San Diego Divorce Lawyer Blog
29May/150

Is Facebook Ending Marriages?

facebook-cause-divorce

Social media as it relates to divorce has recently been garnering a fair amount of attention. A recent study, funded by a UK law firm, has sparked the conversation by inquiring what role social media can play in the demise of a marriage.

Although the study was conducted in the UK, the findings can be extrapolated to apply to couples in the U.S. Some the key findings of the report include:

  • One in seven said they had contemplated divorce because of their other halves activities on Facebook, Skype, Snapchat, Twitter or What’sApp.
  • Nearly a quarter of the 2,000 married Brits asked, said they had at least one argument a week with their partner because of social media use and 17 percent said they rowed every day because of it.
  • The most common reasons for checking their partner’s social media accounts were finding out who their partner was talking to, keeping tabs on them, checking who they were out with, and finding out if they were telling the truth about their social life.

Our managing attorney, Zephyr Hill, was recently asked by HuffPost live to weigh in on the role social media plays in a divorce case. You can watch the segment in the clip below.

Social media is a powerful tool for building and maintaining relationships; but with great power comes great responsibility. For all the benefits these platforms provide, there is an equal opportunity for intended (and unintended) pitfalls. To read more about how social media can be used as evidence in a divorce case please see our blog post “ Social Media as Evidence in Family Law Cases

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22Apr/150

Attorney Amy Broderick Joins the Goldberg Jones Team

amy-broderickGoldberg Jones is excited to welcome Amy Broderick to our team of San Diego divorce attorneys. Amy earned her undergraduate degree from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, she earned her Juris Doctor from the Roger Williams University where she graduated cum laude.  Additionally, Amy earned a Master of Laws in Trial Advocacy from California Western School of Law.

Amy is a passionate attorney who is dedicated to zealous advocacy for her clients. She understands that each case and client is unique and a customized strategy is essential to producing the most favorable outcome possible. Amy believes that family law cases present a unique opportunity to help men sort through some of the most challenging issues of their lives.

Our managing attorney, Zephyr Hill, commented on the addition of Amy to the Goldberg Jones team saying, “ Amy is a sharp attorney. She understands the nuances of family law and is exceptional at adapting to curveballs. She always has a clear plan of action.”

Amy is not only dedicated to being a remarkable attorney, she is also committed to cultivating a strong legal community that is focused on justice and integrity. She is an active volunteer as a moot court and mock trial judge—helping future lawyers develop skills and experience necessary to maintain the highest standards.

When she isn’t in the office or volunteering, Amy enjoys playing the cello, running, and reading fiction novels by South African authors.

26Mar/150

3 Things Divorcing Dads Should Do Every Day

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The upheaval and change that comes with divorce can make finding your bearings difficult. Changes in schedules, living situations, and finances often create uncertainty and stress as you try to navigate through the dissolution of a marriage. Doing the following three things everyday can help create structure and consistency for both you and your child(ren) during the divorce.

Spend quality time with your child(ren)

Remaining an engaged and involved parent is critical during a divorce.  Kids want to hang out with their dad and setting aside time everyday to spend time with your kids can have far reaching benefits.

Actively finding ways to engage with your kids on a daily basis can provide emotional reassurance. Setting aside time for your child(ren) everyday will allow to you continue to play a principal (and indispensable) role.

Daily quality time with your kids has the secondary benefit of exhibiting to the court the importance of your role as a father. This can have substantial impact on how parenting time is allocated in the divorce. When evaluating a proposed parenting plan, the courts seek to create the least amount of disruption to the child(ren).  Establishing a status quo of involvement demonstrates the irreplaceable and essential nature of your relationship with your child.

The logistics of spending time with you child(ren) on a daily basis can be challenging for many fathers.  Getting creative will work in your favor. Even if circumstances don’t allow you to physically be in the same place as your kids, you can find alternate solutions for staying connected.

Some resourceful solutions we have seen include:

•Virtual sports game—scheduling a time to Facetime/Skype/Google Hangout and watch a sports event together

•Phone call bedtime story—Buy two copies of your child’s favorite story and call them each night at bedtime to read the book together over the phone.

•Virtual homework help— using whatever technology works best for you, connect with your child each night to provide help with homework.

Find ways to manage stress

Even the most amicable divorce is stressful. Finding constructive outlets for stress is important for maintaining your sanity throughout the process. Unexpected issues will arise and conflict with your ex can be common. Having a plan in place to deal with the detours can help you manage your ability to keep your goals and needs in focus. Getting caught up in the emotional hurricane can hijack your ability to protect what is most important.

Additionally, having a plan for managing stress will allow you to stay focused on adapting to co-parenting. Having the tools to handle difficult conflicts and avoid volatile situations that may have a negative impact on your parenting time is another added benefit.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for managing stress. Every divorce is unique and finding strategies that work for you and your situation is often an exercise in trial and error. A few common strategies we have noticed:

     •Working with a therapist to address emotional issues

     •Increasing physical activity. Running, playing team sports, or going to the gym can provide a plethora of stress relieving benefits

     •Joining a single-dad’s support group

 Be accessible

Your kids want to know that you are there for them when they need you. Being accessible to your child(ren), their caretakers, and even your ex, demonstrates your commitment to being a permanent fixture in your child(ren)’s life.

Returning emails, texts, and phone calls (unless there are explicit reasons for limiting contact) in a timely manner is a solid first step in successfully co-parenting. Being available for last minute opportunities is also helpful. Things like picking up your child from school if they are sick, or picking them up from daycare (at mom’s request) if mom can’t make it.

Accessibility is important, but it there is a fine line to walk. You want to be available for your children and be respectful of your ex’s parenting time. Without proper communication, well-intentioned acts can be misconstrued as a violation of temporary orders.

Maintaining your relationship with your child(ren) through the divorce might have its challenges, but it is worth it. Divorce and custody issues can be complicated and confusing and getting accurate answers can be difficult. If you have questions about divorce, custody, or any other family law issue, we are here to help. We are happy to answer your questions over the phone at no charge and no obligation.

9Mar/150

March Madness: Goldberg Jones Bracket Challenge

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Who’s on Fire? Who is going to razzle-dazzle this tournament and take home the NCAA National Championship Trophy? With the Journey to the Tourney reaching its end, it is time to start predicting the teams that will duel it out to the end. However, the competition is not limited to the court—Goldberg Jones will be holding its annual Bracket Challenge.

Think your bracket has the best spread? Fill out the bracket at tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com. Prove that your intuition and knowledge for the game and stats will prosper.  You can begin filling it out starting March 17th and ending March 21st. The dominating bracket will win a $250 Amazon Gift Card, that’s just money in your pocket.

Similar to last year, the Bracket Challenge is a winner-takes-all event. So start crafting your bracket ASAP to ensure total domination. To keep up with the action; make sure to follow our Twitter and give us a “like” on Facebook. It will be absolute madness and there is no reason to miss out.

Be part of the action and join us in the most exhilarating tournament that keeps your eyes locked on the TV and internet statistics. Get your gear on, check the stats, craft your bracket, save your seat and let the tourney unfold.

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30Jan/150

Divorce Month

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The New Year has made its appearance, but while some are focusing on resolutions and ultimately bettering themselves; others are focused on changing their marital status. Spouses begin to have complications in their marriage at all different times of the year; but the holiday season is often a catalyst for change. Family and financial obligations, and the accompanying disagreements, can be the final straw for many couples.

January brings resolutions and decision making. According to Findlaw, (a free consumer-focused legal information site):

“searches for "divorce" and related phrases such as "family law" and "child custody" jumped 50 percent – from just over 10,000 in December 2010 to nearly 16,000 in January 2011, and continued to surge through March. "Divorce" has been the No. 1 searched term on FindLaw.com since January 2010.”

Although many people make the decision to divorce in January, it is common for couples to wait until March to file and begin the divorce process. According to the same study cited above, January sees an increase in divorce filings; but that number doesn’t peak until March.

If you have found yourself considering filing for divorce in the new year, you are not alone. Divorce is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. It is imperative to understand all your rights and options before you file any documents with the court. If you have questions about your situation or how your circumstances might affect your divorce, please give us a call.

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23Dec/141

Social Media as Evidence in Family Law Cases

A moment of frustration can easily turn into a legal headache when social media is added to the mix. The combination of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and the ability to instantaneously post personal thoughts or frustrations can later cause a huge uproar with those it may personally affect. When it comes to family law, these incidents can unravel a whole other dimension to a case and can be used against the other party.

Security and privacy settings can provide a false sense of safety. Every post made to the internet is recorded and is never completely out of sight or out of mind. Even services, like SnapChat, that are designed to self destruct messages, have proven that they are not infallible. The only way to guarantee your thoughts or comments won’t live on in social media infamy is to refrain from posting them at all.

Another common misperception is that the only way to access posts is to have an account on the particular platform (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.). The reality is search engines (such as Google or Yahoo) can uncover accounts and often posts from a variety of social channels. Even though your account may say private, that is not entirely the case. There is often little protection from your followers taking screenshots of your posts and reposting as public content. Additionally,  situations can arise where some information that one may have deleted forever has come back to haunt them.

Once again, there is no privacy when it comes to the internet. It is a network primarily used to share and store information. Social media posts are easy to publish, easy to save, but hard to erase. It is advised that no action or response to divorce or family law matters be posted on your social media. This will eradicate any evidence that could be used against you. If you are facing a family law situation, the best course of action is to refrain from sharing any information on social media until your case has concluded.

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5Nov/140

Divorce Statistics

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Several recent news articles have cited correlations between the costs of a wedding (or the cost of the engagement ring) to divorce rates. The theory is that the more expensive the wedding (or ring) the more likely the couple is to divorce.

Here is the cheat sheet on the statistics listed in a recent article from The Wall Street Journal:

  • Men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to divorce than those who spent between $500 and $2,000. In the paper’s language, that pricier ring is “significantly associated with an increase in the hazard of divorce in the sample of men.”
  • Couples who spent $1,000 or less on their wedding were not as likely to get divorced in the samples of both men and women.
  • Among women, marriages that began with weddings that cost $20,000 or more were 1.6 times more likely to end in divorce. (Messrs. Mialon and Francis suggested expensive weddings could lead to stress from possible debt, which has been found as one reason behind divorce.)
  • What characteristics were common to longer marriages? Relatively high wedding attendance, going on a honeymoon, having relatively high household income, regularly attending religious services and having a child together.

These recent articles and their correlations sparked a few conversations around the office and resulted in researching a variety of divorce statistics. We compiled these statistics into the infographic below.
common statistics divorce infographic

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16Sep/140

Back to School: Tips for Divorced Dads

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School is back in session and kids are quickly getting into the swing of homework and extracurricular activities. The start of school presents a great opportunity for being more involved in your child’s daily activities and for building strong relationships with their teachers, coaches, and other people that will be spending a significant amount of time with your child.

A new school year can be particularly daunting for newly divorced dads. Navigating the uncharted territory of being a single parent and the changes that come with a new classroom, teacher, and in some cases new school, can leave dads feeling disoriented.

Regardless if this is your first school year as a single dad or your fifteenth, there are some tactics that will ensure this year will go as smoothly as possible.

Meet the Teachers

Taking the time to meet your child’s teachers at the beginning of the year can help keep communication open and ensure the teacher is aware of your prominent role in your child’s life.  Putting a face with a name well in advance of parent-teacher conferences will help your child’s teacher provide feedback and progress updates throughout the year. It is also important to make arrangements with both the school and the teachers to send separate notifications to you and your ex-wife.

Update Contact Info

Updating important information with the school is a necessity. You will want to make sure the school has your current address, phone number, and any additional information that might be necessary. It is also important to let the school know that you are divorced and to fill them in on any custody restrictions that might be outlined in your parenting plan. This is particularly important if you have sole physical custody and your ex-wife’s parenting time is limited, supervised, or otherwise restricted.

Coordinate

Working with your ex to ensure things run smoothly for your child might not be easy, but it is necessary. Transitions, like back to school, can be difficult for all children, and they can be particularly stressful for kids that are splitting time between two homes.

Coordinating with your ex to provide consistency in schedules, expectations, and rules can help ease the transition into a new school year. Even if your ex is less than cooperative, it is important to make your best effort to provide stability for your kids.

Every divorce and custody situation is different, but these general tips can go a long way in helping your kids navigate the changes in their lives. If you have questions regarding your unique circumstances and the legal issues surrounding a divorce or custody situation, please call our office 619) 243-0888.

 

 

22Aug/140

Brian Ruiz, Esq. Joins the Goldberg Jones Team

San Diego Attorney Brian RuizWe are excited to have Brian Ruiz join the Goldberg Jones team. Dedicated and meticulous, Brian is a steadfast advocate for San Diego’s husbands and fathers. He is focused on producing meaningful results for his clients using sharp legal strategy and efficient communication.

Managing attorney Zephyr Hill commented on the addition of Brian saying, “His skill set is a valuable addition to the Goldberg Jones.  He is a problem solver and a fierce litigator with a deep understanding of the intensely personal nature of family law. “

Brian is acutely aware that family law issues can present some of the most challenging times in a mans life. He works diligently to provide his clients the guidance and perspective necessary to navigate this difficult time, achieve their legal goals, while protecting their assets and their dignity.

Welcome to the team, Brian!

 

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24Jul/140

Common Child Support Mistakes

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credit: hobvias sudoneighm

Child support serves an important role in providing your child the necessary financial resources to sustain their well being—but calculating the accurate amount of support that is necessary isn’t infallible. Changing circumstances, income fluctuations, and the child’s needs all factor into how support should be computed. Being aware of common child support mistakes is an important step toward ensuring your payments are accurate and fair.

Not Acknowledging Changes in Income

Especially during tough economic times it is important to know that changes in your income can affect your support obligation. It is a common mistake for men who have lost their job or fallen prey to a pay cut, to not ask for a reduction in their child support payment. For a reduction to be implemented, a motion with the court must be filed that requests a decrease based on the substantial change of circumstances. Even if you have already made a deal with the other parent, it is crucial that there is a court order explicitly modifying your support obligation. If you don’t have a court order changing the amount you owe every month, you are still obligated to pay the full amount. Not paying the full amount means you are in contempt and racking up debt (plus interest) for the amount not paid. These situations can snowball out of control very quickly.

Not Keeping Proof of Payment

Another common child support mistake is not keeping proof of payment. Regardless of how amicable your relationship with your child’s mother is you should have proof of every dollar that you have paid to support your child. Your court order should outline how payments are to be made. Payments not made through the approved channels could be construed as a gift and not applied toward your support obligation.

Overlooking Written Orders

Navigating a California child custody case can be challenging and in many circumstances the devil is in the detail. Written orders explicitly define the specifics of all aspects of your custody agreement. Responsibilities regarding support payments, tax breaks, medical insurance, and more will all be assigned to both parents. It is critical that you and your attorney proactively advocate for fair and equitable terms.

Assuming it is a Formula

The abundance of child support calculators available online can lead to the common (and grievous) misconception that calculating child support is a simple formula. There are a lot of factors that can influence your payment obligation and there are a lot of opportunities for errors in making calculations. An experienced family law attorney can guide you through the process and potentially save you from overpaying thousands of dollars a year.

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