Archive for the ‘Grandparent Rights’ category

Child Custody and the UCCJEA

May 20th, 2014

UCCJEA: Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Actchild custody

Child custody matters are the most emotionally charged, and most important, issues dealt with by divorce attorneys.  Custody disputes arise between parents during, but more frequently after a divorce or dissolution, or between unmarried biological parents, and sometimes grandparents.  When parents and their children live in one state, the courts of that state have jurisdiction over those matters.  However, when parents live in different states, more than one state may have jurisdiction, or the power to adjudicate the matter.  In this situation, parents who want to modify their custody orders can run into problems of battling courts.  This is the point where the UCCJEA steps in.

Under the UCCJEA the “home state” of the child has preference, and any state that is not the child’s “home state” must defer to that state.  Also, the UCCJEA provides for continuing exclusive jurisdiction in custody matters.  If a state takes jurisdiction over a child custody dispute, it retains jurisdiction over the matter as long as the state maintains a significant connection with the parents, or until all parties move out of the state.  This is important to keep parents from moving from state to state, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, with the purpose to delay and interfere with the other parents child

Another important provision of the UCCJEA is to battle parental kidnapping.  The UCCJEA gives prosecutors the power to enforce child custody orders, allowing them to direct law enforcement officers to locate a child and return the child to the rightful parent under the current court order.  This gives parents and child

If you are involved in an interstate child

Mother’s Day and Divorce

May 6th, 2014

mother s day

How to make Mother’s Day about the kids, and not about the divorce!

Mother’s Day can be a challenge when a couple separates through divorce or dissolution.  Whether you are recently separated, contemplating divorce, currently going through a divorce, or are happily divorced and remarried, challenges can arise in many ways. Memories of Mother’s Day past while you were together, like the first one, can be painful.  However, the most important thing to remember is that it can also be painful for your children, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you are divorced, and have shared parenting, most shared parenting plans give the day to mom, and Father’s Day to dad.  If you are mom, you look forward to the extra time you get to spend with your kids.  Plan a special meal or other activities just for you and your children.  Try to show your children that even though you are not celebrating as a family with dad, that you are still a family, and you value and cherish their love and attention.

If you are dad, enjoy the extra you time you receive on Sunday, if you don’t usually have a Sunday to yourself.  Prior to your children’s time with mom, help your kids make something special for mom.  Even if you and mom do not get along, and you may not have a kind word to say to your ex, remember your children still love and need their mother.  Be the bigger person and try to make the day special for your children.  Whether it is to help them make a card, or pick out a present, showing them it is okay to love their mom is good for their overall emotional health.  Children need to know both parents love them unconditionally, even when they love the other parent in front of you.

A welcome side effect of encouraging your children’s love for the other parent can include better communication with your ex, favorable treatment by the court, and better behavior from your children.  Remember, Mother’s Day is a day to put moms first, celebrate their love for their children, and a child’s love for their mother.  If you are divorcing, but your children’s needs first and let them celebrate their mother.  Put moms first on Mother’s Day, and on Father’s Day it will be dads turn.

Contact Ohio Divorce Attorney, Jamie L. Anderson for a free in-office or telephone consultation, (937)879-9542.

Free Legal Advice: Don’t Listen to It!

May 1st, 2014

DANGER, DANGER!

- Free legal advice can cost you a lot!

free legal advice

When you have problems in your life you likely talk it out with your friends and family.  However, for legal advice you should only be seeking the advice of a licensed attorney in Ohio.  Attorneys often offer free legal advice about divorce and other legal issues through free consultations, pamphlets, and websites.

Divorce law is an area of the law governed by state specific laws.  Every state has different ways of separating marital property, determining custody, spousal and child support, and even what constitutes a legal marriage.  Some states allow same-sex marriage, others do not.  Some states recognize common-law marriage, but Ohio does not.

Your mother may offer her free legal advice by telling you what Cousin Lou got in his divorce, but what she does not know is the important details that matter in different states.  For example, Cousin Lou may have been divorced in California, a community property state, and it may be impossible in Ohio to have the same outcome, or you  may be entitled to a better outcome.

Most attorneys, including myself, provide free consultations, so take advantage of the free legal advice.  Also, check out the Ohio Bar Association’s “Law Facts Pamphlets” for general information on your divorce  as well as many other topics. https://www.ohiobar.org/ForPublic/Resources/LawFactsPamphlets/Pages/LawFactsPamphlets.aspx.  Educate yourself, but do so carefully and responsibly.

Finally, if you are represented by an attorney, what you must do is very simple – LISTEN TO YOUR ATTORNEY!  If you have a legal question – ask your attorney – NOT your friends who were just divorced.  If you are represented by an attorney, you are paying them for their legal expertise and advice, so use it.  If you have a legal question, you will not be bothering them by asking.  Any attorney would much rather their client ask them a question, then rely on the advice of others.  Remember, unqualified legal advice is BAD legal advice and can be dangerous!

If you are in search of qualified legal expertise on divorce or dissolution, or any other family law matter, contact me, Jamie L. Anderson, Attorney at Law, today to schedule a free in-office or telephone consultation at (937)879-9542.  As stated before, a consultation is a form of free legal advice, so get yours today![ ATTRIBUTE: Please check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13522901@N00/64027565 to find out how to attribute this image ]

Summer Vacation and Divorce: Get away from it all with good communication!

April 4th, 2014

Summer Vacation

When going through divorce, a summer vacation with your kids can be a needed retreat: just cover your bases with good communication.

This is the time of year when hopefully the sun is around more, the flowers begin to appear, and kids start to look forward to the coming end of the school year.  Summer vacation can be a great time to spend with your children, making memories and catching up on the things that can get lost in the busy everyday lives of most families, and help reassure children of parents love and commitment to them during a divorce.  If you are dealing with a divorce, dissolution, or custody issue, summer vacation can also become a very stressful and combative time.

Family law issues can bring challenges in scheduling and communication between parents in planning for the summer break and vacations.  Most separation agreements set out which parent has time with the children during the summer, which simplifies this time of year for those families.  If you have not yet concluded your divorce, it can be more complicated.  Proper communication with the other parent is essential.  If you are planning a trip out of the state, it is imperative the other parent be notified immediately.  When a parent leaves a state with a child, without notifying the other, there may be a misunderstanding where the other believes the child has been kidnapped.  A scenario ending with a nationwide search, and your arrest by U.S. Marshalls or other federal agency – probably not the ideal conclusion to a vacation with your kids.

Newly separated couples have great difficulty in communicating effectively, but it is a skill which you must nurture and develop.  When you have a child with someone, you are then connected to (or stuck with) that person until the child reaches the age of 18.  So start now, learn how to discuss family vacations and scheduling.  Communication with your ex is essential to successful co-parenting.

When kids are involved, summer vacation requires additional planning and details, which if you are dealing with a difficult ex can required professional assistance.  If you are in need of a family lawyer, contact Ohio Divorce Attorney, Jamie L. Anderson, today to schedule a free in-office or telephone consultation at (937)879-9542.

Social Media: 3 Pictures to Never Post on Facebook – Sex

December 5th, 2013

social mediaA Goldmine to Your Ex’s Attorney: Sexual Pictures on Social Media

In the previous i discussed post pictures of children and the effects posting certain types of pictures and videos on social media could have on a family law case.  In this article the focus is on “sexy selfies” or photos of yourself which may be viewed unfavorably by the court.

Again the three questions to ask yourself in deciding whether to post a picture of your child also apply in determining whether you should post a picture of yourself.

1. Would you want to hide it from the judge?
2. Would you have to explain anything to the judge so it doesn’t make you look bad?
3. If your ex posted it, would you be able to make him/her look bad with it?

Another way to think about it is this:  If you would not want any of the following to see it, DO NOT POST IT!

  • parents
  • grandparents
  • priest or pastor
  • child’s teacher
  • employer

Below is a sample list of photos you should never post of yourself, and should remove if already posted, especially if you are involved in some type of family law dispute.

1.  Sexually Suggestive Poses

During a family law dispute, people who were once very close and comfortable enough to share everything in an instant can become each other’s worst enemy.  Pictures your former spouse or partner may have requested you take, can be turned around on you.  For example, your ex may have encouraged you to post pictures of yourself in sexually suggestive poses, “so everyone can see how sexy you are.”  However, once the couple becomes involved in a custody dispute, the pictures once requested, will become the picture he can’t believe you took and posted on Facebook.  If you have posted pictures like this while in a relationship with someone you are now going through a legal dispute with, or are likely to go through a dispute with, remove the pictures.

2. Naked Pictures – Even if Nothing is Showing

In our society there are various degrees of acceptability when it comes to the human body.  Society’s view of the naked form not only varies from country to country, but from region to region.  Some people may view a photograph of a naked woman or man as art, but another will only view it as pornographic.  As people’s perceptions vary, so do judge’s.  For example, a wife is pregnant and has artistic photos taken of herself where her private areas are concealed, and then posts them on social media to share with family and friends.  Although the wife sees the photos as a beautiful artistic expression of the female form, a judge may not share her same enthusiasm.  Respect your own privacy and keep these types of photos off of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and MySpace.

3. Body Piercings

Pictures of piercings of anything other than on your face should not be on social media.  Pictures of breast, vaginal, or of male piercings should not be shared.  On your phone, the picture may seem flattering and cool, but when the picture is blown up on the projector in the middle of the courtroom in front of your ex, the judge, the court reporter, and bailiff, it will not seem so flattering and cool.  In a family law proceeding your perception of you is not as important as the judge’s perception of you.  Leave the self-expression for those who know you best, and those who meet you in person, keep it off of social media.

4. Tattoos in Areas Normally Covered by Clothing

Pictures of tattoos are generally okay as long as they are not vulgar in nature, and in a place normally visual in public.  For example, a tattoo on your arm or lower leg, of a flower or cross, is fine.  However, a tattoo on your upper thigh, breasts, stomach, side, or lower back are most likely not okay.  Remember, regardless of your personal opinion on tattoos, or even society’s general acceptance of tattoos, it is the judge’s opinion and perception that is the most important.  I am not suggesting you should not have these tattoos, just do not post pictures of them on social media when you are involved in a family law dispute.

5. Pictures or Videos of Dancing – Especially Pole Dancing

Pictures or videos of you and your friends living it up at the club, or dancing in any sexually suggestive manner should not be shared on social media.  Although the dancing may be innocent, or just of you having a good time, an attorney can paint the pictures or video in an unfavorable light, suggesting you are uncontrollable, reckless, or have a drinking problem.  Even certain types of fitness dance, especially pole dancing, can be construed in an unfavorable light.  The majority of people are only familiar with pole dancing as “what strippers do,” even though it has become popular in mainstream society as a new fitness workout.  The shared post of your new routine you have been working on with your instructor may be a moment you are very proud of, but in the eyes of judges it may only be seen as inappropriate.

 

If you are facing a family law issue, please call me, Attorney Jamie Anderson, to set-up your free in-office or telephone consultation at (937)879-9542.  I am also on social media, check out my Facebook page, Ohio Divorce Attorney for daily posts.