Family Law Blog

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.

Do Not Let Emotions Interfere With Property Division and More During a Divorce

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The divorce process can be time-consuming and costly in addition to emotionally draining, which is all why it is easy to make mistakes when dissolving a marriage. Consider these tips when wanting to minimize financial expenses.

Focus on the important things:

Some people think divorce is the proper time to get revenge or air grievances, but this only draws out the process and makes it more expensive. It is important to try to act rationally instead of thinking with anger, grief or guilt. To get the best outcome from a divorce, you may need counseling or an attorney first.

Know when patience is necessary: 

Whether you are letting emotions get the best of you or dealing with a spouse who is, waiting out drama is often necessary to avoid regrets later. Trying to rush a divorce or giving in out of exhaustion will only result in an unsatisfactory settlement on your part. If there is an issue of contention or spouses have trouble communicating, alternate forms of divorce like negotiation or mediation might help.

Try to work together: 

Emotions do not always have to get the better of those going through a divorce. To resolve a divorce in a timely matter, both partners typically need to communicate honestly and be open to compromise. It may help if you have a few priorities in regards to matters like property division, alimony or child custody as this lets you focus on what you find most valuable while making concessions with less important items.

An attorney could offer a more objective point of view and help one negotiate and reach an agreeable settlement, so contact us when going through a divorce.


Divorce or Legal Separation? What's Best For You?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Going through a divorce or separation is tough for all parties involved. There are times, however, where legal separation is more beneficial for both people. Do you know which is best for your circumstances?

In this post, we'll cover some basic questions and answers about which route is best for you: divorce or legal separation.

First, do you know what the grounds are for divorce? According to The State of California, there are two reasons for dissolution:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Incurable insanity

In both cases, your spouse must have lived in California for six months and in your county for at least three months prior to filing. On the other hand, legal separation has no residency requirement.

Second, it is possible to apply for a legal separation or annulment instead of a divorce. For additional information on the particulars of your case, click here to read more about both.

Third, to file for divorce, you must gather the proper paperwork. Do this by purchasing dissolution paperwork from the county clerk, or by clicking here and reading more from the California Courts homepage.

Then, once you have all of the necessary paperwork, your attorney will prepare a Petition and a Summons.

Last, remember that California is a "no fault" divorce state. A no fault divorce state means that:

[T]he spouse or domestic partner that is asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse or domestic partner did something wrong.

No matter what decision you choose, remember that you should never go through a divorce or legal separation without a family divorce attorney.

We can help you through your tough times. Please contact us today for more information.

Jamra & Jamra are Beverly Hills family law attorneys focused exclusively on family law. Our law firm also firmly believes that legal representation should be customized for each case.

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.

An Overview on What Child Support Covers

Thursday, February 25, 2016

If you are in the process of working through a child support case, you may wonder exactly what child support payments cover. The California Department of Child Support Services states that child support payments cover a parent's contributions to a child's living and medical expenses. A court ruling determines the amount of child support a parent pays. The court can rule that either parent or both parents are required to provide the child support payments, essentially stating that both parents are legally mandated to contribute to the financial well-being of their child.

Child support is intended to cover a range of expenses such as shelter, food, clothing and medical insurance. Some other expenses, such as medical expenses not covered by insurance, education expenses, and expenses related to extracurricular activities, are generally not covered in child support payments unless a specific settlement agreement outlines these costs, or a court rules otherwise. Parents may also be required to spend additional monies during their time with a child because the child support payments are only an estimate of what is needed to cover the basic living expenses and needs.

Child support is paid to either parent, but it usually common for the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the parent who has physical custody of the child. In the event the parents have joint custody, the parent with the higher income may be required to pay child support to the parent whose income is lower.

If you are going through a child support case and have questions, contact us. We can sit down with you and go over your own personal circumstance and advise you accordingly. 

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.

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.