Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Understanding a Father’s Rights in a Military Divorce

Military Divorce
If you are a father going through a military divorce it is important for you to understand your rights.  Many couples make the false assumption that the mother always gets the kids and has the right to do whatever she wants with them.  Do to this misconception, many fathers don’t even try to fight for custody even if they do want to spend time with their children.  If you are in this situation, here are facts that you need to know:

Most courts believe kids should spend time with both parents.
This is unlike the common belief that used to be prevalent in the court system.  No longer is it thought that kids only need their mother.  To the contrary, the court will try to ensure that kids grow up with the influence of both parents.  This is beneficial to fathers because even if the mother attempts to maintain full custody with limited visitation rights if you fight, the court will probably rule in your favor to some degree.  The key is that you have to present a parenting plan that you want so that the court can decide between them. 

Things you need to prove.
If you are going after full or partial custody of your children, it is important to establish several things.  This is true if you are going through a military divorce or civilian divorce.  You will want to prove that you have stable employment and can provide for the needs of the children financially.  If you are in the military, this becomes easier to do but in both cases, pay stubs are typically enough to demonstrate employment.  You will also want to demonstrate that you have stable housing for the children within their current school district.  If you want to take them out of their school district, it becomes a relocation case.  

As a father trying to keep custody of the children, it is best if you can remain in the house you have been living in as a family or can find something in the same neighborhood.  While the natural reaction may be to move far away from your ex, moving creates a less stable environment in the courts eyes and could work against you.
It also helps if you can demonstrate a solid support system.  This could be family, friends, your church group, etc.  A support system is important when raising children and if your ex has it, but you don’t, this could make it more difficult to gain full custody.  It shouldn’t, however, influence your ability to maintain joint custody. 

Child support
When representing clients going through a military divorce, we also work to ensure that any child support agreements are fair and can be lived with.  This could be challenging if one spouse wasn’t working during the marriage.  In these instances, you may have one child support agreement at the beginning of the divorce and go back to have it renegotiated at a later date to reflect a lesser amount, once they become employed.  
Remember that if you are a father going through a military divorce, you have just as many rights as the mother does.  To learn more, call and schedule your consultation. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Divorce Attorney Explains the Requirements for Getting a Divorce in California

As a divorce attorney in California, we work with couples that no longer wish to remain married and are interested in ending their relationship in either an amicable or contested divorce.  The family laws in each state are different so if you recently moved to California or are unfamiliar with our laws it is important to have a quick review prior to filing.  
Here is what you need to know:
  • Residency. If you want to divorce here, you must have lived in the state for at six months prior to filing (three of those must be in the county where your filing takes place).  Otherwise, if you recently moved you would have to either file in the state you came from or wait for the six months to pass before proceeding.  Most couples simply wait for the six months because of how inconvenient it is to have a legal proceeding take place in the state you no longer live in. 
  • California is a no-fault state. In some states, fault must be established in order to “qualify” for a divorce.  Otherwise, the request may not be granted.  As a divorce attorney in California, we know that you can get a divorce simply because you want one.  It is important to remember, however, that the judge may take the circumstances surrounding the divorce into consideration when making their ruling. 
  • Waiting Period.  In many states, there is a waiting period to see if the couple can reconcile.  The intent is to decrease the number of divorces, though it mostly only creates further challenges for divorcing couples.  In California, a couple must wait six months after filing before a divorce can be finalized. The judge may also delay the proceedings by an additional thirty days if they feel like the couple could reconcile. 
  • Division of assets.  The court will make a determination for how assets, property, and debts are split up.  
  • Children.  During the course of the trial, the judge will hear testimony and take facts into consideration to determine what is in the best interest of the children.  They will then make a ruling on who will maintain custody, visitation, and child support.  This can be the most difficult aspect of a divorce, and if you feel that the ruling was unjust, you can file a formal appeal. 
As a divorce attorney, many of our clients are new to this process and unsure of what to expect.  During the consultation, we will walk you through the steps that must be taken from filing to your final ruling.  It can take months and even a year for more complicated cases.  We always recommend speaking with a lawyer before filing so that you can have your ducks in a row and ensure that you and your children will be protected.  A divorce is a serious and complicated legal affair and having professional guidance will help you to get through it successfully.