Tips for Altering a Custody Arrangement

What To Know About Child Support Enforcement

The courts take any issue involving minor children very seriously, and no less so when it comes to the issue of child support enforcement. Laws have been put in place to protect the most innocent of parties when a relationship ends, and the consequences for disobeying those laws can be stringent and strictly enforced. If you and your spouse are divorcing, read on to learn more about how child support orders are enforced. Penalties for failure to pay child support. For those who don’t pay as ordered, the consequences can include the following: Having wages garnished. Being charged with contempt of court. Having liens placed on property, such as homes and vehicles. Having income tax refunds withheld. Losing eligibility for government assistance programs, like food stamps and housing assistance. Losing eligibility for government-backed loan programs, such as student loans, and FHA and USDA mortgage loans. Having your driver’s license revoked. Arrest and jail time Federal enforcement. While most family court orders are state mandated, child support enforcement is meant to allow any state to enforce the child support orders of any other state. The is meant to prevent a deadbeat parent from moving to another state to avoid paying for the support of their child. In fact, if you are found to have moved to another state for the purpose of eluding your child support obligation, you may be charged with a federal crime. If you cannot pay your child support obligation. If you are having trouble paying child support, don’t put off taking action. Your local enforcement agency will work with you to form a payment plan that will help you to get caught up on your payments. Ignoring the problem will only cause a chain reaction of legal actions to begin, and once started you will end up owing several times as much money due to penalties and court costs for failure to pay. If your reasons for not paying are financial and based on a job loss or health issues, make sure to take some legal action as soon as possible. Contact a family law attorney for assistance in filing a request for a child support hearing, where you may be able to have the support order amended temporarily, depending on the circumstances. Keep in mind that for divorcing parents, the amount of child support is based on federal law (and on the income of the non-custodial […]

Is An Ex-Fling Claiming Rape Because Of Hurt Feelings? What To Know To Act Fast

If you were casually dating someone that wanted more commitment out of you, and they are trying to claim rape now that the relationship has ended, it’s time to get a criminal defense lawyer. If the person has had you served with papers, or if they filed a police report and you had cops at your door, hire a lawyer right away and don’t talk with anyone about the relationship. False rape accusations in America are a problem, and you don’t want such a shocking crime on your criminal record for a lifetime. Here are a few things you want to start collecting for your sit down with the lawyer. Phone Evidence and Internet Posts Are there flirtatious or sexual text messages in your phone from the person who is claiming they were raped, along with voicemails and texts that show the two of you were doing consensual acts? Did the person send you racy or nude photos, showing that person had willingly put themselves out there and choose to expose their own body to you in this way? These and online postings are great to have. The person may have been smart enough to delete postings that they made about you, but if not you want to print them all off or take screen shots. Any pictures or postings where you are tagged or referenced and that show you two happy or having a good time, are proof that things were happy or consensual.  Friends and Family Statements Do you have friends or family members that saw the two of you together or that hung out with the two of you often? If these people are willing to write a letter or meet with a judge to say that you didn’t seem forceful in any way, or even that the person was overly eager to be with you, this is crucial. It’s even better if you can put some of their  friends or family members on the stand. Anyone who saw the person acting awkwardly or suspiciously after the breakup is also a great witness to have, because they can state the other person was acting out.  You have to act quickly to make sure that you don’t get charge with rape because you weren’t willing to commit to someone or because you didn’t want a serious relationship with them. Find a lawyer that specializes in criminal law or rape cases […]

3 Legal Steps You May Need To Take After Divorce

If you are a new divorcee, there are several things you may need to do before you can start a new life. Read on to learn 3 common legal steps you may need to take following the finalization of your divorce. Change your name and retitle property If you changed your name when you got married, you may prefer to take back their maiden name after divorce. Should you decide to do this, you should inform your divorce lawyer, like Blumenauer Hackworth, in advance so they can work the process into the divorce proceedings. This ensures the name change happens smoothly before the divorce is finalized. However, you can still file to change the name separately after the final divorce decree. The next important thing after the name change is to retitle all necessary property in your own name so as to prevent your ex-spouse from placing a lien on it after the divorce. Your divorce lawyer can help confirm that all property handed to you in the divorce decree has no lien placed on it by your spouse and help you contest any lien that was wrongly placed. Enforcement of the divorce decree After a divorce, you may find that your ex-spouse refuses to cooperate with the decree. In such cases, you may have to request an enforcement of the decree so as to get what was allocated to you by the courts. A divorce lawyer can help with this by submitting an official copy of the decree to the county where the contested property is located. Divorce decrees are typically recognized throughout the country, so filing for enforcement will usually help you recover property even if it is in another state. Prepare for a restraining order While most divorces end in a civil manner, some may end up in antagonism, necessitating that you get a restraining order against your ex-spouse. Preparing for this eventuality prior to the divorce can help make the process easier after the final decree. Most states will require that you demonstrate a clear track record of violent behavior from your ex-spouse prior to issuing a restraining order, so be sure to document any hostile encounters, detailing the times and dates. Additionally, report any instance of physical abuse to the police and inform your divorce lawyer about them. That way, you will be able to quickly obtain the protection you need should the divorce end badly. […]

Going Through A Divorce? Two Reasons Why You Must Have An Attorney

If you’re going through an amicable divorce, you may think that you and your spouse can handle things without needing the assistance of a legal professional.  However, emotions can run high during a divorce, and if your partner believes that the proceedings are not going in their favor, their decision to handle the matter with respect could change on a dime. Rather than run the risk of being left out in the cold as it pertains to all that you’ve built with your soon-to-be ex, use this information to learn more about why you must have a divorce attorney. You Need An Objective Mediator One of the most compelling reasons why it is such a good idea to have a divorce attorney is because you need an objective mediator.  There must be someone who is able to see things from a perspective that is not clouded by years of camaraderie in order for you to get what you deserve. For example, if you and your former spouse owned four properties, your partner may argue that it’s best for them to be split right down the middle.  However, if two of the properties were solely yours before marrying your former partner, you may need an objective party to tell you that these should go back to you, while the remaining two are split evenly.  Your divorce lawyer will then develop a convincing argument for the courts so you won’t have to sully your hands going back and forth with your ex about it. This kind of advice is invaluable, especially if there is some guilt on your part concerning the way the dissolution occurred.  Nevertheless, it’s important for you to protect your financial future, and your attorney will help you do that. A Divorce Lawyer Keeps You On Schedule Another reason why it’s so vital for you to enlist the help of a divorce attorney is because they help to keep you on schedule.  During the divorce proceedings you may be required to submit bank statements, tax returns and other official documents that must be on file for the courts.  If you miss a deadline, this could push back the date of your divorce even further. Your attorney will make it their business to keep you on schedule.  This means that even in the midst of a hectic life of work and family, you’ll have a dedicated individual who will make […]

3 Things You Should Do To Protect Yourself During A Divorce

Going through a divorce is incredibly stressful. There are so many different emotions that you will go through, not to mention the legal battle that must be fought. This is why it is so important that you do everything that you can to protect yourself before and during the divorce. Here are a couple things you should to do help the divorce run smoothly. 1. Don’t Leave The House Until You Have A Legal Separation Agreement Although you and your spouse may be fighting a lot, you shouldn’t leave the house if at all possible. Once you abandon the house, you give your spouse possession of the house. Your spouse could change the locks and prevent you from coming onto the property for some time. This won’t be a permanent thing, but it could last for a while until you can get the formal separation agreement, or the divorce is final and your spouse is ordered by a judge to let you come onto the property to get all of your things. If you have to leave the property because you are in danger, take what you need and don’t expect to get back in until after the divorce. 2. Don’t Leave Until Custody Has Been Determined Custody battles can be incredibly hard to fight, and your spouse may do anything they can to prove that you are not a trustworthy parent. One of the worst things you can do is abandon the children. When you abandon the children you send a message that you don’t believe that you are responsible for their care. You pretty much say that your spouse is the primary parent. If there is abuse, you need to take the children with you. You should never leave them in a dangerous situation. This is why you should stay with the children, and keep them with you as much as possible during the divorce so that it is obvious that you are an integral part of their lives. 3. Have A Separate Bank Account During a divorce, money may be a sensitive topic. Any account that has both of your names on it may be hard to access. In addition, your spouse may empty the account, leaving you with nothing. This is why it is important that you have a bank account that is in your name only. If you can see that things are getting rocky […]

How You May Be Sabotaging Your Custody Battle Unwittingly

When making child custody decisions, courts base their decisions on the well-being of the child. This means that the child gets to stay in the household where he or she is likely to receive the basic needs as well as security and emotional support. Your behavior, words, finances – indeed nearly everything about you – will be discussed in court. This is why it’s easy to make a mistake that may end up costing you custody of your child. Some of the common mistakes that you are likely to make include: Yelling At Your Partner or Kids Whether you are acting in anger, or you think the tongue lashing is justified, you should never raise your voice at your loved ones. This advice holds whether it’s a phone call, or you are talking face to face. If your partner claims that you are abusing them, then it will be very difficult to defend yourself if he or she reveals recorded audio of your yelling. The risk is even greater if you are a man, and your partner is a woman. The way the society functions, plus entrenched beliefs and gender expectations, means that men are considered domineering creatures. It may or may not be right, but that is how the world functions. It doesn’t require a leap of faith for the court to believe that a man who can yell at his family can also abuse them, especially if your partner is making such claims. Damaging Your Partners Property Getting physically violent with your partner is one of the easiest ways of losing custody of your children. In fact, family courts are always on the lookout for early signs of aggression in partners who are divorcing or disputing child custody. One of these signs is property damage. Even if you get very angry, don’t break the window, kick in the door or smash your partner’s car windshield. The assumption is that it is just a matter of time before you move from kicking doors to kicking your partner. Taking Children from School or Daycare without Notice If your child is in school or daycare, let him or her be there for the designated period. You should only remove the child from school if there is an emergency, say he or she is sick, but even then you ought to inform the other parent. The school keeps attendance records, and your […]

Commonly Asked Questions About Divorcing

A divorce can be one of the most heartbreaking experiences that you will ever go through. Unfortunately, the legal issues that accompany a divorce can be daunting in their complexity, and it should be no surprise that many clients are very confused about what to expect from this process. However, if you take the time to learn the following answers to some common questions, you should be in a much better position to navigate the legal proceedings that accompany divorce.  Which Spouse Will Pay For The Divorce Proceedings? It is no secret that a divorce can be a very expensive legal proceeding to go through, and as a result, it is common for clients to wonder which spouse is responsible for paying these costs. However, it should be noted that these expenses will usually be deducted from the marriage assets.  This is done to ensure that both spouses have access to legal representation by avoiding a situation where one spouse is hoarding the financial assets. In situations where you decide you no longer want to go through the divorce, you will both be responsible for the legal expenses incurred, and you will have to pay these out of pocket.  Do You Need Joint Custody To Have Visitation Rights? If your marriage produced children, this may be one of the most contentious issues that you will be facing during these proceedings. Custody of children can be a major obstacle to settling a divorce, and this often stems from the fact that clients may not fully understand their parental rights following a divorce.  For example, it is common for people to assume they must have some form of custody over the child to be entitled to visitation rights. However, this is not always the case, and it is possible for a parent that lacks custody to enjoy the right to spend time with their child. While there may be more stipulations regarding these visits if you lack custody, the courts will still enforce your right to see your child.  If you are going through a divorce, it is important for you to understand some of the more common issues that can arise during these proceedings. By knowing that attorneys often take their fees from the marriage assets and that you do not need custody to be awarded visitation rights, you should find that it is easier for you to understand and defend […]

A Few Simple Things You Can Do That Will Help With Custody And Visitation Rights

Unfortunately, not all divorces involving child custody and visitation rights go smoothly, with both parents receiving equal or fair time with the children. If your soon to be ex-spouse is trying to keep the children away from you or severely limit how much time you spend with them, you are going to need to hire a lawyer experienced in family law. He or she will work to show the judge spending time with you is not going to harm the children in any way and is actually in their best interest. There are a few simple things you can do to prove your case: Learn Small Things About the Children Anytime you are with the children, pay attention to everything they do or say. If the children are older, you can ask them about school, friends, and the things they like to do. If the children are younger, pay attention to what makes them laugh, how they play, and bathroom habits. Knowing how often a toddler needs a diaper change, what book your preteen is reading and who your teenager hangs out with shows you are interested in them. It also gives you something to talk about or do with them that they enjoy and keeps them on the same type of routine. Get Involved in School If your children are school aged, make sure you know what schools, what rooms and who their teachers are. Go to the schools’ websites and print out a calendar of upcoming events. Make sure you attend the events. Talk to the children beforehand to find out how/if they are participating in the event and ask if there is anything you can do to help out. This is a great way to learn more about the kids while creating good connections with the teachers and other parents. If necessary, these connections can be used to prove your case. Learn to Cook, Do Laundry and Sew Having kids around a lot means preparing meals, doing laundry and the occasional seam sewing. Sure, you could take them to restaurants all the time, or cook up some hotdogs and noodles, but eventually the money will run out and the kids are going to need real meals. Being able to do laundry and sew any small tears is important for keeping them in clothes while with you. They are going to get dirty, and you don’t want them […]

Caring For Pets After A Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult time to go through not only for the people involved, but for pets, as well. Depending on which person gets custody of the pet, animals will have to learn to adapt to their new surroundings. Believe it or not, it can be a traumatic experience for an animal not being around both owners – the only life they’ve known. However, there are some things that can be done to make that transition into a new life much easier for your pet.  Never Use Your Pet to Hurt the Other Person  The first thing to keep in mind is that both you and your soon-to-be ex both care about the animal. To some people, pets are like children, and, like with children, there may be the urge to want to use them to hurt the other. Do not hurt the animal just to spite the other person. Animals are innocent and helpless creatures that will also be going through their own period of adjustment after having their home torn asunder, so don’t take out your frustrations on them.  Never Argue Around Pets  It is never good to argue around pets. Arguing around pets only creates a negative response in a home. It can also cause stress in the animal and make the animal physically ill. Your pet may act out negatively in his or her own way, such as tearing up items or relieving themselves indoors. Are You Able to Handle the Expenses?  You should also consider the expenses involved in caring for your pet. If you are not able to financially afford to take care of your pet, maybe you should consider letting your soon to be ex-spouse have the animal. At least your pet can be in a comfortable surrounding and you can still work out a visitation schedule.  Shared Custody of Pet  In some divorce cases, people may decide on shared custody of the pet. If custody of the pet is shared, the two parties should agree on a set schedule for the animal for things such as when to walk the animal and when to feed the animal. If both pet parents want to share the responsibility, then both parents should be willing to follow the established schedule. As with children, there should not be the “fun” parent who lets you do whatever you want, and the “not-so-fun” parent who is extremely […]

3 Important Questions About Divorce In Military Families

Divorce is a complicated issue in any family, but military families face special complications. When contemplating a divorce, it’s possible for the two parties to be in separate states, which may bring up questions about which state’s divorce laws need to be followed. An active duty spouse may be overseas, which can delay things. And the military has its own set of rules that can complicate things for the divorcing couple. Check out a few things that you should know if you’re a military member or the spouse of a military member contemplating divorce. Which State Should You File In? If you and your spouse are physically separated, either voluntarily or because of military duties, you may be questioning which state you should start the divorce paperwork in. The fact is, either one of you may initiate divorce proceedings in whatever state you happen to legally reside in – so if you’re living in Florida and your spouse is in California, you could start the proceedings from Florida or they could start the proceedings from California, as long as whoever files meets the residency requirements of their state.  However, you should know that under federal law, the state where the military member lives is the only state with the power to divide a military pension. The enlisted spouse can consent to allowing a different state to make that division, and if it’s an amicable divorce, that might be an option for you. However, if this is a point of contention between you and your spouse, then you will have to leave the question of dividing the pension up to the court in the military spouse’s state of residence, which means that it may be preferable to file the divorce in that state as well. What About Active Duty Military Members? If you or your spouse is currently on active duty, you should know that this can seriously delay any action on your divorce case. Military spouses on active duty can postpone divorce proceedings for their entire tour of duty, and for up to 60 days after it ends. While this can be frustrating for the civilian spouse of a military member, federal law dictates that these stays in the process be allowed in the interest of fairness to the servicemember. They may not be able to participate in divorce proceedings if they’re stationed far from home. These delays also allow […]