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How to Craft a Long-Distance Parenting Plan

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Often when a couple divorces, one or both parties may move somewhere else. While this often isn't an issue for childless couples that each want to start over their own lives, when you share a child together, it can create a number of issues. Usually, there may be arguments over the residential parent who wants to move their child to somewhere new, but if the divorced parents can work it out, a long-distance parenting plan can be adopted.

One of the key factors to maintaining a long-distance relationship with a child is to establish frequent communication with them. While many long-distance parents choose to call or use programs like Skype or FaceTime to talk to them, it is important to remember that this does not replace visitation.

Visitation still needs to happen and depending on the child's age, the non-residential parent may need to travel to them or accompany them back. If you live quite a distance away and have a younger child, they will need to have an adult accompany them on airlines or buses, but older children may be able to travel alone. It is also crucial that visitation does not disrupt a child's daily routine.

In many cases, the non-residential parent may need to have visitation in the town where the child lives so that they can regularly attend school and other activities. However, often longer trips can be taken during school breaks where it is arranged that the child can travel to the non-residential parent's home. Some parents may choose to save up their visitation for a summer break, but in order to maintain a good relationship, communication is still key.

If you are in the process of divorce and still trying to hammer out a good visitation and child custody plan with you, contact us today. The Law Office of Elena Mebtahi can help advise you on great compromises as well as help you maintain your rights as a parent.

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Father's Rights: Make An Impact This School Year

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Children and teens are back in school. This means their summer routines are now behind them and they are getting adjusted to being back in school. Unfortunately, many fathers find themselves being shut out of school activities. Fathers can play a critical role in their children's daily lives, especially when it comes to school.

There are various things a father can do to help create incredible memories and stay involved in the lives of their children.

Eating Lunch With Your Children

If parents are allowed to each lunch with their children, you can try to have lunch with your son or daughter a few times this school year. Your child will feel proud and excited that he or she is having an opportunity to eat lunch with their awesome Dad.

Encourage Your Children

Whenever you have the opportunity to send your child a text message or a note, you should send an encouraging message. You may not think your child listens to everything you say, but he or she will be sure to remember the early morning encouraging text messages or letters you have sent.

Find A Support Group

When you find other fathers who are in the same position as you, you will be able to work together, share advice, and help one another become better fathers. You can find ways to encourage each other's children and find ways to make sure each child stays on top of all their educational goals.

Stay Involved

We understand that you have a busy life, but when you have the opportunity to attend a field trip, athletic event, or meeting, you should be there if you can. You will send a positive message when you sign up for anything that involves your child.

Fathers can work together in order to become the fathers their children need. Contact us today for more advice or more information on father's rights.

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Father's Rights: Preparing for Your Divorce

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Divorce is scary for anyone. But when you're a father and it seems like the deck is already stacked against you, it can be outright terrifying. Thankfully, father's rights have come a long way. Father's are regularly being awarded custody or substantial parenting time. Understanding the laws and being prepared can greatly increase the chances that you will get the outcome that you want. Here are a few things you should know BEFORE you file for divorce:

1. The court cannot award custody to the mother simply because she is the mother.

That being said, the court does give a very strong preference to the person they view to be the primary caregiver. The court will evaluate the emotional ties that the child has with each parent. They will also look at who takes care of the child's day-to-day needs such as bathing, meals, and education. If you are seeking custody of your child, it is important that you can show that you are actively involved in your child's life. Go to the parent conferences and doctor appointments. Coach the baseball team. Know your children's friends. If you weren't doing these things before, do them now.

2. The court will look at the ability of each parent to support the relationship between the child and the other parent.

Do not, under any circumstances, use your child as a way to punish the other parent. Threatening to withhold parenting time or worse yet, actually doing it is highly frowned upon by the courts. The same goes for talking bad about the other parent to your child. Not only will you hurt your child, but you will also greatly affect your chances of being awarded custody.

3. Stability is very important.

The court seeks to provide as much stability to the child as possible. This is why they give preference to the primary caregiver. But it goes beyond that. The goal is for the child to maintain as much continuity with their previous life as possible. This can mean staying in the same house and keeping the same schedule. If possible, it is important that you do not move out of the family house and do not make any drastic changes to your schedule. Delay any job changes or moves until after the divorce is finalized.

Divorce can be scary. We can help. Contact us today.

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Can a Parent Have Joint Custody and Still Need to Pay Child Support?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Many times parents will seek joint custody of a child not just because they want to spend time with them, but because they think that it means they won't need to pay child support. However, the unfortunate truth, if you are trying to avoid child support, is that the courts treat child support and custody as two different considerations, as they should since they are two very different concerns.

The truth is that you can have joint custody, but you can also end up paying child support as well. The amount of child support you pay is determined using the income shares models. This model takes the income of both parents then uses it to determine support obligation. The benefit to child support, if you have joint custody, is that you may end up paying less. Since the parents share custody, the amount of child support is often lower due to both parents sharing the burden of providing food, shelter, utilities, clothing, and other needs while living at both parent's houses for the determined amount of time.

However, child support is typically paid by the non-custody holding parent, so in joint custody who pays? Typically, if you have joint custody, the parent who has less custody will pay child support to the primary care taker. However, if one parent makes drastically more than the other, they also may end up paying some child support as well.

If you are getting a divorce and trying to get joint custody or determining child support, contact us today. The Law Offices of Elena Mebtahi are dedicated to getting you the best possible outcomes in all Family Law cases.

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Why You Need To Fight For Your Children as a Father

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Though times are changing, many fathers lose custody of their children. Courts want to keep children with their mother, even if that is not best for them. If you are a father, you need to fight for your children. You do have rights and, if you are able to care for your children better, they deserve to spend time with you. Read More


What’s the Difference Between Legal and Physical Custody?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The common perception of child custody is sometimes in conflict with legal definitions. Very often, people will describe the parent that lives with a child, most of the time, as having sole custody. And the parent that spends weekends, holidays, and summers with the child as having visitation. There is also this general idea that the parent the child lives with, most of the time, makes the major life decisions, such as schooling, medical, and religion. The legal reality is a bit different. Read More


Father's Rights and Dealing with False Allegations During Child Custody

Friday, January 06, 2017

False allegations are not uncommon in child custody cases, and more and more people are using them as a legal strategy rather than as providing protection. Moreover, false allegations are the most prevalent in child custody cases because, even if made without merit and baseless, they require examination. When your ex-spouse falsely accuses you of physical or emotional abuse toward your children, the allegation can catch you completely off guard. The good news is just an allegation is not enough to strip a father's rights to physical or legal custody of his children.

If you have been falsely accused of abuse as part of a child custody case, there are methods to protect yourself and your child.

1. Ask for Proof of Reporting

If there is an accusation of abuse, ask for copies of a police report, contact with Child Protective Services, photos, or other documentation. If there is no proof, the allegations are likely false.

2. Keep Your Cool 

When a person comes across as overly defensive or argumentative, it can actually make them look guilty. If the claims are unsubstantiated and without proof, all you need to do is calmly denying the allegations.

3. Collect Evidence 

If allegations are made against you, gather any evidence that will prove otherwise. Create a list of names, dates, and locations. Plus, gather receipts and photos. For example, if you can prove that you were at the mall at the time your ex-spouse claims the abuse occurred, you disproved her accusation.

4. Find a Qualified Attorney

It is very important to find an attorney who specializes in Divorce and Family Law, and has real-world experience dealing with fathers' rights and abuse allegations. Only expert legal council will properly protect your interests.

5. Foresee State Involvement 

If there is a claim of child neglect or abuse, it is not uncommon for there to be a child protective services investigation. In many cases, child protective services will swiftly and efficiently uncover the accusations as false.

What haven't we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about father's rights and dealing with false allegations during child custody, or need more information, please contact us.


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Four Tips For Reaching A Fair Child Custody Agreement

Thursday, September 22, 2016

When people get divorced, they are not only changing their life but their children’s lives too. Sometimes in the heat of the divorce, many parents forget that. They fight with their ex, sometimes just to get back at them, never once thinking about how the children are feeling. Their children can become just another piece of property to fight about. Read More


Receiving Disability Benefits? Learn How They Affect Your Child Support Calculation

Thursday, August 18, 2016

If you are going through a child support matter due to your pending divorce, and you're on or applying to be on Supplement Security Income (SSI), or are currently received Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), you may wonder how those benefits affect your child support. Here, we'd like to provide a little more detail on what to expect if SSI or SSDI will play a part in determining how much your child support may be. Read More


How Father's Can Successfully Arrange for Child Visits on Holidays and Birthdays

Thursday, August 11, 2016


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