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Family Law Blog

Is Health Insurance Covered By Child Support?

Monday, March 02, 2020

If you have won custody of your child, it is required that they are covered by health insurance. Indeed, failure to do so can result in serious criminal, civil, and even custodial penalties by the court. Unfortunately, that doesn't change the fact that health insurance can be wildly expensive, especially for single parents. As the custody holder of the child, you are required to procure health insurance for them either through your employment, the government, or independently.

Finances

Parents can only stop a health insurance plan if the costs become cost-prohibitive. This means that the costs will exceed 5% of their income. However, from there, they must find a new health insurance plan within their range as soon as possible.

For parents that are struggling with healthcare and insurance costs, it may be best to return to court in order to ask for more money from the other parent. If it can be shown that the cost of maintaining health insurance for your child is creating a financial burden, then the child support required from the other parent may be raised. After all, it is child "support". Thus, it is meant to help support the raising of that child by a parent who is not financially beholden to the other parent through marriage or another relationship.

Learn More About Health Insurance and Child Support

Unfortunately, proving that health insurance upkeep is creating a strain can be difficult. This is when you will want a good family law attorney at your side to help the courts make the decision by gathering the right evidence. If you are struggling with child care costs or starting a messy uncoupling process, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you get the best possible results.

Will Inheritance Be Divided in a Divorce?

Friday, February 14, 2020

Aside from the emotional impact, one of the most difficult aspects of divorce comes from dividing the assets between you and your spouse. One of the lesser considered aspects of property division in divorce are items gained through inheritance. Is inheritance considered community property that must be split or is it considered separate property that you will solely retain?

Shared Property vs Inheritance 

In most cases, property gained during a marriage is considered shared property that you will need to split. However, inheritance remains protected as individual property no matter when you get it. This means you will usually retain ownership except in certain circumstances. There are two primary ways your inheritance can go from individual property to shared property.

Monetary Inheritance

The first way is if you had real estate and ended up adding your spouse's name on the deed. This would help them inherit it if you passed away, but also transforms it into shared marital property that will need to be divided in a divorce. The second way to lose inheritance in a divorce is if you got a monetary inheritance and deposited it in a shared bank account. If it were kept separate from shared money, then it would remain as individual property. However, once your inheritance commingles with the rest of your shared money, it is considered shared property. As such, don't just expect a judge to say you can take your inheritance amount out of the bank account since that would now be impossible.

Conclusion

Are you getting ready to start the process of divorce or have any other family law issue that needs legal representation? We can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you get the best possible results from your uncoupling while keeping it as stress-free as possible.

Does Your Spouse Have to Pay for Your Divorce Lawyer?

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Typically when a divorce starts, your uncoupling starts formally. You need to start being financially independent and paying for your own expenses as an individual. However, after divorce, this can take awhile for some. This is particularly true if you have been out of the workforce or underemployed for awhile to take care of the family.

Finances

As there is the potential for a huge financial disparity between couples, it is possible to have one spouse responsible for paying legal fees on both sides to ease the strain.

If it can be proven that the legal fees for a lawyer will create an undue burden on one spouse, the courts may decide that the other party has to pay, at least in some part, the fees for both lawyers. When examining this, the courts will decide based on several factors, including:

  • The financial disparity between the parties
  • Assets of each spouse
  • Financial responsibilities of each spouse
  • An effort to find work

This means that if a CEO and a fast-food worker are splitting up, it would be easy for the courts, due to the huge income disparity between them, to tell the CEO that they need to cover both legal fees for the divorce.

Conclusion

It is also worth noting that the judge can also force payment of legal fees in bad conduct. This means if your spouse was beating you or has been trying to draw out the divorce to rack up high bills, the judge can decide to force you to pay the legal fees as a punitive measure.

Are you getting a divorce and need help navigating the complex area of divorce court or even child custody? Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you navigate this difficult time in your life.

The Destructive Effects of Drinking on a Marriage

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Many marriages are significantly stressed by problems with alcohol. Serious problems become apparent in a family marred by alcohol abuse.

Safety Issues

The ability to take care of children is severely impacted when alcohol is a problem in the home. Someone who is intoxicated cannot be relied upon to supervise children.

Domestic violence incidents usually involve at least one spouse being intoxicated. Anger and agitation can worsen over time. The "mean drunk" can turn more violent as mood swings widen.

Catastrophic Events

Loss of license due to one or more arrests for driving under the influence impacts the drinking spouse's ability to meet many of their responsibilities. They are not able to provide transportation for family members. They could lose their job if they cannot get to work, if their job requires driving, or because of the arrest itself.

Alcohol and Divorce

Either spouse could consider divorce in a marriage impacted by alcohol abuse. One spouse might have never been a drinker while the other is significantly impaired. Both spouses could have a serious drinking problem. Additional problems occur when one of two drinking spouses stops drinking either on their own or with treatment. When the other drinking spouse does not follow suit and stop, the behavior of the still drinking spouse is magnified.

Sobriety and Divorce

Once a divorce has been initiated, some drinking spouses will seek treatment. Others continue to drink. Those that do seek treatment might be doing so in the hopes of saving the marriage. It is often too late to resurrect the marriage. Getting help for a substance abuse problem is always a good idea. Further, getting sober after being served with divorce papers might be too late to save the marriage but the divorce could be enough to save the drinker from further calamity.

The Impact on a Settlement

While alcohol abuse impacts all aspects of a marriage and family life, this alone does not always have an adverse impact on the fair and equitable distribution of marital assets in divorce. The outcome of a settlement is impacted by the ability of both spouses to constructively participate in divorce negotiations. Staying sober through the divorce process makes the process go smoother.

Conclusion

Jamra and Jamra will provide professional legal representation to either spouse in a divorce due to drinking problems. Our firm has the compassion, knowledge, and resources to help spouses get through this difficult process.

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.


Can Martial Misconduct Affect Your Divorce?

Monday, January 06, 2020

There is a certain belief that your conduct in a marriage can affect your divorce. It certainly can, but not often in the way we believe. As a no-fault divorce state, you need not declare any bad actions in terms of your reason for a divorce in most areas. Indeed, it doesn't matter if one spouse was adulterous or if you just stopped clicking, the state doesn't care. However, this situation is often confused with marital misconduct.

Financial Outcome

It is true you don't need a reason to get divorce in most states, but if there has been marital misconduct in a marriage, it can affect the financial outcome. When two people divorce, the courts like to keep asset and property division fairly equal between them. If the two parties can reach an agreement outside of court, some asset division can be unequal between the two, but still approved if not completely outrageous.

Assets

However, if there was misconduct in a marriage, it can affect how the assets are divided. It is important to remember that marital misconduct in regards to unequal asset division is not meant to be a punishment, but rather to reduce what has been an added burden on the spouse that acted in good faith during the marriage.

This means that a common marital misconduct situation - adultery - would not automatically mean that the spouse that didn't cheat would get more. However, if the non-cheating spouse can prove the adulterous spouse showered their extramarital partner with expensive gifts that put a burden on the family financially, it will be likely that the courts will give the spouse acting in good faith a larger share of the assets in the divorce.

Yes, There Is an Effect

So in truth, marital misconduct does affect the divorce. If you can prove that their actions were wasteful with marital assets or placed a stronger burden on you in the marriage, you may be able to get more when the remaining assets are split.

If you have a spouse that has been cheating, gambling, or that have an addiction and you are considering a divorce, contact us today. As veterans of family law, Jamra & Jamra can help you get through this difficult process.

Are Your Spouse’s Debts Split With You?

Monday, January 06, 2020

When divorcing, you may be more concerned with who gets various items or a decent share of the monetary assets. However, you should be just as concerned with the debts because, unfortunately, they can be your debts as well. Many who are divorcing forget that marital debt is split the same as monetary assets.

Marital Property

In most states, anything accrued during a marriage is considered marital property. This includes your debt. So while you may be fine with splitting your finances, you should also be prepared for the reality that you will receive a split of the debt as well after your divorce.

Before Marriage

However, in order for the debt to be split, it has to fit the right criteria. For example, if your spouse went to college before you were married, their student loans would not be considered marital debt. They accrued it before marriage and thus they are solely responsible for it. However, if they solely racked up large credit card debt during the marriage, you would both be responsible for it because it would be considered marital property.

Specific Criteria

There are circumstances in which you will be able to argue that marital debt is not actually marital debt and, thus, should not be split. For example, if you can prove that your partner racked up a large amount of debt frivolously or without your knowledge, the courts may hold them solely responsible. The most obvious example may be a gambling debt. However, so long as you can prove that the debt was created without your knowledge and without your benefit, anything can fit this criteria. Thus, saving you from a large split of the debt.

Conclusion

Are you going through a divorce and need help? Contact us today so the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can help you navigate this difficult process and get the best possible results.

Changing Your Mind After the Divorce Papers Are Signed

Monday, January 06, 2020

In most cases, once the divorce papers are signed, there is really no going back. It is difficult for couples to reconcile once a party has gone through the trouble of having divorce papers drawn up, but it is not impossible. However, once the process has been started, can you stop it?

Modification

The answer depends on why and when you want to stop it. For example, if you want to stop the divorce filing to change the terms of the divorce papers, you have limited options. If the court has already approved them, you will need to file for a modification or appeal.

Cancellation

If you want to cancel the divorce papers after filing, then you have more options. If your divorce is still in the very early stages, you are within your right to withdraw your divorce petition. If the petition has not been filed by the county clerk yet, you can simply withdraw it and end your divorce before it even starts.

Withdrawal

If you cannot withdraw your petition from the county clerk because it has already been filed, you will need to file papers for voluntary dismissal. This can be done at any point during the divorce process and involves filing forms that ask the court to dismiss the case. If you and your spouse have reconciled, this can be done. However, it does involve a filing fee, but you do not have to give any explanation for why you want your divorce case to be dismissed.

Conclusion

Are you considering a divorce? This is not something should be done frivolously, and there are fees involved to prevent that. However, if you are serious and ready to file, contact us today to see what we can do for you. The Law Office of Jamra & Jamra is dedicated to helping you get the best possible outcome from your family law cases.

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.