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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.

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.

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.

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.

Making the Grade: From Co-Parents to Virtual Classroom Co-Teachers

Friday, December 04, 2020

Educational decisions are typically custodial decisions to be made jointly by both parents. However, those decisions can be anything but typical when two co-parents must collaborate as co-teachers to facilitate at-home, virtual education. What if you and your co-parent cannot agree on how much parental supervision or cooperation a child needs? What if there are inconsistent resources or follow-through in each home? How can you ensure you remain equally involved in your child's education plan while still working within the parameters of your existing co-parenting plan?

Lesson One: Communication

Co-parents who are co-teaching must develop a plan for timely information sharing and decision-making. For example, it may be helpful to download a co-parenting communication app that provides a shared calendar for enrollment decision deadlines, assignments, and more. Then, even parents who are not on the same page can be on the same screen.

Lesson Two: Core Values

Not every parent understands the Common Core curriculum, but all parents understand their family's common goals and core values. If one parent is more available for supervised learning and the other parent has a rigid work schedule that cannot accommodate homeschooling, stop keeping score of hours and overnights and focus on the joint goal of successfully educating your child. Lean into your respective situations. Find creative ways for the homeschooling parent to get a break and for the non-schooling parent to be more involved.

Lesson Three: Continuity

For a child to have a successful virtual learning experience, there needs to be continuity between the "schools" in each home. So, if the child needs an internet connection for virtual learning, or a dedicated study area free from intrusion or interruptions, both homes should provide it. Allocating the responsibility and the resources for learning between both homes ensures fairness to both parents and gives the child security.

Conclusion

If co-parenting while co-teaching has you feeling overwhelmed or has left you with more questions than answers, you are not alone. Contact us at Jamra & Jamra for the thoughtful and specific guidance you need to ensure an A+ co-parenting experience.

Making Sense of Custody Arrangements in the Era of COVID-19

Friday, November 13, 2020


Custody during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been simple. Parents accustom to a steady schedule of sharing the children have found themselves legally isolated either away from or enclosed with their kids. Whether you are the parent quarantined with the kids or missing your children for an unfair duration, we're here to help.

Quarantine and Custody Length

The fact that entire regions have been set under quarantine and ordered not to mix households has put a lot of pressure on divorced co-parents. We know that many parents are facing an extended time with their kids, past the normal exchange points.                                                                                                                  

Can You Trade the Kids Safely?

Yes, but only if you isolate for 14 days first. Both parents and the kids need to have 0 contact with others for 14 days - without symptoms - to be sure that it's safe to mix immunity bubbles. If you achieve a 14 day isolation, you can carefully exchange child custody.

What If One Parent Is Sick?

The good news is that children are very rarely harmed by this illness. However, they can carry the illness between parents, who are at greater risk. If one parent gets sick, move children to the other parent as soon as possible using the 14 day isolation rule.

Adapting Child Support to New Circumstances

Child support is calculated based on time supporting the kids each month. If COVID-19 has changed your schedule, you may need to adapt the child support terms. This can be done through online legal services to find the best possible solution for your current and near-future conditions.

Divorce Legal Services for New or Temporary Child Custody Terms

A divorce attorney experienced in child custody issues is the best person to help you with the current complex child safety situation. With a legal service, you can find the most mutually-productive and child-supporting solutions. Adapt your schedule, meet online, and make sure whoever is buying the kid's groceries receives the support they need. Jamra & Jamra is here to provide our expertise in guiding co-parents through this extended crisis.

Conclusion

Contact us to consult on your COVID-era child custody concerns.

Who Pays for a Child's Health Insurance?

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Affordable Care Act states that all children under the age of 18 must be covered by health insurance. However, that is not always as simple as it sounds, especially for divorcing parents. In many cases, the child will also be covered by the health insurance that a parent may get through their work. Even if the parents are divorced, the children will still be covered by the health insurance of choice or if the non-custody holding parent only has health insurance. Unfortunately, if neither parent has health insurance through their work, the coverage becomes a little more complex.

A Judge Decides

If neither parent can cover health insurance for a child post-divorce from their job, they will have to buy health insurance for their child. Unfortunately, this can be costly – as much as $1,000 per month. Who covers this cost? While mediation can negotiate splitting costs or help decide the paying party, if you take it to court, a judge will make the decision simple.

Healthcare for the child, under the eyes of the judge, is necessary for the support of the child. As such, it will typically be factored into child support payments. This means that the custody-holding parent will likely be responsible for finding health insurance for their child, but the support-paying parent will be paying for it with their monthly support payments.

This is not an ideal situation for the support-paying parent. Health insurance is expensive and the support payer may not be convinced that their huge support payment is really going to solid health insurance. However, if it is discovered that the custody-holding parent is not being aboveboard, they can be taken to court for it.

Learn More About Children's Health Insurance

Are you going through a divorce or have any other family law issue? 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.

Can Child Support Agreements Be Made Outside of Court?

Friday, September 11, 2020

For many, the costs of divorce and separation are prohibitive. No one wants to go to court, and no one really wants to pays the court their fees for their service or for legal representation in the courtroom. However, much of divorce and child support negotiation can be done outside of the courtroom to keep things affordable.

In a Courtroom

There is no requirement that says child support and parenting plans need to be figured out in the courtroom in front of a judge. Often, you will want your lawyer to help suggest what is fair in terms of child support, but much of everything else can be figured out between the two parents outside of the courtroom.

Unfortunately, when it comes to child support agreements, you can't escape the need for a judge. Once a parenting plan and child support agreement has been figured out between two parents, it will need to be presented to a judge for their approval. When it comes to child support, the first priority of the judge is the well-being of your child. As such, they will make sure the agreement looks fair and it good interest to the child. They will then approve or reject it appropriately.

This is a necessary step, but while it may be an extra cost to you, it is to your benefit. Having a judge approve your support agreement will make it legally binding. If your ex-spouse violates it, then you can take legal action against them. This is why you want to make sure as many bases as possible are covered in the agreement.

Learn More About Making Child Support Agreements Outside of Court

Are you preparing to go through a divorce or have some other family law issue? 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.

More Tips for Same Sex Marriages Ending in Divorce

Monday, August 17, 2020

When it became legal to marry someone of the same sex, many rushed to the alter because they finally could. However, others decided that they were fine the way that things were.  They decided not to change anything about their lives. 

However, once married, same-sex couples can also get divorced. It can be messy and complicated. Here are some more things to consider when getting a divorce.

Think About Your Children

If you have adopted children during your marriage, you have to consider their needs. You are going to have to come up with a good custody arrangement that works for everyone. If needed, you should pay child support so that your children can continue the life that they have been living.

Find a Way to Co-Parent Together

If you have children together, you are going to be in each other's lives for the rest of your lives. The sooner that you can get along, the better off you will be. It will also be much easier on your children if you are able to spend holidays and special occasions together.

Get the Help That You Need

If you are really struggling, you may want to talk to a therapist. He or she will help you find ways to cope with your divorce and all of the feelings that you are having. It can really make a difference in healing after a divorce.

Don't Give Up

Just because you are getting divorced doesn't mean that you are a failure. You are going to find someone again that makes you happy and ready to settle down again. You may even decide to marry again. In fact, many people are much happier in their second divorce because they really know what they want and need from their partner.

Find More More Tips for Same Sex Marriages Ending in Divorce 

If you have children, you need to consider them during your divorce. They need both of you in their lives so it is important to learn to work together so that they still have a good life. Then, if you are struggling, you need to get some help. There is nothing wrong with talking to someone as you adjust to this new time in your life. 

Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will be glad to help you get through this difficult time.