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What Are My Child Custody Rights During the Divorce Process?

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

While child custody is part of a divorce, it is often saved as the last part of the process. It is the most complicated and will require the most time to officially sort out. That said, divorces, even simple ones, can often take months just for a court date. In the meantime, you probably still want to see your children. What are your child custody rights during this questionable period?

Child Custody

As you would expect, most couples usually work something out when it comes to child custody during a divorce themselves. By having nothing legally binding, it can be a nice trial run to work out what you exactly want out of your future child custody agreement. It can be a good time to work out the quirks as well.

Unfortunately, it is not unusual for couples to be difficult and petty with each other during the divorce process. When this happens, it can make child custody rights particularly difficult. If this is the case, you will want to bring the issue up with your lawyer. What they can do is take the issue to court where the judge will give a cursory glance over your case. They will then establish a temporary child custody order that dictates set times you will get to see your children. This is not permanent but can ensure you get your fair due of time with your children when your ex-spouse is being difficult.

Learn More About Child Custody Rights During Divorce Proceedings

Do you have a messy divorce on the horizon or even messier child custody issues? We can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you sort out all your issues and get the best possible results.

What to Do If You Think a Spouse Is Wasting Assets

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

In divorce, the primary concern for many is not so much a spouse wasting assets, but hiding them. However, whether it is hiding an asset from the courts or knowingly wasting it, the court will label it as financial misconduct. Knowingly being wasteful with finances is seen as less of a worry, but often just as dangerous. It isn't something done out of greed, but rather it is done out of bitterness. It is a, "if I can't have it, you can't either," sort of affair.

Wasting Assets

Wasting an asset includes:

  • Selling at lower than market value
  • Giving to a friend, family, or lover
  • Intentional damage to an asset
  • Gambling assets away
If your spouse is doing any of the above, or other wasteful behavior, you may not see a lot of options, but the court can typically help.

What to Do If Your Spouse Wastes Assets

If you believe a spouse is wasting assets, the court can award you a larger share of the remaining marital assets as a sort of punitive measure for their behavior. However, you must be able to prove two things in the situation.

The first is that their behavior is actually being wasteful. For example, if your ex-spouse gave away a car to a member of the family, but that deal has been in the works for months before a divorce, that may not necessarily count against them.

The second issue is you need to prove knowing intent. If someone gives money to a friend, but they didn't know that should not be done during a divorce, the courts may excuse this behavior rather than take punitive measures.

Learn More About What to Do If You Think a Spouse Is Wasting Assets

If you are going through a divorce, this may be just one issue that you will have to deal with. Contact us today to see how the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can help you navigate these rocky waters.

How Are Investments Split During Divorce?

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

If you are going through a divorce, it is pretty easy to be distracted by the tangible property that needs split — the house, the cars, the various stuff therein. You may forget about the assets you can't actually touch. For example, the intangible assets you haven't touched in awhile like your investments.

Investments

For some, their investments — the stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and retirement accounts — can have quite a sum tied to them. However, splitting these assets may not be as simple as you hope.

Like any asset, investments can be exempt from division during a divorce if you made them before entering the marriage. This means contributions to a retirement account or stocks bought before marriage, for example, will not be subject to being split.

Unfortunately, this becomes complicated because we keep investing in these things even after marriage. Consider any contributions, dividends, or investments made during a marriage marital property. This means splitting an investment account is necessary and typically more complicated than splitting other financial accounts like a simple checking account.

Negotiations

In some cases, it may be more beneficial to do a little negotiation in order to keep investments whole. In some cases, you may be able to give something of equal value to the other party in order to keep an investment account whole. Yet, as investments earn value, this can also be a bit of a hard sell as well.

Conclusion

It becomes complicated dividing up any asset during a divorce. It is this property division that makes divorce so complicated. If you are starting the divorce process and have significant assets that need splitting, contact us today. The Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can help you make sure you get your fair split as well as help the process go as smoothly as possible.

The Path for Unwed Fathers to Get Child Custody

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

If you have a child without the bonds of marriage, only to split as a couple later, getting child custody can seem like a hopeless path. Although marriage is less important than it once was, the family court system still strongly favors the mother. However, the path for unwed fathers to child custody isn't completely out of reach.

Establishing Paternity

For married couples, paternity is always presumed unless evidence is presented otherwise. For couples without an official marriage, the opposite is the case. The first step in a child custody case for unwed fathers is to establish their paternity through a test.

Filing a Custody Case for Unwed Fathers

With your child's paternity unquestioned, you can file a child custody case. It is likely that you will be able to secure shared custody, but if you are concerned for your child, full custody is not impossible either. In these cases, you will need to present strong evidence of the mother's neglect and unfit parenting. It is particularly difficult for a father, wed or unwed, to get full custody, but if the courts have unquestionable evidence of unfit parenting for the mother, then they will grant it.

What Happens Next?

As we said before, once paternity is established, the road to shared custody at least is rather smooth. There will be some bumps, of course, especially when it comes to setting up a parenting plan. However, you will have the rights you are entitled to.

Learn More About the Path for Unwed Fathers to Get Child Custody

If you are a father that is seeking custody of your child, or just a parent that doesn't know where to start when it comes to child custody cases, we can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help.

Introducing a New Partner and Establishing Boundaries With a Co-Parent

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

When beginning a new relationship after a divorce with a co-parent, not everyone agrees with you beginning a new relationship. This can cause undue stress to you, your new partner, and your relationship with your child. Placing boundaries and procedures in place may be necessary to help everyone involved transition into a new status quo.

The end of a relationship, especially one that results in a child, causes pain to all parties. While everyone prefers co-parents put their pain aside to do what's best, this is not always the case.

Protect Yourself, Your Children, and Your New Partner

The introduction of a new partner may lead to emotionally compromised actions. This behavior ranges from inappropriate to violent. For this reason, many individuals consult their attorneys to determine what protocols to put in place. 

  • Establish boundaries: Establish what can be discussed, what behavior is acceptable in face-to-face situations, and how contact will be made between co-parents. Written communication is generally a better option as it is asynchronous and can serve as a record. Considering boundaries, what is and isn't appropriate, can help minimize misunderstandings and conflict.
  • Have a court order put into place determining custody: With boundaries, a co-parent might threaten to stop allowing visitation or threaten to move in response.  It will benefit and your child to have a court-mandated custody order to cement procedures for visitations, holidays, summer vacations, and other logistics in place. This minimizes the ability for a co-parent to retaliate or react irresponsibly. 
  • Consider parallel parenting: If a co-parent does not honor the boundaries set in place, parallel parenting gives autonomy to individual parents while minimizing communication. Ultimately, this is put in place in the interest of the child's welfare as it is intended to prevent conflict between parents in front of the child. This option further minimizes opportunities for inappropriate behavior. 
  • Consider if a restraining order is necessary: There are some scenarios when a co-parent cannot cope with the idea of the original relationship ending and, as a result, react aggressively. If you feel you and/or your new partner do not feel safe, a restraining order protects your household.

Reach Out for Help 

The sooner you put boundaries and procedures into place, the better. Having firm boundaries and a plan leads to less stress for you, your new partner, and your children.  

Don't hesitate to contact us for all of your legal needs. We want to ensure protection for you and your family during this transition. For more information on co-parenting, divorce, and child custody issues, please visit our blog.

Cancel Culture Increases the Necessity of Discretion in High Profile Divorces

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Divorces are always complicated. They become even more so when you have acquired and maintained significant assets and/or established businesses during the course of your marriage. Image protection is the key to your future. Further, when television and movie stars divorce, they choose to keep certain aspects of their separation private. For example, details of child support and custody. You don't have to be a well-known star to have the same options they do when it comes to your privacy in legal matters. You just need the right support to avoid cancel culture.

High-Profile Divorces and Cancel Culture

Each divorce is different and should be treated as so. High net worth divorces will play out in public. Your assets are as unique as your relationship was and the details of your separation can make or break your businesses and/or public life.

The current trend of cancel culture is currently dominating our media. Cancel culture refers to the tendency the public has to band together to kick someone out of the public sphere for something that they have done or in response to a cause they have supported. 

Any public mention of adultery, battery, dishonesty, and lying that may have occurred within your marriage will not only negatively affect your children's or your former spouse's reputations, but can also be detrimental to your career and the success of your business. For example, a business may back out of a contract after reading about accusations of adultery.  

Cancellation causes fear for someone with a high-profile business. Indeed, you need to regain control over your reputation to ensure your further success.

Avoid Cancel Culture

Unfortunately, we are all judged and tried by our communities for the things that we do, whether we are guilty or innocent of any accusations. We have all done things that we regret, but our entire livelihoods should not be canceled for a single mistake. Our personal lives are personal

An aggressive and knowledgeable family attorney with an eye for discretion can help you keep your most personal information secure. Alleviate your anxiety and dampen your apprehension with the best protection available.

Conclusion

Contact our family attorneys at Jamra & Jamra L.L.P. for discretion and effective representation in Beverly Hills. Our tailored approach keeps you out of the spotlight and helps you avoid the cancel culture. Give us a call at 310-278-9001 to schedule an initial brainstorming session concerning your case.

Different Ways to Determine Child Custody Issues

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

There is no "one size fits all" for resolving child custody issues. At the foundation of every custody case, the law will always look to what is in the best interest of the children. Some parents may be able to agree on what that means for their family. They may agree where the children will live and who will have legal custody to make decisions about education and health. In these cases, the expense and time of litigation may not make sense. There may be other more effective ways to reach a resolution like mediation or a collaborative approach.

In other cases, the two parents may find it difficult to agree on anything. There may be one controlling adult who makes outlandish demands on the other parent. This can be especially frustrating. In situations like these, it might be best to litigate the case before a judge. However, because litigation can be a costly and lengthy process, it is best to consult an experienced family attorney to discuss your legal options. Our attorneys at Jamra & Jamra have extensive experience and are strong negotiators. They will help you make the right decision for your situation.  

Child Custody Options in California

There are several options to resolve a custody dispute in California. These include: (1) mediation, (2) collaboration, and (3) litigation.

Mediation

Mediation is when a mediator facilitates the child custody discussion. The mediator will always be a neutral party. They can offer insightful information and suggestions. However, a mediator will not advocate for your particular custody rights. If you are thinking about mediation, it is important to visit an experienced attorney so that you can know your protections as a parent.  Once an agreement is made, it may be harder to re-visit those agreements in the future.  

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law, like mediation, empowers the parties to reach an agreement. However, the major difference between mediation and collaboration, is that collaboration has an entire team working towards one common goal. This approach is more often used in divorce where child custody is one aspect of the divorce. The team may include two collaboratively trained lawyers, two divorce coaches, and one financial specialist. There may also be a child specialist or tax attorney.

Litigation

In some cases, mediation or collaboration is not an option. You want to protect your rights as a parent and protect your children as well. Going to court, gives the judge the power to decide what is in the best interest of the children, according to the law. Instead of having the parties decide, each parent submits evidence to show the judge what they believe is in the child's best interest. However, the judge will ultimately make a decision based on the evidence submitted by both parties.

Conclusion

If you would like to speak about your options for child custody, there are many ways to get to the result you want. Our experienced attorneys will sit down with you to discuss your particular situation, what the law allows, and the best way to get you there. We invite you to contact us to schedule a consultation.

What To Do If You've Been Served Divorce Papers

Friday, January 22, 2021

Regardless of whether you expect them, receiving divorce papers is always a deeply emotional experience. On top of that emotional intensity, the legal path forward may be daunting or unclear. Here are some tips for the process, along with ways that the right attorney can help you navigate that path during this tough time.

Read the Papers Thoroughly

These papers often include important information regarding your divorce, such as temporary custody details and court dates, so be sure ‌you read and understand the papers in full. The papers will also include the date by which you must serve your answer to the divorce petition; if you miss this deadline, you may lose your chance to have a say in the divorce settlement. Reach out to our attorneys if you need any additional help or have questions about the information in your papers.

Serve Your Answer

Your answer must be served legally in order to be legitimate. To do this, you must speak to the clerk at your court and ask to use the Sheriff's office to serve your papers. A divorce lawyer can help you compose this answer, and can help in waiving the filing fee as well.

Reach Out to Counsel

If you have not already reached out to an attorney, this is the point where you should reach out to discuss next steps. A divorce attorney can guide you through reconciliation or going to court in the coming divorce proceedings.

Reach Settlement

Together with your attorney, you will negotiate the terms of your divorce with the other party. These terms will include issues such as custody, child support, and division of assets. It is more than likely that your divorce case will settle before your court date—according to a CBS report, only five percent of divorce cases in the US progress to trial. If your divorce case does go to trial, the right divorce lawyer will handle the entire process with you, maintaining your best interests in mind and winning you the outcome you need.

Take a Breath

Divorce is always a draining experience—financially, emotionally and mentally. Take care of yourself throughout the process by reaching out to your support group, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and engaging in the things you enjoy the most.

Need More Support?

Reach out to one of the many experienced attorneys at Jamra and Jamra, LLP for professional guidance throughout your divorce process.

Are Child Support Agreements Permanent?

Friday, January 15, 2021

After the end of child support deliberations, the judge will assign how much child support one parent must pay to the other parent in order to support their children. However, you may wonder how permanent this child support agreement is. Certainly you will be free from it once your child reaches their 18th birthday providing there are not any college education stipulations. Yet, child support agreements can be surprisingly flexible if your situation has changed.

It Depends on Your Situation

What you need to keep in mind about child support agreements is that they are based on your present situation at that time. If your situation changes for the worse, you are fully within your right to seek a modification of that child support agreement. Having one parent left destitute in order to support their children is not something that court wants. If you have lost your job and have been forced to take lesser employment, you can return to court and ask them to modify the child support agreement.

It merits mentioning that you cannot quit your job and should not try to get yourself fired in order to lessen spousal or child support commitments. It is not something the courts will look kindly on, and there are ways that they can find out what you are doing. However, if the situation is out of your control, then the agreement will likely be modified to fit your new situation.

Conclusion

While child support agreements seem like they are pretty concrete, they are in fact very flexible when life does happen. You want to support your children and the courts want to make sure you can do that sustainably. If you are going through the child custody and support process, and what to make sure you get an agreement that is fair to you, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help.

Fighting False Accusations in Child Custody Cases

Friday, January 08, 2021

Divorces are notorious for being messy. When children are involved, a divorce can get downright vicious. Unfortunately, when the claws come out, so, too, can the false allegations. Your ex-spouse could start flinging false allegations at you to get the upper hand. They need not be proven to be true, but can have negative effects. If you are concerned about false allegations in your child custody case, here is what you need to do.

Child Custody Cases

As child custody cases are not criminal court cases where evidence needs to be presented to support your guilt, you need to consider it the reverse. If you believe that false allegations will be thrown around, you need to gather evidence to support your innocence. Witness statements from caretakers and teachers if your child is of school age are particularly helpful when it comes to allegations of abuse.

Legal Documents

However, one of the more problematic allegations is lying on legal documents, especially if it is technically true. There is a reason you want to be absolutely truthful on legal documents, and that is because it is a crime not to be. If your ex-spouse uses the fact that you may have stretched the truth on legal documents against you, it can be particularly harmful and can be very difficult to defend. A judge sees this and thinks you may not be as diligent in respecting a child custody agreement either.

Conclusion

When you believe that false allegations may become part of your child custody case, the best defense you have is a great lawyer. They can work to unravel these allegations before they have a serious effect. If you are starting the child custody process, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you navigate these complicated waters.