How are child custody decisions made?

Sep 09

When child custody decisions need to be made, there are always some important questions that must be asked. If you are considering divorce, or are already in the middle of divorce proceedings, parents will undoubtedly wonder if the child will live with them, or if they will be able to make important decisions about how the child will be brought up. If you are a grandparent or other close relative, you may wonder if you have any visitation rights or  what you may be entitled to when it comes to time with the children.

The answers to these natural questions are usually what child custody discussions are based on, but for many parents, the legal process can be unfamiliar and at times confusing. People always ask, “how are child custody decisions made? Who determines what happens to the child?”.

Generally speaking, child custody issues follow the blueprint of other issues in a divorce, like the separation of property, division of finances, and alimony. Visitation and child custody is usually decided by the parents (if an amicable decision is possible) or will be decided by the court if there is a dispute that cannot be settled otherwise. Attorneys and mediators are often a great source of assistance during this time, so it is important to have an experienced child custody lawyer (like this one in Dallas that we found that has a great website).

If parents are able to reach a negotiated settlement (usually with legal assistance on both sides), the child custody agreement can be put in writing. They can also turn to mediation if it is contentious, and often mediation can help couples reach a fair agreement.

If the parents of the child were not legally married, most state statutes list the mother as the person to be given sole custody of the child, unless the father takes legal action to secure sole custody. It is very difficult for fathers to win custody over the child if they are unwed, but they can often gain visitation rights or some form of custody if they are fit to parent. For unwed parents, it is still advisable to consult with an attorney for assistance with legal questions and forming a custody agreement. The courts may still be brought into the matter if either spouse chooses to take legal action, so it is important to note that the case can still go to court if they wish to pursue action.

Ultimately, the best interests of the child should be taken into account during any divorce or separation, and an attorney may be able to help you understand your legal options and form an agreement that works for both parents and the child in question. Attorneys deal with this every day, so don’t hesitate to contact one if you are considering divorce and want to know more about child custody.

 

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Why Couples Get Divorced

Aug 04

Divorce can be a life-changer. Aside from the personal hassles, you also have to think about the legalities, like who is going to get custody of the child, how much alimony will be given if granted, and how will the properties be divided. According to the website of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, these are just some of the legal aspects that can be in dispute upon divorce. It can be a legal nightmare. So, before you dive into it, make sure that you think you are doing the right thing.

But why do couples go their separate ways to begin with? There are many reasons why, and they can be a case-to-case basis. But below are some of the most common factors that may trigger a separation.

Getting married for the wrong reasons

Not all legitimate couples have a happily ever after. Many of them get too much problems until they become unsolvable. Those are the understandable kinds of divorces.

But there are others who just marry for the wrong reasons, like trying to cash in from a rich spouse, not wanting to back out just because of how long the couple have been together, marrying just because he or she doesn’t want to grow old alone and so will settle for anyone. Many of these marriages just end with divorce, leaving all parties unhappy.

Disagreeing in financial decisions

Money is a big factor in relationships, especially when couples are already married. They may have more liabilities in the form of mortgages, educational expenses for children, savings, and just expenses for everyday life.

Because it is such a huge factor, it is not surprising that it has been the cause of many divorces, like when the spouses do not agree with saving and spending habits or a spouse not being able to fulfil his or her financial obligations.

Failing to resolve conflicts

All relationships will encounter problems, but not all will handle them well. Some resolve the conflicts through properly communicating with their spouses, lowering their pride, and giving room for compromise. But there are some that will just not budge.

Some problems may not be worth budging for, like adultery and domestic violence, so those cases are understandable. But some divorces occur just because the couples fail to communicate, lower their pride, and compromise, until the problems are too big and they emotionally drift from each other.

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Possible Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated

Jun 24

Alcohol can negatively affect your driving skills, making you a risk on the road. For this reason, jurisdictions and states have made driving while intoxicated illegal. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you may suffer from various consequences, such as those enumerated below.

Fines

If you are caught driving while drunk, you may be required to pay a lump sum. This may be several hundreds of dollars, but it can reach up to thousands upon thousands, depending on the severity of the offense.

License Suspensions

You may also be stripped of your privilege to drive. The length of your license suspension may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the number of times you have committed the offense of drunk driving. It may be 30 days, 6 months, or even up to 5 years.

Jail Times

You can also be required to complete a jail sentence, and this sentence may also be in a state prison, depending on the circumstances of your offense. This is particularly troubling if somebody else has been hurt because of an accident that has occurred while you are driving while drunk.

Vehicle Confiscations

There are also some states where the vehicle you have used for driving under the influence of alcohol is confiscated. The confiscation can be temporary or permanent. Again, this depends on the jurisdiction and the severity of your offense.

Ignition Interlock Installations

If your vehicle isn’t confiscated, it may be required to have an ignition interlock, a device that prevents your car from starting if your blood alcohol content level is above the legal limit.

Probations

You may not be in jail, but you may have limited liberties, like being required to do community service or take drunk driving prevention programs. This probation can last a long time, such as one full year or more.

It is important to reiterate that the severity of these penalties may depend on various factors, such as the level of your blood alcohol content upon arrest, the number of times you have been arrested for the same offense, and whether an innocent party has been injured because of your recklessness.

According to www.portalelaw.com/practice-areas/dwi/, there is a variety of defenses you can use to reduce the penalties or even dismiss your case. This is only fair, to make sure that the law is only penalizing those who are truly guilty of drunk driving. But to avoid courts, lawyers, and their fees, the best thing to do is to not drive while drunk.

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Information About No Zone Truck Accidents

Oct 06

Given their sheer size and weight, any accidents involving trucks will surely be devastating. One of the common reasons for the occurrence of truck accidents is the inability of the driver to see their so-called no zone areas or blind spot. The website of LaMarca Law Group P.C., reveal that truck drivers cannot see their blind sports unless they physically turn to look at them. Recognizing no-zone areas is essential before a driver switches lane or makes a turn.

Trucks have four major blind spots around their tractor and trailer components. Clearing these no-zone areas is important in avoiding collision with any vehicle hidden in the blind spot. As such, when the truck collides with another vehicle, accidents may ensue and the driver may be held liable for any damages. The size and exact location of no-zone areas is dependent on the truck itself. For trucks with long trailers, they will usually have bigger blind spots at the rear. In most instances, however, commercial trucks have landing spots which may include the following:

  • A shallow space located in front of the truck
  • A longer and more extensive area behind the truck
  • A small area on the driver’s side of the truck
  • A much larger space found on the passenger side of the circe

Although it will help drivers a lot to be aware of a truck’s blind pots, it still boils down to the negligence of a truck driver in failing to see where the blind spots of the truck they are diving. When the truck collides with another driver, they can be held liable for any damages that they will incur. So the best way to avoid colliding with these vehicles is to drive at a safe distance. By doing this, you will be able to react to road situations.

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Requirements for an E-2 Visa

Jun 18

America has come into agreements with many countries regarding immigration and work possibilities. There are many ways that businesspeople can now enter and work in the United States because of these agreements. One such option is the E-2 which allows business owners entry and work in the country according to their investment that they will be taking control of during their stay in the United States. The visa should be renewed every two years, and can be renewed many times since there is not limit

To have an E-2 visa you have to pass certain requirements. First, you have to invest in a new or already existing enterprise in the United States. This means placing capital (including funds as well as other needed assets) against risks in order to gain profit. Regardless of whether you are establishing a new company or buying an already-existing one, the investment should be deemed substantial in order to qualify for E-2 visa. Another requirement is that the investment should be put in an authentic and legal enterprise which makes profits through services or goods. Idle investments are not acceptable, as well as investing in marginal enterprises which do not generate enough income that would provide for a minimal living or give a significant contribution to the economy.

Next, you should have enough funds that will be completely invested to the enterprise or business. You should be able to present and prove that your capital investment is completely devoted to your enterprise or business and subject to possible partial or total loss should the investment fail. This should be your own and should be enough in relation to the total cost on the investment. AmLaw Global further state that you should also be able to prove the legitimacy of your funds; it should come from legal sources and not through criminal means. Lastly, the aim of your coming to the United should be to develop and direct the growth of the enterprise or business you have invested in. you have to own at least 50 percent of the company or have operational control by having a managerial or other corporate positions.

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Knowing the type of bankruptcy that’s best for you

Feb 18

Filing for bankruptcy has never been quite appealing for most people. Some are hesitant to file for bankruptcy because of the stigma it may possibly bring. However, bankruptcy can be your best option in getting back on track. Furthermore, filing for bankruptcy can be your only way in securing your assets while trying to rebuild your finances.

According to the website of Hong Law, PLC, bankruptcy could be your way to re-establish your life and obtain financial freedom. Depending on your circumstances, there are different types of bankruptcy filings that would best suit your needs. We can group bankruptcy types into two: personal and business.

Personal bankruptcy

When you file for a personal type of bankruptcy, you are trying to deal with debts that affect you or your family. It can be student loans, credit card debts, car payments, home mortgages, and other personal debts. Personal bankruptcy offers two reliefs that you may choose from:

  • Chapter 7 – The main objective of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is to discharge or wipe-out unsecured debts, such credit card and personal loans. Chapter 7 is perfect for those with no stable source of income, or for those with a monthly income that’s within or below the median
  • Chapter 13 – Individuals with a stable source of income and with assets higher than the median may benefit more from Chapter 13 than from Chapter 7 filing. Chapter 13 offers wider range of protection than Chapter 7, and can protect the applicant from wage garnishment, foreclosure, and repossession.

Business bankruptcy

Businesses that are experiencing great financial hardships may benefit the most from business bankruptcy. There are three different business bankruptcy options: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 12.

  • Chapter 7 – This type of filing is effective in discharging or eliminating small business debts.
  • Chapter 11 – Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing may help large companies and businesses who are operating in the red to reconstruct their finances while doing business as usual.
  • Chapter 12 – Chapter 12 bankruptcy is particularly designed for family fishermen and family farmers to re-establish their finances. This is pretty much like Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but with additional benefits that are tailor-fitted for those engaged in farming and fishing operations.
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Do I have the right to sue if I was bitten by a dog?

Feb 17

Dog attacks and dog bites have been associated with numerous emergency department visits and hospital stays in different states across U.S. In severe circumstances, dog attacks have also been responsible to a number of deaths in the country. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, more than half of dog bite incidents in the country involve children, although anyone could be vulnerable to dog attacks.

Hospitalization and emergency department visits could be too costly for someone who’s been bitten by a dog. Furthermore, a person injured by a dog might even need to take several days off work, resulting in lost wages and productivity. In cases wherein a victim has been seriously and irreversibly harm, he may find it more difficult to perform the tasks he can previously perform with ease. Ultimately, injuries from dog attack may even affect your capacity to earn a living.

Being attacked by a dog can be emotionally traumatic, too. Some individuals may even develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being bitten by a dog. Unfortunately, people living with PTSD may find it hard to get back on track without treatment and professional guidance.

These and more could be grounds of legal action against the dog owner involved. However, you should note that dog owners are not always responsible for the damages brought about by an animal attack. Dog owners won’t be liable for a dog attack if:

  • The person is trying commit a crime
  • The person is a trespasser, which means s/he is not allowed to enter the premises
  • The person is proven to hurt or attack the dog, or provoke the dog to do such action
  • The person is a practicing veterinarian or a dog professional
  • The person was bitten by a military or police dog while in duty

When attacked by a dog, it is important to seek professional guidance to know if you are eligible to claim compensation, and what legal option would best suit you.

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The dangers of texting while driving

Feb 15

Thousands of accidents that happen in U.S. roads each year have been associated with distracted driving. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,328 people have been killed in accidents involving distracted driving in 2012, while an additional 421,000 people have suffered from injuries due to accidents involving a distracted driver.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, car-related accidents caused by a distracted driver can wreak havoc on the victims’ lives. Car crashes may not only cause irreversible injuries, it may ultimately result in deaths. And texting while driving is considered among the top culprits that notoriously take the lives of many American motorists and passengers on the road.

Texting is considered a complete driving distraction, as it takes all your attention away from the road and into texting. Here is how texting can profoundly impact your focus in driving:

Texting is a visual distraction

Texting requires you to see the screen of your mobile to obtain and send information. Unfortunately, taking your eyes off the road even just for split seconds may trigger life-changing accidents. Also, the visual distraction brought about by texting makes you less vigilant of road hazards, making youyou’re your occupants more prone to crashes.

Texting is a manual distraction

When driving, it is important that both your hands are on the wheel to ensure complete control. However, because texting requires you to take one of your hands off the wheel, you are reducing your control of the car, making you more prone to road-related accidents. Texting while driving can be especially dangerous for those whose car is in manual transmission, as it can cause you to lose control of both the wheel and the gear.

Texting is a cognitive distraction

Reading SMS or responding to one can make you think of something else other than driving. Unfortunately, a driver whose focus is not on driving could endanger his own life, the lives of his occupants, and the lives of anyone sharing the road with him.

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Divorce and credit card debts: Can they go together?

Feb 14

While some couples believe that the only option out of a dysfunctional marriage is a divorce, a few of them are quite hesitant in filing their legal papers because of one thing: credit card debt. Some are apprehensive that when they get divorced, they could bear sole liability of the debt, or at least be ordered to pay larger sums. But according to the lawyers of Holmes, Diggs, Eames & Sadler, proper legal guidance is all what it takes to file for divorce even if in debt.

First, it is important to note that most financial planners would advise that you get out of joint credit card debt first before ending your marriage. This can be done by dividing the debt and paying it off completely, or transferring it to your individual cards. However, for some, these options are not always available.

In the U.S., there are two systems in classifying marital properties and liabilities. Most states implement common law rules, wherein a married person solely owns the property s/he acquired, unless s/he expressly stated that his/her spouse would hold the property jointly. This same legal principle rules for credit card debts: if a married couple acquired credit card debt under his/her name, s/he will be the one to pay for it.

The scenario is different when you are living in a state where community property rules are implemented. In a community property state, any property acquired by married couples during their marriage is considered communal, and should be owned jointly by both. This principle can also be applied to credit card debt, which means any credit card debt incurred by either couple during their marriage are considered shared, and should be paid jointly. However, there is also a possibility that you will not be responsible for a debt incurred by your spouse that did not benefit your marriage in any way.

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Avoiding motorcycle crashes

Feb 13

Every year, thousands of people are being injured due to motorcycle-related crashes. According to the website of Green Bay personal injury lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, incidents involving motorcycles could be a result of almost anything: poor road condition, DUI, reckless and distracted driving, defective motorcycle components, among many others.

In most cases, drivers could get involved in a motorcycle-related incident if he is still developing awareness of the risks associated with these two-wheeled vehicles. So, it is important for motorcycle drivers to recognize risks that could trigger injurious, sometimes deadly, motorcycle crashes:

A vehicle switches lane into you

When on the road, some car drivers are ‘programmed’ to watch out for and react to cars, but not to motorcycles, possibly because motorcycles are smaller and are harder to notice. There are instances when a car veers towards your lane without you being noticed. To avoid rear hitting the car in front of you, always maintain safe distance. That way, you are allowing yourself enough time to react when such scenarios happen.

A vehicle turn left towards you in an intersection

Again, because motorcycles are more difficult to notice, drivers turning left in an intersection may fail to see you or may misjudge your distance and speed. When entering into an intersection, remember to slow down by covering your brakes slowly. You should also be aware of any signs that could indicate that a car is turning in front of you. Signal lights are the best way to determine what direction the car will take in its turn. Also, a gap between the car and the center gutter might indicate that it is preparing for a left turn.

Road obstruction in a blind corner

Some motorcycle-related accidents are triggered by road obstructions ahead of a blind corner. Because of too much speed, it can be too late for motorcycle drivers not to hit the obstruction after rounding a corner. To avoid this situation, always enter a curve slowly, so as to give yourself enough time to react to road obstructions.

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