Category Archives: Law

Common Types of Domestic Contracts

Couple reading a document

Couple reading a documentOne element that most couples do not consider is domestic contracts. This is an agreement between cohabiting partners or spouses regarding the boundaries of their relationship.

For the contracts to be legally binding, they should be in writing and signed in front of a witness. Getting a family law attorney in Boulder to advise you is the best way to protect your rights in the contract.

Here are some types of domestic contracts.

Cohabitation Agreements

For couples planning to cohabit for an extended period without legal marriage, a cohabitation agreement is prudent.

This agreement outlines the couple’s rights regarding property and support after termination of their relationship. Should a couple decide to marry later, the cohabitation agreement becomes a marriage contract.

Marriage Contracts

Typically known as prenuptial agreements, this contract includes the conditions of a separation or divorce should it happen. They define the terms of spousal support and property division after divorce.

The couple typically signs this contract before entering a marriage, though in other instances they sign in the course of a marriage. Some of these contracts include the religious, educational and moral training of children born during the marriage.

Separation Agreements

These domestic contracts are for after termination of a cohabitation relationship or marriage. It outlines the division of property and responsibilities of the partner after separation.

These also include the custody and rights of the parents for any children born during the relationship. Courts might, however, disregard the provision for child custody in these agreements if they are not in the child’s best interest.

There are some instances where the court might disregard domestic contracts. These include cases where one party failed to disclose assets at the time of the agreement or contracts signed under undue influence. If one partner did not comprehend the consequences of the contract at signing, the court might disregard it as well.

What Happens with Spousal Health Insurance After Divorce?

Health Insurance ApplicationYou can learn online how to get a divorce in Utah, and you could find a legal practice that can help you through the process. With all the procedures, documents, and tasks that need to be done in a divorce, Kelly & Bramwell, P.C. noted that you might forget the small details. Child custody and asset division may be important in a divorce, but the management of your health insurance coverage matters too.

Divorce Ends Health Insurance Too

In a divorce, you may think that you can continue to rely on a spousal health insurance coverage that you have through your spouse’s employer. Unfortunately, you lose that coverage once you finalize your divorce. Post-divorce, you will have to apply for coverage for yourself, and that can be quite a hassle if you fail to deal with it early in the divorce proceedings.

Option 1: Extend the Coverage

To extend your insurance coverage, you can appeal to a federal law called Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Under this law, you can qualify for continued coverage through your spouse’s employer if the company has 20 or more employees. You can give the health plan administrator notice within 60 days post-divorce to avail of COBRA coverage.

Downsides of COBRA

Now, for some people, COBRA coverage can be expensive. Under it, you shoulder the entire premium because your spouse’s employer is not required to subsidize the costs. In fact, you may even be charged an extra 2% for administrative costs. At the same time, COBRA coverage only lasts for 36 months.

Option 2: Get Your Own Insurance

An alternative to COBRA coverage lies in the health insurance provided by your employer. You can look if the provision will only cost little or nothing. If it is, then you’re better off with your employer’s coverage plan. For self-employed individuals, private insurance can also be viable choices that have lesser costs with lengthier coverage than the COBRA option.

Your marriage may end soon, but your health insurance can still stay as long as you replace your current policy with a new one.

 

Child Custody: 4 Pitfalls You Should Avoid

parent holding hand of childFor most couples, the child custody case is the most critical part of their divorce. This is because they view children as the only good thing left from their split marriage. However, there are some mistakes you can do, and you’ll end up sabotaging your case.

Read on and discover some of the pitfalls you must avoid in your child custody case.

Not obeying a courts order

Most parents refuse to follow a court’s order because they think it is not right or it is unfair. Others give an excuse that they thought it was not in the best interest of their children. However, most family attorneys in Wellington will tell you that most judges do not take this lightly. They will take it as disrespect of the court as an institution, and that you undermine their authority and qualification.

So, no matter how it seems unfair to you, just make sure you obey the court’s order to avoid any further legal problems.

The silent treatment

You may be emotionally drained following a nasty break up. It is, therefore, understandable if you desire to keep it to yourself. However, you will still be required to keep your communication lines open with the other parent on matters regarding the children. Failure to update them on the children’s welfare, be it school, health, or routines, could hurt your case.

Remember that this is not just about you anymore; it is likewise about the children’s well-being.

Not keeping your cool

The split up can be so overwhelming and sometimes may push some buttons you never knew you had. But it is important that you remain composed and avoid any incidences that could be detrimental to your case. Being abusive verbally or physically to your ex-partner could cost you your custody case. Avoid any drugs and alcohol abuse, especially during your visitations, as this could cost you more than your custody rights.

Absconding your parental rights

Failure to exercise your parental rights shows lack of seriousness and commitment. If you have been granted some visitation rights, make sure you take full advantage. Spend quality time with your children. Do not be late for the visitations and do not keep procrastinating. Prove to the court that you are responsible and willing to do anything for your children’s welfare.

Knowing what to and what to avoid during your child custody case will go a long way in ensuring that you get a favourable result. By avoiding the above pitfalls, you will be setting yourself up for a successful custody case.

Three Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Family Lawyer

Man holding Family Law signFinding the right family lawyer to handle your case, be it divorce, child custody, or mediation can prove to be a herculean task. Many people have lost claims, time, and money because they hired the wrong attorneys to represent them. Below, see some mistakes you should avoid when hiring a family lawyer.

Settling for the first lawyer you meet

This could be a grave mistake unless it’s a lawyer you have known for some time. It’s prudent that you take time and check out the other lawyers, suggests the Law Office of Gordon N. Shayne, a law office based in Colorado. By doing this, you can compare their experiences, service fees, and other factors that make up the right lawyer. You also need to be sure that the two of you click since this is a person you are going to work with for long.

Hiring a close friend or relative

You are under pressure to get a family lawyer to handle your divorce case. Then, hurrah! You have a eureka moment and remember that your best friend or uncle is a lawyer. While hiring a close friend or relative can be easy and cheap, they may have little to zero experience and expertise to handle your case. You need to make sure that they meet all the requirements necessary to take your case.

Choosing a lawyer based on cost alone

As much as the cost is important, choosing an attorney just because their service is cheap or discounted can be a costly decision. It is possible that the low price is for enticing clients and to compensate for their lack of experience. At the same time, hiring a lawyer because they ask the highest fees in the state doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best option. You still have to consider other factors.

Hiring the right family lawyer for your case is important since it will affect the outcome of your case. Make sure to avoid the above mistakes in finding the right attorney to represent you.

Filing a Personal Injury Case: 3 Things You Should Know

a lawyer in his office showing a document with the text lawsuit written in itDid you know that only between 4% and 5% of personal injury cases filed in the U.S. reach a trial? Yes, that’s right. Between 95% and 96% of these cases are settled during pre-trials. If you’re planning to file a personal injury case soon, here are some things you should keep in mind and determine first.

First, you should determine if you have a strong case.

In any lawsuit that you choose to file, it is best to determine first if you have a cause of action. More so, can you win? This is ever so important if you’re filing a personal injury claim. In determining whether you have a strong case or not, here are some elements you should prove first: the duty of care, causation, any breach of the duty of care, and damages.

Second, determine if you have the time for the case.

Do take note that all legal cases have their own timelines. Filing for a personal injury case could take months. Some of the cases even go on for years. Now, make sure that before you start, you need to know if you have the time, energy, and resources to devote to the case. Keep in mind that even if you have a strong case or not, you need to devote so much to the case wherein you can win or not.

Third, provide your lawyer with detailed information regarding the case.

When you’re suing someone for personal injury, you need to prove the non-economic damages that occurred and/or continue to occur after the incident. Many people keep a detailed account of their daily lives after the incident and you need to discuss this with your personal injury attorney in Provo.

One of the keys to ensuring that you have everything you need for a personal injury case is to hire a good legal hand. Consider these tips and find yourself a good personal injury lawyer in Provo to help you move your case forward.

How Courts Determine Child Support Payments

colorful child support letters over dollar bills and a gavelWhen parents separate or divorce, the non-custodial parent will have to make child custody payments. When neither of the parents has custody, however, both of them may need to pay child support to the one caring for the child. Courts follow child support guidelines with an aim to treat each party fairly.

Calculation of Child Support

Each state has specific guidelines and criteria in calculating the child support, like the income and expenses of both parents. This is why it is common for most courts to require each party to submit a financial statement before making a decision on the amount. Other factors considered are the needs of the children, the paying ability of the parent, and the child’s way of living before the divorce.

Child support attorneys in Kent note that when setting child support payments, the court considers the previous standard living of the family and tries to maintain it for the child if possible. It's important to keep in mind that this is more of an objective than an assurance. This is because in many cases, it can be hard to keep two households on a salary that originally supported a single home.

Modifying Existing Order

If there is already an existing child support and you wish to change it, you and your ex-partner may need to agree on a term. Even both of you agree to modify it, a judge will still need to approve. If you and your ex-spouse, however, cannot come up with an agreement, you can bring the case to a court to discuss the modification. 

In most cases, the court will only modify child support payment if you can show a significant change of circumstances. These may include:

  • A child’s medical expenses or changes in their needs
  • Your temporary inability to pay because job loss, illness, disability
  • Economic hardship of the receiving parent
  • Job/salary change (in either one parent)

If you’re dealing with child support issues, it is best to consult a family or a child support attorney. The right legal representation can evaluate the facts of your case and help you attain the best possible results.

 

Becoming an Adoptive Parent: 4 Things to Keep in Mind

Adopted childThe process of adopting a baby is an exciting one. There’s so much to do before your child finally arrives home. If you are doing this for the first time, here are some simple tips to guide you through the process.

Find a Competent Attorney to Help You

It’s a happy time for the family, definitely, but you’ll still need to cross a few legal hurdles before finalizing the adoption. Here’s where Albuquerque family law practitioners come in. Your lawyer should be able to explain everything involved in the process and guide you on how to make the best decisions.

Practice Patience

Hopefully, the adoption will be finalized as soon as possible. Be prepared for anything, though. Sometimes the process can take longer than you expected. So find things to do while waiting, stuff you may not have time to do when the child finally comes home. For instance, take a vacation or prepare the child’s room.

Learn About Your Child’s Past Life

When not adopting a newborn, it is crucial to know the child’s life before he or she becomes your child. Take the time to talk to their birth parents, orphanage staff or foster parents to find out as much about that life as possible. Information about their routines, hobbies, how they like to be soothed, and so on can be very helpful.

Don’t Overdo the Nursery

The urge to do everything while decorating your child’s nursery can be overwhelming, but you should never yield. Unless you are bringing a newborn home, filling their room with numerous toys, colorful clothes and bright shades can be overstimulating instead of calming.

No amount of information can prepare you for being an adoptive dad or mom. By educating yourself of the essentials of adopting, you can make the transition a smoother one for both you and the baby.

Why Do People Choose to Immigrate?

An Approved VisaThousands of people decide to immigrate to the United States every year. Even with strict immigration policies, many continue to pursue the chance to move to the US. In Utah, immigration attorneys help hundreds of clients in complying with their immigration requirements. But why do so many people choose to immigrate anyway?

Employment and Business Opportunities

In 2015, immigrants comprised 17% of the labor force. This is equivalent to around 26.7 million men and women. Many people migrate to the United States seeking better opportunities than what is available to them in their own countries. Others, on the other hand, move to the US to start new businesses. These foreign entrepreneurs then create more jobs not only for locals but immigrants too. Indeed, employment is a major reason behind immigration.

Education

The search for higher education is another common reason for immigrants to enter the country. From 1995 to 2014, the number of immigrant students in the United States grew by 51%. Ivy League Universities are not the only schools that attract international students. As a nation leading the world in education, innovation and research, the US holds much promise for students who not only want a good college degree but also better opportunities for advancement beyond graduation.

Political Conflict and Violence

In some countries, violence is ever-present. Even today, many countries struggle to achieve peace and prosperity. To escape the political conflict and violence in their countries, many choose to flee to the US, where they hope to live in peace. Meanwhile, many others seek asylum to escape possible persecution due to various reasons.

Family and Friends

Another reason people migrate is to become closer to family or friends. Some have family that migrated before them while others have found extensions of their family in residents of the country.

There are many reasons people choose to migrate to the United States, though the process may be a burden to those unfamiliar with immigration laws. To better facilitate the immigration process, enlist the help of an immigration lawyer you can trust.

3 Reasons to Become a Nurse Legal Consultant

Stethoscope with a Gavel

Simply put, nurse legal consultants provide medical expertise in legal cases. They are part of a legal team who help lawyers, and other legal professionals read, interpret, and explain medical records in health care-related cases and topics. They also explain the medical terminologies involved in the legal cases. Here are three things you should know about this type of profession.

How Do You Become a Nurse Legal Consultant?

The first thing you need to do is to get your Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). After which, you should pass your National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). To become a nurse legal consultant, you need to spend five years working as a Registered Nurse (RN). Then, you should work at least two years in the field of legal nursing. After that, you can get your Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC) by the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board (ALNCCB).

Where Do Nurse Legal Consultants Work?

Certified legal nurse consultants work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals and insurance companies. They also work in several law firms. The majority of them work on a contract-basis, which is very favorable due to flexible work environment and schedules.

How Much Do Legal Nurse Consultants Earn?

When it comes to average salary, a certified legal nurse consultant can make between $49,000 and $64,000. The salary is often highly dependent on the terms of employment. But it’s good to know that many can build and enjoy high-paying careers. In fact, some of the legal nurse consultants in practice today earn higher than their RN counterparts.

Are You Ready to Become a Legal Nurse Consultant?

If you’re already a registered nurse, consider looking into the field of legal nurse consulting and see for yourself if this is something that you’d rather do. There are many perks to the job, including a more flexible work schedule and the environment. Consider these facts if you’re currently deciding to shift gears.

Legal Careers That Don’t Need a Law Degree

Gavel on Top of a Laptop

Gavel on Top of a Laptop

Let’s admit it, studying law is expensive. Apart from the tuition, the course involves tons of miscellaneous fees, including books, boarding, internship, and exams. According to CBS News, it costs around $43,000 a year to study in a top law school. That’s a huge amount of money that not every aspiring lawyer can afford.

Fortunately, there are still many opportunities for students who wish to take the legal route. Yes, you can work in a firm or a courtroom without spending too much on education. See our list of careers below.

Paralegal

Also known as legal assistants, paralegals work in the same vein as lawyers and attorneys. They typically work in law offices and even head to courtrooms when necessary. Paralegals carry out actions suggested by a lawyer: interview witnesses, study claims, and file legal documents, among many others. The demand for paralegals is getting higher every year, which is why many students choose to take paralegal degrees online.

Court Reporter

Are you well-organized and have a keen eye for detail? If yes, then you might as well be a court reporter. Also known as stenographers, court reporters record speeches, court testimonies, and other legal proceedings. The demand for the position is extremely high, considering the low number of people entering the profession. An associate’s degree program, license, and certification are required to become a court reporter.

Mediator

Mediators, as the title imposes, mediate. By providing direction, resolution, and encouragement, this kind of legal profession aims to settle disputes between arguing parties. Mediators work outside the courtroom as they do not represent or advocate a lawsuit. One must have training in mediation as well as a certification to become a mediator.

The road to the law is hard and expensive. However, one should not lose hope and confidence because there are other ways to obtain a legal profession. Consider the abovementioned careers, and you’re off to a great start.