Archive for March, 2011

Ruling In Child Custody Case Grants Visitation To Disabled Mother

Abbie Dorn is a mother of triplets living in California.  Abbie suffered severe brain damage during child birth in 2006 and is only able to communicate by blinking her eyes.   She is currently living with her parents in South Carolina.  Her former husband has maintained that she is in a vegetative state and that visitation with the children is not in the children’s best interest.   This notion was rejected by the Judge overseeing the case.  Visitation has been awarded for five consecutive days during the summer and monthly Skype visits.   The Court further noted Ms. Dorn was not a threat to the children and in fact smiles at all times.  The ruling is technically temporary as the final hearing has not been held.

This case is considered to be precedent setting in terms of rights for parents and those who are disabled.  Nevada law indicates that this state as a policy of trying to ensure that parents and children have frequent contact and a continuing relationship with each other.  NRS 125.460.  Although, there is not currently similar case law in Nevada to Ms. Dorn’s, it would certainly make a good argument on such an issue.

For more information on this topic view the links below:

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/26/local/la-me-0326-dorn-20110326

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-25/us/california.triplets.visitation_1_abbie-dorn-visitation-rights-triplets?_s=PM:US

This article is not meant to all inclusive or a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your own jurisdiction.  If you are involved in a legal matter and have questions, you should contact a competent attorney in your own jurisdiction.

K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles child custody matters on a regular basis in the Reno, Carson, Nevada area.

This post is not meant to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm, PC. If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 775-686-2490. View our weekly legal articles by The Luna Law FirmFamily Law Blog. View a full listing of The Luna Law Firm Areas of Practice

Contact the Luna Law Firm today 775-686-2490 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Nevada family law matter.

10 Things Not to do in Nevada Family Court – Nevada Divorce and Child Custody

In Nevada most child custody actions and divorces require at least some appearance before the court during the duration of the action.  Appearances can come in the form of case management conferences, settlement conferences, hearings or even trials.

The following are 10 things you should avoid doing when appearing before the court regardless of whether you are a party or witness.

Ten Things Not To Do In Nevada Family Courts:

1.  Do not chew gum or tobacco anywhere in the courtroom.

2.  Do not make facial expressions, roll your eyes or make other inappropriate gestures at the Judge, the attorneys, the opposing party or at witnesses.

3.  Avoid interrupting the Judge when he or she is speaking.

4.  Do not wear inappropriate clothing such as flip flops, shorts, bathing suits, hats, cut off pants, or other such casual attire.

5.  Avoid using foul and obscene language.

6.  Make certain your cell phone is turned off or in silent mode to avoid ringing in the courtroom.

7.  Do not call the other party or their counsel names.

8.  Never ever throw things at someone in the courtroom.

9.  Do not show up drunk, high or otherwise intoxicated.

10.  Do not be rude to court staff such as bailiffs, law clerks, court clerks, judicial assistants or most of all the Judge.

This list above provides a few rules to live by in the courtroom.  The best advice is to be on your best behavior, polite, professional, honest and respectful of others.   Your behavior in the courtroom can have an impact on the outcome of your Nevada child custody or divorce case.  It is important put your best foot forward each time you step into the courtroom.

(775) 329-1000

Reno Family Law - Client Testimonials - The Luna Law Firm 775-329-1000

Reno Family Law Call for Consultation 775-329-1000

This article is not meant to all inclusive or a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your own jurisdiction.  If you are involved in a legal matter and have questions, you should contact a competent attorney in your own jurisdiction.

K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida, and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles divorce and child custody matters on a regular basis in the Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Minden, Gardnerville, and throughout Northern Nevada.

This post is not meant to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm. If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 775-329-1000. View our weekly legal articles by The Luna Law FirmFamily Law Blog. View a full listing of The Luna Law Firm Areas of PracticeContact the Luna Law Firm today 775-329-1000 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Nevada family law matter.

Children’s Birthday’s In Divorce And Child Custody Cases

Divorce and child custody matters in general often address holidays, time sharing and vacations with children.  You should be sure to remember to address your child(ren)’s birthday in addition to the other holidays and discuss your options with your child custody or divorce attorney.  In my practice in Nevada, my clients have opted to handle the children’s birthdays in a number of ways.  Common methods have included alternating the child’s birthday in even and odd years, splitting the day in half, and even sharing the day together.

Share Important Days

Understand that sharing important days in your child’s life is part of co-parenting.  There will be graduations, weddings, and other events that both of you will most likely be attending.  Birthdays are a good opportunity to work on supporting your child and having a good relationship with the other parent for other events at an early age.  If it is possible, consider sharing the birthday and having a joint birthday party, or invite the other parent, which includes the child’s immediate family members and friends.  Most children love having both parents present and this will afford such an opportunity.

Can You Get Along?

A joint birthday party only works if you can be nice to one another and not argue openly in front of your child and your guests.  If there are issues of domestic violence or abuse, a joint party or inviting the other parent may not be appropriate. Take these things into consideration prior to planning the party and including the other parent.  Children’s birthday parties are about your children and should be focused on their best interest.  So, include the other parent if appropriate.

Neutral Setting

It is probably best to have the party in a neutral setting.  A neutral spot is not your home but a public place.  Reno, Nevada has a number of fun public venues that you can consider such as parks, The Playroom, Pump It Up, the Playful Potter and other fun venues in the Reno/Spark area.

Include Grandparents

You should include other family members such as the paternal and maternal grandparents.  This is assuming that everyone can maintain a civil relationship.  Again, if there are issues of abuse or concerns that an argument could erupt publically, these may not be the best guests.  Exercise your own judgment and caution, but if possible include those family members special to your child.

Get Input

Consider getting input from the other parent on items such as the cake, a joint present or other details associated with the party.  By just including the other parent, you are reaching out and giving yourselves an opportunity to perhaps have a positive interaction.  Even if you don’t agree with a suggestion from the other parent, let them know you appreciate their input.

Have Fun

Most of all, have fun.  Birthdays are special days and should be a time to celebrate.  Know that by including the other parent, your child’s day may be extra special, especially if it is an opportunity to see you and the other parent working together and getting along.

(775) 329-1000

The Luna Law Firm (775) 329-1000

Reno Family Law 775-329-1000

This article is not meant to all inclusive or a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your own jurisdiction.  If you have been subpoenaed as a witness in a legal matter and have questions, you should contact a competent attorney in your own jurisdiction.

K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles child custody matters on a regular basis in the Reno, Carson, Nevada area.

This post is not meant to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm, PC. If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation by calling 775-329-1000.  View our weekly legal articles by The Luna Law FirmFamily Law BlogView a full listing of The Luna Law Firm Areas of Practice

Contact the Luna Law Firm today 775-329-1000 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Nevada family law matter.

Why Being A Witness In A Child Custody Case Can Make A Difference

Child custody matters in Nevada center on determining the best interest of the child and often involve high emotions and difficult topics.  Often those closest to the child who have the most knowledge of the child’s situation or a parent’s behavior are reluctant to step forward and testify. This is especially true if it is against a parent they are related to or a close friendship.  Most of us simply do not want to be involved preferring to stay out of the middle of the conflict.  That feeling is understandable; however the testimony and evidence presented can make a big difference.

When a child custody case goes to trial in Nevada, the Judge only hears the evidence that is presented and is admitted into evidence.  If there is no way to admit the evidence or present relevant testimony, the court will have no way to  know about it.  In matters involving children, it is especially important to enter as much evidence as possible so that the Judge making the decision have as much information as possible to address the best interest of the child.  This will show the true nature of the parties’ involved in the child custody case.  By testifying, you are helping to paint a complete picture of what really is occurring between the parents, in their lives and homes and with the child. Thus helping the court to make the best decision possible for the Nevada child custody matter.

The children often have no voice or very little voice in a custody matter.  By testifying, you may help give a voice to facts affecting the child they themselves do not have the opportunity to express.  For example, often times one parent may suspect the other of using drugs around the children.  Friends and family who know that this is true will often deny knowing or refuse to cooperate.  This information is important for not only to insure the best interest of the children, but also to prevent the child from witnessing inappropriate behavior.

Witness testimony can also clarify and clear up accusations from the other parent.  This testimony is just as important as the type that  proves negative treatment or behavior and should not be forgotten.

In most cases, attorneys can subpoena witnesses to appear whether they want to or not.  It is preferable to have witnesses who want to be there and offer honest, truthful testimony to the Court.  In reality, that is all that is required…honest answers about what you know.  Those honest answers can really help the Court make the right decision based on the full facts.

button-11

 

Reno Family Law 775-329-1000

This article is not meant to all inclusive or a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your own jurisdiction.  If you have been subpoenaed as a witness in a legal matter and have questions, you should contact a competent attorney in your own jurisdiction.

K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles child custody matters on a regular basis in the Reno, Carson, Nevada area.

This post is not meant to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm, PC. If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 775-329-1000. Please visit our Web site to view our Areas of Practice. View our weekly legal articles by The Luna Law FirmFamily Law Blog

 

Results Of The 2010 Washoe County Judicial Survey

Each year Washoe County does a judicial survey by allowing local attorney’s to submit anonymous reviews of the local judiciary. I am fairly certain the non-attorney public isn’t very aware that this occurs or even where to find the results. It includes reviews of local judiciary and the Nevada Supreme Court. In 2010, 217 attorney’s responded to the survey indicating they would retain the vast majority of the Judges currently in office.

See full Judicial Survey results below:

Nevada Family Law

This blog should not take the place of obtaining legal advice from an attorney within your own jurisdiction.   K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles child custody matters in the Reno, Carson City, Incline Village, Minden, Yerington areas of Northern Nevada.

This post is not meant to be legal advice or serve as forming an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm, PC.   If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 775-686-2490.

View a full listing of The Luna Law Firm Areas of Practice

Contact the Luna Law Firm today 775-686-2490 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Nevada family law matter.

View our weekly legal articles on The Luna Law Firm – Family Law Blog

Luna Law Firm Policies On Telephone Calls With Clients

It has always been my opinion that as a family law attorney representing clients in divorce and child custody matters, that customer service is something that must be at the forefront of my law firm in Nevada.   I often wonder if attorney’s truly get that at the heart of what you do in the legal field is your clients.   At the beginning of each case, we give our clients a list of what to expect from us and what we expect from our clients.  Our promise to our clients is listed on our website.  Big on my list of what you can and should expect from us is how we handle phone calls.  Here are my personal policies on telephone calls with clients:

♦  When I’m in the office, I try to take phone calls as they come during normal business hours.  Unfortunately, there are times when I’m in court, out of the office, on another call or trying to finish something on a deadline, that I can’t do this.  But as a general rule, I like to talk to my clients when they call without having to return the call if it is possible.

♦ I return phone calls as soon as I am able.  Most of the time, this is the same day.  My policy is before going home to stop and return any phone calls from that day that I haven’t already returned.  Frankly, I get that family law is emotional and scary.  I don’t like not having my questions answered when I’m scared either and so I want to take the time to make sure questions or other issues are being addressed.  That way you don’t have to worry but you have answers.

♦If I can’t return the phone call that same day, I return it within twenty-four hours during the normal work week and as long as I’m not on vacation.   There may be some exceptions to this but as a general rule it is my goal to make sure your call is returned Monday-Friday within twenty-four hours.

♦If I am out of the office or otherwise indisposed, my assistant or I let clients know so that you have an idea when to expect an answer.  If it is an emergency, my assistant will track me down as soon as she can no matter what and get an answer.

At the Luna Law Firm, we try hard to insure your needs are being met as clients.  The above are my general policies on telephone calls that we try to abide by with clients.  My goal is to take as much of the anxiety and fear out of the process and assist you in having as easy a path through your legal matter as we can by providing you with answers and information.  With any attorney you hired, you should ask about their policies and expectations in your relationship

This blog should not take the place of obtaining legal advice from an attorney within your own jurisdiction.   K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles divorce, child custody matters and annulment in the Reno, Carson City, Incline Village, Minden, Yerington areas of Northern Nevada.

This post is not meant to be legal advice or serve as forming an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm, PC.   If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 775-686-2490.

View a full listing of The Luna Law Firm Areas of Practice

Contact the Luna Law Firm today 775-686-2490 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Nevada family law matter.

View our weekly legal articles on The Luna Law Firm – Family Law Blog

Telephone Contact With Children During Child Custody And Divorce Cases

As an attorney actively practicing child custody and divorce law in Reno, Nevada, I frequently  get asked by clients ‘what is reasonable telephone contact with the children?’  There is no question that most parents, aside from cases of domestic violence or other abuse, should have reasonable telephone contact with their children.  Telephone calls should be for the purpose of talking with your kids and not for harassing the other parent or even relying messages to the other parent for that matter.  It also makes sense that telephone communication may be limited only to those children who are old enough to participate.  For example, telephone contact with a six month old may not be very meaningful.

A quick phone call is an opportunity for the other parent to connect with the child and keep in touch with how they are doing and what is going on in their lives when they are with the other parent.   The amount and times of phone calls can vary from family to family.  When one parent is on vacation with the children, it may not make sense to call daily and interrupt the vacation time.  On the other hand daily phone calls may make sense if the child is struggling with issues at school or otherwise to need the support and encouragement of the missing parent.  I suggests to my clients to abide by a one call maximum per day and during reasonable hours.  Try not to call during meals, when the child is in school, after bedtimes or before normal waking hours.    Each family is different and respect for the other parent should be kept in mind by the parent calling and the parent receiving the call.  If you can discuss, without arguing, the parameters of times and days to call the child with the other parent, you should do so and attempt to reach an agreement that works for everyone.

During telephone interaction with the children, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Be respectful of the other household’s routines, dinner times, bedtimes and normal wake up times.  Try not to call at times that would be disruptive.
  • Don’t argue with the other parent during phone calls intended to be for the children.
  • Don’t ask your child(ren) to rely messages to the other parent on your behalf.
  • Keep the conversation about your child(ren) and not about the other parent or what they are doing.
  • Keep your conversations brief and focused on your children and how they are doing.
  • Typically only call once a day.
  • Do not guilt your children about not being with you or tempt them into asking to come to your house instead.
  • Be polite with the other parent or others in their household.
  • Keep records on the times you call and if you are able to speak with your kids or that the other parent calls.
  • Have the child available for set times for phone calls with the other parent.
  • Answer the phone when the other parent calls or return their message if the call was missed as soon as you are able.
  • Encourage the child to talk to mom or dad.

In general, the best advice is to treat the phone calls in a manner that you would prefer to have the other parent respect calling your home.  Telephone calls are a great way to stay in touch and informed about your kids and with a little work can be a positive interaction between you and the other parent.

(775) 329-1000

Reno Nevada Child Custody Attorney 775-329-1000

This blog should not take the place of obtaining legal advice from an attorney within your own jurisdiction.   K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles child custody matters in the Reno, Carson City, Incline Village, Minden, Yerington areas of Northern Nevada.

This post is not meant to be legal advice or serve as forming an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm, PC.   If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 775-329-1000

View a full listing of The Luna Law Firm Areas of PracticeContact the Luna Law Firm today 775-329-1000 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Nevada family law matter. View our weekly legal articles on The Luna Law Firm – Family Law Blog

Judicial Appointment Made For Second Judicial District Court – Washoe County Nevada

Egan Walker has been appointed as the new Judge in the Second Judicial District Court.  This vacancy in the family law division was created when Judge Hardy was elected to Department 15, a civil-criminal position.   Egan Walker formerly served a Court Master for the Washoe County District Court.  The appointment was selected by the Governor from three finalists selected by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection.

Each of the candidates filled out an application which are available online.  View additional information on Egan Walker’s qualifications.

View a full listing of The Luna Law Firm Areas of Practice

Contact the Luna Law Firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your Nevada family law matter.

View our weekly legal articles on The Luna Law Firm – Family Law Blog

Reasons To Consider Using Mediation In A Divorce or Child Custody Matter

It is my goal to help my clients resolve divorce and child custody issues in a manner that achieves the best result and saves them the most money.  Sometimes the most effective manner is mediation.  Mediation is a process that involves a third, neutral party whose goal is to help resolve and settle differences.  If parties can agree early on in their case or even before filing, it can save a bundle on attorney’s fees. There are other reasons to consider mediation.

1.   Parties who settle are in control of the decisions in their case.  Instead of having a Judge

decide for you, mediation is an opportunity to make those decisions yourself and together.

2.    Most people who settle are happier with the end result.

3.    Often times you know your children best.  By working together at mediation for a plan that is best for your children, you are hopefully getting the process of co-parenting off to a good start.

4.    There is less conflict and fewer hurt feelings involved with mediation than trial.  At the end of the day, trial can be painful even for the person that prevails.  Trial involves a lot of stress for most parties and the painful process of hearing others testify about you in ways that you may not like.  Mediation avoids that all together.

5.   Settling is often a lot quicker than full litigation and trial.  In divorces, once a settlement agreement is reached it can often be put in writing and quickly entered by the Court.

There are many other reasons that mediation can be beneficial and should be considered.  In cases of domestic violence, mediation may not be appropriate and before proceeding should be discussed with your attorney or domestic violence advocate.

At the Luna Law Firm, PC, we explore the pros and cons of mediation with our clients and encourage mediation to resolve differences in many cases.  We also provide consultation with individuals attempting mediation prior to divorce to assist them with understanding the law and reviewing potential settlements prior to signing.  If you are looking to attempt mediation, we are happy to discuss your options and the services we can provide to assist you as you go through the process.  Luna Law Firm, P.C. only provides representation to one party in the process and does not conduct actual mediations.

This blog should not take the place of obtaining legal advice from an attorney within your own jurisdiction.   K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles child custody matters on a regular basis in the Reno, Carson, Nevada area.

This post is not meant to be legal advice or serve as forming an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm, PC.   If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 775-686-2490. Please visit our Web site to view our Areas of Practice. View our weekly legal articles by The Luna Law FirmFamily Law Blog.