For most people, divorce is both a huge and tragic event. For this reason, many people want to begin the process and end it as quickly as possible. This desire often leads to an uncontested divorce, a divorce in which you and your spouse are in full agreement. The most important thing to understand about this type of divorce is that it is not for everyone. Take some time to familiarize yourself with both the disadvantages and advantages of this type of divorce to determine if this method is right for your situation.
Complicated for business owners. If you and your ex owned a business, uncontested divorces are often just as complicated as contested divorces. Even if you and your spouse come to an agreement on the way you will split up your business ownership, many of these agreements must be reviewed in separate hearings that can prolong the length of the proceedings. You might find that your uncontested divorce is just as long and as expensive as a contested divorce.
Jurisdictional restraints. It’s also important to consider that uncontested divorces are not granted within every jurisdiction. Additionally, even if they are legal within your area, there are often additional requirements that come along with qualification. Simply stating that you and your ex agree on the divorce terms is not always enough to satisfy this requirement. Your attorney can inform you of the local requirements within your area.
Increased privacy. All information from divorce proceedings ultimately makes its way into public records. With an uncontested, you don’t have to divulge as much background information and you don’t have to hand over as much of your personal information to the courts. With a contested divorce, you have to provide a substantial amount of information. The less information shared with the courts also means the less information disclosed in public records, protecting your privacy.
Less emotional turmoil. For some people, the feelings and sadness of divorce are prolonged when they have to go back and forth during a long and bitter
Divorce is both a sensitive and large step, an attorney can help you make the right decision. Don’t hesitate to ask your attorney questions to help lead you in the right direction. To find out more about divorce, speak with someone like Madison Law Firm PLLC.Learn More
If you have been hurt in a car accident, you may have to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you’re entitled to. When you decide to file a lawsuit, this puts several things in motion. Your vehicle accident attorney is an essential part of this process, but you will be contributing a significant amount to the case as well. Below, you can read about the four things that happen in auto accident lawsuits prior to trial.
Meeting With Your Vehicle Accident Attorney
The first part of the process is a meeting with your vehicle accident attorney. At this meeting, your lawyer will ask you questions about how the accident happened. It is also important that you tell your lawyer about any and all contact that you’ve had with the other person or persons involved in the accident.
If you have heard from the other party’s insurance company, you need to relay this information to the attorney as well. At this meeting, your attorney will normally tell you not to have any further contact with the insurance company or the other driver. If you hear from them in the future, refer them directly to your lawyer.
Filing the Lawsuit
Your lawyer will file a petition with the court on your behalf. This petition, also known as a complaint, explains the basics of the case, including any injuries that you may have suffered.
The petition also states that you are requesting compensation for those injuries. Since a complaint is only a basic explanation of the case for the court, your injuries don’t have to be exhaustively detailed at this point.
The Discovery Process
The discovery process happens after the petition is filed. This process allows time for your attorney to collect information about the case. Similarly, the other person involved in the case (or their legal representation) will collect information during this period.
During the discovery process, attorneys involved in the case can submit interrogatories. The interrogatory is basically a question, or series of questions, about the accident. These questions must be answered under oath. Your lawyer can use the interrogatory to get evidence that supports your case by questioning the other driver under oath.
The Negotiation Period
While you are awaiting your court date, the attorney will typically negotiate for you. Normally, the insurance company (or the lawyer representing the insurance company) will send you a settlement offer first. This first offer is rarely a large one, but it is only a starting point. Your attorney will send a counteroffer after the initial offer. The other side can then respond with a new offer, continuing the negotiation process.
Your lawyer will discuss every offer with you, and you have the power to decide whether to accept at any time. However, it is always best to take the attorney’s advice on offers. Your lawyer knows how much a case is really worth, and they usually know what they can get in your case.
The vast majority of auto accident cases are settled during this negotiation phase. 95 to 96 percent of personal injury cases end prior to trial today. Therefore, this is almost always the last step in an auto accident lawsuit. In the event that your attorney is unable to negotiate a fair settlement, they will proceed to prove your case in court. Your lawyer is your best friend in an auto accident lawsuit, so make sure that you contact a skilled lawyer (such as one from Armstrong & Surin) as soon as you’ve been injured!Learn More
If your child has a child of their own, it’s a blessing like no other. Watching their style of parenting can bring pure joy to your heart or in some cases, the complete opposite. If your child is practicing unsafe or questionable parenting practices because of their lifestyle choices, it’s important to make sure that your grandchild is not witnessing this behavior. One way you can ensure the safety of your grandchild is to file a petition with the court to seek legal guardianship. This can be very difficult, because it can strain the relationship you have with your adult child. Here are just a few reasons to seek legal counsel in order to file for guardianship.
Their Partner Is A Registered Sex Offender
If you’re the grandparent of a child under the age of 18, knowing who is around your grandchild and who cares for their needs is a major concern. If you find out that your child’s new boyfriend happens to be a registered sex offender in your state, he legally should not be around any minor child. Whether your grandchild lives with the sex offender or not, they are still being exposed to someone convicted of a sexual crime. If your adult child refuses to end this relationship, you may have grounds to seek legal guardianship until the situation is resolved.
There Are Signs Of Abuse Or Neglect
If you’ve noticed that your grandchild’s needs are not being met by their parents, this is an immediate cause for concern. Abuse of a child can fall under many terms, including:
Neglect can involve one or more things that lead to your grandchild’s life being in immediate physical danger.
Substance Abuse Issues
If your adult child has had or currently has problems with drugs or alcohol, it can drastically affect the environment your grandchild is being raised in. The first step should be getting your adult child to admit to a substance abuse issue and that they need to seek immediate help. Whether it’s an inpatient treatment facility to help with detoxification or attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, taking the first step will help save their life. At this point, you should request temporary guardianship from the court system to ensure that your grandchild will be placed with you in a safe and nourishing home environment.
Your Child Has A Criminal Record
If your adult child is in trouble with the law, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t affect your grandchild. If their criminal record involves any jail or prison time, you should request legal guardianship to be able to raise your grandchild while their parent is incarcerated. Seeking advice from a qualified family law attorney like Haslam & Perri LLP will help guide you in the right direction so you can work at keeping your grandchild safe and thriving in their home environment.
Seeking legal guardianship can be challenging, especially if your adult child is struggling with daily life. The immediate goal is to do what is best for the minor child in their situation.Learn More
What is an estate plan and how will it help you secure your family’s financial future? An estate plan is a set of documents, including wills and trusts, that ensures that your family’s finances are distributed correctly, protected from taxes and controlled responsibly. An estate planning attorney will help you set up a variety of ways to ensure that your children continue to be taken care of after you pass, regardless of what happens in the future.
Create Trust Accounts
Trust accounts aren’t only used to dole out funds in a controlled way to your kids — though that’s important, too. One of the major components of a trust fund is that it can remain under your control. If you simply gave your money to your child, their spouse might be able to take some of it during a divorce. If they have a trust established, this will not happen. Trust accounts also help you reduce the amount of taxes your child will have to pay, thereby ensuring they get the most use out of the money.
Take a Look at Your Debts
Estate planning isn’t just about wills and trusts. It’s also about creating a realistic plan for your family’s inheritance — which includes debt planning. Your attorney and your accountant can both help you create a plan to eliminate debts or at least ensure that your debts do not overshadow your assets. Remember, though your children will not inherit your debts, the inheritance will be used to pay off the debt before being distributed.
Craft an Official Will With Your Spouse
Too often individuals create their own wills or create their wills independently — this isn’t a good idea. You should always be on the same page as your spouse with wills because they can become conflicting, especially if one or both of you forgets to update it. To make sure that your children are taken care of, you should have both your wills drafted professionally and witnessed by at least two people. A will should also be notarized if you want to protect it from being successfully contested.
Proper estate planning is the only way to be absolutely certain that your family is taken care of — and it’s usually fairly affordable, too. Even setting up a trust generally only costs a few thousand dollars, so it’s a good idea to get an estate plan completed early and update it as necessary.
Work with an estate planning lawyer, like Linn Schisel & DeMarco Attorneys At Law, to take care of your children now and in the future.Learn More
There are two types of physical evidence that are typically relied on heavily when prosecuting a DWI case. These two pieces of evidence are the results from your field sobriety test and the results of your breathalyzer test. It is this physical evidence that is used to prove that you were in fact intoxicated at the time of your arrest. It is also this physical evidence which many people fear they cannot overcome when defending themselves against a DWI charge. However, this is not always the case. In fact, there are several defense strategies that an experienced DWI attorney may use to help discredit this physical evidence or even have it thrown out all together.
Fighting The Results Of Your Field Sobriety Test
A field sobriety test is designed to test your motor skills since these skills are typically impaired when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, it is important to note that intoxication is just one of many reasons why a person may perform badly on a field sobriety test. For instance, stress, nerves, heavy traffic, bad weather conditions, a physical injury, or poor lighting can all cause you to perform badly on this test. In order to discredit the results of your field sobriety test, your attorney will need to demonstrate for the court that there was another reasonable excuse for your poor performance.
Fighting The Results Of Your Breathalyzer Test
Fighting the results of a breathalyzer test can be a bit more complex than challenging the results of a field sobriety test. This is because most courts openly recognize the science behind these tests as being legitimate. However, this does not mean that a failed breathalyzer test will automatically result in a conviction. This is because, while the science behind these tests may be sound, there are some major flaws in the way a breathalyzer works. If your attorney can prove that the results of your test are unreliable due to these flaws, they may be able to have this physical evidence thrown out.
The most notable flaw in the breathalyzer is that there is no way for this machine to differentiate between the alcohol content in your deep lung air (the alcohol content it is supposed to be measuring) and any residual alcohol that is left in the mouth. Since residual mouth alcohol levels can spike dramatically after belching, vomiting, or suffering acid reflux, it is quite possible for a breathalyzer to return a result that is much higher than your actual blood alcohol content. Demonstrating that your breathalyzer results are inaccurate or unreliable due to the presence of mouth alcohol is one of the most effective ways for your DWI defense attorney, such as David A. Mansfield, to discredit this often vital evidence.Learn More
If you’re going through the divorce or legal separation process, you may be negotiating child support and custody with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. These discussions can be completely derailed by the revelation that your child has another father. What if a paternity test determines that the child you thought was yours is not biologically related to you? Are you still obligated to pay child support? Read on to learn more about how these situations are treated across the United States.
When can you be ordered to pay child support on a child who isn’t yours?
Laws governing child custody and support vary from state to state. However, in most states, once someone has signed an affidavit of paternity or has been listed as father on a birth certificate, he is considered the child’s legal father until court action is taken to change this status. In other states, a mother may be able to list your name as father on a legal document without your consent. One specific case recently made news when a man from Detroit was required to pay child support for more than 20 years after it had been proven he was not the father of the child in question (now an adult).
In general, courts will require you to pay child support regardless of paternity in situations where a relationship has already been established with the child or (in some cases) if the child and his or her mother are receiving state aid. In the court’s view, the best future for the child involves having a relationship with both parents — regardless of bloodlines. One part of forging this relationship between you and your non-biological child is the payment of funds to help provide food, shelter, and clothing.
Courts may also feel that the child need not be punished because your soon-to-be ex-spouse was dishonest about her child’s conception.
What should you do to protect yourself in this situation?
If you’d like to continue a relationship with your child but are worried about being roped into decades of child support, you may be able to negotiate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse outside court. In some cases, she may choose to waive child support in exchange for a greater share of retirement accounts or other marital assets. Although this still requires you to give in a bit, it will help prevent you from being ordered to pay to support a child who isn’t biologically yours (up to and often including a college education).
In other cases, it may be best to track down the biological father. If there is another individual in the picture who is capable of providing support, courts will look to this individual instead of a non-relative. To learn more about family law, visit Tracy McMurtrie Luck & Associates.Learn More
Whether you were wrongfully charged or feel that you deserve leniency in your drug case, it pays to follow some tips that will allow you to protect your future. A drug case can affect your employment opportunities, prevent you from being able to run for public office or even make it so that you are denied loans or housing if the charge shows up on a background check. To make the best choice for your future and fight this case in court, consider some of these guidelines.
#1: Hire The Best Specialized Criminal Lawyer That You Can Afford
You can always get the help of a general lawyer, but it’s better to hire a criminal lawyer who specializes in drug charges. Just as a person charged with a DUI should hire attorneys who specialize in these cases, you should find a lawyer who focuses on the particular drug or classification of drug that you are charged with possessing.
For instance, there are different sentencing guidelines and potential defenses for marijuana–a Schedule I substance–than guidelines for cocaine, a Schedule II substance. When hiring a lawyer, sit down for a consultation and ask about their success rates and what sort of strategy they will use for your case. Most attorneys will offer these consultations for free. Get a list of their fees and payment options in writing so that you’re able to move forward with all information on the table.
#2: Gain A Clear Picture Of What You’re Up Against
Each state has different sentencing guidelines for people who are found guilty. For instance, the state of Texas has laws that can put you in jail for 180 days for possessing 2 ounces or less of marijuana. Knowing the best and worst case scenarios gives you a clear picture as you move forward with your case.
Criminal defense lawyers use some common strategies when making the prosecution prove you’re guilty:
#3: Consider A Plea Agreement
Sometimes, when the evidence stacked against you is too convincing, you might want to take a plea agreement. A plea bargain is an arrangement between the prosecution and your defense team that allows you to receive a lesser charge, or no charge at all, in agreement for paying a fine, pleading guilty or taking less jail time than you would have if the case played out in court. This can work in your favor if you are facing harsher penalties. Make sure that the attorney you hire is skilled in negotiation so that you’re able to get a plea agreement that makes the most sense.
Use these tips so that you can get past this difficult period in your life. For further help, hire a criminal defense lawyer, such as those found at Kaiser Law Group, in your area.Learn More