Tag Archive for: El Cajon

divorce lawyer in La Mesa

Divorces Likely to Increase due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis has caused a major disruption to all of our lives. California and most other states have a “stay-at-home” order in place to keep citizens distanced from each other until the pandemic subsides, and this has resulted in the closure of countless “nonessential” businesses, causing millions to suddenly lose their jobs. The kids are going to school from home, and those of us who are still working are doing so out of our homes as well.

The end result of all this is that most Americans have been cooped up in their homes together for an extended period of time. Unless you are an essential front-line worker, you can only leave your home to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, to take a walk, and a few other limited activities.

It is difficult to predict what the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be on couples who have been quarantined together for several weeks. This is an unprecedented situation, and how the pandemic will impact married couples is one of numerous questions that we will not know the answer to until long after this is over.

Some couples will certainly see COVID-19 as a welcome disruption to their normal routine and an opportunity to spend more time with each other. For others, it could bring tensions that have been simmering underneath the surface to a boil. A lot depends on what the health of the relationship was before all this started, how each spouse is handling the shutdown, their attitudes and worldviews, compatibility in closed quarters without much time apart, and other specific factors.

So, will the coronavirus pandemic trigger a spike in divorces, or will we see another baby boom? Only time will tell. Here are a few reasons why there is a good chance that the number of divorces will increase after COVID-19 is over:

  • People Need Space: It is a widely accepted truth that marriages benefit from spouses having time for themselves. No matter how much two people love and care for each other, being together constantly can be very unhealthy for a relationship. People need time for themselves to pursue their own interests and hobbies, maintain their individual identities, or just relax. Also, when people spend some time apart from each other, they tend to be happier and less stressed when they do get to see each other. Given these natural tendencies, couples who find themselves stuck together because of the coronavirus outbreak will need to work extra hard to keep their relationship healthy and fresh.
  • Record Numbers of Households Face Financial Distress: Money is one of the top reasons couples get divorced, and COVID-19 has created a huge amount of financial stress for many families. Being in the same home together along with tighter finances could be drive many couples over the edge and cause them to end their marriage.
  • The Increase in Domestic Violence Cases: One of the saddest unintended consequences of the coronavirus lockdown has been the rise in domestic violence cases. Law enforcement agencies across the country have reported a spike in domestic violence calls, which experts believe is largely due to the tension and stress couples and families are under being cooped up together. This tragic development could be a preview of what will happen with the divorce rate.
  • China’s Divorce Rate has risen Since the Start of COVID-19: China, the country in which the coronavirus originated, has seen a sharp rise in divorce rates since the quarantines ended. They also had a spike in domestic violence cases when they were under lockdown. China is obviously a different country than ours with a vastly different and unique culture, but higher divorce rates there could be an indication of what is to come in the Western world. We will need to keep an eye on other countries like Japan, South Korea, and Italy where the pandemic hit before it arrived here to see if this trend continues.

Whatever your Legal Needs, Garmo & Garmo is Here to Help

At Garmo & Garmo, we hope everyone is staying safe and healthy as we go through the coronavirus pandemic and deal with its aftereffects once it is over. We also hope you are taking steps to keep the valued relationships with your loved ones healthy as well. This is one of those rare shared experiences where we can truly say “we are all in this together”, and this will all be over hopefully sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, we want you to know that we are here for you if you need legal help. We are taking all the precautions and following all of the social distancing guidelines, and most of our work is being done remotely these days. The court also has limited access right now, but they are still available for emergency proceedings. Despite the current challenges, we have the technology and resources to run a fully functional practice and continue providing the experienced and skilled representation our clients have always received.

For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, message us online or call us today at (619) 441-2500. We look forward to serving you!

Protective Order attorney in el cajon

What do I Do if my Spouse Violates a Protective Order?

In California, protective orders (also known as restraining orders) are used to protect an individual who is being harassed, stalked, threatened, or abused. For example, a protective order may be placed on an abusive spouse that restricts them from coming within a certain distance of the other spouse for a specified period of time. It is unlawful for the restrained person to violate a protective order, and a violation can result in harsh consequences.

California Protective Order Basics

Protective orders/restraining orders are court orders that protect the endangered person from harm. There are several different types of protective orders in California, these include:

  • Domestic Violence Protective Orders: Domestic violence restraining orders are among the most common, and they are used to protect an individual from someone they have a close relationship with. A protective order against a spouse would fall into this category. Other examples include protective orders against the former spouses, current or former cohabitating partners, current or former individuals they were in a dating relationship with, parents, grandparents, children, siblings, anyone closely related to them by blood, marriage, or adoption, or anyone who lives regularly in their home.
  • Civil Harassment Protective Orders: Civil harassment restraining orders are used to protect an individual from someone who they do not have a close relationship with, and which would not be considered a domestic relationship. Examples may include former friends, neighbors, roommates, and distant family members who would not qualify for a domestic violence protective order.
  • Workplace Violence Protective Orders: This type of protective order protects employees who have been victims of threats, harassment, stalking, or violence from a coworker or someone else in the workplace. Workplace violence restraining orders can only be requested by the employer on behalf of an endangered employee. The employee cannot request the order themselves. However, an employee could request a domestic violence or civil harassment protective order depending on their relationship with the restrained person.
  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Protective Orders: Individuals who are 65 years of age or older or disabled and between the ages of 18 and 64 can request an elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order to protect them from physical, mental, or psychological abuse, neglect or abandonment, financial abuse, deprivation, or any other treatment that is physically or mentally harmful to the victim by a caregiver for whom the victim relies for their basic needs.
  • Emergency Protective Orders: When there is immediate danger, an emergency restraining order can be requested by a law enforcement officer any time 24/7. Emergency orders are limited in duration, and the victim will need to request an extension of the order or obtain a new order to lengthen the duration.

What to Do when your Spouse Violates a Protective Order

If your spouse intentionally disobeys any of the provisions of a protective order, there are some steps you should take:

  • Contact the Police: If your spouse’s violation of the protective order puts you in danger, call the police right away. Show the police a copy of the order, and if your spouse is there and has not been served, ask the police officer to serve them. The police could also choose to arrest your spouse for violating the order, and they could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on if this is a first or subsequent violation. Criminal penalties may include heavy fines and jail time.
  • Retain Evidence of the Violation: Gather as much evidence as possible to prove that your spouse violated the protective order. Write down, in as much detail as you can, what happened while it is still fresh in your mind. Obtain statements from anyone who may have witnessed the event. Retain copies of any threatening voicemails, text messages, emails, social media posts, or any other type of electronic messages. If you were injured, obtain copies of your medical report.
  • Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney: If the involvement of the police has not deterred your spouse from violating the protective order, get in touch with a seasoned family law attorney to discuss your legal options. The next step may be to file a contempt of court action for violating the order. This is a powerful remedy, however, and it could land your spouse in jail. This is also a complicated action that requires you to prove that your spouse knew about the protective order and willfully violated it. For this reason, contempt of court actions should only be used as a last resort.

For immediate help with protective orders and any other type of family legal matter in San Diego, El Cajon, and throughout Southern California, contact the experienced attorneys at Garmo and Garmo. Call our office today at 619-441-2500 or send us a message through our web contact form.

Nursing Home Abuse attorney in el cajon

Three Commonly Missed Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

There is a major crisis in America’s nursing homes, and things are unlikely to get any better in the near future. Aging demographics, industry consolidation, and other factors have led to a major shortage of qualified staff within many nursing facilities. This has created a situation where many of the elderly who live in these facilities are neglected or abused.

An ABC News report from the early 2000s found that elder abuse occurs at approximately one out of every three nursing homes in the United States. Things have gotten far worse in the last two decades since that report originally came out. More than three million Americans live in nursing homes today, and one out of every three report having been abused. A staggering 95% also report having seen other residents being abused.

As shocking as the statistics are, these are most likely very conservative estimates. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) says that only one out of every 14 cases of elder abuse ever gets reported. It is easy to understand why so few victims report nursing home abuse. Residents depend on their caregivers for even their most basic needs, and they are often intimidated into not saying anything, because they believe that if they speak up, things will get worse.

Patients might also feel like no one is going to believe them, because they are aging, and their memory is not as good as it used to be. This is especially true among Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Many abusers feel like they can get away with even the most egregious acts, because if their patients speak up, they can just discredit their story because of their condition.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

It is beyond frustrating to think that a facility you entrusted to care for your aging loved one during their golden years has violated that trust. But how would you know? With so few patients willing to speak up, it is incumbent upon family members to be proactive and look for signs that abuse may be occurring.

There are several signs to look for that may be an indication of abuse:

  • Physical Signs: Unexplained physical injuries, bed sores and other conditions that go untreated, frequent visits to the doctor or emergency room.
  • Emotional Signs: Fear, anxiety, agitation, depression, etc.
  • Poor Living Conditions: Poor hygiene, unsanitary conditions in their living area, etc.
  • Poor Nutrition: Malnutrition, dehydration, etc.
  • Facility Staffing Problems: Staffing shortages, high staff turnover, disorganized staff, etc.

Some signs of elder abuse are fairly clear, but others are more difficult to detect.  Here are three commonly missed signs of nursing home abuse:

Slick and Evasive Answers from Staff

If you are having trouble getting a straight answer from one of your aging loved one’s caregivers, this may be cause for concern. For example, your loved one falls down three times within a couple weeks, or they make two trips to the emergency room within a week. You ask what happened, and the caregiver explains it away by saying something like “this is what happens to people as they get older”. General, vague, and dismissive answers can be a sign that something is being covered up, or it could just mean that the caregiver is not sure exactly what happened either, because they were not on duty at the time or whatever. Either way, if staff members are not clearly answering your questions, this is a red flag that could indicate that something is wrong.

A Patient Becoming Confused or Disoriented

When an elderly individual is subjected to abuse, it can take a major physical, mental, and emotional toll on them. Physical and mental exhaustion can cause them to become increasingly disoriented and confused. Confusion and disorientation might also be a sign of deteriorating health, so you will need to look into it further to find out the exact reason this is happening to your loved one.

Emotional Withdrawal

Another potential sign of nursing home abuse is a patient becoming withdrawn and ambivalent about what is happening around them. If someone is in a horrible situation where they are being abused and they feel like there is no hope of anything changing, they often stop caring about anything and start to withdraw. Now, there could be other reasons for this behavior as well.  Many nursing home patients are not happy with their surroundings, and they wish they could go home. But because of their health or other circumstances, they feel like they are stuck in the facility for the rest of their life. This also could create emotional withdrawal.

Has your Loved One Been a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse?

If you believe your aging loved one has suffered neglect or abuse in a California nursing facility, you may file a complaint with the Licensing and Servicing division of the California Dept of Public Health, or with the Department of Social Services. Once you have lodged a complaint, speak with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.

At Garmo and Garmo, we are outraged by the treatment many of our seniors receive in California nursing homes. We have successfully represented countless nursing home abuse victims in San Diego, El Cajon, and throughout Southern California, and we are ready to go to work for you. Call us today at 619-441-2500 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You may also send us a message through our online contact form.