Family Law Blog

Does Moving Out Affect Property Division?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Divorce is one of those high tension scenarios that often make it one of the worst times in a person's life. As this is such a stressful time, it is no surprise that one person often decides to move out. However, does this make a difference in the case of property division? Does abandoning your house mean you lose assets?

With Children

In divorce with children, moving out during the process can be harmful to custody. It shows that daily interaction with your children isn't such a high priority for you. However, what about when you don't have children and are just worried about the property division? While moving out doesn't hurt you quite as much in this respect, often you can shoot yourself in the foot by doing it.

Depends On What You Leave Behind

You may be in a hurry to get away from the fights, and this may drive you out with nothing but a suitcase full of clothes. This is the main problem. If you moved out fully prepared with your financial documents, family heirlooms, and anything that is separate, non-marital property, then you would be fine. However, if you leave all that behind, it can become a hostage or a target for your spouse. Thus, they essentially have control over everything in that home as you have abandoned.

While big items like real estate can't be so easily disappeared, small items are less likely to be noticed by the courts. Don't be surprised if things start to disappear.

Contact Your Lawyer

If you believe that your spouse is maliciously hiding or selling off your assets inside a house, you need to contact your lawyer right away. They can help walk you through what you need to do to protect your property.

Conclusion

If you are starting divorce proceedings or have other family law problems, contact us today to see what Jamra & Jamra can do to help you make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Can a Spouse Trap You in a Marriage by Refusing Divorce?

Friday, November 15, 2019

Ideally, you and your spouse will both just eventually come to the conclusion that you are both unhappy and the marriage needs to end. You both get decide to get a divorce and the property division of it all is difficult, but done quickly and amicably. However, it doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes one partner wants out, but the other wants so desperately for them to stay, which can lead to their refusal of divorce.

No, They Cannot "Hold You Hostage"

Fortunately, a spouse can't "hold you hostage" in your own marriage, so to speak. In the best case, their refusal to cooperate works out in your favor since failure to acknowledge divorce papers can be seen as a no contest divorce where you get everything. In the worst case, they do cooperate slightly, but actively work to slow the whole process down. While your spouse can certainly make divorce much more difficult, they cannot flat out refuse to divorce you. Even if they were to disappear suddenly in order to slip divorce proceedings, you could still progress.

A Lawyer Can Help

What often makes the difference in these cases is often the help of a knowledgeable lawyer. For every time that your spouse makes this process difficult, your lawyer will be able to best advise you on what you need to do next in order to take the next step forward. If your spouse is being difficult, it requires a bit more patience, but your lawyer can help you get to the finish line so you can continue to live your life after it is done.

Conclusion

If you are getting divorced, whether or not you have a difficult spouse that isn't cooperating, contact us today. The Law Firm of Jamra & Jamra is dedicated to helping you get the best possible outcome from your divorce or family law case.

Who Gets the Ring If the Engagement Falls Apart?

Friday, October 18, 2019

It is better to break out a rocky relationship before you say the legally binding "I Do", but that doesn't make less messy in some cases. If you broke off an engagement, then it is likely you are going to want to salvage whatever you can from the ending relationship, and often the cause of much debate as to who gets to keep the very expensive engagement ring.

Engagement Rings

These days engagement rings can be worth thousands of dollars, something that you might want back or might want to keep in order to sell or even just wear. However, the good news for the givers is that keeping an engagement ring from a broken engagement can be as difficult as getting that engagement ring back after a marriage ends.

Conditional Gifts

The issue with engagement rings taken back before legally binding marriage is that they are often seen as conditional gifts. A conditional gift is, as it sounds, a gift given on a condition. In this case, the condition is that there will be marriage. If there was no marriage, then as the courts see it, there is no reason for the person wearing the engagement ring to keep it. This conditional gift rule is used to protect things like family heirlooms that the owner may want back for more than just monetary reason, but it can save someone thousands of dollars that they may not want to give someone who is now considered an ex-girlfriend. You would hope that returning the ring would be a natural option, but sometimes it takes a family lawyer explaining a conditional gift to get it back.

Learn More About Who Gets the Ring

If you need help getting assets back after a breakup or a divorce, contact us today. The skilled professionals at Jamra & Jamra can help you understand the legal responsibilities of both parties so you can effectively fight for what is yours.

Can a Child's Testimony Make a Difference in Child Custody?

Friday, October 11, 2019

If it were up to both parents, their child would never enter the courtroom in their life, especially not during the messy divorce proceedings of their parents. However, when it comes to deciding custody, your child's presence may be necessary, especially if they are old enough to make their own opinion to be heard on the matter of their custody.

Requirements to Give Testimony 

In the case of very young children, the judge and the parents will work to decide custody alone. However, in California, if your child is above the age of 14, they can take the stand and let the judge know where they would like to go. Your child will give testimony to the judge on which parent they would like to live with. However, the final decision is still in the hands of the judge. If they believe that another placement would be in the best interests of the child, even if it goes against their choice, they will make it.

Judges Decide

It is important that your child knows that the judge will take their best interests in mind. If your child tries to convince a judge they want to live with one parent because they never punish them and let them eat ice cream for dinner, it is not likely to positively sway a judge's opinion. In fact, it may work against them. However, if they say they want to live with a parent because they feel that they have more time to spend with them, then this is likely to make an impact.

Learn More About a Child's Testimony in a Custody Case

If you are going through a messy child custody case and need a great lawyer to help you, contact us today. Jamra & Jamra can help you navigate this difficult process so you can get the best possible results, not only for you but for your children as well.

Should You Divorce Before or After Filing Bankruptcy?

Friday, October 04, 2019

Finances can put a major strain on your relationship with your spouse. If things get bad enough, it may even lead to your divorce, although there is usually more than just stress about the money involved in this decision. However, often divorce and bankruptcy go hand in hand. Doing both really is like starting a whole new life afterward, but the question remains, what should be done first?

Type of Bankruptcy

In truth, the answer is usually highly dependent on which type of bankruptcy you are going to file. If you choose the standard Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this is typically resolved in a few months. It is best to do this first, discharge your debts as a married couple, then get a divorce. It saves money on lawyer and filing fees. Unfortunately, you will want to talk it over with a bankruptcy lawyer first as your married income could be too high to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In this case, it may be better to get divorced first.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

However, if you choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy, this can last several years as you work on a repayment plan. This would mean you would need to put off divorce for years, and that might not be an option. If you get divorced while filing bankruptcy, then it adds a further layer of complexity. In this case, it would be better to get a divorce first and then file your Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Learn More About Divorcing Before or After Filing Bankruptcy

If you are about to get divorced or file bankruptcy, you are about to enter a complicated time in your life. Unfortunately, you will need the advice of two lawyers. For your divorce, contact us today. Jamra & Jamra are dedicated family law attorneys that can help guide you down the best path to help your divorce and other family law issues go as smoothly as possible.

Can You Increase Spousal Support?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

alimony payment

If there is one thing that is certain in life, it is that circumstances can and will change. This is why spousal support can be so fickle. The circumstances that were your life at divorce can often change over time, but the question is, will they affect spousal support. In truth, you can increase and decrease the amount you get from spousal support payments depending on what is going on in your life. These circumstances include:

Both Parties Agree

The most rare reason is both parties can agree to lower or raise an alimony payment. Even in the most amicable divorces, this is not likely to happen, but a signed document by both parties taken to the court is good enough reason for them.

Cost of Living Adjustment

If there was a clause in your divorce that states alimony will be adjusted for the cost of living, this can cause alimony to go up in order to adjust to the annual cost of living. This often solves any future need to modify spousal support, but it can be a difficult clause for both parties to agree on.

Escalator Clauses

Similar to a cost of living clause in a divorce decree, there can also be an escalator clause. This means that when the spouse paying makes more money, they have to pay more in spousal support. However, this clause can be a gamble as it can work the opposite way as well.

Temporary Loss

If you have become unemployed temporarily, your spousal support can be modified temporarily. The courts could rule that payments stop for a short while or that they just decrease until whatever is affecting the spouse's life changes.

While divorce shouldn't be about who gets the most, you always want your fair share. If you are going through a divorce, contact us today to see how the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can help.

A Beverly Hills Divorce Lawyer Discusses Games Divorced Couples Play

Saturday, September 07, 2019

man and woman sitting on couch

After a couple is divorced, each person begins to settle into their new life, single and unattached. Some couples have difficulty with this new way of living, and even though they are legally free and unencumbered, they continue to banter back and forth for a period of time. This is out of fear of that long forgotten way of life of living single again. 

Without a doubt, this change is not comfortable at first, and sometimes it is easier to try and hold onto that more familiar life, of having someone else around. Before your new life can get a firm foundation and, fully begin, divorced couples will play games with each other for a while until each finally accepts the break-up and moves forward. That is when the game playing usually ends.

Here are three games to look out for and to avoid if possible. 

Look at Me Now

 This game is usually played when one becomes thinner, healthier, dresses better, and in general is paying more attention to their physical appearance. That improved image is flaunted as a way of saying "Look at how much better my life is without you! Divorcing you is good for me".

The Better Parent

 Competing for being the better parent or the most liked parent by showering the kids with extravagant presents, or allowing them to break the rules the other parent sets.

Still Want Me? 

 The ex-husband becomes flirtatious with the ex-wife to see if she still wants him and will feign interest in her to see if he is still able to attract other women.

Divorce is filled with so much emotion, and even after the divorce is finalized, emotions can still run high and create problems for both involved. To learn more about divorce, please contact us.

Can a Divorce Be Stopped Once Filed?

Thursday, August 22, 2019

woman looking at paperwork

Once the divorce papers are filed, it seems very final, but in truth you still have a long way to go towards finally being divorced. As long as there has not been a final divorce decree issued by the court, you can still take that action back. You may decide that you acted in the heat of things or worked out some issues with your spouse. You as a couple could have also decided to stay together for the children. Whatever the case, you may still be able to take back a divorce filing once it has started.

The earlier you take action, the easier it will be to take back divorce filing. If you are already in court, it may be more difficult, but your lawyer can help make it happen. Most commonly, however, divorce filings are dissolved within the first few weeks of filing it. This can be done, in some states, via a form from the internet. However, the filer will probably want to go to the clerk where the divorce was filed.

Once there, they can ask it to be revoked, in which they will need to fill out the proper form that the clerk will provide. Once this is done, some states may require that the spouse that didn't file is served with a copy of the divorce dismissal. They will send this on your behalf to make sure they get it. If the spouse does not agree, then they are free to file for divorce instead.

While having a divorce filing revoked is somewhat rare, it can happen. If you want to revoke your divorce filing, even if you don't think you can, you should contact us today. The Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can help you walk through every step of divorce, including undoing the initial proceedings if necessary.

Can You Get a Divorce When You Cannot Find Your Spouse?

Thursday, August 01, 2019

woman meeting with female divorce lawyer

Just like a marriage, it often takes two to make a divorce happen. One party files for divorce and the papers are served to the other party. They have a set time limit to respond to those papers. If they fail to respond, a default judgment can be issued giving the filing spouse everything they asked for.

However, this is only the case when the papers can be served to the other party. They have to reach their hands for that default judgment clock to start. So what happens when you can't find them? In truth, a default judgment can still be achieved even if you can't find your spouse. However, every measure has to be taken.

One of the best ways is to hire a private investigator to track your spouse down to ensure the papers are served. However, if that doesn't work you can also pursue an Order of Notice by Publication. In this avenue, you publish the notice of divorce in a newspaper in the last known area of your spouse. It runs for three weeks and if no response has been given, the divorce can then progress towards a default judgment.

 Your lawyer will need to detail that all diligent efforts were performed to see those documents served and that no response was given. Only afterwards will a judge grant the divorce and issue all that was asked for. Obviously if your spouse is missing, there may also be funds missing as well, but this will solve issues like custody and will break you from legal marriage so you can move on.

If you are moving towards divorce or any other family law matters, contact us today. The Law Office of Jamra & Jamra is dedicated to helping settle complicated family law matters quickly and helping you get the results that you need.

What to Do When Assets Were Omitted From a Divorce Decree

Thursday, July 25, 2019

gavel and rings

It may take many long months and hundreds of headaches, but once a judge approves your final divorce decree, you are officially parted from your ex-partner. In most cases, you go your separate ways and only need to address each other if there are children involved. However, as we all know, divorce is never smooth. There could very possibly be a moment after the divorce decree where you realize the divorce isn't done because both parties forgot to split a piece of community property.

It could be real estate, retirement accounts, pensions, or anything with a significant amount of value. If it was not split in the divorce, then it will need to be. However, while you can return to court in order to get a decision on assets accidentally left out of the divorce decree, you typically only have a short period of time to do so. This is why you need to contact your lawyer as soon as you discover an omission.

Obviously, you can opt to sort the issue without going to court, but divorces are often messy and that may not be possible. It is also worth noting that small items that have low monetary worth but high sentimental worth are often not considered worth the court's time, and the case may not be reopened.

If you discovered assets that were omitted from the divorce decree due to the malicious intent to hide those assets, the courts will be a little more aggressive with opening your case. Your spouse may also face monetary fines and other penalties for trying to hide assets.

If you are going through a divorce and need help making sure it goes as smoothly as possible, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you get the best possible results.