Family Law Blog

Children and Divorce

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Divorces are hard to understand from a child's perspective. From their point of view, Mom and Dad are together forever, and their love is unbreakable. When the holidays roll around, they enjoy sitting at the table, opening up Christmas presents together, and going on family vacations and getaways. For children, their fundamental support systems are the parents. 

When hearing that Mom and Dad are no longer together, that one of them will be leaving, and they can only visit one parent, everything becomes a blur. Their reality becomes shattered and reactions can vary. Some children will crawl into a shell and keep to themselves, others become angry towards one parent or both, and some distance themselves from everybody. 

As a parent, the hardest part is trying to reassure their children that it's not their fault. They believe that, maybe, if they behaved better, listened more, or did their chores, the current situation would change. The best thing to do, is to remind them that the divorce has nothing to do with them, and it's only between Mom and Dad. 

During the course of the divorce, especially when it comes to child custody, it's best to think about what would be best for the kids, and to get their opinions on the situation. Not only will it make them feel that they're included, but it will give you an idea on how they are taking in the changes. 

To learn more about child support and custody, please contact us, and don't hesitate to ask any questions or concerns you may have. 

Ease the Stress of Child Custody With a Parenting Plan

Friday, July 29, 2016

Divorce and child custody are two difficult topics for us attorneys to have to discuss with our clients. Parents are used to having access to their children at all times, and after a divorce, there are going to be times your children are not around. It's important, therefore, for you and your spouse to maintain a good relationship so that your children can benefit from remaining close to you both. This is where coming up with an agreeable parenting plan comes in.

Parents Work Together

When a court determines custody of the children, they will look to place the child in the home that benefits the best interests of that child. If parents can agree on joint custody, it's beneficial to all because both parents have a role in working together to raise the child and make crucial decisions about the child's life.

Parenting Plan

A court will generally dictate the visitation and custody schedules, but if the parents can work out a plan that benefits all involved, courts usually agree to that arrangement. Not only will this benefit all of you in the long run, it takes away the stress factors of fighting for something you're unlikely to get.

You generally always have your child's bests interests in mind, and you want your children to feel safe and secure. This is best achieved when you and your spouse come to the understanding that working together for the common good of your child can be the best for this otherwise difficult time in your life.

For more information on child custody, contact us today.

Child Custody Letters Provide Help in Obtaining Custody of Your Children

Friday, July 22, 2016

Going through a child custody case can leave you feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to do with yourself. You never imagined your marriage would end, and now you’re finding yourself having to fight for your child. Along the way, your attorney is going to throw many things into the ring, including obtaining child custody letters from those who can vouch for you to properly take care of your child. So, what exactly is a child custody letter and how will it help? We’ll explain.

Who Writes the Letter

Because a child custody letter is used to inform the court of your parenting and living abilities, it's best the letter be written by someone who has a close relationship with both you and your child.

Establish Parenting Abilities and Living Conditions

The purpose of a child custody letter is to establish the parent abilities and the living conditions of the home. Your letter writer will want to explain the type of parent you are: Loving, nurturing, etc. Specific examples should be provided to give the court as much information as possible.

The letter will also need to outline the living conditions of the home, and the steps you take to make certain your home is suitable to raise a family.

All Factors The Court Considers

Child custody letters should provide an overview of all factors considered by the court. This includes your general health along with your economic situation. The letter needs to provide the court with reasons why you should be the parent of choice.

For more information on child custody cases, contact us.

An Experienced Divorce Attorney Advises Against Using DIY Divorce Kits

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Your marriage is ending and you're getting ready for a divorce. You think everything will be cut and dry. After all, you and your spouse agree to everything: the division of assets, the amount of child support and visitation, and who will keep the marital home. As such, you've decided to proceed with a do-it-yourself divorce kit.

Before you move forward, however, you may want to consider retaining a divorce attorney. Even if the divorce is amicable, it's best to ensure that everything you do is in compliance with the law.

Uncontested Divorces Are Not Always Easy

Even though you're going the uncontested route, you must still consider alimony. All marital property needs to be properly divided, and there's more than just child support and custody surrounding the kids. You'll have to consider insurance, tax exemptions, and tax deductions. Agreements need to be drafted, executed and filed with the court. Unless you or your spouse are very familiar with court procedure, the DIY kits won't explain this to you.

No One To Advise You

DIY kits may provide FAQ's on their website, there's no one to talk to in the event you run into a problem. You will have questions, which will leave you to using Google as your "attorney". Keep in mind that laws change all the time, so even if you find an authoritative source online, you won't know for sure if the information is accurate and up-to-date.

Hire an experienced family law attorney to handle your divorce. If the divorce is uncontested, the attorneys fees won't run as high as they would if you were to take the case to trial. For more information, contact us today.

Selling the Family Home After a Divorce

Thursday, July 07, 2016

One of the hardest parts about going through a divorce is property division. Not only do you have to decide who is responsible for this process, but you have to go through many emotions when letting go of certain items.

The family home is definitely a source of anguish for divorcing couples. If you are forced to sell the home, here are a few tips to help make the process smoother.

Settle Some Things Up Front

Before you list your home, you will want to settle a few details with your ex-spouse up front. For example, you should discuss which agent you plan to use as well as what the asking price will be. In addition to this, you will need to discuss plans for showing the home and how you will review any offers that are put on the table.

Choose a Realtor with Divorce Experience

When you are choosing a realtor, make sure you choose one that has experience with selling homes due to divorce. Since the process of selling a family home is difficult under these circumstances, your realtor will have a larger role than normal. Choosing one with prior experience in this touchy subject will help make the process flow smoothly.

Prepare your Home

Finally, you will need to spend some time preparing your home for the home viewing process. You and your ex-spouse will need to decide ahead of time, which portion of the belongings you each plan to keep. Remove as much clutter as possible and make any necessary repairs before you list the home.

Property division throughout a divorce is never a simple process. However, when emotions are running high in relation to certain property, the process can be even more difficult. Using these tips will help you smooth over these feelings and get the process over with as soon as possible.

For more assistance with your divorce, contact us today.


Important Documents to Retain Whether You pay or Receive Spousal Support

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Whether you pay spousal support or receive it, it's best to always keep accurate records. Generally, the individual who pays alimony gets to deduct that amount from his taxes, and the person receiving it must claim it as taxable income.

The Alimony Payer

Many times, after a drawn-out divorce, the spouse will challenge the amounts that are paid and accepted. If you don't have the proper documentation, you could be ordered to pay any amounts not documented. Therefore, you should keep the following:

  • A list that shows when each payment was made. This should include the check number and the addressed it was mailed to. You should always keep a copy of the check.
  • Verified receipts if the payment was made in cash. The receipt should show the receiver received the payment and indicate the amount paid.
  • It's best you keep these records for at least three years from the date you filed the return on which you claimed the deduction. It's probably best if you keep them for several years, just to be safe.

The Alimony Receiver

If you're receiving alimony, you should keep the following records:

  • The dates you received payments.
  • The amount of payment, checks or money order number.
  • A copy of the check that shows the account number from which the money is drawn from.
  • A copy of any receipt for a cash payment that you executed.

You should also keep these documents for at least three years, if not longer.

For more information on alimony payments and other divorce issues, contact us.

Family Law: Tips to Help Your Kids Survive Divorce

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Divorce is always difficult. No matter how amiable you are, no matter how civilly everyone behaves, it is devastating for your kids. Children are always the victims: they have no control. Kids' lives are forever shaped by the decisions adults make. Here are three ways to help them through what is likely the most awful event in their lives:

1. Never (EVER) say negative things about the other parent. Don't insinuate, infer, or in any other way cast aspersion on your ex within earshot of your children. Your issues with your ex-spouse are none of your kids' business and not their problems. They have enough going on. He/she isn't the kid's ex. Parents are forever, even if spouses aren't.

2. Work with your ex to present a united front. It is so very important that you two communicate (civilly) to make sure the kids have consistent parenting. Children are inherently manipulative. No has to mean no, regardless of whose weekend it is. This level of stability will go a long way toward keeping the kids on an even keel.

3. Don't tie visitation to support payments. It is heartbreaking to hear a little kid on the phone begging daddy to give mommy a check so the kids can see dad. Children are not for rent! Again, your financial issues are not your kids' problem.

These tips can be distilled down to one, overriding, truth: Love your children more than you think you hate your ex. They are not pawns, bargaining chips or hostages. With the obvious caveats of abuse, etc., it is up to you, and your ex, to raise these kids with stable, loving, parenting.

It's not easy to put your feelings aside. We are here to help; contact us for expert advice and guidance.


Tips for those Dealing with Stress of a Divorce

Friday, May 20, 2016

Nothing about going through a divorce is easy. Instead, it is extremely stressful and painful. For couples with children, the stress can be absolutely overwhelming. But, there are things you can do to help ease some of the stress you are going through related to your divorce. Here are a few of them to consider.

Pay Attention to your Emotional Needs

Start by taking care of yourself emotionally. Having a strong support system is one of the best ways to accomplish this. If you don't have this naturally, consider joining a local divorce support group or even finding one online. Talking to people who are going through the same situation can help make the stress easier to bear. Also, allow yourself to grieve the loss of your relationship.

Try a Different Routine

It's easy to feel the stress when you go through the same exact motions every day. Instead, spend some time developing a new and fresh routine. Since you are moving on with your life, adding a few new things to it can be extremely healthy and will help you reduce your stress tremendously.

Go Easy on the Decisions

Most of the major decisions you will be faced with after a divorce will be based on your current emotional state. Instead of jumping the gun and making huge, life-changing decisions, step back and allow things to settle first. Make sure you are taking time to think everything through and look at all of your options.

These are just a few of the things you can do to help reduce the stress you are feeling as you are going through a divorce. Naturally, they will not eliminate the stress altogether, but they can definitely help get you to a better place.

To discover how we can help represent your divorce case, contact us today.

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.

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.