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Deciding Child Custody When A Couple Isn’t Married

Posted by on Jul 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

With social norms changing, it is more common for a couple to have a child outside of wedlock. The problem with this is that questions about child custody can come up if the couple decides to split up before they get married. If you are in this type of situation, be aware of what kind of custody options are available to you, as well as what the courts can decide if there is not an agreement. Child Custody Types There are several different child custody types that can happen when the parents have never been married. Full Custody One parent will be given full custody of the child, and they are the only one that has any legal rights concerning them. Primary Custody One parent will have physical custody, but will be required to discuss with the other parent when making decisions concerning their child. Joint Custody Each parent will have equal rights as a custodial parent, and the child spends time living with both parents that that is potentially split evenly. Each parent has equal parenting rights even if the living arrangement has not been split 50/50 due to practical circumstances. Visitation: The parent without custody is awarded visitation rights, which can be specific days and times to spend with the child. Visitation can also be informal with no timeframe specified. Deciding Child Custody When two parents aren’t married, it’s common for the primary custody of the child to be given to their biological mother, although joint custody is possible. The dad may receive custody if they are able to prove the mother isn’t fit to have custody, or if the mother cannot properly care for their child. Unmarried fathers may be required to prove paternity to be awarded custody, even if they are listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate. If they cannot prove paternity, they would not be able to receive parental rights. Keep in mind that if the mother were incapacitated or killed, the birth father could receive custody over any of the mother’s relatives. This may only be possible if the father has been a part of the child’s life, though. If the father has not been around, preference could be given to relatives of the mother by a family court judge. If you feel like there is going to be a battle for custody, you need all the help that you can get. Work with a family lawyer in your area that can fight on your behalf to make sure that you get the custody type that you deserve. An attorney like those at Martin Lawyers may be able to...

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4 Consequences Of Not Paying Your Credit Card Debt

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have high balances on your credit cards, you probably feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do. If you are having trouble paying even the minimum amount on your credit cards, you may have thought about defaulting on them. However, this can negatively affect your life in many ways. Here are four consequences of not paying your credit card debt: You Will Get Charged Late Fees Even if you just miss one credit card payment, you will get charged late fees. These fees will increase your balance even more and make it that much more difficult to pay off your credit card debt. Your Account Will Be Sent To A Collection Agency Once your credit card debt gets charged off, it will get sent to a collection agency. The collection agency is now in charge of collecting your debt and will send letters in the mail and call you several times a day. While some debt collectors may be polite on the phone, others may harass you and put a lot of stress in your life. Your Credit Score Will Go Down If you have stopped paying your credit card debt, your credit score will dramatically decrease. Having a poor credit score will make it a lot more difficult for you to get approved for loans, rent an apartment, and get affordable insurance. A less than stellar credit score can also affect your chances of getting hired for certain jobs. Many companies nowadays look at your credit score before making a hiring decision. For example, if you are applying for a mortgage loan officer position at a bank, the hiring manager may think you are irresponsible with money and not offer you the position. You Could Get Sued If you do not pay the collection agency the money you owe, they could file a lawsuit against you. If the judge takes the collection agency’s side, they could garnish your wages to collect the money. If garnishing your wages would hurt you severely financially, you should ask the judge if there are other options. As you can see, defaulting on your credit cards can have a big impact on your life. If you do not think you can get control of your debt, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. He or she will help you determine the right debt resolution option for you based on your specific circumstances. For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at David Reynolds & Associates Debt...

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How Can You Challenge A Child Custody Evaluation Report?

Posted by on Jan 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you and your spouse have been unable to agree on custody and a visitation schedule for your child, the court may have ordered a child custody evaluation. Once it’s over, and the evaluator has submitted the report, what happens if the evaluation doesn’t go your way? You don’t have to give up custody of your child without a fight. You can — and should — challenge the evaluation if you think that it is unfair or flat-out wrong. Here’s what you should know. You can challenge the evaluator’s skill. A child custody evaluator’s qualifications can vary greatly depending on where he or she is working. Some courts insist that evaluators be licensed psychologists while others allow people who have trained specifically for the job of an evaluator. Either way, your attorney can start to challenge the report by challenging the skills and experience of the evaluator through a number of different means: obtaining a copy of the evaluator’s qualifications and education asking the evaluator to explain his or her training when it comes to dealing with children the same age as your child asking the evaluator to explain his or her experience working with children of the same age as your child and families in your particular situation asking the evaluator to explain what studies he or she relied on when forming recommendations for the court asking the evaluator to cite the specific studies or publications he or she referenced when making the recommendations having the evaluator testify to how long he or she has been working as an evaluator All of these things speak to how well-qualified and well-researched his or her opinion is and could show potential weaknesses in his or her experience. You can look for other areas of weakness. There are also other areas that your attorney can ask questions about while seeking to challenge the evaluator’s opinion. While there are many professional, fair-minded evaluators, there are those that are professionally sloppy or outright biased. Your attorney can often illustrate problem areas during cross-examination with several tactics: having the evaluator testify about his or her previous recommendations in other, similar cases in order to show a bias toward either mothers or fathers looking for biases in the evaluator’s history against homosexuality, certain religions, or any other significant factor in your case looking for evidence that the evaluator “favored” the other parent in some way by excusing his or her bad behavior while demonizing yours questioning the validity of psychological tests that the evaluator allowed his or her staff to either administer or score showing that the evaluator spent more time with you, indicating that you were subjected to more intensive testing than your spouse for some reason showing that the evaluator spent too little time with you, indicating that you weren’t given a fair opportunity to demonstrate your relationship with your child or your parenting skills There is absolutely no reason to give up custody of your child because of one evaluator’s opinion, especially if you believe that he or she didn’t do a fair job. Talk to your lawyer about what you can do to challenge the evaluation in family court....

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Facing Criminal Charges? Learn How To Best Utilize A Legal Team

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

One of the best ways to fight criminal charges that you are facing is by hiring a legal team. But it is not as simple as paying a lawyer some money to have them fight your battle for you, because there are things you can do to best utilize them. Consider these 5 tips to give yourself the best possible chance in court. Be Completely Honest It may seem obvious, but being honest is something that you must always do with your lawyer. Lawyers do not like to be surprised, and even a small lie can undermine the entire case. You must always be honest, even if that means you need to provide your lawyer with details you do not wish to share with them. Once your lawyer knows everything about your case, the prosecutors will not be able to derail your lawyer by presenting evidence they were not aware of. Be Open To Advice Chances are you have limited experience in court, but you may have ideas about what is best for your defense. You cannot let your preconceived notion about how the trial will go down interfere with your lawyer doing their job. Be open to accepting advice, because if you are not, you could jeopardize your entire case by limiting your lawyer’s ability to properly defend you. For example, this could include taking a plea bargain if they feel you do not have a solid defense. Leave Your Anger Behind You It is understandable to be angry, especially when you are facing criminal charges. You cannot let this anger interfere with your defense in court. It can cause you to appear guilty when you have a horrible attitude and make it a challenge for your lawyer to work with you in an effective way. Move forward with positivity to work towards the best result possible. Be Ready To Help Your lawyer can’t do it all on their own and will need your assistance to successfully defend you in court. Expect to contribute heavily to your case. For example, you can do this by writing a journal about the events in question to help remember what happened. It is important to have a consistent story, so make note of what you remember to keep all the facts straight. Practice With Your Lawyer You need to make yourself available to practice with your lawyer prior to the trial beginning. It is important to have experience when it comes to being questioned by a prosecutor, and if you have never done it before, it can catch you off guard. Rehearsing possible questions you will be asked in a mock courtroom setting is the best way to prepare yourself for the real thing. Following these 5 tips will help ensure you are doing all you can to best utilize your legal team. Contact professional law firms, like Flett Manning Moore, for more information and legal help as you move...

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3 Mistakes To Avoid If You Are Approached By The Police Or Arrested

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Many people have run ins with the law. It can be scary to be approached by the police, and even scarier to be arrested. Sadly, many people make mistakes when they are arrested that end up hurting their case even more. This is why it is important to understand what you shouldn’t do if you are approached by the police or arrested. Here are a couple things you should know. 1. Don’t Invite Them Inside Or Step Outside In order for the police to come inside your house they have to obtain a warrant or be invited in. If you invite them in, and allow them to search your home, you may have just opened yourself up to unnecessary problems. Instead, if the police come to your house and ask to come in, you can ask, “do you have a warrant to enter my house?” If they ask you to come outside, you can say, “I am comfortable where I am.” This will keep you safe. 2. Don’t Resist Arrest If the police have probable cause they can arrest you. This means that even if the reasons aren’t perfect, they have been given permission from the court to arrest you. If you resist arrest, it will just make it harder on both of you. It could result in an injury for you, being treated as a hostile witness and make it harder to get bail. In addition, you shouldn’t mouth off, or be rude to the police. This will only hurt your case. Thus, be respectful to the officers, even if you believe that it is a silly arrest or that you are innocent. 3. Don’t Believe What The Police Say To Get You To Talk In many cases, the police are allowed to take liberty with facts and even bend the truth to get you to talk. This means that during the interrogation they will be brutal to get you to talk about the case. You shouldn’t talk to them without a lawyer present. Being arrested doesn’t mean that you have been charged with a crime yet. You will be held for some time while the police gather evidence to see if they have enough to charge you. Thus, if you talk and give them more information about the case, you may have just given them the evidence. So, refuse to talk unless you have a lawyer there with you. To find out more, contact someone like impaired driving Banks, Gubbins and Andrews Criminal Law....

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Parents: Why You Should Not Bash Your Spouse During A Divorce

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

No matter what might have happened throughout the course of your marriage, there is a good chance that you are feeling upset and bitter toward your spouse while you are going through your divorce. Although it’s perfectly natural to feel less-than-happy with your spouse during this trying time, it’s important to be careful about venting. As a parent, it can be easy to talk to your kids about what is going on in a not-so-nice way, or it can be simple for them to overhear you talking about the divorce on the telephone. However, it is very important not to bash your spouse in front of your children while you are going through a divorce. These are some of the reasons why. Your Words Could Be Used Against You in Court First of all, you should know that your words could be used to make you look bad when you finally go to divorce court or when you go to a family court hearing for child custody. The truth is that children can repeat just about everything that they hear, and this means that they might repeat your words when talking to their other parent. This can be used as ammunition against you in court and can make you look bad, especially in cases in which child custody is an issue. It’s best to keep your mouth shut around your kids if you don’t want to hear those same words repeated once you’re in the court room. You Could Make Your Children Upset and Confused Regardless of how you might feel about your spouse, your children probably love him or her, at least in some way. Unless your spouse is abusive or dangerous for some reason, it is important for your children to have a good relationship with him or her during and after the divorce. Unfortunately, using the wrong words can make this hard for your kids and can leave them unhappy and confused. You’ll Only Keep Yourself Miserable Although there is nothing wrong with venting to a counselor or a friend when your kids aren’t around, focusing on complaining about your divorce or your spouse all the time can make healing very difficult. If you make an effort not to talk about such matters when you are at home, you might find that it will help you in the healing process. Although it is certainly understandable that you want to vent your frustrations about your spouse, make sure that you do not do it in front of your little ones. These are some of the main reasons why. To learn more about divorce, contact a law firm like Moores & Collins Law...

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Facing Criminal Charges? Maybe, These Defenses Might Help

Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The law isn’t exactly the easiest thing to understand. However, it is an absolute necessity if you are to live in a peaceful and safe society. There are instances where an act might be justified and result in an acquittal. These defenses can prevent you from being charged with a criminal act. However, the final say is up to what the judge believes to be true. If you find yourself in the midst of a criminal trial, here are a few defenses to help you get through it: Necessity If there are extenuating circumstances that caused you to commit an illegal act, you can claim necessity as a defense. When you are desperate and don’t have a choice but to go against what the law says, there is nothing you can do but plead your innocence. There are certain criteria that have to be met for you to claim this defense: The act was only committed so you could avoid something worse from happening. There was no other option available to you to avoid committing the act. The unlawful act wasn’t anything more than what was needed to avoid something worse from occurring. The act was effective toward preventing something worse from happening. Even if you meet all of the above, there is still a good chance that the court is going to find you guilty of the crime. Duress If you committed the act when you were under compulsion by another individual to do the crime, or if you were being threatened with death or bodily harm, this might be a viable defense. Most of the time, this will only work when the threat is far greater than what the offense was. Threats that aren’t avoidable or immediate can cause someone to do something that they normally wouldn’t do. In certain countries, like Canada, there are certain criminal acts that aren’t allowed to use this as a viable defense. Make sure to ask your lawyer if your charge falls under this category or not. While being charged with a criminal act isn’t exactly the most pleasant experience, there are ways to overcome it and move forward in life. Don’t ever assume you are going to be convicted unless you have gone through the process and gotten a guilty verdict. Your lawyer can help walk you through everything and make sure you get the best possible results for your case. Try contacting a company such as family law at Heather Sadler Jenkins LLP if you have more questions or want to learn...

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A Bit of Information on the Mens Rea Defense When You Are Accused of a Crime

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Due to all the complications involving criminal law, it is always best to hire a criminal attorney experienced in the type of crime you are being accused of. Mens rea is the Latin term for guilty mind, often referred to as intent. It is one of the things a prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty of most crimes. There are some crimes where mens rea is not necessary, and there are different levels of intent. Here is a bit of information on when mens rea does not apply, and the different levels of intent the prosecutor must prove. Strict Liability Crimes Strict liability crimes are those that do not require the defendant had actually intended to commit the crime, it just happened. Traffic violations fall under this category. As an example, you may not have even realized how fast you were going, but will still be found guilty of speeding. Statutory rape is another crime that is a strict liability crime in most states. However, for this crime, many states will reduce the felony to a misdemeanor if the people involved are close in age. Reckless Disregard Reckless disregard is something the prosecutor will use if your defense is the lack of intent. This occurs when a defendant does not care what happens as a result of his or her actions. Vehicular manslaughter often falls under this category. If you were driving under the influence, or in a manner not safe, you were exhibiting reckless disregard. You did not intend to kill anyone, but also did not take the consequences of your actions into consideration. Intentional When you did not sit down and plan a crime, but committed it on the spur of the moment, knowing it was a crime, it is an intentional act. Theft is a good example of an intentional crime. You may not have thought or planned to steal something when you walked into the store, but when you saw the open, unattended cash register you took the money. Malice Aforethought These crimes are planned, or premeditated. If you think about, write about, plan, or discuss committing the crime before doing it, the prosecutor will claim malice aforethought. It is the most serious type of crime and carries the most serious punishment. Browsing through the Internet looking for poisons, or how to electrocute someone may be enough to convict you of a premeditated crime. Mens rea can be a good defense if you actually had no intention of committing the crime but just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. While the burden of proof always lies with the prosecutor, if there is enough evidence to show that you did commit the crime, it is not too hard to prove you had some type of intent. When there is not enough evidence against you, mens rea may be the defense that gets you acquitted. For more information, talk to a professional like Sicotte &...

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Learn Three Ways To Verify Evidence Before Going To Trial

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you plan to sue someone or a company in the near future in court, it is important to know that there will be many different types of evidence you may need in order to prove your case. You will need to provide evidence of any claims that you make against the person or company that can be substantiated in some way. The following guide walks you through a few of the different types of evidence your attorney may need to get in order to prove your case in court. An Affidavit The first thing you will need to do is to tell your side of the story. You will need to make an affidavit to put all of the information in writing. An affidavit is a sworn oath that declares everything you say in your statement is true. You need to be able to provide as much information as possible in your affidavit, so that a basis for your lawsuit can be created.  A Statutory Declaration Anyone you call as a witness in your case will need to make an affidavit or a statutory declaration. The difference between the two is that the affidavit is a sworn oath, while the statutory declaration is simply someone saying they are being as truthful as they can about the situation, but that some parts of their story may not be as well-remembered as they would like them to be. Someone makes a statutory declaration when they do not want to be legally bound to their statement because they are not sure if every word is exactly how a situation took place. Have Documents Notarized Any documents that will be presented in court as evidence of what occurred during the events in question need to be notarized. When a document is notarized, the notary determines if the document is in its original form and uses a seal to stamp the document so that anyone that sees it can rest assured it is in its true, original form. This is needed to ensure that no one tampered with any documentation to make it say information that would benefit one side of the court more than another.     When you go to trial, the judge will look at all of the evidence that is presented to him or her and hear both sides of the story. Having everything properly notarized and all affidavits and statutory declarations submitted in proper form will show the judge that your attorney and you are willing to do whatever it takes to prove your case. Someone that comes into court with lackluster evidence may lose their case because the judge will not be able to rule in their favor because of the lack of evidence. For more information, contact Integra Law...

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3 Reasons Why Drinking And Driving Is Simply Never Worth The Risk

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Driving impaired brings about huge consequences, whether you are found guilty or not. You are risking your life and the potential for injuring or killing other people each and every time that you get behind the wheel after you have been drinking. The repercussions are severe in court as well, since you can end up taking on a lot of obligations and risk. You have always heard that drinking and driving is dangerous, but perhaps you are not aware of the severity of the ramifications to your personal and professional life. To understand these implications better, read the following guide: #1: DUI Charges Are Incredibly Expensive To Defend Against To stand half a chance in court, you will need to retain the services of a criminal lawyer. These lawyers are glad to help you, but know that the costs will add up quickly. When it’s all said and done, accounting for representation, court costs and more, you can end up paying between $5,000 and $12,000. You may have to pay even more money if the courts force you to install an ignition interlock device into your vehicle in order to legally drive it after being found guilty. Regardless, it is clear that drinking and driving is a costly proposition.  #2: A DUI Will Greatly Hamper Your Employment Opportunities Because such a stigma is attached to drinking and driving, you will pay for it in your professional life as well. Since drinking and driving is a criminal offense, you will now have to answer to it any time you are up for an interview. Further, the charge will show up on a background check, which can hinder your opportunities, or at the very least, make prospective employers think twice before having you join their company.  #3: A DUI Can Cause You To Do Time Behind Bars Some people take the risk of drinking and driving, because they think that you only do time if you hurt someone or damage property. This couldn’t be further from the case. Canada has mandatory jail time of 30 days and up for people who are subsequent offenders. This means that even if no one is hurt and your blood alcohol content was just barely over the limit, you will still be forced to pay for your offense by having your freedom taken.  With these three points in mind, it is clear that it’s just not worth it to drink and drive. However, if you are on the hook for a DUI charge and want to be treated fairly in court, always make sure to hire the best DUI attorney for your case. To learn more, contact a company like Leo A Kinahan with any questions you...

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4 Important Decisions You Can Make With Estate Planning

Posted by on Apr 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many people choose to put off planning for the future because they’re fearful about making important decisions. It can also be stressful and upsetting to talk about illness and death. It’s important to have a plan in place so that your wishes are respected. Take a look at the following information to better understand some of the important decisions that can be made with the help of estate planning lawyers.  Funeral Wishes While no one likes to think about death, it’s impossible to avoid it. With a plan in place, you can outline your wishes for your funeral or service. You can decide whether you want to be cremated or buried. You can also decide what type of service you want to have and who will be invited to it. Taking the time to talk about this now is a great way to make sure that your wishes are followed through.  Future Child Needs You never know when a situation may occur that leaves you unable to care for your children. If you have minor children, it’s especially important to create an estate plan. You can choose a guardian for the care of your children. You can also make important decisions such as deciding how much money to leave behind for future needs such as travel or college education funds.  Medical Emergency Decisions If you’re ever involved in a medical emergency, you want to make sure that all of your needs are met. With a plan in place, you can make sure that your finances and medical needs are handled. You can choose a trusted loved one to take care of your financial matters such as depositing money and continuing to make investment choices. You can also choose a loved one to help make medical decisions on your behalf and speak with medical professionals when you’re no longer able to do so. How Your Assets Will Be Distributed When you die, your assets will be distributed to your family. With help from a lawyer, you can create a plan that outlines exactly how your assets will be given away. This makes it possible to make sure that you your assets care given to the right people. You can even use your plan to make sure that certain individuals receive nothing.  If you have any questions or if you’d like to discuss your own estate planning wishes, contact a group of lawyers today to learn...

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