Archive for March, 2011

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 Florida, 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.

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 775-387-3334.  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 904-387-3334 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Florida family law matter.

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 Florida.   I often wonder if attorneys 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 on Florida law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area.

This post is not meant to be legal advice or serve as forming an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm, PA.   If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 904-387-3334.

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

Contact the Luna Law Firm, PA today 904-387-3334 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Florida family law matter.

 

Telephone Contact With Children During Child Custody And Divorce Cases

As an attorney actively practicing child custody and divorce law in Jacksonville, Florida, 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. 

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 904-387-3334

View a full listing of The Luna Law Firm Areas of PracticeContact the Luna Law Firm today 904-387-3334 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Florida family law matter. View our weekly legal articles on The Luna Law Firm – Family Law Blog