Family Law Blog

Child Support Responsibilities and Incarceration

Monday, February 24, 2020

If your ex-spouse or parent of your child has committed a crime and is looking at jail time, it can leave you wondering about how they will uphold their financial commitments to you. If they are paying child support or spousal support, incarceration does not automatically forgive these commitments.

Incarceration

When an ex-spouse or a parent to your child is incarcerated, you should expect them to file for a modification of child support or alimony. Since an incarcerated person's income often drops dramatically, they can file for a modification with the court. The courts may end payments for the time they are incarcerated because they now have no income.

Finances

It is important to remember that while incarcerated, one party may not be making as much money. However, they could also still be making some. If the incarcerated parent of your child is still making money through rentals, investments, or even has a substantial savings account, they may still be required to pay support while in prison. The courts will examine their income and may decide they can afford a much lower payment rather than no payment at all.

Good News

The small bit of good news for the non-incarcerated parent is that prison doesn't mean payment stops forever. If the incarcerated parent is released and gets a new job, you can file for a modification of child support with the court that asks them to start paying support again. So, the payments may not be gone forever, but may resume after incarceration ends if they are still needed.

Conclusion

Are you getting divorced? Do you feel concerned that you may not be getting the child support that you need? Do you have any other pressing family law issues? We can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you.

Will Inheritance Be Divided in a Divorce?

Friday, February 14, 2020

Aside from the emotional impact, one of the most difficult aspects of divorce comes from dividing the assets between you and your spouse. One of the lesser considered aspects of property division in divorce are items gained through inheritance. Is inheritance considered community property that must be split or is it considered separate property that you will solely retain?

Shared Property vs Inheritance 

In most cases, property gained during a marriage is considered shared property that you will need to split. However, inheritance remains protected as individual property no matter when you get it. This means you will usually retain ownership except in certain circumstances. There are two primary ways your inheritance can go from individual property to shared property.

Monetary Inheritance

The first way is if you had real estate and ended up adding your spouse's name on the deed. This would help them inherit it if you passed away, but also transforms it into shared marital property that will need to be divided in a divorce. The second way to lose inheritance in a divorce is if you got a monetary inheritance and deposited it in a shared bank account. If it were kept separate from shared money, then it would remain as individual property. However, once your inheritance commingles with the rest of your shared money, it is considered shared property. As such, don't just expect a judge to say you can take your inheritance amount out of the bank account since that would now be impossible.

Conclusion

Are you getting ready to start the process of divorce or have any other family law issue that needs legal representation? We can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you get the best possible results from your uncoupling while keeping it as stress-free as possible.

Does Your Spouse Have to Pay for Your Divorce Lawyer?

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Typically when a divorce starts, your uncoupling starts formally. You need to start being financially independent and paying for your own expenses as an individual. However, after divorce, this can take awhile for some. This is particularly true if you have been out of the workforce or underemployed for awhile to take care of the family.

Finances

As there is the potential for a huge financial disparity between couples, it is possible to have one spouse responsible for paying legal fees on both sides to ease the strain.

If it can be proven that the legal fees for a lawyer will create an undue burden on one spouse, the courts may decide that the other party has to pay, at least in some part, the fees for both lawyers. When examining this, the courts will decide based on several factors, including:

  • The financial disparity between the parties
  • Assets of each spouse
  • Financial responsibilities of each spouse
  • An effort to find work

This means that if a CEO and a fast-food worker are splitting up, it would be easy for the courts, due to the huge income disparity between them, to tell the CEO that they need to cover both legal fees for the divorce.

Conclusion

It is also worth noting that the judge can also force payment of legal fees in bad conduct. This means if your spouse was beating you or has been trying to draw out the divorce to rack up high bills, the judge can decide to force you to pay the legal fees as a punitive measure.

Are you getting a divorce and need help navigating the complex area of divorce court or even child custody? Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you navigate this difficult time in your life.

The Destructive Effects of Drinking on a Marriage

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Many marriages are significantly stressed by problems with alcohol. Serious problems become apparent in a family marred by alcohol abuse.

Safety Issues

The ability to take care of children is severely impacted when alcohol is a problem in the home. Someone who is intoxicated cannot be relied upon to supervise children.

Domestic violence incidents usually involve at least one spouse being intoxicated. Anger and agitation can worsen over time. The "mean drunk" can turn more violent as mood swings widen.

Catastrophic Events

Loss of license due to one or more arrests for driving under the influence impacts the drinking spouse's ability to meet many of their responsibilities. They are not able to provide transportation for family members. They could lose their job if they cannot get to work, if their job requires driving, or because of the arrest itself.

Alcohol and Divorce

Either spouse could consider divorce in a marriage impacted by alcohol abuse. One spouse might have never been a drinker while the other is significantly impaired. Both spouses could have a serious drinking problem. Additional problems occur when one of two drinking spouses stops drinking either on their own or with treatment. When the other drinking spouse does not follow suit and stop, the behavior of the still drinking spouse is magnified.

Sobriety and Divorce

Once a divorce has been initiated, some drinking spouses will seek treatment. Others continue to drink. Those that do seek treatment might be doing so in the hopes of saving the marriage. It is often too late to resurrect the marriage. Getting help for a substance abuse problem is always a good idea. Further, getting sober after being served with divorce papers might be too late to save the marriage but the divorce could be enough to save the drinker from further calamity.

The Impact on a Settlement

While alcohol abuse impacts all aspects of a marriage and family life, this alone does not always have an adverse impact on the fair and equitable distribution of marital assets in divorce. The outcome of a settlement is impacted by the ability of both spouses to constructively participate in divorce negotiations. Staying sober through the divorce process makes the process go smoother.

Conclusion

Jamra and Jamra will provide professional legal representation to either spouse in a divorce due to drinking problems. Our firm has the compassion, knowledge, and resources to help spouses get through this difficult process.

Are You the Right Person for Custody of Your Grandchildren?

Sunday, February 09, 2020

When your adult children are having a rough time, it is very hard not to step in. However, there are times when you need to, especially when it comes to your grandchildren. If you are seriously concerned about their wellbeing, you may want to talk to a lawyer about getting custody of your grandchildren.

That being said, you may not be the right person to get custody of them. Here are some things to think about before you take over your grandchildren's care.

Do You Have Help and Support?

You can't raise another child (or two) on your own. Is your spouse supportive? Do you have friends who can pitch in when you need to run errands and get things done?

Are You Relatively Healthy

Raising children is hard, no matter what your age. However, if you have some health problems that may continue to worsen, you might not be able to care of your grandchildren for the next ten to twenty years.

Do You Have the Drive to Raise Your Grandchildren?

Instead of enjoying your empty nest, you are going to have young children in your home. Are you ready for that? Do you even want to take care of them?

You are not obligated to care for your grandchildren so if you have any concerns, you may want to help find someone else. It is better to let someone who is able to care for them raise them than struggle with them yourself. They will know that they are a burden to you.

Conclusion

Though it may break your heart, you may not be the best person to raise your grandchildren. You need to make sure that you have help and support. You also need to be relatively healthy. If you have health concerns, it will be even harder to raise a child. You also need to want to raise them. If you don't, you need to find someone who really wants them.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

Co-Parenting Tips When You and Your Children Are Away From Your Ex

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Co-parenting is hard when you live close to your ex-spouse. Add in some distance (a few hours), and it can become downright difficult.

Whether you are the one raising your children or you are the one left behind, you need to find a new way to co-parent. Here are some tips to help if you are the one who has your children with you.

Time With Both Parents

Make sure that your children are able to spend time with your ex. It is important that you make it a priority for your children to spend time with your ex. Even though it is inconvenient, you need to make sure that you are willing to drive them or fly with them so that they can have some quality time with their other parent.

Because of the distance, this may mean spending a few weeks during the summer and school breaks with your ex, instead of every other weekend.

Stay in Contact

During the times when they are separated, you need to help them stay in contact with your ex. Staying in contact is easier than ever. Your children can talk on the phone, send text messages, and even video chat.

One of the best ways to help them stay in touch is by scheduling time to do so. Weekly or bi-weekly phone calls or video chats may be helpful. However, you may also want to remind your children to call their other parent when big things happen. This allows the parent to feel involved in their life.

Alone Time With Each Parent

You shouldn't get involved in their conversations. When your children are on the phone or talking through video chats, you should give them the privacy that they deserve. They should be able to talk freely, without worrying about what you think.

One of the best things that you can do to co-parent when you don't live close to your ex is giving them time together. Schedule weekly (or bi-weekly) phone calls. Find ways for them to spend together, even if they spend most of the summer with their other parent.

Conclusion

Contact us for all of your legal needs.