Santa Clara County Family Lawyer. San Jose Child Custody Lawyer

Santa Clara County Family Lawyer. San Jose Child Custody Lawyer

Santa Clara County Courthouse

Author's Notes

I am a San Jose Divorce Lawyer in Santa Clara County Family Lawyer working in the Bay Area. I handle a variety of family law matters in the greater Bay Area.

I provide general information on various aspects of the divorce and family law.



This blog is for general legal information. It is not intended as a substitute for proper legal advice or to establish any Attorney Client relationship. Please contact a licensed Attorney if you have a legal problem.

Only with a written fee agreement is a Attorney Client relationship established with the Law Offices of James Chau
.

This blog is published by,
San Jose Divorce Lawyer:


Law Offices James Chau
181 Devine Street
San Jose, CA. 95110
(408) 649 - 3952

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Parental Alienation. How to Recognize it during Family Law and Child Custody Matters

What is the impact of parental alienation during divorces and family law cases? The author of this article discusses what children of divorce want and need to maintain a relationship with their parents and the matter of parental alienation.

 Some parents force children to take sides or cause a child to snub the other parent. The article describes parental alienation as, “...the “programming” of a child by one parent to denigrate the other “targeted” parent, in an effort to undermine and interfere with the child's relationship with that parent…”

 The article goes on to discuss what is parental alienation defined.  Parental alienation often involves several things: bad-mouthing the other parent, limiting contact, erasing the other parent from the child’s life, making the child feel unsafe with the other parent, forcing the child to choose between you, etc. When this occurs, the result is the loss of a loving parent from the child’s life (despite what you may think of the other parent).

 According to the article, the concept of "parental alienation syndrome" was developed by Psychiatrist Richard Gardner and defined it as a disorder that arose primarily from child custody disputes. The article further describes parental alienation as a form of brainwashing. How frightening is it to think that a parent is brainwashing their own child(ren) into hating the other parent!?! Yet this happens everyday. A child will often have a solely negative view of the other parent to point that the parent is demonized in that child’s eyes.

 The author notes that it has been reported by adult children of divorce that they felt the tactics of alienation are on the same level as extreme psychological maltreatment of children (such as: terrorizing, isolating, exploiting, and denying emotional responsiveness), and the effects of parental alienation on children have been documented: self esteem issues, depression, substance abuse, etc.

 Every child has the right to a loving relationship with both parent. The denial of that relationship by one parent is not reasonable.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

The Matter of Cohabitation and Spousal Support and Alimony

Many divorced couples today in an effort to move on with their lives, end up in situations where they live with their new significant other, but if the party living with their new boyfriend/girlfriend is receiving spousal support, cohabitation could jeopardize the support.  An article describes cohabitation as a couple living together in a marriage-like manner, with interwoven financial interdependencies among other things.

 According to the article, in the area of family law, cohabitation often forces the reevaluation of whether the spouse receiving support is already in a "supportive" relationship to the point that the need for financial assistance from the spouse paying support is reduced. Sometimes cohabitation is a matter covered in a Marital Settlement Agreement, however, it’s not language that is typically part of the document. This can leave the matter difficult for attorneys to piece together.

 If an allegation comes up and the matter ends up in Court, cohabitation and spousal support can be expensive in terms of legal fees and the likelihood of a successful outcome is dependent upon what is learned.

 The article outlines some helpful questions the article asks you to consider before taking on the task of modifying spousal support when cohabitation is an issue:

 1. Does the couple spend more than three or more consecutive overnights together in a given week?
2. Does the couple share household chores such as laundry, dishes, cooking, or mowing the lawn?
3. Does the couple have a shared bank account? Family plan for cell phone bills? Both names on a lease or car?

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Helpful College Tips for Divorced and Separated Familes

Getting a divorce and want to set-up a college account for your children?   I’ve found an article that offers helpful tips towards doing just that.  Now that there are two households, the decisions regarding how to plan for a child's college costs can be daunting.

 1. Negotiate now the set-up of the account(s) now- Per the article, it’s best to set-up a base now and revisit the issue if needed in the future. At least something will be there when college rolls around.  The decision making regarding the college costs can possibly prolong the divorce, but it may prove to be money well spent in legal fees, rather than going forward without a plan or order in place for the college bound child.

2. Secure the college fund- If you have already saves money for college, make sure it can’t be used for anything other than your child's education.  The article encourages readers to place any available funds into college funds as soon as possible to ear mark them for the child's education.

 3. Strategize about who fills out aid form- Forms are usually required for financial aid. Figure out who and how the forms can be completed.
 If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Does a More Stable Economy Equal Rising Divorces??

Now that our economy seems to be steadily recovering does this mean that the divorce rate will be on the rise? According to a recent article this may be so.

According to the article, several recent studies do seem to suggest that the divorce rate will increase as couples become more financially secure. According to the article, a spike in divorces is directly connected to the economic recovery.

The article suggests that during the Great Depression the rate of divorce decreased approximately twenty-five percent.  Apparently the economic troubles caused couples to wait things out until they were financially stable. The same thing appears to be happening now. A recent study has found that the divorce rate dropped significantly during the recession and is now beginning to rise again due to the improving economy. The exact impact of increased financial security in California is unknown, but couples throughout the state may now be seriously considering moving forward with separation and/or divorce.

The family law article also describes the three ways to end a marriage in California:

1. Divorce ends the marriage or partnership. Irreconcilable differences is the main reason cited for a divorce.

2. A legal separation. This is not a divorce, but a judge can make decisions regarding custody, child support and property division without officially granting a divorce. Neither individual can remarry after receiving a legal separation since the parties are still technically married still.

3. Annulment. An annulment is granted when the court finds the marriage or partnership is not legally valid.  The parties are asking the Court to void their marriage.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

If You Suspect your Ex is Hiding Assets

So you've decided to file for a divorce and settlement time has come around. During the negotiation stage, sometimes a party can’t help but wonder if their spouse has been forthright in disclosing all of their assets. I thought it would be nice to briefly discuss an article I read that provides tips on how you can do a little of your own research while you navigate the divorce waters:

• Take a look at income tax returns: The article suggests that people generally tell the truth to the IRS. Look at the last five years of returns. Are there any inconsistencies in income between the tax returns and their disclosures? Are there any real estate holdings or partnerships?

• Request copies of checking and saving account statements: Look for large purchases or deposits that you are not familiar with.

 • Get a credit report: You can look for lines of credit or mortgages that don't include you.

• Repayment of a false debt: Sometimes a spouse will “pay back” a false debt to a friend of family member and have that person return the money once the divorce has been finalized.

These a just a few of the tips the article touches on. Many of the tips offered are tasks that you can easily do on your own and others will require patience or even a specialist. Whatever the case may be if you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets there are ways with which you can do some digging to uncover the truth. Don’t settle for terms that are unfair if you know in your heart that there are more assets than are being disclosed.

 If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Expenses Related to Same Sex Divorce and Gay Marriages

It’s true that while gay marriage may be legal in some states, in many states the system and the attorneys are unsure of how to handle the problem of same-sex divorce. I’ve come upon a recent article regarding issues involved with same-sex divorce.

According to the article, many same-sex couples were together for years before they married under the law, but most courts will only divide assets starting the date of marriage. This is very difficult when many couples may have lived years or decades as if they were married and purchased properties together, shared accounts, raised children, made each other beneficiaries on insurance policies, and etc.

The article notes that while the cost of divorce varies by city and state, a traditional divorce costs considerably less that a same-sex divorce due to the complications regarding assets and the tracing problems that may exist.  While cost is always an unknown factor, please do not let cost be prohibitive if you ultimately decide that marriage is no longer an option for you.

Also, many same-sex couples have often traveled some distance to make their unions official, and don't live in the states where they got married. The article goes on to state that typically a divorce is granted to couples by the state where they live, but the states that do not recognize a gay marriage will usually not grant same-sex divorces. This means that many couples have to return to the state where they married just to get a divorce. This can be a financial strain as well as most states have residency requirements prior to filing their divorce petition.

Finding a lawyer familiar with the specialized practice of same-sex divorce can be expensive, so it helps to find someone who has knowledge of this particular area of the law.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Difficulties in Same Sex DIvorce

This is a topic I've written about several times before in my blog. The patchwork of laws out there are proving very difficult for same sex married couples to get divorced. If you thought getting married for a gay couple was difficult, think again. Gay divorce is proving to be very difficult legally for many couples as I found when reading an article recently.

Many gay and lesbian couples are fighting for the right to divorce. Because most states, and the federal government, don't recognize gay marriages, many same-sex couples are left with no way to officially split. For states that do recognize gay marriage, gay divorce is still difficult because gay marriages aren't recognized by the federal government or the IRS.

The article gives the example of an out-of-state couple who goes to Massachusetts to marry, or a couple who lives in-state and then moves away. If they are out-of-state or move from the state after marriage, they can't divorce in Massachusetts because they'd have to be a resident for at least a year. And to further complicate the matter, if the couple's home state doesn't recognize gay marriage, they can't divorce there either.

Many couples who want to split are forced to wonder if remarriage would be considered polygamy, what the other party’s property claim would be, or how they will solve custody issues.


If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Child Custody and Successful Co Parenting Tips

Many times in my practice when the parties are undergoing a child custody/ visitation dispute I often stress the importance of co-parenting. It may seem like a vague concept but for the parents they need to get used to the idea of sharing parenting responsibility even more now that they are going through a divorce.

For parents who are divorced or separated, it is extremely important to learn how to co-parent effectively. I’ve found an article that provides 5 steps to successful co-parenting. Co-parenting involves jointly parenting and cooperating with each other to ensure the most consistent life and choices for your children.

Below are the 5 steps to successful co-parenting offered by the article:

1. Don’t share your feelings about each other with the children. This tip is important because the children should not be a sounding board for you to vilify the other parent. It places the child in the middle of any disputes.

2. Maintain respect for your ex. They are your child’s other parent after all. The child benefits from the time they spend with the other parent no matter how minimal and small.

3. Keep the lines of communication open. Find a way for you to have respectful communication with the other person. For the kids sake, keep the communication lines open so you can successfully raise your children. There are many technological advances which can assist with communication if face to face is not an option.

4. Allow change and don’t worry if you get scared. It's ok to accept that change is happening and that it can be scary. Feeling scared simply signals the importance of what you and the other parent are undertaking.

5. Talk to and listen to your kids regarding their concerns of the parenting arrangement. Don't expect every detail to be figured out right away, but encourage your kids to share their concerns and questions with both of you.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Children of Divorce and their Education

Parents have a difficult time getting their kids to do their homework in normal circumstances. When the children are undergoing a divorce their academics take an even more backseat in their lives.

Many children struggle with their studies, especially those children whose parents are currently in the process of divorce. I recently found an article which covers this topic.

According to the author of the article, she often finds that these students often say they weren’t able to do their homework because they left their book, instructions, etc. at the other parents home.

The author notes that there are many factors for why children of divorce are missing out on their education. She notes that in many cases, one of the parents may have been more involved in checking the child’s homework or making sure that the homework was getting done during the marriage. Now that the parents are divorcing the parents may want to be the fun parent and may want to not be the parent responsible for enforcing the homework. In my opinion, once living separately both parents should become equally responsible for making sure the child studies and does homework.

Below are some of the underlying issues that might be causing the behaviors, as provided by various family therapists and facilitators the author consulted with:

* The stress from the divorce may cause parents to pay less attention to academics.

* Individual time with the child becomes more limited when adhering to a custody schedule and often times parents begin to focus more on having “quality time” rather than fighting over homework.

* Nobody wants to be the “bad guy” so parents may become more lenient in hopes of easing the stress on the child.

* Kids often feel a lack of control during divorce so they may play one parent off the other.

It may seem hard or maybe unattainable, but once parents recognize what the issue is, they can begin to implement steps to implement the steps to more effectively manage academics.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Family Law / Divorce and Taxes

It’s tax season again! I thought it would be nice to briefly cover an article that talks about the effects of taxes on divorce.

Tax season is already a stressful time of year for many people and divorce only adds to the complexity. One of the first issues people face when they are separated, but not yet divorced, is their filing status. According to the article, for tax purposes, a person's status as of December 31 of the tax year determines their status. Those who are not divorced by December 31 must continue to either check “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately”.

One important tip that the article recommends is that, the parties should consider filing a joint return even if there is relationship strife. They will reap more tax benefits than they would filing married but separate.

There are many deductions and credits that are available to filing a joint return versus a separate return. If a couple are married filing separately, they are unable to take any education credits, take advantage of a deduction that working parents receive for child care costs, or deduct student loan interest.

Another important factor to consider is the current economy in some areas of the country. Many divorcing couples are forced to continue living together because they cannot afford to live on their own. But if separated couples do not live in the same home and have not lived together for at least six months, the spouse who has the children primarily living with them can file his or her income tax return as head of household.

Another common issue that comes up is determining which parent will get to use the children as exemptions. According to the article, no matter what the divorce decree says, if the non-custodial parent plans to use any of the children as exemptions, the custodial parent must provide the non-custodial parent a signed Form 8332 authorizing them to claim a child on their federal income taxes. In many cases, the parents alternate the years in which they claim the children as dependants.

Spousal support and child support can be another hot issue during the divorce process. It is important to know that child support is not tax deductible for the payer and is not taxable income for the parent receiving child support. But, spousal support is tax deductible for the payer and is treated as taxable income for the party receiving spousal support.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.