No Contact Order

No Contact Order

A military no contact order is comparable to a civilian restraining order. It is issued by a service member’s commanding officer when there have been reports of domestic violence or abuse. If misused, also like a civilian restraining order, it can also be used against a service member to gain the upper hand in custody issues and/or a divorce.

In the civil legal system, a person needs to show some kind of evidence of abuse to be granted a restraining order. That’s not true if the alleged abuser is in the military and the person who claims to be abused makes a report to the commanding officer. The military can take the view that the alleged abused is guilty until proven innocent.

This order requires that the military member can have no contact with their spouse or children without being escorted by someone in their chain of command. Additionally, the service member will be required to move out of their home, and move into base housing on post.

During this period, it is possible for the service member’s spouse to remove their children and belongings from their residence, and even move out of the state. This could have a serious emotional impact on the service member, especially if the abuse allegations are not true. Not following the order could potentially result in a court martial and do serious damage to a military career.

If you’re a military member facing domestic abuse, child custody or divorce issues, contact our office for a free consultation.

 

Military Divorce Rates

Military Divorce Rates

Fewer military spouses are got divorced in fiscal year 2013 compared to prior years, according to an article in the Military Times. The divorce rate for men and women in the services was 3.4%, down a tenth of a percent from 2012. About 7.2% women serving in the military informed the Department of Defense (DoD) they were divorced in fiscal 2013, according to DoD, down from 8% in 2011.

Divorce rates among military members are not uniform, according to the DoD data.

  • While 7.2% of military women reported divorces, only 2.9% of men did the same.
  • Enlisted troops were more likely to get divorced compared to officers, 3.8% vs. 1.9%.
  • The highest divorce rate was among Air Force enlisted members at 4.3%.
  • Those married before 2001 had a higher divorce rate than those married afterward.

A recent study by the Rand Corp. funded by the DoD documented a direct correlation between cumulative time spent on deployment and the chances of a military marriage ending in divorce. According to the report, with military involvement in Iraq substantially curtailed and troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, deployments are less frequent for many service members, so military families should be less stressful than at the height of the Iraq war. The study also suggested that military family programs have improved significantly, which should help married couples stay together.

It’s hard to compare military and civilian divorce rates because the civilian world does not track data like DoD and the military population is demographically very different than the public at large. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 6.8 divorces for every thousand people in the U.S. in 2011.

If you’re a member of the military, or retired from the military, or you’re married to a current or retired member of the military, and you have questions about divorce, contact your office for a free consultation.

 

How Military Divorce Can Affect Couples

How Military Divorce Can Affect Couples

Unfortunately we as Americans are experiencing a steady increase in the rate of military divorces. In the past ten years, starting with the Afghanistan war in 2001 to 2011 the rate of divorce increased from 2.6 percent to 3.7 percent. The honorable act of serving one’s country can often times lead to a strained relationship that ultimately may require a couple to file for divorce.

Many couples, specifically the spouse who remains stateside while the military member is away on active duty, claim there is a lack of expectation when it comes to the realities of a military marriage. Often times an active member may not be able to fully comprehend or explain what the life of a military spouse will be like, or they may be hesitant to reveal the realities of the situation for fear of losing their spouse. The physical and emotional distances can create a void between couples and collectively many needs can feel unfulfilled.

Couples seeking a military divorce should find some comfort in the fact that it is much like a civilian divorce. Although largely regulated by state law, depending where the divorce is filed there may be some federal regulations you must abide by. There are also statues such as the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, which afford a spouse certain rights and protections, which may be applicable to your military divorce. If you and your spouse are seeking a military divorce contact the Family Law attorney’s at Fischer & Van Thiel LLP to ensure you file correctly in order to sure the most efficient and fast finalization.

 

 

 

Child Input in Custody and Visitation Cases

Getting the Child’s Input in Custody and Visitation Cases

A divorce impacts the entire family, especially child custody and visitation rights. The divorce process is so very adult.  Parents and their attorneys, all well dressed in suits, meet in wood paneled courtrooms with all the formalities that come with appearing before a judge.  Even a suit isn’t formal enough for a judge, he or she needs to wear a robe. Should the child’s opinion play a role in such a process? How would a child fit into this proceeding?

Under California law, child who is at least 14 years old must be allowed to directly address the court regarding custody and visitation, unless judge finds that it would not be in child’s best interests (if so. the reasons must be stated on the record). Children younger than 14 aren’t prevented from addressing the Court on these issues, if that’s deemed appropriate and consistent with the best interest of the child.  If barred from testifying, children must be given another way to voice their opinion, such as through a mediator or a psychologist.

There are pro’s and cons to getting input from a child.  This can put the child in a very difficult spot, especially if the parents not only are getting divorced, but one or both plan on moving away. If the child is mature, articulate and not too stressed out, given the serious impact on the child’s life, hearing from the child is a good idea.  If the parents are manipulative and the child is more interested in living with the parent who enforces the least rules, this can be a bad idea.

This is a very sensitive area where we tread with much care so we, and our clients, do not appear to ask a child to take sides in what can be a very emotional dispute. If the child’s opinion is for our client, all the better, but the judge is the ultimate decision maker on how the child voices his or her opinion, how much weight that opinion should be given and on the custody and visitation issues in general.

If you have any questions about visitation or custody issues, contact our office.

 

 

Move Away With Children / Relocation

Move Away With Children / Relocation

Carlsbad California and Move Away and Relocation Child Custody Attorneys

A common issue facing California parents and courts is the question of a parent’s right to move away, even out of the State of California and take the children with them. The issue has gone back and forth over the past decade between the courts and the State Legislature. Interpretations of recent rulings might lead some parents to believe if they have custody they have the right to move away. This is usually not the case. The court will want to hear the underlying issues, and will have an interest in what is in the best interests of the child or children involved. A moving truck operated by Piedmont Moving Sys... Today, many divorces in California are filed by the parties themselves and the terms of their child custody and parenting time agreements may or may not address this sensitive issue. This is one of the many reasons to consult with an attorney prior to filing your own paperwork in a child custody or divorce case in California. If you believe your former spouse is considering relocation and will be taking your child or children with them it is important to act immediately to protect your parental interests and the needs of the children.

Contact Experienced Carlsbad and North County San Diego Child Custody and Relocation Attorneys

At the Law Offices of Fischer and Van Thiel, LLP we work to protect our client’s interests and parenting rights. If you are considering relocating with your child it is important to ensure that you have the legal right to do so. If you are the parent remaining in California and you want to preserve and protect your ability to see and raise your children, there is a lot that can be done to protect your rights as a parent and relationship with your children. We are sensitive to the issues on both sides of this controversial subject, and work to help our clients accomplish their parenting goals. Contact us today at 760-453-0732 or contact us to schedule a confidential and free consultation with an experienced Carlsbad area child custody lawyer.

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How to Value Your Home In a Divorce

How to Value Your Home In a Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, one of the things you must do is determine the value of all of your marital property so that it can be divided up fairly between you and your spouse. When it comes to the family home, establishing a fair and accurate value can pose a significant challenge.

The only way to be 100% accurate in valuing a home is to actually sell the property. However, people often have a deep emotional attachment to their home and one spouse may want to keep it. In that case, it will be necessary to figure out another way to appropriately put a value on the home.

Work Together to Determine the Fair Market Value

Sometimes it is possible to work with your spouse to come to an agreement regarding the fair market value of the home. One way to do this is by examining recently sold comparable properties. (Comparable properties are those with approximately the same square footage with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the same area as your home.) To find out what comparable properties have sold for in your neighborhood, you can go to www.zillow.com. Enter your zip code and filter the search results to show only recently sold homes.

Get an Appraisal

While some parties like to do their own research to determine a value for the family home, in most cases, you’ll want to get an opinion from a neutral third party, such as an appraiser. (Parties often find that it is difficult to come to an agreement with their spouse when discussing a home’s worth.) An appraiser will take measurements, look into the attic and basement, check the plumbing and electricity, as well as do a visual inspection of the siding, roof, and general condition of the home to write up an official appraisal.

However, keep in mind that appraisals can be subjective and it is common for different appraisers to come up with quite different assessments. Divorcing spouses may decide they want to get independent appraisals and, if there is a disparity in the appraised values, meet somewhere in the middle.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce and have any questions about how your assets may be divided, contact the Oceanside divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel today at 760-722-7646.

The best and worst states for married couples

Discover the best and worst states for married couples

Getting married? You might want to avoid Alaska.

Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma aren’t good options either.

Not if your hope is to stay married, anyway. That’s because these states have the nation’s highest divorce rates, according to a study recently released by FindtheData.org.

Alaska ranked first, with 14 out of every 1,000 couples getting divorced each year. Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma tied for second, with 13 divorces per 1,000 couples.

The best states for married couples? New Jersey ranked last on the list, with only six divorces per 1,000 couples. Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New York and Minnesota rounded out the bottom, tying for second for the lowest divorce rate, with seven per 1,000 couples

The report, which was based on data compiled from the American Bar Association, Centers for Disease Control and 2011 Census Bureau figures, doesn’t offer an opinion on why the rates are as high (or low) as they are in each state. But based on some of the other figures the study reported – including ease of filing and minimum processing time (the shortest amount of time it takes for the divorce to be finalized) – each state’s divorce laws may play a role.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Alaska was the only state on the list that scored a perfect score of 100 for ease of filing. It also had the second shortest minimum processing time, with the possibility of a divorce being finalized in as little as 30 days.

New Jersey, on the other hand, was the polar opposite of Alaska – with a score of 23, it ranked second to last for ease of filing. And it tied for fifth in longest minimum processing time, taking a minimum of 360 days from the date of filing for the divorce to be finalized.

To find out where your state ranked, visit http://divorce-laws.findthebest.com.

Tips to Prepare for Your Divorce Mediation Session

San Diego Family Law Attorney Offers Tips to Prepare for Your Divorce Mediation Session

Divorce mediation is often the most beneficial and least confrontational way to determine the specifics of your divorce. During a mediation, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will meet with a neutral third party known as the mediator to work through unresolved issues so you can work out the details of your divorce in an amicable manner that is palatable to both parties.divorce mediation

You will likely discuss critical details such as child custody, parenting time, child support, property distribution, retirement support and even taxes. While the mediation process is less combative than going to court, it can still be stressful. If you are going through this process, please make sure you are prepared for the session and have a definite game plan.

  • Gather and organize your financial documents. It’s a good idea to list your assets including your bank account, retirement funds, real estate, vehicles, annuities, stock, mutual funds and any other asset that is of significant value. Also, list your debts including credit card balances, student loans, home equity loan, rent, mortgage, etc.
  • Check with your mediator beforehand regarding if you need original documents at the meeting.
  • It’s also important to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Remember that this is a negotiation. Emotions may run high and that could affect your ability to think clearly. Refrain from using hurtful words and stay calm. Remember, the goal is to negotiate, not to argue.
  • Plan your budget. Think about how much money you need and what you can afford. Base your potential budget on expenses that you expect to have and bring that budget with you to the mediation. When calculating your budget, consider how much you will have to pay for housing, transportation, health insurance and other monthly expenses.

Last but not least, learn about your rights. Seek out legal guidance from an experienced California family law attorney and learn about all aspects of your case. Having a clear understanding of what to expect will help you get what you need from the mediation session.

How to Value Your Home In a Divorce

How to Value Your Home In a Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, one of the things you must do is determine the value of all of your marital property so that it can be divided up fairly between you and your spouse. When it comes to the family home, establishing a fair and accurate value can pose a significant challenge.

The only way to be 100% accurate in valuing a home is to actually sell the property. However, people often have a deep emotional attachment to their home and one spouse may want to keep it. In that case, it will be necessary to figure out another way to appropriately put a value on the home.

Work Together to Determine the Fair Market Value

Sometimes it is possible to work with your spouse to come to an agreement regarding the fair market value of the home. One way to do this is by examining recently sold comparable properties. (Comparable properties are those with approximately the same square footage with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the same area as your home.) To find out what comparable properties have sold for in your neighborhood, you can go to www.zillow.com. Enter your zip code and filter the search results to show only recently sold homes.

Get an Appraisal

While some parties like to do their own research to determine a value for the family home, in most cases, you’ll want to get an opinion from a neutral third party, such as an appraiser. (Parties often find that it is difficult to come to an agreement with their spouse when discussing a home’s worth.) An appraiser will take measurements, look into the attic and basement, check the plumbing and electricity, as well as do a visual inspection of the siding, roof, and general condition of the home to write up an official appraisal.

However, keep in mind that appraisals can be subjective and it is common for different appraisers to come up with quite different assessments. Divorcing spouses may decide they want to get independent appraisals and, if there is a disparity in the appraised values, meet somewhere in the middle.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce and have any questions about how your assets may be divided, contact the Oceanside divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel today at 760-722-7646.

Paternity Rights of Unmarried Parent

Paternity Rights of Unmarried Parent

California law provides no distinction between married and unmarried couples when it comes to issues of paternity and paternal rights. Despite a child’s emotional or actual relationship with a parent, it is the legal adoption and documentation of paternal rights that is crucial in legitimization. A child’s biological mother is automatically established as one of the child’s parents; however the father of the child is a more delicate issue. If a child is born to a set of married parents, the husband is usually presumed and assigned as the child’s father. However, when it comes to unmarried couples who have a child, paternity is not automatically established for the man. If a father wishes to establish paternity there are many options available. When both parents agree to establish paternity, it is recommended they sign a Declaration of Paternity, preferably at the hospital when the child is born. If one parent is not in agreement, a paternity action can be petitioned in court where DNA testing is usually used to establish whether or not paternity exists. Within two years of a child’s birth, blood testing can also be used to dispute paternity that is presumed to exist, and parental obligations can be forfeited. A California Family Law attorney can be incredibly resourceful when it comes to their vast knowledge of family law statutes, and ability to assess and advise the best way to approach establishing paternity. If you are someone you love would like to establish, dispute or forfeit their paternal rights, call the attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel LLP at 760-722-7646 today and let us help represent your rights.