Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation vs. Parental Alienation Syndrome

If you’ve ever heard of parental alienation, chances are you’ve also heard of parental alienation syndrome.

Is the Divorce Rate Really Dropping?

You may have heard inklings of this news over the past few years and wondered if it’s true. Are divorce rates in the United States really decreasing?

Can I Include My Pets in my Estate Plans?

If you’ve ever thought about what would happen to your pet when you pass away, then you’re not alone — and that’s because nearly 75% of pet owners view their pets as part of their family. So if and when the inevitable happens, you want to ensure they’re taken care of with the proper finances and resources. Here’s what you need to know about including your pet in your estate plan. 

Can You Include Your Pet in Your Will?

A will is a part of your estate plan, a legal document that verifies what you want to do with your assets and who should take them after you die. Estate planning also includes powers of attorney, probates, and trusts. 

If you want to include your pet in your will, there’s good news — because you can! Listing your pet as part of your estate plan is legal and considered a legitimate part of your will. You’ll be able to outline who should care for your pet, how much money you want to put aside for them, and other planned details. 

Can My Pet Receive an Inheritance? 

Unfortunately, in the eyes of the law, pets are considered property, which means you can’t legally leave them an inheritance. What you can do, however, is leave your inheritance to a trustee with specifications about what to do with that money. You may also “gift” your pet to somebody as part of your will. 

For example, say you have two dogs and want to ensure they’re well-cared for after you die. You can’t leave your dogs any money, so you assign your sister as the trustee and write specific guidelines that say $10,000 should only be used for upcoming vet appointments, toys, food, and anything else, for the remainder of the dogs’ lives.

If you decide to gift your pet, whoever you give them to will be viewed as the new legal owner. 

What Should Be Involved In Your Will’s Pet Clause

  • Name a designated caregiver and pet(s). Be sure to name both the caregiver and your pet’s name in your will. You’ll have to specify that you’re gifting your pet to the named beneficiary, which is the caregiver in this case. 
  • Create a trust for your pet’s financial needs. A trust is an agreement that protects a person’s assets legally. In this situation, you can create a trust for your pet so that the named beneficiary will financially care for them after you die. 
  • Leave instructions for your pet’s care. You know what your pet needs best — which is why you should put together instructions for how to care for them. This might include exercise, medication, dietary needs, veterinary info, and other pertinent information that is essential to your pet’s health and happiness.

We Can Help You Create Your Will and Include Your Pet

At Hickey & Hull Law Partners, we understand your love for your pets because we also have our own. Whether you have questions about how to incorporate your pet into your will or need some guidance on estate planning, we can help you today. Please fill out our online form or call our local offices to speak with someone right away. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414, and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.

Is Parental Alienation a Type of Child Abuse?

When you hear the term “child abuse,” you probably think of physical harm. But as you might know, abuse comes in different forms — in fact, abuse can be emotional, mental, and physical.

The Four Major Types of Criminal Punishments

You probably know the phrase, “The punishment fits the crime.” In the criminal justice system, there are several forms of punishment that the law may consider — and the four most common types are incarceration, rehabilitation, diversion, and retribution. Let’s break down the differences. 

3 Ways Parental Alienation Affects the Targeted Parent

If your ex-spouse tends to speak badly about you, attempts to limit contact, or undermines your authority or importance in your child’s life, then you might be a victim of parental alienation.

How Social Media Can Damage Your Chances as a Plaintiff in a Civil Lawsuit

More than 80 percent of Americans use social media nearly every day, so there’s no question why you might take to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to document your daily experiences. And although you certainly wouldn’t be the only person in the world doing so, you should avoid posting about legal issues online — especially if you’re the plaintiff amid a civil lawsuit. Here’s why.

Tips for Dealing with Parental Alienation At the Beginning of the School Year

Being the targeted parent of parental alienation is difficult — especially because it’s brought on without you having any say in the matter. But it’s even more challenging to address and deal with during the school year when you and your child have limited time together and want to make every moment worthwhile.

Everything You Need to Know About Prenuptial Agreements (Part 2)

Last month, we discussed who should consider prenuptial agreements. Throughout that discussion, we learned that nearly everyone could benefit from prenups if they have any property or financial commitments.

Learning as much as possible before committing to an agreement is necessary. Learning how to create a prenup and the consequences of not creating one are essential considerations before working with your attorney to write a prenuptial agreement.

How to Create a Prenup

Depending on your situation, a prenup can help protect you and your assets in the future. Thankfully, creating a prenup is simple. There are two main ways to create a prenup:

1. You can work with your lawyers to create a document.

2. You can create a prenup yourself.

Working With Lawyers to Create a Prenup

If you decide to work with lawyers to create your prenup, you get legal advice throughout the process. Along the way, you’ll need to share your financial information with them to create a better prenup that’s fair and equitable.

Lawyers know that the perception of prenups is changing in the court’s mind positively, but they will quickly dismiss unfair prenups.

Creating a Prenup Yourself

If you and your partner want to create a prenup on your own, you’re more than capable of doing so. Several websites and programs help you create a comprehensive and legitimate prenuptial agreement.

Even though both of you may agree to the prenup terms, each partner needs to bring a copy to a different lawyer and receive advice regarding the prenup.

The reason for meeting with different lawyers is two-fold:

1. They review the agreement from a lens of what best helps you should there be a divorce.

2. Courts rarely follow through with a prenuptial agreement if lawyers didn’t review it beforehand.

The last thing you want is to go through the effort of creating an agreement only for the courts to dismiss it.

What Happens if You Don’t Create a Prenup and Divorce?

Not all couples choose to create a prenup. For the longest time, many people viewed prenups as a document that ensured your marriage wouldn’t last. In other words, people thought you were planning to split up before you married.

That’s no longer the case. As men and women are much more equal in today’s society than in the past, the courts view prenups as more fair because they include the assets of both sides. It’s not just about one person trying to take the wealth of another.

If you decide to forego a prenup and divorce your spouse, your belongings before marriage and those accrued during your marriage will split between you and your spouse.


As the public and legal perception of prenuptial agreements continue to shift in favor of the document, couples must learn how to create a prenup and the potential consequences of not creating one.

If you need an attorney to help you start the prenup conversation or to review your documents, contact Hickey and Hull Law Partners. We can get your marriage and finances started on the right foot.

Here's What You Need to Know About Unemployment and Child Support

Losing a job is an unfortunate reality for many Arkansans. When you enter the workforce, it's a possible outcome, regardless of your field. What makes it more difficult is when the layoff comes unexpectedly.