Monday, October 15, 2007

5. Open for Family Cases

The Marianas Office is accepting applications for family law cases this week (October 15 to 19, 2007). These include divorce, paternity and child support, adoption, guardianship, custody and visitation, and name change.

The CNMI is different than the 50 states and Guam because we still don't have child-support guidelines or a federally-funded child support office. So custodial parents need private legal help to collect child support here.

And we still have an archaic divorce law that requires "grounds" for divorce.

So generally, we see such a demand for family law cases that we can't be open to accepting them all of the time. We would do nothing else and still not meet the needs in this regard. We open periodically (about every other month, or at least every quarter), conduct intake interviews and accept what cases we can.

And this week (until Friday morning about 9 AM), we're taking intake.