Family Law Blog

An Overview on Emergency Child Custody

Thursday, June 16, 2016

If you are currently going through a child custody issue and you feel your child is in some type of danger, you can ask the court to step in and award emergency child custody. This happens when the child may be in danger, be it neglect, abuse or that the other parent becomes incapacitated.

Initiating the Process

Generally, the court where the child lives will have jurisdiction over this process. To begin, you should report the incident to the court, where an emergency hearing may be scheduled. Usually, the child is placed in a home on a temporary basis based on the judge’s ruling. The exception to this is if either parent has a designated standby guardian already in place.

Not long after the temporary placement is made, a hearing is held where each side can present their story. Any adult can ask the court for emergency child custody. A family law attorney is generally needed because of the complexity involved with removing a child from either parent’s care.

Emergency Custody in Tragic Circumstances

It's important to note that emergency custody hearings are not limited to cases of divorce. Tragic circumstances also trigger the need for emergency custody, such as parents being killed or severely injured in some type of accident. In these situations, if there is no guardian already lined up, a hearing is held to determine who will take custody of the children.

If you find yourself in a situation where emergency child custody is in order, contact us to initiate the process.

Four Tips to Settle Child Custody

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Child Custody is one of the worst parts of a divorce. Nobody wants to lose their children. However, your children need to find a stable home (and quickly) so that they can start to move on after a divorce. You also need to remember that custody can change so, if you are not happy with the arrangement, it does not mean that it won’t ever change.

Here are some tips to settling child custody.

  • Who takes care of the children the most. Your children’s lives are being completely turned upside down. They need some normalcy so, if one of you takes care of the children more than the other, you might want to choose them.
  • Who can provide them the most stable home. Yes, we all know that there are going to be a lot of changes in both you and your ex’s life but is one of you keeping their childhood home? If not, is someone going to be able to have a new home ready for them quickly and easily?
  • Will they have to change schools? Divorce is so hard on children. If they can stay in their same school with all of their friends, they might have an easier time adjusting.
  • Who do they want to live with? There are times when the judge lets the children decide who they want to live with. If they have good reasons, it is worth listening to your children. They deserve some sort of happiness.

Child custody can be the roughest part of divorce since everyone wants to be able to keep their children. However, you need to find a solution that will work with your children, you, and your ex so that everyone can settle back into a new routine where everyone will eventually find happiness again.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

Do You Need A Mediation Process For Your Child Custody Negotiations?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

When going through a contested divorce, it is not uncommon for both sides to run into some conflicts. Everyone can have the right intentions to make sure everything remains positive and big arguments are avoided when the children are around.

Unfortunately, children can still be caught in the middle of everything, especially when a child custody lawyer is not involved. When both sides work with a child custody lawyer, issues can be resolved quicker through mediation.

When you go through the mediation process, no one will be blamed and neither side will be told he or she was right and the other was wrong. However; in these situations, it can be easy for one parent to feel like he or she should get what they want.

A mediator knows how to calm both sides and settle even the most difficult situations. We understand how stressful, frustrating, and difficult these situations can be; no one wants to add stress on top of stress.

If you want to avoid putting yourself in a tough situation with the divorce and the child custody situation, you can allow a mediator to step in and get things done for both sides.

Your children will be getting ready to experience some things they have never been faced with. It will be better for everyone if you had time to ensure them that everything will be fine and things will work out for the best.

We know that going through divorce problems can be extremely difficult, but going through mediation can make things a little easier for you. If you want to avoid added stress and added pressure, contact us today for a consultation.

Maintaining Healthy Relationships as a Non-Custodial Parent

Friday, April 22, 2016

It's no secret that co-parenting is often a tricky maze to navigate, especially for the non-custodial parent.

Many non-custodial parents can feel left out of simple everyday decisions pertaining to their children, from what they learn in school to who they become friends with. This often leaves the non-custodial parent with a feeling of having to "force" themselves into their children's lives, sometimes with resistance from the custodial parent. They may feel disconnected as if they were an outsider. This can lead to depression, loneliness, and a feeling of loss for both the non-custodial parent and the children.

We all know children grow up much healthier and happier when both their parents are involved in their lives as much as possible. With a few simple steps, you can close that gap between "non-custodial" parent and "parent".

Don't Miss Scheduled Visits

If you are like many non-custodial parents, you have obligations outside of your home and family. Do your best to avoid letting your outside obligations, such as work, personal and professional relationships, or hobbies get in the way of scheduled time with your children.

Make it a point to let your employer know that you are only available to work the weekends/holidays that you don't have your children. Print a calendar with all the days you are unavailable for overtime or weekend/holiday work, that way he/she will know several weeks ahead of time that you are unavailable. If you share weekly custody, make sure to get a trustworthy babysitter or enroll the children in an accredited daycare.

Use Technology

With today's vast array of technological advances in communication, the opportunities to contact and keep tabs on your children are almost endless. Social media, video chatting and texting every day, even for just a few minutes a day, can add a convenient and personal way to connect with your children.

You can keep up with their achievements, meet their friends, help them through tough times, and tell them good night, every night, with a few strokes of a keyboard.

Know Your Rights

The most important way to stay in your child's life is to know your rights as a non-custodial parent. While not every co-parenting plan is the same, and they can vary widely from person to person, make sure you know what your rights are and enforce them with the help of your family lawyer, if need be. The most common reason stated by non-custodial parents for lax efforts in maintaining a consistent relationship with their children is the refusal of the custodial parent to respect the guidelines of the custody agreement.

Remember, you are an important part of your child's life and it is vital that you, as a parent, maintain that relationship for the well-being of your children and of yourself.

For more information on child custody and your rights as a non-custodial parent, feel free to contact us.

A Los Angeles Family Law Office Discusses Custody Negotiations

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Custody battles can hurt the children involved when they are mishandled. That's why parents embroiled in a divorce should always put their children's needs before their own.

Custody battles can hurt the children involved when they are mishandled. That's why parents embroiled in a divorce should always put their children's needs before their own.

If you or your ex-spouse are having issues surrounding the custody of your children, there are many important things that you can do to ease the burden.

In this article, we'll provide you with some tips on handling your custody negotiations. We hope that these sound tips help ease the pain that comes along with custody discussions.

  • Don't fear clarity. In fact, work with your family law attorney in putting down ground rules about your wishes. You'll need a skilled mediator to achieve your goals, but you'll be stronger for it in the end.
  • Use your evidence. Provide the court with photographs, witness testimony, and other helpful documentation if you want to swing the decision in your favor.
  • Work with a custody counselor. If you have the money, consider seeking a family counselor for mediation aid. Someone with experience in child custody will walk you through what steps you need to take for a favorable outcome.
  • Speak with your ex-wife or husband. If it is possible to do so, consider if talking to your ex-spouse would be useful in any way possible. Sometimes, working with your ex-spouse can help you both come to an agreement that works best for all parties.

Child custody battles can be an incredibly stressful time for you and your children. It's best to be prepared for all court and mediation meetings if you want the best outcome.

If you are going through a divorce, your children's comfort and safety should always supersede your needs and desires. Work with a Beverly Hills family law attorney on your child custody case and find peace in the process.

We can help you with all of your family law issues. Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information on our family law services.

Conciliation Court for Child Custody Mediation

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sometimes when two parents decide to separate or divorce and there are children in the relationship, the parents will go to conciliatory court for child custody mediation. If there is a custody dispute, mediation will be mandatory. Even if the two parents are not disputing custody, mediation can be a great way to work out the issues of custody and do what is best for the child(ren) in each situation.

You do not need to be nervous about attending conciliation court. It might help, however, if you have an idea of what to expect before you attend. First, you need to set up an appointment with the court. Appointments are typically scheduled in the courthouse where the hearing will be held. In some counties of California, it can also be held in other Conciliation Court Offices so you might call around if you are looking for a shorter wait on an appointment.

When you arrive at Court, both parties will be asked to sign in and complete an information form. If you do not want to feel rushed filling it out, you can request the form in advance and bring it with you already filled out. The mediator will review your form to gain information about the family before sitting to talk with you.

Initially, both parties will be told the rules of mediation. Be sure you listen and ask questions if you need clarification. Breaking the rules of mediation could affect your child custody decisions. The mediator may meet with both parties together, meet with you individually, or both at different times.

The mediator will ask questions to gain more insight and understanding of the family and the needs of the children. The mediator will also share information with both parties about the needs of the children, to include developmental and emotional needs, and more. You will also discuss things like holidays, school, transportation and other important needs and schedules of the child.

As the final task of mediation, you will discuss the potential options and the best resolution for the children. The goal is to be able to walk away from conciliation court with a custody agreement all parties can agree upon.

If you'd like to learn more about child custody mediation, conciliation court in California, or other family law matters, contact us today.

Child Custody: Four Facts About California Law

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Child custody refers to the daily care and decision-making for the child or children in a divorce. In California, as in many states, judges must take into account the best interests of the children as the primary factor in determining how parents will share time with the children. Below are five facts.

First, no preference is given to either parent based on gender. Both parents start with equal rights to custody under California law.

Second, California law specifies two guiding principles in determining custody. The first is the health, safety, and welfare of children as a court’s main concern. The second is the precept that children benefit from frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Given these two principles, the court may consider any relevant factor in parenting with due regard to individual circumstances.

Third, certain factors that influence a child’s health and safety must be considered. These include, but are not limited to, prohibition of custody or visitation to a father of a child who was conceived as a result of the father’s rape of the child’s mother. Custody or visitation is also prohibited to a parent who has been convicted of first degree murder of the child’s parent, or is guilty of physical or sexual child abuse.

Fourth, courts are mandated by state law to consider the wishes of a child who is mature enough to choose intelligently regarding custody. There is no age specified in the statute, but the court is likely to substantially consider the opinion of a child depending on age and maturity.

The law is complex and it is advisable to speak to an attorney. Please contact us.

Four Tips To Make Joint Custody Work

Thursday, December 17, 2015

You are in the middle of a divorce and figuring out child custody. You have decided to be fair and want to settle on joint custody because it is best for your children. You know that it is not going to be easy but you are dedicated to making it work, for the sake of your children.

Here are some tips to make joint custody work.

  • Always remember that you are doing this for your children, not yourself. It is important that the end goal is to do what is best for your children, not you and your ex.
  • Be realistic (and flexible) about the schedule. Sit down and really think about the schedule. Think about school schedules and after-school activities. Think about jobs and child care. Who should really have the children when?
  • Remember that the schedule can change. Things change. Activities change with the season. Someone may lose a job or find a better one. Child care may become a problem. Be prepared to re-evaluate the schedule anytime that it is not working. Also, if you are not happy with the schedule, remember that is not going to last this way forever.
  • Learn to communicate. With it being so easy to communicate these days, you don’t have to rely on your phone anymore. You can text, schedule a calendar online, email each other, or find another way to talk back and forth. The important thing is that you learn to talk about the children.

Joint custody can work, if both parents are dedicated to making it work for their children. They also need to be realistic and flexible. You may not be able to keep your children some days because of your work schedule. However, that does not mean that you can’t get them another day. Always, remember that the schedule is not set in stone. Be flexible if it needs to change because of an activity or job change. Your children will benefit from joint custody, if you can work through it!

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

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. 

Get Expert Help with Your Child Custody Case

Friday, November 06, 2015

The hardest part of divorce for many couples is figuring out how to divide time with their children. This can lead to stressful battles in court. If you hope to avoid a court battle, or just desire an experienced attorney to help guide you through this rough time, Jamra & Jamra can help.

If you want to avoid making your child custody case a big court battle, you can get representation to help you navigate negotiation through conciliation court. This can help both parties come to an agreement that keeps the child's best interest in mind, but helps you make sure your concerns about how your child is going to be taken care of are addressed.

Sometimes mediated negotiations don't work as well as desired. If needed, we will represent you in court and help you fight for what you think is the best course of action for you and your child.

No two custody cases are exactly the same, so there is no tailored approach that fits everyone. Our lawyers will sit down to discuss the details with you to help form the best course of action to suit your needs.

Lawyers at Jamra & Jamra have over forty years of experience between us; and we are knowledgeable in the complex custody laws in California, but we also know how to explain the process in ways that keep our clients fully informed.

If you would like more information about how we can help you with your child custody case, contact us today and we'll get started working on a solution.