Family Law Blog

Staying Strong: 5 Tips for Divorcing Parents

Friday, April 15, 2016

A divorce is a difficult change for everyone in the family. Learning what to expect during a divorce will not only help your children, it will help you and your spouse work through the complex emotions that arise. Here are some things to keep in mind for the sake of yourself and your children.

You're Not a Failure

You need to be aware of your own feelings just as much as your children's. It's common for divorcing parents to feel like they've failed, but that's simply not true. Your marriage has nothing to do with your ability to be a good parent. Know that you can still be there for your child in your own way and that it's okay to feel confused. You're not alone.

Vent About Your Ex - But Not to Your Children

Avoid negative talk about your ex. Anger and guilt are the most common emotions during a divorce, and it may be tempting to vent your frustrations. Don't do so around your children. It's okay to talk to your kids about what's going on and your emotions, but try to talk about it in a productive way. If you need to let off some steam about your ex, consider talking to a therapist or writing in a journal.

Don't Discuss the Details Around Your Kids

You and your spouse will have a lot of complex topics to discuss, like the division of assets and child custody. These are topics that are best discussed when your kids aren't around. Of course, it's important to talk with your children about the separation, but leave the more "adult" topics for a later date.

Be Prepared for Behavioral Changes

Children react in different ways to a divorce. Some kids will act up at school or at home. Other children may bottle up their emotions, which can manifest as physical illnesses. Keep an eye on your child's eating and sleeping habits, and don't be afraid to ask teachers for progress reports. Sometimes, asking your child how he or she is feeling is enough to start the conversation and come up with a solution together.

Make Your Own Joy

Take a little time every day to find happiness, independently and with your kids. Take a day off from work and go out for ice cream. Make a new tradition with your kids, like a game night after dinner. Intentionally spending time like this will help you to rediscover your ability to live in the moment and be grateful for the little joyous moments that happen every day.

You don't have to go through this on your own. Jamra & Jamra can help you with the divorce process and all the emotions that come along with it. Contact us today.

Who Gets the House? Property Division in California Divorces

Friday, March 11, 2016

California is a community property state, meaning that all property and debts acquired during the marriage must be divided equally among the spouses. However, property division is not always as easy as splitting assets 50/50. A common concern of divorcing couples is the disposition of the family home. After all, the home is often one of the couple's most valuable assets.

There are many arrangements for disposing of the home depending on the family's circumstances. One of the easiest is simply selling the home and splitting the proceeds equally.

However, sale of the home may not be possible due to a slow real estate market or negative equity in the home. Additionally, the issue can be complicated due to the emotional significance of the family home. One spouse may not wish to sell the home and all of the memories it represents. Other spouses may wish to avoid further emotional distress to children by allowing them to remain in the home.

When one spouse is adamant about keeping the home for sentimental reasons and can afford to maintain the home with no financial assistance from the other spouse, one alternative is to allow that spouse to buy out the other's interest in the property. Where both spouses are concerned about the impact of the home's sale on their children, both may agree to maintain joint ownership and to allow the custodial parent exclusive use of it. In slow real estate markets, the couple may agree to maintain the home as a joint investment in hopes that the home's value may increase over time.

However, these arrangements require a level of cooperation between the divorcing spouses that is not always possible.Contact us today if you are divorcing and are concerned about the ultimate disposition of your home and other assets. Whether you need an attorney who can craft a workable compromise with your ex or need one who can litigate your position aggressively in court, we can help.

3 Tips to Help You Get Through Your Divorce Case

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Going through a divorce can be painful. Your emotions are all over the place in an attempt to try to figure it all out. While divorce cases aren't exactly the most exciting cases to be involved with, that doesn't mean you can't come out ahead in them. You deserve to be treated fairly in your case. With an attorney working on your side, you can do just that. Here are a few tips to help you win your divorce case and walk away with the whole mess behind you.

Don't give in to the negativity.

Refrain from letting all of the negative voices in your head get to you. You have to realize that they are simply trying to make your future bleak and ruin everything you worked so hard for. You have the power to control your destiny and rise above the madness. Choose to put the negativity aside and start thinking positively.

Figure out what it is that you want.

Oftentimes, people go into a divorce case simply trying to get it done and over with. They can't think about anything else but how to move on. Unfortunately, that could end up costing you in the long run. You need to stop and take the time to think about what it is that you want to accomplish in the process. There is a lot to gain in the process, but there is also a lot to lose. You have to have an idea of what it is that you want to achieve during the process if you are going to come out ahead. Otherwise, you will end up losing out on a lot during the whole proceeding.

Hold true to your values.

Divorce proceedings can leave you lost and hopeless. These feelings can be quite common. One minute you might feel fine and the next you might feel lost and alone. The one thing you need to remember is that you don't want to sway from who you are and what you believe in. The last thing you want is to feel guilty about the way things ended. Don't play dirty or get ugly. It's far better to come out of the case with your pride and dignity intact than it is for you to attack the other party.

Contact us to find out how you can walk away from the mess without all the stress and hassle.

Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First in California?

Friday, November 20, 2015

There are very few situations where rushing to file for divorce is advantageous. Unless there is an urgent need to file immediately, such as physical abuse or the need to protect children and assets, the decision to divorce should be a well thought out and calculated plan. Generally, there is little to gain from rushing to file, however it may be beneficial at times.

First, filing first will determine the jurisdiction and venue that the divorce case is heard in. This is especially important if you and your spouse live in different counties, states, or even countries. The jurisdiction of the court allows your case to move forward. If you live in Orange County, but your estranged spouse files for divorce in Sonoma County first, the divorce proceedings will take place in Sonoma. This creates the need to find a local attorney in Sonoma County and to travel across the state for all court appearances. 

If you believe your children are in danger physically or your spouse may abduct them, you should always file for divorce immediately. Family courts have the power to issue immediate orders concerning the children. Choose a lawyer that will aggressively address your concerns. Not doing so can result in you being forced to file in another jurisdiction in an attempt to recover the children. It can also hurt your case later if the court questions why you did not take action if you truly believed the children were in danger.  

For more information on divorce proceedings, contact us today. Our experienced attorneys are ready to assist and will fight to protect you and your children. 

Los Angeles Businessman Seeks Overhaul of California Alimony Laws

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Los Angeles man has launched a campaign to push for a complete overhaul of alimony laws in California.

According to Steve Clark, an independent software consultant in Los Angeles, the existing alimony laws in California are outdated, and no longer account for the fact that women now comprise a significant proportion of the workforce in the state. His initiative stems from his own experiences during his divorce which lasted for more than three years, and was a painful experience. He was married for more than 25 years, and according to him, the divorce, cost him more than $100,000 in legal costs alone.

The current laws require that when a marriage has lasted for more than 10 years, the spouse who is the lower earning partner in the marriage, be entitled to lifelong alimony. According to Clark, this is extremely unfair because women now account for approximately 45% of the workforce in the United States. In a situation like this, overhaul of alimony laws should not be considered a gender issue, because there are many women now who earn much more than their husbands. He also believes that the existing alimony laws, which call for lifelong alimony, are very unfair to children emotionally and financially because much of the money that would have been given for child support is spent on legal fees.

Clark has launched a website in which he is petitioning for signatures from registered voters across the state. He must receive more than 355,000 signatures before the deadline on November 2.

Negotiating with the help of a lawyer to make sure that your rights to alimony payments are protected can help reduce legal costs. In fact, attorneys often recommend that you work together with your spouse’s attorney to come to a settlement, that is mutually agreeable to the two of you.

Oil Billionaire Harold Hamm Appeals Billion Dollar Divorce Ruling

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A collapse in oil prices has meant a significant decrease in his net worth, and his $10.6 billion fortune has been reduced by as much as one- third, according to some estimates. That has forced Oklahoma oil billionaire Harold Hamm to appeal a divorce ruling earlier this year in which was ordered to pay his ex-wife $1 billion as settlement.

This marks yet another stage in the oil tycoon’s already messy divorce proceedings, which have dragged out for three years now. Hamm’s appeal comes just as his ex-wife is also appealing her $1 billion alimony award for entirely different reasons. She claims that her alimony settlement is much too low. She argues that she had a huge role to play in the accumulation of her husband's wealth and the building of his business empire, especially his flagship company Continental Resources. According to her, over their 26- year marriage, it was her business acumen and hard work that resulted in stock prices for Continental Resources skyrocketing, expanding her husband’s wealth.

The court ruling however, awarded as much as 90% of his wealth back to him, while she received $1 billion in alimony payments. She also received several pieces of property, as well as millions of dollars in other assets.

At the time of the ruling, Hamm was pleased with the settlement. However, now he has had second thoughts, especially because of the reduction in his overall wealth. Oil prices are dropping, and the trend doesn't seem like it's going to end anytime soon. Stock prices for Continental Resources have dropped by 30% since the divorce was finalized in November. Oil prices are currently at a five-year low. It is probably these factors that have pushed Hamm into filing an appeal against the divorce ruling.

Murder-Suicide Linked to Child Custody Battle

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

When ex-veteran Bradley William Stone recently killed his ex-wife, five relatives, and then himself recently in Philadelphia, it wasn't immediately clear that the reason was linked to a family dispute. However, in the aftermath of the tragedy, it is becoming more and more clear that the man was in an ongoing custody battle with his ex-wife, and that the dispute likely sent him off the edge.

Stone was involved in a dispute with his ex-wife Nicole Stone over the couple's young daughters. Stone first went to his ex-wife’s sister's house, where he shot and killed the sister and her husband. He also assaulted the couple’s children leaving them with severe injuries. He then went to his ex-mother-in-law's house, where he killed both the ex-mother-in-law and her mother. After that, he went to his ex-wife's home where he shot and killed her too. Police officers found him two days, dead of self-inflicted stab wounds. The couple's two young girls, as well as his current wife and their infant son are currently in protective custody.

While the custody dispute has been mentioned in most news stories related to the murder, it is clear that this was a man with very serious psychological problems. However, this tragedy is also a reminder of what can happen when such important matters are left unresolved during a divorce.

Not every marriage will end with all strings neatly tied up. Resentment and bitterness may continue even after the divorce, which is why it is very important to try out all possible ways of alternative dispute resolution, like arbitration and mediation, before taking a matter to court. It’s also important to seriously consider psychological counseling during such traumatic times in one’s life. In fact, counseling or therapy, if you can afford it, is one of the important pieces of advice that Los Angeles divorce lawyers give persons who have just begun divorce proceedings.

Longer Commutes Increase Divorce Risks

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Couples who have longer commutes to work are at a much higher risk of meeting with a Los Angeles divorce lawyer. According to new research by three scientists, couples who have at least a 45-minute one-way commute to work every day, are much more likely to find themselves in divorce court, compared to those who have shorter daily commutes.

The study, which was published recently in the British journal Urban Studies, monitored millions of Swedish citizens between 1995 and 2005. The researchers found that 11% of the couples that were monitored as part of the study had divorced by 2000. They also found that couples who divorced, were much more likely to commute long distances to go to work.

13% of the couples in which one or both of the spouses had at least a 45-minute commute to work every day, ended up divorcing. However, according to the analysis only 10% of the non-commuter couples had divorced.

The results of the study point to the effect of stress on the relationship. Couples, who have long 45-minute commutes to work every day, are probably more stressed, especially when both of the couples have such long-distance commutes to work every day.

Stress can kill any marriage. Very often, that stress may simply compound problems that already exist in the marriage, and the couple may have no other choice but to call it quits. If you are currently considering divorce, speak with a Los Angeles divorce lawyer, who can advise you about your options for alimony, child custody arrangements, parenting time, and child support payments.

There are several issues that must be ironed out before you finalize the divorce papers. Divorce can be at testing time for you, and if you aren’t careful can seriously impact your rights over your assets, home or children.

New Hotel Promises to Remove the Stress of Divorce

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Divorce is a traumatic and stressful affair at the best of times. Even if yours is an amicable divorce, and you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are on the best of terms you're still going to find it very stressful to deal with the fact that your marriage no longer exists. In New York, a team of enterprising entrepreneurs has announced the opening of a divorce hotel, which promises to help persons going through a divorce, get the process over with in the most stress-free manner possible.

For a price price tag of $5,000, couples who are going through a divorce can enjoy a weekend that comes complete with separate rooms, and a divorce mediation service. While you are finalizing custody arrangements, and parenting time schedules, you can also avail of the hotel facilities, including a number of swimming pools, a golf course and a spa.

According to the promoters of the hotel, a couple going through a divorce can check into the hotel over the weekend, and leave by the end of the weekend, feeling rested, refreshed and having sorted out all those prickly, divorce-related issues. By the time you walk out of the hotel, you will be single, although the judge will have to review the divorce papers that you signed.

According to the promoters of the hotel, there was definitely a need in the market to target people getting a divorce. That works out to approximately 50% of all married people in the country. Going by current statistics, close to half of all American marriages end in divorce. That means a lot of people, at any given time in the US, are either considering divorce, or in the process of divorce, and it is this category of persons that the promoters want to target. Although the concept is new in the United States, such hotels have operated and flourished for years in Europe.

The “Out Of the Blue” Divorce and How to Cope with It

Friday, August 29, 2014

It’s one of the worst types of divorces that Los Angeles divorce attorneys come across. Surprise divorces, or a divorce out of the blue, where one spouse simply informs the other one fine day that he/she is moving out and wants a divorce, can leave thwe other spouse completely shattered.

The decision to divorce is not made overnight. In almost every single case that a Los Angeles divorce lawyer will see, the partner that seeks the divorce, has spent weeks or months, considering the idea of divorce, analyzing pros and cons, and only then making that appointment with a lawyer. Unfortunately, both the spouses in the relationship may not see the warning signs. One spouse may simply be coasting along in the marriage, thinking that everything is going well, and may be taken completely by surprise when the partner breaks the news.

It is usually the men who make the divorce announcement out of the blue. However, as women become more financially independent, they are also becoming much more comfortable about making the sudden decision to walk out of the relationship.

So, what you do when your life is turned upside down by a divorce announcement? The first thing to do is to find your bearings, and quickly. It’s probably best to give up any hopes of making your marriage work by going into couples counseling. If your spouse is adamant about wanting a divorce, couples counseling could be a waste of time.

A sudden end of the relationship like this can be devastating. Once the numbness and the shock have worn off, get yourself together, and speak to a divorce lawyer.

You are devastated, and feel like your life has ended, but it has not. You have finances to get in order, and crucial decisions to make that could impact the rest of your life, and you need a solid divorce attorney on your side. To heal, take some responsibility for the end of the marriage, but at the same time, be gentle on yourself. Have a good support system of family and friends, who can help you get through the grieving process.