Popular Posts

Loading...

Search This Blog

Search This Blog

Total Pageviews

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

EXPLAINING DIVORCE TO CHILDREN

When it comes to explaining divorce to children, many parents freeze. How can you tell them that life as they have always known it will change in a very big way. Breaking the news to your kids is perhaps the hardest part about getting a divorce, because you know that it will cause pain and confusion to the one's you love the most. 
 
I remember the tears welling up in my son's eyes as I told him that his Dad and I weren't going to live in the same house anymore; how I struggled to find the right words to make him believe that we still loved him and that everything would work out in the long run. Oh, how I wished that I had some guidance on how to tell him in a way that would make it easier. I didn't have anything but instinct to guide my discussion at the time. But you can benefit from the insight of Rosalind Sedacca as she explains how to tell kids about divorce in such a way so they can accept it. 
 
 To view the remainder of this article written by Rosalind Sedacca click below:

http://www.womansdivorce.com/explaining-divorce-to-children.html


For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

MEET WITH YOUR ATTORNEY PRIOR TO MEDIATION FOR BETTER RESULTS


Your divorce attorney will need to meet with you in advance of your mediation date to discuss the mediation process, the strengths and weaknesses of your case, review possible exhibits with you, and ensure that you are confident in the points of your case.

If you have any questions or reservations about the mediation process, you should raise them with your attorney at this meeting so that you can walk into mediation feeling as prepared as possible.

It is important that your divorce lawyer has reviewed potential exhibits and has a strong understanding of the case in advance of mediation.

Often there will be an exchange of information or documents in advance of mediation, even if complete discovery is avoided to ensure that the attorney has access to the information necessary for them to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the case. This is important to know in advance of mediation to put you in the best negotiating position.

If your attorney explains that your case has many strengths, but also some weaknesses, do not be alarmed. It is important for you to understand this in advance of mediation so you do not feel overwhelmed or caught off guard if those issues are raised by the opposing party at the mediation, and they likely will be.

To view the remainder of this article by Sara Pitcher click:

http://www.dadsdivorce.com/articles/meet-with-your-divorce-attorney-prior-to-mediation-for-better-results.html

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Forensic Evaluation: The Child Custody Report

Forensic evaluations (also referred to as custody evaluations) can be a useful tool in child custody litigation but can also be costly and time consuming.

So what does a forensic evaluation entail, and why is it used? Will your child have to undergo a stressful psychological evaluation?
 
The Forensic Evaluation Process:

The forensic evaluation process typically entails the appointment of a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health expert to evaluate the family in question through the review of various documents, a series of tests and interviews, and information gathered from third parties.

Forensic evaluations are typically used in cases where a couple simply cannot agree to the legal and/or residential custody of a child or if there are concerns with abuse, mental health issues, or substance abuse.
A judge may order a forensic evaluation on his or her own volition, or a party may request that an evaluation be completed.

To continue reading the remainder of this article by Sarah J. Merry, click here:

http://www.dadsdivorce.com/articles/forensic-evaluation-the-child-custody-report.html


For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

HEALING AND HOPE AFTER A BROKEN HEART

Many of the women who seek my guidance as a relationship coach are suffering from a broken heart. Sometimes their heart is still freshly bruised; other times they tell me stories of past romantic traumas they have never recovered from.

I remember the first time my heart was broken like it was yesterday. His name was Dennis McCormick and he was sexy, funny, wise and for my 16 year old tender heart he was IT. I was young but it sure didn’t feel like puppy love to me. I was head over heels.

We were together as a couple for only a few months and were really just getting to the good part as far as I was concerned. Past the initial awkwardness and beginning to have a routine as a couple when suddenly he stopped calling. This happened right in the middle of a school holiday so I didn’t have a convenient way to run into him. I called, no response. Agony. Then school started up again and I was anxious to confront him on his bad behavior or at least be reassured that he had simply been hanging out with his guy friends.

To see the remainder of this article by Kat Kehres Knecht, click here:

http://www.divorce-articles.com/brokenheart.shtml

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

A Divorce Lawyer Says A Lot Of Unfaithful Spouses Will Be Caught By Texting On Christmas

A divorce lawyer says that the No. 1 way that unfaithful spouses are caught is through text messages or other electronic communications on Christmas.

Typically, the cheating spouse will leave a phone around the house when the lover is sending holiday messages, reports Iain Thomson of The Register, based on an interview with Britain's top divorce lawyer, Ayesha Vardag.

"When people are discovered in adultery, rather than coming clean and saying that they are in a relationship, it tends to be through mobile phones  and emails," Vardag said.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/a-divorce-lawyer-says-a-lot-of-unfaithful-spouses-will-be-caught-by-texting-on-christmas-2012-12#ixzz2GBTm1utg


For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

CONSIDERING A DIVORCE WAIT UNTIL JANUARY


Going through a divorce during the holidays can be emotionally wrenching, which is why many people don't do it -- they put it off until January.
"People don't want to upset the apple cart over the holidays, and they want a peaceful Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year's. And then, because they don't want to spend another damned year with that spouse of theirs, as soon as the holidays are over they pull the plug and file," says Alton Abramowitz, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

While there are no hard numbers on how many divorces are filed in January, Abramowitz says it's undoubtedly a popular time to act, rivaled only by September, when marriages break up after the summer holidays. Yet waiting for the holidays to pass doesn't all come down to simply wanting a harmonious holiday season. There are sound financial reasons to wait until January.

You may view the remainder of this article at nbcnews.com by clicking the link below:

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/considering-divorce-wait-until-january-1C7659310



For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Monday, October 22, 2012

KEEPING THE PEACE

When a marriage ends, it is usually accompanied by intense emotions that too often result in terrible choices being made that end up hurting the couple and the children. You don’t have to be Gandhi, Buddha or any other kind of evolved spirit to have a “Peaceful Divorce,” but you do need to have the intention to do so.

What we tell ourselves, what we believe IS our reality. You can have any kind of divorce you want to have. You can tell yourself that he or she is a rat, pig, etc. who would never be reasonable enough to sit down peacefully and work out fair terms and that will be your reality.

However, as an alternative, you can have an inner dialog that will produce another result.  You can keep an open mind, think positively and make your goal be to "keep the peace".  The conversation you have with yourself and the informed choices you make determine what kind of life and experience you will have. You may be devastated by the news your spouse wants out. Maybe you are furious at what you perceive to be unreasonableness on the part of your spouse. You might be in a lot of different emotional places right now.

Divorce is one of the hardest life transitions people face. The two of you are probably not getting along. Does it make sense to increase the conflict and spend precious time fighting when there is an alternative?

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

TIPS FOR GRANDPARENTS AS THEIR CHILD GOES THROUGH A DIVORCE

The best course of action for grandparents to take when their children are getting divorced, is to be a peace keeper. Refrain from encouraging your child to hire the biggest shark in town. Believe it or not, very little good will come from escalating the emotional tension.  Rather a good choice would be to suggest collaborative law, whereby the goal of the parties and their counsel is to resolve the matter outside of Court. 

There is almost nothing to fight about if both sides are honest.   As for custody, in the collaborative setting the parties, counsel and a child development specialist can sit down and develop a custodial plan that is best for the children and the parents.  This is a far better solution when parents cannot agree on custody than proceeding to Court.  This will also put more money in the parties' pockets rather than spending their funds on attorney fees and costs.

To find out more about Collaborative law telephone today to schedule a consultation.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

INCREASING YOUR NET SPENDABLE INCOME AS YOU TRANSITION TO A SINGLE INCOME HOUSEHOLD

As your transition into a one income household look at your income and determine if there are ways for you to make more money at least until you have your finances in check. If you have poor budgeting habits, making more money isn’t going to be silver bullet to answering all your woes. Unless you change your spending habits, you will find yourself in a vicious cycle and working really hard to get there. Here are some options:

1. Consider a part-time job this holiday season. The 10-20 hours you work between now and the end of the year might help you pay off a credit card balance so that you can get ahead of the curve.

2. Ask for a raise at your current job. If you believe that you are underpaid, do some research to get a rough estimate of what people are being paid in your position (based on geographical location and education level) and go to your boss with the results.

3. Reduce your commuting costs. If the cost of your daily commute is continuing to rise while your income stays the same, it might be time to look for a way to reduce the costs. This could mean moving closer to your job or finding a job closer to home.

4. Get an employee referral bonus. Many employers now offer an incentive to employees if they refer a prospective employee who gets hired. In some cases this could be $1000 or more! If you help your employer find the skilled workers they need, this could benefit you without your having to work very hard. Check with your company’s human resource department to see if they offer such a program.


For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

SEEKING A THERAPIST

 
Divorce is a crazy time anyway, but when you add the pressures of a volatile situation to it, it can seem unbearable. To help cope, try to find a support group or get some counseling to help you during this time. Your local shelter can provide a lot of support and resources for you. Don't be ashamed to ask for help.

Your attorney can also recommend appropriate therapists once meeting with you and assessing your current situation and needs.
 
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

LEAVING AN ABUSIVE SITUATION

When it comes to leaving an abusive situation, you need to realize that doing so may spark rage in your spouse. If you are threatened, you may need to get a restraining order, but be aware that this may push someone over the edge.

The most dangerous time for an abused spouse is the first 24 hours after a restraining order has been issued. Some people feel that they won't be controlled by a piece of paper. If you do get a restraining order, ask the police if they can drive by your house, or contact your local shelter to see if you can stay at a safe house until things are settled.

When you make plans for moving forward with your divorce, you will want to hire a lawyer that has experience in divorces involving domestic abuse. You need someone that understands the dynamics of such a relationship and can help prevent you from being intimidated into an unfair divorce agreement.

If your case goes to trial, you need someone who can enlighten the judge about your circumstances, and will be willing to protect you and your children.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Friday, October 19, 2012

DATING AFTER DIVORCE - THERE IS NO BAR FOR AGE

Relationships are very complicated, so we should not make them more complicated by adding an age clause. Obviously you are dating, not taking admission into a school or college where you need to mention and take care of the age thing. Love happens, when it has to, without taking care of the cast, color, creed, nationality, religion or age. So try to keep things simple while dating. You have to act maturely if you wish to have a long lasting and happy relationship. Age does not matter when you have found a true love. There are many online dating sites which help you to meet new people and explore new possibilities but if you keep your mind puzzled with the number game then dating will become a maze for you.

There is no secret to a happy relationship. Every relationship needs your understanding and a mature outlook. You have to work on it. Online dating sites give you an opportunity to step out and explore the world other than your restricted entry zone. There have been many successful relationships, in which the women are older. Time is changing and so is the dating pattern. Now more than a mate, we try to look for a soul mate. Now you do not date just to find a suitable partner but now you date to find a good life-partner. As people are acting maturely after looking at the rising rate of divorce cases. So, leave age behind and date with a smile.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

TWO HOUSEHOLDS, TWO SETS OF RULES

Sometimes when parents separate one home has choors and expectations, while the other home may not.  This can prove difficult for the parent who is  trying to enforce the rules.  What child wouldn't want to be in a home where nothing is expected of them, no work or discipline, and they are completely cherished from the time they step foot in the house? Can't blame them for wanting it! I'd love it, too!!

The simplest approach is to talk with your child directly to emphasize the fact that he or she has 2 homes now with 2 separate sets of rules. You have no say over what happens the other parent's home, but you have every say on what happens within your home. Let your child know that because you do require certain things of him or her, it's not because they are a work horse or a slave, but because that's what we do in families, that is what we do to get along with one another, and that is what we do to become responsible adults. And be very careful to leave the other parent completely out of this conversation.  They have no room to judge or criticize YOUR home, so set the example, and don't mention any of that to your child either.

Your child may not understand that bigger picture yet. That's okay! Hold it for them and someday, when they have a real home of their own, they will appreciate your rules!


For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

RECOGNIZING ABUSE IN A RELATIONSHIP

In order to recognize early abusive signs, one must stop rationalizing “abusive” behaviors as “normal.” If you see ONE abusive behavior, regardless of how small, you need to remind yourself that it IS abuse. Period! With this new skill, you will soon be dating men or women who treat you with dignity and respect—the way we all deserve to be treated.

Below is a list of common abusive behaviors to watch for from abusive men or abusive women:
  • Criticism about your good qualities,
  • Past abusive relationships,
  • Criminal activities,
  • Drinking or drug problems, past or present,
  • Mood swings,
  • Discourages your successes,
  • Jealousy,
  • Abusive family members or spouses of siblings,
  • Attempts to control your whereabouts,
  • Disrespect toward you publicly or privately,
  • Violations of others rights,
  • Irresponsibility,
  • Attempts to keep you isolated,
  • Persistent lying,
  • History of truancy, delinquency and running away,
  • Highly reactive,
  • Streaks of meanness toward others for no reason,
  • Threatened by relationships with men, past, present or imagined.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

THINGS TO CONSIDER PRIOR TO LEAVING THE FAMILY HOME

When you are considering moving out realize that this might set a precedent for what is awarded in the divorce. If you own a home, it is best not to give up your rights before divorce papers are drawn up. Try to spell out who will be awarded the home in your separation agreement. If you are renting and choose to move out, this is only relevant if children are involved.
  1. Take your name off the lease. If your landlord is unaware of the separation and your spouse doesn’t pay the rent, then you will be held liable for anything that is past-due.
  2. Take your name of the utilities (gas, electric, phone, cable, trash, paper, etc.). The same reason as above applies.
  3. Forward your mail to a post office box or to a close friend or relative.
  4. Make note of all address, phone numbers, and account information on mortgages, bank and credit accounts, insurance policies, pension accounts, and any other financial paperwork you will need.
  5. Make copies of all tax records for the past six years. Realize that State and Federal tax agencies are not parties to a separation or divorce, so if there are back taxes owed, you will still be legally responsible for the debt.
  6. Put a freeze on all joint credit accounts. Since you are legally responsible for the debt, you don't want to be paying for his spending spree when he fails to pay on the account.
  7. List what is in safety deposit boxes ( it's also wise to take a picture of the contents), and take any personal items.
  8. Pack up what you need, and anything you may want later, such as:
    • clothing, shoes, and coats
    • pictures, books, and movies, family heirlooms and mementos
    • medicine, make-up, hair dryer, curler
    • school and medical records, address book, journal
    • furniture and appliances, dishes, pots, utensils, food
    • bedding, towels, and bath supplies, cleaning supplies
    • phones, computer, office supplies
    • grill, outdoor equipment, tools, recreation and sports gear
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

THE FIRST STEP IS TO BE ADVISED OF YOUR RIGHTS

Deciding on divorce is a big decision. You should understand that you aren't a bad person just because you think you want a divorce. Your spouse is not automatically a bad person because he/she may be causing you to feel this way (or so you may think), you're just people, plain and simple.

Being in "limbo" is a horrible feeling because you can't really get rooted if you are in limbo...all you know is that you aren't happy and don't know what to do. You may feel stuck in a rut or feel like you are wandering aimlessly. Whatever the case, not being certain of what will happen can be tough to swallow and only contributes to your being unhappy. Another reason that this is usually a tumultuous and arduous time for people who are in this stage of life because it usually involves self reflection and a heightened awareness that may never have been reached before in your life.

This can be most difficult and scary, but I assure you it is healthy in the long run. When doing this "inward reflection", you may find out some things about yourself that you may not like. You may recall some things you had forgotten. You may realize that this isn't all your fault or you may realize that you had a hand in leading yourself here too. Whatever happens from here on in, your mindset has to be conducive to being brutally honest to yourself.

To make an educated and informed decision on how best to move forward you should have an initial consult so that you can be advised of your rights and what you are entitled to.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

SOMETIMES DURING YOUR DIVORCE YOU JUST NEED COMFORT FOOD

Sometimes when one is going through a tough time it can help to bake.   This is my favorite brownie recipe--from Paula Dean's website. I've made it many, many times and it's fail proof. Word to the wise: Eat one and take the rest to work!!

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
 Frosting:
  • 4 ounces (4 squares) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pasteurized egg substitute (recommended: Egg Beaters)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a 2-quart bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and mix well with a spatula. Add the flour and stir to combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
While the brownies are baking, make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the egg substitute, vanilla, and sugar and stir with a spoon until smooth. Stir in the marshmallows; they will soften but not melt completely. Spread the frosting over the warm brownies. The frosting will set up when the brownies are completely cooled. When cool, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and store in the refrigerator in a plastic container with a snap-on lid.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

STAYING SANE THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS

Coping with the nostalgia may be difficult during the holidays.  The first Thanksgiving or Christmas after a divorce will be fraught with poignant memories of previous Thanksgivings and the traditions you shared.  You can expect to feel sad. The contrast between how you felt in previous years and how you feel this year will make it even more painful. Take this year to make new traditions. If you always spent Thanksgiving with your spouse's family, go visit yours this year.  Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen, or having a Christmas dinner with your friends. When you're dealing with divorce, don't put all your focus on how things were. Think about how things could be now, and take steps to make them that way.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

SHARED PARENTING AFTER SEPARATION

Rather than accepting that high conflict is inevitable in divorced families, our goal should be to reduce the conflict. Shared parenting provides an incentive for parental cooperation, negotiation, mediation, and the development of parenting plans. Most parents can successfully learn to minimize conflict when they’re motivated to do so, and shared parenting provides this incentive. A number of specialized interventions to help parents reduce conflict have been developed, including therapeutic family mediation, parent education programs, and parenting coordination. A key strategy is keeping parents focused on their children’s needs, and enhancing parents’ attunement to their children’s needs. The main therapeutic task in high conflict families is to help divorcing parents separate their previous marital hostilities from their ongoing parenting responsibilities. Parents who remain challenged in this regard also have the option of parallel co-parenting. Over time, as the dust settles, parallel parenting may become replaced by a more cooperative co-parenting arrangement.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

TOP 10 TIPS FOR DIVORCING PARENTS


1. Don't try to recruit your child into siding with one parent against the other.
2. Do contain your hostility in front of the children. Hearing divorcing parents argue is the most common cause for a child of divorce to have problems.
3. Do renegotiate a healthy co-parenting relationship after divorce. You don't have to be best friends with your ex, but you do need to have a civilized relationship so that your child is not burdened by your ongoing
anger.
4. Don't badmouth your ex in front of your child. In fact, make a point of telling your child a few good things about the other parent.
5. Do get on the same page with your ex about all rules concerning the children--bedtime, homework, amount of screen time, curfew, and so forth.
6. Do take a parenting class or attend family
therapy with your ex if you are having trouble coming to agreement about rules and consequences for your child. Allow a professional to help you manage your anger at your ex.
7. Don't badmouth your ex's parents or other family members. Children love their grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and if a parent says negative things about them the child will feel conflicted.
8. Do reassure your child that she did not do anything to cause the divorce. Children often feel
guilty when parents get divorced and need to be reassured that the divorce was not their fault.
9.   Do tell your child that both parents will continue to love him and spend time with him.
10. Do tell your child that you expect her to continue to do well and be happy.



For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

SEEKING THERAPY DURING YOUR DIVORCE

If you still feel overwhelmed or are experiencing negative effects after a significant amount of time has gone by, don't hesitate to seek professional help. It might seem daunting to talk to a counselor  but it can be an invaluable resource in bringing about the emotional healing that needs to happen. The counselor will help you understand what you are feeling and work through it in a safe environment. Any Negative patterns, traumatic childhood experiences, cultural differences, can be addressed with time and grace. In addition, it can bring insight and personal growth which will positively influence your relationship with your ex-spouse, your children, and prepare you for a successful relationship with a future spouse.

Renee Marcelle can provide you with referrals upon your request.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR DEALING WITH DEPRESSION

Sometimes the divorce and problems after the event all pile up and can become unbearable making it depressing and overwhelming. Since there is no way back and no way out though you must start sorting your issues into smaller manageable chunks and just work at one at a time or the task may seem to be too much.

Try not to focus on the negatives.  Find good things and focus on them even if they seem too small to make a difference against the negatives. The trick is breaking your problems into smaller chunks … after a while you have collected enough good positive feelings, thoughts and emotions that they can start to make an impact … never let go of the good things and actions you take!

Set a goal.  a goal in mind even if depression does strike you having something to do is important, it could be a life goal, an emotional goal or even a physical goal it does not matter. Achieving something makes you feel good and helps against depression and negative thinking.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MAINTAINING A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR EX's PARENTS

If you love your children, your ex's parents love them also. It is not good when you don't maintain a good relationship together, even when they didn't do anything for you. If you had difficulty with their boy, they have absolutely nothing to do with it; it is your individual problem between you and their son.

• Don't discuss your ex-husband whenever you speak with them
• Keep all things beneficial even life is a bit hard for you
• Greet all of them on unique days: Getaways, Birthday, Wedding anniversary
• Always invite all of them if you will be having a party as well as celebrating one thing with pertains to kids
• Set a regular get together with your kids as well as their grandparents
• Send them emails or perhaps greeting cards now and then, just to find out how they are doing, inform them that you still care for them.
• Be steady
Following these simple guidelines will help to maintain healthy relationships and is in the children's best interest.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

DIVORCE CONSIDERATIONS AND MONEY


Keep the following suggestions in mind as you think about divorce:
  • Do not make large purchases that will add to community debt. Try to keep all assets liquid.
  • Start to stash back money now for emergencies before and after your divorce. Traveler's check are a fairly safe way to do this.
  • Put a freeze on joint credit card accounts.
  • Keep working to secure your newly single future.
  • If you have your paycheck automatically deposited into a joint account, set up an individual account, and have the deposits made to it.
  • Keep all individual assets separate. These include inheritances, workers compensation, personal injury awards, items that you brought into the marriage, and gifts given to you individually.
  • Have any necessary mechanical repairs done to your automobile to insure that you have reliable transportation after the divorce.
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

GUIDELINES FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR IN THE COURTROOM


1.  Come across as a serious person. Divorce is a painful process that leads to neglect of oneself, physically and emotionally. Make that extra effort to reach the court on time, look well-groomed, wear neat and tidy clothes. Avoid outlandish attire, weird hairstyles and garish makeup. Maintain a calm attitude at all times, avoid negative body language (such as crossing your legs or arms while speaking, laughing unnecessarily, sounding silly) and turn off those distracting gadgets.
2.  If you're asked to speak up, maintain eye contact and be respectful to the person who asked you to answer or comment. Avoid sharp sarcasm, mockery or any other harsh responses, even if the situation justifies it. Avoid glaring angrily at your spouse or his/her attorney.
3.  If you're startled by a question or if you do not understand it, say so and ask for it to be repeated. Do not make any assumptions on behalf of the judge while making your point. It is certainly not the time to be reserved, superstitious or hesitant. Be truthful and honest. At the same time, be extremely careful not to make up lies and concoct stories to prove your point.
Ask your attorney to arrange for a mock trial in case you have never been to a courtroom before or if you're unsure of the nature of divorce proceedings and rules and regulations of the court.
4.   This is perhaps a no-brainer, but do not spring surprises at your own attorney with regard to the facts of the case or "skeletons" in your closet. Any sign of disagreement between you and your attorney may not instigate a judge, but it might prove beneficial to the other party. At all times, project your trust in your own attorney.
5.  In general, before every single reaction/response, put yourself in the shoes of the judge and imagine what reaction would be appropriate. If you wouldn't like what you imagine, chances are they won't either. This way, you can work at effectively curbing any behavior that would hamper your credibility and weaken your case.
6.  At the time of the trial, if you're already in another relationship, do not bring your new partner into the courtroom. Even if it's a custody battle, where the new person's credibility or position in society could prove beneficial to your case, consult your attorney before bringing them to court.
7.  Do not engage in conversation with your spouse or his/her attorney during trial recesses.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

INAPPROPRIATE COURTROOM BEHAVIOR

There are some behaviors which should distinctly be avoided in general and especially in the Courtroom:
 
1.  Negative body language such as rolling of the eyes, smirking and in general, reacting to everything that your spouse or his/her lawyer says is incorrect.
2.  Having your cell phone ring while the proceedings are on is not right.
3.  Interrupting when the judge or lawyer is speaking is improper. As a part of the legal strategy, your spouse's lawyer may be blurting out lie after lie (perhaps even to provoke you) and you will be tempted to retaliate instantly. But speaking out of turn is a strict no-no!
4.  Uncontrolled outbursts and "name calling", depending on the nature of the accusation is wrong. An impulsive reaction may be justified, but it must be avoided at all times.
5.  Displaying a general lack of seriousness in the proceeding by turning up in informal attire, chewing gum, twirling your hair, fiddling with your keys or fixing your makeup while the trial is on is not correct.
6.  Whispering to your attorney or arguing with your attorney is also inappropriate.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

I AM READY TO RENT AN APARTMENT

Once you have chosen your apartment and are ready to meet with the leasing representative at the community, the following information will be needed to expedite the approval process:
  • Driver's license for U.S. citizens, passport for non-citizens.
  • Financial information, such as checking and savings account information.
  • Check, money order, or cashier's check for the deposit.
  • Proof of income or ability to pay rent. If you're employed, bring a recent pay stub or tax return. If other financial assistance will be provided, you must show proof of income/ability to pay, such as a pay stub or tax return, and a passport or U.S. Social Security number.
  • If you are receiving child and/or spousal support take a copy of your current support order with you.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

PLANNING FOR DIVORCE


When you begin divorce proceedings, organization is crucial. The more prepared you are, the more likely the process will go more smoothly. Your preparation will also show your spouse (and his attorneys) that you mean business and can't be pushed around.
 
Here are some steps that can assist you:

**Not all illicit behavior ends up on the ten o'clock news. It's important you document any events that will strengthen your case.

**Gather all financial documents containing your name. Record the names of the financial institution, account numbers, and contact information. Include stocks, insurance policies, pensions, and retirement accounts. Be especially sure to locate life-insurance policies, as they may affect child support and alimony.

**Change any passwords that your husband has knowledge of or access to. Not only can this protect assets, it will prevent vindictive behavior on the part of your spouse -- such as theft.

**Hide your passport and your children's.

**Make a list of which items were gifts and which you bought with your own money before the marriage.

**With your digital camera, create a visual catalogue of all your physical possessions, including furniture, furnishings, art, collectibles, rugs, electronic and computer equipment, china, cars, and so on. Itemize everything on a spreadsheet as well. Organize the original receipts if you have them. Save the images on a flash drive that you can carry with you.


For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

DATING AFTER DIVORCE


Your divorce is final. Now, your friends are telling you that it’s time to start dating again. You want to attract Mr. or Mrs. Right.

You might wish to check the following Inventory List to ensure that you are doing what you have to do, to achieve your goal.
  • You are emotionally stable. You have made peace with your history and are comfortable with who and what you are.
  • You have no chemical addictions which could impede your clarify of thought and action.
  • You have made a list of the ingredients of your perfect mate. Itemize those qualities that are a priority, and qualities that are of lesser importance.
  • Evaluate the demands of your life. Consider how a new mate is going to fit into your life, and any considerations that are relevant.
  • Evaluate your person and what you have to offer. Be confident but also be honest, with yourself. If you expect an extremely physically fit partner, you should probably anticipate that this person will expect you to be somewhat physically fit, as well.
  • Let’s be honest; first impressions are important. If you are stuck in a beauty rut, it’s time to enter a new phase, and that might mean a change in your skin care regime, a new hair color, or some new clothes. Glowing skin and a smile can work wonders!
  • Believe in yourself, and specifically, believe in the power of attraction. Feel confident that you will meet the person that is right for you.
  • Anticipate and expect that Mr. or Mrs. Right should cherish you. You deserve it.
  • Positive thoughts are important. However, you also have to take action. Make an effort to socialize and interact with a wider circle of persons. Enjoy a new hobby. Even if your new mate is not actually in your yoga class, he or she may be introduced to you via the new friend that you meet, stretching next to you.
  • If you meet others whose goals are incompatible with your own, drop them from your list of potential partners. If you want to meet a stable mate for marriage, and you happen to meet someone who is fun-loving and into bar-hopping , you can be friends with them- but do NOT think that you can change them.
  • Have fun with the process of dating until you meet your Mr. or Mrs. Right.
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DON'T PRESS SEND

This is likely the most difficult period you have experienced in your life.  There will be times when your former spouse will offend you, be unkind and you will want to speak your mind.  Be sure to do so in an appropriate manner.  Refrain from sending mean spirited letters, text messages and emails to your soon to be ex.  This may make you feel great temporarily, but will become embarrassing evidence later on. Attorneys are great at saving messages, massaging them, packaging them, and then presenting the result in court many months later. Don't provide the other attorney with an opportunity to embarrass you.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

ENFORCING YOUR CHILD SUPPORT ORDER

The Department of Child Support Services will assist you, at no cost, with enforcing your child support order.  To begin the enforcement process, they will need a copy of your support order, your ex's name, home and work addresses, and his social security number. They can then enforce the child support orders through various means such as:
  • wage withholding,
  • intercepting tax refunds,
  • reporting delinquencies to the credit bureaus,
  • suspending or revoking driver's, professional, or occupational licenses,
  • filing liens against bank accounts, property, or settlements,
  • passport denial,
  • court fines or jail time.


For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

OBTAINING CHILD SUPPORT

To get the most out of your initial appointment with your attorney bring your current tax return with you to your initial appointment, as well as current paystubs for yourself and your husband if you have them.  The attorney can run support calculations during your appointment and advise you of the amount of support that you will be entitled to. Getting child support established during a separation or divorce is important because both parents have a responsibility to support their children. Unfortunately, this is a sore point for many parents who pay support. But they need to realize that the main purpose of child support is to maintain their children's standard of living after a divorce or separation.
It is not a form of punishment for the paying parent, nor is it a free ride for the receiving parent. It's about doing what's best for the children.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE FILING FOR DIVORCE

  • Have you gone to marriage counseling?
  • Have you and your spouse taken the time to talk and isolate the real problems of the marriage?
  • Do you really listen to each other or just nag, complain and tune out?
  • How well do you compromise and try to find time for enjoying quality time together?
  • How productive or destructive are your methods of fighting?
  • Do you kiss and make up without holding grudges?
  • Are you teammates working toward the same goals?
  • Are you both willing to work on your issues together?


For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

DATING AFTER DIVORCE -- TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL ONLINE DATING


1. Guard Your Personal Information – Guarding your personal, sensitive information should be absolutely first and foremost on your agenda when it comes to online dating. Most internet dating sites are filled with "normal" people who are honestly looking for someone else – whether for casual dating or for a serious relationship that leads to marriage. However, there's another set of people you should be concerned with who are in it for all of the wrong reasons and who's intentions are anything but serious.

2. Create a Free Email Address – There are plenty of free email services to choose from so make an email address that's exclusively for use for your adventures in online dating, at least until you've met someone you know you can completely trust. You don't want messages from a jilted "e-date" to be clogging up your work inbox!

3. Choose a Reputable Service – There's certainly no shortage of websites and services devoted to bringing people together romantically, so before you can start looking at other people's profiles, you've got to choose a dating site that meets your needs. When you visit the various dating sites, be sure to thoroughly read their FAQ or Help pages before signing up for anything, and make certain you understand the membership fees, if any, as well as what their refund policies are.

4. Take Your Time – Time is of absolutely no concern in cyberspace. Don't get so excited about meeting a potential profile match that you rush out and put a down payment on a house for the two of you. Take plenty of time to get to know someone before getting serious, or before taking the next steps forward toward a physical relationship.

5. Ask for Photos – Besides the obvious aspect of whether or not you're physically attracted to someone, asking for a few photos also helps to gauge whether or not a person is being honest and seriously looking for a relationship of some sort – or if they're someone merely prowling the internet for reasons that are usually best left unsaid. You'll also want to make sure you're getting pictures that are relatively recent and that you're using recent ones in your own profile as well.

6. Using the Phone – After meeting someone online and chatting for a while, the next step is to exchange telephone numbers and see if the sparks are still flying through the phone's wires. Talking on the telephone is a great way to learn about a person so be sure to make phone "meetings" a part of your online dating agenda before taking the relationship any further.

7. Follow Your Gut Instincts – Most people have an inbred sense of instinct, but whether or not we actually listen to that inner voice and heed its wise warnings is a completely different story. If something just doesn't seem quite right to you, then chances are, it probably isn't. Don't make the mistake of second guessing yourself. Instead, learn to rely upon your natural instincts and listen when they're trying to tell you something.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

I HAVE FOUND MY OWN PLACE -- NOW WHAT?


Once you have chosen your apartment and are ready to meet with the leasing representative at the community, the following information will be needed to expedite the approval process:
  • Driver's license for U.S. citizens, passport for non-citizens.
  • Financial information, such as checking and savings account information.
  • Check, money order, or cashier's check for the deposit.
  • Proof of income or ability to pay rent. If you're employed, bring a recent pay stub or tax return. If other financial assistance will be provided, you must show proof of income/ability to pay, such as a pay stub or tax return, and a passport or U.S. Social Security number.
  • If you have a support order often times the landlord will want to see your order to substantiate the monthly support you be receiving.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Friday, August 17, 2012

CUSTODY

Custody refers to who has legal decision-making authority in the life of a child. The decision-making authority is usually in regard to major life issues such as religion, education, health and activities.
Typically in two-parent, intact families, parents share decision-making authority. The decision making process between co-habiting parents may reflect mutual input and a consensus model or a distribution of responsibilities where one parent takes a primary role with respect to making decisions and the other parent, generally in agreement and trusting with the decisions, takes a secondary role.


For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

DIVORCE CONSIDERATIONS ON RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY

  • Pensions are joint assets, and can be divided in a divorce settlement. Your lawyer will need to prepare a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) before your divorce is finalized.

  • If your marriage lasted for at least 10 years, you are eligible to collect on your ex's spousal portion of their social security pension, provided that you don't qualify to collect based on your own earning. If you qualify, you can collect once your ex-husband turns 62 (whether or not he retires), and the divorce has been finalized for over two years.

  • Unmarried children under 18 are entitled to survivor benefits if your ex-husband dies.

  • If you were married for at least 10 years, you qualify for the same survivor benefits as a widow

  • For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

    DIVORCE CONSIDERATIONS AND MONEY

    Prior for filing for divorce consult with a certified financial planner that is skilled in divorce proceedings. They can help prepare you financially before your start your divorce, and point out areas of your settlement that will have repercussions in the future. Keep the following suggestions in mind as you think about divorce:
    • Do not make large purchases that will add to community debt. Try to keep all assets liquid.
    • Put a freeze on joint credit card accounts.
    • Keep working to secure your newly single future.
    • If you have your paycheck automatically deposited into a joint account, set up an individual account, and have the deposits made to it.
    • Keep all individual assets separate. These include inheritances, workers compensation, personal injury awards, items that you brought into the marriage, and gifts given to you individually.
    • Have any necessary mechanical repairs done to your automobile to insure that you have reliable transportation after the divorce.

    For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

    INITIATING THE DIVORCE

    In California, the person filing for divorce or a legal separation does so by filing and serving a Summons and Petition for Divorce or Legal Separation. The Petition has two parts. The first section of the Petition sets out basic details such as the identities and residential addresses of each party, the date and place of marriage, the names and dates of birth of any children of the marriage, the matrimonial assets and so on. The second section of the Petition sets out the orders or relief being sought by the person filing the document (eg. sole custody).
    In some instances, a party may also need to seek urgent orders (eg. where you are very concerned that the other spouse is or will dispose of matrimonial assets). Be sure to get legal advice if there are immediate matters that need to be urgently addressed whether they involve domestic violence, property or child custody. 


    For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

    UNDERSTANDING LEGAL SEPARATION

    Couples often choose a legal separation for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Being able to retain your marital status for religious reasons.
  • Allowing a couple some time to live apart and see if divorce is actually what they want. As compared to an informal trial separation, a legal separation establishes how everything will be handled while the couple is apart.
  • Being able to continue insurance benefits on your spouse's coverage. If you are considering getting a separation to retain coverage, be sure to check the policy to see if it addresses what happens if a couple legally separates.
  • Retaining certain military benefits.
  • Continuing to remain married in order to meet the ten year requirement to qualify for certain social security benefits of a spouse.
  • Protecting your financial interests while apart, as assets and debts acquired during a legal separation may be considered separate property. This can be important in states that require a period of separation before a divorce is granted.
  • Possible tax benefits by continuing to file taxes jointly.
  • If the couple does decide that getting a divorce is the best decision, the separation agreement can be converted to a divorce agreement.


  • For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO FILE

    This is the time when you and your spouse are discussing the possibility of divorce. You may be in marriage counseling or individual therapy to save your marriage. It's also the time to start your financial planning for a possible divorce.
    • Gather historical financial documents such as tax returns, banking records, real estate purchase and sale documents and any other records pertaining to your assets.
    • Find a good divorce lawyer.  Efficiently utilize your time when you interview a prospective lawyer to learn about your potential risks and results if the divorce truly occurs. Start your divorce financial planning.
    • Avoid stressful situations and conflict as much as you can. Plan any pre-divorce discussions with your spouse so that they occur in a neutral location. Avoid involving your children, friends and relatives in your divorce. 
    • If you and your spouse can have reasonable, somewhat amicable discussions about settlement, begin pre-settlement negotiations. Start with a full disclosure of the information about your income, assets, liabilities and expenses.
    • If divorce is imminent and you and your spouse can't communicate to work out your divorce settlement or if one of you is more in control and more powerful than the other, move on to the next step. Don't waste time and energy on trying to work out an agreement until you are both on a level playing field.

    • For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

    THE COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

    Collaborative Divorce is a process in which both spouses hire a lawyer specifically trained in collaborative family law: both lawyers work together with both spouses in confidential, four-way meetings in order to come up with mutually beneficial resolutions to their divorce issues. It's a cooperative, rather than competitive, method of settling marriage dissolution -- based on full disclosure and empathy rather than on trying to "win" with antagonistic deceit and mistrust.

    For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

    WHAT IS JOINT CUSTODY?

    Where separated parents are in agreement on major issues affecting the life of their child and have little or no concern for the judgment of each other, they can opt for joint custody, sometimes also referred to as shared custody. Here both parents legally have an equal say as to decisions affecting their child. It is assumed that they can reach decisions either by consensus or by one acquiescing to the judgment of the other. 

    Joint custody respects the equally important role of both parents in the child’s life and may facilitate less conflict and more involvement on the part of both parents. From the child’s point of view, this can mean more harmonious relationships which in theory leads to better adjustment. Typically joint custody works best where there are low levels of conflict between the parents or even in moderate conflict but where the parents can resolve disputes maturely.
    In some cases, parents opt for joint custody knowing they may periodically require the support of a mediator to reach certain decisions. If matters of violence, drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness or more than moderate levels of parental conflict exist, joint custody may be contra-indicated as it can lead to further conflict and distress to which the child would be exposed with potentially harmful consequences.

    More recently, the concept of parallel parenting has entered into the social science literature. This form of joint custody denotes that major decisions are likely already in place, the result of mediation or Court Order and that both parents otherwise retain decision making authority while the child is in their respective care. In other words, both parents may make decisions about things like activities, as long as they do not interfere with the child’s time with the other parent.

    For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    ARGUING IN THE PRESENCE OF CHILDREN

    You and the other parent must make every effort to eliminate all types of negative actions towards one another in the presence of your child. This type of behavior can cause your child psychological harm that may be irreversible. This includes all arguments, phone arguments, nasty remarks, poking fun at one another, etc.

    There have been many studies that have proven that the act of arguing in front of children causes significant emotional harm. It is understood that you and the other parent probably have your share of differences, but do not let those differences get the best of you and your child.

    Partaking in verbal conflict in front of your child may cause him or her to have feelings of frustration, aggression, anxiety, depression, isolation, lack of self-esteem, just to name a few. You must keep in mind that a child has feelings towards both parents, and to see parents showing anger towards one another makes them extremely uncomfortable. At times they feel insecure. They are not sure what is right or wrong. Children can also assume that they are expected to pick a side, which creates separation. The golden rule to remember, "children should never be put in a position to take sides".
    If the conflict between you and the other parent is or becomes very consistent, your child may show signs of tension and nervousness when you and the other parent are around each other. Since the verbal conflict is routine and it is all he or she may see and hear between the two of you, it is very easy for your child to perceive that he or she is the root or cause of the arguments.


    For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

    COMPETITION WITH THE OTHER PARENT

    A mistake parents may make when they separate from the family home is to try to compete with the other parent by showering the children with gifts. Sometimes parents do this out of guilt but you have to remember that your children do not need new things from you every time they see you; they do however, need your love. This is not a competition for the love of your children. They should love you unconditionally already and competing for their attention by buying them things or letting them stay up later or any other things that are done because you are trying to get them to favor you over your ex, is wrong. This will ultimately back fire on both of you. The children will pick this up very quickly and it will only make it confusing for the children as to how they are supposed to behave and what they are to expect. Your goal should be to keep the same rules for each house; that gives them the stability they need. If you are giving the children anything they ask for, the children will come to expect it. If they expect this behavior from you then setting limitations on them later becomes a big problem.         

    For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

    CREATING A BUDGET

    After divorce, each parties standard of living generally goes down because they are now having to support a household on one income instead of two. When you include all the additional expenses that go hand-in-hand with divorce, such as retainer and legal fees, full-time child care, and replacing belongings that were split up in your divorce, it can feel like a financial black hole.

    This is where budgeting can make all the difference. As you work your way to independence, drawing up a budget will give you a good over-view of your financial situation. Yes, it can be extremely depressing to see everything in black and white, but it will enable you to make the changes necessary to get by.


    For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --