Keeping Children Safe During Divorce Proceedings

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Family Law on Wednesday August 11th, 2021

It can be difficult to know what is best for children or how best to keep them safe during an ongoing divorce. It is important to understand the rights and responsibilities that are in place from the moment a divorce petition is filed so that children are kept safe and both parties can come out of the divorce with their parental rights and relationships intact. 

Know the Rules During a Divorce 

Regardless of the situation, it is important to know that once a legal separation is granted and divorce proceedings begin, neither parent is allowed to take children out of the state in which the divorce is occurring. 

This is done to safeguard the children and to determine the state of the family at the time of the divorce. 

What this means though is that planned trips, vacations, or other activities may have to be put on hold while the process is ongoing. 

Be Honest and Forthright

It is important to include both parents in the divorce discussion and to be as open and honest as possible without blaming or shaming either parent during the conversation. 

It also helps to allow children to express their feelings and concerns as well as ask any questions they may have about what is going to happen moving forward. It is important to remember that while the divorce is going on, it’s not a good idea to discuss custody or living arrangements unless the courts have already made a decision regarding those facts. 

The goal is to make the process as smooth as possible for the children while handling the logistics of the divorce. 

Never Use Children as Intermediaries or Bargaining Chips 

Remember that the divorce should be settled by the parents, the courts, and the legal representatives on either side. This means that children should largely be kept out of the legal proceedings. 

Using the children to communicate with your spouse should never be an option. Neither is using your children to gain leverage or information on your spouse. 

At Wickersham and Bowers we know that divorces can be messy and painful endeavors, but that’s why it’s important to have the right legal representation to help make the process as simple and pain free as it can be. 

If you’re considering a divorce, contact us today for a consultation

Do You Need an Estate Lawyer?

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Wednesday August 11th, 2021.

Planning an estate is both a sad time and a complicated time for many families. Depending on the size of the estate and beneficiaries involved, the entire process can feel overwhelming. While it is entirely possible to handle the planning of an estate on your own, there are dozens of legal matters that can come up that can make the entire process even more confusing and take much longer than it should. 

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not you need an estate lawyer on your side. 

How Much Does the Executor Know About the Estate? 

When putting together an estate, there is always someone who is put in charge of all the finances, the assets, and the distribution of the estate. This requires not only an understanding of any wills or other instructions left for the estate, but a deep understanding of the finances surrounding the estate and how best to manage and distribute wealth for all parties involved. 

Because of tax laws surrounding inheritance, the age of the benefactors, and other issues, it is generally a good idea to have an estate lawyer there to assist with planning the estate. 

Are There Minors Involved? 

In the case where part of an estate is to be left to children under the age of 18 (or in some cases 21) then it is necessary for a conservator to be assigned. This person is responsible for managing the assets of the children until they reach legal age. 

Depending on the size of the estate, the way monies are assigned and divided, this can be quite complex and requires the aid of a trained legal professional to execute properly. 

Is Probate Necessary? 

In instances where there is not a clear line of inheritance or when assets are discovered outside the purview of the will, it is generally necessary for these items to go through probate. It is always advised to have a legal representative handle these matters as they can help prevent delays and make sure everything is processed properly. 

At Wickersham and Bowers we know how stress estate planning can be. That’s why we want to be there by your side to make the process as simple and easy as we can. 

Contact us today for a consultation