present proof of fault and this protects both the privacy and dignity of both parties. Instead, you and your spouse can either claim that the marriage has broken down (called “irretrievable breakdown”) or say that there are far too many differences between the both of you that the marriage has become irreparable (“irreconcilable differences”) without needing to explain why or provide details.

2. Summary If the two previous kinds don’t seem appealing to you, then there’s the summary divorce, in which the court takes into consideration a few important factors that would be grounds for a divorce. Some of these are:

• A short marriage (actual length depends on the jurisdiction); • No children, or custody has already been resolved outside of the court; • No real property or mortgage; and • Property of either spouse or marital property is under a threshold (usually $35,000, but not including vehicles).

3. Uncontested A little similar to the no-fault divorce, but with key differences: Both you and your spouse can come to an agreement even without lawyers or other mediators about properties and child custody. There will not be a trial and sometimes appearing in court isn’t needed.

4. Mediated A neutral third party called a mediator will sit in while you and your spouse attempt to resolve issues such as properties and child custody and support and works to help them come to an agreement. However, the mediator is not allowed to make decisions, only to help both of you communicate better, such as soothe tempers if an argument breaks out.

5. Collaborative In this, your lawyers will work together to come to an agreement for you. Both your and your spouse set your terms to your lawyers, who then attempt to settle the matter. If they cant come to a conclusion, then you’re allowed to hire a new one to represent you.

6. Default If you file for divorce but your spouse doesn’t appear in court for whatever reason or doesn’t participate at all, the divorce is automatically granted.

Any of these are viable ways of getting your marriage dissolved, but if you decide to go through legal means, it’s recommended that you get an experienced and competent lawyer. Going through a divorce is very difficult, even if it’s made simple by filing and signing papers and appearing in court, and having a good lawyer representing you can help take some pressure off your shoulders.

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