Family Law Blog

Dealing With Tardiness in Child Custody Matters

Thursday, January 19, 2017

When figuring out a parenting plan and child custody schedule, parents might work something out before finalizing a divorce or have matters settled by a judge. Either way, everything won't always go according to plan. A visitation order might list how often and at what times a noncustodial parent receives access to a child or children. Problems may arise if one parent stops following the schedule by showing up late or not showing up at all. Here are some tips for dealing with tardiness or absences.

Occasional Slip Ups

Parents should try to work with each other when possible and realize that unplanned events do arise every now and then that could interfere with the regular schedule. Being late once or twice will happen, and it's better to not get worked up if little things like this occur.

When It Becomes A Habit

If a parent is always late or frequently changes plans without warning, start by talking to them. Maybe there is a reason and an easy fix for the problem or the person doesn't even realize there is an issue. Though a fixed schedule is helpful for kids and adults, real life can get in the way. Changes to a schedule might be needed as time passes.

When Parents Can't Work It Out

Mediation could be the right solution if both parents want to reach an agreement but are unable to communicate and solve the problem. A mediator could help parents find and agree on a compromise. If mediation doesn't work and nothing improves, going to court to enforce or change an order might be necessary. Try to document what is happening and how it affects your children.

When divorcing or trying to raise children after a divorce, an attorney's assistance may be needed. Contact us today for information about how we could help you.

What To Do When Your Ex Is Alienating You From Your Child

Thursday, January 12, 2017

After undergoing a divorce, you may find that your ex-spouse is alienating the child from you. When they are preventing the child from meeting you, it is simply known as parent alienation. The case becomes more complex, however, when the other parent is having a damaging psychological effect on your child’s relationship with you.

The other parent may be denigrating you in front of your child or telling them that you do not love them. When the child develops negative feelings towards you, it is called Parent Alienation Syndrome, which was researched by Richard Gardner some decades ago.

The problem over here is to get the court to recognize what is going on. Parent Alienation Syndrome is not a medically recognized syndrome. Of course, if the court determines that the other parent is undermining your relationship with your child, they will probably step in and attempt to remedy the situation by setting up therapy sessions for the child or even by giving you child custody (in severe situations). The court is looking out for your child's best interests, which is to have a healthy relationship with both parents. 

However, before the court will take action, they will usually order a third-party psychological evaluation for the child. This can take time, and before you know it, the case can drag on for a year, with the alienation only getting worse.

The key to winning over here is to get the court to take action quickly, without dragging their feet. That’s why you need a lawyer who is knowledgeable in child support and alienation matters. For legal help, and to save your relationship with your child, make sure to contact us.

Child Custody: What Are The Best Interests Of The Child?

Thursday, January 05, 2017

One of the most heated and intense moments in your life can happen when child custody becomes the topic. For years, people have made their claims on why they should obtain custody of the children when a marriage or relationship ends. 

This is why it is so important to have the help of an experienced child custody attorney who can help protect the rights you have as a parent. You are fighting for your children, and you deserve to get the best results for the children you love so much.

Many people think that child custody cases are always ruled in favor of the mother. However, this is no longer the case. Many states across the United States will view both sides of the situation and determine the best situation for the child.

The child's best interest should always be number one. Several factors will determine where the child will live and who gets to make the important decisions in the child's life. 

If you do not understand how child custody battles work and you need someone to fight on your behalf, an experienced family law attorney will explain everything you need to know so that you can move forward with getting the results your child needs.

Some of the factors that are taken into consideration during a child custody case include the following:

  • Where the child wants to reside(if he or she is old enough to determine what he or she wants)
  • What the parents want
  • How well the child adjusts to the current environment
  • The mother/child and father/child relationship
  • The type of home life each parent can provide

This is only a small list of the things that will be considered when you are in the middle of a child custody battle. It is important to remember that the best interest of the child is what the judge will consider. 

If you need to be advised on what your chances may be in obtaining custody of your child, Contact a California child custody attorney today.


Can Social Media Impact Your Divorce? The Answer Is Yes

Thursday, December 29, 2016

We are living in the days where almost everyone has signed up for a social media account. While using social media can certainly be fun and entertaining, you have to be careful about the type of things you post to those social media websites. 

The information you post can be seen by a significant amount of people. If you are going through a divorce, you need to be very cautious about the type of things you post on any of your social media pages. If you think you may post anything that may get you into any trouble, you may want to avoid logging into your account until your divorce has been finalized.

Anything On Social Media Can Be Used Against You

If you are in a heated divorce, your husband or wife may be looking for anything that can make you look bad so he or she will receive everything they are looking for.

Since many people share a significant amount of information online, people who are divorcing will turn to social media for information they can use against one another. Social media postings cannot only impact spousal support and child support orders, but it can also impact a custodial agreement. 

If you are fighting for custody of your child or children, you should definitely avoid posting any photographs or videos that will show you using illegal drugs, drinking alcohol, fighting, partying, etc. 

If you tell the judge you cannot make spousal or child support payments, but you are posting photos of your money, posting photos of expensive merchandise, or posting vacations pictures, your spouse can use those photographs or videos against you to prove that you can indeed make those payments. 

We understand that divorces can get heated and difficult, but social media can get you into more trouble than you think. If you are going through a divorce, do not hesitate to contact us for information on how social media can impact your divorce. 


California Property Division is Complicated

Thursday, December 22, 2016

When two people enter into marriage, they are not thinking about the day that they might divorce and have to divide their property.  Maybe they should, though, because in California the divorce rate is 60 percent, ten percent higher than the national average.  

Most people know that California is a community property state, meaning that when it comes to divorce and property division, all assets, income and debt acquired while living with a spouse (or domestic partner) are divided and distributed equally.  Assets or debts acquired during the marriage through a gift or inheritance do not count as community property.

Although the idea of community property is fairly straightforward, in practice it is more complicated, particularly if the parties involved have accumulated a lot of assets and debts during the marriage.  A complex married financial life often makes for a complex divorce.

For example, a couple's community property might include a house, a rental property, automobiles, furniture, clothing, a business, checking accounts, retirement plans, stocks and bonds, life insurance and more.  Dividing these equally is often a challenge.  To illustrate, how is the marital home split since the court cannot physically divide it?  In some cases, the couple sells the house and evenly distributes the proceeds. In others, one spouse keeps the house and buys out the other's share.

Sometimes items that seem as though they belong to one person actually belong to both.  For example, suppose the husband saved $100 every month from his job income to buy a boat.  Even though he paid for the boat, it actually belongs to the husband and his wife because the husband bought the boat with money earned during the marriage.  Any income generated during the marriage is community property.  By extension, so is anything purchased with that money.

If you are contemplating divorce and wondering about property division, then contact us. Our experienced, skilled attorney will review your case.  We are here to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.

 

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3 Mistakes That Could Inadvertently Hurt Your Child Custody Case

Friday, December 16, 2016

If you are going through a divorce, this can be a stressful time. If you have children involved, this can be an even tougher process. It is important not to make any quick decisions while separating that might hurt your child custody case. Here are three mistakes you should try to avoid during your divorce process that could give your ex leverage when it comes to custody.

1. Moving for a New Job

You may feel as if your financial resources are being depleted or you need to protect your personal assets during a divorce. The thing is, needing to move for a job or adding significant commute time might come off as not putting your child’s needs first, especially if this will limit your time for visitation. Wait until the dust settles to make any significant career changes.

2. Moving in With a New Significant Other

While you may have quickly found love after your divorce, it is important to focus on custody matters before fully moving on with your life. If you quickly move in with a new significant other, those making decisions on visitation and custody might not think you are putting your children's needs first.

3. Moving into a Home That Doesn’t Accommodate Your Kids

If you are the spouse that will be expected to move out of the family home, you might be worried about finances and want to move into a smaller space. It is important that you find a home that can accommodate your children, or your visitation and custody might be limited. This doesn’t mean you need a space as nice as your family home, but having a room designated for your children or an apartment with a pool or near a park can go a long way when it comes to being granted visitation.

While you might be in an emotional and working through personal issues during your divorce, keeping your children's needs in mind should be priority. If you are separating from your spouse and need guidance with your child custody case, contact us to ensure that your children's needs are protected.

Divorce: Making Things Right During The Holidays

Friday, December 09, 2016

Anyone who has experienced a divorce or is currently experiencing a divorce knows that a divorce can turn things upside down. Everything can change during a divorce. When parents make the decision to split, it seems that everything will be impacted. This is especially true when it comes to the holiday season.

The holidays can be a very difficult time for a divided family who has to make arrangements so the children can spend time with both parents. The old holiday traditions are a thing of the past, and parents now have to create new traditions and start new memories.

If the parents are going to work together to give their children the best holiday experiences, there needs to be a detailed visitation schedule when the parents agree to co-parent. The schedules and agreements should not be vague because these types of agreements will likely fall apart very quickly.

The holidays should be an enjoyable time for families, but this is not always the case when families have separated and the children have to spend the holidays in two homes. However, when parents can agree and stick to a schedule and any other agreement, there will be a less amount of stress and there will be no arguments and disagreements.

The court system is available to help families figure things out and do what is best for the children, but one of the best things parents can do is try to work things out on their own. If families do not want to be stress and burdened with going to court, they should try to work together and keep things positive.

We do understand that sometimes families need to go through the court system so they can be advised of the best steps to take. If you need advice about your situation or if you would like a consultation, do not hesitate to contact us today.


Can a Divorce Include a Clause Negating Child Support Obligations?

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Is it possible, at the time of the divorce, to include a clause in the divorce contract whereas one parent is absolved, with the agreement and consent of the other parent, of child support obligations?

The first thing to know is that child support is something obligated by law -- parents must support their children, even if they are not currently married to the other parent. Child support obligations do not stem from divorce contracts and agreements.

This law is in place to ensure that children are adequately taken care of. It also is in the government’s best interests not to have too many welfare recipients.

Usually, clauses negating child support obligations will not be recognized by the courts. Unless you are able to prove that this clause is, in fact, in the child’s best interests, it will generally have no legal standing.

It goes even further. If there was a clause under which one parent paid a lump sum for the child’s needs, instead of having to pay monthly payments, and the money was squandered by the other parent who has custody of the child and the child now needs financial assistance, the first parent may have to start paying again for child support. This is because child support obligations are in place to benefit the child, and a parent's self-interest has no bearing on the issue, unless the parent is financially unable to support the child.

Child support laws are extremely complex. If you are considering a clause in your divorce contract concerning child support, it is best to contact a lawyer for legal help.

Divorce And Social Media: Can Ignoring Your Attorney's Advice About Posting Online Really Hurt You?

Monday, November 28, 2016

These days, many divorce lawyers advise their clients to stay off social media altogether until the divorce is final and custody and support issues are settled. But is it really all that foolhardy to ignore your attorney’s advice? Absolutely. Here are a number of different ways that social media can backfire on you during a divorce.

The opposing divorce attorney is going to mine your accounts for data.

Even if you put your privacy settings on "high," you still have no real expectation of privacy for anything you say online. That makes it fair game for an attorney to use if you one of your "close" friends decides to show your posts to your warring spouse.

Your spouse’s divorce attorney will be watching with the mindset of “Is this useful in court?” You likely don’t have the necessary expertise or experience to realize just what can and cannot hurt you.

For example, what if you have a bad day at work and post a picture of a glass of wine with dinner? That becomes an exhibit that suggests you have a drinking problem, poor coping skills, and shouldn’t be handling full custody of your kids.

Did you start a new romance? Your pictures of a weekend retreat with your new romantic interest could be considered “marital waste,” which will then entitle your spouse to a greater share of the remaining marital assets.

Are you frustrated and angry about your spouse’s failure to pay support on time? Spouting off on your Twitter account could violate the court order that prohibits you from disparaging each other in front of your children, especially if your children are old enough to have their computer access. That could be grounds to revisit your parenting agreement and shift custody to your spouse.

You may not legally be allowed to go back and delete what you posted.

If you temporarily lose your temper and post something that you know you shouldn’t, you may be tempted to delete the post seconds or minutes later. Unfortunately, that’s considered spoliation of evidence, which can also get you in trouble with the court. If word got around to your spouse, and he or she demands access to the post, you don’t want to be in the position of explaining to the court that you destroyed potential evidence.

As a result of the deletion, the court can order a negative inference against you, which means it can just assume that the post was destructive to your spouse’s reputation or disparaged him or her publicly.

As difficult as it may be to detach from social media for a while, consider the fact that your attorney is giving you advice for a reason—he or she has probably seen a lot of bad outcomes from posts that seemed okay at the time to the client.

For more information about this and other divorce issues, contact us today.

Child Custody Advice: Help Make The Holidays An Enjoyable Time For Your Children

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The holidays are supposed to be about giving thanks, being joyful, being peaceful, and celebrating life. With parents who are going through a child custody battle or parents who are already sharing custody, the holidays can be filled with arguments, frustrations, and disappointments.

Some parents can handle the custody issues without conflict and others cannot. In order to have a conflict-free and worry-free holiday season, both parents should keep these things in mind:

Communicate

If both parents do not have an open line of communication, things will certainly go downhill very fast. We understand that if your relationship did not end well you may not always want to communicate with the person who is now your ex. However, it is important that both parents communicate clearly and in a timely manner.

Parents should make time to talk about any plans for the holidays. These plans should be talked about early and not at the last minute. Everyone should have time to communicate and openly discuss everything that is going to be planned.

Stick To The Plan/Schedule

We understand how quickly things can change and how some things are out of your control, but it is important to stick with the regular routine. Some things change and you cannot do anything about it, but you should let your children know ahead of time. You want to keep them in the loop of what is going on so they will not be blindsided by the changes.

Child custody issues, divorce, child support, are never easy issues to deal with. Your children should be your main priority, and it is their best interests that matter. If you need advice on child custody issues or if you would like a consultation, contact us today.