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The Child Support Process Doesn't Have to Be Scary

Friday, July 17, 2020

Unfortunately, just the words "child support" can strike fear in the hearts of fathers and mothers alike. It is a stigmatized government system that is often misunderstood and seen as a necessary evil. 

In reality, child support is designed to ensure children receive consistent and reliable support from both of their parents. This is best achieved by understanding each parent's current life circumstances and then guiding them how to best provide for their children in both homes. 

An Unbiased System

The system is set up to be unbiased. Payment responsibility and amounts are calculated using an impartial statewide calculation system. Items that impact responsibility and amount include:

  • Gross income
  • Expenses
  • Amount of time spent with child(ren)

With regards to the last item, it is important that each parent accurately documents the amount of time spent with their child(ren) in case it becomes a "he said/she said" situation at any point. The court looks favorably on a paper trail. Minimally, use a calendar to not only note sleepovers, but also rides to/from school, extracurricular activities spent together, visits and so on. An hour here and a couple hours there adds up quickly. It is particularly important to note when custody schedules are not being upheld and why.

Professionals Remove the Emotional Factor

Many amicable parents tend to handle the payment of child support on their own, trusting the paying parent to do so in a timely manner. Unfortunately, the relationship could take a turn for the worse for a wide variety of reasons, and withholding child support is often the first line of attack.  

This can be avoided by engaging with a professional right from the beginning. It takes the emotion out of the equation since the agency is in the middle acting as a non-partial gatekeeper, so to speak. Children's lives are kept more consistent and stable, which is of utmost priority.

Let Jamra & Jamra Help

Jamra & Jamra's Beverly Hills child support lawyers have been practicing family law in California for nearly 40 years. We are experts at providing guidance through complex and emotionally fraught child custody and child support scenarios.

Examples of services typically provided are:

Please contact us for a free in-office initial consultation. After a thorough analysis of the facts of the case, our lawyers will promptly offer all of the legal options available.

When It’s Time to Modify a Child Support Order

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Going through a divorce after establishing a family is stressful and upsetting. Sometimes the turmoil doesn't end when your divorce finalizes. Perhaps you and your ex-spouse settled on a child support agreement—perhaps the court ruled on an appropriate order. Either way, changes may occur that give cause for a change in your child support order.

Changes That Effect a Child Support Order

Have you or your ex-spouse experienced one of the following changes?

  • The income of one or both parents has changed
  • A parent has a child from another relationship
  • There have been significant changes in time the child spends with each parent
  • A parent becomes incarcerated
  • The child's needs change in cost, including but not limited to health care, child care, or education
  • There have been changes in any of the factors used to calculate child support.

For parents who have already been through the trials of a divorce, going back before a judge to argue with your ex can be dismaying. You've already gone through the proceedings once before. Still, the financial needs of you and your children are very important. As a parent, you want the best for your child, and if some occurrence puts a strain on your wallet, it is in your best interest to obtain a fair resolution. Whether that is with the cooperation of the other parent or without, having the correct child support is essential to the stability of yours and your children's lives.

Proceedings

Child support proceedings can transpire through multiple avenues. You may reach a new settlement with your spouse amiably, or you may have to take them to court. You may also involve your local child support agency (LSCA). The LSCA acts as a middleman between you and the court; the agency determines whether a modification to your child support order is needed based on both parents' financial records. If you and your former spouse are able to reach an agreement without the interference of an outside party, the LSCA may also file what is called a "stipulation" to the court of your agreement.

Learn More About a Child Support Order

No matter the route that is taken to reach new child support arrangements, it is always important to have a family attorney to ensure that all outcomes are in the best interest of you and your child. Please contact us with any questions you may have about your child support.

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.

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.

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.

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.