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Category Archives: Family Law

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Why Having Family Dental Care Is Important?

Effective health of individuals is necessary to make the country healthy and prosperous. Health laws are present in every province to provide its citizens with basic health facilities. Dental care is as important as any other. Taking care of your teeth means more than just brushing and flossing. You need to visit a dentist every six months to get them checked and professionally cleaned. Poor oral hygiene can cause overall poor health, which may affect your performance in professional life as well. Gum problems have been directly linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and pregnancy problems. Childhood tooth decay also remains a major problem today.

Dental needs are different for different age groups. It is important to find a dentist in your neighborhood to ensure dental care for your entire family.

Family care:

Family care dentists are different from traditional care dentists. They are general dentists, but they have training in many specialized areas like root canal therapy, orthodontics, and even cosmetic dentistry. Family dental groups are different because they provide all services in one place for all ages. Whether you need a pediatric dentist, who specializes in treating children’s teeth or an endodontist who is an expert of root canal therapy, you will find all at one stop. Family dentist in Burlington is providing all the latest treatments and care for the oral health of your complete family.  

Having a family dentist means saving time on back to back or multiple day’s appointments as you can schedule multiple appointments for family members at the same time.

Find State-of-an-art Practice:

As the world is advancing, so is the technology in every field. Make sure that the family dentists that you find have all the latest machines and know all the latest techniques. Ask about the procedures and equipment the office uses. Advanced technology has proved to be safer than the traditional one. Digital X-rays use less radiation and is more effective than regular X-ray machines. Your dentist should also be able to perform intraoral examinations using cameras and images to treat you. You should be able to find these services around while looking for a family dentist.

Familiarity and Convenience:  

In general, children are afraid of going to a dentist. Having a family dentist means seeing a familiar face. He can build trust and relationship with your child over time, which can help the child overcome his fear. They become more comfortable with a family dentist. The dental records and history are also easily accessible. It’s easy to book an appointment, and you won’t have to look for a dentist every time you want to get your teeth checked. You know that you would receive the same amount of attention and services every time as the dentist is aware of you and your history. It becomes convenient to get regular checkups and is reliable as well.

Having family dental care means you have someone looking after the oral hygiene of your entire family. Choose your family dentists with care so you can enjoy years of dental health without worrying.

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Top 10 Questions in Family Law

Family law in Australia, in simpler terms, is those pieces of legislation which affect family and relationship between husband, wife, children and ‘de facto’ couples, including when a relationship ends. Family law includes the legal divorce, property settlement and parenting arrangement for children. In Australia, family law is practiced in ‘Family Court of Australia’.

When it comes to family law, people are often clueless about many basic facts. Let us address some of the top 10 family law questions, people often ask.

1.    What is a divorce by Australian family law?

Divorce is nothing but the legal approval for ending married life or living together relationship. Divorce includes separation of married couples, parental management of children and property settlement. Divorce is recognized when the couple agrees on all this, either mutually or by judgment by an authorized court.

2.    De Facto relationship

Ending a de facto relationship comes under family law. De facto relationship is that where two people of same-sex or opposite sex, live together on a genuine family basis. In a de facto relationship, it is not necessary that they are legally married. Ending a de facto relationship is approved by family law, on legal conditions.

3.    Child support under family law

Family courts give prime importance to parental maintenance of children after the legal separation of parents.  Unless mutually agreed on child support by divorced parents, either or both of them can approach Department of Human Services (Child Support) for legal resolution on child support. Department of Human Services assesses child support petition and act accordingly.   

4.    About parenting order

In the parenting order, the court gives ruling on adequate parental maintenance to children. Every judgment made on child support will be at ‘best interests of the child’.  made on Court will take care of aspects like:

  1. Designating parental duties to either or both of the parents. It includes the responsibilities, powers and authority on children.
  2. Who the kids are to live with permanently. On court’s discretion, the other parent may be allowed designated time to spend with the children, which is called ‘access’.
  3. All aspects of welfare of the children will be considered and will allocate either or both parents to fulfill the responsibilities.  

5.    All about property settlement

Property settlement is also part of legal divorce according to Australian Family Law. Unlike a dispute settlement, under the family law, court always follows a ‘non-mathematical’ settlement method. Which means, it is the sole discretion of the court to order a 50/50 settlement of the property or not. The outcomes can vary based on a lot of family aspects.

There are few steps followed by every court to decide on property settlement.

  1. First of all, it is the discretion of the court to decide whether it is just and equitable to change any of the party’s legal ownership of any assets.
  2. Next step is to assess the net worth of the properties by listing out each asset owned by the parties. Also, the court assesses the contribution of the parties into the property pool.
  3. Once the assessment is done, court will look into the current and future circumstances of the petitioners which include age of the petitioners, income earning capabilities, age of the relationship and parental access of the children etc…
  4. Based on all the above-mentioned factors, court gives final judgment on property settlement.

6.    What is spousal maintenance?

When approving divorce, the court may sometimes order for spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is essential monetary support provided to one spouse by other. If court observes that the receiving spouse is unable to support themselves sufficiently, a spousal maintenance is ordered by family court in Australia.

7.    What is a family report?

Family courts in Australia value a family report while recognizing a divorce. Family report is the observations and recommendations of a social worker or psychologist submitted to the court which briefs post-divorce arrangements and preparations in the best interests of children. The writer is either reported by the court of law or elected by both the parties by mutual consent sustains is a dispute on parental maintenance.  

8.    What is mediation?

Mediation is assisting the separated couples to reach in mutual agreements on child support and property settlement. Through mediation court aims at minimizing disputes and easing the divorce process. Mediation is not a compulsory process as court commences a mediation only when spouses don’t mutually agree on anything.

9.    How long does the process take?

It is the sole discretion of the court. However, if the spouses reach on mutual agreements and file a joint application for ‘consent orders’, then divorce is sanctioned with much lesser time than one with mediation, disputes and non-agreements of property and children.

10.    What are the requirements for divorce?

Family court sanctions a divorce based on certain requirements.

  1. The couples must have been separated for at-least 12 months. Separated but living in the same home is acceptable.
  2. Court should be convinced that the relationship is irrecoverably broken.
  3. To file a divorce petition in family court in Australia, at least one of the spouses should be an Australian citizen or resident.
  4. If you are married for less than two years, family law allows a divorce petition only after two years of separation.

Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists is a reliable firm with respect to quality and value representation in our family law, divorce and mediation services. Our specialist family lawyers and mediators are widely recognized experts in the family law field.

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1 month ago Divorce , Family Law

How To Hire A Chicago Divorce Lawyer

Getting divorced is a horrendous process.  There are so many things you need to get organized as you unwind your life from your partners. Usually the first of these steps is hiring a Chicago divorce lawyer.  How do you know who to hire? What should you be considering? How important is it to hire a “good lawyer” versus just anyone with a law degree.

There is not a series of statistics that make a divorce lawyer in Chicago Illinois “good” or the “best.”  We don’t tally our wins and losses like a baseball player. Lawyers rarely win or lose anyways as we usually negotiate to an acceptable settlement between the two parties.  A quick settlement is a Chicago divorce lawyer’s greatest achievement yet a quick settlement will rarely show the Chicago divorce lawyer’s true talents and good judgment.

Our Recommendation for a Trustworthy Chicago Divorce Lawyer
Russell D. Knight
(773) 334-6311
1 N State St # 1500
Chicago, IL 60602
Website

An Aggregate of 33 Reviews

This article will walk you through the many considerations you need to make as you go through the process of hiring a Chicago divorce lawyer.

1. Referrals

Because of the unquantifiable quality of a divorce lawyer’s talents, many people rely on personal recommendations to hire a lawyer.  This is a fine way to hire a lawyer but there are several considerations to make when considering a referral.

Why are they referring this Chicago divorce lawyer?  Is it because they’ve seen his or her work or is it because they are just in the Rotary club together?  Knowing the lawyer is a person of good character is important but it doesn’t speak to the lawyers knowledge of the law, reputation with the judges and colleagues, ability to argue both orally and in written form.   

The trouble with a referral to a divorce lawyer is that a divorce lawyer is more likely to be referred if the experience with that divorce lawyer was positive.   If you had a positive experience during your divorce process, that means you had a very easy divorce. Even the slightest disagreement will cause a contentious atmosphere that imbues the divorce and the lawyer him or herself with the negative energy from the divorce.  

I have had numerous people tell me anecdotes about how they did not like their Chicago divorce lawyer because of “he forced a deal” or “he didn’t win anything.”  Then I hear that the lawyer got amazing (to me) results at a reasonable price. After I tell the former client what a great job their Chicago divorce lawyer did, they will tell me, “I don’t know.  I just didn’t like him.” It’s very difficult to like someone you associate with one of the biggest traumas of your life, must less recommend him or her.

A referral from another attorney is usually the best option.  The attorney will know if the divorce lawyer has a good reputation in Chicago or not and how strong the Chicago divorce lawyer’s knowledge base and litigation skills are.  Still, at many firms, they simply send out a mass email that says, “does anyone know a divorce lawyer” and then whoever answers first sends out the referral.  

This begs the question, why don’t big firms have divorce lawyers in Chicago on staff? They usually have every other kind of lawyer.  The reason is that divorce is so unpleasant that firms do not want divorce tainting the other aspects of their practice. A client could be sending millions of dollars of legal work to a firm and then be offended that he was not awarded an extra afternoon with his kids and therefore pull the other legal work from the firm.  

People often call bar associations for referrals of divorce attorneys.  I’m not sure how these bar associations pick who to refer. I believe it is based on a pure lottery system of who wants to be on the referral list.  Many bar associations do require a minimum number of years practicing to be eligible to be on the referral list, though.

Illinois Divorce law is deeply personal.  A personal recommendation or referral is very powerful.  It just can go in either direction, good or bad.

2. Online Reviews

Online reviews have changed the world.  We used to never buy a mattress without personally laying on it but now if we see a thousand people gave it 5 stars, then maybe it’s worth it to order the mattress without laying on it.  Meanwhile, mattress stores are closing all over America.

Online reviews for Chicago divorce lawyers have a similar effect.  I have dozens of reviews on Yelp, the most in Chicago. I also have several reviews on Google.  There are a smattering of reviews of my services on other sites as well.

Online reviews have several positives and negatives.  

Anyone who is willing to review their divorce lawyer in public and in writing for the whole world to see on the internet has an extremely strong opinion.  So, their experience will pour onto the page and be truly candid.

Yelp is the internet’s number one review site because their reviews are reliable.  Over fifty people have reviewed my services on Yelp but only twenty or so are published.  Yelp checks to be sure the reviewer is real and the review is real. I am glad for their services.  I have one bad review on Yelp and I proudly own it. The person thought I charged too much ($ 5,000) for a year long case.  I hope people see that and realize how incredibly affordable and efficient my team and I are…even in bad cases.

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why these reviews are unreliable.

Google reviews are non-verifiable.  Literally anyone can review a Chicago divorce lawyer who has a Google My Business page.  There is no dispute process. For example, I hired two paralegals who worked for a competitor.  They are wonderful people who wanted to work at a more respectable firm, mine. My competitor promptly gave me three bad reviews under various aliases.  

Facebook reviews are, in theory, verifiable.   After all, they use people’s actual faces for their identities.  But, in my case, my thinly populated Facebook page has one negative review from that same competitor (They even spelled “ATTOURNEY” wrong the same way as the fake Google review).   This person conveniently has no face. Facebook is changing their review system to “recommend” or “do not recommend” to reflect their current system of either “liking” something or leaving it alone.  

Avvo is another law website that provides reviews.  I am really split on this because Avvo’s review system is two-tiered.  It has reviews from other lawyers which I think are reliable and accurate.  The client reviews are probably reliable and accurate but I can’t say for certain because those reviews don’t have verifiable names and faces.  Avvo is trying to provide a valuable service with their reviews but they have no explicit system (at least that I can tell) that verifies the client reviews.

This leads me to the final observation about reviews.  Sometimes too many reviews is suspicious. Who has 100 or even 50 reviews?  No one. Chicago is the third largest metropolitan area in the United States and I have the most reviews on Yelp at 23 published reviews.  Clients don’t like publicly reviewing their attorneys and yet some lawyers have hundreds of reviews. Are these reviews all real? I don’t know.  

The truth is, no one reviews their divorce attorney because they don’t like to air their dirty laundry to the world.  This is understandable and fair. Chicago Divorce lawyers keep their clients’ privacy for good reasons and clients seem to return the favor.

Many of my colleagues send out a form letter every time they receive a negative review.  This letter threatens a defamation suit. Then the lawyers file the defamation suit and presume that the bad review caused over $ 50,000 of lost earnings.  The lawyers know the law and the clients don’t. That’s why the client hired the lawyer in the first place. So, the bad reviews disappear.

So, my advice regarding Chicago Illinois divorce lawyer reviews is read them carefully.  Do they mention the lawyer by name? Is it on a site that is verified (honestly, Yelp is the only one)?  Is the person willing to post their face with their review? Does the person’s review sound intelligent or do they misspell words like attorney (see above).

3. Big Firms

This is America where bigger is better.  Honestly, when it comes to law firms, bigger is better.  Chicago is home to America’s largest divorce firm and, frankly, they do amazing work.  Every person in the firm is vetted as an intelligent, competent and honest person. If money is no object, hire the biggest firm you can (with some exceptions).

The only thing critical I will say about the big divorce firms’ quality is that the lawyers they send to court are sometimes not well known to the judges.  If you are representing multi-millionaires with their various assets and inexhaustible budgets, maybe you only have 3 or 5 clients per year. Maybe your clients don’t want any of their issues in court so it all gets settled in mediation and out-of-court arbitration.  Even still, it doesn’t hurt to walk up to the judge and say “I am so-and-so with [Big Firm].”

The big problem with big firms is the cost.  I don’t like to be critical of other professionals and I do believe in the old expression “You get what you pay for.”  At the end of a divorce case there will often be a balance of attorneys’ fees owed by the parties. Now until the parties are divorced, the attorneys’ fees are just another marital debt so we compare our fees.  The big firms’ fees are astronomical compared to mine. I’m sure they spent the time honestly preparing for the case but I’m not sure the value the big firm added was worth the expense.

When does overbilling happen in a big firm or any other kind of firm?  My experience is that it’s almost always unnecessary to have two attorneys at a court appearance but it happens all the time on television so clients think it’s normal.  If you have a second attorney at a hearing…what is the first attorney even doing there?

Most people relate to litigation best by recalling the OJ Simpson trial.  Marcia Clarke and Christopher Darden. Unfortunately, Ms. Clarke and Mr. Darden were both disasters in the courtroom who played off their own bad instincts while the other supported them.  Mr. Darden let OJ put on the isotoners. Ms. Clarke stacked the jury with women assuming they would think OJ was an abuser. My point is, two sets of bad decisions don’t even themselves out.  They just make it worse.

Meanwhile who do you remember from the famous OJ Defense trial team.  Everyone was famous in the law community. They were literally called “The Dream Team.”  Today no one remembers anyone but Johnny Cochrane.

Sometimes a team is not greater than the sum of its parts.  My experience with lawyers is that one good lawyer is worth more than two average lawyers.  One focused average lawyer is worth more than two good lawyers who have too many cases.

So, please, buy into the person who will be representing you.  Don’t buy into the brand. Lawyers are not making a product like Heinz makes ketchup.  We are the product.

4. The Chicago Illinois Divorce Lawyer’s Website

Good divorce lawyers in Chicago have bad websites but almost no bad lawyers have good websites.

What makes a website good and what makes a website bad?  You already know. You log on and the website either looks modern or it does not.  If the website looks old, the owner is not updating it. What else does he or she neglect?

If a website has terrible pictures that were taken on an old Iphone with no filters that is a reflection on the firm as a whole.

Law firms are a business like any other business.  They have gross income and gross expenditures. A webpage is a law firm’s face to the world.  If a law firm can’t devote 1% of its gross income a year to refining and adding to their face to the world.

Chicago Divorce lawyer’s websites will often have a variety of awards the lawyers have earned.  I’m not sure how all of these awards are decided but I have received several mailings in the past offering me an award if I just paid the $ 395 fee.  But then again, even if a Chicago divorce lawyer paid for an award it would at least reflect some pride in his or her website.

Divorce lawyers in Chicago Illinois will list their publications on their websites.  Lawyers are constantly writing articles about the law to better understand or develop a particular area of law.  This is an excellent indicator of whether the chicago divorce lawyer is truly committed to their area of practice.   I just wish these lawyers would re-publish the actual article on their website so we could see their work.

Very few divorce lawyers in Chicago Illinois will publish articles or content for the actual audience, potential clients.  This is the number one way to inform potential clients about the issue they’re facing and that the lawyer is an expert in that particular issue.  Articles show that a lawyer has a systematic way of constantly learning about the law. Almost every article I’ve ever written comes from a problem a current client has presented me with.  I review the statutes and the case law and elaborate on how those laws would apply to the various possible facts.  

Articles are an especially good indicator of attorney quality because they allow the reader to see a Chicago Illinois divorce lawyer’s skills beyond just legal knowledge.  Articles also allow insight into a lawyer’s second most important asset: his or her communication skills. If you can understand a lawyer’s description of a legal issue and the possible legal solutions then a judge who is tired and hungry before lunch will probably also understand and agree with that lawyer’s arguments.

Sadly, most lawyers are not willing to do the work required to put out an article or two a week.  Are they not encountering at least one interesting issue each week? I know I am. What’s more, when they do write the article, they often just outline the problem and then write, “to learn more contact an attorney now.”  Lawyers are notoriously risk averse and don’t even want to propose possible solutions in writing.

Articles will also give insight into the Chicago divorce lawyer’s personality.  Is the article purely about the problem and solutions or does the article provide a glimpse into the lawyer’s sense of compassion? Does the lawyer reference his or her experiences and opinions in the article? Any lawyer who is willing to put his or her personal experiences and opinions in writing is a person of passion and conviction.

5. The Chicago, Il Divorce Lawyer’s Resume

When you hire any other employee, you look at that person’s resume first to determine if they’ll be a good fit for the job.

Many people do the same when hiring lawyers.  What school did the lawyer go to? How long have they been practicing?  Where have they been practicing?

While lawyers don’t directly post their resumes on their websites you can piece together their resume through the “about me” sections of their websites and/or LinkedIn, Avvo or other websites that showcase professional skills.  

The law school a divorce lawyer in Chicago Illinois attended is largely immaterial.  Divorce law is not rocket science compared to say constitutional or federal administrative law.  Hardly any Chicago divorce lawyers attended an elite law school. I attended the University of Illinois College of Law which at the time was ranked in the top 25 of over 200 law schools nationwide.  I never run into any fellow alumni practicing family law.  Many of the best attorneys I know attended law schools with poor rankings.  Maybe they got a scholarship? Maybe they had a bad day when they took the LSAT?  It doesn’t matter because it truly doesn’t matter if your Chicago divorce lawyer is an academic genius.  

The length of practice can be a factor in choosing a Chicago divorce lawyer.  After about ten years or so, every divorce lawyer in Chicago says, “I’ve been practicing law for X years so I know…”  If the lawyer has truly been practicing divorce law primarily, that is a great feature. If the lawyer has been practicing other kids of law during their career, then many of those years will provide no advantage to the lawyer.  

Time practicing law confers a familiarity with the law but more importantly a familiarity with the courts themselves: the procedures, the judges, the opposing counsels.  This is where the added value occurs.

6. The Intake.

Before hiring any divorce lawyer, you should personally meet with the lawyer if possible.

Divorces take anywhere from 2 months to 2 years or longer.  You are forging a relationship with your divorce lawyer in Chicago Illinois as you dissolve your relationship with your spouse.  The intake is the first date.

Does the Chicago divorce lawyer even allow you to meet with him or her or do you have to meet first with an associate or a paralegal to gather information?  It’s perfectly alright for a lower level employee to take information like your address and financial issues but you should be meeting the lawyer who will be helping you directly.  In a bigger law firm that lawyer may be the associate. An associate may have the time and energy to help you in a way the name partner of the firm never could. Either way, you need to like and trust the lawyer who’ll be assigned to your case.

How does the Chicago divorce lawyer at the intake meeting present themselves in person?  Do they inspire confidence? Do they seem professional? The lawyer will be making the same impression later on the judge and opposing counsel.  The lawyer is presenting your case and he or she is part of the presentation.

How does the lawyer’s office look?  Is the office old? Is the office a mess? Or is the office a reflection of the lawyer’s professionalism: clean, crisp and modern?

Meet your lawyer! You deserve to feel confident in your lawyer as you embark upon the frightening journey that is divorce.

Of course, this advice is only about how to choose your Chicago divorce lawyer.  Your ongoing relationship with your divorce lawyer will also be difficult. He or she will bombard you with documents memorializing everything.  I strongly recommend scheduling regular meetings with your lawyer to discuss your case. An in-person meeting will remove all ambiguity and keep you and your divorce lawyer on the same page during every chapter of your divorce.

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2 months ago Family Law

7 Ways to Support Friends or Family Undergoing a Legal Battle

Legal battles are stressful no matter what kind they are. Anyone who is going through a battle will need support from his or her closest friends and family members. You may not know how you can help, but there are many ways you can. The following is a short list of seven ways you can support your loved one in the midst of a legal struggle or battle. This person will appreciate your participation and may have a brighter day because you contributed.

1. Avoid Judging Them

The most helpful way that you can support someone who is in the midst of a legal battle is to avoid judging them. For example, don’t put down someone who has a criminal charge against them because everyone is innocent until someone proves that person guilty. Try not to judge a victim of a crime either. Victims of certain crimes often receive the blame for “allowing” the crime to happen to them. You can be an amazing friend and supporter by refraining from doing that. Furthermore, don’t judge a person who is going through a divorce because the process is traumatic as it is. This person needs encouragement and reassurance that brighter days will come. You can be a light in the person’s life during dark times if you do everything you can to brighten each day.

2. Support Their Choices

Back your loved one up no matter what decision that he or she makes for the legal process. Support the individual whether that person is on the outside or inside of a criminal case. Attempt to understand the moves the person makes to preserve his or her integrity and self-confidence. In other words, stay in the person’s corner until the legal case ends because that person is going to need your friendship to stay grounded. Court cases have a habit of draining people emotionally. You can be the source of replenishment that a person needs during the most burdensome time of his or her life.

3. Lend an Ear

Your loved one will need you to lend an ear while he or she vents and gets rid of the tension that builds during the case. A legal case is a form of crisis, so everything you do will help. You may not think you’re doing much by listening and saying nothing, but you are. People need to talk about their fears, outcome desires, possible scenarios and other information while they advance through legal processes. Your kind, nonjudgmental ear will give them a chance to do that.

4. Conduct Research

You could also help your friend or family member by conducting research to find out more information about what the person is going through. For example, you could read information on recent cases to see their outcome. You can help your loved one understand the nature of the accusation and the consequences and rewards of such. You can research some law firms to see which one is the most reputable according to case statistics and client reviews. Your help in this area will mean a lot because legal cases are often exhausting. Participants feel comfortable having people who are close to them help with things. An attorney can provide most of the research and legalities, but you can act as an additional team member for this person and keep that person secure by doing so.

5. Provide Testimony or Presence

Another thing you can do to help is to provide testimony for the person. You can give your eye-witness account if you were there during the incident, or if you have vast knowledge of what occurred. You may be able to give an alibi if you know the person was with you at a time when an authority questioned his or her whereabouts. Your presence will be helpful even if you cannot provide testimony. Sometimes, just knowing someone is there is enough to soothe a person who is going through a legal battle.

6. Help Pay for Attorney Fees

Helping to pay for attorneys fees is an immediate means of support if you have it. Your friend or family member is going to need a good attorney from cnglawyers. You can help to make that happen by contributing money. Money doesn’t solve everything, but it can surely motivate an attorney to work hard for the one you love. It will also take some of the stress off the other person’s back. That person won’t feel such a heavy weight on the shoulders if financial support is available.

7. Help With the Family

If you don’t have the monetary means to help, you could assist the person in other ways. The individual is going to have a lot on his or her mind, so you can share some of the responsibilities that can cause burnout. For example, you can offer to run errands for the person such as grocery shopping or housekeeping. You can offer to pick the children up and spend some time with them so that your loved one can get a break. You can offer a vast assortment of helpful things that don’t cost a penny. Don’t think that you aren’t needed or that you can’t be helpful. You are, and you absolutely can.

Get involved in your loved one’s legal battle right away to show that person that you care and have faith in them. Your support may be the weight that tips the legal scale in that person’s favor.

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What are the benefits of using a family mediation service?

Family mediation is a positive, forward-thinking and confidential process that resolves personal and professional disputes using a non-biased third party to help facilitate a mutually and satisfactory outcome.

Most people will have minimal contact with the legal system. But, in the situation where they do there may be many questions asked. It’s a very stressful situation when a couple are going through a separation or divorce. Their lives that they have lived together has dramatically changed and there will be many concerns about property, money and children.

Family mediation is now becoming the fastest growing method of resolving family disputes. Often agreeing things without the help of a third-party mediator isn’t an easy process as you try to make arrangements for the future. THB Legal can help you resolve differences in many respects including child arrangements, separation, divorce and relationship difficulties.

Family mediation give the participants involved the opportunity to discuss all possible options in a neutral and safe practicing environment before coming to a mutually agreed arrangement. During the process, either party remain in total control and no arrangement or decision will be forcibly imposed. Family mediators are highly skilled in helping separating partners explore all possible options thoroughly by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal made towards either party. A mediator nor the parties involved would be able to determine whether a suggestion was fair or not unless all of the cards were laid on the table.

Mediation that deals with property and finance is facilitated on the basis that there is full financial disclosure from each party. Only then can the mediation process begin. The sole reason for this is that the financial disclosures set the context of the process itself and the prospective proposals made by either party. Family mediation is a far more time efficient service and less expensive than litigation especially when there are financial issues involved.

The THB Legal Family Mediation Process

The first step in the process is to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (often called a MAIM) with a specially qualified family mediator. The three aims of a MAIM are –

  1. Explain the alternatives including mediation compared to the court processes that are available for separating couples.
  2. To give you the opportunity to decide on what route you think will be best for your relationship breakdown and what is involved in the breakdown. For example, children, financial and property issues.
  3. To explore and determine whether using a family mediation service would be a safe and effective way to resolve your dispute in your circumstances.

During the MAIM you will be able to ask the mediator any questions that you might have regarding the service. If you do decide that family mediation is the right process for you then the mediator will contact your ex-partner and invite them to attend their own MAIM to discuss the process with them. During this session, mediators are also able to offer legal aid mediation.

What Happens after a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting?

Upon seeing both parties, the mediator will then arrange a joint session. The number of sessions typically depend on the number of issues that need to be resolves but normally between 2 – 6 sessions and lastly for 1 – 2 hours.

During these sessions, you and your ex-partner will express your views and concerns to each other and to the mediator. The mediator who is not biased to either party will then help you focus on what needs to be done to forward and more importantly how it can be done. Once an agreement how been made between both of the parties then this will be recorded by the mediator just so you are both clear on what the agreement includes and prevent any confusion once the mediation process concludes. Its important to highlight that once an agreement has been made, you may need to have the agreement in question put into writing so that it would be a legal binding agreement but this typically depends on the complexity of the dispute.

It is vital that if you do have any concerns about any agreement made during the mediation process then you are free to seek legal advice so you know what can be enforced by law.

Child Arrangements

When the relationship between two parent’s breakdown it is normally their utmost priority to make arrangements for the children involved.  Above all else that’s involved in a separation, you and your ex-partner are no longer together but you are still and always will be parents to the same children. We believe that the best people to decide a child’s future is the parents and we are here to help you make future arrangements that are in their best interests.

Research has also shown that children can be more adversely affected by the uncertainty of their parent’s separation rather than the separation itself. Mediation helps to improve a productive level of communication between parents will enable them to move forward with an organised and working relationship for the future. These plans that are formulated by mutual consent can help restore trust between parents and help them move on emotionally but also practically with children in mind.

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3 months ago Family Law , Laws

Fighting for Your Family: How to Win Custody as a Father

Divorce is a hard process to deal with. The more laborious process, however, is finding a way to get child custody. This tends to be much worse for fathers.

In 9 out of 10 families, the mother tends to get preference when it comes to custody. This was the legal truth because of the “tender years doctrine.” Even now in its abolishment, it still happens.

In any event, is there a way how to win custody as a father? Is there a chance of changing custody from mother to father?

What if we tell you there is?

In this article, we’ll teach you simple ways to get ahead of the custody battle for fathers. These will help you get more time with your kids. Whether you’re fighting for full custody for fathers or filing for joint custody, this is what you need.

1. Pay Your Child Support

In the custody battle for fathers, the top priority of courts are the children. The court will ask you to provide for the children. To improve your chances of getting custody of a child, set the right child support payments.

Make an agreement with the mother and provide your dues to your kids. Maintain records and receipts of transfers. Create a way to make sure that the kids have enough for all their needs.

2. Build A Relationship With The Kids

The next thing courts look when filing for joint custody is the relationship with the father. Courts give the children to primary caregivers – the one left at home to care for them. If that’s not you, you want to make sure you build a good, kind relationship with your kids.

Many courts will take into account the children’s opinions of their parents. You can do this by spending more quality time. While changing custody from mother to father takes time, you can be close with your kids by giving them your time and loving attention.

3. Be Ready With Details

When you’re fighting for changing custody from mother to father, judges will ask about details. You want to make sure you are ready in case this happens. Judges will ask pertinent things that will help you accommodate the children.

Getting custody of a child means a good, safe space for them to live in. This also means you can provide not only financial but emotional support as well. This takes into account how you prepare to educate your child and their after-school activities.

4. Start Arbitration

In a custody battle for fathers, legal mediation or arbitration is the best solution. You want to start small so a legal arbitration can help you set your case for custody first. If you feel confused, you can find out more at Hardesty Law Office.

Only when things go ugly would you want to go to court. Settlements are fantastic. These are the best when filing for joint custody.

Court hearings tend to be adversarial and expensive. If you can create a mutual settlement with the mother in your favor, that’s the best outcome you can get.

This Is How To Win Custody As A Father

Full custody for fathers is expensive and stressful. If you want to know how to win custody as a father, you need to work. Provide for your kids and connect with them, so they prefer your time.

If you need more legal help for getting custody of a child, you need a good family lawyer. What you need is the Halt Lawyer Directory.

The Halt Lawyer Directory is the best way to find the right attorney for you.

From divorce attorneys to family attorneys, check with Halt Lawyer Directory now. Get the legal help you deserve.

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5 months ago Divorce , Family Law , Laws , Patent Attorney

Dealing With Divorce: 10 Actions to Take When You Get Divorced

A divorce can put a hold on many other important aspects in your life. There are constant thoughts of how to remedy the situation, or simply make it out without being completely devastated. Unfortunately, some things just are not meant to be and if divorce is imminent it could leave you to deal with it alone.

Here are ten steps to consider taking when a divorce is on the horizon.

1.Research

There is a plethora of information on divorce proceedings available for people to access. You are not the first to end up in this situation and you will not be the last. There are many common factors that lead to divorce, as well as similar resulting developments. Others who have been there are often willing to share their experiences to help you get through it. Be careful to draw advice only from those whose tips are constructive and healthy.

Research can also save you a lot of confusion once the proceedings begin. There are specific rules associated with getting a divorce and it is important to understand them well, so you do not suffer financially under rulings.

2. Remain Civil

It does not matter how angry or upset the situation leading to the divorce has made you. Always remain calm and collected when dealing with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This can be especially difficult if they have especially wronged you financially, or emotionally.

Since adultery is a leading cause of divorce, many proceedings are emotion-filled and that can get in the way of having smooth proceedings. When learning more about adultery in divorce, keep in mind there are legal rules associated with it that are best understood with a clear and collected head. Any arguments or vengeful acts will only progress the situation negatively. It can waste time, making the process longer than needed. It can even reflect badly on yourself, costing you down the line legally.

3. Take Inventory of Possessions

It can be hard to determine what really belongs to who when you have been with someone and shared things for so long, but this will have to be done. Some things obviously belong to one person or the other. One common tactic couples use is to put stickers on things they want so it’s easier to determine what even needs to be taken into account.

Larger possessions, like your home and cars, are a completely different story and will need to be handled according to specific rules. Some assume just because a vehicle or house is predominantly in their name that they will have complete rights to it. There are particular judgements that may separate ownership because of who the household income comes from.

4. Smart Budgeting

Many surprise expenses will pop up along the way, especially if you are caring for your home after your spouse has moved out and stopped paying bills. You may find new expenses will be needed to cover the missing work around the house. Preparing a budget and ensuring you have what is necessary to maintain your lifestyle will help you get a handle on how to proceed. Divorce will be costly, but you can minimize costs by knowing the process in-depth.

5. Prioritize Any Children

Dealing with your children can be one of the most challenging aspects during a divorce. This is something that will affect them as well, and it is important to sit down with them to tell exactly what is going on. You will also need to determine who will become the primary caregiver and how expenses will be handled. Depending on the situation with your ex-spouse, it may be necessary to dictate court-ordered child support.

6. Consult an Attorney

Information on your legal rights is vital to have at this time. The different regulations involved in a divorce can become attainable once contacting legal professionals. Attorneys can provide the facts of what the road ahead of you entails. You may be entitled to more than you think, or need to take extra precautions to not suffer loss. Legal representation can defend you from being taken advantage of by your ex-spouse.

7. Accumulate Financial Documents

Financial records are an important piece of information to ensure all bills and possessions are split up equally. You will have to agree on who is responsible for what. A difference in incomes can come into play when it comes time to decide how things will be split.

8. Manage Debt

This will one of the more challenging facets of a divorce, no one wants to take on debt. Certain bills you may have been handling together, such as school loans, will obviously belong to one party or the other. But if finances were shared, one party could end up owing the other for bills that were put in their name.

If your marriage has collective debt there are sometimes special marital debt circumstances that can be arranged to split the debt into two.

9. Get Support

A divorce can be a lonely time without the person you have been with for so long. This will be a lot of extra stress to deal with at first, and no one should have to go through it alone. It is okay to ask for help from friends and family if needed, and there are experts lined up to help those in this troubling time as well.

10. Take Responsibility for Yourself

It can be easy to believe you have no fault in the problems in your marriage. This is often not the case and understanding what has gone wrong can help you prepare for your new chapter in life. If you have made decisions that ended up adding to the conflict, take responsibility and recognize your hand in things. It’s hard to let things go, but remember why you are doing this- to get away from the negativity, so do not carry it with you.

Positive Actions, Smooth Divorce

Divorce marks the end of your marriage, but it will not mark the end of your life. Using smart financing decisions and reaching out for help can guide produce successful divorce proceedings. Keep any children at the top of your priorities and do not be deterred by an empty house or snide remarks. A divorce is usually not a happy time for those involved but can be manageable if prepared by thorough research.

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6 months ago Divorce , Family Law , Laws

8 Common Steps in Divorce

If you’re contemplating divorce, you may be wondering what the process is like. While varying laws will determine the divorce process, there are eight steps that you have to go through before the divorce is finalized and your marriage is dissolved completely. Here’s a broad description of these steps although there may be some alternate issues that will come up in your individual case. This article is mainly aimed at the USA – if you’re looking for family solicitors London – then we’d recommend contacting Goodman Ray to help.

  • Legal Separation

There are some areas particularly in the USA (states) that don’t allow a couple to separate legally. In these certain states you will remain married until a court of law decides otherwise. If your state allows for legal separation, when a spouse leaves the family home, you can petition your attorney to petition the court for a separation agreement. This agreement is meant to protect both spouses and children by making sure both parties can meet legal responsibilities to one another.

If your state doesn’t allow for legal separation, your first step would be to get your attorney to file a petition with the courts requesting a hearing for a temporary separation agreement order. This is done by filing a petition for a divorce.

Also as part of the process, you have to begin by filing a document known as the “Original Petition for Divorce” with your local court clerk. This document, also known as a “Letter of Complaint” in some states, identifies the parties on the divorce and any children of the marriage. The person filing the divorce is known as the “Petitioner” and the other party is often referred to as the “Respondent” or the “Defendant.”

The petitioner has to give a reason for filing for divorce. This reason in most states will often be “irreconcilable differences” or “incompatibility.”

One the petitioner has filed the Original Petition for Divorce; this document is served to the respondent usually by a local member of the sheriff’s office. The respondent then has thirty days to hire an attorney to respond to the petition. This is also the time for either party to seek protection from the court in terms of restraining orders, protective orders or other temporary orders pertaining to alimony or child support.

  • Temporary Divorce Orders

The court can then issue temporary orders or even outline specific actions that must take place until the final divorce hearing. These temporary orders can include things like spousal support, child custody and child support. These orders are legally binding and failure to adhere to them or meet conditions set by the court could lead to contempt of court charges that can lead to jail time or fines.

  • Divorce Discovery

“Discovery” is the process of gathering more information about both parties involved in the divorce. The process can vary from one state to another, but will typically consist of the following four steps;

Disclosure: The attorneys for both parties request certain items from the other party. Usually a list is sent to the other party who has 30 days to comply.

Interrogatories: The attorneys send a list of questions to other party. Most states will limit the number of questions and each party has 30 days to answer.

Admission of Fact: A list of facts is sent to the other party and they have to either admit or deny each fact.

Request for Production: this is a legal mechanism that is used to obtain documents like bank statements or any other documents the attorney thinks will benefit the case. The party receiving the request has 30 days to comply.

  • Depositions

During depositions, both attorneys will take sworn statements from the opposing parties and any witnesses. Anything said during a deposition can be used in court and any agreement is also legally binding.

  • Divorce Mediation

For some people, this is as far as they get in the divorce process. In mediation, both parties and their attorneys meet to discuss the conflicts in the marriage and come to an agreement that satisfies both parties. A court-appointed mediator or arbitrator is present to negotiate a settlement.

  • Divorce Court

If mediation fails to produce an agreement suitable for both parties, then a trial date is set. Both parties will get a chance to argue their case before the court. Witnesses can also be called upon to back up your claims. The judge will examine the evidence and make a decision for divorce or settlement. A judgment is often rendered in 14 days.

  • After Divorce Court

Once the judge makes a decision, the parties will sign the final divorce decree. This determines how any marital property will be divided, any order about child custody, child support amounts and any spousal maintenance ordered by the court. During this time, you can request changes to the decree before signing.

  • Appealing a Divorce Court Order

If you feel that the divorce was unfair, you can file a motion to appeal the order. This is usually filed with the same judge and you should therefore not be surprised when the courts deny your motion since most judges will not set aside their own orders. If the motion is denied, you can file with the state appellate court.

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6 months ago Divorce , Family Law , Laws

False Domestic Violence Allegations: How You Can Avoid Wrongful Allegations

Joe was married to a wonderful woman named Diana. They were happily married for 7 years. Then, one day, Joe learned that his wife was having an affair with her boss. After she admitted the truth, they separated. He was beyond broken. But he would still go to her house at night and beg her to take him back.

After months of begging, Joe accepted the fact that Diana was not coming back and so, he finally agreed to cooperate in the divorce proceedings. He thought that it was an amicable breakup, until his lawyer notified him that his ex-wife accused him of domestic violence. To prevent the claim from reaching the court, Joe eventually settled. He gave his cheating wife the house and full custody of their two kids.

One of the best things that happened in the 21st century is the protection of women’s rights. But sadly, the laws governing domestic violence are used by many women (and their lawyers) to get a favorable settlement in divorce. A lot of women use these laws to turn their kids against their dad or to get attention. Some vindictive women falsely accuse their former partners of domestic abuse to get even.

Spouses are not the only ones who can file domestic abuse claims. In fact, people you have dated, your ex-spouse, roommates, a person you had a child with, your kids, grandchildren, and even your siblings can file a case of domestic abuse against you.

Being accused of domestic violence can wreak havoc in your life. You could go to jail or lose your job. You could lose most of your marital assets. You can lose custody of your kids and the respect of the people in your community. It can ruin your reputation and your future. Remember that domestic violence is a criminal offense and having a criminal record can negatively affect your ability to get a job or obtain decent housing deals.

When you’re accused of domestic violence, temporary custody of your children automatically goes to your partner. You’re not allowed to contact your kids or your partner while the trial is ongoing and the family home automatically goes to the accuser. You’ll be required to enroll in an anger management program. Also, a recorded domestic abuse restraining order may cause you to lose your civil liberties such as the right to carry a firearm.

Plus, domestic violence can be proven by what is called a “preponderance of evidence.” This means that the accuser must only prove that there’s a 50 percent chance that her claims are true.

This is the reason why you should be proactive and try to prevent false allegations of domestic violence. Here’s a list of tips that can help you:

  • Understand what “domestic violence” is.

You can’t prevent something that you don’t fully understand. To prevent false domestic violence claims, you have to understand what domestic violence is. There are three general types of domestic abuse: sexual violence, psychological violence, and economic abuse.

Marital rape and beating are obviously types of domestic violence. But a lot of acts that are seen as “less violent” are actually types of domestic abuse, including:

  • Preventing your spouse or domestic partner from getting a job
  • Threatening to injure pets or special properties such as expensive paintings or works of art
  • Using guilt to get sex
  • Unwanted sexual experiences such as whipping, being tied, or being blindfolded
  • Laughing at your partner’s naked body
  • Performing oral sex while your partner is asleep
  • Insulting your partner
  • Undermining your partner’s self-confidence
  • Forcing your partner to drink alcohol
  • Telling your partner that she’s stupid or incompetent
  • Public humiliation
  • Calling your partner “whore,” “bitch,” or “ugly”
  • Yelling at your partner
  • Threatening to ruin your partner’s reputation
  • Stalking
  • Checking your partner’s phone
  • Preventing your partner from seeing her friends.

So, think twice before yelling at your partner during a heated argument because that could potentially cost you a lot, including your freedom and your reputation. Find your lawyer for domestic violence NJ

  • Avoid getting into a fight.

Whenever you can, avoid getting into a fight. Try not to yell or say derogatory words when speaking to your partner.

When you’re in a heated argument with your partner or spouse, try to diffuse the situation. Try your best to come up with a win-win situation. Strive to be the bigger person.

  • Create a strong defense.

If you think that a vindictive partner is about to accuse you of domestic violence, you have to be proactive and create a strong defense. You should look into your partner’s deepest motivations, such as leverage in child custody issue, to get an upper hand in the divorce settlement, vengeance, or serious mental health problems.

Make sure that your partner’s erratic behaviors and vindictive threats are recorded so you could use them as evidence in court.

  • Get witnesses.

It’s important to gather witnesses who can vouch for your character and your parenting abilities like your neighbors, nanny, or colleagues.

  • Change all of your log-in information.

Remember that almost everything can be used against you in the court of law. This is the reason why you should be careful. Change all your passwords and log-in information for your social media accounts, bank accounts, hard drive, cellphone, etc.

  • Notify your family members about your fears and concerns.

Your family may be turned against you in a domestic dispute. This is why you should notify your family members of your partner’s vindictiveness or erratic behavior.

  • Protect your valuables.

Most false accusers would try to steal your valuables such as car titles, land titles, birth certificate, and driver’s license. So, it’s best to keep your valuables in a safe place.

  • Show to everyone that you’re a good person.

People can’t bring down a good man so, just be good. Don’t yell or raise your voice and always speak the truth.

Lastly, you should consult an attorney who has years of experience in domestic disputes and litigation.

Robert A. Rodell, Attorney at Law, can help you build a solid defense and throw out false domestic abuse charges against you. He’s a former prosecutor with over 30 years of experience in litigation. He has competitive rates and provides aggressive defense.

Prevention is always better than cure. Be proactive in preventing false domestic abuse claims against you.

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7 months ago Divorce , Family Law , Laws

What should you know about divorce lawyers?

The divorce lawyer is often called as family practice lawyers and divorce attorneys. These lawyers help the people and their clients in solving the family related issues, matrimonial issues, child custody cases, marriage annulment, etc. The term divorce mainly stands for the dissolution of marriage. The cases which are related to the divorce process are all solved by the family practice lawyers or divorce attorneys. These cases are of all types, and they range from child custody to a division of property.

As the divorce is commonly an emotional process, so it is important for the people and individuals to hire the best attorney or lawyer who understands the person’s situation at a personal level. They need a lawyer or attorney who provides them with proper support by understanding all issues and problems. One should only hire that divorce lawyer who properly understands the responsibility and gives the best law services to their clients or users.

There are many divorce cases in which there is no need for a divorce lawyer. These cases include where no child custody involvement and where there are no property related issues. On the other side, there is some case in which the property related issues and child custody involvement is present. One must require a family practice lawyer or divorce attorney. So, it is essential for the users and individuals to hire the best and more experienced divorce lawyer when they need.

Factors to know before while hiring the best divorce lawyer

Well, there are many factors or things which are necessary to consider while going to hire the best divorce lawyer or divorce attorney. The given below are some essential and most common factors which the users and people need to consider in order to get the best family practice lawyer –

  • Skills and abilities –It means that the divorce lawyer you are hiring must be skillful and have all the abilities and confidence to face any challenge and situation. It is a very important process as in the divorce related cases there are many situations present which require a competent and knowledgeable divorce lawyer.
  • Experience – The family practice lawyer you are going to hire should be more experienced than all other lawyers. He or she must be having at least 5-6 years of experience. The benefit of hiring the highly experienced lawyer is that they provide the best advice and helps their clients properly by knowing all the problems and situation of them.

These are some most common factors which help the users to get the best and more experienced divorce lawyer. So, it is compulsory to keep these factors in mind while going to hire the best divorce attorneys in Nashville, TN.

Conclusive words

In a nutshell, it is important to choose or hire only the more reputed and more experienced divorce lawyer to easily solve all the divorce-related cases. There are many divorce lawyers present in different countries, but the divorce attorney Suffolk County provides the more experienced and fully knowledgeable divorce lawyers.

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