Post-Divorce: Can You Limit Your Extended Family’s Visits With Your Kids?

If your relationship with your ex-spouse’s family turns sour after your divorce, you may wish to limit their visits with your children. Although it benefits your kids to spend time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, it can also harm your kids if their extended family tries to manipulate them into hating you. Because you want to protect your relationship with your kids, contact a family lawyer for help. A family law attorney discusses the best way to handle your situation without harming your children’s mental and emotional health. Here’s why you need legal assistance and how an attorney helps you protect your kids.

What Happens When Family Relationships Sour?

Most people get along with their extended family members after divorce and continue to spend time with them during holidays, birthdays and other special events. If your extended family developed an immediate dislike for you after the divorce, you avoid family gatherings to keep the animosity down.

However, your ex can still expose your children to their family whenever they pick up your children for weekend visits, vacations and other events. When the other parent returns your kids, your children seem distant and even angry with you. Your kids may also blame you for the divorce or speak negatively against you. In some cases, your kids repeat the hateful things their extended family says about you. 

If you don’t ask a family law attorney to make changes in your custody agreement, the problem becomes worse.

Should You Request Changes in Your Custody Agreement?

Family court originally awarded you and the other parent joint custody of your kids because it was in their best interests to have two active parents in their lives. But if the other parent refuses to step in and put a stop to their family’s abusive tactics against you, a family law attorney can ask the court to change the custody agreement.

One of the things an attorney may do is ask a family court judge to limit where the other parent takes your kids when they have physical custody of them and who they take them around. Although it may seem extreme to place limitations on the other parent, it may be the only way to keep your children mentally and emotionally safe from the extended family. 

If you need more help with protecting your kids from their extended family, contact a family law attorney for assistance. 

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Important Points To Consider With Your DUI Charge

Facing a driving under the influence charge can be quite scary due to the repercussions that you might face. Since 28 people die every single day as a result of drunk drivers, courts will have little sympathy for offenders who are proven guilty. For that reason, there are some keys that you will need to consider so that you are able to understand what you are up against and what you will need to do in order to avoid the harshest penalties. Consider this guide as you build your case and exercise your rights. 

Consider Taking A Plea Bargain If One Is On The Table

If the evidence against you is too strong, one of the best things to do might be to simply take a plea bargain. With drunk driving, the plea bargain you would take is called a wet reckless charge. Wet reckless is an acknowledgment that alcohol was involved in your charge but is downgraded to a reckless driving charge, which is a lesser offense than a DUI. Not all states accept wet reckless plea-bargains, so you would need to speak with your attorney about this possibility.

Know The Potential Penalties You Face

Understanding the potential penalties you face gives you a realistic outlook as you begin building your defense. The sooner you come to grips with this information, the better you will be able to put the pieces together with your attorney. As an example, being found guilty of a DUI in Virginia gets you a fine between $250 and $2500, along with a mandatory five days in jail. In California, you pay a minimum $390 fine and a two-day jail sentence.

Know What To Look For In A Criminal Defense Lawyer

When hiring a criminal defense lawyer, be sure that their specialty is DUI cases. When you hire a criminal defense lawyer with this specialty, you will have the best chance possible of getting either the plea bargain or acquittal that you need to protect your rights. Such a lawyer will also have relationships within the municipality that will help compile the best possible evidence to prove your case.

Above all, make sure that you do all that you can to fight the charge to keep your record clean. Never drink and drive, but if you face a charge, you will need to come to court prepared. For more information, contact Larson, Latham, Huettl Attorneys or a similar firm.

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4 Steps To A Do-It-Yourself Divorce

In some situations, it is possible to handle your own divorce. Before attempting to do so, it is important to carefully assess your situation. If you and your spouse are considering a do-it-yourself divorce, here are some steps you need to take.

Assess Your Situation

Not every divorce can be conducted without the assistance of an attorney. If you have children, custodial and support matters can be complicated and it is best to work with a divorce attorney. You should also consider seeking legal help if you and your spouse are unable to reach a consensus regarding the division of assets and debts. 

Working through a do-it-yourself divorce can also be challenging if there is anger on either side. You and your spouse do not have to be on the best terms, but you should be able to hold reasonable discussions about the end of the marriage without letting anger interfere. 

Create an Agreement

One of the biggest parts of a divorce is deciding how debts and assets are handled. To help speed up the divorce process, you and your spouse need to create a written agreement that you can use to complete your divorce documents. 

If you are unable to reach an agreement, consider mediation. During mediation, a skilled professional can sometimes help get you and your spouse towards an agreement. If you still cannot create an arrangement that seems fair to both sides, seek legal help from professionals at Garrett & Silvey Law Firm or a similar law firm.

Contact the County Clerk’s Office

Do-it-yourself divorces are handled differently in each county. Some counties require that you obtain the necessary divorce documentation from the office, while others direct you to other places, such as a law library. Before signing up for any document preparation service, you want to be sure that you have the right papers. 

Complete the Documentation and File

Once you have obtained the proper divorce papers, you and your spouse need to complete them. It is imperative that both parties read over the papers before they are filed. You want to be sure that both parties are in agreement with what is stated on the documents. 

You will need to file the papers with the county clerk’s office. The clerk will inform you if there are any additional requirements that need to be met. For instance, some counties have a waiting period that must be honored after the papers are filed. 

Even if you worked on your divorce yourself, it is a good idea to talk with an attorney before filing the papers. You want to be sure that the documentation is accurate and fair to both parties. 

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Child Support: How Is The Amount Determined?

If you are a couple divorcing with minor children, the issues of child custody, support and visitation are vital areas of concern with both you and the courts. While you are permitted to hammer out your own agreements about marital property, marital debt and visitation, child support is a different matter. For more information about how child support is determined, read on.

Federal Child Support Guidelines

The Federal government has established state-specific guidelines for child support calculations in an effort to provide some consistency for judges. Child support is usually awarded to the parent who gets physical custody of the child and is always based on the income of the parents.

The calculations, it should be noted, are rough estimates and may be offset by many factors such as types of income, shared custody situations, and special expense circumstances such as a child with special needs. The major factors used in calculating child support are:

  • The incomes of both parents are considered, and the higher-earner may be required to pay a greater share. The amounts are calculated using either net or gross income, depending upon the state.
  • The amount of any court-ordered child support payments for other children may be deducted from the income. Any voluntary payments cannot be deducted, and all payments must be up-to-date.
  • The parent who pays for any childcare may deduct that from their income.
  • One parent will be responsible for paying for the child’s healthcare coverage, and this issue will be included in the support order.
  • Other miscellaneous expenses may be included, if needed, such as travel expenses for custody arrangements and visitation and educational expenses for private school.
  • In some states, the best interest of the child doctrine necessitates that there be specific language to address college finances for the child and will specify the percentage or amount of contributions for each parent, which continues until the child is of a certain age. While the child cannot be compelled to attend college through a court order, the courts do want to make certain that the child is not put to a disadvantage due to being from a divorced family.

The courts never close issues that pertain to the health and well-being of a child. This allows both parents to re-visit custody, support and visitation issues when needed and gives courts the ability to oversee the best interest of the child on a continuing basis. The calculations for child support can be complex, so consult with a family law attorney in your state to get the most up-to-date and accurate information. 

For more information, contact Pagel Family Law or a similar firm.

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Defenses For A Marijuana Paraphernalia Charge

If you have been charged with possessing marijuana paraphernalia, this can result in some serious consequences if you live in a state that prohibits its use. However, there are some defenses that can help you successfully fight the charges.

Currently, it is against federal law to sell, transport in interstate commerce, or export/import drug paraphernalia. Marijuana paraphernalia can include these things:

  • Various types of marijuana pipes and bongs,
  • Measuring scales,
  • Packaging materials,
  • Roach clips,
  • Separation gin/sifters for refining it,
  • Carburetion masks, and more.

You could claim you had some of these things for other purposes, but if there is marijuana residue present on an item, you would still be charged with having paraphernalia.

“Police Procedures Were Improper” defenses

If the police violated your rights or failed to follow proper procedure when discovering your items, the evidence may not be admissible and this would result in your case being dismissed if there is no other evidence against you.

Police should have an articulate-able and reasonable suspicion that you are committing an infraction or other crime to stop and detain you as a pedestrian or pull you over while you are in a vehicle. They need a reasonable suspicion to frisk you for weapons, drugs, or drug related items.

If you receive a ticket for a traffic violation, then you should be allowed to leave the scene without a search being conducted unless the items are in plain view, there is a strong marijuana odor coming from the vehicle, or you are clearly impaired. An officer can’t claim your nervousness or the fact that your car has the smell of a deodorizer as reasonable suspicion to further detain you and call in a canine unit or to conduct a search.

Officers need probable cause to obtain a warrant to search a home for contraband materials and drugs, and they can’t search beyond the limits defined in the document.

“It Wasn’t Mine” Defense

If you borrowed an item of clothing or a vehicle that contained paraphernalia, or someone used your stuff/vehicle and left items in it, you could claim having no knowledge of the items being there and that they aren’t yours. Of course, you are more likely to be successful with this defense if you don’t have any prior drug related convictions. It also helps if you can pass a drug test, which your attorney might want to arrange for.

Legal Representation

A marijuana paraphernalia charge can result in jail time, a fine, or a driver’s license suspension depending on where you were received it. It can also affect your eligibility for student loans and employment.

You will need to consult with a criminal law attorney to discuss your options and to prepare a vigorous defense if needed. Contact a company like Brian Walker Law Firm, PC for more information.


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How to Get The Most Out of a Criminal Attorney’s Services

If you are about to undergo a criminal trial, one of the best things that you can do is work with a criminal lawyer to help you organize your case. Here are some tips about how to best work with a defense attorney. 

Choose the Right Attorney

The key to finding a great criminal lawyer is to choose someone with experience working on cases that are similar to yours. You can see what kinds of cases the lawyer has worked on in the past by asking them for a case history. From this, you can see the subjects of their recent cases along with the win or loss outcome. 

Another thing to consider is how much time the lawyer can devote to your case. When meeting with a potential lawyer, you may want to ask about or agree upon a schedule for meeting and discussing your case. Sometimes, having a team of lawyers working on your case can provide you with better access to legal counsel if there are more people available to answer your questions. 

Present Your Case Well

Your criminal attorney will do a better job of representing your case when they are given as much information as possible. Before you even approach lawyers for your trial, you should put together some information that will help them evaluate your case. For instance, gather information about who was involved with the arrest, the timing and circumstances surrounding the arrest, a list of your criminal charges, and any evidence against you. Then, the lawyer will work with you to collect more documentation that can support your case. 

Choose Your Services Upfront

A criminal defense lawyer can work with you in a few different ways, allowing you to customize your needs. Some may offer you a consultation before your trial, where they will help you prepare your evidence and the key points to bring up during your trial. This is a good option for those who cannot afford to seek full legal representation. However, it’s often a good idea to have the lawyer represent you in court. You can never fully foresee what points will be brought up in court, and a lawyer can help you put your best foot forward no matter what kind of evidence and questioning is thrown at you. 

A criminal trial is a tricky situation, and you need to be as prepared as possible in order to get a good result. Getting a great criminal lawyer and providing them with key evidence and support will help you to improve your outcome in a trial. Consider speaking with a representative from Edward Galang Law today to find the help you need.

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5 Reasons To Hire A Real Estate Lawyer

Real estate law varies by state. Some states require that an attorney be involved in real estate transactions while others allow agents, title companies, private escrow companies, and lenders to perform various tasks involved in the buying and selling of property while others require that both parties be represented by a professional real estate lawyer. Even if your state doesn’t have this requirement, there may be circumstances where the services of a real estate lawyer will be in your best interests. Following are five situations where a real estate lawyer can be instrumental in smoothing transactions.

You’re Buying a Home in Another State

These transactions can be tricky because laws that are specific to your current state of residence may not be applicable to the state in which you are buying property. Depending on the state, you may be legally required to have an attorney for the transaction even if the laws in your current state don’t have that stipulation.

You’re Buying a Home Directly From the Seller

Because you won’t have an agent or title company working with you on this type of transaction, it’s advisable to hire a good real estate attorney to help ensure that the title is clear, that the proper inspections have been performed and that they have either been passed or the price of the property has been adjusted accordingly

You’re Selling Your Own Home

Selling your home without the assistance of a licensed real estate agent may save you substantial sums in commissions and fees, but it could also be more hassle than its worth if you don’t hire a real estate lawyer to help with some of the paperwork. For instance, a lawyer can write up a binding purchase agreement, arrange for transfer of title, receive the initial trust payment and hold it in a private escrow account, receive the final payment, and transfer the keys.

You’re Buying a Foreclosed Property

You can frequently get amazing deals on foreclosed properties, but navigating the requirements involved in their purchase is frustrating and time consuming. Availing yourself of the services of a  legal expert can mean the difference between a seamless transaction and an anxiety-producing tangle of red tape.

You’re Buying Commercial Property

Purchasing commercial property is generally more complex than buying a residential home. A competent real estate attorney with significant experience in handling commercial transactions works with customers throughout the entire process — from the initial negotiations to the final closing.

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