My Ex-Spouse Refuses to Comply with a Court Order

If you have recently been through or filed for a divorce, you may be aware that just because you have a divorce decree does not mean that you don’t ever have to think about your divorce ever again. Even with legal documents, a spouse may refuse to comply with court orders regarding property division, child support, visitation, child custody, or spousal maintenance matters. Indubitably, this can cause overwhelming frustration and demand that you continue to focus on your divorce long after it should have been settled. Continue reading

Police Reports: Are They Necessary?

When two or more people are involved in an automobile accident, sometimes they won’t be sure if they want to call the police. They may not be certain if a police report is necessary or legally required, or one of the drivers may be hiding something, such as a suspended or revoked license, expired registration tags, or the fact that they’re driving without insurance.

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The Don’t’s of a Custody Battle

Parents are often unable to agree upon where their child should reside, or which parent should have custody, when they have filed for divorce.

In some cases, both parents feel that their child should primarily reside with them, and that they are the “better” parent.

Litigation can ensure when the issue of custody and parenting time cannot be settled. Indubitably, this emotional process is difficult for all parties involved. However simple it may seem to decide who gets primary custody, being able to find a place of agreement is not easy. Here is our attempt to help those on what NOT to do in a custody battle:

  1. Do NOT represent yourself: custody litigation is complex and costly. Often times, litigants choose to represent themselves because of financial reasons. In custody battles, self-representation can have disastrous results. While you are not equipped to understand all the legal nuances, counsel like the Mullen Law Firm has significant experience in settling custody matters. Being too emotionally involved may blind you in understanding the substantive legal issues that are intertwined in each custody case.
  2. Do NOT lie: embellishing facts or blatantly lying to bolster your position will always backfire. Do not lie to the Court, the custody expert, or to your attorney. If your lie is exposed, your credibility will be irrevocably tarnished. The Judge and the opposing party’s attorney will remember your fabrication and will remind the Court, too. Also, do not lie to yourself. Be honest when seeking custody- is it for the right reasons? Is it truly for your child‘s best interest?
  3. Do NOT violate the Court’s orders: The Judge will always remember the liar, as well as the violator. Do not plant any bad seeds about you or your conduct to the trier of your matter. Breaching the terms of a binding order will reflect negatively on you and the Judge, as well as the opposing party’s attorney, will remind the Court of this every step of the way.
  4. Do NOT keep quiet: If you are unsure, do not be afraid to ask questions. Do not keep to yourself! Bottling up emotions can riddle a situation with unnecessary anxiety and you with stress. Rather, talk it out and ask the appropriate questions to resolve all your concerns. Your child needs you to be healthy: not only physically, but mentally. With counsel like the Mullen Law Firm, you are entitled to having your questions answered.
  5. Do NOT coach your children: in a custody battle, custody evaluations with a forensic expert is commonplace. Both parties will have the opportunity to meet with the expert to provide insight and opinion as to their family dynamic. At this point, children are involved and they often meet with the expert alone. When preparing children for an interview, it is one thing to explain to them that they are meeting with the expert so they are aware of what to expect. It is a completely different matter when a parent attempts to fill children with talking points. It is wise for a litigant to never disparage the other parent to their children, as it may have negative consequences. Furthermore, coaching a child on what to say to an expert is obvious and transparent. An expert will know when a child has been told what to say.

Divorce: What Should You Say To Your Kids?

All children are special and they require different forms of parenting. There is no instruction manual, no how-to guide, no cheat code. Unfortunately, a divorce can bring out many difficulties of being a parent.

It is normal to question what to say to your children and how to let them know that a divorce is coming. The answer is not a one-size-fits-all because no two cases are the same. However, despite the gray areas, there are a few points that most lawyers advise their clients to make:

  1. Let the children know that both parents love them.
  2. The divorce is not about them in the least.
  3. Everything will be fine.

 

This conversation often comes at a time where the questioned parent doesn’t have answers as to where the children will live, what school they will go to, and what the actual custody schedule will be.

As it turns out, this might not be the best advice after all. Time.com recently published an article in which the writer advises that children who are anxious should not be told everything will be O.K.
Rather, it is important for parents to validate children’s worries.

A child psychologist can help parents relay the notion of an impending divorce to their children. As distasteful as it may seem to sit in an office with your soon-to-be ex to come up with a plan to tell the children, it could make all the difference to your children.

What should you do when you don’t have all the answers? First, determine what it is that the child is worried about. Depending on the age, this could be at its simple as wondering whether a favorite toy will be able to come to a new home. Determining a child’s worries avoids compounding the problem by giving more information than might be necessary, thereby causing more stress. Give what answers you can, without scaring the child. For instance, when a child asks which parent he or she will live with in the middle of a custody evaluation, be honest. Tell the child that mom and dad haven’t made that decision yet and the judge and other professionals are going to help make that decision. Don’t ask a young child for his or her preference. This places the child in the unreasonable position of having to choose one parent over the other. Regardless of how you feel about your soon-to-be ex, most children love both parents equally and unconditionally.

Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” but say it reassuringly. For a parent who does not anticipate being able to stay in the same school district, assuring that the child will be part of the process of finding a new residence can make the child feel part of the decision-making. This can alleviate some of the fears and anxiety. “I don’t know” is not a perfect answer, but it is better than the child being kept completely in the dark until the day the divorce is over.

#BrangelinaDivorce: Continued

It’s no secret that Brangelina has broken up. Brad Pitt has 30 days from September 15 to file a response to Angelina Jolie’s divorce filing.

Pitt has taken the next step in the proceedings and has hired lawyer Lance Spiegel.  The top divorce lawyer out of Beverly Hills, Ca., has handled cases for the likes of Charlie Sheen, Michael Jackson, Russell Simmons, Heather Locklear and Eva Longoria.

According to the website of his firm, Young, Spiegel & Lee, Spiegel has “been involved in many high profile, and complex family law matters.”

Spiegel already has his hands full; the case now includes an investigation by the FBI that Pitt was allegedly abusive to his eldest son Maddox on a private plane from France to the U.S. Allegedly, he got drunk and got violent with the kids and Jolie.

Angelina, currently holed up in a Malibu rental with the kids, filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences.” She is seeking physical custody of the couple’s six children.

Lawyers for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, prodded by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, have worked out an initial arrangement under which Jolie gets full custody of the couple’s six children, with Pitt allowed to visit. Plus, he has to submit to random drug/alcohol testing and both parents have to undergo separate counseling and family counseling. At this point, the parties have the choice of either going into open court to fight or working out an amicable resolution behind closed doors to be in place until the divorce is granted.

If you and your spouse are considering filing for divorce, call us for a free consultation. Don’t let it spiral out of control. Don’t #Brangelina your marriage and your children.

The Hoboken Train Crash

At least one person is dead and about 100 others are injured – many severely – after a New Jersey Transit train crashed into a station in Hoboken Thursday morning during rush hour, according to authorities.

The Associated Press reported that the accident happened at 8:45 a.m. and involved train number 1614, which was traveling from Spring Valley, New York, on the Pascack Valley line.

The train was full of commuters, and witnesses have reported that the train was traveling at a high rate of speed when it plowed through the station and through a bumper stop at the end of the track. Reports indicate that the train came to a stop in a covered area between the platform and an indoor waiting area.

Preliminary reports from local law enforcement officials suggest the crash was accidental or caused by operator error. The investigation, however, is still in the early stages.

Many have stated in interviews with reporters that the train appeared to be moving faster than usual as it entered the station.

Witnesses shared photos on social media of the derailed train in the station. Many photos showed significant damage to the structure, which is the fifth busiest in the New Jersey Transit system with about 15,000 boardings per weekday.

Here at the Mullen Law Firm, we express our greatest condolences to those who were involved in this tragic accident. We are available to assist those who have been injured or who lost a loved one.

As the investigation continues, many accident victims may be entitled to compensation, which can help cover the medical expenses, lost wages and other costs that may result from injuries sustained in this accident.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one, do not hesitate to contact us today to learn more about your legal options.

#BrangelinaDivorce

Angelina Jolie officially filed for divorce on Monday. According to the documentation, she’s chosen to leave Pitt on grounds of irreconcilable differences. As for their six children, Jolie doesn’t want to share physical custody. Her lawyer has requested that her privacy be respected, dropping few hints as to the exact reasons for the divorce, saying simply that Jolie’s choice was made“for the health of the family.” Continue reading

Back to School: Safety Tips

The new school year is here, and with it comes the rush of back-to-school preparations. But in the scramble to buy notebooks, #2 pencils, and the perfect pair of sneakers, it’s worth taking a moment to consider your child’s route to school and back again every weekday. Kids travel between home and school in a variety of ways: some are driven by parents, while others take the school bus, walk, or ride a bike. There are benefits to each of these, depending on a family’s situation, but each method comes with its own hazards as well. Considering these possible dangers carefully can help you plan the safest commute possible for your child. Continue reading

Divorce: Who Gets What Asset?

Dividing the family’s property during divorce can be quite difficult, especially if there are significant assets such as houses, rental property, retirement and pension plans, stock options, restricted stock, deferred compensation, brokerage accounts, closely-held businesses, professional practices and licenses, etc. Deciding who should get what can be quite a challenge, even under the most amenable of situations. But, if your divorce is contentious, then this can be especially complicated.

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Workers’ Compensation & Family Law: The Connection

It would seem that there wouldn’t be much of a connection between a workers’ compensation claim and proceedings in family court. Unfortunately, though, the two are far too often tied together. When a primary breadwinner is injured at work, it can have a dramatic impact on his or her family, whether or not there is discord or divorce. Here are the most common family law issues that arise in workers’ compensation proceedings. Continue reading