Luna Law Firm Opens Jacksonville Office

The Luna Law Firm, PA opens office in Jacksonville, Florida . The new office is available by appointment only and located within walking distance of the Duval County Courthouse.  Ms. Luna will be providing representation in divorce, child custody/parenting time, visitation, enforcement of court orders, and other family law matters.  Call today to schedule a consultation regarding your Florida family law matter.

 301 W. Bay St, Suite 1410

Jacksonville, FL 32202

Phone: (904) 387-3334

Facsimile: (904) 387-3439

email: info@thelunalawfirm.com

The Luna Law Firm PA serves clients in Jacksonville, Florida, and surrounding counties.

This article is not meant to be 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 Florida law only.  If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area.  The Luna Law Firm, PA handles family law matters in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville and the surrounding areas.

View a full listing of The Luna Law Firm, PA Areas of PracticeContact the Luna Law Firm, PA today 904-387-3334 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Florida family law matter.

Deciding to Hire an Attorney in a Florida Divorce or Child Custody Case

Child custody and divorce cases can be complicated legal matters. A question I hear frequently from potential clients is, “Should I hire an attorney?” The decision to hire an attorney is always up to the individual who is hiring. There are certainly a lot of factors to consider in that decision, two of which include the complexity of the case and if the other side has counsel. The American Bar Association recently conducted a study of Judges around the nation on their opinions as to individuals proceeding without counsel. Those statistics may give some indication on the need for counsel and the impact of not having counsel in a divorce or child custody case.

62% of the Judges interviewed viewed the outcomes for non-represented litigants as being worse and 37% of the Judges felt there was no impact. When asked about the range of problems pro per’ litigants had without counsel, the list included failure to present necessary evidence, procedural mistakes, failure to effectively examine witnesses or make proper objections and poor arguments. ABA Coalition of Justice, Report on the Survey of Judges on the Impact of Economic Downturn on Representation in the Courts.

While finances are tight for most families, if the decision is made to hire an attorney, there may be options to help afford the cost of representation. This can include looking for an attorney who provides payment plans or doing some of the work yourself to reduce your fees. As the survey indicates, representation in court can make a difference. If you cannot afford an attorney for the entire case, you may wish to only hire an attorney to represent you for court appearances. This option should be discussed beforehand with counsel to ensure your best options as there are timelines to provide evidence, witnesses and documents to the other side and Court. Those timelines, if missed, can result in evidence and witnesses being excluded. In addition, if an individual drafts their own paperwork, they must be sure to properly plead all items as this can result in loss of defenses or arguments if not properly pled.

Before hiring any attorney, one should take steps to insure that it is the right fit. The American Bar Association provides information on a Hiring an Attorney which may be helpful to review. Not every individual needs, requires or wants an attorney. Before making the decision to hire or not hire, it is vital to educate yourself on the pros, cons, and what to look for in counsel.

reno divorce lawyer

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

This article is not meant to be 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 on this website is based upon Florida law only.  If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area.  The Luna Law Firm handles annulment matters in Jacksonville, Florida and the surrounding areas.

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.

 

Why You Should Attend Parenting Classes During Your Florida Child Custody Case or Divorce?

We commonly advise clients involved in child custody cases to consider attending parenting classes. While this may not feel necessary, it is often a good way to further educate yourself about co-parenting and improve your parenting skills. Attending a parenting class also shows the Court that you are interested and willing to take steps to improve your parenting and improve your co-parenting relationship with the other parent.

Parenting classes can be especially valuable if you are the parent who did less of the parenting during the relationship. It isn’t uncommon when there are two parents in the home for one parent to take on more of the parenting duties. If the other parent is expressing concern that your parenting skills are lacking, signing up and completing a parenting class can help alleviate that concern.

If there is a step-parent or significant other involved with your children, this individual can and perhaps should enroll and complete a class designed to educate them on their role with your children. It is not uncommon for parents to end up back in court after a new significant other enters the picture. A step-parent who understands their role and the importance of a good co-parenting relationship between the biological parents can be an asset when a child custody case arises.

If you are involved in a child custody action in Florida, you should consider enrolling in and attending parenting classes. The Court often requires attendance at a co-parenting course during the case; however, there are other classes that may be of further benefit to you.

This article is not meant to be 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 Florida law only.  If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area.  The Luna Law Firm handles annulment matters on a regular basis in Jacksonville, Florida, and the surrounding areas.

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.

Facebook Is Not Your Friend

Facebook is not your friend when it comes to child custody, divorce and family law matters. Florida custody and divorce cases often involve evidence that has been obtained from Facebook.com.   Although the Luna Law Firm, PA cautions clients to avoid disclosing information on Facebook during litigation, it isn’t uncommon for photos, newsfeeds, or other information to be presented in court. This could include the behavior of a parent, information related to the waste of assets, and embarrassing photos posted by friends.

It is becoming a more widely recognized issue that the information you post on Facebook can be damaging. Recently, while listening to NPR, I overheard a piece on employers firing employees over Facebook posts. In some cases prospective employers are even researching applicant’s Facebook pages prior to hiring. It is clear that Facebook is becoming a common tool for learning more about employees, job applicants and yes, even your former spouse and/or child’s parent.

Your child custody and/or divorce case can have a significant impact on your custodial rights and your life going forward following the case.  The last thing you or your attorney want is for damaging information posted in a public space such as Facebook to be discovered by the opposing party.

If I could urge one rule regarding Facebook – don’t open an account if you don’t already have one during your case. If you do have an account, avoid posting photos, comments or even liking items you might regret.  You should carefully monitor your account and ensure that friends and family members don’t tag you and post comments or photos that are damaging to your case. You should set your privacy settings to prevent posting without your approval.

Often clients tell me their Facebook page is private.  While you may have privacy settings set high, the friends on your page sometimes do reveal your information to the opposing party. It is best to assume that everything you place on that page will be reported to the opposing party in your case. You should also change your password no matter how certain you are that the other side may not have it.  Simply put, caution is the best policy.

For more information including NPR pieces on the subject of Facebook, please see

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/03/21/149095385/a-job-at-what-cost-when-employers-log-in-to-dig-in

http://www.npr.org/2013/01/10/169029734/companies-invest-in-new-employees-corporate-watchdogs

This article is not meant to be 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 Florida law only.  If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area.  The Luna Law Firm handles family law matters in Jacksonville, Florida and the surrounding areas.

View 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.

10 Tips for Utilizing Email to Communicate with your Child’s Parent

In a Florida child custody case it is not uncommon to see both parties utilizing emails, text messages and other written communication as evidence against the other parent. The written word, especially by text or email, is solid evidence of the type of communication and relationship between two parents. The evidence can be very damaging or very helpful depending on what is said, how it is said and the way the email is written. It is important to carefully consider what you write to the other parent in every form of communication, and always assume that it could be used in court against you.

The following are some basic tips to consider. These tips are not all inclusive. Always use your best judgment to communicate effectively with the other parent.

  1. Avoid using all capital letters. The use of all capital letters is considered by many to be rude or yelling.
  2. Avoid using harsh colors such as red which signifies anger.
  3. Always be polite and respectful in your tone.
  4. Keep the email limited to issues involving the children and not your personal feelings. Communication with the other parent should be child centered as much as possible.
  5. Do not call the other parent, their significant other or their family members names.
  6. Keep your message short and to the point.
  7. Do not respond or write email while angry at the other parent. Wait until you have cooled off and can be objective. Knee jerk responses usually led to inappropriate emails.
  8. Respect the other parent’s request not to be emailed at their business email.
  9. Do not argue with the other parent through email. State facts and ask questions.
  10. Never ever threaten abuse, harm or other violence.

Careful and respectful communication will not only help your custody case but may also improve relations with your child’s parent. If you are struggling with communicating, it is recommended that you discuss this with your attorney, your therapist and consider attending co-parenting classes.

-K. Beth Luna, ESQ

This article is not meant to be 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.

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

Ten Items to Consider Using as Evidence in a Child Custody Case:

Evidence can support the testimony offered by witnesses and parties.  This is particularly true in child custody matters which often involve ‘he said, she said’ issues.  In my experience as a child custody attorney, there are many items that may benefit your case.  Clients should provide the following ten items to their attorney for review as potential evidence in a child custody case.

1.   School records for the minor children for the past two years.
2.    Note or messages from the children’s teachers or other school officials.
3.    Any text message or email to/from either party that concerns the children or visitation.
4.    Medical records and/or therapy records for the minor children if relevant.
5.    Letters, cards or emails to/from the minor children from the other parent.
6.    Copies of facebook pages for the parties and/or the children if accessible.
7.    Photos of bruises or other injuries to the minor children and/or parent which are believed to be the result of abuse.
8.    Child Protective Services records if available and in existence.
9.     Copies of calendars and/or journals kept in relation to custody and visitation.
10.  Criminal records if any of the parties.

These suggestions are just a short list of potential evidence that may be relevant to a custody case. There may be other items which are relevant and will assist in your case.  You should discuss evidence in depth with your attorney to determine items that may be necessary to prove the individual case.

This post is not meant to be legal advice.  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.

Luna Law Firm Policy on Returning Phone Calls

Luna Law Firm, PA policy on returning phone calls:

I have always believed that family law is an area that requires perhaps more sensitivity towards clients than any other type of legal practice. A common complaint among all areas of law from clients is that there phone calls are not returned. It is my belief that legal matters often contain the same anxiety as waiting on test results from your doctor. You’re nervous, anxious and nothing is going to ease those emotions until you hear from your doctor’s office.

At the Luna Law Firm, PA, we keep that in mind. Our goal is to return every phone call the same day but no later than 24 business hours. If I am in the office and available, I am happy to take your call right then and there. I understand your divorce, child custody or other family law matter is scary. You may be nervous and anxious and if a phone call can put you at ease or answer a looming question you have, I want to give that call priority.

The goal at the Luna Law Firm, PA is to provide superior customer service and aggressive, reasonable representation no matter what the family law issue. Contact us for a consult on your child custody or divorce matter.