Thursday, March 2, 2017

Is Mediation Training Mandatory for All Mediators in California?

Mediators in California are not required to have any formal mediation training, license or certification. Make sure the mediator you choose goes to formal 2-day or 3-day, mediation trainings at least every two to three years.

For more information, call Amicable Divorce Services at 626-351-1200.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Importance of Honesty in Family Law

For some reason, parties in family law cases think dishonesty at court is okay. While some people do get away with lying to the judge, they don't realize how bad it can make them look. Moreover, parties are under oath and it is a crime to offer false evidence.

When it comes to financial information, both parties need to understand that: 1) each party has a fiduciary duty to disclose and update all financial information; and 2) each party has the right to subpoena the other party's bank statements, employment records, retirement statements, etc. If a parent/spouse is not honest, the other spouse can find out. This will hinder settlement and contribute to a ruling against the dishonest person. We'll address some consequences for breach of fiduciary duty in another post.

When it comes to other communications regarding parenting, judges do look at text messages and e-mails. You need to be consistent with previous texts and e-mails that you sent or you will lose credibility. If you text one thing and tell the judge another story, it can come back to bite you.

And if you lie to your lawyer, you are hurting yourself and your relationship with your lawyer, as well. You must be honest with your lawyer at all costs.

For an initial consultation, call Amicable Divorce Services at 626-351-1200.

Monday, January 16, 2017

What Does Joint Physical Custody Look Like?

Joint physical custody can be crafted in different ways depending on the age of the child. If the child is able to be away from each parent for a week at a time, then week-on/week-off might be a good idea. Each parent should live near the child's school.

A 5-2-2-5 plan means the parents take turns having the child for 2 consecutive days during the week, then alternate weekends. A 2-2-3 plan means that each parent has 2 consecutive weekdays with the child and then alternate weekends but the child will not go more than 3 days without seeing either parent. You can also alternate each day so that the child doesn't go more than 24 hours without seeing each parent.

If one parent doesn't live close to the child's school, then that parent might have parenting time most weekends.

For an initial consultation, call Amicable Divorce Services at 626-351-1200.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Joint Custody or Sole Custody?

In California, the courts tend to prefer that the parents share joint physical and legal custody of the children.

Sole custody is typically ordered when one parent is incarcerated, has committed domestic violence, lives far away, has a drug or alcohol addiction, or has neglected or abused the child(ren).

The fact that parents raise the children very differently may have no bearing on your custody order. Furthermore, accusing the other parent of being a "bad parent" often isn't enough to obtain an order for sole custody unless the "bad parenting" involves some kind of abuse or neglect or a drop in school grades. The best interest of the child often doesn't include whether the other parent bathes the child right before returning him/her, dresses the child in clothes that might not fit perfectly, buying the child cheaper shoes than the other parent might, let's the child stay up late sometimes, etc.

Call Amicable Divorce Services for an initial consultation: 626-351-1200.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Child Custody and Visitation Plans

Develop your parenting plan based on your children's best interests. Parenting plans involve the amount of time you each spend parenting your children (physical custody), as well as decisions regarding various aspects of raising your children (legal custody).

Call Amicable Divorce Services for an initial consultation: 626-351-1200.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

HBO Show "Divorce" Shows Adversarial Process

If you've been watching the HBO series "Divorce" then you see that both sides tried mediation until the Husband's friend told him he would get screwed. Friends and family may have good intentions but they often stir up trouble in divorces and end up hurting the kids and making the couple go broke.

We see it all the time....wife's sister or husband's parents or others think they're giving good advice to support a spouse when all they're doing is convincing her or him to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight as hard as they can to destroy each other. What they don't understand is that no one wins in an all-out divorce war except the lawyers.

This show is accurate in the way it portrays some bulldog attorneys who focus on hurting the other spouse. Spouses need to avoid this at all costs. Stay in mediation with an experienced, well-trained divorce mediator and save your time and money and children's well-being. It's your mediator's job to make sure that no one is taken advantage of so find a mediator that you trust.

To learn more, call Amicable Divorce Services at 626-351-1200.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year from Amicable Divorce Services!!

Wishing you peace, good health and prosperity in 2017.

Warm regards,
Leslie and Jimmy
Amicable Divorce Services