Are You a Father Who Wants Custodial Rights but Isn’t Married to Your Child’s Mother? Three Tips That Can Help

If you are a father who has just ended a long-term relationship with the mother of your child, you might still want some kind of custody. This can be a challenge if you were never married to the child’s mother, but there are still steps you can take to earn custody. These tips may help.

Prove You’re the Father

Even if your name is on your child’s birth certificate, the first thing you’ll need to do is to prove to the presiding judge that you are the biological father. This can be done relatively easily by submitting yourself to a paternity test. You might feel somewhat insulted to have to prove paternity, but without doing so, it will be very hard, if not impossible, to proceed. Once the test is completed, you can then move on to other matters.

Write in a Diary

You may think that diaries are only for teenage girls, but the truth is that a journal or diary of your time with your child can be helpful to the judge when he or she is figuring out custodial matters. Do you take your child shopping for clothing? Do you take them to sports practice? Do you take them to the dentist? Keep a record of the things that you do with your child throughout the month. This proves that you are an integral part of the child’s life and that you should have the right to see them regularly, if not most of the time.

Keep track of different receipts too. It can be good for your case to show the judge how much money you’re spending to care for your child and ensure that they have everything they need.

Avoid Relying on Informal Agreements

The mother of your child may currently seem reasonable enough about your rights to visitation and co-parenting, but she may change her mind or want to make adjustments without regard to your feelings later. If you want to be sure that your rights are protected, it is essential to have a formal, legal agreement in place that can’t be changed according to personal whims. Therefore, be certain that the judge handles all custodial matters instead of assuming the child’s mother will do the right thing.

When you have used the information above, you will have put yourself in a better position to earn custody of your child. Consult a family lawyer such as John Alegria Attorney at Law, and try to find someone with experience representing fathers so that you can be sure you’re doing everything you can.

Learn More

How To Stay On The Good Side Of The Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has created a valuable and useful program designed to help those unable to work at their jobs because of a medical condition. One program, the Social Security Disability Insurance program is designed for those who have worked and paid into the SSDI system. Once you have provided proof to the SSA of your medical condition, you can expect to begin receiving the monthly benefit amounts that you have paid for during your work years. The SSA application for disability benefits, unfortunately, can be complicated and drawn-out, increasing the opportunities to make errors and possibly run afoul of the rules and regulations. Read on to learn more about staying on the good side of the SSA.

1. The SSA will thoroughly investigate your medical condition claims, so don’t be tempted to exaggerate your condition and symptoms to get your claim approved. The SSA will use your medical records as evidence of your condition, and may even request that you undergo an exam by an SSA-contracted physician before they rule on your claim.

2. The SSA tracts filers and claimants of all government programs, so if you have been convicted of fraud with the SSA, the food stamp program, the IRS, the housing assistance program or the Medicaid program, your application will face a denial of benefits. If you are tempted to use a Social Security Number that is not your own, then that is simply another form of fraud.

3. The SSA does consider your education level and job skills when they make their determination of eligibility, but take care not to underplay your work experience or education level when filling out the application. If you have a legitimate need for benefits, be honest and allow the SSA to make an informed decision.

4. Back pay is a potentially valuable money benefit that can be awarded to you in a lump sum payment if you are eligible. Take care to state your last day of work accurately, or risk a denial when the SSA attempts to verify this info with your last employer.

5. Once you are approved for benefits, take care when reporting any income that you earn while collecting benefits. You must stay below $1090.00 a month or risk losing benefits, unless you are participating in special SSA programs like the Trial Work Period.

Be careful when filling out your application and when reporting your living situation and income, the SSA has strict penalties if you are convicted of fraud. Each act could cost you up to $10,000.00 and up to a 5-year prison term. Discuss your SSDI case with a Social Security attorney today. Contact a business, such as Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law, for more information.   

Learn More

Maintaining Evidence And Health During VA Injury Wait Time

It’s no secret that the Veterans Affairs claim system can be slow. From systemic issues to the sheer number of veterans needing targeted attention for their claims and appeals, it’s not uncommon for veterans to wait an entire year for a decision for a single claim. If you’ve complained as much as you can and haven’t seen any changes in speed, it’s important to get a legal professional on your side while building on your claim in case of denials or requests for additional information. Here are a few things you can do as you wait for a response from Veterans Affairs.

Set All The Appointments Possible

Your Veterans Affairs (VA) injury claim or appeal is all about delivering the right kind of evidence showing that your injury is related to military service (service-connected) and that you’re still suffering from the problem.

One issue with initial claims and some appeals is that they lack enough information. It makes sense that veterans fresh from the service might not know how the VA works; unless you worked in a legal department, your job had nothing to do with the complex VA disability system and filing claims are fairly intensive. Veterans may simply think that showing their wounds or symptoms are enough, since after all, they did serve honorably.

Unfortunately, the VA has to battle against fraudulent claims, which means you’ll need an up-to-date record of your problem. As you wait, you can set appointments at VA clinics and hospitals to examine the problems that you’re complaining about. 

The VA healthcare system has issues with backlogs, but it’s free. On the other hand, you can get examinations from non-VA healthcare providers and pay out of pocket. If your claim is accepted–even after multiple denials–you just need to turn your invoices for related medical care in to the VA for reimbursement.

One big issue is knowing whether your medical professional is good enough. You can take a shortcut in the search by contacting a personal injury lawyer, who may have more medical professional connections suited to your needs. Although many doctors are skilled at their profession, specialists who have dealt with claim systems have a set of reporting and organization skills that centered around convincing claim systems.

Medication And Therapy To Maintain Your Health

VA disability provides many benefits, such as monetary compensation and more advanced medical treatment. Before being approved for benefits, you can stabilize your condition or at least get some assistance that can make survival a lot cheaper.

If you need pain medication or prescription refills, visit the VA ahead of time. There’s no need to pay for many form of pain medication, allergy relief or physical therapy assistance if you go to the VA before your prescription is empty or before the situation becomes dire.

Although the VA is reducing its abused system of high-potency medication with a simple visit, if you really need a prescription, a VA clinic or hospital visit with a doctor can get what you actually need. You can then use the My Healthy Vet website to refill prescriptions, and you’ll only need to visit the clinic again if you need to be evaluated for another solution or continued refills.

For more information, contact Walz Law Office or a similar firm.

Learn More

Dismissal With Prejudice: Why It Is Bad And How To Avoid It

If you are contemplating a bankruptcy filing, it’s essential to plan for it well so that your case isn’t dismissed with prejudice. A dismissal with prejudice is bad for your case because it means either of these two things:

You May Be Barred From Filing another Bankruptcy for Some Time

If your bankruptcy application goes south, your first thought would be to correct the anomaly that got your case dismissed and reapply right away. However, this is not possible if your case is dismissed with prejudice. If the application had placed an automatic stay on your creditors’ collection efforts, they would be free to start hounding you until the designated period elapses and then reapply.

Some of Your Debts May Not Be Discharged In Subsequent Bankruptcy

Many people who fail at their first bankruptcy applications reassess their situations, prepare, and try again. This is because they don’t have alternative means of solving their financial difficulties. Unfortunately, a dismissal with prejudice may make it difficult to succeed at a subsequent hearing. This is because even if you are allowed to file for bankruptcy, you may not be allowed to discharge the debts that your first bankruptcy would have dismissed. So if those are the same debts you were still interested in discharging, you may have no reason to file for bankruptcy again.

Considering the above disadvantages of bankruptcy dismissal with prejudice, it makes sense to avoid it all costs. Luckily, that is achievable via planning to ensure that:

Don’t Hide Assets

The temptation to hide assets might be overwhelming if you want to discharge your debts and keep your assets. Unfortunately, this is one of the easiest routes to getting your case dismissed with prejudice. Instead, use your bankruptcy exemptions to save the assets you wish to save. Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer for help with how to maximize your exemptions.

Follow the Courts Orders

Willfully disobeying the bankruptcy court’s orders is another way of getting your case dismissed with prejudice. Once the bankruptcy case starts, prepare to follow every directive to the letter. For example, if the court requires you to complete a debt counseling class within a certain time, do it; there is no shortcut.

Don’t Make Numerous Applications Unnecessarily

A bankruptcy dismissal without prejudice allows you to make a subsequent filing as soon as you wish, but you shouldn’t make that step without thorough preparation. This is even more necessary if it isn’t the first time your bankruptcy case has been dismissed. You need to analyze and correct your shortcomings before filing again. This is because if you make too many applications without merit, your case might be dismissed with prejudice. The court might make that move on the suspicion that you are just filing for bankruptcy to delay your credit obligations, which is an abuse of the process. Contact a business, such as Vandeventer Black LLP, for more information. 

Learn More

3 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Social Security Attorney When You Have An Invisible Disability

When your disability is invisible to the naked eye, such as a mental illness or chronic pain disorder, you are likely to find that getting the social security payments that you are entitled to can be very challenging. In that instance, it will be particularly useful to be aware of the following questions you should ask of any lawyer that you may consider hiring.

#1-Is The Lawyer Familiar With Changes To Social Security Law?

Unfortunately, people who suffer from endocrine disorders like diabetes and other thyroid disorders and cannot work as the result of their illness are likely to find that getting approved for disability payments is even harder than it was a few years ago. That is due to the decision implemented by the Social Security Administration in June of 2011 that removed those conditions from the list of approved illnesses for payments. Any lawyer with whom you will be speaking should make efforts to stay up-to-date on changes like that one.

#2-Does The Social Security Attorney Have Experience With Your Type Of Disability?

However, you may still be eligible for payments if your endocrine problem has resulted in additional serious health concerns like an amputation or organ failure. In addition, it can be particularly hard to be approved if you suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. Due to the details associated with specific types of invisible disabilities, you are likely to find that it is best to always be represented by a social security attorney with extensive experience helping other people with the same disability you have.

#3-At What Point Will The Attorney Accept Your Case?

When you are sick, in pain or suffering from other symptoms of your invisible disability, you should not have to also worry about dotting i’s and crossing t’s in a long and complicated application for disability payments. Even worse, you should not have to do the work associated with the application, like procuring medical records, and still be unable to access legal assistance until your case has been turned down by the government. Therefore, it will be helpful to find an attorney who will help you every step of the way, from applying for benefits to appealing the denial of your case, if an appeal is eventually necessary.

In conclusion, the first application for social security disability benefits when you suffer from an invisible disability will often be turned down. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask the above questions when interviewing lawyers to help you file for benefits or appeal the decision about your case.

For more information and advice, talk with a social security lawyer, such as those at Todd East Attorney at Law.

Learn More

Tips For Starting A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Alaska

If you recently lost a loved one, then you probably have a lot on your mind. You might be dealing with a number of financial hardships, including a future without the wages of your loved one. To help ease your burden, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit, but you should be aware of all the facts before you proceed. Here are some of the relevant rules and laws that you will encounter when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuitt in Alaska:

The Statute of Limitations

Alaska requires that you file your lawsuit within two years of theddeath. If you are familiar with the statute of limitations in the related field of personal injury lawsuits, then you might also be familiar with some of the exceptions that can be used to extend the statute of limitations, including the idea of discovery.

Wrongful deaths are a little less lenient, and you may find it very difficult to extend your window of opportunity beyond the initial two years. If you do discover that the death was due to negligence on behalf of another party (medical malpractice and fraud can lead to this situation), and that you were misled about the nature of the death, then you can likely get an extension, allowing you to file long after the two years is up.

Parties That Can File

In order to actually file a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to be the personal representative of the deceased’s estate, or a direct dependent, including spouses and children.

If you are not one of these parties and wish to file, you will likely to be unable to do so. However, exceptions do exist, so if you believe that you have a particularly strong case for whatever reason, then it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer. From there, you can decide whether you should proceed.

Damage Caps

The amount of money that you can win in your case is generally divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include financial costs, such as the price of a funeral and future lost wages. Economic damages are also rarely limited, meaning that you can ask for as much as you are owed.

Non-economic damages are restricted to $400,000 or $8,000 per year of remaining life expectancy, which basically means that the cap is $400,000 unless their life expectancy exceeded 50 years. This restriction applies to any sort of emotion suffering, including loss of consortium and general disfigurement.

To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer like Henry C. Devening

Learn More

Can Bankruptcy Be Used To Get Rid Of Tax Debts?

Eliminating tax debts through bankruptcy is possible, but there are a lot of rules that govern whether or not you can in your specific situation. In some situations, even if you file for bankruptcy, you might still owe tax debts. If you are considering filing bankruptcy, here is what you need to know about filing and how it can impact tax debts.

What Are the Rules for Discharging Tax Debts?

If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to meet several requirements. If you fail to meet any of them, it is highly unlikely that the court allows a discharge. 

One of the first requirements is that the tax debt is actually an income tax debt. If the tax debt is something else, such as fraud penalties, they cannot be discharged. The debt also has to be three or more years older. Taxes later than that must be repaid. Other requirements include:

  • There was no fraud. If you attempted to commit fraud or evade taxes, a bankruptcy cannot help your situation. 
  • You have already filed a return. If you have not filed a return for the debt you want discharged two or more years ago, the debt cannot be discharged. 
  • The debt must be at least 240 days old. The debt must have been assessed by the Internal Revenue Service at least 240 days prior to your petition for bankruptcy.

If you do not meet these requirements, talk to your tax attorney about other ways you can handle your tax debt. 

What If You Are Filing Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 debts are viewed differently from Chapter 7 when dealing with tax debts. Since you are agreeing to repay your debts through the Chapter 13 filing, you also are agreeing to pay off your tax debts. 

When you file for bankruptcy, you must submit a bankruptcy repayment plan that also accounts for the tax debts. The court will review your plan and determine whether or not it is acceptable. If not, you will have to change your repayment plan.

At any point, if you are unable to continue your repayment plan, you can request a hardship discharge of your remaining debts. If your current situation meets the requirements for tax debts to be discharged, you might be able to eliminate some of the debts then. 

Before taking any action, review all of your options with your tax attorney. He or she can help determine if your debts meet the requirements for discharge and help you explore other options for handling them, if necessary. To learn more, visit a website like

Learn More