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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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Child Support and Fathers' Rights

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Learning of the stiff penalties associated with child support arrears, such as the suspension of a business or driver's license, can be tough. You might think that penalties have piled up through no fault of your own. You might even be unaware of the consequences of unpaid child support until you apply for a credit card or when you receive a notification that your bank account has been frozen. 

What Penalties can I Expect for Child Support Arrears?

You can expect to endure several different penalties for unpaid child support.

  • It's possible for your wages to be garnished
  • Lowered credit score because you've been reported to credit bureaus 
  • Liens could be placed on real estate
  • Driver's license or business license suspension
  • Frozen bank accounts 
  • You might even serve time in jail

What Happens if I can't Pay? 

Unfortunately, child supports payments are among the few types of debts that can't be eliminated during the bankruptcy process. If a non-custodial parent can't afford to pay off the debt, a modification request should be filed so that the courts are aware of a change in financial status. Keep in mind that if a motion isn't filed, a default judgment could be rendered against you. 

How is Repayment Enforced? 

Child support is enforced by the state, however, procedures for enforcement usually don't vary widely across states. The non-custodial parent will receive a notice concerning the process of how to adhere to payment time frames and other necessary instructions. If a significant amount of payment is owed, or if an unacceptable amount of time has passed, the consequences include jail time or probation.  

If an attorney in Los Angeles is what you need, please contact us immediately.  

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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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Father's Rights: What Do You Need To Know About Wage Garnishments?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Did you know that your wages can be garnished if you do not make your child support payments? In some states, wage garnishment is automatic. Read More


Four Things Fathers Do That Hurt Them In a Custody Case

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fathers deserve to be in their children’s lives. Even if they only get visitation on a regular basis, they deserve to spend time with their children because studies have shown that children whose fathers are involved in their lives are happier and more successful. They are also less likely to do drugs and commit crimes. Read More


Fathers' Rights Under the Law

Thursday, April 20, 2017

With the high rate of divorce looming large, fathers' rights are a concern for many. Fathers have the right to be consulted when their child is about to be put up for adoption or to intervene if custody issues arise or in the event that their rights to visitation are not honored by the other parent. Read More


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


Father's Rights for Unmarried Couples

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Father’s rights and child custody laws can be overwhelmingly complex, especially if you’re an unmarried couple. Unmarried fathers face additional legal challenges in establishing their paternity and gaining their rights. Read More


What to Do When Parent Alienation Interferes With Father's Rights

Friday, January 27, 2017

One of the toughest things divorced fathers have to deal with is parent alienation. When your ex-wife is alienating your children from you, it will undoubtedly cause heartbreak, anguish, and mental suffering. In addition, it can have a financial effect: According to California law, the mother’s income is only taken into child support calculations when you are visiting the child. This is particularly an issue when the mother earns a respectable living.

Parent alienation can come in several forms. It may just be that your ex-wife is preventing you from meeting the child by not agreeing to arrange transportation or something similar. If the other parent is ignoring father's rights laws and holding you back from meeting your child, you should contact a lawyer and bring the case to court.

The other parent may also be alienating the child mentally and emotionally. This may be through denigrating you in front of the child, calling you names, telling the child that you hate them, or saying that you don’t care about them and don’t want to see them. Eventually, most children will develop negative feelings towards you and not want to have anything to do with you. This is sometimes referred to as Parent Alienation Syndrome.

However, because this is not a medically recognized mental syndrome, it can be harder to prove that the other parent is causing the issue. When faced with such allegations, the court will usually order a psychological evaluation by a third-party. The problem is that this can drag out for a long time before the court takes any action -- and meanwhile, the alienation will just get worse.

The most important thing, in this case, is to push the court to take action sooner, rather than later. Contact a lawyer to get the court to take action as quickly as possible.

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