Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Resolve Custody Disputes with Help from an Attorney

If you have children, an attorney can help you to navigate through the choppy waters of a custody dispute.  Going through a divorce is never easy and when children are involved it is even more complicated.  Instead of being able to simply divide your assets there are important decisions to be made that will impact your life, and the life of your child, until they turn eighteen.

While married, there are simple day to day decisions that are made about your children without really thinking about them.  Things like transportation to and from school, visiting the grandparents, attending family birthday parties, and buying new shoes are simply things that are done – rather than discussed.  Once divorced, these things are no longer simple.  That is why the court requires a thorough parenting plan to be written that makes allowances for these normal life activities.
As an attorney we ask our clients to start thinking about the following and consider how they would want to handle them:

·         Schooling.  Where do you want your child to attend school, both now and in the future?  Your parenting plan can specify this along with whether the decision is made by one parent, or both.
·         Transportation.  Who is responsible for transporting the children to and from school or to and from one parents’ house to the other?  When it comes to exchanging the children, drop off days, times, and locations can all be specified.
·         Special Occasions.  Consider every day or event that you deem to be a special occasion and specify where the children are (what parent they are with) on each of those days.  This will obviously include major holidays, but there are other family events that should be taken into consideration.  For example, list the birthday for every family member that is involved in the children’s lives.  If you don’t list your Grandma and the children are supposed to be with your ex-spouse that day, they will probably be unable to go to your Grandma’s birthday party.  It is better to be thorough.
·         Clothing.  Will each parent to be responsible for purchasing the children clothing that is worn at their house or is one parent going to buy all of their clothes with the other one reimbursing them?  Consider how you want to handle this so that there is no confusion.
·         Toys.  The children probably have a lot of toys that were accumulated throughout the course of your marriage.  Who gets to keep what at their house?  If you don’t specify, the spouse keeping your primary home may get all of the toys with it.

As an experienced attorney, we can help you to sort through these issues as part of your divorce and help you to sort through disputes after the fact.  Even if your divorce has been settled, you can go back and revise custody issues at a later date.  For more information or a consultation give us a call, and we will be happy to assist you. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Why Members of the Military Need a Family Lawyer

If you are in the military, a family lawyer can help you to sort through complex custody issues, divorce hearings, and child support.  For the men and women serving in our Armed Forces, it can be difficult to deal with matters at home when they are deployed. Unfortunately, that is when many service members are faced with these difficult and complicated family matters.

Our law firm specializes in working with military members and understand how to navigate through the local court system and military regulations. This is extremely important, as not understanding one of these aspects could lead to further legal complications.
For the past sixty years, we have been serving the military community in California.  We are an experienced family lawyer that can provide information and consultations to service members while they are deployed.  California requires a six month waiting period when applying for a divorce.  This process can be started while overseas with the help of our law office.  Using modern technology, we are able to communicate and provide legal services, just like we would if you were sitting in our office.

The financial aspects of military divorce are also more complicated.  The court has to make determinations as to what is joint property and what is separate property.  Things like reenlistment bonuses are up for dispute so you need to have a good case as to who should or shouldn’t have access to those funds.  Child support and spousal support are also determined in a divorce proceeding and more complicated when one of the spouses is deployed.  Things like combat pay can temporarily increase a persons’ income but are not available in the long term.  As an experienced family attorney, we understand the complications that arise when a member of the military is getting divorced and can help to make the process run more smoothly.

If you are in the service and are having difficulty with your spouse, you may want to schedule a consultation prior to leaving for deployment.  Even if you do not take action, it is wise to have an attorney on hand in the event that your spouse does.  Many troubled marriages lead to divorce while one spouse is deployed.  This can come as a blow to anyone that is far away from their family, without the ability to be there and sort through the issues.  By retaining a family lawyer before you leave, you can have the peace of mind that if your spouse does take action, someone local will be there looking out for your best interested.  This is especially important when children are involved as your attorney will need to make the case for why you should have a specific custody arrangement 

To learn more about how we can help, simply contact our office at 619-232-2217 to schedule an appointment.  We can meet with you in person, or if you are currently deployed, remotely.   We will do our best to make the process of family disputes go as smoothly as possible.