traffic ticket 1.11

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Some suburbs make an effort to be livable communities; others are not much more than bedroom conglomerations. Hatboro, Pa., was recently voted one of the “Best Places to Live in the U.S.,” evidence of its effort to create a true community and provide the kind of public services and resources that residents rave about.

Horsham, right next door, proudly guards its status as a municipality even though it keeps “township” in its name. Both Hatboro and Horsham have been able to attract numerous businesses with considerable clout.

One result of that ability to lure businesses and corporations to their borders, coupled with the high livability index, is that traffic has increased in recent years in the Hatboro-Horsham area. The region around Philadelphia as a whole can get very bogged down when workers are going into and out of the city, and now people drive from all sides of Philadelphia to work in Hatboro-Horsham.

Some commuters need to zip up I-95 east of town; many others take the famed Pennsylvania Turnpike that runs along Hatboro-Horsham’s southern border. The Turnpike has been a useful artery for decades in the state, but it has many treacherous stretches that need repair, and winter driving can be a true challenge for several months each year. High accident rates along the Turnpike prove the difficulty of navigating this long ribbon, especially when there is a long line of cars in your lane and fog or snow are impairing visibility and reducing traction.

When the weather is nicer and you get an early start on your commute, it can be very easy to not notice your speed or get strung along in a pack of vehicles all headed to work. When you feel like a fish swimming in a large school, it can be effortless to run a red light or speed, especially if you get behind one of the many trucks that are crossing the state or heading north or south to eventually join I-95.

You might think that you’re guilty of your alleged infraction, but you should consider your options before mailing in your fine, which is in essence a final admission of guilt. Even if the fine is not huge, it could cost you much more in the long term because of points assessed to your driving record and the resulting higher insurance premiums.

Speeding fines can set into motion a costly domino effect. Before you agree with the charging officer that you are completely guilty, consider these possibilities: 1) The police officer was using the new LIDAR technology with little or no training and made a critical error. These LIDAR guns, which use laser beams, are extremely sensitive and must be pointed at the right part of a vehicle to gauge an accurate speed. 2) The officer used VASCAR technology, which is basically a stopwatch hooked up to a computer. In triggering the stopwatch too late, the officer misread your speed over a given portion of the road. 3) The machines used in either of these scenarios were not fit for use by a law enforcement agency due to their lack of maintenance.

As you can see, the possibilities for error are almost too numerous to count. A Hatboro-Horsham speeding ticket lawyer can help you quickly identify numerous potential flaws with your speeding charge, including an angle that the officer had a lack of training in using certain speed detection technologies. With the abundant opportunities for error on the part of an officer, hiring a good Hatboro-Horsham traffic ticket lawyer could end up saving you a lot of money, time and points not added to your driving record.

Before paying your fine, call for a consultation with a Hatboro-Horsham traffic ticket attorney to examine your options when dealing with a traffic ticket. Who knows? You could be just a few points away from losing your license, which could lead to a job loss.

Contact a Hatboro-Horsham traffic ticket lawyer to examine your potential for a case and to give you valuable counsel regarding your choices in the matter. A trained professional who knows traffic law and how modern technology can go wrong in speed detection can help you to guard your driving record, hang on to your disposable cash and keep your job.

The small investment that you make in a top Hatboro-Horsham traffic ticket attorney will most likely be less than paying your fine and the elevated insurance premiums that follow for years to come. Make the wise choice and get a Hatboro-Horsham speeding ticket lawyer on your side.
It is always stressful and frustrating to get a traffic ticket, and for good reason. If you have been caught committing a traffic violation in Weatherly, you can face some pretty serious penalties for your traffic violations, penalties that accumulate and can follow you for years because they stay on your record. This means that a lot of people decide to not simply pay their fine and assume that will take care of their ticket, because there are other penalties aside from the fine that go with traffic tickets issued in Pennsylvania. If you choose to take the route of pleading not guilty to your traffic ticket and having the case heard in court, you will need to get in touch with an experienced Weatherly traffic ticket lawyer to help you present a strong defense before the judge.

Your traffic ticket case will be heard in front of the judge in the Carbon County district court that hears cases from Weatherly ( But know that the police officer who wrote your ticket will also be in court telling their side of the story, and judges are often more willing to believe them than to believe someone who comes to court with superb legal representation. In fact, most people who go to traffic court without a lawyer will lose their case. But calling a Weatherly traffic ticket attorney will greatly improve your chances of having your ticket dismissed or at least having the penalties that go with it reduced. But what does your lawyer have that you don’t? Aside from experience handling traffic tickets and a knowledge of the local courts, they will have the legal expertise to build a strong defense to counteract the story of the police officer, as well as access to the right kinds of evidence to support their argument. For example, they can show that the radar gun or traffic camera that caught you had a false reading, or that the police officer operating the speed gun did not have the appropriate training. There are several other strong defenses for people accused of committing traffic violations, so call your lawyer in plenty of time before your court date to start preparing.

You may be wondering why it is worth your time to go to court. The simple reason is that the penalties that go with traffic violations in Pennsylvania will stick with you for years and have negative consequences for you. Except for DUIs, whatever violation you committed will not only usually a fine associated with it but will also have a certain number of points that will go on your Pennsylvania driving record. As those points add up, so do the results. Six total points on your license will require you to take a test about safe driving and Pennsylvania traffic laws. Six more points will require not only the test but a hearing, where they will decide whether or not to suspend your license for fifteen days. And a third time you get six points means you will have your license suspended for a whole month, keeping you from driving yourself around freely for thirty days. The reason DUIs are a little different is because they do not add points to your record, but the penalties are still extremely harsh. For your first DUI, you will have to spend six months on probation, attend mandatory alcohol treatment and traffic school, and pay a $300 fine. If this is not your first DUI, or if your blood alcohol content was very high, the fines will increase and you will spend time in jail.

If you decide that these penalties are not worth facing, call your Weatherly traffic ticket lawyer today. They can help create a strong defense when you go to court so you can face less of these harsh penalties or even avoid facing all of them by having the ticket dismissed.
Located just northwest of Philadelphia with hundreds of thousands of cars speeding along its roads as commuters rush into the city or hurry home after a long day of work, Lower Merion, Pa., rivals any suburb in traffic congestion.

Between the crowded Schuylkill Expressway or the popular I-476, it can be easy to get a traffic ticket as you maneuver between vehicles or just try to keep your place in the pack. On these heavily used roads that are sometimes choked with traffic, it can be easy to lose track of your speed or get pulled along in a pack of vehicles and speed or run a red light. Sometimes you can commit a traffic violation simply trying to avoid being in an accident!

You might assume that you are guilty just because you received a ticket, but you should wisely weigh your options before mailing in your fine like an obedient servant. That fine will cost you in the short term, obviously, but it could cost you in the long term as well if points are assessed to your driving record and/or your insurance premiums get bumped up.

In other words, the initial fine that you pay could be the start of several financial hits as a consequence of your speeding or other traffic violation. Consider these questions before you plead guilty to a speeding offense: 1) Are you absolutely sure that the police officer got an accurate measure of your speed, or is s/he still learning how to correctly use the new LIDAR technology? 2) Did s/he clock you at your true speed, or was s/he too eager to start and stop the stop the stopwatch used in VASCAR technology?

Those are just two preliminary questions, and if you don’t know what LIDAR and VASCAR are, you should definitely contact a Lower Merion speeding ticket lawyer for assistance. S/he might be able to prove in court that the police officer lacked sufficient training in using LIDAR equipment, or that the VASCAR machine was improperly maintained. Again, those are just two possible roads down which a qualified Lower Merion traffic ticket lawyer can take you and save you money and time.

Before admitting your guilt by virtue of paying your fine, call for a free consultation to discover your options in dealing with your ticket.

Here’s another bad surprise that you want to avoid: if you have accumulated points previously on your driving record, a few more could put you over the state limit and cause you to lose your license. If that happens, you not only will be blocked from driving, you could lose your job. Many employment contracts require a current license to continue employment. So, a speeding ticket could push you all the way into the unemployment line, a scary prospect when you consider how difficult it is to find a job in our sluggish economy.

Call for a consultation and let a Lower Merion traffic ticket lawyer review your case and go over your options. A trained professional who is familiar with traffic law can be a powerful ally in preserving your driving record and guarding your money and job.

The Lower Merion traffic ticket attorney’s fee usually more than pays for itself when you consider the high stakes that can result from a simple traffic ticket. Getting a reduced fine or your case dismissed can save you thousands of dollars in fines and higher insurance premiums. Who knows? It might even help you to keep your job.
In Pennsylvania, you can be issued a traffic ticket for running a red light in two ways: if the police see you run the light and issue you a ticket, or if you are caught by a red light camera and are sent a ticket in the mail. But if you are caught failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, you are almost certain to get pulled over by a police officer and to be issued a traffic ticket.

Traffic tickets, including stop sign tickets, are often issued as a way to generate revenue for the city or town. This is why police officers do not hesitate to write a ticket when they see someone run a stop sign, even if the driver slowed down at the sign, or even if the driver did not hit anyone in the intersection. This is why these kinds of tickets can be so frustrating — they are easy to get, they come with incredibly steep penalties, and you may not even have done anything really wrong to deserve the ticket.

Pennsylvania law spells out every driver’s duty when approaching a stop sign. Under the Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 75, § 3323, drivers are expected to come to a complete stop at the designated white line; yield right of way to pedestrians; and to not enter the intersection until it is safe to do so. Failing to do any of these things could mean getting a stop sign ticket.

Not only do these tickets come with expensive fines that you are expected to pay, but you will also have points added to driving record if you plead guilty to your stop sign ticket. A stop sign ticket will result in three points being added to your driver’s license, and after six points accumulate on your record, you will face additional penalties. These can include having to take a safe driving exam or even having your license suspended for several weeks.

However, you have the option of pleading ‘not guilty” to your traffic ticket and having your case heard in your local traffic court. This will give you the opportunity to present your side of the story to a judge. The judge will also hear from the police officer who wrote your ticket, and the officer will try to prove that you clearly ran the stop sign. The judge will then decide whether to assign you the full extent of the penalties of your ticket, to reduce your penalties, or even to dismiss your ticket entirely.

Having an experienced Pennsylvania stop sign ticket lawyer on your side is the best way to ensure that the judge will reduce or eliminate your penalties. We will help you find evidence that will work in your favor, even if the police officer is there to testify. We have handled hundreds of cases like yours and are available to help you prepare right away. Give our offices a call today to speak to one of our attorneys.
A speeding ticket in Pennsylvania can come with a surprising number of steep penalties. Not only do you have to pay an expensive fine if you plead guilt to your ticket, but you will also have points added to your driver’s license record, which can result in even more penalties as those points accumulate. This is why we encourage our clients to plead not guilty to their traffic ticket and to speak to one of our attorneys right away after receiving a traffic ticket.

Police officers often issue speeding tickets as a means of generating revenue for the local city or town. The fines that accompany speeding tickets are often very high as a result. Under Pennsylvania traffic law, you could be paying a fine of between $45 and $100 for a single speeding ticket, depending on how fast you were going when you received your ticket.

The other major penalty that you will face if you plead guilty to your traffic ticket is having points added to your driving record. Under Pennsylvania law, the number of points will vary based on how fast you were going. Below is a list of the point values assigned to the different levels of speeding tickets:

Speeding by 6 to 10 miles per hour over the limit — 2 points
Speeding by 11 to 15 miles per hour over the limit — 3 points
Speeding by 16 to 25 miles per hour over the limit — 4 points
Speeding by 26 to 30 miles per hour over the limit — 5 points
Speeding by 31 miles per hour or more over the limit — 5 points, plus an automatic 15 day suspension of your license
Drivers should note that in addition to these point values, if these violations occur in a work zone, you could also face an additional license suspension of 15 days.

As these points add up on your record, you will be facing other penalties, such as a required safe driving test or having your license suspended even longer. It is important to know how many points you have received for each ticket and what the consequences of those points are.

Remember that a speeding ticket can result in expensive fines, points on your license, a possible license suspension and the inability to freely drive yourself where you need to go, and even having your insurance premiums increased by your insurance company.
The best way to avoid having these points added to your license in addition to the numerous other penalties is to plead not guilty to your ticket and to talk to you an experienced Pennsylvania speeding ticket lawyer. We will help uncover evidence that may show that the ticket was not issued properly, such as errors in the speed calculations done by the police who wrote your ticket. We will help you prepare for your traffic court hearing and will fight to have your penalties reduced or dismissed. Give our offices a call today to speak to one of our lawyers.

So How many points am I facing for a speeding ticket?

Exceeding maximum speed Miles over Speed Limit: Amount of Points:
0 to 5 0
6 to 10 2
11 to 15 3
16 to 25 4
26 to 30 5
31 and over Departmental Hearing and Sanctions provided under Section 1538(d) and 5

(Please note that if violations occur in an active work zone, an additional 15 days of suspension is possible)

Another frequent question for my clients is how will a speeding ticket affect my insurance rates? Quite frankly, we are not in position to give you the economic increase that you may face, only, we would strongly suggest that you contact your insurance agent. However, based on our experience, it is quite clear that this counts as a moving violation on many insurance ratings of your policy and is such, will result in a substantial increase.

If you have any other questions regarding your Pennsylvania speeding ticket, please contact our office at for a free consultation.

Dress smartly for your court appearance. Even if you are entering a plea of guilty for your speeding ticket, you still want to make a good impression on the court.

Prepare for yourself a statement of your financial situation if you think you will have difficulty paying the speeding ticket fine. Make a budget for yourself and get an idea of exactly what you need to do each month financially to survive. This will be important later when the Justice decides your penalty for your speeding ticket.

Enter the court at the appointed time and wait for the clerk to call your name. Once it is called, approach the bench and say, “Good morning/afternoon Your Worship. My name is ____, and I am prepared to enter a plea today. I am doing so voluntarily and I understand I am waiving my right to a trial.”

You need to make sure the court knows you know your rights. If you give the impression that you have been coerced into your decision or that you don’t know what your options are, court may proceed to trial anyway, and you could possibly lose your negotiated bargain for your speeding ticket.

The clerk will read your speeding offence to you, and then the prosecutor will read the facts according to the charging officer. Listen very carefully to the facts as they are read and make sure that they are correct. If you don’t understand something that was read out, make a note of it so you can ask for clarification. Also note if anything was incorrect.

Once the prosecutor is finished reading the list, the Justice will ask you if you have anything to say regarding the facts for your speeding ticket. If they are all correct, simply answer, “I agree with the facts, Your Worship.” If there is a problem with the facts for your speeding ticket, only address it if it will affect your sentence but not the question of your guilt. Do not argue in such a way as to call into question whether or not you committed the speeding ticket. If that occurs, the Justice will quash your plea and the matter will go to trial, which you will likely want to avoid at this point. Only argue if the prosecutor’s evidence makes your speeding ticket more severe.

For example, your speeding charge would be more severe if you were doing so in an area where there were children. If the prosecutor claims that children were in the area, but the time was when school wasn’t in session and no children were present, say so. You are not arguing with the fact that you were speeding, just that you weren’t doing so with children present.

It is important to know what kind of factors can make your speeding ticket more severe for just this reason. At no time try to explain why you’re not guilty of speeding. Doing so will just make you look foolish to the court, and your plea will be quashed and a trial will proceed.

Once any issues with the facts of your speeding ticket are addressed, the Justice will ask the prosecutor for submissions on your penalty. Once a penalty has been submitted, the Justice will then ask you if you have anything to say regarding the penalty. This is the time to bring up any concerns you have with the penalty for your speeding ticket, particularly if you are worried that you will have financial difficulties. If you need to, explain your financial situation calmly but sincerely to the court, using your prepared budget to back yourself up. Let them know how much hardship you would face if the fee were levied against you, and demonstrate how sorry you are for committing the speeding offence and your intention to never do so again.

You can apply under section 59(2) of the Provincial Offences Act (POA) to have your speeding ticket fine reduced or waived completely based on your financial situation. Address this section to the Justice and see what he or she determines. The Justice will also ask you how much time you will need to pay your speeding ticket fine. You usually have up to 15 days to do so, but you can apply to have as much time as you need.

Once you are finished, thank the court for their time and leave quietly. Make sure to pay your speeding ticket fine before the deadline, and be aware of how your charge will affect your driving record and your insurance.

Trial preparation for your speeding ticket
tier 1
Special Instructions for Speeding Cases
If you were charged with a speeding ticket, make sure to request information on the equipment that the officer used to clock your speed. You should get the type and model of the equipment, notes taken by the officer regarding testing and using the equipment, and details on how the device is meant to be tested and used. If the officer did not properly test the equipment or take notes proving that he or she made sure it was working properly, the speed they say you were travelling may be suspect.

Keep in mind that some offices may include the testing procedures in the disclosure, but others might require you to come to the office in person to review the manual. If you do not receive all the information in the disclosure, make sure to contact the prosecutor’s office to arrange a time to review the manual and make notes.

Remember that you’re entitled to all the information necessary to ensure you get a fair trial for your speeding ticket, so insist that you be given access to the relevant pages in the manual. The prosecutor may argue that they aren’t bound by law to provide you with a copy of the manual itself, but you can make the rational argument that the information inside the manual is necessary to ensure you a fair trial, and then specify which pages from the manual you need. As long as you stay calm and keep your reasoning logical and rational, they cannot fault you. Stick to your guns and get everything you need for your speeding ticket defence.

It will usually take four to six weeks to get your disclosure for your speeding ticket, and it may be longer in some busier courts, such as Toronto. This is why it is important to request it as soon as you get your trial date. If you don’t request disclosure until just before the court date, you will very likely have to come back to court again, costing you more time and money.

If you don’t hear anything from the prosecutor’s office after about four weeks or so, send your request for disclosure another time. If you’ve sent requests four or more times without any response, make a note of each date you sent a request. Send one more the week before your trial date so you can prove you have made a diligent effort to get the evidence you’re entitled to for your speeding ticket, and make sure to bring it up right away when you appear in court.

The prosecutor’s office should contact you once the disclosure is prepared. Many offices will require you to come in person to pick up the disclosure, but you may be able to work out another manner of getting it with one of the clerks at the office. Be polite and explain your circumstances if going in person will be difficult for you. They may be willing to fax it to you or send it by mail, or even scan it and send it by email.
Reviewing Disclosure

Now you finally have the disclosure for your speeding ticket in front of you. Make sure to set aside at least one uninterrupted hour to go over everything in it in detail. Depending on how severe your speeding ticket is, the file may only be a few pages of notes and copies of pages from a manual, or it may be very large with accident reports and a history of any other offences you may have been charged with in the past. Big files can be very intimidating, but just take your time and read through everything included.

The first thing to do is to compare the officer’s notes to your own account of the incident. Remember how we said to write that down back at the beginning of this process? Now is the time to dust that off and use it to refresh your memory of the incident. Do the officer’s notes match your own? If there are discrepancies, what are they? Small differences might actually be very key, so it is important to make note anything that differs from your own recollection of what happened. It is better to make note of something that won’t be useful later than to pass over something you think is unimportant that could have saved your case.

Look for missing details in the disclosure for your speeding ticket. Anything that you made note of that the officer did not should be highlighted. Conversely, if there is something in the officer’s notes that you don’t remember, that should be noted as well. Determine whether you just forgot to include something in your own notes or if the officer has noted something that did not happen.

For your speeding ticket, make sure to see if they have included information on the equipment used to clock your speed. You should have the type and model of the speed measuring equipment, notes taken by the officer before and after testing and using the equipment, and details on just how the speed measuring device is meant to be tested. If the officer did not properly test the equipment or take notes proving that he or she made sure it was working properly, the speed they say you were travelling at will be suspect, and you can use that as part of your speeding ticket defence.

While you’re reviewing your disclosure for your speeding ticket, it is a good idea to be consulting defence resources. There are several useful books that can give you some insight into fighting your own traffic ticket. We have a list of some that we recommend here. (include link)

Most of the useful books are going to make references to speeding case law, which are used to back up arguments in court in which a similar situation had a ruling already made on it. If you don’t have access to case law, we suggest looking into getting it. Look online or consult a local librarian, as they will often be able to point you in the right direction to getting access. You can also consider consulting or hiring a law or paralegal firm, as they should have access to the right case laws.

It would also be a good idea to have the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) on hand, which you can find online here (link:

Take your time reviewing the disclosure for your speeding ticket. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break. Legal information can be tough to slog through, and getting upset won’t make it any easier. Ask for help if you need it.

Our office in New Jersey, concentrates on traffic law and especially assisting you in getting your traffic ticket dismissed. We possess a reputation for honesty and excellence and are committed to serving our clientele with any given legal circumstances in New Jersey.

We defend against:

Get Your New Jersey Ticket Dismissed

Traffic tickets are going to make your insurance expenses substantially go up and you might even lose your license if you get enough points upon your record. It is vital that you battle each traffic ticket, as every ticket upon your record will have an impact. Read more concerning why you ought to battle your speeding traffic tickets and traffic tickets. We are going to assist you by offering professional, experienced legal help to aid you in fighting speeding traffic tickets, traffic tickets, and so much more in New Jersey dealing with traffic court cases in New Jersey.

Why Employ An Experienced New Jersey Traffic Lawyer ?

Traffic violation attorneys aren’t necessary in a few instances. In cases in which you did what you’re accused of and there’s little capability for you to battle the charge, you might not require these experts for the duty. On the other hand, within almost all additional cases, it’s a great idea to employ an attorney to represent you within court. Doing this might assist you in reducing your fines, reducing the impact upon your criminal record and license, and aid you in getting back on the road quicker. If you procrastinate, you might be facing even greater fines.

When Do You Require Assistance?

A traffic violations lawyer has the duty of representing you within a court of law. Additionally, this expert’s duty involves offering you with guidance concerning what your choices are for preventing complications. She or he can inform you what to plea and what you can expect from your outcome. If you believe you don’t require one, think again. It might mean the difference in between suffering jail time and paying hundreds of dollars, to strolling away from your case. Here include a few of the times when it’s ideal to contact these experts:

Do you already possess points upon your license and are concerned with the outcome of this most recent stop? If you’re a multiple offender, it’s a great idea to call an Traffic lawyer to figure out how to battle these charges.
Do you know you didn’t commit the crime charged with within this instance? If you merely wish to clear your name as well as can back up the claims made, it’s a great thought to employ an expert to assist you in doing just that.
Are you faced with the loss of your capability of driving? Are you currently a commercial driver? In cases in which the risks are great, it’s ideal to turn to an expert to assist you in getting through the process, as well as potentially reducing the risk of you losing your job.
Traffic violation lawyers may assist you in determining if there’s a way to get your charges dropped. It also may be possible to utilize proof to show you couldn’t have committed this crime. In additional instances, the objective includes proving that you weren’t justly charged because of an error made by the officer. No matter what your defense options include, it’s a great thought to employ an attorney to assist you through this process. Going to court by yourself is never a good idea.

If you’re like the majority of people, you’re likely not familiar with the jargon and routines included in such court proceedings. It places you at a disadvantage as you’re likely to be opposing an officer who has been to court on a number of occasions and understands how he or she can present her or his case well. Our office may dramatically boost your opportunities of winning your case. We’re extremely experienced with New Jersey traffic laws and court procedures and rules and will present a more compelling case upon your behalf. That is why you must hire Mr. Greenberg, an experienced New Jersey traffic lawyer.

How our Traffic Ticket Attorneys Do It

We strive to make your litigation process as efficient and easy for our clientele as possible. We will move rapidly to solve any given circumstances in a cost-effective, successful manner. Every case is underneath the direct supervision of Michael Greenberg. The very reliable, professional, and efficient team is dedicated to making your legal experience a positive one. We’re available around the clock to help our clients.

If you require legal representation for your traffic offense, we are well-equipped to provide the guidance needed to get your citation solved rapidly with as little cost, aggravation and time as possible.

Irrespective of how insignificant the citation might seem at this time, it’s nearly always worth your time in the long range to contact a traffic ticket attorney concerning your case. A lawyer well versed in New Jersey traffic law may use knowledge of legal processes and the law.

The lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael Greenberg are specially equipped to handle various infractions, from minor ones to severe moving violations and misdemeanors, too. If you’ve been cited for a violation you think to be the result of a mistake, or one where you were at fault, you may battle red-light camera, speeding ticket, and additional citations by employing a Traffic lawyer who has experience in defending such cases.

Take a minute to learn more concerning New Jersey traffic law, as well as on our legal services. Please contact for a free consultation. Our lawyers are completely licensed, compassionate, as well as experienced in dealing with various citations effectively and with the highest possible benefit to a client.
DUI Tickets

New Jersey is possibly the worst state for performing a DUI offense. Driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence includes one of the most severe offenses and will be responsible for lots of fatalities in New Jersey each year. New Jersey additionally leads the nation within DWI/DUI arrests. That’s why New Jersey DWI/DUI offense penalties will be so severe.

Over 0.08 percent BAC (blood alcohol concentration) (0.04 percent for commercial drivers as well as 0.01 percent for drivers up to twenty-one years of age) is all that’s required for a DWI offense conviction within New Jersey. If your BAC level is over the legal amount, you’ll be instantly arrested. The police officer is going to revoke your driver’s license, send it, alongside the suspension or revocation order, as well as a sworn report, to the DMV.

If you’re stopped by a policeman underneath the suspicion of DWI/DUI, taking the BAC tests includes the ideal choice you have. The test might be within the form of a breath test, a blood test and within some instances, a urine test. Refusing to do this will result in instant suspension of a driver’s license by the DMV.

You do possess the right to contest a driver’s license revocation or suspension, if you believe you were incorrectly accused. You may ask for a hearing between ten days following you receiving your revocation.

If you become convicted under DWI/DUI following your hearing, you need to pay heavy duty fines and undergo DUI programs for around 9 months. You might lose your driver’s license as well as even be faced with jail time.

For a driver over twenty-one years of age, the initial DWI/ DUI conviction is going to bear a 4 month suspension of a driver’s license. It’ll be a 1 year revocation if the next conviction happens between ten years of the initial one. If the 3rd conviction happens between ten years, it’ll be a 2 year revocation.

If a driver is under twenty-one years of age, the initial conviction would possess a 1 year suspension of a driver’s license, for the 2nd and3rd conviction between 10 years, the suspension is going to be 2 years and 3 years, respectively.

DWI/DUI Offenses for Commercial Drivers

The BAC limitation for commercial drivers within New Jersey is 0.4%. Over that, CDL holders commit a DUI offense and endanger their commercial license, as well as possibly their job.

A DWI offense carries nearly the same results for non-commercial and commercial drivers; a license suspension, a heavy fine, as well as jail time. However, CDL holders face more issues. They’ll possibly have their license revoked for one year for the initial conviction (even if driving their personal car during the time of the offense) and need to go to alcohol assessment courses. They’ll be faced with increased insurance rates and probably will need to select an additional career if their license is suspended.

You do not need to experience an accident or a speeding violation to become pulled over. If you’re weaving or simply driving a bit erratically you may be pulled over underneath DUI suspicion. If you’re pulled over you’ll be tested to check if you’re intoxicated. You’ll need to walk a little white line, blow inside a breathalyzer, or additional on-site tests in order to check if you’re considered drunk. If so you’ll be arrested immediately.

Not just are you going to have an arrest upon your record following this, you’ll have obstacles to beat. In most cases you may have your license suspended or indefinitely pulled. This means you’ll need to either locate somebody to take you from one place to another or take public transportation in order to get from and to work.

Then, of course, there are the court costs and fines. You got it, not just can you spend some time behind bars you’ll need to pay a lot on top of that. Not just are you going to have the traffic violation fines which you’ll need to pay you’ll additionally need to pay any court expenses.

While you’re considering the financial expenses of a DUI do not forget the price of your insurance will rise, if they do not drop you all together. If the offender has multiple charges on a record he or she may not have the ability to keep an insurance carrier — not for reasonable rates, at least.

You’ll lose a whole lot by getting behind the wheel. It is vital that if you discover yourself being charged with a DUI, you must get a lawyer who specializes within such cases. Particularly if it’s just your 1st offense you have to have somebody on your side to aid you in keeping your license and assist you with keeping your jail time to a minimum.

Contact 856.295.2100 or merely complete our online form to get a traffic attorney to assist you with your offense.

Why Hire Us ?

Odds are if you made it here you are aware of some of the consequences that you may face as a result of guilty verdict. They include the following:


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Our Service Area includes :

The Entire New Jersey and Pennsylvania Region

New Jersey Point System

In the U.S., one method in which a driver’s issues with the law are recorded includes the form of points. These points are basically demerits that are applied to a driver’s license upon the discovery of a wrongdoing. As a specific amount of points is reached, a driver is penalized, usually within the form of a suspension. If you’ve incurred points upon your driver’s license, it’s vital that you understand more concerning the system and to find out what to do concerning your record.

It’s additionally worth stating that different individuals are suspended during different times. For instance, if an individual drives for a living, as within the instance of a cabbie or bus driver, the amount of points accumulated prior to a revocation or suspension is necessary is usually greater than that for regular drivers. It’s something which differs from one state to another. Similarly, a few younger drivers might have less points prior to their licenses being revoked. It’s something that depends upon the state in which the driver resides and where the driver’s violation takes place.

Keep in mind that as you’re thinking about how the point system operates that the important factors to consider include where you reside, what you wish to do concerning the points, as well as how you can avoid getting points in the future. If you’re somebody who’s prone to traffic violations, you should take some time to study how this system within your state operates and how it will affect you.

Make certain that you’re clear about the point’s policy, particularly if you’ve never had the points applied to your driver’s license before. The more you understand concerning this system, the better your odds of removing them.

The road users who violate the traffic rules will be summoned with a traffic ticket. A couple of forms of violations exist – non-moving and moving violations. Exceeding the speed limit will come under a moving violation, whereas violating a parking rule will come under a non-moving violation. Violations like permitting a parking meter to expire, as well as unlawful manner of parking will be issued with a parking ticket. NJ speeding tickets’ fines generally are extremely costly in order for the perpetrators not to repeat the same error again.

The officers in New Jersey utilize K-55 Radars to catch a speeder. Camera radars and radar guns also are utilized for this reason. Such radar systems are discovered to be reliable by NJ courts. Laser use for speed reading will be admissible solely as an officer is trained and all pre-operation check responses are acceptable. The speed limit is established by the transportation commissioner and approved by the transportation department.

With every speeding ticket, a point is added to a violators’ license. If the speed limitation goes over by 1 to14 mph, a two-point ticket will be issued. Not obeying a cop’s direction, to keep right, as well as to stop at a red signal also is charged with a two-point ticket. Going beyond the limit by 15 to 29 mph, incorrect passing off the roadway, as well as of frozen dessert trucks are given a four-point ticket. If driving goes beyond the limitation by 30 mph or above, a five-point ticket is issued. Unlicensed driving will be charged $100. One advisory notice is sent as the point total is from six to eleven. In severe cases in which the amount of points exceeds twelve, the license is suspended for a brief time. The system of utilizing points will be used to trace poor drivers, as well as account them in the instance of future offenses.

If points are assigned to a driving license, the surcharges must be paid in addition to the imposed fine. Surcharge non-payment might lead to a suspension of every privilege. It also might involve securing rights over any property owned by an individual until his or her debt is taken care of. The surcharge of $250 is given for driving an uninsured car. The NJ speed violation fines will be doubled underneath specific conditions like speeding over the safe corridor region or the NJ construction zone and within instances of a driver going beyond the speed limitation by twenty or more mph.

Out-of-state drivers also may be given a NJ traffic ticket. It’s crucial for out-of-state drivers or non-residents to be certain that their ticket is properly defended in order to eliminate the license impact. The court permits a NJ defense lawyer to defend out-of-state drivers and represent their case.

The points remain upon a driver’s record even following his license being restored. These violation points stay as a permanent black mark upon his record. But, the present driver status record varies from this. The present status equals the present, minus any deduced points.

For more information please visit this site:

Contact our traffic violation attorney services today: {phone}.

Why Hire Us ?

Odds are if you made it here you are aware of some of the consequences that you may face as a result of guilty verdict. They include the following:


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Our Service Area includes :

The Entire New Jersey and Pennsylvania Region

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Ant Control
ant control
General Information about Ants-

Ants are much more than a possible biting nuisance. They can cause millions of dollars in damage to structures each year. They can tunnel through wood, bite, strip insulation from electrical wires; causes short-circuits or fires, and also contaminate food. Because there are countless varieties of ants, we will discuss the common ones in Central Texas. Baits are generally the most effective treatment for getting rid of ants.
Carpenter Ants:
General Information about Carpenter Ants-

The carpenter ant does not eat wood. They eat protein and sugar like most ants. Their only interest in wood is to tunnel and live in it.
They are foragers and farmers. They get live Aphids and milk them for honeydew. Once an aphid doesn’t produce anymore, they eat them.
There is only one queen per colony. She lays 15-20 eggs every 15 days.
At Jitterbug, we normally find them by their frass (substance kicked out of tunnels including wood chavings and feces).
You will not see them during daylight hours generally

As with most ants, carpenter ants are most easily eradicated with bait treatments. Since the mound cannot be located, generally treatment requires the ants to take the bait and feed the colony and the queen. After the queen dies, the colony dies also. It usually requires two treatments two weeks apart to rid a structure of carpenter ants.
Red Imported Fire Ants:
General Information about Red Imported Fire Ants-

Red Imported Fire Ants nest in the soil and build a mound nests.
They can infest buildings through garages, doorways, weep holes, and cracks on the slab.
They build large mound nests and can sting humans.
They can eat dead animals, insects, earthworms, and sweets.
They can survive in extreme conditions and temperatures as low as 16 degrees. During droughts they dig to the water table. During floods, they gather on a raft, with the queen in the middle, and find dry land.
Treatment –

As with most ants, baits made specifically for the species of ants that it is intended for, are the most effective. The worker ants take the bait to the queen and the colony quickly dies. Contact sprays and granules only offer temporary reprieve, as the queen continues to churn out eggs.
Acrobatic Ants:
General Information about Acrobatic Ants-

Acrobatic ants get their name from their ability to acrobatically raise their abdomen over their thorax and head when disturbed.
They are often, even by less-informed pest control professionals, mistakenly identified as Carpenter Ants.
Acrobatic ants are typically feed on honeydew. The sugar waste excreted by aphids and mealybugs, but they also eat live and dead insects.
The habitat, generally, under rocks or in logs, firewood, trees where wood decay allows them to create tunnels. They also build their nests in the eaves of homes. They often trail from tree limbs and utility lines and enter through cracks, holes, window frames, soffits, door thresholds and wood areas softened by water damage.
They can bite and pose risks to prosperities.

Specific Acrobatic bait products are the most effective. If the nest is originating from outside, but they are trailing into a property. A repellent spray can be used in conjunction with bait products.
Crazy Ants:
General Information about Crazy Ants-

Crazy Ants get their name by the workers habit of running in an erratic, jerky manner when searching for food.
These ants feed on live and dead insects, seeds, fruits, and honeydew.
They typically enter homes in the autumn or after rainfall because both conditions reduce their supply of honeydew.
Indoors they usually nest under flooring or carpeting.
Outdoors they generally nest in soil under objects or nest to foundations.

Bait repellant, and contact kill products are all effective.
Pharaoh Ants:
General Information about Pharaoh Ants-

They are usually small, 1/16’ long.
They tend to nest in warm, hard, to reach places like walls, subfloors, wall sockets, attics, cracks and crevices.
They can enter from outdoors or be carried in as hitch hikers on packages, boxes, and, etc.
Pharaoh ants eat other insects, but prefer meat and greases. They can also feed on sugars, fruit juices, and sweets.
Because Pharaoh ants have a “knack” for getting into things, they can transmit multiple pathogens especially in hospitals.

Jitterbug uses baits to treat Pharaoh ants. They are placed in areas where ants are active, but where they are in accessible to children and pests. It is important that you do not wash the area where baits are placed so that the worker ant can take the bait back to the queen.
Other Ants:

The above describe ants are the most common found in our area. There are several other species like: Odorous house, Argentina, Pavement, and so on, but all can be treated with bait contact and repellant products. Please consult our insect library to help you identify ants but know that, we at Jitterbug, can get rid of them for you.

Bee / Wasp Removal

Most species of concern to man have yellow and black coloring; 7/16 to 5/8 inch long; appear to have hairy bodies.

Live in colonies of from 20,000 to 80,000 individuals; will leave humans alone if not provoked.

Nectar and pollen.

Only one egg-laying queen in a hive; queen may live as long as five years and lay as many as 1500 to 2000 eggs per day; worker females protect eggs and the young; drones’ only duty is to mate with queen, after which they die.
Other Information:

Stings can be painful, but are harmless to most people
Carpenter Bee:

Large, about one inch, resemble bumblebees; some species may have a blue-black, green or purple metallic sheen; no hair on abdomen.

Often burrow into the exposed, unfinished dry wood of buildings,telephone poles, fence posts and bridges; prefer softer woods for nesting; not social insects, although individuals may establish burrows close to each other.

Pollen and nectar.

Complete one generation per year in most of the U.S.; mature from egg to adult in 84 to 99 days; female furnishes nest with “bee bread,” a mixture of pollen and regurgitated nectar, and lays an egg on top of it.
Other Information

Males do not sting, but females have a potent sting which they rarely use; make loud buzzing noise when flying.
Honey Bee:

Up to 5/8 inch long; reddish-brown and black with paler, orange- yellow rings on abdomen; two pairs of wings.

Very social; hive in hollow trees and in hives kept by beekeepers; pollinate crops and produce honey.

Adults drink nectar and eat honey.

Queen lays eggs at intervals, producing colonies of 60,000 to 80,000 members; life span is usually two to three years for the queen; drones die after mating.
Other Information:

Workers have a stinger that is used when colony is threatened; members of hive pass food to one another mixed with saliva to form a chemical bond.
Cockroach Control
roachGeneral Information about Cockroaches

Cockroaches pose a serious threat to human health. They emit allergens that worse asthma symptoms and transmit pathogens that may lead to diseases and ailments. Cockroaches are also loathed by people and invoke a stigma that creates the perception that infested homes and businesses are dirty and disgusting. Also, they reproduce quickly (30-40 nymphs every 80 days) and leave feces in corners, cracks, and crevices.
The Cure-

Baits: We apply baits that are carefully placed in areas that people cannot access (unless purposely done so). Baits use the “domino effect,” a delayed action kill that allows foraging cockroaches to take bait back to the colony- wherever it may be hidden. The residual effectiveness last up to one year unless all the bait is consumed. Baits are the idea choice due to their effectiveness and the ability to be placed in sensitive areas.
Residual Contact Sprays-

We apply residual contact sprays that can be used as crack and crevice, spot or broad cast applications indoors and around the outside of structures. They are also broad spectrum and will control a wide variety of pests including the targeted cockroach.

Insecticide dusts are effective tools that provide excellent penetration into cracks, crevices, and large voids. Dust applied properly in a thin layer will deliver a long, effective residual, even on porous surfaces, and make harborages uninhabitable by cockroaches for long periods of time.

A broad spectrum granular contact product is also an effectively solution for wide open spaces outdoors with visible cockroach activity, as well as hard-to-reach areas at the base of thick ground cover around the perimeter of structures.

The largest of the common cockroach species, about 1-1/2 inches long; reddish-brown wings with light markings on thorax.

Very aggressive; prefer warm, damp areas; more likely to beseen in daytime and outdoors than other species; fly more readily than other species.

Scavengers; feed on a variety of foods; prefer decaying organic matter.

Female needs to mate only once to produce many egg capsules; each capsule contains an average of 13 eggs; nymphs molt 13 times, in about 600 days, before reaching maturity; can live up to 15 months.
Other Information:

Have shown a marked attraction to alcoholic beverages, especially beer; also known as the water bug.
Brownbanded Cockroach

About 5/8 inch long; wings have two brownish-yellow bands.

Nocturnal; can fly; may be found throughout any structure, but prefer dry, warm areas, high locations, and inside furniture.

Scavengers; eat a variety of foods, but prefer starches.

Female carries egg capsule for 24 to 36 hours, then attaches it underneath or on the side of a protected surface; capsules contain an average of 18 eggs; nymphs reach maturity in an average of 161 days;
adults live up to 10 months.
Other Information:

Sometimes confused with German cockroach; frequently transported in furniture; not as dependent on moisture as other species.
German Cockroach

About 5/8 inches long; light to medium brown, with two dark longitudinal streaks on the thorax.

Nocturnal; most common urban cockroach; often found around buildings; can be found outdoors during warm months.

General feeder; particularly attracted to fermented food.

Females produce one egg capsule every 20 to 25 days; each capsule contains from 18 to 48 eggs; newly born become adults in as little as 36 days; adults can live up to one year.
Other Information:

Often found aboard ships; widest distribution of all roaches in U.S.
Oriental Cockroach

Dark brown, about one inch long.

Common outdoors; tend to live near the ground and in warm, damp areas; most often found indoors in high moisture areas, particularly basements and ground-floor storage areas.

Scavengers; often eat decaying organic matter; prefer starches if available.

Egg capsules contain 16 eggs; female will produce an average of eight capsules; nymphs go through seven molts before becoming adult, in about a year; adults can live up to 180 days.
Other Information:

Known also as water bugs or black beetles; more sluggish than other species; give off distinctive unpleasant odor.
Flea & Tick Control

General Information about fleas:

Fleas are not only a nuisance, but they can also pose serious health risks.
Fleas feed on the blood of warm blooded mammals, causing irritation, itching and can transfer diseases.
Fleas are wingless and have mouth parts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood.
Fleas are dark colored and have long rear legs. So they can spring.
Fleas have a tough body with ability to withstand great pressure.
Fleas have four life cycles and adult fleas must feed on blood to be able to reproduce.
The flea population are as follows: 50% eggs. 35% larve, 10% pupae, and 5% adults.
Flea eggs are normally laid on the host and can easily fall off. Because of this, areas where the hosts sleeps becomes primary habitats.
Eggs take around two days to two weeks to hatch.
Larvae emerge from eggs and feed on organic material.
Larvae will pupate and weave a silken cocoon. They lie in this state until they receive a signal to emerge, like vibrations, heat and carbon dioxide. They can remain in the larvae state over winter.
Once the flea emerges, they seek a host. After a blood meal, a female flea can lay 5000 or more eggs in a lifetime (average 30-90 days)
General Information about ticks:

Ticks eat blood by a practice known as hematophagr. They Extract the blood by cutting a hole in the hosts epidermis, and inject a anticoagulant.
Ticks find their hosts by detection animals breathe and body odors, or by sensing body heat, moisture, and vibrations.
They cannot fly or jump.
They are arachnids and have 8 legs.
Jitterbug treatment plan:
Homeowners role before treatment-

Vacuum prior to treatment as the vibration will encourage pupation.
Inspect, vacuum, clean, wash areas where the pet spends most of its time (resting, sleeping, or sitting) areas like foot of the bed, in front of doors or windows, a favorite couch or chair, or in a pet bed.
Mow the grass and trim the edges of the home.
Rake and discard leaves.
Pick up foreign objects in the yard. Don’t water before we arrive.
Be prepared to leave the home for three hours or more after Jitterbug has treated the inside.
See a veterinarian and get your pet treated for fleas.
We use integrated pest management targeting fleas during at least two separate life stages (generally we will treat your home twice in a two week period).
We inspect for areas where the pet spends most of its time.
On the Exterior, we granulate with direct kill product on applicable areas.
We saturate applicable areas with a contact kill product in a conjunction with an integrated growth regulator (which prevents the development of immature stages.
On the Interior, we spray areas where the pet lives, moves, or walks on with a contact kill product with an IGR. We also fog the inside of the home with a similar product.
Due to the flea/tick life cycle, a second treatment is necessary to eradicate fleas. Eggs can hatch, and pupae can develop after the first treatment making it essential for a follow-up treatment to take place
Mosquito Control

About 1/8 to 1/4 inch long; brown to dark brown with light stripe down center; wings have dark brown scales.

Often found near shallow temporary pools; larvae live in quiet bodies of water, ranging from fluid-filled leaves to stagnant pond-sand lakes. Prefer to live in damp, warm areas; can be found outdoors in grass or leaves, and in areas where molds grow.

Males drink plant juices; females feed on blood of mammals, including humans.

Eggs are dropped in temporary pools; larvae feed, pupate and emerge over an extended period.
Other Information:

Population increases after summer rains; males do not bite.
Rodent & Wildlife Trapping & Exclusion

General Information about rodents-

It is a common misconception that rodents only invade a building during the winter months. The fact is that they can enter at any time of the year.
Skunks and armadillos are typically around dwellers and rarely invade attics.
Possums, Raccoons, Squirrels, rats and mice can inhabit both, but often invade attics.
Most rodents are most active during the night due to poor eye sight and keeping away from predators. Squirrels are active from 6-9 am and 6-9 pm, but can also be active at night.
Besides damaging the exterior of the building in order to gain access inside, rodents deposit feces and urine in their new found habitat. In addition, they chew wood, insulation, and wires creating a fire hazard.
Rodents enter for a variety of reasons: To obtain safety from the predators, to have their young, and to have a ready-made chewable wood or other items source.
Rodents transport pathogens, fleas, contaminants, and just in general several other nasty by-products.
General information about Raccoons-

Weigh 18-23 lbs and are 24-38’ in length
Front toes are extremely dexterous
Has great touching skills
A raccoon will eat almost anything but common foods are fruits, plants, nuts, berries, rodents, frogs, crawfish, and garbage.
Raccoons are nocturnal, foraging and feeding at night.
Mating season is between January and June. Females generally give birth to 2-5 kits (baby raccoons) in the spring.
Raccoons can carry fleas and ticks, round worm, trichinosis, and rabies.
Trapping Techniques:

Trapping generally involves three trips in the span of about two weeks, but can require more trips over a longer period of time.
The first step is to identify the rodent by the characteristics it leaves behind. Like feces, trails, claw marks, grease marks, entry openings, and hair left behind.
The second step is to close the entry points so the raccoon can no longer come and go in to or out of the building.
The third step is to remove the trapped rodents and reset more live traps.
The last step involves checking the entry point to be sure it’s intact, making sure there is no more activity and removing the live traps.
Babies are as small as honeybees and get in mothers pouch immediately.
Can give birth to as many as 20 babies in a litter.
Opossums eat almost anything. They are scavengers and raid garbage cans. They eat nuts, fruit, grass, mice, and birds.
They are excellent climbers and spend a lot of their time aloft.
A skunks spray is an oily liquid produced by glands under it’s tail.
The skunk turns around to blast it’s foe with a foul mist that can travel as far as 10 feet.
Most skunks are cat-sized.
Usually black and white.
Skunks don’t climb very well and nests in burrows.
Each female gives birth to between two and ten young each year.
They eat fruit, plants, insects, larvae, worms, eggs, reptiles, small mammals, and even fish.
Squirrels have four front teeth that never stop growing so they gnaw constantly.
Tree squirrels are terrific climbers but come to the ground to eat nuts, acorns, berries, flowers, bark eggs, baby birds.
Female squirrels typically give birth to eight offspring per delivery and may have several babies per year.
Common facts about mice:

Body is small, pear shaped, 5 to 10 oz.
Color usually is grayish/brown
Droppings pointed ends and about 6 inches in length
Food preference is seeds, cereal grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats
Their habits include being great climbers; explore less than 30’ of home range. They are nocturnal. Most activity between ½ hour after sunset and ½ hour before sunrise.
Reproduction- sexually active 5-8 weeks after birth.
Female mice reproduce 8 times in life span with 4-7 pups up to 56 groups annually.
Common facts about Roof rats: (the most common in our area)

Body 6-12 inches.
Able to gnaw through wood, lead, aluminum, copper, and some concrete
Whiskers- since it has poor eyesight, whiskers help to stay safely against walls, under objects, and in burrows. They are used to detect motion and test surfaces, like glue traps, to avoid them.
Tail- longer than head and body
Droppings- pointed ends and are about ½ inches in length. A roof rat averages 30-180 droppings per day.
Habits- able to swing, jump, climb, and usually nest in the upper portions of buildings. May nest in trees or vegetation. Nocturnal. Most activity occurs between ½ hour before sunrise.
Food preferences- omnivores, meats, fish, flour, cereal grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eat up to one ounce per day and up to one ounce of water per day.
Similar to mice.
Norway Rat:

Very similar to Roof rat except ears are smaller and the body is larger. Tail is shorter, prefers lower areas (like basements) but will climb to higher areas and feces is blunt on both ends.
Jitterbug’s Eliminating Process for Rodents:

Interview clients for sightings and sounds.
Perform a thorough inspection of the premises.
Think three dimensionally, looking high and low.
Identify interior and exterior problem areas like runways, nests, feeding sites, water supplies, burrows, harborages, pipes outlets and inlets, holes, cracks, and gnaw marks on the structure.
We look for runaways, droppings, odor, urine, gnaw marks, rub marks, tracks, scratches in wood, and areas that upset pets.

The best way to keep buildings rodent free is to prevent them from getting inside. Mice can get through areas approximately the size of a dime, while rats the size of a quarter. Other rodent entry points like raccoons and opossums need considerably larger openings to gain entry.
We patch openings with rodent proof materials if the area is patchable.

Sanitization is important to rodent control.
Eleminate debris.
Trim Weeds and keep grass short.
Clean up food waste.
Store food 12-15” off the floor and 12-18” away from the wall for easy inspection and sanitization. Use rodent proof containers.
Allow 24 inch aisles between stored materials for improved sanitization and inspection.
Screen dumpster drainage holes with a hardware cloth.
Don’t leave pet food out overnight and clean up pet droppings daily.
Eliminate rodent water sources.
Clean up windfall fruits, nuts, and bird feeder spillage daily.
Jitterbug’s Control Program:

Examine Foundation looking for cracks, mud tubes, soil grades, and conducive conditions.
Check the soil.
Check roof eaves and gutters for leakage and eventful wood rot.
Look for earth-to-wood contact.
Look in the exterior electrical meter or fuse box.
Inspect foreign wood materials.
Look for water damage areas.
Look for crack.
Check floor coverings.
Examine plumbing areas.
Post Construction Treatment:

Termicides are applied to all soil areas along the slabs or pier and beams.
Foam treatment may be necessary in void areas in walls, around fire places, under slabs or in soil filled porches.
Plumbing voids should also be treated with liquid or foam termicide products.
Baiting treatments may also be used in conjunction or as an alternative to soil applied termiticide. This system takes advantage termite food sharing behaviors.
Pre- Construction Treatment:

Treating the soil with termiticides can protect a structure for years.
Termiticides are applied to the soil before the slab is poured.
Termiticides are also applied to plumbing penetrations.
Jitterbug’s Guarantee:
With every termite treatment applied by Jitterbug, a guarantee is attached.

The structure treated is guaranteed to be termite free for one year or Jitterbug will treat it again at no charge.
This warranty is renewable every year for as long as you own the structure at a nominal fee.
Termite Control
SUBTERRANEAN TERMITESubterranean Termites:
General Information-

Termites are social insects with a highly organized castle system.
Subterranean termites usually live outside the home in underground nests.
Subterranean termites use moisture in the earth to survive.
Since Subterranean termites also need cellulose, they often tunnel into nearby homes to get it.
Some other termites (like Drywood and Formosan) don’t need contact with the earth to survive.
The presence of termites may not be readily noticed because activity is hidden behind wall boards or wood trim.
Termites live in every state except Alaska.
A termite colony has three forms or castles: reproductive’s, workers, and soldiers
Subterranean swarmers are seen as they are sent out from a colony to mate and start a new colony. Their bodies are coal black to pale yellow brown. The wings, if attached, will be pale or smoky gray to brown and distinct vein patterns.
Subterranean termite workers make up the largest population and do all the work. They are wingless and are a white to creamy color. They forage for food, feed the other castles, groom the queen, and maintain and build tunnels and shelter tubes.
Soldiers resemble workers in color and general appearance, except they have well developed brownish heads with strong mandibles or jaws. They defend the colony against invaders.
After 2-4 years a colony is mature and produces swarmers. Swarmers may be seen in Texas between January and May.
Signs of infestation can be difficult to detect. Swarmers, mud tubes, and damaged wood are ways to determine an infestation. Here are some ways to determine infestation:
Small holes in wood.
Mud tunnels or tubes that run along the foundation.
Damage to drywall surface.
Swarming termites outside the home or inside the home.
Dead swarmers and wings.
Soft, “squishy” feeling in floors, baseboards, walls, or ceilings.
Spider & Scorpion Exterminator

Female is 1/2 inch long; shiny black, with hourglass-shaped red mark on underside of abdomen.

Can be found almost anywhere, indoors or out; prefer to build their nests close to the ground.

Insects trapped in web made by female.

Contrary to popular belief, female is usually unsuccessful in any attempt to eat male after mating; 300 to 400 eggs are laid in silken cocoon, hatch in about ten days.
Other Information:

Black widows are not aggressive, and will not bite unless provoked; bites are poisonous, but rarely fatal; if bitten, seek medical attention.

Yellowish to brown, with a dark brown violin-shaped dorsal marking; 5/8 to 1/2 inch long.

Can be found outside under rocks, leaves, debris, bark, woodpiles, utility boxes; found inside in storage areas such as closets, attics, bedrooms; usually found close to the ground.

Cockroaches, crickets and other soft-bodied insects.

Mating occurs from Feb. to Oct.; 40 to 50 eggs are deposited in off-white, round silken cases; lifetime averages from one to two years.
Other Information:

Bites when disturbed; bites can cause a disfiguring scar.
General Pest Control
Procedures Identifying Problems
Procedures to identifying and solving pest problems.

Observe and inspect the property for conducive conditions (conditions that provide harborage or that pests prefer vegetation, mulch beds, etc.)
Identify the pests that are causing the problem and identify ways to prevent the cause of the problem.
Look for ways to correct the conditions that are causing the problem to proliferate. (id. structural problems, entry points and sanitation improvement possibilities)
Choose the best method or methods to help alleviate the conditions that are providing pest the opportunity to invade like failed door sweeps, openings around dryer vents, thresholds not sealed..etc.
Initial Treatment Procedures
We first analyze the information given to us by our client by:

Listening to our clients’ pest issues and then analyze, and inspect the property.
Identifying real and potential pest problems.
Choosing the best method to rectify or prevent the pest problem.
Performing Control Methods:

Exterior treatment also known as Primary Barrier Treatment includes structure and yard.
We use a Webster brush and pole to remove spider webs and wasp nests.
We treat weep holes with an insect dust retardant.
We granulate all impervious surfaces.
We apply liquid products on the lawn, flower beds and shrubs.
We apply liquid products around entry points (ie. windows, doors, eaves and slabs)
We use granular bait on ant mounds or interior secondary barriers.
We apply product along the crack/crevice between the baseboard and floor.
We apply around windows sills and where the walls meet up to the ceiling.
We bait for pest that require it.
We fog the attic with a “green” product repellant.
We place insect monitors at the entry points where the garage door shuts.
Solving Pest Problems
At Jitterbug, we believe that pest control (no matter the type of pest) involves a system that relies on effective, environmentally sensitive and a common sense approach.

We combine comprehensive pest information with available control methods to manage pest problems with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.

Consider us, like visiting a doctor.

To prescribe treatment, a doctor must correctly diagnose the problem and determine the extent of the problem as well as the potential of the problem worsening without treatment.

Now the doctor must then use this information, along with applicable treatments available for that particular condition.

In Pest Control, we call this process, “Integrated Pest Management”, the foundation of a successful pest control.

While many other companies simply spray the exterior and call the problem solved, we use informed, educated, caring employees to identify and solve pest problems.

Using “IPM”, we first identify the pest and gather information about the clients’ concerns.

By the way, you don’t have to have an infestation in order to call us.

Prevention is even more important that solving the issue.

After identifying the pest, we then choose the best method of control for the situation after considering the safety, effectiveness, environmental effects and cost of each method.
Maintenance Services
Why does my home need regular maintenance pest control service? Here are a few reasons why we, at Jitter Bug Pest Control, feel that regularly scheduled maintenance insect control service is necessary.

The first reason we deem regular service as necessary is that, even under perfect conditions, pest control products typically have a residual strength of 60-70 days. However, during the midst of Texas summer heat, the residual can be weakened further. After the residual strength is gone, your home is vulnerable to insect invasion and/or infestation. Also an infestation may cause arachnids to follow (spiders and scorpions to name a few), can cause frustration, and a possible health hazard for the homeowner. If an infestation does occur, a more invasive and time-consuming methods and products are necessary.

A second reason regular maintenance is necessary is a thorough inspection is performed by Jitter Bug’s trained technicians every time we are at your home. Our technicians look for conducive conditions (problem areas that insects desire and are attracted to). Some of these conditions that your home is inspected for are: standing water, leaking water outlets (the number one condition termites are attracted to), vegetation against the structure, soil level that is too high against the foundation, lawns that are unkempt, leaves and vegetation that need to be raked and removed, uncovered garbage cans, pet food left out, pet food spillage, openings around pipes or windows, areas that need proper ventilation, gutters that need to be cleaned, and many more.

The final reason regular insect control maintenance is necessary is that we implement Integrated Pest Control Management procedures customized individually for each client. Because not all insect problems are the same from home to home, we inspect each home and formulate an insect control plan designed specifically for our clients. Our service involves much more than simply granulating, spraying, and collecting payment.

Jitter Bug Pest Control Maintenance Service consists of:

Interviewing our clients in order to find out if there are any specific insect issues.
If there are specific issues, we inspect the problem areas and formulate a plan which involves products and procedures designed to eliminate the issue.
After taking care of the client’s specific issues, we then treat the interior or exterior first depending on whichever area the client desires to be completed first.
On the Interior:

We lightly mist with specially designed interior products along the baseboards, window sills, and corners. Also at any wet areas to include under kitchen sink and bathrooms.
We also treat the garage area as it is usually a major entry point for insects.
We also place glue board monitors at garage door entries.
On the Exterior:

We inspect for toys, dog or cat bowls, and other foreign objects and move them to an area that our products will not come in contact with.
We inspect for conducive conditions, ant mounds, wasps nests, and other specific problem areas.
We then treat those areas.
We use or Webster to knock down wasp nests and cob webs.
We treat ant mounds individually.
We granulate against the slab, in and around plant beds, around playscapes, and shrub areas.
We use a liquid exterior product and project it 15’ from the base of the slab and 3-5’ up the home, around windows, doors, and eaves.
Raccoons – Detection, Treatment, & Trapping
Categories: Critters & Pests
San Antonio is blessed with a lot of nature, and that includes raccoons. Raccoons are interesting little critters. They are generally pictures as nature’s little bandits since they wear that Lone Ranger mask. They also have a ringed tail that kinda reminds me of prison stripes. When it comes to mischief, raccoons can be one of the hardest critters to deal with.

To understand the problem, it helps to understand just who raccoons are. Raccoons are pervasive in our culture. From Davy Crocket’s coon skin cap to cute cartoon characters, they are everywhere. How did they get that way though? Mostly, it’s due to the behaviors that make them really tough pests to treat.


Raccoons are nocturnal which means they sleep during the day and are busy at night. In fact, they usually don’t come out during the day unless they are either ill or very very hungry. However, it’s incredibly dangerous for them. They are pretty low on the food chain since they are primarily scavengers.

In nature, they look for food like grubs so they have a lot of skill when it comes to scrounging. During the summer they eat insects and frogs. Come winter, they revert to eating things like plants and fruits. In urban settings like San Antonio, they are naturally attracted to trash cans and other readily available food sources like pet food containers and even bird feeders.

Easy fix: put a cinder block on top of your garbage cans. That will keep raccoons from getting into your garbage or pet food containers. There are also many different manners of straps or giant rubber bands as well as locks but a cinder block usually does the trick. It’s also cheap to free. If you don’t live in San Antonio and have your pick of trash cans, there are many “locking” trash cans on the market.

Squirrel proof bird feeders are also usually raccoon proof as well. So that’s an easy fix. If you feed feral cats or maybe feed your dogs outside, don’t leave the food out overnight otherwise you’re begging to also be feeding raccoons.

So, just where do those raccoons come from? They live in trees, usually in hollows. So, if you have a really big old tree, you may want to check if you have some freeloaders living there. They also love living in logs so check that awesome wood pile you have for your fireplace. Mind you, they are more likely to be living under a porch or a crawl space if your house has one. If those aren’t available, they have been known to find a safe place in your attic.

Easy fix: Close off your crawlspace. Ditto for your attic. They usually get through holes in the soffit or other vents that are left open. Simply covering them with chicken wire can usually be enough to discourage them.

So, how do you know you have raccoons? Raccoons usually leave a fair amount of evidence behind. They are known to tump over trash cans if they aren’t weighted down. They also leave a ton of trash behind including half eaten pieces of food strewn about. This may also be the sign of having teenagers but those are usually found inside the house. We can not treat infestations of teenagers, sorry. Raccoons are not always the most svelte of creatures so if they are getting into a crawlspace or a hole in your attic, it’s usually a pretty decent sized hole. Raccoons also just love your chimney. Ideally, you have a proper vent and spark arrestor installed at the top of your chimeny. If you don’t, you should get one.
san antonio teenager raccoon infestation

Which brings us to the other hard lesson learned reminder: check your chimney before you start a fire. Raccoons build nests. They may have built a nest inside your chimney. So, if you start a fire without having checked your chimney first, you may be starting a much larger fire than you anticipated.

Also, if the raccoons are in the chimney at the time, they may accidentally drop down into the fireplace in their eagerness to escape the heat. It has been known to happen and if it does, you have a very serious, potentially life threatening problem on your hands. Having a licensed and bonded chimney sweep check your fireplace at the beginning of winter is a really good idea anyway.

Raccoons are actually not disease carriers for the most part. However, they have been known to carry rabies like skunks and bats. This alone is a good reason to control your raccoon population.


Raccoons are actually pretty easy to get rid of. If you simply follow our tips for keeping them from getting food and make it hard for them to nest, they go away. However, if they are a real problem for you, then getting a pro like Jitterbug Pest Service to live trap them is a good idea. Instead of using poisonous baits, we recommend live trapping where they can be relocated somewhere away from your house.

If you haven’t ever trapped animals, now isn’t the time to start. Leave that to the professionals please. Give us a call today at 210-653-9700 and we’ll help secure you home from raccoons. Sorry, but you’ll have to secure your house from teenagers yourself.
Rats and Mice: What’s The Difference?
Categories: Critters & Pests
It’s coming on to winter San Antonio. Just like you want to cuddle up under a blanket or by a warm fire, so do many of our furry friends. We’ve been noticing a number of people calling with reports of mice or rats in their house, but what strikes us is most people don’t know the difference. Actually, they are related much like a crocodile and an alligator are, but how to spot the difference? Read and find out.

Rats are most commonly seen as big guys. This is true. Rats are medium to large rodents but are usually hairless but they can have thick coats. They are found everywhere from sewers to forests. Since they are more lovers than fighters, they rarely come out during the day unless they are very hungry or sick. They can actually grow to being over a foot in length but that is pretty unusual.


For the rats that have hair, it’s usually a good natural camouflage color of brown, black, grew, or white. Given their territory, rats have shorter noses since they don’t route around in the ground as much as mice do. As we’ve discovered, many people actually keep rats as pets in San Antonio. Pest control people usually don’t see them as pets but everyone loves someone I guess.

The Rescuers
Mice are smaller cousins of rats. Usually they are just 4-5 inches long from nose to tail and weigh just a few ounces. Like their rat cousins, they’ve got great natural camoflage color wise and tend to be furrier. Like rats, they are quite literally everywhere from fields to attics. Most mice rarely make it past their first birthday since they are prey animals that are eaten by a myriad of animals, including out friends the cats. If Disney taught us anything, mice are particularly clever and very social. This is actually true by the way. Mice are popular pets as well and can live 6 or more years given good food and exercise.

We hope that helps answer your questions about what the difference between rats and mice are. If you are in the San Antonio area and have any more questions, please do give us a call at 210-653-9700.
3 Reasons Why DIY Stands For Doesn’t Make Sense
Categories: How To
DIY pest control
Time, Poisons, and the Environment
We freely admit, it’s possible to never use a pest control service or an exterminator, and live bug free. However, there are quite a few reasons why you really should choose to use a pest control service. First off, why do most people choose over the counter pest solutions? Usually, the answer to that question is money. Also, people think they can save time. It’s easy enough to grab a can of Bengal or Raid at H-E-B or some roach bait boxes at CVS. However, your best value may end up being contracting a pest control company like Jitterbug, but why?

1) Time
Spraying some spray when you see a roach or dropping some ant bait boxes is quick and easy. However, in order to really get the full benefit of most over the counter pest sprays, you have to spray frequently.

In theory, they are effective up to 6 months. However, the real life of a spray is about 2 weeks or so. Normally, people spray the stuff on their counters or window sills.

Problem is, you wipe your counters. Or maybe I should say, you should wipe your counters to keep them clean.

You also need to use the right chemicals. So you can’t just spray one spray. You’ll need baits, dusts, etc and it takes time to read the directions (please do) and place the chemicals out right. Every two weeks. More often if you really clean your house thoroughly. So, you can see how giving us a call and having us treat your house is actually a time saver in the long run.

2) Proper Use Of Chemicals
Another thing to consider is the proper use of chemicals. As we mention above, the life of over the counter chemicals is small compared to the professional grade treatments we use.

Frankly, this is for safety’s sake. People rarely use grocery store bug sprays properly, so giving civilians our grade of treatments would be dangerous. Different surfaces and pests require different chemicals.

Using the wrong application is worse than doing nothing at all since you’re just spreading poison everywhere. That’s not healthy. Not all bugs are genuinely pests. Sometimes, you need to make sure you allow some critters to live while others present a real danger.

Jitterbug Pest Service can help you realize which are which. We are experts in knowing which chemicals to use and the right places and times to use them.

Friendly to the earth

3) Better For The Environment

This comes back to the minimum use of the right chemicals, at the right place, and at the right time. The less chemicals we spray around, the better. The DYI approach does have you spraying frequently and more randomly than really should be done.

So given the value of your time, and using the proper chemicals in the right place and the right time, you can see why calling Jitterbug is a good idea. Give us a call today!

In fact, here are some valuable coupons to help ease the pain of your first call.

Q: Are the products you use safe?
A: They are as safe as they can be when applied in a professional manner. The products Jitterbug uses are properly labeled, measured, and applied in accordance with the Texas Department of Agriculture rules, regulations, and laws.

Q: Why do I need regular pest control service when I don’t see any bugs?
A: There are several reasons why having a pest control professional on your side is a good investment for your home. The first reason is an obvious one, to keep pests away all year long. With each season, different varieties of pests constantly seek food, water, and controlled temperatures inside your home. A perimeter pest shield is the best way to detour unwanted guests from coming inside.

Secondly, a pest control professional can help to identify conditions that are conducive to pests so that they can be corrected in order to limit the access areas that they use to enter your home.

Lastly, a good pest control professional will be able to educate the homeowner for signs of wood destroying insects.

Q: I keep my house clean, why do I still have bugs?
A: Even in the cleanest of homes pests want what we want; comfort. They want shelter, water, food, and regulated temperatures. Many pests can enter homes through even the tiniest of cracks in search of these resources. Other pests, like fleas and bedbugs, are hitchhikers and can be brought by outside sources not related to cleanliness at all. It is important to have a pest control specialist inspect your home for pest risk factors in order to keep your home as pest free as possible.

Q: Why do I have so many spiders?
A: If you have a spider problem than you more than likely also have an insect problem since spiders are predatory and feed on other insects. In order to eliminate spiders a pest control treatment is needed to rid spiders of the food source and to eliminate the spiders themselves. Cleaning the webs, sealing off entry points, and reducing lights are also good measures to take to control insects and spider problems.

Q: How do I get rid of fleas and ticks?
A: There are several steps involved to rid a home and yard of a flea and or tick problem. First step is to get your pet or pets treated by a veterinarian for fleas and ticks. Pets are the main food sources for blood-sucking insects. Secondly, call a pest control professional. Our initial service includes a flea/tick kill treatment with an integrated growth regulator designed to also kill the un-hatched eggs. In order to maintain flea/tick control, a quarterly (and sometimes monthly treatment until the problem is controlled) treatment is necessary due to the flea life/tick cycle.

Q: Does Jitterbug offer trapping services?
A: Yes, we trap all kinds of rodents including: rats, mice, raccoons, opossums, wild cats, squirrels, skunks, and armadillos.

Q: What do I look for in a pest control company?

A pest control licensed business with a Certified Applicator on staff
A member of the Better Business Bureau in great standing
The ability to be able to give an estimate before treatment begins
Expert knowledge of local pest identification and treatment options
A company that uses the best products, mixes them correctly, and applies them in an expert manner
A guarantee of service from a stable company with a great reputation


Family law tier3

Cohabitation is very different to marriage and you are unable to rely on the same rules as apply to married couples. However, disputes and property issues can be approached in a number of ways.

Mediation can be a useful tool when attempting to achieve agreement on key issues. If willing to attend mediation, both parties may find it very beneficial in that it is cost effective and will be much quicker that involving the Court.

If mediation is felt not to be appropriate or fails for some reason, negotiations or proceedings may become necessary. You will be unable to rely on the rules that apply to married individuals, but if you were engaged an application for a declaration of ownership can be made by virtue of the Married Women’s Property Act 1882.

Property can be held in a number of ways:

Joint Tenants. Both parties will have an equal and identical interest in the physical property or in the net proceeds of sale. The court will begin their deliberations on the assumption that each party is entitled to 50%. However, if a party to the proceedings believe they have made a greater contribution to the property, they must prove this to the satisfaction of the Court. It will then be left to the Court to deliberate on the actions and contributions of the parties and this will determine each party’s interest in the property.
Tenants in Common. Each and every owner of the property shall have a specified share in the property. For example, they may have equal shares or other such shares as agreed. As for Joint Tenants, if one party believes they have a greater share than the other shareholders as a result of their contribution, the shareholder claiming a greater interest must prove his/her claim.
Property Held in Sole Name. If the property is held in the name of your partner, it may be possible to establish that you have a beneficial interest in the property. This would also apply to your partner if the property is held in your sole name. If a party’s name is not on the deeds, in may be possible to establish that you have an equitable interest in the property. The same would apply to the other party if your sole name is on the deeds.
Should your name not appear on the deeds, a financial interest in the property can be established in two ways:

If you can demonstrate that you made direct contributions towards the property or mortgage, your beneficial interest will be proportionate to the amount you have contributed.
Should you be able to prove that the parties intended the property to be held jointly and you have relied on the word of the other party to your detriment, you may be able to demonstrate that you have a financial interest. Such evidence as you choose to rely on might include express discussions between the parties or behaviour/dealings that appear to indicate the intention of the parties to hold the property jointly. If you have contributed financially to the property, this would be adequate to demonstrate you acted to your detriment. The extent of your interest, given the dealings of the parties would be considered by the Court when assessing your financial interest.
This area of law can be complex. For this reason we would recommend seeking a barrister’s opinion at the outset. If this becomes a matter of concern for you, we are able to arrange this on your behalf.

When involved in matters such as these, it is important you consider making a Will. This will ensure what will happen to your share of the property on the event of your death.

As joint tenants, should one of the parties die, the property will pass to the survivor. This means that you are unable to leave your share to someone of your choice (by Will.) However, you are able to sever the Joint Tenancy and for both parties to hold equal shares in the property. Under these circumstances you could then leave your share (50%) to the beneficiary of your choice.

Under a Joint Tenancy, the 50/50 share held by the parties can be adjusted at a later stage by the agreement of the parties or by Court Order. Should anything happen to you in the intervening period this will enable you to ensure your wishes are complied with in respect of your beneficiaries. If you wish to sever a Joint Tenancy, please contact us. We can help.

When Is My Marriage Over? Is There An Answer to That Question?

Very few people, if any, expect a marriage to end in divorce when they first get married. Yet, divorce statistics tell us that nearly half of all marriages will end in divorce. When a marriage is over, it can be very difficult to begin to move on. Fortunately, there are some things that youcan do to make it through the rough times.

Many people feel as though they are ready to move on immediately after a marriage is over, without fully working through the healing and recovery process. Divorce can be severely debilitating. It can disrupt your life on many levels, from work to your social life to your physical health. The journey to healing after a marriage is over is a long one, and it is not easy. However, by dealing with your divorce, you can ultimately find yourself in a much better place; eventually, you will make it through the rough times and be able to move on.

When a person goes through any traumatic experience, such as marriage ending, it is important to try to get control of their life and emotions. To heal after a divorce, you must stop seeing yourself as a victim. Recognize that you alone are responsible for your fate; however circumstances may treat you, it is still up to you how you will go forward. It is up to you to decide whether you will learn from mistakes, or whether you will be crippled by them. Create an action plan that includes all areas of your life. Commit to your physical well-being by taking care of your body through a healthy, balanced diet and exercise. The connection between your physical and mental and emotional health is a strong one; when one is failing, the others often fall behind as well. By gaining a sense of control, you will be better able to make it through the rough times.

Part of gaining control after a marriage is over is restoring and/or maintaining a positive self image. Even if you are the one that initiated the divorce, the feelings of failure and betrayal that accompany divorce can overwhelm you sense of who you are. It is important to keep these feelings in perspective. Don’t put yourself down now; what is done is done, and it cannot be undone. Going forward, you need to have your bearings about you. Stop comparing yourself to others. Try to focus on the things that you can do, even the small things. Every day that you get out of bed is one more day that you are further in the recovery process, and one more sign that you are learning how to heal after your divorce, and are ready to move on.

Divorce not only hurts the parties involved, it can hurt their friends and family, especially the children. If you have children, don’t let them become pawns in a struggle between your ex and you. Often, by focusing on the needs of others, we are able to move past our own problems. Don’t overcompensate, but make sure that you are being a good parent by taking care of your children and by making sure that they know that, no matter what happens, you love them and have their best interests at heart. You have to help them heal after divorce, as well. Part of healing after a divorce is just getting out of the house from time to time. Isolation only leads deeper into depression; get out with your friends and your family. When you get invited to an activity, force yourself to go if you have to; in the end, time that you spend with other relationships will very much help you deal with divorce.

If you are having an extremely difficult time, you should seek professional help. A therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or religious leader may be able to help you make it through the rough times as well. please contact Art Augustine directly at 210-316-9583 or at his office at 210-299-4777 or Email Art
Arthur G. Augustine, Board Certified – Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Everyday, the law office of Art Augustine witnesses the advantages and blessings associated with adoption. For many years, we’ve brought joy and love into the lives of thousands of children and the parents who adopt them. We believe adoption is a “win-win-win” situation for everyone involved: children are given a chance at life, while couples unable to have children on their own are blessed with the son or daughter they’ve always wanted, and birth moms find peace in knowing they have provided a loving and secure home for their precious babies. In working with prospective birth mothers over the years, the same concerns, issues, and worries often arise.

If you would like to schedule a free, confidential consultation to learn more about our practice, contact San Antonio adoption attorneys at the Law Firm of Art Augustine today. Speaking with Art places you under no legal or financial obligation. Call today to learn more –

Agency Placements

Agency placements occur when the child is in the custody of a local department of social services or licensed child-placing agency. In this situation, all parental rights are terminated, custody with authority to place for adoption is granted to the agency, and the agency consents to the child’s adoption.



A non-agency placement occurs when the child is not in the custody of an agency. In a non-agency placement, the birth parents or legal guardian(s) consent to the adoption, and parental rights are terminated by entry of the final order of adoption.

Except for licensed or duly authorized child-placing agencies, only birth parents and legal guardians are allowed to place a child for adoption in Virginia. Although anyone may provide assistance to birth parents in locating a prospective adoptive family and to adoptive parents in locating a child, only birth parents and legal guardians may actually place the child for adoption.

There are three different types of non-agency adoptions.

Stepparent adoptions: A stepparent adoption takes place when the spouse of a birth or adoptive parent is adopting the child. In this situation, consent has been obtained or is not required. An investigation will only take place if the court determines it is nescessary before the adoption is finalized. If the court does consider an investiation nescessary, the agency becomes involved when the adoption petition is filed and the circuit court enters the order of reference.
Parental Placement Adoptions: These are governed by Code of Virginia sections 63.2-1230 through 63.2-1240. In a parental placement, the approved child placing agency completes a home study report and a petition is filed in the juvenile and domestic relations court for execution of consent and awarding of custody to the prospective adoptive parents. The juvenile and domestic relations court reviews the home study report and collateral material to determine whether the requirements of law have been met, accepts parental consent, and transfers custody to the adoptive parents. An adoption petition may then be filed in circuit court.
The overall steps in a parental placement adoption are as follows:(i) the agency receives a request for a home study; (ii) a home study is completed; (iii) a report of the home study is submitted to the juvenile and domestic relations district court; (iv) adoptive parents file a petition for execution of consent in juvenile and domestic relations district court; (v) court accepts consent and awards custody to the prospective adoptive parents; (vi) a petition for adoption is filed in the Circuit Court; (vii) the circuit court enters an interlocutory order of adoption if everything has been done in compliance with law; and (viii) after a six-month supervisory period, the circuit court enters a final order of adoption.
Arthur G. Augustine, Board Certified – Texas Board of Legal Specialization


The areas include grounds for divorce, separation or annulment, when children are involved, custody, visitation and support, orders of protection when necessary, and distribution and allocation of properties and liabilities. This Firm also represents clients for Pre-Nuptial Agreements. The Firm will provide you with our legal opinion based upon our many years of experience and understanding of the seriousness and importance of matters involving the marriage and children prior to undertaking your case. We also offer mediation services. Once we take your case, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf.

If there are children of the marriage, issues of custody, visitation and support arise and must be resolved. There no longer is a presumption to custody. Parents are presumed to have equal rights and responsibilities for their children. The Court’s look to what is in the best interest of the children, commonly called “the best interest standard ” in determining child custody. The Courts do not look to what is in the parents’ best interest. The wishes of a child may be taken into consideration depending upon the age of the child. There are different types of custodial arrangements. The parties may agree on different types of custodial arrangements such as joint custody or shared custody, but after trial a Judge may only order sole custody.

Benefits of Using A Local Divorce Attorney

Having a family law attorney in San Antonio is much more convenient than travelling to another city

A local family law firm will be accustomed to San Antonio laws, and keep up-to-date on new legislation than can affect your case or an agreement you need prepared.

A family lawyer in your town will be familiar with San Antonio courts, judges, and other local family law attorneys.

Retaining a local law firm makes transporting children easier if your family lawyer needs to speak to them.

If you have to drop off or pick up documents or agreements, a family law practice in close proximity to your home or office will save you valuable time.

A local family law firm will know local schools, programs, and customs particular to your town.

A local law firm will be able to provide you with resources in your area such as associations and advocacy groups

A family law firm in your San Antonio neighborhood will be current on the real estate sales in your area or development, which can be beneficial if there is a division of property.
A local family law firm can recommend banks or insurance companies that are located close-by.
If you would like to learn more about Matrimonial and Family Law or know your rights, please contact Art Augustine directly at 210-316-9583 or at his office at 210-299-4777.

A word that no one likes to hear but one that is becoming increasingly more common in today’s society. Literature suggests that over 50% of marriages in the United States will end in divorce at some point. In this difficult time with so many things to consider, it is essential that you choose an attorney who can help you to navigate the divorce process successfully. Only an experienced attorney can help you avoid common pitfalls that can literally make your life miserable for a very long time.

As difficult as a divorce is by itself, the situation is made even more complex by the presence of children. The entire family unit is changed, and the process can be very traumatic and confusing for everyone involved. Child visitation, support, and custody are often issues that are hotly contested between divorcing spouses. An experienced attorney can assure that any child support payment or custodyagreement reached is fair to you and to your children. An experienced attorney can also help with the appropriate legal steps to take if you are the victim of domestic violence.

Marital property is also often the subject of dispute. During marriage, a couple builds a life together, a life which includes material possessions. These possessions, called “marital assets,” must be divided fairly if a couple chooses to divorce one another. An experienced attorney can prevent LOSS of marital assets that are RIGHTFULLY YOURS. Decisions such as whether or not you should move out of the marital residence and whether you should begin to separate your finances from your spouses finances also must be considered very carefully and truly require the advice of an experienced attorney.

The divorce procedure itself can be complicated. How long must I be separated before filing for divorce? How do I keep up with all of the dates and information? An attorney can answer these and many other questions. He or she can advise you on how to gather the information you will need once the divorce is filed and will assist you in preparing for experiences such as mediation or trial.

Speaking with an attorneybefore any decisions are made is ESSENTIAL to assuring that your rights are protected during the divorce proceeding and afterwards. Assuring that your divorce is handled properly will free you from future complications in many areas of your life.

Attorneys at Head, Thomas, Webb & Willis will be happy to assist you with your case. Fill out our free case evaluation, or call the office at (404) 250-1113, or toll-free at 1-800-442-2291. We represent divorce clients in all areas of metro Atlanta including Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, and Dekalb counties.
During the year that we are separated, can I receive child support?

You should not need to wait for child support until your divorce is filed. In fact, it is best to have a separation agreement, or some other form of action, drawn up as early in the separation as possible.
Our attorneys at the Raleigh, North Carolina law firm of Charles R. Ullman & Associates have experience and expertise in the North Carolina child support laws.

I have a better health care plan for covering my child, and my ex-spouse has agreed to reimburse me for putting him on it – is this OK?

Generally, the court will consider and authorize all reasonable agreements made by both parties involved in child support negotiations.

How can I get a copy of my child support order?

Check with the county in which the divorce or child support action was filed. You will need to pay for the copying costs.

My ex-spouse wants part of my overtime for our child support agreement. Does overtime money count?

That really depends on whether working overtime is a regular part of employment and how much control the employee has over whether to work overtime or not. The court would generally look at work history to make this determination.

My child’s father has made such erratic child support payments that he now owes us
thousands of dollars – what can I do?

There are many things that can be done, but your first step is to see a qualified attorney. You will need to obtain an order for the payment of child support if you do not have an agreement on file. The North Carolina courts can order wage assignments or attachments.

North Carolina General Statutes: Marriage
§ 51-1. Requisites of marriage; solemnization

A valid and sufficient marriage is created by the consent of a male and female person who may lawfully marry, presently to take each other as husband and wife, freely, seriously and plainly expressed by each in the presence of the other, either:

(1) a. In the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate; and

b. With the consequent declaration by the minister or magistrate that the persons are husband and wife; or

(2) In accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, or federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe.

Marriages solemnized before March 9, 1909, by ministers of the gospel licensed, but not ordained, are validated from their consummation.

§ 51-1.1. Certain marriages performed by ministers of Universal Life Church validated

Any marriages performed by ministers of the Universal Life Church prior to July 3, 1981, are validated, unless they have been invalidated by a court of competent jurisdiction, provided that all other requirements of law have been met and the marriages would have been valid if performed by an official authorized by law to perform wedding ceremonies.

§ 51-1.2. Marriages between persons of the same gender not valid

Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina.

§ 51-2. Capacity to marry

(a) All unmarried persons of 18 years, or older, may lawfully marry, except as hereinafter forbidden.

(a1) Persons over 16 years of age and under 18 years of age may marry, and the register of deeds may issue a license for the marriage, only after there shall have been filed with the register of deeds a written consent to the marriage, said consent having been signed by the appropriate person as follows:

(1) By a parent having full or joint legal custody of the underage party; or

(2) By a person, agency, or institution having legal custody or serving as a guardian of the underage party.

Such written consent shall not be required for an emancipated minor if a certificate of emancipation issued pursuant to Article 35 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes or a certified copy of a final decree or certificate of emancipation from this or any other jurisdiction is filed with the register of deeds.

(b) Persons over 14 years of age and under 16 years of age may marry as provided in G.S. 51-2.1.

(b1) It shall be unlawful for any person under 14 years of age to marry.

(c) When a license to marry is procured by any person under 18 years of age by fraud or misrepresentation, a parent of the underage party, a person, agency, or institution having legal custody or serving as a guardian of the underage party, or a guardian ad litem appointed to represent the underage party pursuant to G.S. 51-2.1(b) is a proper party to bring an action to annul the marriage.

§ 51-2.1. Marriage of certain underage parties

(a) If an unmarried female who is more than 14 years of age, but less than 16 years of age, is pregnant or has given birth to a child and the unmarried female and the putative father of the child, either born or unborn, agree to marry, or if an unmarried male who is more than 14 years of age, but less than 16 years of age, is the putative father of a child, either born or unborn, and the unmarried male and the mother of the child agree to marry, the register of deeds is authorized to issue to the parties a license to marry; and it shall be lawful for them to marry in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, only after a certified copy of an order issued by a district court authorizing the marriage is filed with the register of deeds. A district court judge may issue an order authorizing a marriage under this section only upon finding as fact and concluding as a matter of law that the underage party is capable of assuming the responsibilities of marriage and the marriage will serve the best interest of the underage party. In determining whether the marriage will serve the best interest of an underage party, the district court shall consider the following:

(1) The opinion of the parents of the underage party as to whether the marriage serves the best interest of the underage party.

(2) The opinion of any person, agency, or institution having legal custody or serving as a guardian of the underage party as to whether the marriage serves the best interest of the underage party.

(3) The opinion of the guardian ad litem appointed to represent the best interest of the underage party pursuant to G.S. 51-2.1(b) as to whether the marriage serves the best interest of the underage party.

(4) The relationship between the underage party and the parents of the underage party, as well as the relationship between the underage party and any person having legal custody or serving as a guardian of the underage party.

(5) Any evidence that it would find useful in making its determination.

There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the marriage will not serve the best interest of the underage party when all living parents of the underage party oppose the marriage. The fact that the female is pregnant, or has given birth to a child, alone does not establish that the best interest of the underage party will be served by the marriage.

(b) An underage party seeking an order granting judicial authorization to marry pursuant to this section shall file a civil action in the district court requesting judicial authorization to marry. The clerk shall collect court costs from the underage party in the amount set forth in G.S. 7A-305 for civil actions in district court. Upon the filing of the complaint, summons shall be issued in accordance with G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4, and the underage party shall be appointed a guardian ad litem in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 1A-1, Rule 17. The guardian ad litem appointed shall be an attorney and shall be governed by the provisions of subsection (d) of this section. The underage party shall serve a copy of the summons and complaint, in accordance with G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4, on the father of the underage party; the mother of the underage party; and any person, agency, or institution having legal custody or serving as a guardian of the underage party. The underage party also shall serve a copy of the complaint, either in accordance with G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4, or G.S. 1A-1, Rule 5, on the guardian ad litem appointed pursuant to this section. A party responding to the underage party’s complaint shall serve his response within 30 days after service of the summons and complaint upon that person. The underage party may participate in the proceedings before the court on his or her own behalf. At the hearing conducted pursuant to this section, the court shall consider evidence, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, and shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law.

(c) Any party to a proceeding under this section may be represented by counsel, but no party is entitled to appointed counsel, except as provided in this section.

(d) The guardian ad litem appointed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall represent the best interest of the underage party in all proceedings under this section and also has standing to institute an action under G.S. 51-2(c). The appointment shall terminate when the last judicial ruling rendering the authorization granted or denied is entered. Payment of the guardian ad litem shall be governed by G.S. 7A- 451(f). The guardian ad litem shall make an investigation to determine the facts, the needs of the underage party, the available resources within the family and community to meet those needs, the impact of the marriage on the underage party, and the ability of the underage party to assume the responsibilities of marriage; facilitate, when appropriate, the settlement of disputed issues; offer evidence and examine witnesses at the hearing; and protect and promote the best interest of the underage party. In fulfilling the guardian ad litem’s duties, the guardian ad litem shall assess and consider the emotional development, maturity, intellect, and understanding of the underage party. The guardian ad litem has the authority to obtain any information or reports, whether or not confidential, that the guardian ad litem deems relevant to the case. No privilege other than attorney-client privilege may be invoked to prevent the guardian ad litem and the court from obtaining such information. The confidentiality of the information or reports shall be respected by the guardian ad litem, and no disclosure of any information or reports shall be made to anyone except by order of the court or unless otherwise provided by law.

(e) If the last judicial ruling in this proceeding denies the underage party judicial authorization to marry, the underage party shall not seek the authorization of any court again under this section until after one year from the date of the entry of the last judicial ruling rendering the authorization denied.

(f) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the rules of evidence in civil cases shall apply to proceedings under this section. All hearings pursuant to this section shall be recorded by stenographic notes or by electronic or mechanical means. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no appeal of right lies from an order or judgment entered pursuant to this section.

§ 51-2.2. Parent includes adoptive parent

As used in this Article, the terms “parent”, “father”, or “mother” includes one who has become a parent, father, or mother, respectively, by adoption.

§ 51-3. Want of capacity; void and voidable marriages

All marriages between any two persons nearer of kin than first cousins, or between double first cousins, or between a male person under 16 years of age and any female, or between a female person under 16 years of age and any male, or between persons either of whom has a husband or wife living at the time of such marriage, or between persons either of whom is at the time physically impotent, or between persons either of whom is at the time incapable of contracting from want of will or understanding, shall be void. No marriage followed by cohabitation and the birth of issue shall be declared void after the death of either of the parties for any of the causes stated in this section except for bigamy. No marriage by persons either of whom may be under 16 years of age, and otherwise competent to marry, shall be declared void when the girl shall be pregnant, or when a child shall have been born to the parties unless such child at the time of the action to annul shall be dead. A marriage contracted under a representation and belief that the female partner to the marriage is pregnant, followed by the separation of the parties within 45 days of the marriage which separation has been continuous for a period of one year, shall be voidable unless a child shall have been born to the parties within 10 lunar months of the date of separation.

§ 51-3.1. Interracial marriages validated

All interracial marriages that were declared void by statute or a court of competent jurisdiction prior to March 24, 1977, are hereby validated. The parties to such interracial marriages are deemed to be lawfully married, provided that the provisions of this Chapter have been complied with.

§ 51-3.2. Marriage licensed and solemnized by a federally recognized Indian Nation or Tribe

(a) Subject to the restriction provided in subsection (b), a marriage between a man and a woman licensed and solemnized according to the law of a federally recognized Indian Nation or Tribe shall be valid and the parties to the marriage shall be lawfully married.

(b) When the law of a federally recognized Indian Nation or Tribe allows persons to obtain a marriage license from the register of deeds and the parties to a marriage do so, Chapter 51 of the General Statutes shall apply and the marriage shall be valid only if the issuance of the license and the solemnization of the marriage is conducted in compliance with this Chapter.

§ 51-4. Prohibited degrees of kinship

When the degree of kinship is estimated with a view to ascertain the right of kinspeople to marry, the half-blood shall be counted as the whole-blood: Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to invalidate any marriage heretofore contracted in case where by counting the half-blood as the whole-blood the persons contracting such marriage would be nearer of kin than first cousins; but in every such case the kinship shall be ascertained by counting relations of the half-blood as being only half so near kin as those of the same degree of the whole-blood.

§ 51-5. Marriages between slaves validated

Persons, both or one of whom were formerly slaves, who have complied with the provisions of section five, Chapter 40, of the acts of the General Assembly, ratified March 10, 1866, shall be deemed to have been lawfully married.
Dating After Divorce

Dating and especially remarriage require new levels of understanding, acceptance, and flexibility on the part of both divorced parents and their children. All children want parents to be available to them and fear that involvement in another relationship might interfere with that availability. Many children also harbor unrealistic hopes that their divorced parents will get back together, and dating and remarriage dash these hopes. For adolescents trying to master intimate relationships themselves, watching a parent struggle with the same issues can be especially difficult and unsettling.

There is some danger in beginning to date too soon after a divorce.

After a marriage ends, most people eventually build a new social life – which often includes dating. Even people who do not, for religious reasons, contemplate remarriage as long as their former spouse is alive, recognize the value of interacting with members of the opposite sex.

Whether and how long before dating begins, and how many different dating partners a person has, varies tremendously. Some people prefer to wait to date until the divorce is final. For some people, it may take months, or even years, before they feel emotionally ready or have an opportunity to date. And some people begin seeing other people, or one special person, before their marriage is even legally dissolved. This may not be as outrageous as it seems. Once a couple separates, they often feel “divorced,” but the legal proceedings stretch out over a number of months-or in some cases even years.

There will be considerable difference of opinion among divorced people about the right time and right way to begin dating. There is some danger in beginning to date too soon after a divorce. Most people need a period of “mourning” to get over the “death” of the old, intact family. Individuals are very vulnerable immediately after a separation, and premature serious dating can lead to getting remarried “on the rebound” – which could result in a second divorce. The “right” time to start dating is simply when you are emotionally open to new people and when someone you like becomes available.

There are two major factors for you to consider when thinking about how dating will affect your teenage children’s lives: your own dating pattern and your attitude toward your former spouse’s dating.


If you begin to date, it is important that your teenagers not feel pushed aside or replaced. It may make you feel so good to court someone or be courted that you find yourself somewhat “high”. When you feel this good it is very difficult to tell your new friend or friends that you need to stay home with your children several nights a week. You may even be tempted to stay home but have your date come over to your home.

Think about how this might feel to your teens. They have lost their intact family structure. Now they may feel you too will be lost, lost to a new love. Telling them, “Len is not trying to be your father, he is just my friend,” will not alleviate their feeling that you may want or need Len more than you care for them.

By all means date Len. You don’t have to marry him – or anyone else, for that matter! Go out, get dressed up, have fun. Introduce Len to your son and daughter, include them-if they are available – in some of your outings together, even have him over to your house on occasion. But also plan time at home without Len. Continue to do things with your teens without Len; balance your time. They need you and need “special” time alone with you – not just day-to-day “necessary” time.

This balancing act may he difficult, but it is important in helping your children feel secure. If you have primary custody of your children and have free time only every other weekend, for example, you may feel it is unfair that your former spouse can go out every night. You already have so much responsibility and now must limit your dating while your former spouse has so much freedom! It is true this may not be exactly fair, but very little about divorce can be viewed as fair. Your former spouse may feel it is unfair that you get to make the major decisions about the children and that it is unfair that he or she cannot have custody. Each of you must live with and accept the reality and limits of the divorce.

The right time to start dating is simply when you are emotionally open to new people and when someone you like becomes available.

People you date can have a positive influence on your children. They may help you feel better about yourself, feel happier. If you are happy, it will help your children feel happy. By getting to know other adult men or women, your teenagers may be exposed to new ideas and new experiences. If people you are dating genuinely like them, they can become other supportive relationships for them.

If your children do not like the person you date, or a person you date does not like your children, this can prove to be very upsetting. Perhaps they are jealous of each other, each wanting to control you. Adolescents have a more difficult time than younger children accepting stepparents. They have lived a much longer time than younger children in their original family and are often not sure they need or want another. Teenagers are also sometimes more difficult for a new person to get to know and love than a younger child. So there may be tension between your new adult friends and your adolescent children. If you are feeling conflicts and pressures over this issue, talk with a professional counselor a time or two to help you sort through what is happening. Both your children and your new love interest are important to you, hut you must never let any of them begin to run your life. It is you who must decide how you will handle your choices and responsibilities.


You are not responsible for your former spouse’s dating pattern, but rather for your attitude toward his or her dating. It is critical to understand and accept the fact that you cannot control who or how frequently your former spouse dates. If you will accept this fact you will feel much freer and happier and it will be much easier for your teenagers to deal with it in their own way.

You will certainly have feelings about your former spouse’s caring for someone besides you. This is normal and understandable and part of the process of divorce. Be aware of these feelings and, if you can, share them with another adult. Long-standing relationships and feelings do not end or change the minute the judge signs the divorce decree. Yet, regardless of these feelings, it is very hurtful and damaging to lay them on your children.

When your former spouse begins dating or falls in love with someone else, it may stir up all sorts of feelings in you. You may experience jealousy toward the new person, anger at being replaced, sadness in realizing that the marriage is over, or fear that your children will like the new person more than they like you. Perhaps you might even feel happiness or relief that your former spouse is starting a new social life.

Feelings of jealousy, anger, sadness, and fear may be so intense that they strongly influence interactions between divorced parents when they relate to each other about their children. Divorced parents sometimes feel the only way they have any leverage with a former spouse about dating is by limiting access to the children, or by attempting to control visitations: “You can’t have Marge to your apartment when the children are over!”

Parents confuse their teenagers by expressing their opinions about their former spouse’s new friends: “Your mother has turned into a whore, sleeping at her boyfriend’s house while you are with me,” or “Your father’s new girlfriend thinks she is so sophisticated! I will not have her taking you shopping for clothes,” or “I forbid your mother’s date to come to your graduation. If he does I will beat him to a pulp.”

When the person you loved for many years – and possibly still do – chooses someone else, it is understandable that you have a strong response. For the sake of the children, however, it is important not to let these intense feelings be seen by them. Begin to let go of feelings of attachment (love or hate) for your former spouse.

You may not want to “let go” because that will confirm that the relationship as it was between you and your former spouse no longer exists. This can be painful, for it demonstrates that both of you will not only survive your divorce but must build a new life without each other. Perhaps this is something you really do not want. Some people remain bitterly attached to their former spouse years after the divorce. They say: “I can’t help it. I just can’t help how I feel.” If you find this happening to you, consider talking with a professional counselor. As you master letting go you will discover that who your former spouse dates and what they do is no longer as important to you.

The above information was excerpted from the workbooks: Kids are Non-divorceable, Tots are Non-divorceable and Teens are Non-divorceable and is used with the permission of the author Sara Bonkowski, Ph.D.

Dr. Bonkowski is Associate Professor of Social Work at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois and the founder of the Myrtle Burks Center for Clinical Social Work in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She may be reached at:

As if managing the emotions and relationships created when divorced parents begin to date were not complicated enough, adjustment for parents and children takes a new turn if and when either parent remarries. Remarriage seals the fate that there will be no parental reconciliation (although even children in their teens and twenties often have fantasies about reconciliation of their original family long after both parents have remarried).

Your original relationship will exist with your children forever.

Not only is the door of reality closed on reconciliation, but new people are brought into the children’s lives for whom they are supposed to have, or at least begin to have, a “family” feeling. Here is another major change – just like the divorce itself – when children feel that they have had no control over their own family structure.

If remarriage takes place within a year or two after the divorce, all children will still be in the process of adjusting. At the same time they are adjusting to the losses created by the divorce, they must also adjust to the entrance of a stepparent, sometimes bringing with him or her stepchildren, step-grandparents, and even step-pets.

If you remarry, do not expect or encourage your children to call your new spouse “Dad” or “Mom”.

Some of the major problem areas for remarriages are disagreements about children. These do not need to become crises between you and your new spouse, but it is important to discuss together your values and beliefs about child rearing prior to remarriage. All family members, old and new, must realize that they are members of a remarried family and that a remarried family is not like an original nuclear family. An acceptance of this “differentness” may remove a lot of pressure from everyone.

If you remarry, do not expect or encourage your children to call your new spouse “Dad” or “Mom”. Your children already have a set of parents – you and your former spouse – and will probably resent your trying to suggest otherwise. Allow the relationship between your children and your new spouse to develop naturally. In some instances, particularly where the biological parent emotionally or physically deserts a teenager, a close parent-child relationship may develop between the child and the stepparent. Over time, he or she may choose to call your new spouse “Mom” or “Dad”. That must be his or her choice, however. Do not try to force it in any way. Be sensitive to your child’s feelings, and accept his or her ongoing loyalty to the other natural parent.

Recent research that explored children’s adjustment to stepfamilies found that adolescents have more difficulty accepting a stepparent than younger children. Teenagers have spent more time in their original family than younger children and thus may find it hard to accept a new person. Teenagers also do not like “a stranger” telling them what to do. To prevent problems on this score, it is best whenever possible for the biological parent to establish and enforce rules. The stepparent can still be supportive of his or her spouse’s decisions and enforce “house” rules when the biological parent is not present.

Remarriage seals the fate that there will be no parental reconciliation.

Stepparents can add support and security to a single parent family, bringing to the family some additional time and energy and even money that may be very much needed. If you or your former spouse remarry, take some time to consider how this will affect your teenagers. Have family discussions and ask the teens for their input about how they would like the new family to function. Allow them to care for new family members – including members of your former spouse’s family – but don’t force feelings. If both you and your former spouse remarry, your teenagers will belong to two separate remarried families. They will still and always will have, however, only one set of parents – you and your former spouse. Your original relationship will exist with your children forever.

The above information was excerpted from the workbooks: Kids are Non-divorceable, Tots are Non-divorceable and Teens are Non-divorceable and is used with the permission of the author Sara Bonkowski, Ph.D.

Dr. Bonkowski is Associate Professor of Social Work at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois and the founder of the Myrtle Burks Center for Clinical Social Work in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She may be reached at: (630) 469-2000.
Parenting Across the Miles

Ellen was surprised when her former husband John called her at work to tell her that his entire department was being moved to New York City. John and Ellen had become aware of their differences during their first year of marriage. When they mutually agreed to divorce, they did not know Ellen was pregnant. They stayed together during the pregnancy, but when Luke was 6 months old John moved to an apartment nearby and the couple began the divorce process. Their divorce had been final for three months. Luke was into a routine of seeing John three to four times a week. Ellen went to night school and ran errands during the times John was with Luke. It finally seemed that their lives were settling down. Now this!

Calls, letters and cards are certainly important, but they are not Daddy or Mommy.

John was torn. If he didn’t move, there would be no job for him with the company. Although he might find another job in Lincoln, it would be almost impossible to match his current salary. John loved adventures, and living in New York City appealed to him; it seemed exciting, busy, and offered opportunity. On the other hand, he couldn’t imagine not being able to see his son on a regular basis. Like John, parents usually move away for financial opportunities, although some parents relocate for health reasons or to be near extended family. All of the reasons to relocate are valid, important factors, but the reality is that for the child it will mean lost contact with one parent.

Ellen and John talked over the options and decided that John would take the transfer. Now their task was to make a new plan for how Luke would see his father. The first thing John realized was that he would have to develop a different type of relationship with Luke than the one he would have if he remained in Lincoln. Many move-away parents have difficulty accepting the reality that phone calls and e-mail do not replace person-to-person, day-in, day-out contact. Calls, letters, and cards are certainly important, but they are not Daddy or Mommy. Next, Ellen and John decided that Luke would not fly as an unaccompanied minor until he was 7 or 8, which was six or seven years away.

What to do until then? With the help of a mediator, they decided to make a plan for just one year and at the end of that time assess Luke’s adjustment and any changes in their own lives. The first year apart would probably require the most flexibility and commitment by both parents. The next major principle they decided on was that during the first year Luke would not be separated from Ellen except for a few hours at a time. This meant that John would need to fly to Lincoln for visits or Ellen would have to travel to New York with Luke.

If you are going to be separated from your child, the importance of maintaining a relationship with him or her cannot be stressed enough.

Fortunately, for the first six months John would be coming to Lincoln every four to six weeks to follow up on projects. They agreed that when John was in town, Ellen would arrange her schedule to accommodate him. The first evening or two, John would come to Ellen’s home, play with Luke, eat with him, let father and son get used to each other again. The third day John would take Luke to his parent’s house for several hours but return Luke to Ellen at least an hour before bedtime. This would be repeated every evening. Ellen had a cousin living in New Jersey. She agreed to take a week of her vacation and fly to New Jersey. She would travel with Luke into New York City once, spending at least two hours at John’s apartment. John would make at least one trip to New Jersey. Ellen also agreed that once a month she would e-mail John a brief overview of what was going on in Luke’s life. John had wanted her to do this weekly, but Ellen felt that that was too much to ask. Ellen was getting tired of so much contact with John – after all, they were divorced! Although neither parent was sure how their plan would work, when John moved they had a sense of hope knowing they had put Luke’s needs ahead of their own.

If you find yourself in the position of living far away from your young child, it is important to try to implement some of the same principles Ellen and John used:

Regardless of geographic separation, a young child needs to have a relationship with both parents.

Children and parents who do not have frequent physical contact will develop a different relationship from one where children see the parent frequently. An important consideration is that children and parents know when and how the contacts will be and for both parents to support the plan. Children need reliability.

Very young children should not be taken abruptly from their secure environment.

Young children need time to feel comfortable with the absent parent. Even when the absent parent has an excellent relationship with the child, the child will need a warm-up time.

In most cases children under 2 should not be separated from their primary caretaker overnight; children between 2 and 3 should not be away from the primary caretaker for more than two days: children between 3 and 4 can be away for three to four days, and 5-year-olds for five days. (Remember that the presence of older siblings helps younger children feel more secure during separations.)

Generally, the absent parent should do most of the traveling. This may require making long trips for short contacts. The payoff for this commitment comes as the parent develops a positive relationship with the child.

The primary caretaker needs to accept responsibility for keeping the absent parent informed about the child’s life experiences.

Some parents, given an option, put off a business-related move until their young child is older. If that is a possibility, it is preferable. Because infants and toddlers have difficulty keeping a person in their memory, the frequent-but-short visitation plan is recommended. Children may be fascinated with the phone, but they certainly cannot get to know a parent through phone calls. If you are going to be separated from your young child, the importance of working on maintaining a relationship with her or him cannot be stressed enough. The years of inconvenience you may have to put up with will be worth it. Your child needs you and needs to know you cared enough to invest time and energy’ to stay connected. The appreciation of your commitment may not be fully understood by the child until he or she is an adult. Remember as parents we are in it for the long run.

The above information was excerpted from the workbooks: Kids are Non-divorceable, Tots are Non-divorceable and Teens are Non-divorceable and is used with the permission of the author Sara Bonkowski, Ph.D.

Dr. Bonkowski is Associate Professor of Social Work at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois and the founder of the Myrtle Burks Center for Clinical Social Work in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She may be reached at: (630) 469-2000.
Coping & Mourning – Dangerous Coping Techniques


Your teenager will often need to talk about the divorce in order to understand, accept, and mourn the loss of family. This may sound as if he or she will be just waiting anxiously to pour out questions and feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth! Most adolescents develop techniques to cope with all the changes. They develop and cling to a style that works for them, that saves them pain.

Begin by looking – really looking – at the changes brought about by your divorce.

Some common psychological terms used to describe methods of coping are:
“denial” (the divorce is not happening, or the divorce is not sad)

“repression” (I refuse to think about the divorce)

“sublimation” (I will become so busy with swimming I won’t have to deal with the divorce)

“projection” (this divorce is the fault of Dad’s secretary; she’s the villain)
These coping processes are often done subconsciously, so the child is usually unaware of how he or she copes.

Perhaps as you have been reading about these common coping mechanisms of children you may recognize ones you yourself use to help you deal with difficult, painful problems. These psychological techniques are useful for a period of time until a person-child or adult-is strong enough to be able to explore carefully and slowly the dynamics of why a marriage ended. They must not be allowed to go on forever, however, and you as a parent have an obligation to help your children recognize and break through them.

Create an open atmosphere and eventually your children will feel free to share the important losses with you.

Begin by looking – really looking – at the changes brought about by your divorce. Look at wedding pictures, the marriage license, baby pictures, and the family photo album. Remember gifts given at a happier time, holidays, vacations, family routines. As you look at your history, remember the good times and remember the not-so-good times. It is important to recall both aspects of the marriage-so you can feel how the marriage really was. If you feel like crying, go ahead. If you feel like screaming, go ahead (within reason). Share some of your losses, and how you feel about the divorce, with a good friend or close adult relative.

If you cannot look at your past right now, wait a week or two, or a month or two, until you are able to do it. Perhaps you can only think about one memory at a time. That is perfectly all right. Proceed with mourning the loss of your marriage (and “mourning” is what you will be doing) in your own way and at your own pace. You will need to mourn in some way, at some time, however. Don’t put it off forever. If you never feel ready to examine your marriage, then perhaps talking with a professional counselor or trusted member of the clergy will help you get started. You need to mourn to help yourself heal, which will result in your being more available to your adolescent.

Any time a person carries excessive bitterness and anger it hurts him or her as well as the other people close to the embittered person.

Your teenager will also be in a process of mourning the loss of the family. When he or she says “Remember how Dad always brought home fresh donuts on Sunday?” know that this is a form of mourning. Remembering the family as it was to him or her (and this may be very different from how you remember the marriage/family) is an important first step in accepting the changes and losses. Perhaps your child will be able to express how he or she feels about some of the changes. “I hate it that you have to work now!” or “Every time I see Mom’s new boyfriend I feel sick” are examples of natural expressions of loss. Allow your teen to make these statements. Just as you might need time before feeling able to express your losses, so too your child might need time. Create an open atmosphere and eventually your children will feel free to share the important losses with you.

If your feelings are similar to your adolescent’s you may offer understanding by stating them. “It’s difficult for me to see your Mom with Nick, too”. Do not, however, get into a blame/hate campaign. This will eventually be counterproductive. Any time a person carries excessive bitterness and anger it hurts him or her as well as the other people close to the embittered person.

If your feelings differ from those of your child, acknowledge how you feel, but accept how he or she feels. “You know, I sort of enjoy working full time. The responsibility they have given me at work is making me feel good about myself. I know what you mean about missing our time together, though”. Notice that this mother did not try to talk her child out of her feelings. She understood and accepted the child’s position, even if she did not share the feeling. If you are ever tempted to say, “You shouldn’t feel that way,” stop. There are no “shoulds” about feelings; feelings just exist.


There are coping techniques that are not healthy.

Examining the history of your marriage and experiencing the many losses is an important step in healing. However, you and your children cannot stop the world and sit around and mourn; you must live each day. You must pay bills, buy groceries, go to school/work, be friends or neighbors, visit relatives, watch TV and read newspapers. As you go about daily living, you will find some activities are more enjoyable than others. During the healing process you may find yourself doing more of whatever gives you comfort. For example, during a divorce many adults often talk to friends on the phone more frequently and for longer periods of time than previously. Other methods of coping include getting new clothes, playing new music, eating different foods, and going on a diet. These are positive activities that may help you feel better during a stressful time.

There are coping techniques that are not healthy. These are “overindulgent” responses: overeating, excessive use of alcohol, too much sleep, etc. If you find yourself engaging in behavior that is potentially harmful to your health or well-being, please get professional help. Just talking with an outside party may help you develop better ways of coping.

When coping techniques begin to fail, that is, when a person no longer feels good no matter what he or she tries, there is a state of depression.

Adolescents will also be using coping techniques to emotionally manage all of the losses and changes in their lives. There are many functional ways of coping-putting extra effort and time into a sport, watching TV, spending more time with friends, or trying for the honor roll. Be alert, however, for ways of coping that may be dangerous for your teen. Drinking and drug use are two common responses to loss that some adolescents use. Familiarize yourself with the signs of substance abuse. If you are not aware of the signs, speak with the school counselors – they will probably have printed resources readily available.

Other potentially dangerous coping techniques are developing an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia), engaging in excessive sexual activity, shoplifting, or practicing a “cult-like” religion, such as Satanism. Sometimes parents are the last to know about the destructive behavior in which their child is engaging. Don’t become over-alarmed, but don’t be naive either. Keep your eyes and ears open. Know your children, be aware of their activities and friends. If you suspect problem behavior, immediately speak with a professional mental health worker – psychiatrist, social worker, or psychologist.

When coping techniques begin to fail, that is, when a person no longer feels good no matter what he or she tries, there is a state of depression. Symptoms of depression are sleep disturbance (too much or too little), early waking (about 3 AM), eating problems (too much or too little), muscle aches or headaches, exhaustion, and a general sense of sadness with outbursts of weeping.

Divorce may trigger depression for adolescents, although it is important to keep in mind that many adolescents whose parents never even consider divorce experience depression. If you or your child has a number of the above symptoms consult your family physician, and follow his or her recommendations.


Have patience with yourself and your children.

After a period of time you and your children will settle down into a new pattern of family life. This new family pattern will emerge slowly, a little at a time. Perhaps you now go to church on Saturday night because everyone wants to sleep in on Sunday morning. You may do major shopping only twice a month on paydays, and each child maybe in charge of his or her own laundry. This new routine works well and you all feel good about it.

Your family has adapted to the changes. The losses still exist – but they are being faced and slowly mourned. During the period of transition to this new family system perhaps all family members utilized some different coping techniques. Eventually, however, you become a functioning single-parent family with teenage children. This is not the family – dreamed of – but it is your family and you are making it work.

If you have just separated, then the process of mourning, coping, and adapting is just beginning. Have patience with yourself and your children. Reading this book, thinking about each topic, doing some of the exercises may help.

The above information was excerpted from the workbooks: Kids are Non-divorceable, Tots are Non-divorceable and Teens are Non-divorceable and is used with the permission of the author Sara Bonkowski, Ph.D.

Dr. Bonkowski is Associate Professor of Social Work at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois and the founder of the Myrtle Burks Center for Clinical Social Work in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She may be reached at: (630) 469-2000.

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