You should familiarize yourself with these six common divorce questions – answered by a family lawyer – if you’re considering divorce.
The post A Family Lawyer Answers 6 Common Divorce Questions appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Divorce can be a painful and traumatic experience not only for the couples involved but also for their family and friends. If you are planning to file for a divorce, make sure to read these questions first. According to statistics, about half of marriages in the United States end up in divorce. The most common […]
The post Family Lawyer Answers Most Important Divorce Questions appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
My heart goes out to you if you are faced with this very difficult question.
Maybe you are being abused by a family member and no matter how much you have tried to reason with them, stop the nastiness, or even withdraw for a while … things just aren’t getting better.
And maybe you have the beliefs that ‘family is forever’ and ‘blood is thicker than water’.
How can you protect yourself and stop getting hurt? How can you regain your lifeforce, and NOT feel guilty about saying ‘No More!’ to this person?
I promise you there is a way, where you won’t feel like you are doing the wrong thing, because when you get CLEAR, you will lovingly and powerfully offer that family member a chance to make THEIR choice. And you can do this GUILT FREE.
Find out how in this very important Thriver TV episode, which I know, if you are suffering from family narcissistic abuse, will help you so much.
Today’s Thriver TV focuses on a very big question.
Many of you are suffering abuse from a narcissistic family member.
You may believe you can’t go No Contact because as we were all brought up to believe – family always sticks together, and we are responsible and have obligations to them.
Or maybe, understandably, you are forever hopeful that you can finally have the relationship with this family member that you have always wanted.
In today’s TTV episode I want to take you through this, how to know when you may need to go No Contact with an abusive family member, and what that looks like, as well as how to do it guilt and pain free.
And, if you don’t have to go No Contact, what that looks like too.
So just before we dive in, I would love to thank all of you who have subscribed to my channel and for supporting the Thriver Mission, and I’d love to remind you to like this video if you enjoy it!
Okay, let’s begin…
Why Are Family Relationships Deemed Harder To Disconnect From?
So many people say, ‘This is my mother, father, brother, sister or even child, HOW can I turn my back on them?’.
I can assure you that there are countless people in this Community who have laid the ultimate No Contact boundary with abusive family members, even with their own children.
It doesn’t mean that they are bad people for abandoning key family members. It means they finally realised that this person was destroying them, as well as the people and missions that were important to them.
They also understood that in no way was their involvement with this person helping them to wake up, take responsibility or get better.
Let me put it to you this way – imagine someone drowning in a toxic vat of poison, and you jumped in to try to get them out of it, and they had no inclination to leave the vat and instead just wanted to pull you deeper into it with them.
Is your sense of loyalty and love for them, or your desire for their loyalty and love worth destroying yourself for?
The fact that you are watching this episode probably means that you have already tried everything over the years to pull them out of this stinking toxic vat, but nothing has worked. And, the more you have tried, the more you are getting repeatedly slimed and infected as well.
I know you may not think you have a choice.
The ONLY choice you need to make is to live a wholesome truly healthy life. There is no other choice than that.
I promise you there will be a way that your empowered choice will grant the abusive family member their own choice, and that is – either get on board with being respectful – or don’t.
And the result will mean that you can be free to take your precious soul energy back for yourself and the people and missions in your life that are healthy. Those being the ones that will respond and come with you on this incredible journey of life.
The Thriver Quantum Truth
If you love a toxic person then you truly have a responsibility to be a living example of health to them – which is ‘I will not experience your abuse anymore. This is where I draw my line’.
That is the only way you will help them heal (if that is possible), because NOW if they want to remain connected, they will need to be a respectful decent person around you to do so.
If you honour yourself in honourable ways then you honour all of the Field, including all others.
You are not honouring anyone, and certainly not yourself, by allowing another’s abuse into your life.
I promise you that with key people in my life, including my own son, I had to lay the ultimate boundary, ‘This is what I will accept and what I won’t and there can’t be any more contact unless we meet at a healthier place’.
The most effective way to teach people how to treat you is to be lovingly and totally honest – tell difficult people that you want a more loving, closer relationship with them, and if it’s not possible then you will disconnect. And mean it. Words aren’t enough. Boundaries mean following through with action.
Unless you are TRUE to your own soul and are the steadfast guardian of it, you are never whole enough to truly love, honour or contribute to anyone else’s life anyway.
How can you be, when you are diminished, victimised, unloved, unrecognised, unappreciated and resentful?
My Journey With Family Members
I knew after previously suffering narcissistic abuse and continually staying attached trying to change people and being re-traumatised, almost fatally, that I was NEVER going to experience that again … even from my own flesh and blood.
Was I just ‘able’ to logically get to this level of being prepared to ‘lose it all to get it all’ and follow through?
Once upon a time I was riddled with guilt, the fear of smearing and what people would say, and the terror of being alone and losing key family members that I had wanted a loving relationship with all my life.
I had a lot of shifting on painful, stuck beliefs to do. And I diligently did that work with NARP and later my Transforming Family of Origin Wounds Program (which follows on from NARP as a powerful clean-up of family trauma).
After doing this work and honouring my soul by speaking up about what I needed and being prepared never to compromise myself again, if respect and decency were not forthcoming, key relationships in my life transformed beyond description.
Some others have left my life without pain or regret. We just are not a match and that is okay.
I’ve let go of any ‘what ifs and regret’ with Quanta Freedom Healing. I’m free to be me, and they are free to be whatever their version of life is as well.
Downscaling Unhealthy Expectations
Okay, the most important thing you need to start understanding is not even about the family member – it truly starts with you.
There is an ACCEPTANCE you need to reach and get clear about.
If people don’t have the resources, they don’t have the resources.
You may want your mother to truly love, connect with you and share and listen to you from the heart as you have seen how other people have that with their mothers. BUT … maybe your mother is not capable of that.
Maybe she had a difficult childhood. Maybe she has never been connected to vulnerability in her heart or the ability to be deep, caring and compassionate with anyone. Maybe she only ever knew about survival and practicalities, because her generation didn’t embrace empathy and emotional connection.
When we feel like we have missed out, we need to accept they may NEVER be able to grant what we want in the way that we feel we need it from them. This means we need to come home to be the loving parent and inner supportive, caring force that we never received, to ourselves.
This is one of the reasons why NARP has been so successful for not just healing people in this community from abusive love intimate partners, it also reaches back into the trauma from our families, and clears this – from our parents and ancestors that caused us the disconnection from not loving and being whole within ourselves.
Life is bountiful and plentiful, there is love and wholeness everywhere. We suffer when we believe our source of these things has to come from specific sources. It is an incredibly liberating human graduation when we realise that this is a lie that has kept us victimised and traumatised.
You can set yourself free from this.
Understanding this was huge for me.
It truly changes everything.
Laying Your Boundaries With Family Members
If you have been healing your traumas from childhood and know that you can downscale your expectations healthily and be at peace with family member relationships then this is great.
However, if you know there are still behaviours that cross your boundaries and hurt you, then there is more work to do.
This starts by being very clear about what you will and won’t accept in your life and having the inner deservedness to know you can generate these things regardless of what other people do or don’t choose to do.
People don’t have to agree with your boundaries and truths for you to live them.
And no matter how much people may try to guilt you, manipulate you or abuse you to get you to drop your boundaries, your true power comes from living them anyway.
Here is where we champion ourselves or remain victims to others.
Are you able to walk your truth regardless?
Are you able to anchor into the Creation of your True Life, rather than keep handing your power away to others, even if you lose these people?
These are very important questions – because when you lay boundaries (truthfully and lovingly is best – more about how to soon!) you cannot be attached to outcomes.
Boundaries are NOT to make anyone do something. They are only about giving them options.
Rather, boundaries are about YOU DOING something – taking back your life and control – making your decisions about how your life goes.
It goes like this: ‘You can join me if you like, and not if you don’t. Either way, I am walking this truth regardless’.
It is normal to be terrified about having honest, difficult, self-honouring conversations. Confrontations are hard yet an incredibly rewarding thing to do.
When you get to this level, you will no longer ever be abused. If you don’t want to work on yourself to get to this level of development, you will always continue to be susceptible to abuse.
At this level of self, your life will shape into disappointing family members stepping up to meet you at this higher level of respectful communion and love, or they will leave your experience, causing your life to open up, generate and accept REAL loving and genuine connections in all areas, even if that has never been previously possible in your life.
Do you believe your soul evolution is going to get handed to you on a silver plate? Think again … it isn’t, the relationships you need to transform, or leave, were always meant to be the most painful ones that you could imagine. How else were you going to become a full source to self, generating your life with life and others powerfully and healthily?
Laying Your Boundaries With Family Members
If you can’t downscale expectations and be at peace with the way a family member behaves or treats you, then it’s time to show up honestly.
If you have terror about doing that or are not prepared to honour yourself in the decision they make – then there is inner work to do.
Ultimately, to grant them the opportunity to be respectful, you do need to be willing to lose it all to get it all.
And possibly more than once to see if it is real. They may decide to meet you ‘this’ time at your needs, yet the actions don’t meet the words in the future. Then you go back to No Contact unless they choose to take responsibility and show up respectfully.
And … you need to mean it.
Can you see how this is THEIR choice and not yours?
You are simply living your life truthfully and lovingly (love always starts with healthy self-love and devotion). You are healing, growing and evolving yourself out of painful family toxicity and leading the way for your future generations.
You are breaking the cycles of abuse.
You are being the change that you want to live in your life, and see in this world and in all families, from the inside out.
That is not just your Soul Right it is your Soul Contribution to ALL others.
Can you understand that if we all took that level of radical personal responsibility that there would be no more abuse or abused people in the world?
Let’s go back to the vital understanding – If you honour yourself, you honour all of Life in honourable ways.
Now do you understand why? Especially with KEY people in your life?
If so – write ‘I get it’ below.
Are you ready to join myself and other countless Thrivers who live this life of empowered personal responsibility and receive wonderful genuine interpersonal relationships?
If you have had enough of abuse at any level, including from family members, find out HOW we do this by clicking this link.
And if you enjoyed this video make sure you give it a thumbs up and share with the people you love and your communities so that they and their families can also break free from abuse.
I’m so looking forward to answering your comments and questions about this very important topic below.
It is better for clients to make their own decisions about what’s best for their children rather than “the stranger in the black robe.”
The post 3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Family Court During Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.
The right of first refusal is an issue that comes up in family law cases that can cause even the most creative and experienced family law attorney to scratch their heads on how to proceed. Essentially, the right of first refusal allows a parent who is not entitled to possession for a specified period of possession to be able to take possession of the child if the other parent is not able to do so. Allow me to provide you with an example of how this situation could arise in real life.
Suppose that your ex-husband is scheduled for a visitation period with your son beginning at 6:00 p.m. on this Friday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday. In the morning on Thursday, he receives a phone call that alerts him to the fact that he will need to work this weekend. Since your divorce decree contains a right of first refusal, he must contact you as soon as he becomes aware of this scheduling conflict and provide you with your right to refuse visitation that is offered to you. You have the option to take possession of your son this weekend even though the divorce decree states this is your ex-husband’s weekend for possession of him.
We also see issues that arise when parents like yourself begin dating again after a divorce has concluded. If you are not able to take possession of your child for a weekend visit, you may want your girlfriend to be able to pick your child up from his mothers’ home and then drop him off the following Sunday. Since you are able to designate an adult to pick your child up in the event that you are unable to, what’s the harm in having that same adult care for your child during a weekend that you’re not able to see him? Your girlfriend may really want to see your child, and after all- it’s your weekend so it should be your call, right?
How is the right of the first refusal defined in your custody orders?
This is the first question that we need to ask ourselves in relation to your particular circumstances. If you are considering whether or not to include a right of first refusal in your child custody orders, you and your attorney need to first think about how that term is going to be defined and applied as it pertains to your family. What is the specific period of time that a parent cannot be with the child that will cause the right of first refusal to be triggered?
You may be able to negotiate that if you or your new spouse is unable to be present with your child during a period of possession (sometimes lasting between four and eight hours), then you must contact your ex-spouse and allow him or her to come and pick up your child for that certain period of time. Whenever the predetermined/agreed to amount of time is over, your ex-spouse would then return your child to your home and allow you to complete your period of possession as scheduled.
Even when you get specifics as this handled, you need to consider the effects of including that kind of language in your order. If your ex-spouse gets home from work at 12:00 a.m. do you have to get your son dressed and over to the other parent’s house within the hour? That would seem impractical and not necessarily in your child’s best interests, but strict language regarding the right of first refusal could theoretically make this a necessity. A compromise could be that if the parent were to become available to possess the child at a time after 9:00 p.m., the parent in possession of the child on a temporary basis could wait until 9:00 a.m. the following day to drop the child back off at the other parent’s home.
The other issue that we need to discuss is what your child would be comfortable with as far as a substitute adult to possess him or her when you or the other parent is not available. It sounds ok enough for you to have your mother, father, aunt or girlfriend available to watch your child for half a day when you have to work unexpectedly. However, if your son doesn’t get along with any of those people then it would not seem like it would be in his best interests to leave him with any of those folks. Unless you and your child’s other parent have a group of people that are able to care for your child in these situations then a right of first refusal may not be a wise thing to include in your orders.
How will extracurricular activities be handled?
In this day and age, there are camps, classes, training sessions, and other activities for any sport or extra-curricular event under the sun. Odds are decent that you and your ex-spouse may not see eye to eye on your child’s potential or the role of these activities in the life of your child. For instance, you may believe that your child should only be involved in extracurricular activities to the extent that they can make friends and build their self-confidence. However, your ex-spouse may believe that these additional activities are essential for the development of your child and that he or she has the potential to become a professional ball-player, musician or dancer. How can this fundamental disagreement be solved?
I have seen some families achieve success when each parent is allowed to select one activity for their child to participate in each semester of school. The costs for activities would then need to be divided up in some manner between parents. Additional activities (camps, classes, etc.) would be paid for by the parent who selected that activity. Transportation to and from activities would also need to be determined. If you and your ex-spouse earn similar incomes the costs could be split evenly. Otherwise, a proportionate split may be more appropriate.
Another issue that may be relevant to discuss for your family is whether or not both parents may attend practices or rehearsals. If you and the other parent can be around one another without issue then this is not a problem. However, if you all have shown an inability to be in close proximity to one another you may have to limit attendance to the parent who paid for the camp or activity. Both parents in most cases can attend performances and games, no matter what parent is in possession of the child on that particular day.
How will you be reimbursed for uninsured medical costs?
As a part of any child custody order, you or your child’s other parent will be made to be responsible for providing health insurance for your child. Whether it is insurance provided for by one of your employers, insurance through the private marketplace, Obamacare or Medicaid, your child will need to be covered. One of you will pay for that insurance or will reimburse the one who pays for medical coverage.
However, not every cost that your child will incur for medical treatment will be covered by insurance. These are called uninsured medical costs. Suppose that you take your child to a pediatrician appointment and he orders a test for your child that is not covered by insurance. Once you receive a bill for that test you would need to submit the bill to your child’s other parent so that he can pay you back for the test you paid for (in the event that it is his responsibility to pay uninsured medical expenses).
What I will advise clients to do is to negotiate to include a deadline by which medical bills have to be submitted for reimbursement purposes. For instance, a provision in the order that specifies how much each parent has to pay towards uninsured medical costs, as well as a deadline to submit the relevant bill to the other parent, is a good idea.
I would tell you that it is common to have parents agree to split 50/50 uninsured medical costs. Since it is usually the primary conservator who takes the child to the doctor or for unscheduled visits to hospitals and such, it will be that parent who has to pay the bill upfront. What I tell parents in this position to do is to set up a reminder on their phone to submit bills by the end of the month to the other parent to be reimbursed, However, a good practice is to simply scan and email the bill to the other parent as quickly as you can. That way you have a record that the bill was submitted and you can be paid back as quickly as possible.
Issues related to military parents
If you are the primary conservator of your child and have been deployed overseas as a member of our military, you have the ability to designate an adult to exercise your possession and conservatorship rights while you are overseas.
The law in Texas is there is an order of preference as far as assigning that right. For example, you should first give preference to the other parent. That other parent would not normally have the right to determine the primary residence of your child, but you could allow him or her to act in that capacity for as long as you are overseas and unable to do so yourself. However, if selecting the other parent to take these rights on a temporary basis were not in the best interests of your child, then a nonparent may be chosen instead.
Special provisions for special needs children
When you are involved in a case with a special needs child then you and your attorney will need to pay especially close attention to the rights and duties that you and your opposing parent have in relation to that child. There are likely aspects of your special needs child’s life that are extremely important to spell out in the order. Unfortunately, a “typical” child custody order will not do so. You all need to take the extra step and include provisions to protect that child’s interests and well-being.
Both you and your child’s other parent will need to be able to provide to one another more detailed information regarding the child’s educational, medical and psychological needs. Trading information and updates may be difficult for you all if communication is not your strong suit. As a result, it may be necessary to have some special orders included in the parenting plan that requires you to share updated medical information with the other parent on an as-needed or regular basis.
You would need to come to terms with what your child’s specific needs are and then determine how frequently updates need to be provided to each other. If your child sees the doctor on a weekly basis, and you are the parent who always goes to the appointment, it may be necessary for you to provide a weekly update to your ex-spouse on your child’s condition via email or another electronic means.
More information on special needs children to be provided in tomorrow’s blog post
The issue of special needs children is an important one. As such, we will continue today’s discussion in tomorrow’s blog post. We will introduce additional topics related to special needs children that we have observed in our years of practicing family law in southeast Texas. If this is a topic that is relevant to you or your child, it is a good idea to head back to our blog tomorrow to read more.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about the material that we covered in today’s blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys are available six days a week to meet with you at no cost. These consultations are a great opportunity to ask questions and receive direct feedback about your particular circumstances.
According to statistics, there are many more stepfamilies today than there were a decade ago. And the number is projected to grow steadily. It is, therefore, essential for you as the mom in a blended family to help the children make necessary adjustments because such situations hit kids the hardest.
Below are a few ways you can help the kids make the adjustments required for their new, blended way of life.
Helping Your Kids Adjust To Blended Family Life
Explain the unique situation to the kids
As mentioned earlier, kids are the most affected when their parents either die or get divorced. Therefore, it would be a good idea for you as the mom to make ample time and talk to the kids involved. Acknowledge the difficulties they are going through and give them a pat on the back for being so brave. Then assure them by promising to be with them every step of the way.
Knowing that they have a strong and understanding mom who is ready to help will make the adjustment much easier for the kids, whether they’re yours or not.
Acknowledge their losses and help them through it
Blended families come as a result of deaths, divorces, or nasty breakups. Once again, the kids are usually hit the hardest when they lose a parent (or both their parents). The latter explains why kids are often very reluctant to accept blended families. As a caring mother, or stepmother, acknowledging their pain and at the same time helping them through it will make the transition much easier for the kids.
Helping kids through their pain is easier said than done. Some kids will outright disrespect you or throwing nasty tantrums in the name of coping with their new situation. If the latter happens, then it would be in your best interest to seek professional help. Once you’ve helped the kids overcome their pain, they’ll gradually start warming up to the idea of a blended family.
Nurture existing relationships
Just because you’ve forged a new, complicated relationship doesn’t mean death to the old ties that existed before the blended family. Therefore, it would be a good idea for you and your children to keep your old family traditions. If you used to watch movies or go bike riding once a month, stick to doing that because it will only make the transition gradual and as natural as possible.
You can also encourage your new man to do the same with his kids since they need help as well. Afterward, you can slowly create and introduce new family traditions with the blended family without getting rid of the old ones. Feel free to set your nice alarm panel to remind you of the times you and your kids ought to be doing your usual activities.
Respect is the glue that holds together all kinds of relationships. And since blended families happen to be complex relationship structures, the more you have to emphasize respect since everything can fall apart so easily. You can start by letting the kids know the importance of respecting each other’s boundaries as well as privacy. There should be consequences if anyone doesn’t recognize anyone in the new family setting.
A final word
Being a member of a blended family can be challenging, especially if there are more kids involved. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to try and approach the situation with a lot of care. Try listening to the kids and letting them know you’ll be there for them every step of the way. If it gets a bit difficult, then don’t hesitate to seek outside help.
Lastly, it’s essential to always remember it gets worse before getting better. Once the children know that the new blended system is meant for them to thrive, they’ll gradually warm up to the idea.
The post 4 Tips For Helping Your Kids Adjust To Blended Family Life appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.
Going to court to resolve a family law case is not a fun experience for anyone involved. You probably didn’t need me to tell you that, but it is the absolute truth. There is nothing glamorous about it. You will not have the moment in time where you get to call out your ex-spouse for the bad behavior he engaged into the delight of your family watching in the audience and the shock of the judge. If you are after truth, justice, and the American Way, then a family court is not the place to go.
What you are more likely to experience is a judge who is engaged but not sympathetic and an opposing party who is slinging mud at you based on issues that may or may not have ever occurred. Do not expect your ex-spouse to be contrite in response to any of the accusations that you hurl at him. I’ve seen enough men and women who have done bad things go on the offensive against a “victim” ex-spouse enough times to know that family court doesn’t deliver results in the way that you may anticipate.
With all of that said, it would make some sense to attempt to appeal to your spouse’s reasonable side and attempt to settle any family case outside of the courtroom. Mediation is a great resource for parties and attorneys alike when it comes to attempting to reach a middle ground on the important issues of your case. The nice part is that the judge in your case will likely require that you mediate your case at least once before you get anywhere near a courtroom. Odds are good that your case will settle and a potential courtroom drama can be averted.
What happens from the beginning part of your case until you get into mediation can have a lasting impact on the chances of your case settling. When it comes to co-parenting with a person who you may not see eye to eye with, getting along may not be an option. In these high conflict family court cases can you do anything to avoid disagreement and disaster?
Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will seek to answer that question. We actually took up the issue at the conclusion of yesterday’s blog post and we will continue to run with it in today’s blog. This is an important subject that you need to know about sooner rather than later. Learn what will work when it comes to co-parenting and avoid problems before they occur.
Be accountable to your co-parent
Whether you were married to your child’s other parent or not, you now have a sizeable amount of history with that person. You should feel some degree of responsibility to be held to your word. Basically, you should do the things that you say that you’re going to do. Just as importantly, you should avoid doing the things that you have said that you will not do. That shows that you take seriously the responsibility you have in raising a child with this person.
Even if you couldn’t care less how your child’s other parent views you, remember that everything you do in this case should be done to benefit the life of your child. Do not put your child in a bad position because you cannot be trusted or because you think it’s unimportant to be held to account for your actions. Taking the easy way out may seem better at the time (especially if doing so could harm your ex-spouse) but remember that in a co-parenting relationship you will often find yourself facing similar circumstances down the road.
Although you cannot control what your child’s other parent will do in response to your actions in the future, you have complete control over how you act at the moment. If you say that you are going to do something- do it. It’s as simple as that. Even if it means going out of your way or doing something that doesn’t seem like much fun if you said something your actions need to back those words up.
Keep a journal of interactions with your ex-spouse
If you are not a big fan of organization you may want to pay particular attention to this section of our blog post. Keeping notes of what you say and what your ex-spouse says in relation to your child is an important trait to pick up. For one, it will help you to remember better what was said so that you do not operate under mistaken assumptions and memories of things that did not occur. We’ve all been there- absolutely sure something happened, but as it turns out nothing close to that having occurred.
Before you consider filing a family lawsuit- whether that is a modification or enforcement lawsuit- I would recommend that you review those notes to determine how your memories line up with the reality of the situation. You may find that your emotions are not justified by past events as they actually occurred. It is a good practice to be able to check yourself by keeping notes of your meetings, interactions, phone calls, etc. Better to know exactly what took place than to run off to an attorney for no good reason.
Mediate, and mediate again (if necessary)
As I noted at the outset of today’s blog post, your case will very likely be decided in mediation rather than in a courtroom. Family court judges in most courts will mandate that you mediate your case at least once before stepping foot into their courtroom. When you and your ex-spouse find yourself facing a situation that is too big for you to resolve on your own, it is a good idea to push your attorneys to schedule a mediation early in your case.
Many times I will encourage clients to mediate their case even if an agreement is in place before the case is filed. Let me explain. Suppose that you and your spouse are getting a divorce. You know that you are getting a divorce- there is no chance to reconcile with your husband and divorce is the only alternative that you can seek at this point. You feel good that you all sat at the kitchen table and hammered out an agreement that will allow you to avoid having to go to court.
The next thing one of you does is walk into our office and tell one of our attorneys that you have an agreement for your divorce. All you are looking to do is have a lawyer draft order based on the agreement and you will be on your way. This sounds reasonable and in many ways is exactly what you should have done before coming to see a lawyer. However, I will add one thing to this discussion that should encourage you to seek advice from an attorney and mediator.
Here is that information- even if you have an agreement with your spouse in place for a divorce settlement, there is nothing guaranteeing that your spouse will stick to their word and honor that agreement. A lot can happen in between the time you all agreed to something at the kitchen table and the time where a judge can sign an order. An order has to be drafted, both sides must review the draft and signatures from you and your spouse must be collected. We’re talking at least a couple of weeks.
In the event that you or your spouse change your mind on the terms of your agreement, there is nothing to protect you. You could come up with an agreement only to see your spouse change their mind at the last minute. As long as he hasn’t signed the divorce decree he can turn his back on the process. This is completely legal and happens all the time. Before you start to worry, here is where mediation can solve this problem.
By going to mediation and resolving your issues there, you assure yourself of two things. For one, any agreements that you reach are going to be memorialized by a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA). You, your spouse and your attorneys will sign the MSA along with the mediator. This is significant because once it is signed there is no going back. I will tell clients that you cannot call me the next morning in a panic and tell me that the MSA needs to be tossed out because you realized you made a mistake of some sort. The final decree of divorce will be drafted off of that MSA.
Next, not only will you have an agreement in place that is unbreakable, but you also will ensure that you have accounted for all of the areas that are necessary for a divorce. Divorces can be complicated and touch on a range of issues. By coming up with your own settlement you are possibly missing out on a number of subjects that you had failed to account for. By having multiple attorneys and an experienced mediator look at the MSA you are almost guaranteed of having an agreement that takes into account all the areas you needed to account for.
What happens if you cannot agree on compromises after an order is established?
Once all the parties and the judge have signed off on an order it is set in stone. In the future, if there are any disagreements between you and your ex-spouse you can go back and refer to the order to see what your responsibilities are. That is reassuring to have a guidepost like that, but it can also be frustrating due to the fact that your family may “outgrow” the order.
In the future, you and your ex-spouse are free to resolve issues on your own without even filing a lawsuit. This is what judges assume will happen- the two of you will work together and resolve problems on your own without too much difficulty. You will save money and time by not filing a lawsuit and in the end, you will reach conclusions that are better tailored for your family than anything a family court judge could have come up with.
In the event that you have a problem that cannot be solved by negotiation and compromise, remember that the order is what controls the situation. Think of the order as your fall back provisions. Whatever you cannot agree upon means that your order takes center stage. As long as have a mutually agreed upon solution to a problem, you can go off of that solution. However, once one of you no longer agrees to abide by the compromise you must go off of what the order has to say.
This is important for you to know since you cannot be assured that you will always be able to come up with solutions to your problems on the fly. So, what you should take away from this discussion is that your orders had better be workable for your family- both now and in the future.
Questions about visitation problems? Come back to our blog tomorrow to find out more
As children age, and as your own circumstances evolve it may become apparent to you and your child’s other parent that your visitation orders need to be re-worked. What can you do in situations like this? If you find yourself in this sort of position, I would recommend that you return to our blog tomorrow. We will spend some time discussing this subject and how you can work around problems like this.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about today’s blog post or anything another subject in family law please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys can schedule you for a free of charge consultation six days a week. These consultations are a great opportunity to ask questions of our experienced attorneys and to receive direct feedback about your particular circumstances.
A recall effort that had wiped Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky off the bench was threatened by parents in Contra Costa, which caused an immediate investigation of three of the county’s judges.
Turns out, parents were right. The investigation revealed Judge Hardie and Judge Fannin had direct ties to money laundering operations that take children from loving parents and sell those children into sex trafficking rings, while non- profits collect fees for the children placed into foster care.
” It was the parents protesting in the streets that was very embarrassing to the upscale Walnut Creek community, that protest launched not only a criminal investigation by the FBI. but also the local grand jury.’ said the former grand juror who asked to speak off records.
The juror also expressed frustration in the lack of media coverage on the topic. ” We never saw this coming because mainstream media never covers what is really going on in the county’s family courts,
Judges in the county appeared rattled over the investigation, which is leading to supervised visitation and reunification camps where judges hold financial interests through their spouses and family members to avoid disclosure.
Of the $153 million budgeted for foster kids. less than 1 percent was determined to be going to benefit foster youth. Worse were the judges who ignored the law and took children from their parents for no legal reason.
SANTA CRUZ – Judge Hell
A Santa Cruz mother described the year a CPS worker took her 2 year old, causing the mother to pay $40,000 she paid to get her child back.
” The payment felt like a ransom” , explained the young mother, “we had to pay to defend CPS worker’s allegations’:
The Grand Jury didn’t investigate the use of supervised visitation, where several judges have a financial interest.