Law

What You Need to Do Before Filing for Child Support

Law

If anyone ever tells you that getting child support is simple and easy, they must not have ever gone through it. Perhaps they would say, anything these days could be accomplished online. While that may be true for many other services, when it comes to filing for child support, you still have to show up at your local office of Child Support Enforcement.

You also have to bring the required documents to file:

  • A valid (up-to-date) passport, a valid driver’s license, or some other valid photo identification.
  • Proof of billing or address, such as utility bills, rent receipts, etc.
  • Your child’s birth certificate.
  • The current address of your ex, or the address of their current place of work.

You can also bring additional documents that might help strengthen your case:

  • DNA test results or an affidavit proving paternity.
  • Recent child support payment evidence or proof of arrears.
  • Other financial documentation
  • Proof of income

Knowledge is Power

Doing your homework can help make the process a little easier. That means going online and doing some research, particularly on the website of the Office of Child Support Enforcement. This will give you an idea how to go about the process, what to expect, what to do if your ex is no longer living in the state or in the country, etc. As with anything else, knowing is half the battle.

Who Do You Call

It’s also advisable to seek help from a more knowledgeable friend or family member, particularly one who has been through the same process. Nothing beats practical information and advice regarding matters like how long you should expect to wait.

Another step you can take is to find a child support lawyer in Colorado Springs or wherever you happen to be residing. Although doing your own research has its benefits, having a lawyer who is skilled in helping people in similar predicaments can help you avoid pitfalls. An attorney can also do most of the work, so you may have a better chance of success without using up as much time. For people who need to request a child support modification, a lawyer is also a preferable ally.

Getting child support is anything but easy. Knowing what you can and should do before even filing can make the process run smoother and faster.

 

New York Divorce: What Is Marital Property and Separate Property?

Law

An angry couple not looking at the other, both of their arms crossed When a couple divorces in New York, their property would be divided equally. This typically results in equal or equitable division, but not always. Equitable division of property is one that’s fair for both parties, and would take into account the contributions of each spouse and what each would need moving forward.

Divorce lawyers in Suffolk County, New York discuss the differences between marital and separate property.

But What Property Would Be Equitably Divided?

The court would only divide marital property. Each party could keep their own separate property. Essentially, marital property includes property that one spouse or the couple obtained while they were married, regardless of whose name is on the title, but subject to certain exceptions.

Each party’s income while married, all property bought using that income during the marriage, and the retirement benefits earned by each party while married, as well as all applicable property’s appreciation during the marriage, are likewise counted as marital property.

So What’s Considered Separate Property?

Only separate property won’t be divided by the court during a divorce. Rather, each spouse could keep her or his own separate property, except to the degree that the other party contributed to the property’s appreciation or value increase. In general, the following are considered separate property:

  • Any property that either party bought or obtained prior to marriage, including gifts or inheritance, except if the property was a gift from the other party
  • Any property deemed as separate property in a legal and valid written contract, such as a prenuptial agreement
  • Damage awards for personal injuries
  • Property obtained from the appreciation or proceeds of a separate property, except if the appreciation could be partially attributed to the contributions or efforts of the other party

The Takeaway

Divorce could be one of the most challenging events in anyone’s life and division of property could be emotional and messy. In such cases, work with an experienced divorce attorney to make sure you get a fair agreement and obtain what’s rightfully yours.

How to Know If You Are a Bully

Law

Older kids bullying the younger kid
Did you know that you might be a bully and don’t even realize it? Or perhaps you already know that you are a bully but don’t know to stop being one. To know if you’ve ever bullied anyone or if you’re presently a bully, answer the following questions truthfully:

  • Do you feel better when you hurt other people’s feelings or when you do something bad to them?
  • Do you oftentimes use your strength and size to intimidate other people into doing what you say?
  • Do you not think about how others might feel when you do or say something hurtful to them?
  • Have you ever been bullied and feel that you have to regain your power by bullying others?

If you’ve answered yes to these questions, the bad news is that yes, you’re a bully. However, the good news is that now that you’ve accepted you’re one, it isn’t too late to change your ways. How do you stop yourself from being a bully?

  • Make amends with everyone that you’ve ever bullied. You don’t have to be best friends with them, but you have to make it crystal clear that you’re sorry for what you did and how you acted towards them, and more importantly, that you wouldn’t bully them ever again. They might not believe you but they would eventually see that you’re really set on changing your ways if you continue being friendly toward them.
  • If you are feeling especially down and have the urge to bully someone to make yourself feel better, look for ways to feel good about yourself. Take up a new sport or hobby or do some volunteer work.
  • Think about why you bullied other people in the past. What were you feeling when you were bullying them and how did you feel after?
  • If you feel that you are having a difficult time controlling your emotions, speak to your parents (if possible), a loved one, a trusted teacher, or your school’s guidance counselor, suggests a renowned counselor from a top residential treatment center for adolescents.

Lastly, be patient. Learning how to be kind, respectful, and compassion would come easily to you the more you do it. And once you have mastered the art of being a kind and compassionate human being, you would see how changing your ways is the best thing that you did for yourself. Bullying is an extremely serious problem and many people have taken their lives because of it. Rather than being a part of the bullying problem, choose to be a part of the solution.

Single Parents and Estate Planning Essentials to Pay Attention To

Law

Mother reading with daughterBeing a parent comes with a lot of responsibility. Your parental obligations carry even more weight if you are a single parent. After all, for various reasons, it could be difficult to find someone to rely on to handle things in the event of your sudden passing or if you are incapacitated. This could put some strain on you to ensure that your children’s care and financial security are taken care of.

Fortunately, the right preparation and planning can keep your family well cared for even after you’ve passed away. Connolly Suthers, a law firm that provides legal assistance to clients in property law, succession law and personal injury, reminds clients of the importance of proper estate planning, as it serves to make single parenthood a lot easier.

Ensuring the Financial Security of Your Children

A living trust has several benefits — if your children are too young to manage their assets by themselves, establishing trusts for them are a great way to ensure their financial security. Through a living trust, you can name a trustee responsible for managing the assets you leave to your children and make distributions to beneficiaries.

The Importance of Nominating a Guardian

When you have already passed, your former spouse may have legal rights over your children if they prove to be fit and financially capable. Naming a guardian is still necessary, however, as the other parent could refuse to act in some cases or the court appointed guardian may not be your personal choice to raise your kids. The guardian you name will be responsible for taking care of your children following your passing.

A Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs

As a single parent, you are the sole signer on bank accounts. If you were to pass on unexpectedly, it would pose difficulty as no one would be able to access your accounts to pay bills or buy necessities. With a durable power of attorney, an agent can help you choose a person to keep everything in order so that the lives of your children can continue as normally as possible.

As a single parent, make it a priority to protect you children through the proper estate planning preparations. An appropriate estate plan, after all, will give you peace of mind knowing your children will be in safe hands even in the event that you suddenly pass on.

How Incarceration Affects a Person’s Mental Health

Law

Effects of IncarcerationEnding up behind bars can seem like a faraway notion for most people. It is not, however, as unusual as one would think: jail time is a reality many people face every day. In fact, with 716 people out of every 100,000 ending up behind bars, the United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

Upon incarceration, the first priority of a person’s family and legal defense is getting the individual out of prison. Those in North Carolina can take advantage of the bail bond system, which helps families gain access to resources needed for immediate release.

The speedy release of the incarcerated loved one is essential as being in jail is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.

Deterioration of Social Skills and Isolation

Prison can be a very scary place for individuals. Behind bars, a person — whether or not they are guilty — is surrounded by hardened criminals and under the mercy of a rough social system. To keep safe, inmates can develop self-isolation behaviors. This lack of friends or a support system makes a prisoner more likely to develop psychological disorders.

Anxious PrisonerParanoia and Anxiety

The internal social structure of prison is very unforgiving and the consequences of overstepping them can be very steep. Inmates have to face situations that threaten their safety every day, in fact. In an environment that breeds reclusive tendencies, inmates are also more likely to display signs of anxiety.

Diminished Self-Worth

Once in prison, individuals give up a lot of things usually taken for granted, such as the use of private showers and toilets. They are also forced to live in small, cramped spaces with other inmates and have overly controlled access to basic needs like food.

Being forced to give up their autonomy can make prisoners feel powerless. Without their basic freedoms and the inability to make their own decisions, they can easily lose their sense of self-worth. Routines, especially as harsh as those followed in prison, can affect how a person sees him or herself.

Post-Incarceration Syndrome (PICS)

Unfortunately, the psychological impact of incarceration does not stop when an inmate gets his freedoms back. PICS is a very complex condition that clusters together several problems that arise in prisoners after their last day in prison. These include:

  1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – the incidence of abuse in prison can trigger PTSD. In addition, traumas that were already present before incarceration can be aggravated while locked up. The condition will continue to haunt them long after they are released.
  2. Institutionalized Personality Traits – this is the effect of routine prison life on an ex-inmate. It includes helplessness when confronted by the authorities as well as antisocial tendencies for self-protection.
  3. Substance Abuse Disorders – many prisons have illicit drug trade problems. Although there are efforts to curb the practice, the fact that it is a way for prisoners to cope with prison life makes it hard to abolish. More often than not, prisoners become dependent on these drugs.
  4. Antisocial Personality Traits – the self-isolation behaviors prisoners learn in prison will not easily be forgotten upon release. They are likely to continue avoiding social interactions long after they’ve served their time, in fact.
  5. Social Sensory Deprivation – this problem specifically comes from prolonged solitary confinement. Prisoners who suffer from the condition have a greatly diminished ability to react in social situations.

Life in prison is, without a doubt, taxing for both the mind and body. These psychological effects, however, can continue to afflict inmates long after their period of incarceration. Awareness and the proper help from professionals can help ex-inmates as well as their families cope better.

What You Can and Can’t Do when Collecting Debt

Law

Debt Collection in WellingtonAnyone who has ever done a transaction will know that they will run into debt one way or another. You will need to provide credit for long-term customers, when selling something that requires a credit card or if you are a property owner waiting for your tenant to pay rent.

Eventually, there will be late payments or bad debt, and you will have to recover your debt. Debt collection in Wellington requires legal assistance to make sure that you are following all of the necessary requirements when collecting debt.

It is important that you have a good understanding of the process so that you can avoid costly fines, legal disputes and other issues.

Do: Have a Clear Terms of Trade

As with all transactions, you should have a legal contract ready or a Terms of Trade. Along with all of the regular information required, you will have to include information on what will happen in the event that a payment is missed.

This may include repossession of purchased goods, late payment fees and the like. You have to make sure that the debtor fully understands the consequences of not paying in a timely manner.

Don’t: Forego Drafting a Contract

Whether it is a small transaction or a big one, always draft a contract so your debtor understands how important it is to pay their debts. Never forego drafting a contract, as this will pose problems should the debt be disputed. Hire a lawyer who can draft you a proper Terms of Trade contract that holds up in court.

Do: Follow the Credit Act

As a debtor, you need to have a good understanding of the Credit Act of New Zealand. It gives you a full overview of consumer rights and your rights as a creditor. You want to fully understand what is owed to you and what you are allowed to demand from the person who owes you.

Don’t: Harass the Debtor

You should never harass the debtor in any way. You cannot coerce them or send threatening messages or calls. You are only legally allowed to repossess items that are stated in the contract; otherwise, it would be an illegal act.

Debt collection is not entirely pleasant, but the truth is that unpaid debt is bad for both parties involved.

Unpaid Emergency Leave? Here’s Why You Should Speak Up

Law

Sick Leave in AitkenvaleInjuries are inevitable. Despite the government’s active participation in road safety and fatality preventions, freak accidents occur on roads more often than we would like.

According to a report from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD), there was a total of 103 road deaths in November 2016 alone. The number of road deaths throughout the year accumulated to 1,280 accidents, which is 7.1% more than 2015.

The next road accident could involve anyone we know, even ourselves.

Legal Assistance

The disruption an accident causes in our daily lives can be devastating, especially if we have responsibilities that include bills and day-to-day jobs. Attorney Kevin Wong, however, reminds us of our entitlement to ‘gratuitous assistance claims’ from employers to provide us with the expenses and services we may need after an accident.

An injured person, or the plaintiff, ‘must have an experienced lawyer who has knowledge in care and assistance claims to ensure the victim received every last cent they are entitled to at settlement’, writes Wong, a personal injury lawyer himself, in Lawyers Weekly. ‘Legislation and common law dictate that an injured person can receive compensation for paid and unpaid services.’

Quantifying Compensatory Damages

‘Most personal injury damages are classified as “compensatory”’, says David Goguen, J.D. 'They are intended to compensate the injured plaintiff for what was lost due to the accident or injury.’

The goal of the personal injury claim is to nurse the injured person back to health until they may return to living their normal lives before the accident took place. Compensatory damages for medical treatment and income issues are the easiest to quantify because of their monetary value.

What is more difficult is gauging a victim’s personal experiences of pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment or consortium. Lawyers do case studies and coordinate with the people involved in order to assess and file a compensatory claim to the victim’s employer.

Rapid Legal Solutions, a firm handling personal law cases, says you may file a claim for medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, loss of income, and past and future pharmaceutical expenses, among other costs.

It may be nerve-wracking to confront your employer regarding your case. But no matter the cost of damages, demanding for compensation for your personal injury is your right.

Money Matters: Do Finances Ultimately Decide Who Gets Child Custody?

Law

Child Support AttorneyOne of the biggest struggles during divorce is deciding who gets custody of the child or children. Some parents may feel anxious that they’ll lose custody over their children because they’re the lower income parent.

There’s no reason to panic, however. Though money matters may be a factor to consider in a child custody battle, courts believe that no amount of money can substitute quality parental care. In deciding child custody cases, they always take the child’s best interests into consideration.

It’s about Financial Stability

Judges usually consider the best interests of the child when deciding custody. This includes the child’s wishes, parent-child relationships, and finances. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that the richer parent has an advantage over the parent who earns less. The court looks into financial stability as a more reliable basis for providing custody.

For example, a parent with financial issues, such as gambling or loan debt, may not gain custody even if they do earn more. Parents with a stable income and who have demonstrated their financial responsibility in the past have a higher chance of getting custody.

When Income and Responsibility Clash

Apart from seeing to the basic needs of the children, a parent should be able to provide a stable routine for them. So, judges will examine a parents’ work schedule and their availability in the household. For example, children with medical and educational needs require regular support from their parents to cater to their needs on a day-to-day basis.

Willingness of Parents to Compromise

Judges are intent on providing solutions that serve the best interests of the child. Parents who cooperate and share the court’s view will most likely have an edge during the custody dispute. In contrast, parents who display antagonistic behavior or bad-mouth their partners are not endearing themselves to the judge.

The settlement of a divorce comes with the responsibility of providing child support, which also entails some form of compromise between parents. While child support is not something every parent wants to pay, there could be some legal consequences if a parent refuses to do so. Spouses with uncooperative partners may consult a child support attorney if such a case happens.

More money does not necessarily make a better parent. It also isn’t the ultimate determinant to how a custody battle will be resolved. While material things are important, there is still no substitute for a parent that can provide for the emotional and financial needs of their child.

When Staying is No Longer an Option: Advice on Divorce

Law

Advice on Divorce in AlbuquerquePerhaps every couple that has had to face the possibility of divorce has tried even for a little time to save their marriage. If not the couple, at least one of them would put some effort into finding a different resolution to their problems that does not involve them going their separate ways.

Why It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

It is natural for people to want to save their marriage, especially if neither spouse has been abusive. After all, there may have been a time when they were happy just to be together. The situation also becomes more complicated when children are involved. “Don’t stay married just for the sake of your children,” your friends would say, but human beings have a natural tendency to do everything possible to protect their children.

When Divorce is the Only Solution

There are marital crisis situations, however, that can no longer be rectified by anything other than divorce. For example, if your spouse is abusive it may be exceedingly difficult to stay married. Not only is it difficult; it is also dangerous for you and the children.

Drug abuse is another reason you should leave your spouse. Your health and safety, and those of your children, are exposed to risks that may get worse every day if your spouse uses drugs. In many situations, drug and alcohol abusers are also more likely to physically hurt their spouse and/or children. During moments of clarity and sobriety, your spouse may genuinely regret their actions and promise you better days. Drug or alcohol abuse, however, is a disease and it cannot be cured overnight.

Get Help

Whatever the reason for wanting or having to leave your spouse, know that you can get help and should not hesitate to ask for it. Family and friends might be willing to help if you open up. There are also government and non-government centers that offer assistance to abused spouses and children. In many cases, a good attorney is your best ally. Here in Albuquerque, you can get a notable lawyer specializing in child laws if you want what’s best for your children even under the circumstances.

Divorce is often ugly. But even when it is, you should not forget that this is your chance to find better days ahead for you and your children. Those better days may not be possible if you try to stick it out.

Need a Career Turnaround? Consider Online Paralegal Course

Law

Online Paralegal CoursesAnyone looking for employment in a legal firm or national legal services must have a paralegal certification. Although, not a full attorney, paralegals play a big role ino the legal system of any nation. But, if you have certain constraints in following the traditional method of education, then you can choose any one of the best online paralegal programs

When you enrol in an online paralegal course, you can be assured that you will be provided a holistic knowledge of the legal system of the country and and you will learn how you can properly execute your duties as a paralegal.

The Things You Can Enjoy 

Some of the benefits of enrolling in an online paralegal course as follows:

  • No time constraint: As the courses will be held online, you can choose to attend classes, take examination or submit papers at your own pace. You can make your own schedule as an online course does not have a pre-defined one.
  • Travelling constraint: Enrolling in a classroom course means you have to travel in order to attend the classes. However, if you have enrolled in an online paralegal course, you can attend the virtual classes, discuss with your teachers and even take the examinations from the comfort of your home.
  • Cost effective: Since, you will not have to travel in order to attend classes; you can save on your traveling expenses. Thus, enrolling in an online course will prove to be inexpensive as well.
  • Choice of apprenticeship: A paralegal course is not completed unless you complete an apprenticeship. In a traditional classroom set up, you have no say in the selection process. But if you have enrolled in an online course, you can choose the firm or person whose apprentice you wish to be.

So enrolling in an online paralegal course will not only propagate your career, but promote your contention as a professional paralegal as well.