Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

Caught In The Middle: Pets And Divorce

Posted by on 11:42 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Caught In The Middle: Pets And Divorce

Of all the issues to battle about during a divorce, pets can come a close second to children in evoking emotional and contentious reactions. Both of you may consider the pet “yours,” and when you no longer care to spend time in each other’s company, that can present a few dilemmas. Read on for a better understanding of how the law looks at “pet custody.” Pets may not seem like property, but they are. In the strictly legal sense, there are no “custody” or visitation provisions for pets. Pets are considered property under the law, and are part of the marital estate. The marital estate encompasses everything from the family home and the furnishings within to vehicles, boats, artwork, rental properties, retirement accounts, and more. If you have a prenuptial agreement in place with a provision for the family pet, the judge may consider that when making the ownership decisions, but there is no legal onus for them to do so. The same thing goes for those who address pets in a marital settlement agreement; they are considered as property and custody and visitation provisions are not enforceable. Decide for yourselves When you both realize the courts have no way to adequately address the pet issue, you should make every effort to come to some type of agreement on your own. You may be able to set up a visitation or shared custody schedule among yourselves, even if it isn’t legally valid or enforceable. If you leave it to the judge The judge will evaluate the situation in contention by looking at who has been the pet’s primary custodian all along and will ask questions like: Who paid for the pet, and was it a gift? Who mostly took care of the pet on a day-to-day basis? Who fed, groomed, walked, bought pet food for it, gave it medicine, etc? Who took the animal to the vet? Who will have the best living environment for the pet after the divorce? Is there a dog park nearby for an apartment dweller? Does one party have a fenced back yard? Do you have minor children who are emotionally attached to the pet? Do the “pet parents” live near one another if ownership were to be shared? Be sure to speak to your divorce attorney for more information about how the laws deal with pets. The laws are changed daily, and you may have special provisions addressing this issue in your state. Contact a firm like Eschbacher Law to learn...

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Getting Divorced? Learn How To Have Successful Divorce Proceedings

Posted by on 5:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting Divorced? Learn How To Have Successful Divorce Proceedings

The divorce process is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. You’ll be fighting for a lot of things that you feel are rightfully yours, which could range from property of your home to custody of your children. If you cannot compromise with your spouse, the tough decisions will be made by a judge. Here are some tips that can help you get the results you want from the divorce proceedings in court. Consider Your Wardrobe Part of getting the results you want is dressing the part. What you wear says a lot about the kind of person you are, especially when you are in front of a judge who doesn’t know everything about your personal history. If you are not dressed properly and your spouse shows up in a nice suit, it can make you look like you are not taking the divorce proceedings seriously. Don’t Get Too Emotional Don’t make the mistake of thinking that showing your emotions in court will cause the judge to have pity on you when it comes to their decision. There is no guarantee that crying will get what you want, and could actually make the situation worse. You do not want to come off as someone who is faking their emotions to try to sway a judge. Always be confident in everything that you do. Document Your Behavior and Your Spouse’s Behavior Since the judge doesn’t know your personal life, what happens outside of the courtroom needs to be shown for the judge to make a proper judgment. If you are battling over something as crucial as custody of a child, it helps to document your spouse’s behavior to help prove that you are the better parent. For example, you can make a log of who does all of the meal preparation when both parents are at home, or who is the parent that helps with homework on a nightly basis. Your spouse is not going to confess to their lack of dedication to their family, and having documentation will help prove that you are a better fit to have custody of a child. The same logic applies to if you are battling for custody of a pet. Proving that you are the one that cares for the pet by taking them for walks or to the vet can show that you will continue to take care of them after the divorce. For more help putting your best foot forward in court, work with a local family law...

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2 Reasons Why You Should Hire An Attorney When You’re Going Through A Divorce

Posted by on 10:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Reasons Why You Should Hire An Attorney When You’re Going Through A Divorce

If you and your spouse have decided that it’s time to end your marriage, you may think that there’s no need to bring in a third party.  This is especially true if the two of you are on amicable terms with each other and there is a relatively decent line of communication in place.  However, no matter how good things may seem to be going at the moment, the situation can change at anytime, leaving you out in the cold.  That’s why it’s so vital for you to hire a divorce attorney.  Learning more about the benefits of obtaining a lawyer when you’re going through a divorce can help you see why you should consult with one of these professionals as soon as possible. Legal Terms Are Important One of the most compelling reasons why you should hire a divorce attorney is because of the importance of legal verbiage.  You want to make sure that the divorce decree is clear and binding so that there won’t be any unnecessary problems down the road. For example, if you and your former spouse own property together, you may make a verbal agreement that you will sell the property and split the profits down the middle.  Since the sale of the property is in the future, you want to make sure that you use correct legal language so that your former mate won’t be able to claim more than their fair share of the profits.   Courts use legal verbiage because that is usually the best way to make an agreement enforceable.  If you attempt to draw up the decree yourself, you may not use the right terms, and this could spell trouble. Divorce Lawyers Keep You On Schedule Another reason why you should work with a divorce attorney is that they help to keep you on schedule.  You more than likely want to get the divorce settled as soon as possible, and a lawyer can help you accomplish this. The attorney will file your paperwork on schedule so that there won’t be any delays.  They will also keep you abreast concerning the financial or other documents that the courts are requesting so you can finalize the divorce in a more timely fashion. Working with a divorce lawyer could prove to be the best decision that you could have made.  Contact a divorce lawyer today so you can enjoy these benefits and many...

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Why You May Need An Attorney For An Inherited Estate And Divorce Issue

Posted by on 4:48 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You May Need An Attorney For An Inherited Estate And Divorce Issue

Life can be complicated and sometimes there is more than one thing to deal with at once. If you’ve had a parent pass away and you’re currently going through a divorce as well, you’ll have to consider all of the assets involved before anything can be finalized. While you’d like to easily sort through your parent’s assets and estate and wrap everything up quickly, keep in mind that your spouse may also be entitled to some of the property as well. It’s important to seek legal counsel right away to ensure that you’re protected throughout the probate process. Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a qualified attorney if you’ve recently acquired an estate. Sorting Through Probate Administration  If you’ve granted any type of asset or monetary funds from a Will, you’ll need to seek legal counsel about your rights and responsibilities. If you’re going through a divorce, some of these assets must be distributed or settled with your spouse before your divorce is granted. If you’ve been granted an inheritance before your divorce is final, all aspects of the estate must be settled before you can finalize the divorce, including splitting or distributing funds to your spouse. Whether you’re an executor on the Will or not, you still have to go through probate administration to complete the splitting of assets. If you dispute how your loved one’s estate is being handled or distributed, contact an attorney who specializes in probate issues. A probate attorney can help represent you in court or negotiate with other parties listed on the Will.   Protecting Your Family’s Personal Belongings Going through a divorce means not only splitting assets but also deciding which family heirlooms go where. Some heirlooms may hold more sentimental value than net worth, and this could cause a significant delay in finalizing a Will and a divorce. A good probate attorney will be able to utilize his negotiating skills to help you get your favorite furniture piece or multiple-generation jewelry set that has precious value to you. Ensuring Timely Filing With many Wills and estate distribution cases, time is of the essence. Filing a lawsuit to acquire certain funds or assets needs to be done before a Will is executed. Failure to do so could cause you to lose your rights to what’s yours as stated in the Will. If you’re going through a divorce, you’ll want to make sure your attorney will help you retain as much of your inheritance as possible, while still being fair to your spouse. Handling All Of Your Legal Issues Simultaneously A multi-faceted lawyer is the best option if you wish to minimize your appearance in multiple court cases. This may be the case if you’re experiencing multiple legal woes including: Will and estate disputes Inheritance distribution problems Protection of existing assets and inheritance funds Divorce and child support issues Possible bankruptcy or creditor concerns A lawyer who can represent your case in both probate and civil court may be able to combine your cases and simplify the process of going through lengthy court hearings. Simplify the complexity of a Will and a divorce by hiring a qualified lawyer who will put your best interest first. Visit or another site for more...

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Why A Family Lawyer Is Needed If A Bad Marriage Can Possibly Be Saved

Posted by on 4:22 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why A Family Lawyer Is Needed If A Bad Marriage Can Possibly Be Saved

Have you become frustrated with your bad marriage but have no idea how to settle the situation? If you are confused as to whether or not the marriage should end in divorce, the best thing to do is get assistance from a family lawyer, such as Stephen J Weisbrod Esq Law. Discover in this article what a family lawyer can do to help you get to the bottom of your dysfunctional marriage so you and your spouse can move forward. What Goes on During the Initial Meeting with a Family Lawyer? It is a good idea for you and your spouse to attend the initial consultation with the lawyer. He or she will want to hear an explanation from each of you as to why the marriage is in such a bad condition. If there is a risk of you and your spouse getting into a heated argument during the consultation, the lawyer may opt for setting up separate appointments. The lawyer will want to know about marital debts, affairs, assets and if you and your spouse have children together. The consultation will allow him or her to get an idea of what might be causing you and your spouse to not get along. What Might a Family Lawyer Suggest to Resolve the Situation? If it is determined that there is hope for the marital problems to be resolved, the lawyer may recommend separation instead of divorce. Separation will allow you and your spouse to stay married without living under the same roof, which can relieve a lot stress. The duration of separation will depend on the progress of the situation, and it is likely that the lawyer will recommend marriage counseling during that time. You and your spouse will basically have to learn how to communicate and let go of things that are in the past. What Happens with Mutual Assets During Separation? The marriage assets can be divided during the separation period. You and your spouse can determine who will keep what. A custody agreement will also be made if there are any children in the marriage. Marital debts will also be divided to make sure that they are getting paid off. It is possible for the lawyer to assist with setting up an arranging for spousal support if you or your spouse needs it. For instance, the spouse that was the financial provider may have to give the other spouse money until he or she finds a job. Talk to a family lawyer to bring your marriage back to a peaceful...

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Your Young Child And Divorce

Posted by on 11:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Young Child And Divorce

The way that children deal with divorce can vary depending on their age. If you have very young children (under the age of 5), the signs of stress are often more difficult to interpret due to their limited communications skills. You and your spouse can learn to recognize the signs of problems in your young children and take steps to minimize the impact that the divorce could have on them. Read on to learn more about the signs of stress in young children and how to deal with it.  Fantasy: Children of this age often deal with the distress of seeing their parents physically split up (one parent packing their bags and moving out to a new home) by envisioning scenarios where their parents are reunited, often through their artwork or storytelling. A kindergarten-age child may actually tell others that they are going on a vacation with both of you together. While it can be tough to be honest, children should be told that while these stories are not real, it is “okay” to play make-believe. It may take these young children time to come to terms with your separation. Abandonment: A young child could reason that they too could become “divorced” from you. You may notice a child seeking constant reassurances that you aren’t going to leave them and move away. A child may fear that you won’t be there to pick them up from a playdate or daycare. You may need to step up your efforts to make them feel more secure by communicating with them (by phone or Skype, for example) more often when you have to be away. Regressive Behaviors: Fear and insecurity can cause children to regress to an earlier age or developmental life-stage, often the most recent. Older, kindergarten age children may go back to babytalk and toilet training could be abandoned. Even young babies can begin to awaken more often during the night after previously sleeping through the night. This is usually temporary and patience should be employed, but family counseling may be in order for severe episodes. Guilty Feelings: It’s not possible to expect a young child to fully understand the complexities of divorce, and most parents try to sugarcoat with vague explanations. Children can become easily confused, oftentimes connecting your adult actions to their minor instances of misbehavior. You may hear a child who is feeling guilty promise to “be a good girl” if mommy and daddy reunite. It’s important for the child to know that divorce is about adult behavior and that both parents will continue to be there for them.  While family counseling can help with these issues, the most valuable asset you can provide is your love, patience and understanding while your child works through these behaviors. Your divorce attorney will serve as an invaluable resource for making sure that your divorce becomes final with as little acrimony as...

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Alienation Of Parental Affection: Is It Real, Or Made Up?

Posted by on 7:13 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Alienation Of Parental Affection: Is It Real, Or Made Up?

You have probably seen TV shows or famous courtroom dramas playing out involving the alleged “alienation of parental affection,” but is such an allegation real? If so, is it something that applies to your own custody issues in family and divorce court? These are all questions your family law attorney can answer, but typically these are the real views and opinions on “alienation of parental affection.” Admitted or Dismissed Parental Alienation Syndrome Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS, was often thought of as a real psychological diagnosis in most child custody cases. Still, it was difficult to prove, and eventually it was ruled as “junk psychiatry” when it could be proven that there were other reasons why children preferred one parent over another or had trouble expressing their affection for the non-custodial or secondary placement parent. Instead, it is more accurate to say that PAS is caused by one parent coercing and manipulating a child into believing untruthful things about the other parent or teaching the child to completely distrust the other parent, which may also be referred to as brainwashing. How to Tell If Brainwashing or PAS Applies to Your Case If your child once had a very good, healthy and loving relationship with you and suddenly starts screaming at the sight of you or acts out in ways that are very bizarre, you will first want to consult with a child therapist or psychologist. The therapist or psychologist may be able to coax your child into talking about why he or she responds to you the way that he or she does. If the therapist or psychologist uncovers evidence that your ex is attempting to brainwash your child into thinking you are a monster and not a loving parent, then you might have a case for “alienation of parental affection,” but more or less your lawyer will probably refer to your ex’s actions as brainwashing, since very few courts are willing to accept PAS as a real problem. How Your Ex’s Actions Work Against Him/Her When there is valid and solid evidence that your child is emotionally and psychologically traumatized and manipulated into running away from you in terror because of your ex’s actions, it does work in your favor for custody. Your family lawyer will not be able to get the courts to cut off all contact between your child and your ex, regardless of what is happening, but your lawyer, with a guardian ad litem, may be able to recommend supervised visits such that your ex cannot continue to brainwash your child. The supervised visits will stop any opportunity your ex has for hostile and unpleasant interactions or tactics, and any further evidence of such behavior may seriously limit his or her custody and visitation rights. For more information, contact a family law attorney in your...

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Three Pitfalls To Avoid When You’re Negotiating Visitation Rights As Part Of An Open Adoption Process

Posted by on 10:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Pitfalls To Avoid When You’re Negotiating Visitation Rights As Part Of An Open Adoption Process

An open adoption is an adoption where you acquire full parenting rights to the child but the biological parents still retain some visitation rights. Although an open adoption can be psychologically gratifying for both the child and the biological parents, placing some limits on the deal so that your parenting won’t be undermined is a good idea. So when you’re negotiating visitation rights as part of an open adoption process, take care to avoid these three pitfalls: Not Specifying How Much The Child Can Be Fed During Visitation Even if the biological parents don’t intend to do so, it’s easy for them to overfeed your child during a long visitation. This is because it’s much easier for them to acquiesce to a child’s demands for food if they weren’t there to witness normal meal hours. Your three main options are specifying that the child can only be taken to areas without food, shortening the visitation sessions enough so that there won’t be much time to feed the child, and explicitly saying in the contract that the parents can’t feed the child anything during normal visitation hours. Committing Yourself To Transporting The Child A Long Distance Before Visitation Not specifying how the child is to be transported from your home to a visitation area is a good way to unwittingly commit yourself to long car rides. A good solution to this problem is to specify in the contract that the transportation burden will always be on the biological parents. This way, all you’ll have to do is make sure that the child is at home before every visitation session. If you don’t want to completely shift the burden of transportation, you can also just specify that all visitation has to occur in venues very close to your own home. You can include occasional exceptions in the contract for when the biological parents want to take the child to a distant theme park or resort for a short vacation. Being Too Lenient With The Maximum Amount Of Time That Visitation Can Go On Both your parenting and your professional schedule will be compromised if the biological parents routinely drop the child off late after visitation sessions. Therefore, to keep as much control over your life as you can, consider including a clause in the contract saying that every minute after the end of a visitation session that the biological parents fail to drop off the child will be deducted from a future session. Contact a company such as Margit M. Hicks, PA Attorney at Law to learn...

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What’s Covered By Child Support?

Posted by on 2:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What’s Covered By Child Support?

You’ve come home after a long day at work, and as you’re checking your email you see a note from your ex-wife saying that your son needs money to pay for soccer cleats. At this point, you may be wondering what child support actually covers. While state laws vary, in most places, uninsured medical bills and extracurricular activities aren’t covered unless specified in the agreement. Below is an explanation of what your child support payments cover: How Much Should you be Paying? When you’re asked to pay for things that you believe should be covered in your monthly payment, you may need to change your thinking on child support. Most states use a two-way scheme: both parents pay support to one another, with each taking a share. Most payments are preset, and the amount is an estimate of what’s necessary to help the child maintain the standard of living they had before your divorce. The Cost of Having Kids The support you pay is what your children need while they are with the other parent. You are still liable for supporting your kids during the time you have them, just as your ex-spouse must still pay to support the children during the time they have them. As you’re likely to find out, you never really know the true cost of having children—especially when they become teenagers. Tracking Child Support Payments When making support payments, it pays to be cautious. Track your expenditures during the time you have your children if you believe that your ex isn’t using your payments in an appropriate way. Keep a detailed journal of the items your children brings during your parenting time, and of the things they need while they’re with you. Retain receipts for everything you buy, and ask the other parent for a reasonable repayment. Is Your Ex-Spouse Using Support Payments Correctly? Are you always spending on incidentals for your children, such as toiletries, undergarments and shoes? If you’re buying everyday items for your kids even when they’re not with you, it may be a sign that your ex-spouse isn’t using support payments for their intended purpose. You may have a reason to look into the matter further, and to possibly make a court motion against your ex for diversion of child support. When you meet with your lawyer, bring your divorce decree to demonstrate the factors that the court used in determining the support amount. If you want to learn more, contact a child support lawyer for more...

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Is Your Spouse Leaving You And Taking Your Children To A Different State? File For Divorce Right Away

Posted by on 10:07 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Spouse Leaving You And Taking Your Children To A Different State? File For Divorce Right Away

Unfortunately, not all marriages last until death do you part. When there are children involved, it makes things much more complicated and often nastier. Sometimes, your spouse decides it would be best to get away, go to a different state, and start all over. This might be fine and dandy except he or she wants to take the kids too. This is going to end up with a legal battle. The question is, where will this battle take place and which state can decide about the children. You need to contact a divorce attorney ASAP and get things started. Here are a few very good reasons why. State of Residency for the Divorce Once your spouse moves to a different state, other than Alaska, South Dakota or Washington, he or she must remain there, and be able to prove residency for a specific amount of time before filing for divorce. Since you stayed at home, you can file right away. If you wait, and your spouse can file in the new state, that state will have jurisdiction over the case and anything you want to do pertaining to the divorce will have to be done in that state. For example, your wife moves from Delaware to Texas. After living in Texas for six months, she files for divorce. Since she has been there long enough to establish legal residency, Texas will claim jurisdiction over the case. If you want to contest the divorce, or anything in it, you will need to have a lawyer that is licensed to practice in Texas. However, if you were to file before she does, or before she had been there for six months, you could use a Delaware attorney and she would have to too. State of Residency for the Children According to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the “home state” of a child is where he or she has lived for the six months previous to any custody or court filings. However, if the child has not been attending school, due to his or her age, your attorney may be able to fight to have the jurisdiction changed if you can show that the child has ties to your state. This could include being involved in extra-curricular activities, such as going to dance lessons or being on a little league team. If you have many relatives in your state that are close to your child, especially cousins or siblings around the same age, it can help your case too. The best thing for you to do when your spouse takes the children and leaves the state is to file for divorce and custody immediately. Do not wait until he or she can establish residency. In Idaho and Nevada it only takes six weeks to establish residency. Arkansas, Kansas and Wyoming require 60 days and Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Montana and Utah require 90 days to establish residency. All other states require either 6 months or 1 year. As long as you file first you are good no matter...

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