Family Law Blog

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.

How Much Do You Know About Child Support?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Child support is always a hot topic, but this hot topic comes with many myths and misconceptions. Many people believe those things to be true, when in fact, many of them are very inaccurate.

It does not matter if you receive child support payments or if you make child support payments, you will certainly need to gather all the facts. When you have a better understanding of child support, you will be able to make the best decisions concerning your child.

Here are some of the myths about child support that you have probably heard.

Child Support Only Has To Be Paid Until The Child Is 18

This used to be accurate, but that is no longer the case. Children who are 18 years of age and are still enrolled in a high school may still receive child support payments. If a child has a disability that holds him or her back from supporting himself or herself, child support payments can still be received for longer than 18 years.

Back Child Support Will Not Be Collected Once The Child Turns 18

If the parent paying child support still owes payments after the child has turned 18, the now adult can still collect payments.

The Child Support Payments Have To Be Spent On The Child

Many parents who pay child support have concerns with how the money is being spent. Child support payments can be used for a variety of things that are related to the child the payments are intended for. The payments can be spent on housing, utilities, clothing, food, school, etc. The parent on the receiving end is not required to show how the payments are being spent.

If I Quit My Job, I Will Not Have To Pay

If you choose to be unemployed, the court will not have any sympathy for you. If you quit your job so you can avoid paying child support, you will definitely pay for it in the end.

It is important that both sides understand child support so everyone can make the best decisions. If you have questions or if you need advice regarding child support, contact us today.

My Divorce is Amicable: I Don't Need an Attorney, Right?

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Many people going through an amicable divorce think that involving attorneys in the process is unnecessary. While this is sometimes true, there are many reasons why going through a divorce without legal representation can be dangerous—even when spouses are getting along with each other.

If you are going through a divorce, an attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected. An attorney can also ensure that the formalities of divorce agreements are met. Additionally, an experienced attorney will be able to forecast issues that may arise in the future, and help you plan for them accordingly.

Protect your rights

It is always a good idea to at least consult an attorney before signing or consenting to any major commitments. The terms of a divorce can influence your life for a long time. Play it safe and talk things over with an attorney, even if you feel like you have it under control.

Ensure that your agreements are binding

Like any contractual agreement, there are certain formal requirements that must be met for divorce agreements to be binding. An attorney can ensure that these requirements are met.

Plan for the future

Custody and alimony arrangements may need to change in the future. Sometimes property divisions that seemed fair at the time are revealed to be unfair later. An attorney can help you prepare for these types of occurrences.

If you there is no major property involved, no children, and no chance that either party will seek alimony, a divorce attorney may not be necessary. However, if any of these factors are present, an attorney can help make sure the process goes smoothly and that any agreements reached are fair and binding. If you would like more information about this issue, please contact us today.

Child Custody and Parenting Time

Thursday, October 27, 2016

When parents split up, determining the time the children will spend with each parent can be a challenge. There was a time when the mother was almost always given sole physical custody and the father given visitation. This has changed over time, and now both parents typically share both physical custody and legal custody or the ability to make major decisions about the child.

Now another term has come into play. Iis called parenting time and while it has many similarities to joint, or shared, custody, it isn't exactly the same.

Parenting Time Gives Value to Both Parents

Parenting time is a way of approaching the topic of co-parenting that starts with the premise that children benefit from having time with both parents.

Rather than awarding one parent more decision-making power or stating that one parent's home is the child's official residence, a parenting plan allows the child to be equally at home with either parent.

A Parenting Time Agreement Offers Flexibility

A custody agreement typically involves a strict set of guidelines stating where and when the children will spend their time. A parenting time arrangement can be more flexible, as long as both parties can handle it.

Parenting time schedules can be continuously renegotiated based on factors like changing school and work schedules, the child's activities and even the personal preferences of all parties.

A Parenting Time Agreement Encourages Cooperation

Parents are more likely to cooperate and compromise when neither of them feels like they are being taken advantage of. Because time with both parents is a priority in a parenting time arrangement, parents are more likely to work together and focus on what is best for the child.

Is a parenting time agreement right for you? Contact Jamra & Jamra for more information.


Things to Consider As You Start the Divorce Process

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Getting divorced can cause a lot of anxiety, due to a number of reasons. How will your property be divided? What happens when you are paying, or want someone to pay, child support out-of-state? Should seemingly insignificant things like the court date be thought about ahead of time? These are all important questions, each deserving your full attention and the sustained support of your legal counsel.

Property Disbursement

Property disbursement law in divorce cases is a complex issue. However, common sense rules still apply. For instance, property acquired before the marriage is typically sacrosanct from legal division. While this seems simple in principle, you might find you suffer from a lack of receipts or other proof that small-time items are, indeed, yours.

Child Support

Federal law requires each state to have an implemented child support system, but being the non-custodial parent out-of-state doesn't exempt that person from paying child support. Interstate legal proceedings involving child support are especially complicated. Each state has their own legal structure that determines who pays what to whose child and that state-specific legal structure has to interact with federal law which governs the whole thing.

Does timing matter?

The Huffington Post suggests that you think wisely about when you'll file for divorce. Your choice of date can determine how much of your 401k goes to your spouse. Also, filing for divorce before you have separated for a year could cause you to have to endure legal proceedings for a second time.

If you need help with any of these issues, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Deciding on Who Represents the Child in a Child Custody Case

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A parent's every instinct is that a child's parents have a right to determine their children's best interests including, when appropriate, to choose the attorney who will represent a minor child in a child custody battle. A California appellate court in 2014 interpreted a California statute in a way that overrides this instinct. That decision in the case of the Marriage of Metzger held that under the relevant sections of California's Family Law, a court's appointment of counsel for a minor child did not violate the parents' constitutional rights to select the child's attorney. Parents who are in the midst of divorce and child custody litigation will be well-served to understand this decision.

The minor child's mother in the Metzger case argued that her daughter's special needs required that the child have separate counsel to protect her interests in the custody proceedings. The court appointed the child with an attorney who was also a trained psychologist, but her father objected to that appointment with an argument that his own right to decide what was in his daughter's best interests were violated by the court's appointment. Both the divorce and the appellate courts rejected this argument, stating that section 3151 of California's Family Law required the minor child's appointed attorney to act in the child's best interests. Because of this requirement, the court's concluded that there was no conflict with the father's constitutional rights.

A child's interests will always be paramount in custody proceedings. The attorneys at Jamra & Jamra in Beverly Hills, California, are well-versed in child custody issues that arise in divorces and can help either or both parents to make the best decisions that will protect their children's interests, including deciding on separate legal representation for those children. Please contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation on how we can help you in your California divorce and child custody case.

Reasons You Deserve Spousal Support and Alimony

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Divorce can be really hard on everyone, especially emotionally and financially. People who are used to a two-income household can really start to struggle when they are left to pay for everything themselves. Some women (and men) have even given up their career to care for the children, leaving them with almost no options. Parents who have been out of the workforce can struggle to find another job.

For this reason, spousal support, also known as alimony, was created. This gives financial help to the partner who has less income. Though many people don’t believe that their exes (or even themselves) deserve alimony, here are some reasons that alimony should be considered.

  • Many people understand how important their spouse’s career is. They may work to put them through college, becoming the breadwinner for the family. Without them working extra to put their spouse through college, they wouldn’t be as far as they are today.
  • Many spouses stay at home to help to further their spouse’s career. This allows them to be available when needed. They can pour their heart and soul into taking care of their spouse and making his or her life as easy as possible. A spotless house, clean laundry, and an unstressed spouse can really make a difference for some husbands and wives.
  • If someone starts a business of any time, many spouses will work for them. Though you may try to work together after the divorce, it can be difficult and stressful. It can take time to find another job.
  • Many women (and some men) stay home and take care of the children while the other parent was the breadwinner. Through divorce, the stay-at-home parent will probably need to go back to work, only they have put their career on hold so they will probably have to work a minimum wage or office job to try to make ends meet. If they didn’t quit their job, they could be making a lot of money.

Alimony can really make a difference for some people. It can be hard to find a job after you have been without one for years (or even months). You may also feel like you deserve some help because you worked extra and sacrificed to send the other one to college so that he or she could get ahead.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

Four Common Reasons To Sign a Prenuptial Agreement

Friday, September 30, 2016

Though no one wants to envision their happy marriage ending in divorce, the statistics show otherwise. Many marriages end in divorce. Since many people truly believe that their marriage is going to last, they don’t want to bother with a prenuptial agreement. However, no matter how much you think it is going to work, you should sign an agreement before you get married.

Here are some of the most common reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement.

  • One person is much wealthier than the other. It doesn’t matter if one of you started off the marriage much richer or their career is going to skyrocket, you should protect your assets, just in case.
  • One person is in a lot of debt. Though you are going to work together to pay off the debt, you shouldn’t have to be stuck with their debt if the marriage ends.
  • Someone is remarrying. After your first marriage, your life will get much more complicated. Whether or not you have children from your first marriage, you still want to make sure that your first family will get their share of the money if something would happen to you.
  • You or your soon-to-be spouse owns a business. Unless you want to lose part of your business to your spouse if the marriage ends, you need to protect all of the hard work that you put into your business by signing a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement does not mean that you don’t want your marriage to work. Instead, it is there to protect you, just in case. You should protect your money, business, and any other family members. You also don’t want to be saddled with someone else’s debt if the marriage ends.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

California Domestic Partnership Dissolution

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The end of a relationship is fraught with emotion, and we know it's as difficult to go through the trauma of the dissolution of a domestic partnership as it is to end a marriage. Ending a relationship legally is complicated, and good legal representation is essential.

California law surrounding domestic partnerships is in a constant state of flux, so it's important to choose an attorney that is thoroughly familiar with the law and the latest changes that could affect the details of your particular case. Although the legal process is similar to a divorce, there are some key differences. Because of these differences and the complexity of the law, it's vital that your legal representative be able and willing to

  • explain the complexities of the current laws in a way that you can understand
  • take the time to make your case a priority
  • have both good negotiation and aggressive litigation skills

Jamra & Jamra has experience and skills to handle your case effectively. Because we focus on family law, rather than spreading our services over several areas of law, we're in a unique position to give each case the attention it deserves and to customize our services to your particular case and create a strategy that will best serve your individual needs and concerns.

Our attorneys serve all of Los Angeles, from Long Beach to Thousand Oaks. We offer free one-hour in-house consultations in our Beverly Hills office. Contact us if you have questions regarding domestic partnership dissolution, including property division and child custody issues. Our reputation in Southern California is stellar, and we're ready to help.