SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

“SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER”

The Divorce Anthem

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

That used to be the anthem we blasted on our radios as loud as can be…now the tune can equate fear. I think the most difficult part of summer break is unilateral for all parents; keeping your children occupied. Twice as hard when you have to split time with an EX. Of course it is important for parents to spend as much quality time with their children as they can, but add Divorce into the mix and you have yourself a real fun uphill battle.

If you are in a high conflict situation with your co-parent it may not be the best idea for the kids to be switching back and forth between co-parents very often during the summer months. When dealing with divorce and summer break you must always have the benefit and welfare of your children as your number one priority. If your current situation with the co-parent is unsuitable for your children to be around consider having them spend the summer with relatives or at a summer camp. It is also always a good idea to discuss with your kids about summer plans prior to their summer break and to come up with options and hear their opinions.

Continue Reading »

An Ad Doesn’t Go to Court with You

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

An Ad Doesn’t Go to Court with You

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Finding the right attorney is a daunting task, right up there with the prospect of divorce itself. There are ‘one stop shop’ attorneys who practice many areas of law. There are attorneys who have built a reputation for toughness, being the best ‘arguer’ in town. There are others that believe you don’t need attorneys at all. On this, I assure you, very few couples fall into this last category.

Believe it or not, your attorney is a reflection of the type of divorce you are about to embark on. Not all divorces need to be amicable, however, beginning the process with an attorney who says that they are the toughest around says something very clear, and only you can decide if that message is the right fit for a family already going through a difficult time.

In addition, while attorneys are able to practice in more than one area of law, I have found that those who focus on one particular area simply know their field the best. Attorneys who primarily practice family law/divorce, know the judges, the other divorce attorneys and have the most up to date and relevant case knowledge.

Googling “best or toughest divorce attorney” may only help you find the attorneys with the best paid placement, not necessarily the best skills. There is no substitute for word of mouth when it comes to hiring an attorney. Ironically, some recent divorcees may refer you to their former spouse’s attorney because they were more effective.

At your initial consultation, bring a list of questions. These are basic and easy to find online, so I am going to suggest questions you should ask yourself after your first consultation. Continue Reading »

The Divorced or Separated Back to School Guidebook

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The Divorced or Separated Back to School Guidebook

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Summer went by faster than expected yet again and school is back in session. That means a change of schedule, a change of weather and — when you’re divorced — a change in how you need to interact with your ex.

After all, just because you are no longer husband and wife (or boyfriend and girlfriend), you are still mom and dad. With school starting, this means you both need to be on the same page with how you’re going to manage transitions and support your child’s scholastic needs.

This is no easy task. It requires a mix of little details and big picture thinking. In some cases, it requires re-imagining trusted traditions (where will the “first day” photos be taken?) or re-arranging work schedules. In all cases, it requires that you and your ex bring your best selves to your relationship with your kids and each other.

Kids who are focused on succeeding in school, typically succeed in life. Do whatever you can to help them focus. Eliminate relationship drama and give them the security of knowing both parents are engaged.

Kids don’t care if it’s “your week” or not. Showing up for school events sends a strong message, one that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Often, a child’s emotional struggles manifest in school work. If your child is struggling academically and your efforts are failing to yield results, consider seeking professional help. Redirection is easier months into their struggle instead of years into their struggle.

Here are some suggestions. Continue Reading »

The ‘Disneyland’ Parent Dilemma

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

The ‘Disneyland’ Parent Dilemma

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

You know the story… the kids come back from a weekend with the ex; they show off the latest toy, brag about how late they stayed up and the junk food they were allowed to eat for breakfast. It can be infuriating to deal with an ex who gets the short parenting shift and then tries to buy the kids’ affection on the weekends. We are familiar with the scenarios and can offer some advice.

The scenario: Every time the ex has the kids, they shower the kids with extravagant gifts – the big-ticket items you tend to save for the holidays. There’s no way you can compete. Your financial situation is lopsided in favor of your ex.
How to deal: The next time the kids come home with a new Nintendo Wii U or iPad, remind yourself that love can’t be bought. Electronics (and concert tickets and designer clothes) offer quick, temporary ‘love’. The next time your child wakes from a nightmare, skins their knee or needs help with a book report, it won’t be the latest Apple product they run to. It won’t even be the person who gave it to them; it’ll be you.
The scenario: While you’re handling the daily grind of parenting, your uninvolved ex swoops in and whisks the kids to a big game. “Ah,” you think, “if only they could show up for the occasional parent-teacher conference or soccer meet.” Continue Reading »

Experience and Personalized Attention Matters Law Office of Steven B. Chroman, P.C.

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Experience and Personalized Attention Matters Law Office of Steven B. Chroman, P.C.

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

For over 15 years, Steven B. Chroman has been providing outstanding legal services to clients in and around our Valley.  The Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C., located in Santa Clarita, specializes in the area of family and marital law, divorce, mediation, bundled services, uncontested divorce, legal separation, child/spousal support, modification of orders and paternity, as well as child custody/visitation, property settlements, division of property, domestic violence, enforcement of orders and more.

“We maintain a focused practice to ensure personalized attention, meeting the needs of the individual client,” states Steven B. Chroman.  “At a larger firm, a significant amount of the work is performed by paralegal staff, with little contact with the actual attorneys.  At the Law Office of Steven B. Chroman, our attorneys are able to offer personal attention to each and every case.”  Concerns involving a divorce or domestic partnership, custody, visitation and so forth can be overwhelming.  Family law issues are difficult, both emotionally and financially and (it) can be hard to make good legal decisions during these times without proper guidance.

Often divorces involve significant emotional conflict and economic uncertainty. “Our goal is to help our clients through the process as quickly and effectively as possible.  With our years of experience in family law, we are able to anticipate issues and keep up-to-date on trends that are important to our clients.”  When going through a divorce, you cannot underestimate the value of an experienced divorce attorney; one that can understand, explain and help you prepare for what needs to be done.  At the Law Office of Steven B. Chroman, you will receive an accurate and honest assessment of your case.  “Our firm assists families with all areas of family law.  We understand the importance of an approach that takes into consideration not only the legal issues, but the needs and concerns of each member of the family, be it a child or even the grandparents.”

The Law Office of Steven B. Chroman is located at 25020 Avenue Stanford, Suite 200 in Santa Clarita.  They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., and available on nights and weekends.   Call 661-255-1800 or visit www.chromanlaw.com today for a free confidential initial consultation.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

At the heart of every divorce are four issues:

  1. Division of community and/or marital property;
  2. Division of debt;
  3. Custody and visitation of any children; and
  4. Payment of child and/or spousal support

While no divorce is truly “uncontested” in the sense that there are no disagreements, these disputes do not always have to be resolved in court. That is what we mean by an uncontested divorce – one where the spouses can reach a decision as to the terms of the divorce without going to trial. Uncontested divorces move more quickly through the court system and are less expensive than contested divorces.
Continue Reading »

Halloween Stereotypes Costumes During Divorce

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Halloween Stereotypes Costumes During Divorce

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

There’s not really a good time of year for divorce. But splitting up right before Halloween is particularly horrifying. If you have kids you can’t just sit the season out – you have to make as though you’re merry, even when you’re teary. The right costume can give you a boost of empowerment that will help you get through the next two months and the holidays.
Here is the lowdown on dressing up: The name of the game is to avoid costumes that play into how society portrays divorcing people or how your ex is trying to depict you specifically. It is no easy task considering the way Halloween depicts (women especially) into stereotypes, that we all find not only cliché, but if you stop and think about it, insulting.
Examples of costumes that you may want to avoid:

• Witch or Blood Sucking Vampire: I don’t think this one even needs a description

• Divorcees Gone Wild: Stay away from any costume that could be described as “sexy [insert noun here].” Or wait until the divorce is final.

• Mental Patient or Ax Murderer: Nothing is scarier than a violent plus crazy combo package. Divorce is the leading cause of temporary insanity, so people already suspect you’re crazy. Don’t finish the job by making them think you’re violent, too.
Examples of costumes you may want to consider: Continue Reading »

Back To School Divorce Tips

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Back To School Divorce Tips

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

The kids are heading back to school, and just like us, they are going to be excited, anxious, terrified, nervous, sad and happy. Mixed feelings are natural at this time of year, no matter how old your kids are or how many times you’ve been through it all as a parent.

You have some new school-related issues to deal with if you are newly divorced. Who is paying for what? What activities will the child get to be involved in? Who keeps an eye on homework assignments? Who does the school call if there is an emergency?

Get on the same page about routines. Kids will adjust faster if you’re in agreement about routines. Work out any potential disagreements now such as emergency procedures, meals, pick-up, weather, after-school activities and all the other components of the school week. Write it all down and share the plan with your children. Keep it simple and be consistent.

Meet the new teacher. Introduce yourself to your child’s new teacher to get off to a good start. Inform him or her about your family circumstances. It will help if your child’s teacher knows the situation. But don’t draw teachers or other school personnel into your personal conflict at home.

Arrange for duplicate notifications. Although information should always be shared, it helps to arrange for separate, duplicate notifications about academic progress and school activities so one parent is not responsible for copying and sending information to the other.
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Lawyers Versus Legal Document Preparers Document Preparation – The Good, The Bad and The Pro

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Lawyers Versus Legal Document Preparers Document Preparation – The Good, The Bad and The Pro

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

‘The times they are a changing.’ The way people choose to exit a marriage, be it with separate attorneys, a mediator, or do it yourself, there is a solution to fit every one. But before you go the ‘do it yourself route’ ask yourself a couple very important questions to see if you qualify. Most importantly if you hire a document preparation service, there are some things you should understand.

There are businesses that prepare the paperwork for uncontested divorces. These folks may be called paralegals but are commonly referred to as legal document preparers, or LDPs. Legal document preparers are not allowed to give you legal advice. (Only licensed lawyers can do that.) However, they can prepare forms, using the information you supply, and have them filed with the court. Because you are not utilizing an attorney, the quality and reliability of such services can vary greatly, so it is very important to do your own due diligence before settling on one. Find out how much experience the LDP has, check online reviews, and if possible, get a reference.

If you choose to use a document preparation service, please make sure the paperwork is being done by a professional who knows what they are doing on your behalf in the area of law you are seeking assistance. Unfortunately, we see too many clients come to us because the forms were either done incorrectly or not appropriately completed, making what could have been a simple process twice as hard and three times as long. Review the following: Continue Reading »

Summer Break – Avoiding the Divorce Summer Break-Down

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Summer Break – Avoiding the Divorce Summer Break-Down

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Kids are excited because summer is here. You on the other hand being either recently separated or divorced, or years into the co-parenting cycle, have a different take on summer break. Getting used to the idea of visitation schedules is hard enough, doing so with the ever changing summer activities is a never ending rotation of planning. Why?

Keeping your children occupied is arguably the most difficult part of divorce and summer break. It may even be the most difficult part of summer break for families whose parents are still together. It is important for parents to spend quality time with their children as they can, especially when growing up, though everyone knows that this may not always be possible.

If you are in a high conflict situation with your co-parent, it may not be the best idea for the kids to be switching back and forth between co-parents very often during the summer months. When dealing with divorce and summer break you must always have the benefit and welfare of your children as your number one priority. If your current situation with the co-parent is unsuitable for your children to be around, consider having them spend the summer with relatives or at a summer camp.
Continue Reading »