De Ita, Lowe & Wald, LLP

Phone: 650-918-4999

San Mateo Family Law And Workers' Compensation Blog

Keeping your divorce out of your work and career

When you and your spouse are going through a divorce in California, it can be next to impossible to keep your thoughts from wandering to your failed relationship during the day. While it is good to give yourself time to feel your emotions, allowing your thoughts to creep into your work can cause you to become distracted and less able to be efficient and focused in your career. At De Ita, Lowe & Wald, LLP, we have helped many people to finalize their divorce as quickly as possible. 

Your career is an integral part of your life and now more than ever, it is crucial that you maintain as much stability as you can with the drastic changes in your personal life. Maintaining a reliable and steady income may allow you to begin preparing for your future and rebuilding financial assets that you may have had to split during divorce proceedings. 

What are my options when my workers' comp claim is denied?

Though workers' compensation is meant to be a no-fault compensation system for injured workers, the workers' compensation board can and often does deny claims. If the administration sent you a denial notice, it is because it believes that workers' compensation does not cover your injury. If you received a denial, you are not without options. You can contest the board's decision by filing a claim at one of the 24 Division of Workers' Compensation offices throughout California.

The Department of Industrial Relations details the three-step process necessary to object a claim denial. First, you must submit an Application for Adjudication of Claim with the DWC. You must file your application in the county in which you live or where you were injured. You must also serve notice to all other involved parties. Shortly after you file your claim, the DWC will send you a case number, which will begin with the letters ADJ.  

Letting the kids keep one home even through joint custody

For children, perhaps the hardest part of divorce is how different their lives become after the split. Not only are their parents no longer married, but they have to move to a different home. They may switch schools. If the parents have joint custody, they may bounce back and forth between two homes. They could lose friends and neighbors.

All in all, it feels like the parents' decision to divorce uprooted everything they knew and loved in their lives. Their routines get shattered and it's hard for them to move forward.

Financial recovery for occupational illnesses

If you become ill because of an event or exposure in your workplace, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. This may true even if the event or exposure merely aggravated a condition but did not cause it. At De Ita, Lowe & Wald, LLP, we serve as staunch advocates of workers who suffer occupational illnesses in California and diligently work to maximize their benefits.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, recordable cases of occupational diseases are those that result in missed work, restricted work activity, medical treatment or even death. If your case involves any of these damages, you may be eligible for compensation for medical care, continued rehabilitation, lost wages or temporary disability. If you lost a loved one to an occupational illness, you may be able to recover to death benefits.

How does psychology affect division of property during a divorce?

Joint ownership of property, often considered a boon to California couples when they marry, can become a burden to a couple if they decide to divorce. If you and your spouse have decided to dissolve your marriage, the court will attempt to divide your common property as fairly as possible. According to the American Psychological Association, however, the division process can be difficult not only because of the emotional aspect of divorce but because couples often do not keep records of which property belongs to which partner.

Further complicating the matter is the fact that, from a psychological point of view, you may feel or perceive ownership over property that does not legally belong to you. Research suggests that you will tend to feel more ownership over an object that you hold, touch or use, regardless of who originally paid for it or who owns it in the eyes of the law. For example, if your spouse owned a tool set prior to your marriage but you used it more often than your spouse for maintenance of your home or automobile during your marriage, you may feel more ownership over the tool set, and therefore value it more, than your spouse does. Conversely, you may feel less ownership over property that is largely intangible, such as a retirement account or a stock portfolio. Therefore, even though your joint retirement account may be worth more money than your spouse's tool set, you may value it less because you feel less ownership over it.

Workers' compensation and employer retaliation

After sustaining a work-related injury in California, you have a right to compensation from your employer. In addition to medical bills, this compensation can cover retraining for a new position if you are unable to return to your old one, wages lost as you recover from your injury before returning to work as well permanent disability if your injury causes long-term adverse health effects. However, at the law firm of De Ita, Lowe & Wald, we have seen employers retaliate against injured employees, usually by firing them. Employer retaliation against workers' compensation claimants usually stems from financial concerns, as multiple compensation claims can increase your employer's insurance premiums. 

According to FindLaw, firing is only one form that employer retaliation can take. Employers can also attempt to falsify compensation paperwork, request that employees use personal insurance to cover work-related injuries or try to convince employees to falsify statements as to where the injury occurred, i.e., to say that the injury happened at home rather than at work. The timing of job termination is also significant in legally determining if retaliation has taken place. For example, if your employer fires you shortly after the workers' compensation carrier denies your claim, the court may rule that this constitutes retaliation. 

Modifying the custody order when life changes

Settling into new schedules and living arrangements in California after a divorce can be challenging. Once the custody proceedings are closed, you may think that you are finished with the courts. At De Ita, Lowe & Wald, LLP., we know that life changes. Instead of struggling with the initial arrangement and dealing with a situation that no longer fits life’s circumstances, you can go back for modifications to the court order.

Renegotiating a custody agreement every two to three years is typical. As children grow, their needs and interests change. Living arrangements and parenting schedules may need to accommodate these changes. If you and your ex can agree on the revisions, a new agreement may be filed, with no intervention by the courts. However, if you cannot decide on the changes, the court can be petitioned for an official modification.

6 signs your spouse may be unhappy

You know how common divorce is, but you do not know exactly what leads up to it. This is your first marriage, after all. You got married young. You do not have the experience to spot the warning signs.

However, knowing how to spot them is important. It helps you understand that divorce is on the horizon so that you can plan ahead and put yourself in the best position for your future. To help, here are six signs that your spouse may be feeling unhappy, which can eventually lead to a split:

Factors that contribute to spousal support

During your divorce in California, the transition from spouse to individual comes with varying degrees of stress and uncertainty. The negotiations regarding spousal support may cause the feelings of losing control and ambiguity. If the court system is involved in the proceedings, there is tension even if all parties involved understand the events unfolding. At De Ita, Lowe & Wald, LLP, we recognize that understanding the factors that judges must consider if one spouse or partner requires financial assistance may help ease the transition.

According to the California Courts, marketable skills, the current job market and the earning capacity of you and your spouse are all elements that influence a judge’s decision. If the spouse receiving support does not have the job skills necessary, the amount awarded may take into consideration the amount of time and training needed to develop skills to find employment.

What happens after you are injured in a workplace accident?

You were injured in a workplace accident at your place of employment in California. Fortunately, you have workers' compensation benefits that have allowed you to receive assistance and resources while you are recovering and unable to work. However, what happens now? Will you be able to return to work? How long are you going to have to wait before you are given full clearance to resume your job responsibilities? Understanding the answers to these types of questions can help you have a clearer picture of your future after having suffering a work-related injury. 

According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, while you should adhere to the recommendations of your health care provider and employer, your decision to return to work as soon as you receive medical clearance is imperative to your ability to recover completely. Statistics show that workers who return to work as soon as possible are more likely to make a full recovery and are also able to begin earning wages right away. 

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