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Family Law Blog

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.


Co-Parenting Tips When You Don't Live Near Your Children

Monday, January 06, 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.

It is a challenge whether you are the one who has your children or you feel like the one who was left behind. However, you have to find a new way to co-parent together. Here are some tips to help if you don't live near your children.

Stay in Touch Regularly

You should try to schedule phone calls and video chats regularly. You may want to do this weekly or even daily, depending on you and your children's schedules. Indeed, never miss this because you and your children need this time together.

Ask Questions

Make sure that you ask questions and really listen to the answers. Initiate conversation with your children by asking them about their day, school, and other events that are going on with their life. If they have something special going on, ask them to tell you all about it.

It is even helpful to learn all about the people in your children's lives. Find out the names of their neighbors, teachers, and friends at school. Ask about them on a regular basis, so that your children really feel like you are involved in their lives.

Get Together

Find ways to get together with your children. Though you may not be able to visit them every weekend, if you can occasionally travel to spend some time with them, it will mean a lot to them. If they are in a sport and they have a big competition, find a way to be there.

Conclusion

Though it is hard to be away from your children for long periods of time, you need to stay connected with them. Call and video chat with them regularly. Learn about their life and ask questions to find out more. Then, travel to them when you can. They will really appreciate seeing you there!

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

What Happens When Divorced Parents Disagree on Vaccinations?

Monday, January 06, 2020

Vaccines are highly contentious in the media these days. As they involve children, it isn't so far-fetch to believe that vaccinations could leak into your child custody case. However, whether or not your spouse needs to vaccinate your child isn't as simple as assigning parenting time. Indeed, it will need to be addressed if you disagree with their decision.

Joint Custody

If your state already has laws mandating that a child needs to be vaccinated if they are to attend public school, then it makes the case more clear. Instead, it could then become an issue of whether you want your child to be homeschooled or not. However, if there is no such law, then it becomes a case of parental rights. If you have joint custody, then you, even as the non-primary custody holder, still have a say in your child's medical and religious upbringing. As vaccines are denied for either religious or medical objections, you can maintain that you do or do not want them immunized in a divorce case.

Disobedience

If the court rules in favor to vaccinate your children, which is likely due to rampant outbreaks of wholly preventable diseases, and your spouse does not comply, they may be looking at several days of jail time for disobedience. You, as a custody holder, are also in your right to take your child to receive vaccinations when your parenting time comes around. In this case, your ex-spouse cannot go after you in court.

Conclusion

While vaccinations are the hot issue right now, if you are looking at divorce or a complicated child custody case of any kind, we can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you navigate a complicated divorce case so you can get the best possible outcome.

Can Martial Misconduct Affect Your Divorce?

Monday, January 06, 2020

There is a certain belief that your conduct in a marriage can affect your divorce. It certainly can, but not often in the way we believe. As a no-fault divorce state, you need not declare any bad actions in terms of your reason for a divorce in most areas. Indeed, it doesn't matter if one spouse was adulterous or if you just stopped clicking, the state doesn't care. However, this situation is often confused with marital misconduct.

Financial Outcome

It is true you don't need a reason to get divorce in most states, but if there has been marital misconduct in a marriage, it can affect the financial outcome. When two people divorce, the courts like to keep asset and property division fairly equal between them. If the two parties can reach an agreement outside of court, some asset division can be unequal between the two, but still approved if not completely outrageous.

Assets

However, if there was misconduct in a marriage, it can affect how the assets are divided. It is important to remember that marital misconduct in regards to unequal asset division is not meant to be a punishment, but rather to reduce what has been an added burden on the spouse that acted in good faith during the marriage.

This means that a common marital misconduct situation - adultery - would not automatically mean that the spouse that didn't cheat would get more. However, if the non-cheating spouse can prove the adulterous spouse showered their extramarital partner with expensive gifts that put a burden on the family financially, it will be likely that the courts will give the spouse acting in good faith a larger share of the assets in the divorce.

Yes, There Is an Effect

So in truth, marital misconduct does affect the divorce. If you can prove that their actions were wasteful with marital assets or placed a stronger burden on you in the marriage, you may be able to get more when the remaining assets are split.

If you have a spouse that has been cheating, gambling, or that have an addiction and you are considering a divorce, contact us today. As veterans of family law, Jamra & Jamra can help you get through this difficult process.

Are Your Spouse’s Debts Split With You?

Monday, January 06, 2020

When divorcing, you may be more concerned with who gets various items or a decent share of the monetary assets. However, you should be just as concerned with the debts because, unfortunately, they can be your debts as well. Many who are divorcing forget that marital debt is split the same as monetary assets.

Marital Property

In most states, anything accrued during a marriage is considered marital property. This includes your debt. So while you may be fine with splitting your finances, you should also be prepared for the reality that you will receive a split of the debt as well after your divorce.

Before Marriage

However, in order for the debt to be split, it has to fit the right criteria. For example, if your spouse went to college before you were married, their student loans would not be considered marital debt. They accrued it before marriage and thus they are solely responsible for it. However, if they solely racked up large credit card debt during the marriage, you would both be responsible for it because it would be considered marital property.

Specific Criteria

There are circumstances in which you will be able to argue that marital debt is not actually marital debt and, thus, should not be split. For example, if you can prove that your partner racked up a large amount of debt frivolously or without your knowledge, the courts may hold them solely responsible. The most obvious example may be a gambling debt. However, so long as you can prove that the debt was created without your knowledge and without your benefit, anything can fit this criteria. Thus, saving you from a large split of the debt.

Conclusion

Are you going through a divorce and need help? Contact us today so the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can help you navigate this difficult process and get the best possible results.

Changing Your Mind After the Divorce Papers Are Signed

Monday, January 06, 2020

In most cases, once the divorce papers are signed, there is really no going back. It is difficult for couples to reconcile once a party has gone through the trouble of having divorce papers drawn up, but it is not impossible. However, once the process has been started, can you stop it?

Modification

The answer depends on why and when you want to stop it. For example, if you want to stop the divorce filing to change the terms of the divorce papers, you have limited options. If the court has already approved them, you will need to file for a modification or appeal.

Cancellation

If you want to cancel the divorce papers after filing, then you have more options. If your divorce is still in the very early stages, you are within your right to withdraw your divorce petition. If the petition has not been filed by the county clerk yet, you can simply withdraw it and end your divorce before it even starts.

Withdrawal

If you cannot withdraw your petition from the county clerk because it has already been filed, you will need to file papers for voluntary dismissal. This can be done at any point during the divorce process and involves filing forms that ask the court to dismiss the case. If you and your spouse have reconciled, this can be done. However, it does involve a filing fee, but you do not have to give any explanation for why you want your divorce case to be dismissed.

Conclusion

Are you considering a divorce? This is not something should be done frivolously, and there are fees involved to prevent that. However, if you are serious and ready to file, contact us today to see what we can do for you. The Law Office of Jamra & Jamra is dedicated to helping you get the best possible outcome from your family law cases.

What to Do When You Are Both Violating a Custody Order

Monday, December 02, 2019

Typically, you hear about one parent rather habitually violating the custody order. This gives the other parent the higher moral and legal ground. As such, that parent would then consult with their lawyer and take the other parent to court. Yet, it doesn't always work out that way. What if one parent starts to violate the custody agreement and the other parent starts to violate it back? There is no one with high moral or legal ground here, you are both breaking the law, so what now?

Your first step should be to consult with your lawyer. They will most definitely tell you to cease that retaliatory action right away. You then may have to wait to further establish your ex-spouse's habitual custody violations before you can take them to court.

Custody Agreement

Alternatively, there is a more peaceful option. If you can both agree, you can head to court, not for litigation, but to modify your custody agreement. Not all custody violations are necessarily done maliciously. Sometimes, what was put down on paper doesn't really work out in reality or circumstances change. If you believe you can amiably set a new schedule, even if both of you have technically violated this agreement, you can still head to court and ask for modification. If both parties agree to a new schedule, the court will approve it quite quickly.

Learn More About Violating a Custody Order

If you or your ex-spouse is violating your custody order that was set by the court, it is a problem, and it is against the law. If you want to get things in order, you should contact us right away so we can advise you on the best course of action to take. In some cases, mediation or even just a letter to the parent in violation could be enough to get your life in order, so let us help you explore all your options.

Does Moving Out Affect Property Division?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Divorce is one of those high tension scenarios that often make it one of the worst times in a person's life. As this is such a stressful time, it is no surprise that one person often decides to move out. However, does this make a difference in the case of property division? Does abandoning your house mean you lose assets?

With Children

In divorce with children, moving out during the process can be harmful to custody. It shows that daily interaction with your children isn't such a high priority for you. However, what about when you don't have children and are just worried about the property division? While moving out doesn't hurt you quite as much in this respect, often you can shoot yourself in the foot by doing it.

Depends On What You Leave Behind

You may be in a hurry to get away from the fights, and this may drive you out with nothing but a suitcase full of clothes. This is the main problem. If you moved out fully prepared with your financial documents, family heirlooms, and anything that is separate, non-marital property, then you would be fine. However, if you leave all that behind, it can become a hostage or a target for your spouse. Thus, they essentially have control over everything in that home as you have abandoned.

While big items like real estate can't be so easily disappeared, small items are less likely to be noticed by the courts. Don't be surprised if things start to disappear.

Contact Your Lawyer

If you believe that your spouse is maliciously hiding or selling off your assets inside a house, you need to contact your lawyer right away. They can help walk you through what you need to do to protect your property.

Conclusion

If you are starting divorce proceedings or have other family law problems, contact us today to see what Jamra & Jamra can do to help you make the process go as smoothly as possible.