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How to Keep the Cost of Divorce Low

Monday, June 22, 2020

It is not a highly advertised fact, but getting a divorce can be expensive. For some, they have the funds to draw things out and make sure they get their fair share. However, that is not the case for most of us. If both you and your ex-spouse aren't exactly flush with cash or assets, there are a few things to keep in mind if you are looking to keep the cost of divorce as low as possible.

Divorce Amicably

If you and your ex-spouse are willing to work out property division and child custody amicably in mediation, it will save you quite a bit. Not only is it cheaper to not have to get the court involved, but it is also much faster.

Share Documentation

Bank statements, retirement account, or anything else you have that is a financial document – share it. Nothing will slow down a divorce faster than dragging your feet presenting documents or even trying to hide assets. The longer you take, the longer you need to pay your lawyer. If it becomes apparent that someone is being unnecessarily malicious, they may even face punitive measures.

Don't Fight For Items Not Worth It

If you and your ex-spouse are having a disagreement over who gets the multi-million dollar mansion, then certainly fighting for it is worth it. However, fighting over who gets a set of DVDs or a potted plant isn't worth what you are paying your lawyer for. There are battles worth fighting and there are battles that aren't worth it. You should know firmly what you aren't willing to give up and assess if it is really important to fight for it or if it can be replaced over time.

Conclusion

Are you going through a divorce? We can help. Contact us today to see what Jamra & Jamra can do to help you keep your divorce fair, quick, and as affordable as possible.

Can You Relocate Your Children Following Divorce?

Friday, June 12, 2020

Divorce is never easy as there is rarely a clean break. Often, the most precious assets are children over which there are custody decisions. Usually, a custodial parent is named and is the one who will have the most time with the children. The other parent is generally given visitation rights on a set schedule. Sometimes, "joint custody" is agreed upon or mandated by the court in which both parents have equal custody. However, one is named the "residential parent" whose address is utilized for the purposes of postal mail and school.

Notice of Intent to Relocate

Many courts deem "joint custody" as the ideal situation ("in best interest of children"), but sole custody is ordered when declared appropriate. For example, in cases of domestic violence or other threats to a child's safety. When there is shared custody, one parent is required by law to provide notice of intent to change residence by certified mail at least 60 days prior to moving. This is the case with any relocation, even if it is within the same neighborhood.

This notice is required to include:

  • The new mailing address if known. If unknown, the city for relocation must be named
  • A current contact phone number for the relocating parent
  • Proposed date of relocation
  • Short statement describing reasons for intended move of the relocating parent and children
  • Proposed plan for adjusting custody conditions (including visitation) as necessary

Consequences for Failure to Provide Notice

A parent who relocates his/her children without providing the required written notice risks much with the court in which custody was initially decided. The court will take into account this breach and will use it as a factor when deciding how, when, and if custody and visitation will be modified. It is possible the judge will order the children returned from the relocation and the offending parent might be ordered to pay expenses of the non-relocating parent.

Objection Filing By Non-Relocating Parent

Once a parent is noticed of his/her ex-spouse's plan to relocate, he/she has 30 days in which to file an objection with the court which initially handled the child's custody issue. Should the parent fail to file, the court will most likely allow the other parent to move. If the petition is filed, most often the court will hold a hearing to determine if the relocation is in best interest of the involved minors.

Factors the Court Might Consider

  • How drastically the current custody agreement will need to change to accommodate the distance of the move. For example, if the non-relocating parent currently has his/her children every weekend, a far away move would likely make visits much rarer.
  • Both parents income might be taken into account by the court as funds are needed to permit frequent visitation to other parent's residence.
  • Does the move provide a more stable and safe environment for the minors. For instance, is the new home in better condition than the old one, are there good local schools, is the new location in a lower area of crime, is there less air pollution in the area of relocation?
  • Record of prior visitation; for example, does the parent filing the objection have a history of frequent visitation or is it sporadic or rare?

Learn More About Relocating Your Children Following Divorce

A qualified and experienced attorney in child custody is advisable for those who wish to relocate a child following divorce. Jamra & Jamra is a firm dedicated to help those with divorce issues including child custody and visitation concerns. Please contact us so we can help you with your situation.

Why You Need a Prenuptial Agreement

Friday, June 05, 2020

What do you think of when you hear the word, "prenup"? Maybe that a prenuptial agreement is only for the rich or for couples who really don't expect their upcoming marriage to last? 

The truth is that a prenuptial agreement provides a lot of benefits for everyday couples. It does not mean that you expect your marriage to fail or do not trust your partner. Instead, a prenup can provide peace of mind by honestly putting financial matters on the table before you say, "I do".  

First, What Exactly is a Prenuptial Agreement?

prenuptial agreement is a contract created and signed by two people before they marry. It outlines what will happen to their assets and debts if the marriage ends in death or divorce. Here are a few reasons that you and your partner might want to consider one.

Protects Children from Previous Marriage

If you have children from a previous marriage, then a prenup lets you spell out what property your children will receive when you die. It prevents a spouse from claiming property that children are meant to inherit.

Outlines Financial Responsibilities

Individuals entering into marriage may have very different outlooks when it comes to finances. For example, one might be a spender while the other is a saver. A prenup can outline exactly who has what financial responsibilities during the marriage and can help smooth tensions when it comes to managing household finances.

Eliminates Arguments in Case of Divorce

If the marriage does end in divorce, then a prenuptial agreement can eliminate arguments about how to divide assets. Indeed, all of that is already spelled out. This can help make an already difficult situation, less so.

Learn More About a Prenuptial Agreement

So, although a prenuptial agreement is not particularly romantic, it can protect the financial well-being of your children, outline financial responsibilities during the marriage, and reduce conflict in case of divorce.

If you are entering into a marriage and are interested in creating a prenup, then please contact us. Our team looks forward to working with you!

Working Out Travel in Child Custody Agreements

Friday, May 29, 2020

When you are trying to agree on child custody during a divorce, there is a lot of consider. You and your ex-partner will likely be focused on where your children will live and when, but the key to a successful parenting plan is considering all situations. This is why you definitely need to take travel into consideration.

Travel With a Child

Travel as a child can greatly expand their horizons and it can be a very fun experience, but travel can be a pretty big disruption to the schedule. So, how do you factor in travel to your parenting plan when working out custody? In truth there are a few questions that you and your ex-partner will want to know the answers to:

  • When can travel be done? I.e. Will it interfere with school or parenting time?
  • Who handles providing travel necessities for the child?
  • How and if a child will be able to communicate with the non-traveling parent?
  • Will other parties be allowed to travel with you and the child?

Be Fair

It is best to approach these questions fairly, but also in a flexible nature. Such as if you aren't sure you want a child to be able to travel with the other parent and their new lover, you may want to set ground rules that you have to have met them first before it happens. This helps everyone feel more comfortable and does not completely close off the possibility. However, if you are in a potentially tumultuous divorce where there may be problems, you may also want to set stricter ground rules like barring out of country vacations, at least for awhile.

Learn More About Travel in Child Custody Agreements

Are you going through a divorce with difficult child custody? Let us help. Contact us today to see how Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can help you get through this.


Property Division in a Nesting Situation

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Nesting is a term describing a situation in which the child stays in the family home while the parents move in and out on a specific schedule. It is one of those situations that sounds great on paper, but doesn't work so great in practice. While the child has superior stability, there are a few issues with nesting.

Multiple Residences

Primarily, most divorced parents can't necessarily sustain two residences as would be required. Furthermore, nesting requires excellent communication to do well. However, the biggest issue can be how the property is divided in a divorce if you are still sharing much of it.

Ownership

If you wish to make a nesting situation feasible at least for some period of time, it is crucial that when you are dividing the property, you both retain ownership of the house. Both names will want to be on the mortgage so one person does not have legal ownership of it. Furthermore, you will want to negotiate who handles what bills when it comes to upkeep.

Upkeep

Working out the financial and physical care of a shared residence is the most important matter of property division in a nesting-based divorce. Outside of that, the property division remains much the same as a regular divorce. You will want to split up the items inside that house and if possible remove them so that your spouse doesn't have access to them. If items do need to remain in the shared home, it is important to have "your own" space there in which they should stay. This helps to mitigate instances that can cause fights.

Learn More About Nesting

Are you going through a divorce? It is a tough time, but having a skilled divorce attorney by your side can make it a little easier to navigate. If you are divorcing, contact us today to see how Jamra & Jamra can help.

Reasons to Fight For Custody of Your Children

Monday, May 18, 2020

The truth is that most men lose custody of their children to the mothers. Some are lucky to see their children once in a while, though many hardly spend any time with their children at all, which is a shame. Children need their fathers. Thus, it is important for you to fight for custody of your children (even if it is only partial). Here are some reasons why.

Children With Both Parents Do Better in School

Children who have both parents in their life are more likely to do well in school.However, children without a father figure are less likely to finish school. If they do, they may not do as well as they could have done. Many drop out altogether, struggling to make ends meet for the rest of their lives.

Children Without Fathers Find a More Dangerous Substitute 

Children without fathers are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol (and a life of crime to support their habit). Drugs and alcohol are everywhere, and children without a good support system seem to find themselves in trouble. After they get hooked, they have to turn to crime in order to pay for their habit. Then, they may start out by stealing until the habit becomes too much, and they get desperate for their next fix.

Children Without a Strong Father Figure Don't Know How to Treat Women

Children without a strong father figure don't know how they should be treating women. You need to show your children how to treat a woman by treating their mother nicely, even if you aren't together anymore. You can also show them how to treat a woman that you love when you eventually move on.

Find More Reasons to Fight For Custody of Your Children 

The best thing that you can do for your children is to stay involved in their life. You can make sure that your children stay in school, do well, and have a good future. You can also show them how to treat women. Always respect their mother and anyone that you may be dating (or eventually marry).

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

Tips to Stay in Your Children's Lives, Even If You Don't Have Custody

Monday, May 11, 2020

Going through a divorce can be one of the hardest things that you will ever have to do. Deciding how to divide your life into two and move on can be downright challenging. However, the worst part may be trying to figure out what to do with your children.

Though joint custody can be the best for children, that isn't always the case. If you have a job that keeps you away from home for most of the day, it may not be possible for you to have them as much as you would like. However, that doesn't mean that you can't be a part of their lives.

Here are some tips to stay in your children's lives, even if they live with their mother.

Get Along With Your Ex

Learn to get along with your ex for the sake of your children. If you want to stay in your children's lives, it is important that you find some way to get along. You are going to need to learn to communicate schedules, important events, and even problems that are going to pop up. The sooner that you can do this, the better off your relationship with your children will be.

Attend Big Events

Do your best to share the big events too! If you want to be a big part of your children's lives, you are going to have to show up for as many events as you possibly can. There are going to be school events to attend. You also want to find a way to share the holidays with your ex-wife. The better you can make these events for your children, the happier they will be.

Spend Time With Your Kids

Offer to watch the children when your ex goes out.If you don't get to spend too much time with your children, you should offer to watch them when your ex-wife needs to do something. Not only will she enjoy having someone that she can count on, but it also gives you more time to spend with your children.

Find More Tips to Stay in Your Children's Lives

It is really important to learn to get along with your ex if you want to stay in your children's lives. You are going to be involved in them together for the rest of your life. So, the sooner you can learn to communicate and spend time together as a family, the better off your children will be. This is true for normal daily events and even the big ones too!

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

Domestic Violence Gone Digital: Internet-Enabled Abuse

Friday, April 24, 2020

There was a time when the use of technology in domestic violence cases was limited to harassment on the internet, and surveillance and tracking through cameras, cell phones, and computers. As detailed by The New York TimesCNBCSlate, and countless other outlets, the constant stream of internet-enabled "smart" devices has drastically altered the landscape of technology in domestic violence. The exponentially growing number of smart devices now serves as an ever-increasing armory of sophisticated weapons to wield in cases of domestic violence.

Technology

The ability to track a victim's technological and physical activity has only increased with the ubiquity of cellphones, apps, and wearable technology. Online harassment has evolved from emails and message boards to "doxxing" (releasing private information) and revenge porn. Technology and internet-enabled devices have not only made older forms of abuse easier, but introduced entirely new acts of abuse as well.

Abusers can take advantage of this smart technology to lock and unlock doors, adjust the thermostat, and control the power to lights, speakers, electronics, or even automobiles. Technological abuse can be used to demonstrate complete and utter control of the victim themselves as well as their surroundings without even having to be present at the time. It can be used to portray the victim as deluded and undermine their claims of violence. Further, it can be used to impose digital, emotional—and in the case of cars and internet-enabled locks—physical isolation from their support systems and escape options.

Learn More About Internet-Enabled Abuse

If you suspect you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, contact us today so we can help you and your loved ones escape from abusive and unsafe situations. With over four decades of experience and distinguished records of success in family law and domestic violence, our tailor-made strategies and personalized representation will help ensure your safety and achieve your goals better than any other firm.

How a Parent's Home Could Impact Child Custody

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Judges may take each parent's home and overall living conditions into account when determining custody in California. Although considerations can vary from court to court, a judge may consider the total number of children, their ages, and their genders when evaluating the parents' homes.

The Total Number of Children Involved

Judges will decide whether or not the number of children may impact their living conditions. If multiple children are involved, parents may need to make sure they have sufficient space to accommodate them.

For example, a parent with four children will need to ensure that the home has enough bedroom space for each child to spend the night comfortably, or else the judge may rule unfavorably.

The judge will also consider whether the children are from multiple relationships and the primary parent with whom they live.

Ages and Genders

Generally, older children will need more space than younger children. Thus, courts could consider this whether the older child shares a bedroom with a younger sibling when determining custody.

Regarding gender, the court may require parents to maintain children's privacy if the children are of the opposite sex. This could include providing each child with his or her own bathroom or bedroom.

The Children's Safety

The overall safety of the children is also a huge consideration, including the safety of both the parent's home and the surrounding area. If the judge perceives any risk of injury at home or in the neighborhood, this could result in certain visitation restrictions. Parents should gain a good understanding of their neighborhoods, including the specific kinds of crimes that take place, the presence of sex offenders in the area, and the frequency of crimes.

Ability to Adjust 

Another factor that could impact visitation and custody could include the child's ability to adjust psychologically to a new living environment. For instance, a child may find it difficult to adjust to smaller accommodations when used to living in a more spacious home.

Conclusion

Contact us today to learn more about child custody and visitation and find out how the attorneys at Jamra & Jamra can help you.

Determining Parentage During a Same-Sex Divorce

Friday, April 10, 2020

Establishing parentage is important to make sure that same-sex parents maintain parental rights and are allowed to participate in parental responsibility allocation during the divorce process. However, there are still legal uncertainties in many locations throughout the U.S. when it comes to establishing parentage for same-sex couples. In California, the same rules applied to traditional paternity suits and divorces also apply to same-sex divorce and parentage.

Keeping the Divorce Out of Court

Same-sex couples going through the divorce process can benefit from staying out of court when resolving child-related issues. Couples can do so by discussing the matters with each other, in therapy, or with the help of a custody mediator who may be mandatory regardless of whether the divorce is in or out of court.

If the divorce goes to court, the rules pertaining to parenting rights for traditional couples will also apply to same-sex parents.

If Both Spouses Are the Legal Parents

Many divorces will involve two spouses who are both the legal parents of the child, which can be the case if both parents jointly adopt a child. The spouse of the child's biological mother is also considered the legal parent if:

  • The child was born prior to the legal marriage between the mother and father
  • Birth occurred 300 days of terminating the marriage
  • Non-biological parent adopted the child through a second-parent or stepparent adoption or developed a parent-child relationship via another parentage action.

If both parties in a male same-sex couple wish to establish dual parentage, either the non-biological parent will need to adopt the child, or if both parties are nonbiological parents, they must jointly adopt the child.

If One Spouse Is a Legal Parent

If only one individual is the child's legal parent, the other parent won't benefit from any parenting rights under any circumstances. Without establishing parentage, it may be difficult to secure visitation rights, although the legal parent will be able to determine if the second parent should be allowed to be involved in the child's life, as long as it is in the child's best interests.

Conclusion

For help with the same-sex divorce process and to learn more about establishing parentage, contact us today to see how Jamra & Jamra can assist you.